Beautiful Barnsley

Surrounded by the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Georgia’s historic Barnsley Resort is an outdoor-lover’s oasis

Mother nature’s bountiful beauty is at its best at North Georgia’s 3,000-acre Barnsley Resort, where Southern hospitality and the great outdoors beckon guests to disconnect from devices and reconnect with the land. 

Situated 60 miles outside of Atlanta in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, rich history is aplenty at the resort, which was built around Godfrey Barnsley’s estate that dates back to the 1840s, and is now known as the Manor House Ruins. Walk the property’s picturesque gardens, including the intricate boxwood parterre garden located directly in front of the ruins, and it’s as if you’ve walked right into the pages of The Secret Garden.

Offering an overload of adventurous activities year-round, it’s impossible to be bored at Barnsley. Utility-terrain vehicle tours take you through 15 miles of Appalachian Mountain foothills, or slow down and experience the Blue Ridge Mountains by horseback. Tap into your inner mountain man with axe throwing, archery and air rifles, and don’t forget to visit the Beretta Shooting Grounds by High Adventure Company, where two 14-station clays courses turn beginners into sharp shooters in no time. During quail season, hunters can join a personal guide and world-class hunting pups for a scenic hunt in the rolling hills and flatlands. 

Not feeling the action? No worries. The 18-hole Jim Fazio-designed golf course boasts some of the fastest greens in the Southeast and one of the best collections of par 3s in golf. The on-site spa—with its Fire & Ice facials, Barnsley Bamboo massages and self-harvested loofah gourds—is the ultimate way to relax and unwind. 

Delicious cuisine is of no shortage at Barnsley. Breakfast at Woodlands Grill is a wonderful wake-up with selections ranging from smoked salmon benedict to ricotta pancakes, while the Beer Garden is best for an afternoon brew and al fresco bites. Rice House, the property’s more upscale restaurant operated inside of a 19th-century farmhouse, offers an expertly curated menu of garden-to-table eats with wine and spirit pairings.

For culinary lovers, Barnsley’s Fire Kettle Cooking School, held once a month with executive chef Nicolas Lebas, is not to be missed. With three courses plus wine pairings to enjoy, Lebas’ outdoor class provides an interactive look at some of his best recipes, with tips and recipe cards that allow guests to recreate at home. 

After long days of walking the picturesque property, interactive activities and filling up on tasteful sips and bites, the resort accommodations—which range from a well-appointed 55-room Inn to the English-inspired village of charming private cottages—feel like home away from home. Rest up, the beauty of Barnsley Resort awaits come morning.