The Top 8 Countryside Hotels in England & 3 Best Coastal Escapes
When it comes to unplugging and immersing ourselves in a region, we look far from London for some of our favourite stays in England. Make your way to the bucolic Cotswolds, a nationally renowned area of natural beauty, complete with stopped-in-time cottages and hilly pastures, or escape to the dramatic, rocky coast of Devon and Cornwall. From inland to the coast, here are our favourite hotels in the country.
English Countryside Hotels
Filled with honey-coloured stone cottages and charming lanes straight out of a fairy tale, the Cotswolds is the idea place to abscond from city life. Retire to the English countryside for a pastoral retreat you’ll not soon forget. I love the rolling hills and charming sheep-dotted meadows of this walker’s (and biker’s) paradise. Here are some utterly charming stays to live off the land in luxury!
This beautiful Georgian townhouse boutique hotel located in the heart of Cheltenham has been lovingly made over by its owner Georgie Pearman, giving each of its 11 rooms a truly unique, contemporary touch. Expect Egyptian cotton bed linen to unique pieces of antique furniture and original artworks from David Hockney to Banksy. All rooms come with modern accessories, such as iPod docks, Nespresso machines and Apple TV. Its restaurant provides seasonal and locally-sourced produce in a contemporary, relaxed and fun style.
A country house hotel at the top of its game, Barnsley House exudes charm and sophistication. Take the winding path from the main house, through their House gardens, arriving to their outdoor heated hydrotherapy pool—what better way to soothe yourself after a day of activity? Cap your day with a well-earned pint at their Village Pub, before settling into your beautifully designed room for a good night’s rest.
Filled with the classic charm of an English manor house, tucked away next to an old village church, you’ll find this Relais & Chateaux property set amongst ten acres of land. The comfortable rooms are decorated in a crisp, classic style. Stroll the grounds, enjoy afternoon tea, or explore the history of the area. The church of St. Michael next door contains an exemplary 15thC stained-glass window and is said to have the oldest rectory in England. The food is equally refined, and is sourced from the Vale of Evesham, said to be ‘the market garden of England’.
One of the chicest hotels in the Cotswolds, the family-run Dormy House is a 17thC farmhouse with a 21st century feel; combining modern cool with classic Cotswold charm. On the top of a hill overlooking the Vale of Evesham, this idyllic countryside setting is the perfect spot to unwind after your days of exploration. Pamper yourself in their house spa or relax by their cozy log fireplace.
The hotel dates back to around 1649 when it was originally a rectory. Set among eight acres of secluded gardens, it is one of the top hotels in the country surrounded by classic Gloucestershire countryside. In 1972, the Manor was converted into a hotel, by Major General Witts’ son, Francis Witts, who still lives in Upper Slaughter. The Lords of the Manor remains a privately owned hotel and has been a second home to the Munir family since 1997. They have continued to restore it to the beautiful condition you find it in today.
Originally built in the late 18thC at the height of the wool trade, it became the village’s vicarage at the start of the 1900s, adding some Victorian refinement to its Palladian architecture. It is located in the heart of the village of Painswick, famous for its wool heritage and amongst other treasures, St. Mary’s Church from the 1300s, and its ninety-nine famous yew trees, some dating back 300 years. The hotel’s contemporary restaurant is steered by chef Michael Bedford. For further pampering, try their Calcot Spa treatment rooms or a drink at sunset on the terrace overlooking dulcet hills.
The top-rated hotel in Bath and one of the most famous in England, the Royal Crescent is a touch of class delivered with impeccable English charm and manners. With a luxurious spa, immaculately tended gardens, and an award-winning restaurant, a stay at the Royal Crescent ticks all the boxes.
A modern British inn that’s set on the Daylesford estate, one of the UK’s most sustainable organic farms, this stone-walled inn features airy, bright and modern lodgings, whether individual rooms or small cottages set upon the estate (which also houses a spa and yoga, Pilates, and meditation classes). Set in a quiet area that’s perfect for a cozy hideaway, you can also enjoy a pint or grab a meal of refined, yet hearty British pub fare, which showcases the fresh seasonal produce from the farm.
English Coastal Hotels
With wild coastlines, beautiful coves, golden beaches, and fresh seafood, Devon and Cornwall are the perfect places to experience coastal England. Located on a peninsula in the southwest, this is where the Brits go to holiday; its chic resorts and picture-perfect postcard villages reminiscent of the Hamptons and Nantucket. Immerse yourself in all the region has to offer as you traverse country roads and seaside paths, dining on delicious lunches and visiting a lost garden, a famous gallery, and historic spots along the way.
Burgh Island hotel is a magnificent Art Deco hotel on its own secluded island off the coast of Devon. Frequented by many famous people, including Agatha Christie, you will feel like you’ve stepped back into 1930’s Old Hollywood glamour. Be sure to pack your best attire; tuxedos are required for dinner in one of the restaurants for a memorable last night! The hotel offers a variety of activities from paddleboarding, tennis, and croquet, as well as spa treatments and a sauna.
Gidleigh Park is the premier hotel in Devon, nestled right in the heart of Dartmoor. With a 2* Michelin restaurant on site, the culinary experience is unrivaled and complemented by beautifully appointed rooms and wonderful Devon hospitality. The property is surrounded by over a hundred acres of stunning grounds, including a water garden and bluebell woods, and boasts facilities such as croquet grounds, tennis courts, and a putting course.
Owned by Olga Polizzi, the younger sister of Sir Rocco Forte, Tresanton is a jewel in South Cornwall’s crown. Located in one of the most charming fishing villages in Cornwall, St Mawes, it offers a relaxed atmosphere with great views of the sea and Sir Anthony’s Lighthouse. Their fabulous onsite restaurant with a large terrace overlooking the ocean participates in the Slow Food movement, offering regional produce and traditional foods, often grown organically or foraged.