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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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Gloucestershire Linthwaite HouseWindermere, Lake District, England 9Telegraph expert rating A sprawling, handsome Edwardian house of slate, whitewashed walls and black-and-white timbered gables, inside, it’s retained a private-house feel. No two rooms have the same shape, decoration or view but all share the same light, understated, country-luxury style. Shimmery wallpapers, cream carpets and clean-lined wood furnishings are spiced up with large headboards, woollen throws and splashes of aubergine, citrus or duck-egg blue. Guests can explore 12 acres of gardens and woodlands and there’s a tarn for swimming or fishing. Read expert review From £134per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability 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, and autumn, when you want to be cossetted but it’s still clement enough to enjoy the great outdoors, is the perfect time to enjoy them. 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 for mushrooms, a perfect autumnal outing. All these hotels share in common comfort, excellent food and the joys of the English countryside, resplendent in its red and gold autumn livery. 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 Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Hampshire Gravetye ManorEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England 9Telegraph expert rating An authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Its mottled stone façade is like a proud scar — a testament to a history that spans four centuries. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style thrones, carved from oak; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country. Read expert review From £208per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in West Sussex • Find exclusive UK hotel and restaurant offers from Telegraph Travel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsOxfordshire, England 8Telegraph 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 £556per night Check availability Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith • 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 £290per 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 £340per 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, East Midlands, 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 £250per 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 8Telegraph 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 £204per 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 £170per 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 £215per 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 £195per 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 £215per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Lake District Four Seasons Hotel HampshireWinchfield 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 £255per 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 8Telegraph 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 £181per 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 60 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 £169per 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 £230per 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 £150per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in the Cotswolds   Wales 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 £110per 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 £185per 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 £99per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Wales 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 £198per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com • The best hotels in Devon 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 £145per 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 £265per 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 £295per 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 £330per 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 £125per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

How have Manchester United's Class of 92 fared as managers?

The news that Paul Scholes has held talks with Oldham over the vacant manager's job means the potential addition of a new feather in the cap of the Manchester United Class of 92's managerial prowess. But how have Sir Alex Ferguson's fledglings fared in positions of power? Ryan Giggs Having been appointed a player-coach at Manchester United in July 2013, Giggs then became interim manager when David Moyes was sacked the following April. He achieved a record of two wins, a draw and a defeat in the final four games of the 2013–14 season. Giggs was then appointed as Louis van Gaal's assistant manager when the Dutchman took charge for the following season but - despite many suggesting he would be a potential successor at the helm - he left the club when Jose Mourinho was announced as the new manager in July 2016. He has since been linked with a host of managerial roles, but has yet to make his next move. Paul Scholes Scholes held a coaching role at United for six months after his initial retirement in 2011, but he has largely steered clear of the dugout since reversing that decision and calling time on his playing career for a second time in 2013. He held a coaching position at United under Moyes and assisted Giggs during the Welshman's four-game spell as interim manager, but his only managerial stint came in January 2015 when he acted as Salford City caretaker manager alongside Phil Neville for their match against Kendal Town. Salford City won 2-1, giving Scholes a 100 per cent managerial winning record. Scholes been linked with different managerial roles since leaving Manchester United Credit: Action Images Nicky Butt Having retired from playing in 2011, Butt returned to Manchester United the following year as a reserve team coach. He was another Class of 92 alumnus who assisted Giggs during the Welshman's brief tenure as interim United manager in 2014 and has held the role of head of academy since November 2016. Gary Neville The bulk of Gary Neville's coaching experience has come with the England national side. He joined the coaching team in May 2012 and worked under Roy Hodgson for much of the next four years, while balancing his media duties. He was a surprise appointment to take charge as Valencia manager in November 2015, where he worked with his brother Phil. Valencia failed to win their first nine matches and he was eventually sacked the following March, having won just three of his 16 league games in charge and failing to keep a single clean sheet. Phil Neville   The younger Neville brother began his coaching career before he retired from the pitch, working with the England Under-21 squad throughout 2012 and 2013. He is yet to branch out on his own since retiring in 2013, holding a coaching role at Manchester United until 2014, acting as Salford City caretaker manager alongside Scholes for one match in 2015 and assisting his brother Gary at Valencia. The Class of 92 enjoyed considerable success as their careers advanced Credit: getty images David Beckham Don't be silly. He hasn't been a manager. Chris Casper An unfulfilled playing talent, who was forced to retire aged 24 after suffering a double leg fracture while playing for Reading, Casper's only managerial stint came at Bury where he took charge from 2005 to 2008. He then took up coaching roles at Bradford City and Grimsby Town before he was appointed Salford City's sporting director this summer. Simon Davies Wales international Davies failed to make the grade at Manchester United, playing the bulk of his career at lower league level and across the border in the Welsh top flight. He joined the Chester City coaching staff in 2006 and had two stints as caretaker manager over the next couple of years before he was given the role on a permanent basis in March 2008. He failed to last until the end of the year, dropped back down as a youth team manager at Chester and then moved to Manchester City in 2013. He served as Patrick Vieira's assistant with City's Elite Development Squad and has been in charge of the set-up since the Frenchman departed in December 2015. Mark Robins is currently at the Coventry City helm Credit: getty images Mark Robins Not quite fitting into the category of Class of 92 alumni (he came through the youth ranks with the club before leaving in 1992), Robins was one of the most successful of Sir Alex's initial batch of youngsters coined Fergie's Fledglings. He enjoyed a long playing career in the Football League and has managed a number of teams over the past decade, namely: Rotherham United, Barnsley, Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Scunthorpe United and currently Coventry City. Kevin Pilkington The goalkeeper struggled for opportunities at Manchester United, instead playing the majority of his career at Mansfield Town and Notts County. He moved into his first coaching role as goalkeeping coach at Notts County in 2012, remaining at the club - where he was forced into emergency playing duties on more than one occasion - until September 2017 when he moved to take up the same position at Cambridge United.

How have Manchester United's Class of 92 fared as managers?

