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Kieran Trippier, or the ‘Bury Beckham’ as he has been christened on social media, has always had a taste for the big occasion, an ability to elevate his level when the pressure is highest. He showed it on Monday night, when he was one of England’s standout performers in their opening World Cup match, and he showed it 11 years ago, in the Bury Schools’ Cup final. Different stages, certainly, but for a teenaged, shaven-headed Trippier, a final against the local school rivals was as important as anything. “He would take those games really seriously,” remembers Lee Garcka, Trippier’s PE teacher at Woodhey High School. “His family were watching, and those were the games when he really shone. He scored a hat-trick, and it was the best hat-trick I have ever seen from any player, at any level.” For his first goal, the 16-year-old Trippier ran from his own half, beating four defenders, and slotted the ball into the corner. The second was a volley from 35 yards, and the third was a curling effort from the edge of the box. At the time, Trippier was progressing through the ranks at Manchester City’s academy and was not even supposed to be playing school football. Garcka would often leave for games thinking that Trippier was training with City but then find him half a mile down the road, having rushed home from City, waiting for the school minibus to pick him up. Trippier with his school PE teacher Lee Garcka, who says he has always had the talent for the big occasions Credit: Lee Garcka Jim Cassell, the former youth academy director at City, was all too aware of a teenage Trippier’s appetite for simply playing as often as he could. “There was a period of time where the boys at the academy were stopped from playing for their school,” Cassell says. “But I knew that Kieran played, and I never bothered [trying to stop him] because he would play anywhere. I would go to watch my son playing 5-a-side, and Kieran would be there.” Trippier, the youngest of four brothers from the market town of Ramsbottom, had been scouted by Manchester United when he was eight years old, but joined City soon after. “The thing I remember was that, even as a nine-year-old, Kieran was an absolutely beautiful striker of the ball,” Cassell says. “I would say he is probably England’s best crosser since David Beckham. He was also a chirpy character, which is what you want to see in kids.” As he grew older, still shining at City, that “chirpiness” threatened to become a problem. At the age of 14 or 15, Garcka says Trippier had developed a “bit of an edge”, and there was concern that he might turn down the wrong path. Pick your England XI to face Panama He was helped by the close mentoring of the school’s former headteacher, Martin Braidley, and by Cassell. “We lived near each other,” Cassell says, “so I used to give him a lift home. I would constantly tell him: ‘Kieran, if you live right you will make it, big-time.’” The message sunk in, and Trippier matured in his final years of school as he continued to hone his natural ability at City. He was part of the City team which won the FA Youth Cup in 2008 and in 2010, aged 19, was loaned to Barnsley for his first experience of adult football. The early impressions were good. Trippier arrived with confidence, which bordered on cockiness, and also with resilience. “He was a young kid at the time but he went straight into the team,” says David Preece, the former Barnsley goalkeeper. “He is one of the best players I have ever seen at crossing the ball on the run — that’s the one thing that really stood out.” Preece, who changed next to Trippier in the dressing room, used to joke that the slender lad alongside him looked like Stewie Griffin, the cartoon baby from comedy series Family Guy, but there were no issues with physical robustness. “He was tough,” Preece says. “He was never a pushover.” England's team leak is embarrassing for all involved Trippier’s excellent performances, including a penchant for scoring free-kicks, earned him a move to Burnley, where the arrival of Sean Dyche added defensive solidity to his more obvious technical talents. Trippier’s gratitude to his former manager was evident in December, when he was spotted at the darts with a sign saying ‘Ginger Mourinho = Sean Dyche’. Trippier’s £3.5 million move to Tottenham Hotspur, in 2015, remains one of the best Premier League bargains in recent years. Under Mauricio Pochettino, and particularly following the departure of Kyle Walker to City last summer, he has become more consistent and more creative. He adapted again, and then adapted to England, where a wing-back role clearly suits his abilities. “Every time he has to step up, he has been able to do it,” Garcka says. “He has done it again and again. Each time he is asked to go up a level, he meets that challenge.” World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Kieran Trippier has always been able to step up when it matters - it's no different with England, says former teacher
Kieran Trippier, or the ‘Bury Beckham’ as he has been christened on social media, has always had a taste for the big occasion, an ability to elevate his level when the pressure is highest. He showed it on Monday night, when he was one of England’s standout performers in their opening World Cup match, and he showed it 11 years ago, in the Bury Schools’ Cup final. Different stages, certainly, but for a teenaged, shaven-headed Trippier, a final against the local school rivals was as important as anything. “He would take those games really seriously,” remembers Lee Garcka, Trippier’s PE teacher at Woodhey High School. “His family were watching, and those were the games when he really shone. He scored a hat-trick, and it was the best hat-trick I have ever seen from any player, at any level.” For his first goal, the 16-year-old Trippier ran from his own half, beating four defenders, and slotted the ball into the corner. The second was a volley from 35 yards, and the third was a curling effort from the edge of the box. At the time, Trippier was progressing through the ranks at Manchester City’s academy and was not even supposed to be playing school football. Garcka would often leave for games thinking that Trippier was training with City but then find him half a mile down the road, having rushed home from City, waiting for the school minibus to pick him up. Trippier with his school PE teacher Lee Garcka, who says he has always had the talent for the big occasions Credit: Lee Garcka Jim Cassell, the former youth academy director at City, was all too aware of a teenage Trippier’s appetite for simply playing as often as he could. “There was a period of time where the boys at the academy were stopped from playing for their school,” Cassell says. “But I knew that Kieran played, and I never bothered [trying to stop him] because he would play anywhere. I would go to watch my son playing 