The best country hotels near London
Sometime we all need a break. The back and forth of government legislation, lockdowns, quarantines, work, family… it can all add up and just be too much. Escaping from the humdrum of regular life has become not just a luxury, but a true necessity. With the Prime Minister imposing strict new laws on restaurants and bars across the UK, staycations, mini breaks and long weekends are ever more essential.
Luckily, the United Kingdom has boundless beauty to enjoy, from the Scotland highlands to the moors of Wales – there is something for everyone. However, for those that want a quick, easy, break from London – we have combed through the countless incredible grand hotels and present you with some of the very best:
Few country homes have a more storied past than this grand dame. Originally built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham as a gift to his mistress, this house has been at the centre of power and controversy for centuries. Its owners have been counts, countesses, Dukes and business magnates including the famous American industrialists William and Waldorf Astor. The house eventually firmed its place in the public consciousness with the Profumo Affair scandal in which John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan’s Conservative government, had a twist with Christine Keeler, a 19-year-old model and suspected Russian spy.
Today, Cliveden lives on in majestic grandeur as a luxury five star hotel and spa – it continues to host and entertain Royalty, film stars and musicians on a regular basis. Its 376 acres of National Trust grounds make for wonderful walks and an idilic escape a short drive away from London.
Address: Cliveden Road, Taplow, Berkshire, SL6 0JF
Built as a mediaeval hunting lodge in the 13th century, this New Forest manor was reclaimed for royalty by the Duke of Clarence in the 1740s. Complete with a winding drive flanked by majestic oak trees, manicured grounds and a plush Portland stone exterior – this dreamlike Regency style house is one of the most beautiful in the southern coast. Since its recent conversion into a hotel by the renowned Pig Hotel group and with interiors from David Collins studio it has become one of the nation’s best hotels, winning over reviewers and guests alike.
Limewood is a short 2 hour direct train from London, making it is an easy journey. Once there, we recommend a trip to the award-winning spa or a nibble at Angela Harnett’s bistro restaurant.
Address: Lime Wood Hotel, Beaulieu Road, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, SO43 7FZ
Cliveden’s New Forest sister hotel, Chewton Glen is a landmark of classic British hotels. Originally built as a private home in 1732, it was converted to a hotel in 1947 by the Duval family. With 72 rooms (14 of which are luxury treehouses), set on 130 acres of private woodland near the Jurassic Coast, this is certainly one of the most stunning retreats in the UK. The hotel boasts 1900 bottles in their wine list and a renown spa, so there’s something for both the active and those that want to kick back and relax.
Address: Christchurch Road, New Milton, Hamoshire, BH25 6QS
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
Indulge your inner foodie at this cuisine-led dream in the Oxfordshire countryside. Created by celebrated chef Raymond Blanc OBE, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is one of the country’s most cherished manor house hotels. Holding two Michelin stars since 1984 (its opening year) and surrounded by lawns, flower borders and orchards, it truly is postcard-perfect. But beyond the eye-catching displays are vegetable and herb gardens that provide the kitchen—and the acclaimed Raymond Blanc Cookery School—with ultra-fresh, organic produce for you to enjoy.
Address: Church Road, Great Milton, Oxfordshire, OX44 7PD
This Georgian manor-turned-contemporary country house embodies chef Michael Caines’ vision of hospitality for the 21st century. Overlooking the Exe Estuary in the southwest of England, the estate extends to the shore, enveloped in the colours of the landscape of this magnificent part of Devon. At the heart of Lympstone Manor is the cuisine; personal, mature and strikingly precise, it is above all a showcase for products from the sea and the wider region of the southwest. A freshly planted vineyard will one day soon bring a unique house wine to the eclectic list which is already a pillar in the ethos of the hotel.
Address: Courtlands Lane, Exmouth, EX8 3NZ
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