Whether you’re hit by the stress of the big city or you’re itching to reconnect with nature, sometimes all you need is a quick and easy getaway far from it all. From the shores of Ullswater in the Lake District to the heart of the quaint Cotswolds, these nine English abodes are perfect for letting your hair down and your worries slip away – all just a short drive from home.
The New Inn, Coln St Aldwyns
A five-star Coln St Aldwyns abode and 16th-century pub, The New Inn makes a perfect hideout for a tranquil escape blending upscale character with rural charm. Picture exposed stone walls and beamed ceilings, dark wood furnishings and natural colour schemes, and inviting luxury touches such as free-standing bathtubs and four-poster beds – all alongside a tempting dinner menu, featuring ingredients sourced from local suppliers. Lose yourself in the spirit of the English Cotswolds as you tuck into venison carpaccio, pheasant with Port jus and shallot puree, and a slice of apple tarte tatin, all before a heavenly night’s sleep.
The New Inn, Main Street, Coln St Aldwyns, Cirencester, GL7 5AN
The Old Stocks Inn, Stow-on-the-Wold
Another unmissable Cotswolds retreat is The Old Stocks Inn, which combines piles of vibrant character with a warm and welcoming atmosphere on Stow-in-the-World’s sleepy main square. Dine on honest and quirky British fare in the restaurant, knock back a couple cocktails in the bright and pleasant bar, unwind over a hot drink and cake in the coffee shop, or simply while the days away soaking up the old-meets-new interiors of your guest room (there are only 16 rooms here, so intimacy is guaranteed) – however you choose to spend your time here, you’ll soon be soothed into a state of laid-back bliss.
The Old Stocks Inn, The Square, Market Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham GL54 1AF
The Lamb Hindon
Nestled in the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Lamb is housed in a 12th-century coaching inn in Hindon. It presents classic rural charm mixed with modern conveniences, honest pub food and plenty of history, all behind an inviting stone façade covered with vines. Enjoy a heartwarming roast, duck croquettes or spiced winter squash soup, before retiring to one of 18 guest rooms. Filled with boutique flair, these come equipped with ultra-comfy Hypnos beds, a Nespresso coffee machine and air conditioning, so you’ll feel refreshed and reenergised in no time.
The Lamb Hindon, High St, Hindon, Salisbury SP3 6DP
The Slaughters Country Inn, Lower Slaughter
Voted AA Hotel Group of the Year in 2017/2018, this country inn has retained high levels of hospitality and traditional English character throughout the years. With just 31 rooms, relaxed dining, real log fires in the winter and a terrace for soaking up the summer sun, it makes escaping the daily grind terribly easy. Treat yourself to a sumptuous afternoon tea of home-made finger sandwiches, scones and cakes, dine on delicious sharing platters and slow-sip a pint or two of beer – all before enjoying the blissful atmosphere and beautiful décor of your room, which combines luxury features with a home-away-from-home quality.
The Slaughters Country Inn, Lower Slaughter, Cheltenham GL54 2HS
Another Place, The Lake, Ullswater
For waterside relaxation with a contemporary twist, get away to this chic boutique-style bolthole on the shores of Ullswater in the Lake District. Whether you’re visiting with the family, as a couple or by yourself, you’ll find that relaxing and letting go come easy here: stroll around the lake (or sail or even stand-up paddleboard across it, if you’re feeling active) for a morning of head-clearing bliss, cycle across beautiful fells, and enjoy a spot of stargazing come nightfall – however you choose to immerse yourself in nature, you’ll have fantastic food options in the form of casual bar fare and formal dining experiences, beautifully bright and plush guest rooms for a good night’s sleep, and two treatment rooms for that extra bit of indulgence.
Another Place, The Lake, A592, Watermillock, Ullswater, Penrith CA11 0LP
Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, East Grinstead
This Five AA Red Star hotel offers a country escape quite unlike any other: when you aren’t wandering through 120 acres of glorious gardens, feasting on a romantic meal at the three AA Rosette-awarded AG’s Restaurant, or perhaps sipping the evenings away at the champagne bar, you could spend every second of your free time at the spa: awarded Five Luxury Bubbles by Good Spa Guide, it’s a sumptuous adults-only space featuring 25 treatment rooms, relaxation lounges, a barrel sauna and hot tub, perfect for lazy days spent indulgently refreshing your mind and body.
Alexander House & Utopia Spa, Est St, Turners Hill, East Grinstead RH10 4QD
The Bell in Ticehurst, Ticehurst
Give your rural escapade a quirky and homely twist with a stay at The Bell, where friendly staff, a convivial atmosphere and thoroughly enjoyable setting all make unwinding an easy task. Dine on local produce whipped into uncomplicated flavour-packed dishes at the restaurant, retreat to the bar for a glass of wine, and wave the knots goodbye with a soothing in-room treatment. Speaking of the rooms, each comes packed with unique style and attitude; go all-out and opt for a Lodge or even the romantic Love Nest, set in their own gardens around a fire pit, for added seclusion and serenity.
The Bell in Ticehurst, High St, Ticehurst, Wadhurst TN5 7AS
The Ollerod, Beaminster
Set in the quaint and quiet town of Beaminster, this honey-hued bolthole makes for an idyllic weekend away in Dorset’s nature reserve, complete with incredible award-winning dining. After a day of exploring rugged cliffs, windswept beaches and heathland trails, retreat to one of the hotel’s 13 rooms and surround yourself with quintessentially English décor – think beautifully patterned feature walls, pops of vibrant colour adding a youthful appeal, and antique furnishings overflowing with character. The property comprises a main house as well as a coach house, where guest rooms offer ample silence and tranquillity away from the rest of the world.
The Ollerod, 3 Prout Hill, Beaminster DT8 3AY
Peckforton Castle, Tarporley
Escape the crowds in style at Peckforton Castle, which offers a rather regal stay surrounded by nature in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. Wander its lush grounds, unwind with a pampering spa treatment and treat yourself further with a fine dining experience at the three AA Rosette-awarded 1851 Restaurant, all before tucking yourself away in the comfort and privacy of one of 48 guest rooms; featuring rich colour schemes and old-world décor, the suites in particular are enchanting individually-designed affairs, ready to transport you back to another era as you dose off on a four-poster bed.
Peckforton Castle, Stone House Ln, Tarporley CW6 9TN