5-a-side, and Kieran would be there.” Trippier, the youngest of four brothers from the market town of Ramsbottom, had been scouted by Manchester United when he was eight years old, but joined City soon after. “The thing I remember was that, even as a nine-year-old, Kieran was an absolutely beautiful striker of the ball,” Cassell says. “I would say he is probably England’s best crosser since David Beckham. He was also a chirpy character, which is what you want to see in kids.” As he grew older, still shining at City, that “chirpiness” threatened to become a problem. At the age of 14 or 15, Garcka says Trippier had developed a “bit of an edge”, and there was concern that he might turn down the wrong path. Pick your England XI to face Panama He was helped by the close mentoring of the school’s former headteacher, Martin Braidley, and by Cassell. “We lived near each other,” Cassell says, “so I used to give him a lift home. I would constantly tell him: ‘Kieran, if you live right you will make it, big-time.’” The message sunk in, and Trippier matured in his final years of school as he continued to hone his natural ability at City. He was part of the City team which won the FA Youth Cup in 2008 and in 2010, aged 19, was loaned to Barnsley for his first experience of adult football. The early impressions were good. Trippier arrived with confidence, which bordered on cockiness, and also with resilience. “He was a young kid at the time but he went straight into the team,” says David Preece, the former Barnsley goalkeeper. “He is one of the best players I have ever seen at crossing the ball on the run — that’s the one thing that really stood out.” Preece, who changed next to Trippier in the dressing room, used to joke that the slender lad alongside him looked like Stewie Griffin, the cartoon baby from comedy series Family Guy, but there were no issues with physical robustness. “He was tough,” Preece says. “He was never a pushover.” England's team leak is embarrassing for all involved Trippier’s excellent performances, including a penchant for scoring free-kicks, earned him a move to Burnley, where the arrival of Sean Dyche added defensive solidity to his more obvious technical talents. Trippier’s gratitude to his former manager was evident in December, when he was spotted at the darts with a sign saying ‘Ginger Mourinho = Sean Dyche’. Trippier’s £3.5 million move to Tottenham Hotspur, in 2015, remains one of the best Premier League bargains in recent years. Under Mauricio Pochettino, and particularly following the departure of Kyle Walker to City last summer, he has become more consistent and more creative. He adapted again, and then adapted to England, where a wing-back role clearly suits his abilities. “Every time he has to step up, he has been able to do it,” Garcka says. “He has done it again and again. Each time he is asked to go up a level, he meets that challenge.” World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Kieran Trippier, or the ‘Bury Beckham’ as he has been christened on social media, has always had a taste for the big occasion, an ability to elevate his level when the pressure is highest. He showed it on Monday night, when he was one of England’s standout performers in their opening World Cup match, and he showed it 11 years ago, in the Bury Schools’ Cup final. Different stages, certainly, but for a teenaged, shaven-headed Trippier, a final against the local school rivals was as important as anything. “He would take those games really seriously,” remembers Lee Garcka, Trippier’s PE teacher at Woodhey High School. “His family were watching, and those were the games when he really shone. He scored a hat-trick, and it was the best hat-trick I have ever seen from any player, at any level.” For his first goal, the 16-year-old Trippier ran from his own half, beating four defenders, and slotted the ball into the corner. The second was a volley from 35 yards, and the third was a curling effort from the edge of the box. At the time, Trippier was progressing through the ranks at Manchester City’s academy and was not even supposed to be playing school football. Garcka would often leave for games thinking that Trippier was training with City but then find him half a mile down the road, having rushed home from City, waiting for the school minibus to pick him up. Trippier with his school PE teacher Lee Garcka, who says he has always had the talent for the big occasions Credit: Lee Garcka Jim Cassell, the former youth academy director at City, was all too aware of a teenage Trippier’s appetite for simply playing as often as he could. “There was a period of time where the boys at the academy were stopped from playing for their school,” Cassell says. “But I knew that Kieran played, and I never bothered [trying to stop him] because he would play anywhere. I would go to watch my son playing 5-a-side, and Kieran would be there.” Trippier, the youngest of four brothers from the market town of Ramsbottom, had been scouted by Manchester United when he was eight years old, but joined City soon after. “The thing I remember was that, even as a nine-year-old, Kieran was an absolutely beautiful striker of the ball,” Cassell says. “I would say he is probably England’s best crosser since David Beckham. He was also a chirpy character, which is what you want to see in kids.” As he grew older, still shining at City, that “chirpiness” threatened to become a problem. At the age of 14 or 15, Garcka says Trippier had developed a “bit of an edge”, and there was concern that he might turn down the wrong path. Pick your England XI to face Panama He was helped by the close mentoring of the school’s former headteacher, Martin Braidley, and by Cassell. “We lived near each other,” Cassell says, “so I used to give him a lift home. I would constantly tell him: ‘Kieran, if you live right you will make it, big-time.’” The message sunk in, and Trippier matured in his final years of school as he continued to hone his natural ability at City. He was part of the City team which won the FA Youth Cup in 2008 and in 2010, aged 19, was loaned to Barnsley for his first experience of adult football. The early impressions were good. Trippier arrived with confidence, which bordered on cockiness, and also with resilience. “He was a young kid at the time but he went straight into the team,” says David Preece, the former Barnsley goalkeeper. “He is one of the best players I have ever seen at crossing the ball on the run — that’s the one thing that really stood out.” Preece, who changed next to Trippier in the dressing room, used to joke that the slender lad alongside him looked like Stewie Griffin, the cartoon baby from comedy series Family Guy, but there were no issues with physical robustness. “He was tough,” Preece says. “He was never a pushover.” England's team leak is embarrassing for all involved Trippier’s excellent performances, including a penchant for scoring free-kicks, earned him a move to Burnley, where the arrival of Sean Dyche added defensive solidity to his more obvious technical talents. Trippier’s gratitude to his former manager was evident in December, when he was spotted at the darts with a sign saying ‘Ginger Mourinho = Sean Dyche’. Trippier’s £3.5 million move to Tottenham Hotspur, in 2015, remains one of the best Premier League bargains in recent years. Under Mauricio Pochettino, and particularly following the departure of Kyle Walker to City last summer, he has become more consistent and more creative. He adapted again, and then adapted to England, where a wing-back role clearly suits his abilities. “Every time he has to step up, he has been able to do it,” Garcka says. “He has done it again and again. Each time he is asked to go up a level, he meets that challenge.” World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Kieran Trippier has always been able to step up when it matters - it's no different with England, says former teacher
