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“A certain charm” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The White Swan Inn

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The White Swan Inn
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Pickering
Certificate of Excellence
Kirkby Stephen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A certain charm”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2011

The White Swan has that sort of enigmatic charm that you so want to find in an English market town Inn but rarely do. There is the hustle and bustle of comings and goings, the quiet corners for contemplation and the utterly reassuring creaking and groaning of an old building which reminds you that this place has been providing rest, food and ale to travellers for generations.
The restaurant is not cheap but the food is well cooked and presented.
The bedrooms are spacious and come in a variety of styles from the traditional front facing rooms in the Inn itself to the more contemporary courtyard rooms which, being at the back are quieter.
A great place to base yourself for exploring the North York Moors and coast.

Room Tip: Ask for courtyard rooms if you don't like any noise.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cumbriancastle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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637 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (180)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2011

Was originally trying to book White Swan in another town called Helmley, but on arrival in Uk and upon looking at my booking discovered I had booked a different White Swan in Pickering. We needn't have worried ( though I did !) because we enjoyed our few days in the Pickering White Swan very much. We stayed in the courtyard rooms which were really nice. The nice selection of teas, coffee and home made biscuits was a lovely touch. Bed nicely dressed with quality white linen, bathroom well stocked. Room gets rather warm so the fan was needed, it must be lovely and cosy in winter. We ate dinner in the restaurant first evening. In the welcome pack they do ask for constructive criticism so here goes! The vetables were over cooked badly, and the rosti was inedible. Pity as our starter was nice and the lamb delicious. Breakfast pretty good too, but on our first morning there was no plain yoghurt available, and when i enquired they kindly offered to get me some from next door. Very good I thought, but when it arrived in a little bowl, it tasted suspiciously like whipped cream to me . Next day we visited the deli next door and they dont sell yogyurt!!! Second morning, same thing, no plain yoghurt. Surely when it had run out, and someone had looked for it, stocks should have been replenished. Just little things I know, but i think owners are really good and looking for ways to achieve perfection. they are almost there!! Would definately return

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank romantic77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
replyman, Owner at The White Swan Inn, responded to this review, 22 September 2011
Thanks for your great feed-back. I usually have a little muesli and plain yogurt and fresh fruit for b'fast so they don't get away with not replenishing the stock very often. I will guarantee that the next time you come there will be plenty of plain yogurt. The deli doesn't sell it you are right but the Co-op does and that is also more or less next door so there was no excuse for running out. Sorry. Glad you had a nice time anyway.
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london
Level Contributor
53 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2011

This is how to run a hotel. Friendly, welcoming staff, lovely characterful rooms (not particularly large, but more than enough space), very comfy beds, and lots of special touches such as homemade biscuits in the room. It's not the cheapest place, but it's good value.

The White Swan is an old coaching inn rather than a hotel, so don't expect large public areas - there is a small (4-5 tables) but well stocked bar, with a similarly sized saloon across the way. A choice of local ales, a decent bloody mary, a fine kir royale (apparently).

Supper was delicious: ham hock terrine with a wonderful home made piccalilli, freshly made soup to start, a decent steak and very fresh fish (just in from Whitby) and chips. Service once again friendly and attentive but not overbearing. Lovely.

Breakfast was very good - everything from fresh squeezed juice, pastries and bread to the full bacon, sausage, mushrooms egg option (which was delicious!). Special touches include jars of homemade marmalade rather than silly little pots or plastic tubs. Coffee was ok.

We'll be back - Pickering has a lot to offer, much more than I was expecting. If you go make sure you pop next door to their deli "Feast" - we bought some sausage rolls and a pork pie for a picnic and they were out of this world!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kahn-B-arsst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
replyman, Owner at The White Swan Inn, responded to this review, 18 August 2011
Thank you for your great review. On the coffee front we do use fresh brewed filter coffee at breakfast but are equally as happy to make you a latte/macciato/cappacino/americano etc if you don't mind a short delay. Similarly we don't usually serve bloody mary's at breakfast but it's quite the best time to enjoy one in my opinion - so don't be shy to ask. I stayed in a hotel in the South of France once that even offered a wine list at breakfast (for fizz of course) but that isn't something we have yet tried here.

Feast (the deli and cafe) isn't currently on TripAdvisor but I have flagged that up to them.