The news that Paul Scholes has held talks with Oldham over the vacant manager's job means the potential addition of a new feather in the cap of the Manchester United Class of 92's managerial prowess. But how have Sir Alex Ferguson's fledglings fared in positions of power? Ryan Giggs Having been appointed a player-coach at Manchester United in July 2013, Giggs then became interim manager when David Moyes was sacked the following April. He achieved a record of two wins, a draw and a defeat in the final four games of the 2013–14 season. Giggs was then appointed as Louis van Gaal's assistant manager when the Dutchman took charge for the following season but - despite many suggesting he would be a potential successor at the helm - he left the club when Jose Mourinho was announced as the new manager in July 2016. He has since been linked with a host of managerial roles, but has yet to make his next move. Paul Scholes Scholes held a coaching role at United for six months after his initial retirement in 2011, but he has largely steered clear of the dugout since reversing that decision and calling time on his playing career for a second time in 2013. He held a coaching position at United under Moyes and assisted Giggs during the Welshman's four-game spell as interim manager, but his only managerial stint came in January 2015 when he acted as Salford City caretaker manager alongside Phil Neville for their match against Kendal Town. Salford City won 2-1, giving Scholes a 100 per cent managerial winning record. Scholes been linked with different managerial roles since leaving Manchester United Credit: Action Images Nicky Butt Having retired from playing in 2011, Butt returned to Manchester United the following year as a reserve team coach. He was another Class of 92 alumnus who assisted Giggs during the Welshman's brief tenure as interim United manager in 2014 and has held the role of head of academy since November 2016. Gary Neville The bulk of Gary Neville's coaching experience has come with the England national side. He joined the coaching team in May 2012 and worked under Roy Hodgson for much of the next four years, while balancing his media duties. He was a surprise appointment to take charge as Valencia manager in November 2015, where he worked with his brother Phil. Valencia failed to win their first nine matches and he was eventually sacked the following March, having won just three of his 16 league games in charge and failing to keep a single clean sheet. Phil Neville   The younger Neville brother began his coaching career before he retired from the pitch, working with the England Under-21 squad throughout 2012 and 2013. He is yet to branch out on his own since retiring in 2013, holding a coaching role at Manchester United until 2014, acting as Salford City caretaker manager alongside Scholes for one match in 2015 and assisting his brother Gary at Valencia. The Class of 92 enjoyed considerable success as their careers advanced Credit: getty images David Beckham Don't be silly. He hasn't been a manager. Chris Casper An unfulfilled playing talent, who was forced to retire aged 24 after suffering a double leg fracture while playing for Reading, Casper's only managerial stint came at Bury where he took charge from 2005 to 2008. He then took up coaching roles at Bradford City and Grimsby Town before he was appointed Salford City's sporting director this summer. Simon Davies Wales international Davies failed to make the grade at Manchester United, playing the bulk of his career at lower league level and across the border in the Welsh top flight. He joined the Chester City coaching staff in 2006 and had two stints as caretaker manager over the next couple of years before he was given the role on a permanent basis in March 2008. He failed to last until the end of the year, dropped back down as a youth team manager at Chester and then moved to Manchester City in 2013. He served as Patrick Vieira's assistant with City's Elite Development Squad and has been in charge of the set-up since the Frenchman departed in December 2015. Mark Robins is currently at the Coventry City helm Credit: getty images Mark Robins Not quite fitting into the category of Class of 92 alumni (he came through the youth ranks with the club before leaving in 1992), Robins was one of the most successful of Sir Alex's initial batch of youngsters coined Fergie's Fledglings. He enjoyed a long playing career in the Football League and has managed a number of teams over the past decade, namely: Rotherham United, Barnsley, Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Scunthorpe United and currently Coventry City. Kevin Pilkington The goalkeeper struggled for opportunities at Manchester United, instead playing the majority of his career at Mansfield Town and Notts County. He moved into his first coaching role as goalkeeping coach at Notts County in 2012, remaining at the club - where he was forced into emergency playing duties on more than one occasion - until September 2017 when he moved to take up the same position at Cambridge United.

How have Manchester United's Class of 92 fared as managers?

The news that Paul Scholes has held talks with Oldham over the vacant manager's job means the potential addition of a new feather in the cap of the Manchester United Class of 92's managerial prowess. But how have Sir Alex Ferguson's fledglings fared in positions of power? Ryan Giggs Having been appointed a player-coach at Manchester United in July 2013, Giggs then became interim manager when David Moyes was sacked the following April. He achieved a record of two wins, a draw and a defeat in the final four games of the 2013–14 season. Giggs was then appointed as Louis van Gaal's assistant manager when the Dutchman took charge for the following season but - despite many suggesting he would be a potential successor at the helm - he left the club when Jose Mourinho was announced as the new manager in July 2016. He has since been linked with a host of managerial roles, but has yet to make his next move. Paul Scholes Scholes held a coaching role at United for six months after his initial retirement in 2011, but he has largely steered clear of the dugout since reversing that decision and calling time on his playing career for a second time in 2013. He held a coaching position at United under Moyes and assisted Giggs during the Welshman's four-game spell as interim manager, but his only managerial stint came in January 2015 when he acted as Salford City caretaker manager alongside Phil Neville for their match against Kendal Town. Salford City won 2-1, giving Scholes a 100 per cent managerial winning record. Scholes been linked with different managerial roles since leaving Manchester United Credit: Action Images Nicky Butt Having retired from playing in 2011, Butt returned to Manchester United the following year as a reserve team coach. He was another Class of 92 alumnus who assisted Giggs during the Welshman's brief tenure as interim United manager in 2014 and has held the role of head of academy since November 2016. Gary Neville The bulk of Gary Neville's coaching experience has come with the England national side. He joined the coaching team in May 2012 and worked under Roy Hodgson for much of the next four years, while balancing his media duties. He was a surprise appointment to take charge as Valencia manager in November 2015, where he worked with his brother Phil. Valencia failed to win their first nine matches and he was eventually sacked the following March, having won just three of his 16 league games in charge and failing to keep a single clean sheet. Phil Neville   The younger Neville brother began his coaching career before he retired from the pitch, working with the England Under-21 squad throughout 2012 and 2013. He is yet to branch out on his own since retiring in 2013, holding a coaching role at Manchester United until 2014, acting as Salford City caretaker manager alongside Scholes for one match in 2015 and assisting his brother Gary at Valencia. The Class of 92 enjoyed considerable success as their careers advanced Credit: getty images David Beckham Don't be silly. He hasn't been a manager. Chris Casper An unfulfilled playing talent, who was forced to retire aged 24 after suffering a double leg fracture while playing for Reading, Casper's only managerial stint came at Bury where he took charge from 2005 to 2008. He then took up coaching roles at Bradford City and Grimsby Town before he was appointed Salford City's sporting director this summer. Simon Davies Wales international Davies failed to make the grade at Manchester United, playing the bulk of his career at lower league level and across the border in the Welsh top flight. He joined the Chester City coaching staff in 2006 and had two stints as caretaker manager over the next couple of years before he was given the role on a permanent basis in March 2008. He failed to last until the end of the year, dropped back down as a youth team manager at Chester and then moved to Manchester City in 2013. He served as Patrick Vieira's assistant with City's Elite Development Squad and has been in charge of the set-up since the Frenchman departed in December 2015. Mark Robins is currently at the Coventry City helm Credit: getty images Mark Robins Not quite fitting into the category of Class of 92 alumni (he came through the youth ranks with the club before leaving in 1992), Robins was one of the most successful of Sir Alex's initial batch of youngsters coined Fergie's Fledglings. He enjoyed a long playing career in the Football League and has managed a number of teams over the past decade, namely: Rotherham United, Barnsley, Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Scunthorpe United and currently Coventry City. Kevin Pilkington The goalkeeper struggled for opportunities at Manchester United, instead playing the majority of his career at Mansfield Town and Notts County. He moved into his first coaching role as goalkeeping coach at Notts County in 2012, remaining at the club - where he was forced into emergency playing duties on more than one occasion - until September 2017 when he moved to take up the same position at Cambridge United.

How have Manchester United's Class of 92 fared as managers?

