You’ll think you’ve washed up in Tuscany or Provence. These gorgeous stone barns were crumbling a few years ago, now they’re home to one of the loveliest hotels in the north. In summer, life spills onto the courtyard for lunch in the sun, but step through the arched glass doors and find a spectacular restaurant open to the rafters, where contemporary design mixes with rustic bricks and mortar. There’s a funky bar, an open fire, a sitting room for guests that opens onto a terrace. Rooms are just as good, with chic fabrics, Roberts radios, super-comfy beds and robes in cool bathrooms. Five open onto a terrace, most have claw-foot baths. Elsewhere, you’ll find a couple of treatment rooms, a two-acre kitchen garden where you can get married, and six beautiful new rooms in the renovated farmhouse. Good food waits, some home-grown, much from Yorkshire, perhaps cured sea trout with horseradish, slow cooked lamb with onion broth, chocolate with caramel and banana ice cream. The Dales wait to the west, the Moors to the east. Don’t miss the Bowes museum in Barnard Castle, a jewel of the north.