Thanks again.
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Warrington
Level Contributor
109 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2011

Just stayed the one night and booked this hotel as it was 'number one' on Trip Advisor. I must admit it was very expensive for what was a rather basic room, however, you pay for the central location in Pickering, right by the Dales National Park and there's not exactly much competition around to choose from!
We stayed on one of the cheaper rooms, it was all that was left as we booked last minute, it was over the hotel entrance at the side and the neighbouring cafes fan was whirring away until the wee small hours, although this didnt disturb us too much I can see light sleepers having a moan about the noise.
Anyway the room was adequate enough, normal 3 star hotel decor, for the price we paid we expected something a bit more 'swish' but was it spotlessly clean and the bathroom was a nice size with a good shower, which was a little cockeyed and pointed more at the wall than the person under it! (it wasnt adjustable, trust me I wiggled it and it was well and truely fixed!)
Dined in the hotel that evening and the food was excellent, I can see why previous reviewers complained out by the portion size, we had to have a pudding, otherwise we would have gone to bed rather hungry, but for the quality and price I thought the food was excellent.
The service was very good too, we were shown to our room and everything was explained carefully, so 10 out of 10 for the staff.
The breakfasts are just amazing, I wish i was a big breakie eater as the full yorkshire looked amazing, the choice is excellent, full fry ups to something light instead, very very nice.
As a treat this hotel is very nice, but I have reservations of the price, we paid £148 for what was a standard hotel room, the food and service are spot on, but maybe if they knocked 20 quid of the price per person?
A fantastic place, but a tad on the dear side, maybe they keep the prices high to keep out the riff raff from Lancashire!!!!
Home made biccies in the room and the mugs were a nice touch, the owners have a sense of humour too!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank scrapyardnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
replyman, Owner at The White Swan Inn, responded to this review, 16 August 2011
Thanks for your great feedback. We don't have an anti-Lancastrian policy and we have been completely over the War of the Roses issue since as far back as 2007.

On the subject of price - thank you for reassuring TA users that it is worth it. We do occasionally do discounts but if you manage to get the last available room in the middle of August then it is fair enough for us to sell it at the 'rack' rate. The great thing about Pickering is that there are loads of things to do year-round so you can expect a better rate when things quieten down. We will try to send you regular info about special offers etc and we try to keep the web site up to date. We have two styles of room (all are decorated differently) so if you want a slightly funkier version than the Vintage Rooms then maybe try the Courtyard rooms next time.

I will remonstrate with the property next door. It was their cellar cooler that disturbed you - not usually an issue unless it's a really warm night but I will ask them to get it serviced. Please accept my apologies for this slight blemish on your stay and thank you for your patience.
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Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2011

Had a lovely one night stay when visiting the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. All staff made both me and my young daughter feel most welcome. And we enjoyed a delicious dinner and breakfast. Staff were even kind enough to post on our coats which I left in the wardrobe! This place is absolutely recommended. And you just have to read the guest info pack - honest & hilarious!

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AboutLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bolton, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2011

My daughter and son in law rate the White Swan at Pickering very highly so we decided to have two nights stay at the beginning of August. To say we where disappointed with the food is an understatment. My son in law really rates the breakfasts, lovely thick local bacon, two sausages etc. my husband had the full english breakfast and got one sausage which was under cooked on the second morning and two very thin pieces of bacon. We enjoyed a rib eye steak on the first night but at £22 felt it was over priced and ridiculous that we had to pay extra for vegetables. I had the sea bass on the second night and although it was tasty it was accompanied by 3 very small halved chargrilled new potatoes, and I still felt hungry when I'd finished. My husband had the fish and chips and he said it was bland. Over all we would say the food was very average and very expensive. And although the staff where very pleasant we felt they where quite in experienced.We probably won't return, we have stayed at lots of better places and not spent anywhere near what we spent at the White Swan.Oh and one other thing we found it very annoying that there was no where to sit for a pre dinner drink as the bar area and very small lounge where full

Room Tip: Room 21 was very comfortable with a lovely bathroom with an excellent shower
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Pollyb22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
replyman, Owner at The White Swan Inn, responded to this review, 9 August 2011
I am sorry that you feel we have let you down. Your observations centre around the lack of food that we put in front of you and the price we charged. The menu and the dishes on it are carefully thought out in order that one doesn't need to have spent all day working the fields to have enough room to enjoy three courses - but nor would anyone label us guilty of serving 'nouvelle cuisine' style portions. We feel that if you have a starter then the main course comes as it comes and for most people it would be enough. However we do offer extra vegetable dishes as well - why not - it is nice. You don't mention having had starters so perhaps this might be part of the issue. We should have taken more time to explain our menu when we took your order.