The news that Paul Scholes has held talks with Oldham over the vacant manager's job means the potential addition of a new feather in the cap of the Manchester United Class of 92's managerial prowess. But how have Sir Alex Ferguson's fledglings fared in positions of power? Ryan Giggs Having been appointed a player-coach at Manchester United in July 2013, Giggs then became interim manager when David Moyes was sacked the following April. He achieved a record of two wins, a draw and a defeat in the final four games of the 2013–14 season. Giggs was then appointed as Louis van Gaal's assistant manager when the Dutchman took charge for the following season but - despite many suggesting he would be a potential successor at the helm - he left the club when Jose Mourinho was announced as the new manager in July 2016. He has since been linked with a host of managerial roles, but has yet to make his next move. Paul Scholes Scholes held a coaching role at United for six months after his initial retirement in 2011, but he has largely steered clear of the dugout since reversing that decision and calling time on his playing career for a second time in 2013. He held a coaching position at United under Moyes and assisted Giggs during the Welshman's four-game spell as interim manager, but his only managerial stint came in January 2015 when he acted as Salford City caretaker manager alongside Phil Neville for their match against Kendal Town. Salford City won 2-1, giving Scholes a 100 per cent managerial winning record. Scholes been linked with different managerial roles since leaving Manchester United Credit: Action Images Nicky Butt Having retired from playing in 2011, Butt returned to Manchester United the following year as a reserve team coach. He was another Class of 92 alumnus who assisted Giggs during the Welshman's brief tenure as interim United manager in 2014 and has held the role of head of academy since November 2016. Gary Neville The bulk of Gary Neville's coaching experience has come with the England national side. He joined the coaching team in May 2012 and worked under Roy Hodgson for much of the next four years, while balancing his media duties. He was a surprise appointment to take charge as Valencia manager in November 2015, where he worked with his brother Phil. Valencia failed to win their first nine matches and he was eventually sacked the following March, having won just three of his 16 league games in charge and failing to keep a single clean sheet. Phil Neville   The younger Neville brother began his coaching career before he retired from the pitch, working with the England Under-21 squad throughout 2012 and 2013. He is yet to branch out on his own since retiring in 2013, holding a coaching role at Manchester United until 2014, acting as Salford City caretaker manager alongside Scholes for one match in 2015 and assisting his brother Gary at Valencia. The Class of 92 enjoyed considerable success as their careers advanced Credit: getty images David Beckham Don't be silly. He hasn't been a manager. Chris Casper An unfulfilled playing talent, who was forced to retire aged 24 after suffering a double leg fracture while playing for Reading, Casper's only managerial stint came at Bury where he took charge from 2005 to 2008. He then took up coaching roles at Bradford City and Grimsby Town before he was appointed Salford City's sporting director this summer. Simon Davies Wales international Davies failed to make the grade at Manchester United, playing the bulk of his career at lower league level and across the border in the Welsh top flight. He joined the Chester City coaching staff in 2006 and had two stints as caretaker manager over the next couple of years before he was given the role on a permanent basis in March 2008. He failed to last until the end of the year, dropped back down as a youth team manager at Chester and then moved to Manchester City in 2013. He served as Patrick Vieira's assistant with City's Elite Development Squad and has been in charge of the set-up since the Frenchman departed in December 2015. Mark Robins is currently at the Coventry City helm Credit: getty images Mark Robins Not quite fitting into the category of Class of 92 alumni (he came through the youth ranks with the club before leaving in 1992), Robins was one of the most successful of Sir Alex's initial batch of youngsters coined Fergie's Fledglings. He enjoyed a long playing career in the Football League and has managed a number of teams over the past decade, namely: Rotherham United, Barnsley, Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Scunthorpe United and currently Coventry City. Kevin Pilkington The goalkeeper struggled for opportunities at Manchester United, instead playing the majority of his career at Mansfield Town and Notts County. He moved into his first coaching role as goalkeeping coach at Notts County in 2012, remaining at the club - where he was forced into emergency playing duties on more than one occasion - until September 2017 when he moved to take up the same position at Cambridge United.

The best hotels in Britain for autumn colours

Autumn is a splendid time to visit Britain's finest hotel gardens: think carpets of crisp leaves, pumpkin gardens, apple orchards, russet-coloured forests and saffron hills. Here are a selection of the best hotels for autumn colours, where vibrant views can be enjoyed on heart-racing estate zip wires, from four-poster beds with a glass of sherry, in outdoor infinity spa pools or simply on a walk around the grounds. Barnsley House Hotel, Cotswolds It's home to one of the most splendid hotel gardens in Britain, and in autumn it's all about the Laburnum Walk with its trees that resemble yellow rain. There's also an ornamental fruit and vegetable garden, which bears huge and delicious apples as winter approaches. On milder days, The Potager restaurant's doors and windows onto the grounds are thrown open, and a resident robin even pops in from time to time. Autumn at Barnsley House Hotel is all about the Laburnum Walk with its trees that resemble yellow rain  The spa with outdoor hydrotherapy pool and glass-walled relaxation room offers more of those cracking garden views – think carpets of giant fallen maple leaves; scarlet spindle; and white autumn flowering snowdrops. Deluxe garden rooms have bathrooms with double tubs overlooking the lawns.  Read the full review: Barnsley House Hotel, Cotswolds • The best hotel gardens in England Gleneagles, Scottish Highlands Autumn is special at Scotland's historic (and newly hipsterfied) golfing hotel. Guests who book a round on one of the three championship courses can expect dramatic scenery, as the estate's trees turn rusty red and the Ochil Hills glow gold. Heather-clad mountains and crisp country air are the perfect backdrop to the raft of country pursuits at the 'Glorious Playground', from clay shooting and horse riding to spending time at the estate's gundog training school.  