Kieran Trippier, or the ‘Bury Beckham’ as he has been christened on social media, has always had a taste for the big occasion, an ability to elevate his level when the pressure is highest. He showed it on Monday night, when he was one of England’s standout performers in their opening World Cup match, and he showed it 11 years ago, in the Bury Schools’ Cup final. Different stages, certainly, but for a teenaged, shaven-headed Trippier, a final against the local school rivals was as important as anything. “He would take those games really seriously,” remembers Lee Garcka, Trippier’s PE teacher at Woodhey High School. “His family were watching, and those were the games when he really shone. He scored a hat-trick, and it was the best hat-trick I have ever seen from any player, at any level.” For his first goal, the 16-year-old Trippier ran from his own half, beating four defenders, and slotted the ball into the corner. The second was a volley from 35 yards, and the third was a curling effort from the edge of the box. At the time, Trippier was progressing through the ranks at Manchester City’s academy and was not even supposed to be playing school football. Garcka would often leave for games thinking that Trippier was training with City but then find him half a mile down the road, having rushed home from City, waiting for the school minibus to pick him up. Trippier with his school PE teacher Lee Garcka, who says he has always had the talent for the big occasions Credit: Lee Garcka Jim Cassell, the former youth academy director at City, was all too aware of a teenage Trippier’s appetite for simply playing as often as he could. “There was a period of time where the boys at the academy were stopped from playing for their school,” Cassell says. “But I knew that Kieran played, and I never bothered [trying to stop him] because he would play anywhere. I would go to watch my son playing 5-a-side, and Kieran would be there.” Trippier, the youngest of four brothers from the market town of Ramsbottom, had been scouted by Manchester United when he was eight years old, but joined City soon after. “The thing I remember was that, even as a nine-year-old, Kieran was an absolutely beautiful striker of the ball,” Cassell says. “I would say he is probably England’s best crosser since David Beckham. He was also a chirpy character, which is what you want to see in kids.” As he grew older, still shining at City, that “chirpiness” threatened to become a problem. At the age of 14 or 15, Garcka says Trippier had developed a “bit of an edge”, and there was concern that he might turn down the wrong path. Pick your England XI to face Panama He was helped by the close mentoring of the school’s former headteacher, Martin Braidley, and by Cassell. “We lived near each other,” Cassell says, “so I used to give him a lift home. I would constantly tell him: ‘Kieran, if you live right you will make it, big-time.’” The message sunk in, and Trippier matured in his final years of school as he continued to hone his natural ability at City. He was part of the City team which won the FA Youth Cup in 2008 and in 2010, aged 19, was loaned to Barnsley for his first experience of adult football. The early impressions were good. Trippier arrived with confidence, which bordered on cockiness, and also with resilience. “He was a young kid at the time but he went straight into the team,” says David Preece, the former Barnsley goalkeeper. “He is one of the best players I have ever seen at crossing the ball on the run — that’s the one thing that really stood out.” Preece, who changed next to Trippier in the dressing room, used to joke that the slender lad alongside him looked like Stewie Griffin, the cartoon baby from comedy series Family Guy, but there were no issues with physical robustness. “He was tough,” Preece says. “He was never a pushover.” England's team leak is embarrassing for all involved Trippier’s excellent performances, including a penchant for scoring free-kicks, earned him a move to Burnley, where the arrival of Sean Dyche added defensive solidity to his more obvious technical talents. Trippier’s gratitude to his former manager was evident in December, when he was spotted at the darts with a sign saying ‘Ginger Mourinho = Sean Dyche’. Trippier’s £3.5 million move to Tottenham Hotspur, in 2015, remains one of the best Premier League bargains in recent years. Under Mauricio Pochettino, and particularly following the departure of Kyle Walker to City last summer, he has become more consistent and more creative. He adapted again, and then adapted to England, where a wing-back role clearly suits his abilities. “Every time he has to step up, he has been able to do it,” Garcka says. “He has done it again and again. Each time he is asked to go up a level, he meets that challenge.” World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
<p>‘They kept overtaking each other, so maybe the match will be closer than we expect,’ said Richard Nicholson, of Cannon Hall Farm, near Barnsley.</p>
Flag-carrying ants predict England World Cup win over Panama

‘They kept overtaking each other, so maybe the match will be closer than we expect,’ said Richard Nicholson, of Cannon Hall Farm, near Barnsley.

<p>‘They kept overtaking each other, so maybe the match will be closer than we expect,’ said Richard Nicholson, of Cannon Hall Farm, near Barnsley.</p>
Flag-carrying ants predict England World Cup win over Panama

‘They kept overtaking each other, so maybe the match will be closer than we expect,’ said Richard Nicholson, of Cannon Hall Farm, near Barnsley.

<p>‘They kept overtaking each other, so maybe the match will be closer than we expect,’ said Richard Nicholson, of Cannon Hall Farm, near Barnsley.</p>
Flag-carrying ants predict England World Cup win over Panama

‘They kept overtaking each other, so maybe the match will be closer than we expect,’ said Richard Nicholson, of Cannon Hall Farm, near Barnsley.

