With its manor houses, country estates and landscaped gardens abound, England is a fantastic destination for luxury travellers. Luckily, due to the National Trust and a large number of hoteliers, many of these huge mansions have been preserved for generations to come by being turned into hotels. Offering delights like afternoon tea, luxurious spa services and spacious rooms fitted with four poster beds, staying in one of these converted mansions gives you the chance to feel like royalty!
Over the next few week’s we’ll be looking at the best country manors over the British Isles, country by country. So for this week, head back to the days of the Georgians, Victorians and Edwardians with our guide to England’s finest country hotels.
Beechfield House, Wiltshire
Set in the heart of Southern England, Beechfield House is a stunning 1878 country manor which was converted into a hotel in the 1960s. Set within close proximity of beautiful historic areas such as the Georgian city of Bath and the incredible medieval city of Lacock; Stonehenge and Longleat Safari Park are also nearby. There’s a gourmet restaurant serving afternoon tea and delicious dinner dishes, while an onsite spa offers deluxe Fijian massage. The 24 rooms are decorated with luxury soft furnishing, including Egyptian sheets.
The Burgoyne, Yorkshire
Nestled in the heart of Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is the charming late Georgian Burgoyne. A great place to visit in the summertime; long days offer endless opportunities for hill walking, picnics or simply admiring the breathtaking views of the hills in all their varying shades of green. The hotel can provide compasses and maps for hardy hikers and can prepare packed lunches for those going on picnics. Each of the nine bedrooms are individually decorated and come with all modern facilities. Most face south with incredible views across Swaledale.
Careys Manor and SenSpa, Hampshire
Set in the heart of the New Forest, Careys Manor offers elegant English tradition mixed with contemporary Far Eastern sophistication. This red bricked mansion boasts a regal interior furnished with modern amenities, making it perfect for a stress-free relaxing break. The hotel has recently been commended as Best Hotel of the Year by the British Beauty Awards and visitors have a choice of three gourmet restaurants. SenSpa is a £6 million Thai spa facility coming with hydrotherapy pool, herbal sauna and an ice room.
Farlam Hall Hotel, Cumbria
Although first written about as far back as 1428, Farlam Hall was turned into a country abode in the mid 19th century. Based near Brampton in Cumbria, Farlam Hall offers an ideal blend of Victorian elegance and modern comfort. Twelve acres of well maintained gardens and paddocks surround the manor, with an ornamental lake and stream providing a tranquil element to the grounds. Situated between the North Pennines and Hadrian’s Wall, this is a great place to get away from it all and do some exploring. Walking in the Lake District is always awe-inspiring and there are several birdwatching spots near the hotel.
Alexander House and Utopia Spa, Sussex
Alexander House is an exclusive country house set in 120 acres of mature gardens and parkland only 15 minutes from Gatwick Airport. With 38 bedrooms it successfully combines tradition with all modern comforts and amenities. The oldest part of the house dates back to the 17th century, but there are suggestions it has existed since Roman times. The South Downs and their incredible rolling beauty nearby are perfect for rambling and cycling. But while in the manor house mood, why not visit Wakehurst Place – an Elizabethan mansion with surrounding gardens, wood and nature reserve?
Lumley House, County Durham
With more than 600 years of history, the magnificent spectacle of Lumley Castle is one of the gems of northern England. Surrounded by beautiful parklands overlooking Durham County Cricket Ground, the ancient castle boasts 73 bedrooms, each furnished to the highest standards. Experience the elegant surroundings and delicious food in the Black Night Restaurant, or in the comfort of your own dining room. If you’re lucky your stay might coincide with the fantastic Elizabethan banquets and murder mystery evenings.
The Cliveden, Berkshire
For over 300 years, The Cliveden has been entertaining royalty, politicians and entertainers. Since George I every British monarch has dined here, and other guests over the years include Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, President Roosevelt and Charlie Chaplin. First built in 1666 by the second Duke of Buckingham it was designed as a hunting lodge for friends and family. The 376 acres of perfectly manicured gardens are magnificent and the chalk cliffs that give the estate its name provide panoramic views of the Thames and surrounding countryside. Each room is furnished with standards set over 100 years ago, so you can expect a very regal stay!
These fantastic luxury hotels are quintessentially English, offering the finest luxury in a rural setting. Join us next week for some of the finest manor house hotels in Wales.