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Nestled in the foothills of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains lies a true Southern gem. The charming Barnsley Resort has everything we most enjoy: a rich and storied past, outstanding food, warm hospitality, cozy comfort, and plenty of chances to challenge ourselves with something new.

Barnsley began as the property of Godfrey Barnsley, an affluent sea merchant who built a home there for his wife Julia in the 1850s, and history buffs will enjoy exploring the ruins that are a centerpiece of the resort. Surrounded by beautifully maintained gardens, the once-stately manor home stands as a monument to the passage of time. Since then, the 3,000-acre property has had other owners, including a Bavarian prince! Today it boasts 142 guest rooms and suites, a 1,800-acre hunting preserve, a Jim Fazio-designed golf course, a boutique spa, axe throwing and archery, fishing and canoeing, and stellar eateries (plus options for hosting private dining experiences).

Ruins and gardens at Barnsley Resort

The gardens at Barnsley Resort were inspired by landscape designer Andrew Jackson Downing, an advocate of Italianate and Gothic Revival architecture. Image: Barnsley Resort

Aerial view of Barnsley Resort

Barnsley Resort sits on 3,000 picturesque acres that are surrounded by Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Image: Barnsley Resort

An Updated Look at the Amazing Barnsley Resort

Ready, aim …

In 2019, the resort announced its partnership with the iconic Beretta Italian shotgun brand and John Burrell’s High Adventure Company, ushering in a complete renovation of the shooting grounds and the creation of the Beretta Shooting Grounds by High Adventure Company at Barnsley Resort. Here you can try your hand at clay shooting at the 28-station shooting grounds. New to the fine art of clay shooting? Not to worry! With guidance from Barnsley’s patient and encouraging instructors, you’ll find yourself yelling “pull” with enthusiasm in no time.

Quail hunters will rejoice in 1,800 acres of rolling hills and flatlands, perfectly maintained for the sport. Personal guides and world-class hunting dogs make this an incredible experience. The well-trained and super-adorable dogs alone are worth the trip! A refurbished and nicely upscale covered pavilion on the grounds makes an excellent spot to relax and take in the views.

Three quail hunters walking through field with their dogs

Personal guides and world-class hunting dogs make quail hunting on the Barnsley Resort grounds a one-of-a-kind experience. Image: Barnsley Resort

Quail-hunting dog at Barnsley Resort

Once Lucky finds quail, this world-class pointer will not move until touched by a human hunting companion! Image: Gaye Swan

Non-hunters and hunters alike can enjoy The High Adventure UTV Trail Riding Experience in the off-season. You’ll travel through 15 miles of the Appalachian foothills under the guidance of a qualified wilderness guide, taking in the best views of Georgia’s natural beauty — and braving steep hills, ruts, and mud in this rousing ride.

Guests can also try their aim at archery, air rifles, and axe throwing. Trained and friendly instructors are on hand for tips, strategy, and safety. After taking a shot at the various bulls-eyes, the beautiful, 18-hole golf course beckons. Before teeing off, golfers can hone their skills at the Golf Performance Center. Novices and experienced golfers alike will benefit from the state-of-the-art Trackman technology and lessons from PGA professionals.

Mother and daughter practicing archery

Archery is so much fun once you learn the basics! Barnsley Resort’s kind and patient instructors assist with air rifles, axe throwing, and clay shooting, as well as bows and arrows. Image: Barnsley Resort

Man practicing axe throwing

The resort offers 45-minute classes where attendees can learn the safety, technique, and fun of axe throwing. Image: Hannah Lozano Photography

Golf Performance Center at Barnsley Resort

Perfect your golfing skills at Barnsley Resort’s Golf Performance Center. Image: Barnsley Resort

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Horseback riding, canoeing, and fishing round out the outdoor activities, and of course, nothing beats a stroll through the grounds or a long hike on one of the trails. Adventurous history-lovers can even find the burial places of the Barnsley family.

After a day spent in the great outdoors, set your sights on a visit to the spa. Pamper yourself with a massage, facial, or beauty treatment for a blissfully relaxing experience.

