Turn off the A59 towards Goldsborough and you enter a different world. The hurrying A1 may be on its doorstep, but the village feels somehow cut off from daily hustle and bustle. It’s quintessentially English, from the manicured cricket ground to picture-postcard cottages lining the peaceful Church Street.

But nothing prepares you for the view hidden behind a former stable block.

Goldsborough Hall has to be one of North Yorkshire’s best-kept secrets; just a few miles from Harrogate and half an hour from York, it is owned by Mark and Clare Oglesby who have turned it into their private home, a wedding venue and a guest house. Not just any old guest house, though. Mark and Clare have returned the hall to its former glory and won a 5-star AA rating for their efforts.

At £400 to £600 for a night’s stay it’s firmly aimed at those who want the very best and what you get is priceless because Goldsborough Hall was the home of Princess Mary.

And the blue-blood connection is still there in the grounds where Lime Tree Walk was planted by Mary’s relatives, including her father George V and her mother Queen Mary.

The stately home was built in the 17th century by Sir Richard Hutton, a prominent London lawyer and centre stage is an oak-panelled Jacobean library which is almost exactly as it was in the Princess’s day. A large period fireplace acts as the focal point and the room features stunning painted plasterwork on the ceiling.

Back into the hallway and before you is a magnificent oak staircase bathed in soft light from stone mullioned windows with stained-glass panes that were a wedding gift to Mary and Henry from the Mufti of Jerusalem.

Further along in the Hutton dining room a gargantuan fireplace carved from soapstone depicts scenes from the Old Testament. The room also has 18th-century additions by John Carr of York and Robert Adam, who were commissioned by the Lascelles family when they bought the Hall in 1753. The architects also remodelled the Princess Mary drawing room, built a new main entrance and added bay windows to all three storeys.

Latterly, the hall became a school and then a nursing home. Grade II* listed status eventually prevented it from meeting modern standards, so it was put up for sale in 2003.

When Mark and Clare saw it advertised, curiosity got the better of them. “There was no thought in our minds about buying it,” says Mark. “We didn’t have the wherewithal really. My company was doing okay but it was never going to buy this sort of place.

“But we came and looked and just couldn’t believe such a historic gem existed so close to Harrogate yet had not a house, road or car in view.

“We wandered around and sat on the metal fence down the bottom,” adds Clare. “Jokingly we said to ourselves we’ll either never see this again, or we’ll live here,”

There was no guide price so they made an offer which was firmly rejected, but the couple kept badgering the agents and it paid off because the best offer fell at the planning permission hurdle after two-and-a-half years.

By then Mark had sold his company for a tidy sum, so he and Clare decided to take another look.

They were in for a shock.

“It was in a real state,” he says. “The house had been empty all that time and there was rain coming down the walls. It was getting beyond repair and there wasn’t just the purchase price to consider. We would need the same again to restore it.”

The decisive moment came when on a visit they saw some developers signing in. There and then they vowed to save the venerable house.

“We knew they would turn the place into flats,” says Mark. So we thought if we can stop that happening, keep it as a private residence and give it a reason to exist in the future, then we’ll have done something good with our lives.”

But they had to buy it as a nursing home and one with a caveat saying it couldn’t be run as a nursing home. If that wasn’t enough of a risk, Goldsborough Hall had begun to crumble, the fine plasterwork ceilings were in danger of collapsing and the roof was a mess. As Mark and Clare freely admit, they bought with their hearts, not their heads.

Fortunately, permission to turn the Hall back into a private dwelling proved straightforward. But the restoration and upkeep was going to be astronomical. So to pay the bills they set about restoring the ground floor and flung open Goldsborough Hall’s doors as a wedding venue.

Now, there can be few more amorous idylls than the Princess Mary drawing room and during my visit, Mark and Clare’s attention to detail was self-evident as they prepared the room for the weekend’s bride and groom. Table decorations by Quilling Magic, chairs by itsacoverup and flowers by Angie Walker create a dynamic, fashionable first impression and even the wedding breakfast is different – served on a slate no less.

But you don’t need to get married to enjoy Goldsborough Hall. You can also book for dinner or afternoon tea and the top floor has six luxurious letting suites.

Almost all the rooms boast emperor-size four-poster beds with sumptuous Siberian goose down duvets encased in Egyptian cotton covers. They have leather Chesterfields, 50-inch televisions and Molton Brown toiletries. Each has far-ranging views to die for and wow factor bathrooms with monsoon showers and jacuzzi baths.

The Lascelles Suite is popular with brides because of its sunken bath in the window bay and with 11 acres of parkland there’s no need for curtains to protect one’s modesty.

“I think it’s nice that Goldsborough Hall is still private,” says Clare. “People feel as though they are coming to stay in someone’s home and they unearth the secrets for themselves, like when they walk along the lime trees and discover the royal connections. They feel the first ones to do that.”

So if you want to dine like royalty; if you’re looking for a wedding location fit for a queen; or simply want to treat your own princess to a night of unashamed luxury, you’ll be glad one of Yorkshire’s best-kept secrets just got out.