Guests who book a round of golf on one of the three championship courses at Gleneagles can expect dramatic scenery After romping around the estate, guests can sip on a warming signature whisky cocktail sprinkled with gunpowder from the shooting school in the cosy, freshly renovated Century Bar, complete with the kind of scarlet cuddle chairs that wouldn't be out of place in a cover shoot for Vogue. Afternoon tea in the Glendevon room, with its antique silver tea sets on loan from the British Museum and  floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the glens, is also the ideal place to take in frost-glazed views of the glens as winter draws in. Read the full review: Gleneagles, Scottish Highlands • The best castle hotels in Scotland A post shared by Gleneagles (@thegleneagleshotel) on Oct 26, 2016 at 4:03am PDT Cliveden, Berkshire In autumn, the grounds of Britain's most infamous country house hotel are aglow with copper colours. Guests should head for The Water Garden first, with its Chinese Golden Rain Tree, and yellow and red sweetgums; the radiant ancient Gingko Biloba trees also give a glimpse of autumn 200 million years ago. The surrounding woodlands, with their hazel beech trees, offer bracing longer walks. It's all about the stupendous sloping views down to the Thames Valley, a fat silver tongue of river punctuated by saffron hills and reddening foliage. In autumn, the grounds of Britain's most infamous country house hotel are aglow with copper colours The later months of the year may get nippy, but it's worth braving a dip in the swimming pool where model Christine Keeler first met Secretary of State for war John Profumo in July 1961, sparking an affair that would bring down a government. Bagging a seat by the window in the Library bar with views of the parterre is also recommended. Order a Profumo hibisco-infused champagne cocktail. Appropriately, it’s rather fruity with a very bitter aftertaste.  Read the full review: Cliveden, Berkshire • The best spa hotels for couples in Britain Gravetye Manor, West Sussex Gravetye Manor is an almost implausible phantasm of loveliness — a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream floating in the spicy vapours of roses and azaleas. Although the property is best known for its tulips in spring, autumn brings magenta dahlias galore, apple orchard harvests, red hot poker plants and a showstopping efflorescence of burning bushes. Gravetye Manor is an almost implausible phantasm of loveliness There's a packed schedule of events for the green-fingered from October through to Christmas, from a tulips masterclass with Anna Pavord to autumn flower workshops and a special Guy Fawkes dinner. Speaking of food, this autumn is also the final chance to enjoy the hotel's outstanding Michelin-starred restaurant before it closes in January 2018 (a new restaurant overlooking the flower garden will open in May next year). Expect home-grown apples with caramelised white chocolate mousse on the dessert menu, and figs from the kitchen garden plated with smoked venison. Read the full review: Gravetye Manor, West Sussex • The best Lake District hotels for walkers A post shared by Gravetye Manor (@gravetyemanor) on Sep 17, 2017 at 4:38am PDT Horn of Plenty, Devon This mid-Victorian house makes a stirring autumn getaway, with its views of River Tamar cloaked in bronze-leafed trees and vestiges of 19th-century copper mines poking through the amber foliage. Bag a room with a balcony overlooking the valley, which inspired painter JMW Turner in all its sepia splendour. Other rooms have vistas of the Devon and Cornwall countryside. At the Horn of Plenty, bag a room with a balcony overlooking the valley It makes a cracking weekend foodie break, thanks to its 2AA restaurant with more of those valley views, and menu emphasising delicious game, from wood pigeon with blackberries and fig jam to Cornish wild rabbit with garden sage and nasturtium. On milder autumn days, opt for afternoon tea on the patio overlooking meadows and hills (still startlingly green in September). Read the full review: Horn of Plenty, Devon • The best pubs with rooms in England Hotel Endsleigh, Devon Worth a fall-time jolly if only for the chance to read Devonshire poets (Tennyson, who had a house in the county, perhaps?) on the chaise longue, with its rousing russet colours and vistas of the River Tamar. Visitors may not be guaranteed a glance of owner Alex Polizzi, Channel 5's Hotel Inspector, but at least 108 acres of flaming woodlands, follies and grottos are assured.  Hotel Endsleigh is worth a fall-time jolly if only for the chance to read Devonshire poets on the chaise longue The evenings may be drawing in, but the expansive gardens at Hotel Endsleigh offer new delights, from swelling red berries in thick clutches of bushes to glowing yellow shrubbery, scurrying squirrels, and flowers exploding into a final bloom. In the restaurant, Devonshire ingredients are served with an Italian twist and incredible views of the parterre. If money is no object, it's got to be the thatched gatekeepers lodge suite with own private garden for an overnight stay. Read the full review: Hotel Endsleigh, Devon • Britain's cosiest hotels for autumn A post shared by Hotel Endsleigh (@hotelendsleigh) on Nov 5, 2016 at 2:42am PDT Lucknam Park, Wiltshire This estate – home to one of the country's finest hotel stables in the country – comes into its own in autumn. Horse riding through the 500 acres of beech trees and lavender gardens that flower well into the later months of the year is a must. The one-hour instructional hacks are a fantastic way for even inexperienced riders to explore the colours of the surrounding Cotswolds countryside in fall. Spa-seekers at Lucknam Park will appreciate the spanking new ESPA wellness centre with autumnal views Spa-seekers will appreciate the spanking new ESPA wellness centre. The indoor pool, hot tub, and open-air saltwater pool are the perfect places take in the chestnut and pop-green colours of the rolling gardens. Book a table by the window at Restaurant Hywel Jones (complete with cheese trolley!) and reserve a Parkland room for maximum exposure to those bronzen bucolic views. Read the full review: Lucknam Park, Wiltshire • The best spa hotels in the south of England Four Seasons Hampshire, Winchester  Country pursuits is a notable strong point at this supremely sexy hotel estate. This year it's all about the zip wire (think Tough Mudder meets Downton Abbey), complete with parachute simulator ominously named Power Fan, offering – shall we say – stirring views of the red-and-yellow canopy below.  Autumn at Four Seasons is all about country pursuits to a backdrop of browning fields and irridescent orange trees Clay pigeon shooting, falconry and fishing offer yet more opportunities to be out and about enjoying the backdrop of browning fields and irridescent orange trees. Even entry-level rooms have garden and estate views – though the very best autumn vistas are the preserve of the Park Suites. The spa's heated open-air vitality pool, hemmed in by radiant trees and shrubs, is also a cosy vantage point from which to soak in the colours of the fall.  Read the full review: Four Seasons Hampshire, Winchester • The most amazing hotel experiences in Britain Llangoed Hall, Powys What a vision Llangoed Hall is in autumn, with its turmeric-hued meadows leading down to the River Wye, and moody Black Mountains looming behind. The hotel's handsome 17-acre gardens, which are ablaze with wild flowers as Christmas approaches, also have a mini farm with chickens, ducks, quail, a kitchen garden and a smokery to explore. Master Suites have the best views, which can be enjoyed from a four-poster bed, glass of sherry in hand. What a vision Llangoed Hall is in autumn, with its turmeric-hued meadows leading down to the River Wye  A candlelit tasting menu showcasing the hotel's autumn produce is a must; tables by the windows in the restaurant have glorious estate views. Master Suites have the best vistas, which can be enjoyed from a four-poster bed, glass of sherry in hand.  Read the full review: Llangoed Hall, Powys