<p>‘They kept overtaking each other, so maybe the match will be closer than we expect,’ said Richard Nicholson, of Cannon Hall Farm, near Barnsley.</p>
Flag-carrying ants predict England World Cup win over Panama

‘They kept overtaking each other, so maybe the match will be closer than we expect,’ said Richard Nicholson, of Cannon Hall Farm, near Barnsley.

Frank Lampard's first competitive game as Derby manager will kick-off the Championship campaign. Former England midfielder Lampard, who took over as boss of the Rams three weeks ago, takes his team to Reading on Friday, August 3. Derby also figured in the opening game of the 2017-18 campaign, drawing 1-1 at Sunderland. They went on to finish sixth but lost out to promoted Fulham in the play-offs, with Gary Rowett since leaving to join Stoke following their relegation from the Premier League. The opening round of Championship matches, revealed by the EFL on Thursday morning, will be spread over four days. There is an intriguing contest at Elland Road on Sunday, August 5, with Leeds hosting Stoke in what will represent the first competitive match with their new clubs for respective managers Marcelo Bielsa and Rowett. Marcelo Bielsa is the new Leeds coach Credit: afp Steve Bruce takes his Aston Villa side - beaten play-off finalists last month - to former club Hull on Monday, August 6, with the remaining nine Championship games taking place on the Saturday. Relegated West Brom, who confirmed Darren Moore as their permanent boss following an impressive stint as caretaker, open at home to Bolton while Graham Potter's Swansea - the other team bidding for an instant top flight return - have an evening game at Sheffield United. Of the promoted trio, League One champions Wigan start at home to Sheffield Wednesday, runners-up Blackburn are at Ipswich and play-off winners Rotherham go to Brentford. Elsewhere, Birmingham host Norwich, Middlesbrough are at Millwall, Bristol City face Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate and Preston welcome QPR. There is deja vu among the final round of fixtures. Bolton ensured survival last month with a final-day home win over Nottingham Forest and the two teams meet again in their final game of next season, albeit at Forest. Lampard's Rams host West Brom in the most eye-catching May 5 fixture. Stoke finish at home to Sheffield United and Swansea are at Blackburn. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article In League One, Joey Barton starts his management career at Fleetwood with a home match against AFC Wimbledon. Sunderland, playing in the third tier of English football for only the second time after finishing bottom of last season's Championship, open with a home match against Charlton at 1230 on August 4. There are home games too for the other relegated sides, with Barnsley hosting Oxford and Burton taking on Rochdale. League Two champions Accrington open at home to Gillingham, Wycombe face Blackpool and play-off winners Coventry tackle Scunthorpe, with the other team to move up - Luton - away to Portsmouth. Beaten play-off finalists Shrewsbury - now under the leadership of John Askey - start at home to Bradford, Peterborough face Bristol Rovers, Southend host Doncaster and Plymouth go to Walsall. Macclesfield and Tranmere, back in the EFL after promotion last season, both start their League Two campaigns away from home. test - do not delete National League champions Macclesfield, with Mark Yates now at the helm following Askey's departure, open at Swindon. Tranmere - Wembley conquerors of Boreham Wood - begin at Stevenage. Bury, Northampton and Oldham all start with home games as they bid for an instant return to League One, with Yeovil, Lincoln and MK Dons - the other relegated team - the respective opponents. Carlisle have a near 700-mile round trip to beaten play-off finalists Exeter on the opening day, Notts County host Colchester and Mansfield are at home to Newport. Grimsby begin at home to Forest Green, Cheltenham host Crawley, Cambridge travel to Port Vale and Morecambe are at Crewe.
Football League fixtures 2018/19: Frank Lampard starts Championship campaign as Derby manager against Reading
Frank Lampard's first competitive game as Derby manager will kick-off the Championship campaign. Former England midfielder Lampard, who took over as boss of the Rams three weeks ago, takes his team to Reading on Friday, August 3. Derby also figured in the opening game of the 2017-18 campaign, drawing 1-1 at Sunderland. They went on to finish sixth but lost out to promoted Fulham in the play-offs, with Gary Rowett since leaving to join Stoke following their relegation from the Premier League. The opening round of Championship matches, revealed by the EFL on Thursday morning, will be spread over four days. There is an intriguing contest at Elland Road on Sunday, August 5, with Leeds hosting Stoke in what will represent the first competitive match with their new clubs for respective managers Marcelo Bielsa and Rowett. Marcelo Bielsa is the new Leeds coach Credit: afp Steve Bruce takes his Aston Villa side - beaten play-off finalists last month - to former club Hull on Monday, August 6, with the remaining nine Championship games taking place on the Saturday. Relegated West Brom, who confirmed Darren Moore as their permanent boss following an impressive stint as caretaker, open at home to Bolton while Graham Potter's Swansea - the other team bidding for an instant top flight return - have an evening game at Sheffield United. Of the promoted trio, League One champions Wigan start at home to Sheffield Wednesday, runners-up Blackburn are at Ipswich and play-off winners Rotherham go to Brentford. Elsewhere, Birmingham host Norwich, Middlesbrough are at Millwall, Bristol City face Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate and Preston welcome QPR. There is deja vu among the final round of fixtures. Bolton ensured survival last month with a final-day home win over Nottingham Forest and the two teams meet again in their final game of next season, albeit at Forest. Lampard's Rams host West Brom in the most eye-catching May 5 fixture. Stoke finish at home to Sheffield United and Swansea are at Blackburn. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article In League One, Joey Barton starts his management career at Fleetwood with a home match against AFC Wimbledon. Sunderland, playing in the third tier of English football for only the second time after finishing bottom of last season's Championship, open with a home match against Charlton at 1230 on August 4. There are home games too for the other relegated sides, with Barnsley hosting Oxford and Burton taking on Rochdale. League Two champions Accrington open at home to Gillingham, Wycombe face Blackpool and play-off winners Coventry tackle Scunthorpe, with the other team to move up - Luton - away to Portsmouth. Beaten play-off finalists Shrewsbury - now under the leadership of John Askey - start at home to Bradford, Peterborough face Bristol Rovers, Southend host Doncaster and Plymouth go to Walsall. Macclesfield and Tranmere, back in the EFL after promotion last season, both start their League Two campaigns away from home. test - do not delete National League champions Macclesfield, with Mark Yates now at the helm following Askey's departure, open at Swindon. Tranmere - Wembley conquerors of Boreham Wood - begin at Stevenage. Bury, Northampton and Oldham all start with home games as they bid for an instant return to League One, with Yeovil, Lincoln and MK Dons - the other relegated team - the respective opponents. Carlisle have a near 700-mile round trip to beaten play-off finalists Exeter on the opening day, Notts County host Colchester and Mansfield are at home to Newport. Grimsby begin at home to Forest Green, Cheltenham host Crawley, Cambridge travel to Port Vale and Morecambe are at Crewe.