We also have a policy (hate the word) that if you want some more then you only have to ask - be that sausages, bacon or whatever and it is certainly our fault if this was not made clear to you. I urge others to ask us though rather than to keep quiet and be dissappointed - So I'm really sorry that you feel you didn't get enough. Like the sausage, (which is normally massive and I will investigate - if the one you had wasn't then someone in the kitchen is for the chop), our rib-eye comes from Ginger Pig and is shockingly expensive to buy but we think it is worth it. We make no apologies here - of course there are cheaper butchers but we choose not to use them for rib-eye because we believe theirs is the best we have ever had. You enjoyed your sea-bass but for the lack of potatoes. You should have had as many as you wanted and this is something that obviously we need to do further training on with our restaurant staff to ensure that you KNOW that you could have had more with pleasure - again apologies. We do take on new staff from time to time and it takes time for them to build up knowledge and experience. The current management team have been with us for quite some time and so I can only apologise if you have received inexperienced service from what I assume must have been new staff. I am also sorry that the bar and lounge were full - we do have the Club Room which is rarely used pre-dinner and if it's not raining there are also some charming tables and chairs outside - in fact since your visit the 'farm track' has been turned into a rather nice landscaped seating area. August is a very busy month.

I do hope that you don't write us off for good but I must stress that like you some people find our prices expensive. We are happy to pay up for the quality of our ingredients and are quite happy to be critisised on this therefore - our margins are industry standard and not excessive I can assure you. We do try to make sure that there are a range of prices on our menu and it should be always possible to have a choice of three course meals for less than £25 a head.
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Nicosia District, Cyprus
Level Contributor
80 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2011

It is now almost like coming home when we go to the White Swan, the staff remember us and go out of their way to make our stay a truly memorable one, I have to add here that they do this for everbody whether you have been there before or not, it just make you feel so special, especially when they are as busy as they were this time. I don't think I ever mentioned the glorious Egyptian sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases which are fabulous. This time we were in room 12 at the top of the Inn - it straddles the entrance where the coaches would drive in and so has a window to the front and one to the back. But it is the complimentary 'cuppa' and newspaper which are the extra touches which make this place so special. And, of course, there is the restaurant and the food - gorgeous. You even have homemade biscuits in your room with the tea things.
Can I just make one plea, if you have taken hair-straighteners please don't use them before 9am at the earliest as they set off the extremely sensitive smoke alarms! Straightening your hair at 7.23am was not appreciated, whoever you were.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julia4J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
replyman, Owner at The White Swan Inn, responded to this review, 4 August 2011
Gosh. At least we escaped a bad review - not like that place where you had to send your food back several times and there was no hot water for a shower etc etc last April - terrible. Given that you are now an expert reviewer with 24 reviews - 10 of which you rate at either 1 or 2 - We are very flattered to be described as your favourite hotel. Thank you so much

I may well have to ban the use of hair-straighteners before 9.30am, 10.30 on a Sunday. Actually and having checked, the fire alarm sensors which we have in every room couldn't be set off even holding my wifes GHD set right under the thing. Those other guests must of been up to something else. They certainly weren't smoking so the mind boggles.......... Glad you had a nice time and thanks again for such a lovely review.
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Additional Information about The White Swan Inn

Property: The White Swan Inn
Address: Market Place | North Yorkshire, Pickering YO18 7AA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > Pickering
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Pickering
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — The White Swan Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A warm and friendly Yorkshire welcome awaits you at this proper family run Inn. Next year will be our 30th at The White Swan and we have just about got things organised. From the moment you walk through the doors you'll feel at home. We aim to keep things simple and just let you relax ...Tom Parker Bowles reckons 'Every market town should have a White Swan' and the Daily Telegraph described us as 'God's own Country Pub' on a recent visit. If you read the reviews here you will get a flavour of what we are trying to do. We are an Inn with a lovely restaurant and 2 rosette food but not the plastic fine dining you find in many four star properties. Real food, real people, lovely rooms and great value for money.And by the way if you are not delighted I will give you your money back so long as you tell us at the time.Victor Buchanan - Owner ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The White Swan Hotel Pickering
The White Swan Inn Pickering, Yorkshire

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