Bentham Golf Club, in North Yorkshire, offers luxury lodges on-site, making it the perfect base for a staycation, writes Dan Murphy
Even before what has transpired over the last six months, the idea of spending a short holiday in the Yorkshire Dales, under the imposing shadow of Ingleborough, staying in a luxury lodge in the middle of a rural golf course had some obvious and appealing selling points.
Right now, it looks even more attractive. So if you are in the market for a well-deserved staycation then look no further.
Wenningdale Escapes, at Bentham Golf Club, offers a choice of lodges to buy or rent as well as glamping facilities.
With the 1922 Bar and Kitchen housed in Bentham’s clubhouse, you can even eat and drink on site.
Of course, in this part of the world, one of the many attractions is the quality of the pubs, many of which specialise in food every bit as much as drink these days. One thing’s for sure – you won’t be going hungry or thirsty.
The other option is to dine in – the luxury lodges have everything you need to self-cater in real comfort.
For those who don’t know the area, Bentham is a small town in the furthest corner of North Yorkshire. It’s actually very close to Lancaster and the Lake District. That means you have national parks in each of Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire to choose from – it’s where dales, lakes and forests meet.
Within a couple of miles is the village of Ingleton, with its shops, pubs restaurants, caves and waterfalls.
Around you are the Yorkshire Three Peaks of Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent and Whernside.
From just outside the town centre you can begin the circular Ingleton Waterfall Trails walk, alongside the Rivers Twiss and Doe. There is so much to see for the duration of the four-mile route.
You can also enjoy the longest cave tour in Britain at White Scar Cave, admiring rock formations like the Judge’s Head and the Devil’s Tongue.
You probably won’t need to venture much further on your break, unless it is to enjoy a drink and/or a meal at legendary pubs like the Highwayman in Nether Burrow, the Sun in Kirkby Lonsdale and the Game Cock at Austwick. And many more.
Back at base, Bentham Golf Club is idyllically pretty in the summer months, with hills rising around you in all directions. It’s perfect holiday golf.
In its current form, the course dates back to 2009 and measures a shade over 6,000 yards to a par of 71.
The par 3s are especially enjoyable – not least because they are relatively short, at least from the yellow tees.
The last hole is arguably the most demanding on the course, tumbling first downhill towards a winding stream and then up to the well-defended green. Trees on either side make the fairway seem narrower than it really is.
Standing behind the green is the well-appointed clubhouse. Family-owned and family orientated, Bentham Golf Club is an especially welcoming and friendly place for the visiting golfer – you won’t find yourself wrestling with rules on dress codes and phone etiquette here.
Our lodge was a five-minute walk away, and the lure of a coffee and a butty mid-morning proved hard to resist.
So too did the prospect of wandering out of the lodge in our spikes and straight on to the back nine for an hour’s golf in the early evening.
After the sun sets, casting long shadows on Ingleborough, and with a total absence of light pollution, the starry skies are spectacular on a clear night.
That’s when the cosiness of the lodges comes into its own.
My experience of Bentham was with my young family and it was a brilliant place for us to visit – you can’t beat the kids being able to play outside in a safe environment simply by opening your front door.
With so much to do in the area, we could easily have stayed for another week and been thoroughly entertained. Book your stay now for late summer or autumn.
How to book
To book a game at Bentham Golf Club, go to the website and click on ‘Book your tee time’. With dynamic pricing, you can get the best deals by playing at quieter times.