The best hotels in Britain for autumn colours

Autumn is a splendid time to visit Britain's finest hotel gardens: think carpets of crisp leaves, pumpkin gardens, apple orchards, russet-coloured forests and saffron hills. Here are a selection of the best hotels for autumn colours, where vibrant views can be enjoyed on heart-racing estate zip wires, from four-poster beds with a glass of sherry, in outdoor infinity spa pools or simply on a walk around the grounds. Barnsley House Hotel, Cotswolds It's home to one of the most splendid hotel gardens in Britain, and in autumn it's all about the Laburnum Walk with its trees that resemble yellow rain. There's also an ornamental fruit and vegetable garden, which bears huge and delicious apples as winter approaches. On milder days, The Potager restaurant's doors and windows onto the grounds are thrown open, and a resident robin even pops in from time to time. Autumn at Barnsley House Hotel is all about the Laburnum Walk with its trees that resemble yellow rain  The spa with outdoor hydrotherapy pool and glass-walled relaxation room offers more of those cracking garden views – think carpets of giant fallen maple leaves; scarlet spindle; and white autumn flowering snowdrops. Deluxe garden rooms have bathrooms with double tubs overlooking the lawns.  Read the full review: Barnsley House Hotel, Cotswolds • The best hotel gardens in England Gleneagles, Scottish Highlands Autumn is special at Scotland's historic (and newly hipsterfied) golfing hotel. Guests who book a round on one of the three championship courses can expect dramatic scenery, as the estate's trees turn rusty red and the Ochil Hills glow gold. Heather-clad mountains and crisp country air are the perfect backdrop to the raft of country pursuits at the 'Glorious Playground', from clay shooting and horse riding to spending time at the estate's gundog training school.  Guests who book a round of golf on one of the three championship courses at Gleneagles can expect dramatic scenery After romping around the estate, guests can sip on a warming signature whisky cocktail sprinkled with gunpowder from the shooting school in the cosy, freshly renovated Century Bar, complete with the kind of scarlet cuddle chairs that wouldn't be out of place in a cover shoot for Vogue. Afternoon tea in the Glendevon room, with its antique silver tea sets on loan from the British Museum and  floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the glens, is also the ideal place to take in frost-glazed views of the glens as winter draws in. Read the full review: Gleneagles, Scottish Highlands • The best castle hotels in Scotland A post shared by Gleneagles (@thegleneagleshotel) on Oct 26, 2016 at 4:03am PDT Cliveden, Berkshire In autumn, the grounds of Britain's most infamous country house hotel are aglow with copper colours. Guests should head for The Water Garden first, with its Chinese Golden Rain Tree, and yellow and red sweetgums; the radiant ancient Gingko Biloba trees also give a glimpse of autumn 200 million years ago. The surrounding woodlands, with their hazel beech trees, offer bracing longer walks. It's all about the stupendous sloping views down to the Thames Valley, a fat silver tongue of river punctuated by saffron hills and reddening foliage. In autumn, the grounds of Britain's most infamous country house hotel are aglow with copper colours The later months of the year may get nippy, but it's worth braving a dip in the swimming pool where model Christine Keeler first met Secretary of State for war John Profumo in July 1961, sparking an affair that would bring down a government. Bagging a seat by the window in the Library bar with views of the parterre is also recommended. Order a Profumo hibisco-infused champagne cocktail. Appropriately, it’s rather fruity with a very bitter aftertaste.  Read the full review: Cliveden, Berkshire • The best spa hotels for couples in Britain Gravetye Manor, West Sussex Gravetye Manor is an almost implausible phantasm of loveliness — a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream floating in the spicy vapours of roses and azaleas. Although the property is best known for its tulips in spring, autumn brings magenta dahlias galore, apple orchard harvests, red hot poker plants and a showstopping efflorescence of burning bushes. Gravetye Manor is an almost implausible phantasm of loveliness There's a packed schedule of events for the green-fingered from October through to Christmas, from a tulips masterclass with Anna Pavord to autumn flower workshops and a special Guy Fawkes dinner. Speaking of food, this autumn is also the final chance to enjoy the hotel's outstanding Michelin-starred restaurant before it closes in January 2018 (a new restaurant overlooking the flower garden will open in May next year). Expect home-grown apples with caramelised white chocolate mousse on the dessert menu, and figs from the kitchen garden plated with smoked venison. Read the full review: Gravetye Manor, West Sussex • The best Lake District hotels for walkers A post shared by Gravetye Manor (@gravetyemanor) on Sep 17, 2017 at 4:38am PDT Horn of Plenty, Devon This mid-Victorian house makes a stirring autumn getaway, with its views of River Tamar cloaked in bronze-leafed trees and vestiges of 19th-century copper mines poking through the amber foliage. Bag a room with a balcony overlooking the valley, which inspired painter JMW Turner in all its sepia splendour. Other rooms have vistas of the Devon and Cornwall countryside. At the Horn of Plenty, bag a room with a balcony overlooking the valley It makes a cracking weekend foodie break, thanks to its 2AA restaurant with more of those valley views, and menu emphasising delicious game, from wood pigeon with blackberries and fig jam to Cornish wild rabbit with garden sage and nasturtium. On milder autumn days, opt for afternoon tea on the patio overlooking meadows and hills (still startlingly green in September). Read the full review: Horn of Plenty, Devon • The best pubs with rooms in England Hotel Endsleigh, Devon Worth a fall-time jolly if only for the chance to read Devonshire poets (Tennyson, who had a house in the county, perhaps?) on the chaise longue, with its rousing russet colours and vistas of the River Tamar. Visitors may not be guaranteed a glance of owner Alex Polizzi, Channel 5's Hotel Inspector, but at least 108 acres of flaming woodlands, follies and grottos are assured.  Hotel Endsleigh is worth a fall-time jolly if only for the chance to read Devonshire poets on the chaise longue The evenings may be drawing in, but the expansive gardens at Hotel Endsleigh offer new delights, from swelling red berries in thick clutches of bushes to glowing yellow shrubbery, scurrying squirrels, and flowers exploding into a final bloom. In the restaurant, Devonshire ingredients are served with an Italian twist and incredible views of the parterre. If money is no object, it's got to be the thatched gatekeepers lodge suite with own private garden for an overnight stay. Read the full review: Hotel Endsleigh, Devon • Britain's cosiest hotels for autumn A post shared by Hotel Endsleigh (@hotelendsleigh) on Nov 5, 2016 at 2:42am PDT Lucknam Park, Wiltshire This estate – home to one of the country's finest hotel stables in the country – comes into its own in autumn. Horse riding through the 500 acres of beech trees and lavender gardens that flower well into the later months of the year is a must. The one-hour instructional hacks are a fantastic way for even inexperienced riders to explore the colours of the surrounding Cotswolds countryside in fall. Spa-seekers at Lucknam Park will appreciate the spanking new ESPA wellness centre with autumnal views Spa-seekers will appreciate the spanking new ESPA wellness centre. The indoor pool, hot tub, and open-air saltwater pool are the perfect places take in the chestnut and pop-green colours of the rolling gardens. Book a table by the window at Restaurant Hywel Jones (complete with cheese trolley!) and reserve a Parkland room for maximum exposure to those bronzen bucolic views. Read the full review: Lucknam Park, Wiltshire • The best spa hotels in the south of England Four Seasons Hampshire, Winchester  Country pursuits is a notable strong point at this supremely sexy hotel estate. This year it's all about the zip wire (think Tough Mudder meets Downton Abbey), complete with parachute simulator ominously named Power Fan, offering – shall we say – stirring views of the red-and-yellow canopy below.  Autumn at Four Seasons is all about country pursuits to a backdrop of browning fields and irridescent orange trees Clay pigeon shooting, falconry and fishing offer yet more opportunities to be out and about enjoying the backdrop of browning fields and irridescent orange trees. Even entry-level rooms have garden and estate views – though the very best autumn vistas are the preserve of the Park Suites. The spa's heated open-air vitality pool, hemmed in by radiant trees and shrubs, is also a cosy vantage point from which to soak in the colours of the fall.  Read the full review: Four Seasons Hampshire, Winchester • The most amazing hotel experiences in Britain Llangoed Hall, Powys What a vision Llangoed Hall is in autumn, with its turmeric-hued meadows leading down to the River Wye, and moody Black Mountains looming behind. The hotel's handsome 17-acre gardens, which are ablaze with wild flowers as Christmas approaches, also have a mini farm with chickens, ducks, quail, a kitchen garden and a smokery to explore. Master Suites have the best views, which can be enjoyed from a four-poster bed, glass of sherry in hand. What a vision Llangoed Hall is in autumn, with its turmeric-hued meadows leading down to the River Wye  A candlelit tasting menu showcasing the hotel's autumn produce is a must; tables by the windows in the restaurant have glorious estate views. Master Suites have the best vistas, which can be enjoyed from a four-poster bed, glass of sherry in hand.  Read the full review: Llangoed Hall, Powys

