Sporting rivalries are part of what makes following your team such a passionate affair. So it was with interest and curiosity that my bride and I decided we were going to be staying in The Boot Room at Castleford Tigers Rugby League Club.
I say the Boot Room, well that is actually the name of the pub which lies across the road (Wheldon Road) from the Castleford Tigers stadium. The pub is also known as The Wheldale Hotel which was our primary reason for staying. Being familiar with the area helps since a passing stranger may just think it was only a pub.
We’d booked our room online after seeing there was not too much by way of accommodation in Castleford. Prices were very appealing as they tended to fall into the £40-£50 a night price range which included a light breakfast.
We realised that at first we’d reserved a room with a shared bathroom (that is shared with other hotel stayers) so we asked for an en-suite when we arrived and it was easily changed.
From the outside the appearance is a long way from that of a boutique hotel.
This is deep in the heart of Yorkshire country. Honest, hard graft and no pretences people who call a spade a spade. So to do this in true Yorkshire fashion the Wheldale Hotel is a pub (The Bootroom) with some rooms above it. It is effectively a B&B at the moment.
At the time of our visit in January 2015 the kitchen was undergoing some renovation. As a result midday and evening meals menus could not be offered. Over time this should change and various pub food offerings should be available.
The landlord was a very friendly chap. We ended up chatting for a fair while about sport and rugby league in general. My bride is a follower of Hull FC rugby league club whilst I follow the arch rivals of Castleford who are Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
We were led to our room by the landlord which was a very kind touch. As he showed us around he explained various spots in the room out to us, such as light fittings, switches and so on. There were in fact 8 (yes 8!) electric sockets in the bedroom.
To get to our bedroom we had to go up some external stairs. Admittedly the outside yard was far from appealing with rubbish piled up in places. Bearing in mind this is a pub this is not too unusual.
Yet once we got to our bedroom we were very impressed. Recently fitted out the rooms were furnished to match many a brand name hotel.
Our room was very spacious. Brightly decorated with new curtains, carpets and fittings. There was a large widescreen TV and free wifi in the rooms.
We also had a large room window which looks out to the Castleford Tigers rugby ground. It is currently called after the stadium sponsor so is known to many as “The Mend A Hose Jungle”. However in typical rugby league banter I fondly call it “The Bend A Nose”.
The double bed was cosy and certainly well presented. I’m sure many women will be impressed by the cushions on top of the pillows.
A work desk was sufficient for me to use the kettle for the complimentary tea and coffee whilst catching up on things with my blogging machine.
Arty pictures provided a nice contrast to the bright clean white walls.
However the atmosphere of the room was transformed into a relaxation haven with calming and therapeutic light rays from an amazing lamp. Wooden sticks were bound up tight around 3 light bulbs, casting soothing shadows.
The en-suite bathroom, like the bedroom was spacious and recently fitted out. The landlord made his apologies before we even spotted it for some damp patches on the wall. He advised that they were aware of the problem and it was being addressed.
Aside from that the bathroom was perfect.
The toilet had a dual flush option to help the environment. Complimentary toiletries stood on the sink just below the mirror.
A traditional style water jug stood on a three shelf towel stand.
Then the shower was just how I like them. A shower cubicle surrounded a two headed shower. One was a hand held shower head whilst the other was one of those large overhead spray heads which are so dreamy. Of course my box was ticked for the option of a shower mat to avoid any accidents.
If staying in a room all night is not your idea of how to spend time in a B&B then don’t forget the pub downstairs. Taking the name of The Boot Room the history of the place clearly plays on the aspect of rugby league. A Castleford Tigers shirt hung here and there to show where loyalties lay. There was even a large banner emphasising the Independent Supporters Club for the team. We were even advised that the postal code for the Boot Room is the same as that of the rugby club.
On match days this place is full of sporting drinkers. Whilst during the week it is more of a locals place to visit.
The bar area like the rooms had new and well maintained furniture. With the layout and décor I could see how once food is served this place could become popular. Little wonder the landlord told us how the hotel was often booked with contractors and various workers during the week. The pub and accommodation would appeal to many especially those with a limited budget.
Considering the price we paid we couldn’t fault the Boot Room at Castleford Tigers as a place to stay. A welcoming host who was only too willing to help. A basic breakfast (cereal, toast and a hot drink) was included in the price although a cooked hot plate breakfast could be added for £5. The bedroom and en-suite was spacious, modern and delightful. Facilities were generous for the price.
On the downside, the exterior was not a very pretty sight and the damp on the bathroom wall was a temporary issue we didn’t at first notice. Having had many a happy chat with the landlord we know these negatives are only a temporary measure. He told us about the ongoing renovation projects in the pipeline plus a new dining area which will be styled like a conservatory. The steps at the rear are to be modified too as is the external appearance of the place.
After seeing the extent of the appearance inside so far it is clear these modifications will be carried out and to a high standard. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop.
Whether a visiting worker or a weekend rugby fan I think most would enjoy a stay at The Boot Room at Castleford Tigers, also known as The Wheldale Hotel.