Frank Lampard's first competitive game as Derby manager will kick-off the Championship campaign. Former England midfielder Lampard, who took over as boss of the Rams three weeks ago, takes his team to Reading on Friday, August 3. Derby also figured in the opening game of the 2017-18 campaign, drawing 1-1 at Sunderland. They went on to finish sixth but lost out to promoted Fulham in the play-offs, with Gary Rowett since leaving to join Stoke following their relegation from the Premier League. The opening round of Championship matches, revealed by the EFL on Thursday morning, will be spread over four days. There is an intriguing contest at Elland Road on Sunday, August 5, with Leeds hosting Stoke in what will represent the first competitive match with their new clubs for respective managers Marcelo Bielsa and Rowett. Marcelo Bielsa is the new Leeds coach Credit: afp Steve Bruce takes his Aston Villa side - beaten play-off finalists last month - to former club Hull on Monday, August 6, with the remaining nine Championship games taking place on the Saturday. Relegated West Brom, who confirmed Darren Moore as their permanent boss following an impressive stint as caretaker, open at home to Bolton while Graham Potter's Swansea - the other team bidding for an instant top flight return - have an evening game at Sheffield United. Of the promoted trio, League One champions Wigan start at home to Sheffield Wednesday, runners-up Blackburn are at Ipswich and play-off winners Rotherham go to Brentford. Elsewhere, Birmingham host Norwich, Middlesbrough are at Millwall, Bristol City face Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate and Preston welcome QPR. There is deja vu among the final round of fixtures. Bolton ensured survival last month with a final-day home win over Nottingham Forest and the two teams meet again in their final game of next season, albeit at Forest. Lampard's Rams host West Brom in the most eye-catching May 5 fixture. Stoke finish at home to Sheffield United and Swansea are at Blackburn. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article In League One, Joey Barton starts his management career at Fleetwood with a home match against AFC Wimbledon. Sunderland, playing in the third tier of English football for only the second time after finishing bottom of last season's Championship, open with a home match against Charlton at 1230 on August 4. There are home games too for the other relegated sides, with Barnsley hosting Oxford and Burton taking on Rochdale. League Two champions Accrington open at home to Gillingham, Wycombe face Blackpool and play-off winners Coventry tackle Scunthorpe, with the other team to move up - Luton - away to Portsmouth. Beaten play-off finalists Shrewsbury - now under the leadership of John Askey - start at home to Bradford, Peterborough face Bristol Rovers, Southend host Doncaster and Plymouth go to Walsall. Macclesfield and Tranmere, back in the EFL after promotion last season, both start their League Two campaigns away from home. test - do not delete National League champions Macclesfield, with Mark Yates now at the helm following Askey's departure, open at Swindon. Tranmere - Wembley conquerors of Boreham Wood - begin at Stevenage. Bury, Northampton and Oldham all start with home games as they bid for an instant return to League One, with Yeovil, Lincoln and MK Dons - the other relegated team - the respective opponents. Carlisle have a near 700-mile round trip to beaten play-off finalists Exeter on the opening day, Notts County host Colchester and Mansfield are at home to Newport. Grimsby begin at home to Forest Green, Cheltenham host Crawley, Cambridge travel to Port Vale and Morecambe are at Crewe.