The best hotels in Britain for autumn colours

Autumn is a splendid time to visit Britain's finest hotel gardens: think carpets of crisp leaves, pumpkin gardens, apple orchards, russet-coloured forests and saffron hills. Here are a selection of the best hotels for autumn colours, where vibrant views can be enjoyed on heart-racing estate zip wires, from four-poster beds with a glass of sherry, in outdoor infinity spa pools or simply on a walk around the grounds. Barnsley House Hotel, Cotswolds It's home to one of the most splendid hotel gardens in Britain, and in autumn it's all about the Laburnum Walk with its trees that resemble yellow rain. There's also an ornamental fruit and vegetable garden, which bears huge and delicious apples as winter approaches. On milder days, The Potager restaurant's doors and windows onto the grounds are thrown open, and a resident robin even pops in from time to time. Autumn at Barnsley House Hotel is all about the Laburnum Walk with its trees that resemble yellow rain  The spa with outdoor hydrotherapy pool and glass-walled relaxation room offers more of those cracking garden views – think carpets of giant fallen maple leaves; scarlet spindle; and white autumn flowering snowdrops. Deluxe garden rooms have bathrooms with double tubs overlooking the lawns.  Read the full review: Barnsley House Hotel, Cotswolds • The best hotel gardens in England Gleneagles, Scottish Highlands Autumn is special at Scotland's historic (and newly hipsterfied) golfing hotel. Guests who book a round on one of the three championship courses can expect dramatic scenery, as the estate's trees turn rusty red and the Ochil Hills glow gold. Heather-clad mountains and crisp country air are the perfect backdrop to the raft of country pursuits at the 'Glorious Playground', from clay shooting and horse riding to spending time at the estate's gundog training school.  Guests who book a round of golf on one of the three championship courses at Gleneagles can expect dramatic scenery After romping around the estate, guests can sip on a warming signature whisky cocktail sprinkled with gunpowder from the shooting school in the cosy, freshly renovated Century Bar, complete with the kind of scarlet cuddle chairs that wouldn't be out of place in a cover shoot for Vogue. Afternoon tea in the Glendevon room, with its antique silver tea sets on loan from the British Museum and  floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the glens, is also the ideal place to take in frost-glazed views of the glens as winter draws in. Read the full review: Gleneagles, Scottish Highlands • The best castle hotels in Scotland A post shared by Gleneagles (@thegleneagleshotel) on Oct 26, 2016 at 4:03am PDT Cliveden, Berkshire In autumn, the grounds of Britain's most infamous country house hotel are aglow with copper colours. Guests should head for The Water Garden first, with its Chinese Golden Rain Tree, and yellow and red sweetgums; the radiant ancient Gingko Biloba trees also give a glimpse of autumn 200 million years ago. The surrounding woodlands, with their hazel beech trees, offer bracing longer walks. It's all about the stupendous sloping views down to the Thames Valley, a fat silver tongue of river punctuated by saffron hills and reddening foliage. In autumn, the grounds of Britain's most infamous country house hotel are aglow with copper colours The later months of the year may get nippy, but it's worth braving a dip in the swimming pool where model Christine Keeler first met Secretary of State for war John Profumo in July 1961, sparking an affair that would bring down a government. Bagging a seat by the window in the Library bar with views of the parterre is also recommended. Order a Profumo hibisco-infused champagne cocktail. Appropriately, it’s rather fruity with a very bitter aftertaste.  Read the full review: Cliveden, Berkshire • The best spa hotels for couples in Britain Gravetye Manor, West Sussex Gravetye Manor is an almost implausible phantasm of loveliness — a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream floating in the spicy vapours of roses and azaleas. Although the property is best known for its tulips in spring, autumn brings magenta dahlias galore, apple orchard harvests, red hot poker plants and a showstopping efflorescence of burning bushes. Gravetye Manor is an almost implausible phantasm of loveliness There's a packed schedule of events for the green-fingered from October through to Christmas, from a tulips masterclass with Anna Pavord to autumn flower workshops and a special Guy Fawkes dinner. Speaking of food, this autumn is also the final chance to enjoy the hotel's outstanding Michelin-starred restaurant before it closes in January 2018 (a new restaurant overlooking the flower garden will open in May next year). Expect home-grown apples with caramelised white chocolate mousse on the dessert menu, and figs from the kitchen garden plated with smoked venison. Read the full review: Gravetye Manor, West Sussex • The best Lake District hotels for walkers A post shared by Gravetye Manor (@gravetyemanor) on Sep 17, 2017 at 4:38am PDT Horn of Plenty, Devon This mid-Victorian house makes a stirring autumn getaway, with its views of River Tamar cloaked in bronze-leafed trees and vestiges of 19th-century copper mines poking through the amber foliage. Bag a room with a balcony overlooking the valley, which inspired painter JMW Turner in all its sepia splendour. Other rooms have vistas of the Devon and Cornwall countryside. At the Horn of Plenty, bag a room with a balcony overlooking the valley It makes a cracking weekend foodie break, thanks to its 2AA restaurant with more of those valley views, and menu emphasising delicious game, from wood pigeon with blackberries and fig jam to Cornish wild rabbit with garden sage and nasturtium. On milder autumn days, opt for afternoon tea on the patio overlooking meadows and hills (still startlingly green in September). Read the full review: Horn of Plenty, Devon • The best pubs with rooms in England Hotel Endsleigh, Devon Worth a fall-time jolly if only for the chance to read Devonshire poets (Tennyson, who had a house in the county, perhaps?) on the chaise longue, with its rousing russet colours and vistas of the River Tamar. Visitors may not be guaranteed a glance of owner Alex Polizzi, Channel 5's Hotel Inspector, but at least 108 acres of flaming woodlands, follies and grottos are assured.  Hotel Endsleigh is worth a fall-time jolly if only for the chance to read Devonshire poets on the chaise longue The evenings may be drawing in, but the expansive gardens at Hotel Endsleigh offer new delights, from swelling red berries in thick clutches of bushes to glowing yellow shrubbery, scurrying squirrels, and flowers exploding into a final bloom. In the restaurant, Devonshire ingredients are served with an Italian twist and incredible views of the parterre. If money is no object, it's got to be the thatched gatekeepers lodge suite with own private garden for an overnight stay. Read the full review: Hotel Endsleigh, Devon • Britain's cosiest hotels for autumn A post shared by Hotel Endsleigh (@hotelendsleigh) on Nov 5, 2016 at 2:42am PDT Lucknam Park, Wiltshire This estate – home to one of the country's finest hotel stables in the country – comes into its own in autumn. Horse riding through the 500 acres of beech trees and lavender gardens that flower well into the later months of the year is a must. The one-hour instructional hacks are a fantastic way for even inexperienced riders to explore the colours of the surrounding Cotswolds countryside in fall. Spa-seekers at Lucknam Park will appreciate the spanking new ESPA wellness centre with autumnal views Spa-seekers will appreciate the spanking new ESPA wellness centre. The indoor pool, hot tub, and open-air saltwater pool are the perfect places take in the chestnut and pop-green colours of the rolling gardens. Book a table by the window at Restaurant Hywel Jones (complete with cheese trolley!) and reserve a Parkland room for maximum exposure to those bronzen bucolic views. Read the full review: Lucknam Park, Wiltshire • The best spa hotels in the south of England Four Seasons Hampshire, Winchester  Country pursuits is a notable strong point at this supremely sexy hotel estate. This year it's all about the zip wire (think Tough Mudder meets Downton Abbey), complete with parachute simulator ominously named Power Fan, offering – shall we say – stirring views of the red-and-yellow canopy below.  Autumn at Four Seasons is all about country pursuits to a backdrop of browning fields and irridescent orange trees Clay pigeon shooting, falconry and fishing offer yet more opportunities to be out and about enjoying the backdrop of browning fields and irridescent orange trees. Even entry-level rooms have garden and estate views – though the very best autumn vistas are the preserve of the Park Suites. The spa's heated open-air vitality pool, hemmed in by radiant trees and shrubs, is also a cosy vantage point from which to soak in the colours of the fall.  Read the full review: Four Seasons Hampshire, Winchester • The most amazing hotel experiences in Britain Llangoed Hall, Powys What a vision Llangoed Hall is in autumn, with its turmeric-hued meadows leading down to the River Wye, and moody Black Mountains looming behind. The hotel's handsome 17-acre gardens, which are ablaze with wild flowers as Christmas approaches, also have a mini farm with chickens, ducks, quail, a kitchen garden and a smokery to explore. Master Suites have the best views, which can be enjoyed from a four-poster bed, glass of sherry in hand. What a vision Llangoed Hall is in autumn, with its turmeric-hued meadows leading down to the River Wye  A candlelit tasting menu showcasing the hotel's autumn produce is a must; tables by the windows in the restaurant have glorious estate views. Master Suites have the best vistas, which can be enjoyed from a four-poster bed, glass of sherry in hand.  Read the full review: Llangoed Hall, Powys

