Do you dream of living in Downton Abbey? Are you beguiled by Bridgerton and captivated by all things Jane Austin? If you’re a fan of the period drama, whether that be the latest Netflix show, docuseries or, of course, the original great British novel, then you’ll likely be no stranger to the delights of grand country houses, mesmerising manors and quaint cottages. Here are our favourite period properties to adjourn to for high tea and cake when we’re in the mood to feel like lords and ladies.
De Vere Tortworth Court, Wotton-under-Edge, Midlands
The stately and impressive De Vere Tortworth Court is situated in South Gloucestershire, surrounded by market towns and villages, with names straight out of Agatha Christie murder mysteries. This Grade II listed Victorian mansion was designed by renowned Gothic Revival architect, Samuel Sanders Teulon in 1849. We’ll happily enjoy a traditional Cotswold’s afternoon tea here, please.
Horsted Place, Little Horsted, South East England
Could there possibly be a more elegant and grand backdrop to enjoy some award-winning dining, complete with live music by a pianist? We think not. The grand Victorian Horsted Place mansion in rural East Sussex is the perfect place to live out your lord and lady fantasies.
Wyck Hill House Hotel & Spa, Gloucestershire, Midlands
When you tire of city living, you must retreat to the country, and where better than the Wyck Hill House Hotel & Spa? For those who love the architectural elegance of a period property, but like their interiors to come with plenty of mod-cons, this stay is perfect for you. Spend the day relaxing at the spa, and then hunker-down by one of the original fireplaces with a classic novel.
Danesfield House Hotel & Spa, Marlow, South East England
The picturesque town of Marlow is a joyous spot for a getaway, and the Danesfield House Hotel & Spa is as picturesque as its surroundings. The bedrooms have traditional panelled walled walls and overlook the stunning courtyard which is perfect in the warmer months for a spot of afternoon tea.
The Pelham London, South Kensington, London
Experience elegance in abundance in one of London’s most regal boroughs. The streets of London are perfect for promenading and boutique shopping in the one and only Harrods. This prestigious pad, The Pelham London, will surely suffice, complete with four-poster beds, and elegant drawing rooms for a pre-dinner cocktail. Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park are just a short stroll away.
Peckforton Castle, Tarporley
When only a castle will do, the enchanting Peckforton Castle in Tarporley will fulfil all your fairytale dreams. This castle is a Victorian homage to medieval architecture, complete with wall tapestries and turreted staircases. This is perhaps less lord and lady, and more king and queen.
Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa, Warminster, South West England
If you’ve fallen for all things Bridgerton of late, then enter Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more picturesque building set amongst acres of landscaped grounds. This sand-hued building was built in 1817, but with its award-winning dining, sensational on-site spa and heated outdoor pool, its perfect for any 21st-century guest.
Burnham Beeches Hotel, Buckinghamshire, South East England
A quintessentially English escape, the Georgian Burnham Beeches Hotel is surrounded by a beautiful nature reserve (where many scenes were filmed in the Harry Potter movies). Finished with Laura Ashley interiors, it’s a charming place for a getaway, plus its proximity to Windsor Castle means you could be in the presence of royalty.
Oakley Hall Hotel, Basingstoke, South East England
Jane Austin lived in nearby Steventon until she was 25 and was a frequent visitor to Oakley Hall. In letters to her sister, she mentions it with affection and it is presumed to have inspired her novel, Mansfield Park. This prestigious hotel offers balls (yes, real-life balls) throughout the year, including summer and a masquerade ball in the autumn. This might be as close to time-travel as you can get!
Lainston House, Hampshire, South East England
The absolutely stunning Lainston House (a regular Secret Escape’s bestseller) was built in the 17th century and is now home to an impressive 5* hotel. The highly esteemed restaurant is a massive draw complete with an intimate dining atmosphere and delicious gourmet seasonal menus. Dive into a good book in the drawing-room or indulge in a traditional cream tea. Feeling full? Walk off all that fare in the 63 acres of Hampshire parkland, or try your hand at a new skill like clay pigeon shooting. Hampshire is the birthplace of Jane Austin and Charles Dickens, so you’ll be in excellent company on your adventure back to the past.
Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa, Warwickshire, Midlands
Settled in the birthplace of Shakespeare himself, the Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa is a picturesque Elizabethan country house and the ideal base for your discovery into the life of the bard. Take a trip to Anne Hathaway’s cottage, visit the Holy Trinity Church, and if you want to venture further, Warwick and Royal Leamington Spa are just a short drive away.