Football League fixtures 2018/19: Frank Lampard starts Championship campaign as Derby manager against Reading
Frank Lampard's first competitive game as Derby manager will kick-off the Championship campaign. Former England midfielder Lampard, who took over as boss of the Rams three weeks ago, takes his team to Reading on Friday, August 3. Derby also figured in the opening game of the 2017-18 campaign, drawing 1-1 at Sunderland. They went on to finish sixth but lost out to promoted Fulham in the play-offs, with Gary Rowett since leaving to join Stoke following their relegation from the Premier League. The opening round of Championship matches, revealed by the EFL on Thursday morning, will be spread over four days. There is an intriguing contest at Elland Road on Sunday, August 5, with Leeds hosting Stoke in what will represent the first competitive match with their new clubs for respective managers Marcelo Bielsa and Rowett. Marcelo Bielsa is the new Leeds coach Credit: afp Steve Bruce takes his Aston Villa side - beaten play-off finalists last month - to former club Hull on Monday, August 6, with the remaining nine Championship games taking place on the Saturday. Relegated West Brom, who confirmed Darren Moore as their permanent boss following an impressive stint as caretaker, open at home to Bolton while Graham Potter's Swansea - the other team bidding for an instant top flight return - have an evening game at Sheffield United. Of the promoted trio, League One champions Wigan start at home to Sheffield Wednesday, runners-up Blackburn are at Ipswich and play-off winners Rotherham go to Brentford. Elsewhere, Birmingham host Norwich, Middlesbrough are at Millwall, Bristol City face Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate and Preston welcome QPR. There is deja vu among the final round of fixtures. Bolton ensured survival last month with a final-day home win over Nottingham Forest and the two teams meet again in their final game of next season, albeit at Forest. Lampard's Rams host West Brom in the most eye-catching May 5 fixture. Stoke finish at home to Sheffield United and Swansea are at Blackburn. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article In League One, Joey Barton starts his management career at Fleetwood with a home match against AFC Wimbledon. Sunderland, playing in the third tier of English football for only the second time after finishing bottom of last season's Championship, open with a home match against Charlton at 1230 on August 4. There are home games too for the other relegated sides, with Barnsley hosting Oxford and Burton taking on Rochdale. League Two champions Accrington open at home to Gillingham, Wycombe face Blackpool and play-off winners Coventry tackle Scunthorpe, with the other team to move up - Luton - away to Portsmouth. Beaten play-off finalists Shrewsbury - now under the leadership of John Askey - start at home to Bradford, Peterborough face Bristol Rovers, Southend host Doncaster and Plymouth go to Walsall. Macclesfield and Tranmere, back in the EFL after promotion last season, both start their League Two campaigns away from home. test - do not delete National League champions Macclesfield, with Mark Yates now at the helm following Askey's departure, open at Swindon. Tranmere - Wembley conquerors of Boreham Wood - begin at Stevenage. Bury, Northampton and Oldham all start with home games as they bid for an instant return to League One, with Yeovil, Lincoln and MK Dons - the other relegated team - the respective opponents. Carlisle have a near 700-mile round trip to beaten play-off finalists Exeter on the opening day, Notts County host Colchester and Mansfield are at home to Newport. Grimsby begin at home to Forest Green, Cheltenham host Crawley, Cambridge travel to Port Vale and Morecambe are at Crewe.
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The best country house hotels in Britain
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The best country house hotels in Britain
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The best country house hotels in Britain
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The best country house hotels in Britain
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The best country house hotels in Britain
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The best country house hotels in Britain
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The best country house hotels in Britain
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The best country house hotels in Britain
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The best country house hotels in Britain
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The best country house hotels in Britain
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The best country house hotels in Britain
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The best country house hotels in Britain
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com
The best country house hotels in Britain
The British country house hotel was born in 1949, brought to us in the pink and frilly shape of Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in the Lake District. Presided over by a splendid couple, Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack, it came complete with a gargantuan afternoon tea, and Sack’s famous Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coulson’s bedtime poems on the pillow. People adored it. There had been leisure hotels in Britain before, of course, but this was the first where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings, with a committed owner at the helm offering a warm welcome, decent food, peace and quiet. Hundreds of characterful country house hotels have followed, and today there’s a bewildering amount from which to choose. Here we present the cream of the crop. While some continue to offer no more than the pleasures of a beautiful old house, a roaring fire and a cup of tea, others cater to our increased demands: for spas, cookery courses and activities such as foraging. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside. England Lime WoodNew Forest, Hampshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. The oak doors are thick and stylised sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. As for the food, that most grounded of all celebrity chefs, Angela Hartnett, has joined forces with existing Lime Wood chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings. Read expert review From £245per night Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The style is a happy marriage between stately Oxfordshire and eccentric French fancy. The honey-coloured Manor house creates an attractive focus around which an eclectic mix of 15th-century ponds, Provençal lavender rows, a Japanese garden, kitsch sculptures and a wild mushroom patch can all co-exist. Seasonality is king in its two-Michelin starred restaurant. A 1930s-style bar serves comforting cocktails and the wine cellar stocks a French dominated list of more than 1,000 different wines. Read expert review From £756per night • The best country house hotels in Britain Lympstone ManorExmouth, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with double-Michelin-starred BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm. The man himself takes the time to greet guests and can often be spied striding through the halls in his white chef overalls. Don't miss the eight-course tasting menu dinner. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to bravely poke at the booby-trapped boundary between sumptuous and sickly. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary. Read expert review From £305per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com The best hotels in Oxfordshire Save up to 70% on hotel deals via our partner Secret Escapes ClivedenTaplow, Berkshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. Contrary to its appearance, Cliveden is not in the least bit stuck up and doesn’t mind whether you turn up in a Ferrari or a Fiat. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. Read expert review From £545per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Berkshire Chewton Glen HotelNew Forest, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel has lovely grounds and guests can follow the stream through the woods to emerge at Naish Beach, with a view of the Needles rising from the sea. Facilities are legion: a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre, nine-hole golf course and many activities, from archery and buggy riding to duck herding. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, display astonishing attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk. Read expert review From £315per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Hambleton HallRutland, England 9Telegraph expert rating Beautifully decorated by Stefa Hart, who with her husband Tim has owned and run Hambleton Hall since 1979, the house exudes a feeling of controlled and carefully orchestrated wellbeing without ever feeling unnatural or overly theatrical. The flowing country house good looks are matched by the surrounding gardens and the beautiful view of Rutland Water from the lovely flower filled terrace. The cooking of Aaron Patterson, who began here as a 16-year-old sous chef, easily deserves its long held Michelin star and is rooted in local and seasonal produce, charmingly presented and always delicious. Read expert review From £265per night • The best hotels in Rutland Gidleigh ParkChagford, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Perched atop a bank overlooking private woodlands traced by a boulder-strewn river, Gidleigh’s location is wild and dramatic. The décor is stylish if a little straight-laced, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. The 24 bedrooms are decorated individually in a classic English country style, with supersized beds, roll-top baths, televisions, L’Occitane toiletries, spring water from the Gidleigh Estate, bowls of fresh fruit and complimentary decanters of Madeira. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon Askham HallPenrith, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Richard Swale is a gifted chef who draws his influences from, amongst others, Magnus Nilsson of Faviken restaurant in Sweden and Shaun Hill of the Walnut Tree, in Wales. Richard’s food is locally grown, or personally preserved and tastes correspondingly fresh and interesting. Read expert review From £150per night • The best hotels in Cumbria Calcot ManorTetbury, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating A weathered stone manor house and farm building that’s grown to house 35 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa, a function centre in a converted barn, an Ofsted-registered crèche in the kids’ Playzone and two restaurants. Double rooms are in the manor; family rooms overlook the outdoor pool. There’s something incredibly relaxing about this hotel, with 'country modern’ bedrooms that manage to be both cosy and elegant, soothing and spoiling, natural and sophisticated. When it was time to go home, we refused to leave, cancelled everything and booked for another night. It’s honestly that good. Read expert review From £214per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Augill CastleKirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England 9Telegraph expert rating Augill Castle stands in 20 acres of grounds in the beautiful upper Eden Valley, within striking distance of both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The owners have created a highly individual hotel with minimal rules, a great sense of relaxation and welcome to all – unusual and imaginative with a 'family friends' feel. The 15 bedrooms are eclectic and slightly eccentric with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces and an array of unusual and pretty bedsteads. Dining is a social occasion. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Cumbria Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & SpaEvershot, Dorset, England 9Telegraph expert rating Decoration and style tends towards the feminine and the flouncy with fabric covered ceilings and padded fabric walls, pictures of dogs, plenty of cushions and so on but they add up, in general, to a feeling of spoiling indulgence and do not, mercifully, overwhelm. The drawing room, designed by the poet and author Thomas Hardy, is admirably classic in style, now painted a pretty blue, and the bedrooms are divinely pretty and comfortable. Read expert review From £204per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Dorset Cowley ManorCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating One of the first of the new breed of contemporary country house hotels to put their spa, C-side, at the heart of their offering. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products, employing local natural products. There are indoor and outdoor pools and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area, gym, steam room and sauna. Read expert review From £205per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Gilpin Hotel & Lake HouseLake Windermere, Lake District, England 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. That’s not to say it’s a creaking relic — the décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back — and that’s helped by the service, about which it’s hard to say anything negative. Everyone smiles, everyone says hello — yet it’s not overbearing. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield, Hampshire, England 8Telegraph expert rating Built in the 18th century as a manor house, the hotel is set amid 500 acres of green fields and paddocks full of grazing horses. Inside, it’s all slick and stylish, a blend of traditional and contemporary, as befits a metropolitan, cosmopolitan Four Seasons hotel set in English countryside. Bedrooms are sophisticated and elegant, traditional in style but with high-tech amenities and large marble bathrooms, and flexible sleeping options for families. The fine dining restaurant, Seasons, is very elegant, and there is a more casual bistro, a bar with open fire and library for afternoon tea. Read expert review From £236per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire The Pig at CombeGittisham, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. Head chef Dan Gavriilidis is responsible for the Devon version of the Pigs’ informal '25 Mile’ menu, featuring the produce of the kitchen gardens and poly tunnels and the best locally-sourced ingredients. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • The best hotels in Devon Barnsley HouseCirencester, Cotswolds, England 9Telegraph expert rating What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Cream furnishings in the rooms enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Everything about the restaurant has been calibrated to convey a sense of pleasing simplicity – although of course that requires much painstaking effort. Read expert review From £224per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Ellenborough ParkCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England 8Telegraph expert rating A group of honeystone buildings is set around a historic Cotswold manor house that was embellished with castle-like towers in the mid-19th century. The 61 generously sized bedrooms are a world away from the shabby-chic looks or the pared back minimalism that are now the norm in other rural retreats. With stripy wallpaper and sprucely comfy armchairs, and with swathes of linen chintz in some rooms, panelling in others, the interiors are a contemporary take on traditional British country style. Read expert review From £159per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Lucknam ParkWiltshire, England 9Telegraph expert rating The hotel sits within a 500-acre estate that encompasses meadows, paddocks and woodland. The main building is a beautiful, symmetrical, creeper-covered Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Its public rooms are opulent and elegant, with a traditional country house feel. They include a panelled library, a drawing room with a corniced ceiling, an ornate fireplace as well as tassled curtains and sofas, and The Park Restaurant, laid out with white-clothed tables under a sky-painted ceiling. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wiltshire Lords Of The ManorUpper Slaughter, Cotswolds, England 8Telegraph expert rating The oldest parts of this mellow-stone manor house date from around 1649, with gables, wings and bay windows added in later centuries. Traditional rather than style-conscious, the public rooms are furnished with antiques. The 26 rooms in total split into five categories, comfortably furnished with embroidered silk throws on beds and soft lighting. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a key reason for staying at this hotel. The £69 three-course dinner menu may include starters of squab pigeon or foie gras with smoked eel and mains of Gloucestershire Old Spot suckling pig with rhubarb or local venison. Read expert review From £155per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds Hotel EndsleighTavistock, Devon, England 9Telegraph expert rating Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. It’s a verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. Breakfasts, too, are a cut above the rivals. Read expert review From £207per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon The House at BeaverbrookSurrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Step into a bygone era of English high society, original artworks and antiques at this luxurious country house hotel, where press baron Lord Beaverbrook entertained world leaders and literary greats. Grandeur and opulence ooze from every room, beautifully designed by Susie Atkinson: A cosy morning room with log fire and plump, squishy sofas offers stunning views of the North Downs and Italianate garden. The library's shelves heave with weighty tomes, and the UK's first home cinema, where Beaverbrook and Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still has the original wood-panelling and lighting. Read expert review From £225per night • The best hotels in Surrey Bovey CastleMoretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England 9Telegraph expert rating This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Inside, there’s a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, plus steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. Outside, in the 275-acre grounds, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Read expert review From £139per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels on Dartmoor Great FostersEgham, Surrey, England 9Telegraph expert rating Italian gilt furniture, exquisite Flemish tapestries, elaborate Jacobean fireplaces and a one-Michelin-starred restaurant are the crowning glories of this luxury country-house hotel – once a 16th-century royal hunting lodge used by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Oak paneling, beautifully-carved Jacobean fire-pieces plus a secret staircase – even 17th-century graffiti – await guests who enter the Grade I-listed building via a low wicket door. Traces of royal ancestry are everywhere, in Elizabeth’s coat of arms above the porch, and on the ceiling, dating from the 1500s and decorated with Queen Anne Boleyn’s personal crests. Read expert review From £135per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Surrey Wales Palé HallLlandderfel, Gwynedd, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating Complete with spire, porte-cochère and a grand entrance hall, hand stencilled by the owners, this mansion feels regal and is astonishingly well preserved. The wealth of period features: stained-glass, tiles, wood panelling, chandeliers, fireplaces and so on, are complemented by Angela Harper’s decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass. Read expert review From £234per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gwynedd Gliffaes Country House HotelBrecon Beacons, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating What’s not to love? Down a rural track, Gliffaes reclines peacefully in 33-acre grounds in the shadow of the Black Mountains and on the edge of the River Usk. With antique dressers, floral drapes, retro Roberts radios, and carpets you can sink your toes into, the look is traditionally elegant, never twee. Excellent restaurant. Read expert review From £138per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Bodysgallen Hall and SpaLlandudno, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The medieval core of a fine 16th-century mansion, the tower was built as a lookout for Conwy Castle. The higher you climb, the older its spiralling staircase becomes: Victorian at the bottom, 13th-century at the top. The encircling view is enthralling. As you turn, first Conwy Castle, then Snowdonia, then the sea and Anglesey, then Great Orme, catching the golden light, and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, come into view. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The most romantic hotels in Wales Llangoed HallPowys, Wales 9Telegraph expert rating The house itself, redesigned by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912, has great presence. Later bought and restored by Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of Laura, family photographs, as well as his fine collection of early 20th-century British paintings, including a collection of prints by James McNeil Whistler abound. Guests are encouraged to relax, curl up on sofas and play the piano. Read expert review From £110per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales The GroveNarberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales 8Telegraph expert rating The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. There are 26 rooms in total. Expect treats such as the softest of sheets, posh toiletries, thick towels and house-made biscotti. Read expert review From £160per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales Scotland The Gleneagles HotelAuchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating Built in the 1920s as a railway resort hotel, the design is Scottish Baronial meets French chateau, with all the opulent comfort of a grand country house on steroids. (A dull-looking modern addition to one side is easily ignored). It’s so big you need the map provided when you arrive, but this five-star formality comes with a splendid sense of ease: time seems to slow from the moment the kilted doorman welcomes you to the hotel. Read expert review From £415per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Scotland Inverlochy Castle HotelFort William, Highlands, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating No bows to passing fashions here. Moving with the times means waterfall showers, Bang & Olufsen stereos and televisions, while the unashamedly country house style - all swags, gilt, silk and brocade, sparkling crystal, polished wood and an all-pervading sense of time suspended, remains. Nowhere else makes grandeur so cosy, combining Jacobite rose wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and French Empire-style ceiling frescos with perfectly judged élan. Dinner begins with a drink by the fire in the Great Hall, followed by a delightfully light-handed five-course menu with a distinctly Highland accent. Read expert review From £595per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • Top 10: the best Scottish castle hotels Isle of Eriska HotelArgyll & Bute, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating Calm and solitude are assured in a haven of herons and badgers, where the loudest sound is likely to be a fishing boat puttering over tranquil water. The trappings of Victorian wealth and privilege pervade drawing rooms filled with deep sofas, fireplaces and books in the imposing granite and red sandstone Big House. Elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, with soft, bright furnishings and piles of wellingtons by the front door of the oak-panelled hall. Carry on, Jeeves. Read expert review From £284per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels for spa breaks in Scotland Killiecrankie HotelPerth and Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland 9Telegraph expert rating With direct access to the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie, the deep river gorge formed by the River Garry, the whitewashed 1840s house has been a hotel since 1939. There are 10 pretty and homely rooms, with antique pieces, thick curtains and very comfortable beds. No two are the same: they are all shapes and sizes and some of the bathrooms are very small. You’ll find a vase of fresh flowers and the Egyptian cotton sheets will be turned down while you are at dinner. Read expert review From £220per night • Scotland hotels: the best places to stay on Scottish lochs The Roxburghe Hotel And Golf CourseKelso, Scottish Borders, Scotland 8Telegraph expert rating The drawing room at The Roxburghe feels like a private house, with its family portraits and photographs, books and ornaments, and its welcoming groups of sofas and armchairs. Elsewhere there are tartan carpets, collections of whiskey and gin, plentiful open fires and the homely smell of woodsmoke. Bedrooms, some of which were designed by the Duchess of Roxburghe, are all different and decorated in traditional country house style. Three rooms have open fires, with coal and logs provided - the greatest luxury in a country hotel bedroom. Read expert review From £117per night Rates provided by Booking.com