The best hotels in Britain for autumn colours

Autumn is a splendid time to visit Britain's finest hotel gardens: think carpets of crisp leaves, pumpkin gardens, apple orchards, russet-coloured forests and saffron hills. Here are a selection of the best hotels for autumn colours, where vibrant views can be enjoyed on heart-racing estate zip wires, from four-poster beds with a glass of sherry, in outdoor infinity spa pools or simply on a walk around the grounds. Barnsley House Hotel, Cotswolds It's home to one of the most splendid hotel gardens in Britain, and in autumn it's all about the Laburnum Walk with its trees that resemble yellow rain. There's also an ornamental fruit and vegetable garden, which bears huge and delicious apples as winter approaches. On milder days, The Potager restaurant's doors and windows onto the grounds are thrown open, and a resident robin even pops in from time to time. Autumn at Barnsley House Hotel is all about the Laburnum Walk with its trees that resemble yellow rain  The spa with outdoor hydrotherapy pool and glass-walled relaxation room offers more of those cracking garden views – think carpets of giant fallen maple leaves; scarlet spindle; and white autumn flowering snowdrops. Deluxe garden rooms have bathrooms with double tubs overlooking the lawns.  Read the full review: Barnsley House Hotel, Cotswolds • The best hotel gardens in England Gleneagles, Scottish Highlands Autumn is special at Scotland's historic (and newly hipsterfied) golfing hotel. Guests who book a round on one of the three championship courses can expect dramatic scenery, as the estate's trees turn rusty red and the Ochil Hills glow gold. Heather-clad mountains and crisp country air are the perfect backdrop to the raft of country pursuits at the 'Glorious Playground', from clay shooting and horse riding to spending time at the estate's gundog training school.  Guests who book a round of golf on one of the three championship courses at Gleneagles can expect dramatic scenery After romping around the estate, guests can sip on a warming signature whisky cocktail sprinkled with gunpowder from the shooting school in the cosy, freshly renovated Century Bar, complete with the kind of scarlet cuddle chairs that wouldn't be out of place in a cover shoot for Vogue. Afternoon tea in the Glendevon room, with its antique silver tea sets on loan from the British Museum and  floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the glens, is also the ideal place to take in frost-glazed views of the glens as winter draws in. Read the full review: Gleneagles, Scottish Highlands • The best castle hotels in Scotland A post shared by Gleneagles (@thegleneagleshotel) on Oct 26, 2016 at 4:03am PDT Cliveden, Berkshire In autumn, the grounds of Britain's most infamous country house hotel are aglow with copper colours. Guests should head for The Water Garden first, with its Chinese Golden Rain Tree, and yellow and red sweetgums; the radiant ancient Gingko Biloba trees also give a glimpse of autumn 200 million years ago. The surrounding woodlands, with their hazel beech trees, offer bracing longer walks. It's all about the stupendous sloping views down to the Thames Valley, a fat silver tongue of river punctuated by saffron hills and reddening foliage. In autumn, the grounds of Britain's most infamous country house hotel are aglow with copper colours The later months of the year may get nippy, but it's worth braving a dip in the swimming pool where model Christine Keeler first met Secretary of State for war John Profumo in July 1961, sparking an affair that would bring down a government. Bagging a seat by the window in the Library bar with views of the parterre is also recommended. Order a Profumo hibisco-infused champagne cocktail. Appropriately, it’s rather fruity with a very bitter aftertaste.  Read the full review: Cliveden, Berkshire • The best spa hotels for couples in Britain Gravetye Manor, West Sussex Gravetye Manor is an almost implausible phantasm of loveliness — a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream floating in the spicy vapours of roses and azaleas. Although the property is best known for its tulips in spring, autumn brings magenta dahlias galore, apple orchard harvests, red hot poker plants and a showstopping efflorescence of burning bushes. Gravetye Manor is an almost implausible phantasm of loveliness There's a packed schedule of events for the green-fingered from October through to Christmas, from a tulips masterclass with Anna Pavord to autumn flower workshops and a special Guy Fawkes dinner. Speaking of food, this autumn is also the final chance to enjoy the hotel's outstanding Michelin-starred restaurant before it closes in January 2018 (a new restaurant overlooking the flower garden will open in May next year). Expect home-grown apples with caramelised white chocolate mousse on the dessert menu, and figs from the kitchen garden plated with smoked venison. Read the full review: Gravetye Manor, West Sussex • The best Lake District hotels for walkers A post shared by Gravetye Manor (@gravetyemanor) on Sep 17, 2017 at 4:38am PDT Horn of Plenty, Devon This mid-Victorian house makes a stirring autumn getaway, with its views of River Tamar cloaked in bronze-leafed trees and vestiges of 19th-century copper mines poking through the amber foliage. Bag a room with a balcony overlooking the valley, which inspired painter JMW Turner in all its sepia splendour. Other rooms have vistas of the Devon and Cornwall countryside. At the Horn of Plenty, bag a room with a balcony overlooking the valley It makes a cracking weekend foodie break, thanks to its 2AA restaurant with more of those valley views, and menu emphasising delicious game, from wood pigeon with blackberries and fig jam to Cornish wild rabbit with garden sage and nasturtium. On milder autumn days, opt for afternoon tea on the patio overlooking meadows and hills (still startlingly green in September). Read the full review: Horn of Plenty, Devon • The best pubs with rooms in England Hotel Endsleigh, Devon Worth a fall-time jolly if only for the chance to read Devonshire poets (Tennyson, who had a house in the county, perhaps?) on the chaise longue, with its rousing russet colours and vistas of the River Tamar. Visitors may not be guaranteed a glance of owner Alex Polizzi, Channel 5's Hotel Inspector, but at least 108 acres of flaming woodlands, follies and grottos are assured.  Hotel Endsleigh is worth a fall-time jolly if only for the chance to read Devonshire poets on the chaise longue The evenings may be drawing in, but the expansive gardens at Hotel Endsleigh offer new delights, from swelling red berries in thick clutches of bushes to glowing yellow shrubbery, scurrying squirrels, and flowers exploding into a final bloom. In the restaurant, Devonshire ingredients are served with an Italian twist and incredible views of the parterre. If money is no object, it's got to be the thatched gatekeepers lodge suite with own private garden for an overnight stay. Read the full review: Hotel Endsleigh, Devon • Britain's cosiest hotels for autumn A post shared by Hotel Endsleigh (@hotelendsleigh) on Nov 5, 2016 at 2:42am PDT Lucknam Park, Wiltshire This estate – home to one of the country's finest hotel stables in the country – comes into its own in autumn. Horse riding through the 500 acres of beech trees and lavender gardens that flower well into the later months of the year is a must. The one-hour instructional hacks are a fantastic way for even inexperienced riders to explore the colours of the surrounding Cotswolds countryside in fall. Spa-seekers at Lucknam Park will appreciate the spanking new ESPA wellness centre with autumnal views Spa-seekers will appreciate the spanking new ESPA wellness centre. The indoor pool, hot tub, and open-air saltwater pool are the perfect places take in the chestnut and pop-green colours of the rolling gardens. Book a table by the window at Restaurant Hywel Jones (complete with cheese trolley!) and reserve a Parkland room for maximum exposure to those bronzen bucolic views. Read the full review: Lucknam Park, Wiltshire • The best spa hotels in the south of England Four Seasons Hampshire, Winchester  Country pursuits is a notable strong point at this supremely sexy hotel estate. This year it's all about the zip wire (think Tough Mudder meets Downton Abbey), complete with parachute simulator ominously named Power Fan, offering – shall we say – stirring views of the red-and-yellow canopy below.  Autumn at Four Seasons is all about country pursuits to a backdrop of browning fields and irridescent orange trees Clay pigeon shooting, falconry and fishing offer yet more opportunities to be out and about enjoying the backdrop of browning fields and irridescent orange trees. Even entry-level rooms have garden and estate views – though the very best autumn vistas are the preserve of the Park Suites. The spa's heated open-air vitality pool, hemmed in by radiant trees and shrubs, is also a cosy vantage point from which to soak in the colours of the fall.  Read the full review: Four Seasons Hampshire, Winchester • The most amazing hotel experiences in Britain Llangoed Hall, Powys What a vision Llangoed Hall is in autumn, with its turmeric-hued meadows leading down to the River Wye, and moody Black Mountains looming behind. The hotel's handsome 17-acre gardens, which are ablaze with wild flowers as Christmas approaches, also have a mini farm with chickens, ducks, quail, a kitchen garden and a smokery to explore. Master Suites have the best views, which can be enjoyed from a four-poster bed, glass of sherry in hand. What a vision Llangoed Hall is in autumn, with its turmeric-hued meadows leading down to the River Wye  A candlelit tasting menu showcasing the hotel's autumn produce is a must; tables by the windows in the restaurant have glorious estate views. Master Suites have the best vistas, which can be enjoyed from a four-poster bed, glass of sherry in hand.  Read the full review: Llangoed Hall, Powys