Grounds at Barnsley Resort

Start your morning with a stroll through the Barnsley Resort grounds or on one of the hiking trails. Image: Barnsley Resort

Hungry yet?

Exciting news is happening on the culinary front at Barnsley! Chef Javier Cuesta has taken the helm as executive chef. With over 25 years of experience at world-class resorts and hotels, Chef Javier puts his visionary stamp on the resort’s already outstanding cuisine. His international knowledge and global influences elevate and enhance the resort’s menu.

Jerusalem artichokes and winter truffle custard, artfully presented in a quail’s egg

Chef Javier Cuesta puts his stamp on the cuisine at Barnsley, like this amuse-bouche of Jerusalem artichokes and winter truffle custard, artfully presented in a quail’s egg. Image: Gaye Swan

Guests are sure to enjoy Chef Javier’s new Fire Kettle Cooking School, launched in late 2021. At these seasonal, monthly al fresco culinary exhibitions, Chef Javier prepares a seasonal favorite recipe over the open flame of a Sea Island Forge fire kettle as an entrée, accompanied by a perfectly paired wine, a starter salad, and a delectable dessert. You’ll even take home the recipe to recreate the dish at home.

The fun new activity complements the dining experience at the Woodlands Grill, offering signature menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (SB tip: if you are up for a hearty breakfast, the Griddle Indulgence, with either ricotta pancakes or frosted cornflakes-encrusted French Toast, is to die for!) The open-air Beer Garden is tons of fun for lunch or a snack — accompanied, of course, by your favorite lager or ale. In cooler weather, the open fire pit keeps guests nice and cozy. With a luxuriously delicious garden-to-table menu, the beautiful 19th-century Rice House is currently open only for special events, but plans are afoot for a regular schedule.

Chef Javier Fire Kettle Cooking School

Attend Chef Javier Cuesta’s Fire Kettle Cooking School to watch him prepare a delicious meal over the open flame of a Sea Island Forge fire kettle. Image: Hannah Lozano Photography

Time for a cocktail!

On select evenings, settle into the Inn’s comfy lobby for the resort’s newest signature tradition, the Bourbon Infusion Tasting Experience. Adult guests enjoy a complimentary tasting of the classic Southern spirit infused with house-smoked pecans through a time-released drip. The resulting flavor is rich, delicious, and unique to Barnsley. One of the resort’s beverage experts is on hand to discuss the characteristics of bourbon, the art of fine bourbon-making, and tasting notes.

The infused spirit is the basis of the resort’s signature cocktail, the Barnsley Old-Fashioned, and the bourbon-soaked pecans are incorporated into desserts and other menu items.

Bourbon and tasting glasses

Sit back, relax, and enjoy delicious bourbon at the resort’s unique tasting experience. Image: Barnsley Resort

Bourbon infuser kit

Barnsley Resort’s signature Old Fashioned uses bourbon that has been infused with house-smoked pecans through a time-released drip. Image: Barnsley Resort

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Sit and stay awhile.

We last visited Barnsley in 2019 and are happy to report that some things have not changed. The warm Southern hospitality and attention to detail characteristics of Barnsley remain, from the welcome at the front desk to every interaction with wait staff. The accommodations — both the storybook cottages that line the center of the resort and the cozy Inn — are sink-into-your-pillows comfortable, with elegant touches everywhere that elevate your stay. Plans are currently underway to give the interior of the cottages an uplift, but care is taken to maintain the friendly English village atmosphere that guests of Barnsley so appreciate.

Cottage interior at Barnsley Resort

The cottages at Barnsley Resort are the perfect place to unwind after a full day of exploring. Image: Barnsley Resort

Sitting area in Barnsley Resort cottage

Most cottages include two separate one-bedroom suites with a living room, a bedroom with a king-size bed, and porches to enjoy views of the resort grounds. Image: Barnsley Resort

No matter what you choose to do at Barnsley, you are sure to enjoy every second!

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