Stately homes, stunning food, and state-of-the-art spas: it’s a winning formula that works for hundreds of charming, atmospheric and characterful estates up and down the UK. And for city-dwellers looking for a weekend escape, the British countryside has always been the go-to destination for a grand getaway.
Whether you’re after a Bridgerton-inspired break or a Downton Abbey-style dreamhouse, here are our favourite stately homes to escape to when searching for some rural respite.
There’s a real charm that oozes out of every corner of The Newt. What could be more delightful than a hotel that emcompasses classical Georgian beauty, with gardens, woodland, farmland and cyder orchard to explore?
Nestled away in the Somerset countryside, the picture-perfect hotel is exactly as you’d expect: a traditional Georgian family home, transformed into sophisticated accommodation for city-dwellers in search of a rural escape. When it comes to rooms, there’s a nod to the hotel’s equestrian past in the Stable Yard, and marble bathrooms and fireplaces in the original Farmyard rooms.
The food is also exceptional. Expect elegant and seasonal dining inspired by your surroundings, with locally sourced products and ingredients. Think vegetables grown on the estate, dayboat fish from the Dorset coast, and cider that’s made in the cellar.
One of Surrey’s best hotels, Barnett Hill’s chic, design-led rooms feel like a home away from home – albeit a home that has 44 bedrooms. Once the home of the Thomas Cook family, the hotel oozes character and charm with its picture-perfect red brick facade and modern, designer furnishings.
Take a stroll round the estate before taking dinner by the fire in The Oak Room, followed by a cocktail in the 1905 bar. For the ultimate luxury, it’s got to be the suites, some of which boast a freestanding bath overlooking the gardens.
A marvel of a 15th century mansion, with a solid gastronomic reputation, Le Manoir aux Quat-Saisons, A Belmond Hotel is one to put on your bucket list. With a grand collection of unique suites, a restaurant with two Michelin stars, seven fragrant gardens, an orchard and a mushroom valley to explore, you’re spoilt for choice at this magical countryside escape.
From the delectable fares found at Raymond Blanc’s restaurant, showcasing 90 different herbs, fruits and vegetables from the garden, to the gorgeous honey-coloured grandeur of the mansion itself, it’s the perfect place for relaxation, rest and indulgence. We’d expect nothing less from a Belmond hotel.
Where: Church Rd, Great Milton, Oxford OX44 7PD
Not all stately homes are made equal, and Chewton Glen is a shining example of what a remarkable one should be. The historic hotels lies on the edge of the enchanting New Forest, set in 130 acres of Hampshire countryside. Only a few minutes from the sea, it’s the perfect combination of coast and country. The state-of-the-art spa and luxurious amenities ensures the stunning property remains in the present, while taking guests back to the quintessential luxury of the past with its stately rooms and interiors.
The award-winning spa is ideal for relaxation, with an indoor swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam rooms. If you could possibly tire of all that downtime, there’s also a range of activities like golf, archery and cookery classes offered on site.
If you’re looking for a grand getaway that’s not too far from London, look to Heckfield Place. Set in 400 acres of secluded Hampshire landscape, the former Georgian family home is brimming with luxury, and there’s no shortage of woodland, gardens and meadows to explore.
From The Bothy Spa offering all-natural treatments, to The Marble Restaurant with ingredients sourced from the home farm, kitchen gardens and orchard, it has everything that makes up a perfect country haven. For a modern luxury, it’s also home to the sleek Screening Room, where you can experience the latest cinema during your stay.
It’s easy to forget how many gorgeous countryside getaways lie just outside of London, but it would be hard to forget the beauty that is Beaverbrook.
Nestled in the heart of the Surrey Hills, the quintessential country house is known widely for its old word opulence, rejuvenating spa and incredible facilities – where stained-glass ceilings mix with mouthwatering Japanese-inspired menus, and the glorious grounds transform into an ice rink come winter. Overlooking the breathtaking Surrey countryside, it’s a home-away-from-home experience at this elegant English estate – an incredibly grand, glamorous home, that is.
Set in the beautiful Berkshire countryside, in meadows that change with the seasons, it’s no wonder we’ve fallen in love with Coworth Park and its luxury countryside setting. Home to charming bedrooms and elegant suites, this is where country house style and fresh aesthetics blend perfectly.
Of course, it’s no stay at Coworth park without exploring the glorious grounds. The 240 acres give you plenty of room to wander, from the edible garden to the summer meadow, or long walks through the golden leaves in Autumn. There’s also a lake, an equestrian centre, and two professional polo fields to enjoy the quintessentially English sport.
This newly imagined 18th-century country house is packed with luxury, including unique bedrooms and a relaxing spa.
The hotel boasts two stunning restaurants – a casual brasserie and a pan-Asian fine-dining restaurant – and an Orangery for afternoon tea and brunch. For the ultimate rural detox, it also has a range of spa facilities including an indoor hydrotherapy pool, a heated outdoor infinity pool and a salt floatation room. The perfect combination of archetypal country house and modern luxury.
At the end of its famous mile-long, beech-lined driveway, and nestled within 500 acres of magnificent parkland, Lucknam Park is widely known as a hotel that gives guests the best of both worlds; a relaxed environment that’s perfect for unwinding, set in the grand surroundings of a quintessential English mansion.
Home to luxurious bedrooms, Michelin star dining, and one of the finest spas in the country, spend a day exploring the grounds before returning for treatments like a Jade Gua Sha soothing facial, or a melting candle couples massage. Elsewhere in the hotel, make the most of equine experiences, traditional afternoon tea, and monthly cocktail masterclasses.
Where: Lucknam Park, Chippenham SN14 8AZ
Nestled in the Otter Valley, just 15 minutes from the coast, The Pig at Combe is a destination in its own right, or ideal as a relaxing night’s stop on the way to Cornwall. Tranquil, secluded and cosy, relaxation comes easy here, either in the homely yet luxurious bedrooms, or in the Potting Shed treatment rooms for some herb garden healing.
As with any Pig hotel, eating and drinking are centre stage thanks to home-grown produce from three walled kitchen gardens and only the finest locally sourced ingredients.
Charming, romantic, magical and magnificent, the delight is in every detail at this elegant estate in the heart of the Scottish countryside. From the grandest suite in the house, to the warm and inviting luxury bedrooms, each is decked out with fluffy cushions, cosy slippers and windows that frame the landscape.
Ten restaurants and bars provide all the sustenance; from casual light lunches in The Garden Café, to Franco-Scottish fine dining in The Strathearn.