The impressively crenellated Swinton Park sits near Masham on the cusp of the Yorkshire Dales; at the heart of a 20,000-acre private estate. Among the many arguments for paying a visit to this stately country house hotel, the cookery school housed in its Georgian stable block is one of the most compelling. Running half and full-day courses, the school covers a wide range of skills and offers classes that cover country-house standards such as afternoon tea and cooking on an Aga, seasonal and regional cookery, as well as specialised classes including seafood, game and foraging; global specialities and Yorkshire-inflected Modern British dining. Under the guiding eye of chef Kevin Hughes, teaching is down-to-earth, straightforward, and very much hands-on. And, with a four-acre kitchen garden to pluck from, there’s no shortage of fresh ingredients to work with. For those who prefer to keep things hands-off, there are also ‘Demonstration Dining Experiences’ available, which give guests the chance to watch their dinner being cooked while enjoying a glass of wine.