Who We Are
The Inn has been in the ownership of the Buchanan family for nearly 35 years spanning across two generations. Our senior staff are Guy Richardson, Darren Clemmit, Anna Spencer and Louise Avison – they and their teams will be looking after you during your stay with us.
Rachel and Sarah can be found at reception, ready to help you with planning your day or your next trip. The housekeeping department is in the capable hands of Louise and her team.
The kitchen is run by Darren Clemmit supported by the rest of the brigade, working hard to make sure you are delighted with everything we put before you.
Next door (up the street) you will find Feast our café. Where our fantastic chef and manager, Tom, will look after you.
Our main aim is for you to really enjoy your time at The White Swan Inn and for us to have fun looking after you. While you are with us please do not be afraid to let us know if there is anything else we can do for you to achieve these aims.
You can feel the history of this old inn in the atmospheric public rooms sitting by the side of the roaring fires and in the very fabric of the stones of the building that have seen so many travellers come and go over the centuries.
Originally built in 1532 as a four-room cottage, it was soon extended and pressed into service as a coaching inn for the York to Whitby stagecoach. It was also used by devious smugglers moving salt from Whitby via Saltersgate to York.
Still visible today at the side of the old stone building are the joist stones that once supported an aerial walkway. It went from what is now Bedroom 2 across the alley and into the small entrance next door, also still visible. According to the legend, when the Excise man came looking for salt and was busy searching the cellars, the smugglers used this route to transfer the salt next door. If only today’s Excise man was as stupid!
The White Swan has been open for business as an inn more or less ever since the 16th century. Two notable exceptions were when it served as the town’s Court House for a brief spell, and during the last War when it served as Pickering Garrison’s NCO Mess.
In 1983 Kenneth and Deirdre Buchanan bought The White Swan. Since then various outward and upward extensions have been added, and there are more improvements in the pipeline. Ken died in 1990 and Deirdre retired seven years later to leave the running of the hotel to their son, Victor, and his wife Marion. Marion has masterminded the complete refurbishment of all of the rooms on numerous occasions now.
The most recent physical additions have been the Hideaway rooms which are a contemporary off-spring of the more traditional Vintage rooms in the main hotel and the conversation of an old barn adjacent to the Hideaway rooms, The Bothy. A beamed lounge where guests can really make themselves at home and relax, there is board games, up to date glossy magazines and coffee table books, all warmed with a log burning stove.