The best hotels in Britain for autumn colours

Autumn is a splendid time to visit Britain's finest hotel gardens: think carpets of crisp leaves, pumpkin gardens, apple orchards, russet-coloured forests and saffron hills. Here are a selection of the best hotels for autumn colours, where vibrant views can be enjoyed on heart-racing estate zip wires, from four-poster beds with a glass of sherry, in outdoor infinity spa pools or simply on a walk around the grounds. Barnsley House Hotel, Cotswolds It's home to one of the most splendid hotel gardens in Britain, and in autumn it's all about the Laburnum Walk with its trees that resemble yellow rain. There's also an ornamental fruit and vegetable garden, which bears huge and delicious apples as winter approaches. On milder days, The Potager restaurant's doors and windows onto the grounds are thrown open, and a resident robin even pops in from time to time. Autumn at Barnsley House Hotel is all about the Laburnum Walk with its trees that resemble yellow rain  The spa with outdoor hydrotherapy pool and glass-walled relaxation room offers more of those cracking garden views – think carpets of giant fallen maple leaves; scarlet spindle; and white autumn flowering snowdrops. Deluxe garden rooms have bathrooms with double tubs overlooking the lawns.  Read the full review: Barnsley House Hotel, Cotswolds • The best hotel gardens in England Gleneagles, Scottish Highlands Autumn is special at Scotland's historic (and newly hipsterfied) golfing hotel. Guests who book a round on one of the three championship courses can expect dramatic scenery, as the estate's trees turn rusty red and the Ochil Hills glow gold. Heather-clad mountains and crisp country air are the perfect backdrop to the raft of country pursuits at the 'Glorious Playground', from clay shooting and horse riding to spending time at the estate's gundog training school.  Guests who book a round of golf on one of the three championship courses at Gleneagles can expect dramatic scenery After romping around the estate, guests can sip on a warming signature whisky cocktail sprinkled with gunpowder from the shooting school in the cosy, freshly renovated Century Bar, complete with the kind of scarlet cuddle chairs that wouldn't be out of place in a cover shoot for Vogue. Afternoon tea in the Glendevon room, with its antique silver tea sets on loan from the British Museum and  floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the glens, is also the ideal place to take in frost-glazed views of the glens as winter draws in. Read the full review: Gleneagles, Scottish Highlands • The best castle hotels in Scotland A post shared by Gleneagles (@thegleneagleshotel) on Oct 26, 2016 at 4:03am PDT Cliveden, Berkshire In autumn, the grounds of Britain's most infamous country house hotel are aglow with copper colours. Guests should head for The Water Garden first, with its Chinese Golden Rain Tree, and yellow and red sweetgums; the radiant ancient Gingko Biloba trees also give a glimpse of autumn 200 million years ago. The surrounding woodlands, with their hazel beech trees, offer bracing longer walks. It's all about the stupendous sloping views down to the Thames Valley, a fat silver tongue of river punctuated by saffron hills and reddening foliage. In autumn, the grounds of Britain's most infamous country house hotel are aglow with copper colours The later months of the year may get nippy, but it's worth braving a dip in the swimming pool where model Christine Keeler first met Secretary of State for war John Profumo in July 1961, sparking an affair that would bring down a government. Bagging a seat by the window in the Library bar with views of the parterre is also recommended. Order a Profumo hibisco-infused champagne cocktail. Appropriately, it’s rather fruity with a very bitter aftertaste.  Read the full review: Cliveden, Berkshire • The best spa hotels for couples in Britain Gravetye Manor, West Sussex Gravetye Manor is an almost implausible phantasm of loveliness — a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream floating in the spicy vapours of roses and azaleas. Although the property is best known for its tulips in spring, autumn brings magenta dahlias galore, apple orchard harvests, red hot poker plants and a showstopping efflorescence of burning bushes. Gravetye Manor is an almost implausible phantasm of loveliness There's a packed schedule of events for the green-fingered from October through to Christmas, from a tulips masterclass with Anna Pavord to autumn flower workshops and a special Guy Fawkes dinner. Speaking of food, this autumn is also the final chance to enjoy the hotel's outstanding Michelin-starred restaurant before it closes in January 2018 (a new restaurant overlooking the flower garden will open in May next year). Expect home-grown apples with caramelised white chocolate mousse on the dessert menu, and figs from the kitchen garden plated with smoked venison. Read the full review: Gravetye Manor, West Sussex • The best Lake District hotels for walkers A post shared by Gravetye Manor (@gravetyemanor) on Sep 17, 2017 at 4:38am PDT Horn of Plenty, Devon This mid-Victorian house makes a stirring autumn getaway, with its views of River Tamar cloaked in bronze-leafed trees and vestiges of 19th-century copper mines poking through the amber foliage. Bag a room with a balcony overlooking the valley, which inspired painter JMW Turner in all its sepia splendour. Other rooms have vistas of the Devon and Cornwall countryside. At the Horn of Plenty, bag a room with a balcony overlooking the valley It makes a cracking weekend foodie break, thanks to its 2AA restaurant with more of those valley views, and menu emphasising delicious game, from wood pigeon with blackberries and fig jam to Cornish wild rabbit with garden sage and nasturtium. On milder autumn days, opt for afternoon tea on the patio overlooking meadows and hills (still startlingly green in September). Read the full review: Horn of Plenty, Devon • The best pubs with rooms in England Hotel Endsleigh, Devon Worth a fall-time jolly if only for the chance to read Devonshire poets (Tennyson, who had a house in the county, perhaps?) on the chaise longue, with its rousing russet colours and vistas of the River Tamar. Visitors may not be guaranteed a glance of owner Alex Polizzi, Channel 5's Hotel Inspector, but at least 108 acres of flaming woodlands, follies and grottos are assured.  Hotel Endsleigh is worth a fall-time jolly if only for the chance to read Devonshire poets on the chaise longue The evenings may be drawing in, but the expansive gardens at Hotel Endsleigh offer new delights, from swelling red berries in thick clutches of bushes to glowing yellow shrubbery, scurrying squirrels, and flowers exploding into a final bloom. In the restaurant, Devonshire ingredients are served with an Italian twist and incredible views of the parterre. If money is no object, it's got to be the thatched gatekeepers lodge suite with own private garden for an overnight stay. Read the full review: Hotel Endsleigh, Devon • Britain's cosiest hotels for autumn A post shared by Hotel Endsleigh (@hotelendsleigh) on Nov 5, 2016 at 2:42am PDT Lucknam Park, Wiltshire This estate – home to one of the country's finest hotel stables in the country – comes into its own in autumn. Horse riding through the 500 acres of beech trees and lavender gardens that flower well into the later months of the year is a must. The one-hour instructional hacks are a fantastic way for even inexperienced riders to explore the colours of the surrounding Cotswolds countryside in fall. Spa-seekers at Lucknam Park will appreciate the spanking new ESPA wellness centre with autumnal views Spa-seekers will appreciate the spanking new ESPA wellness centre. The indoor pool, hot tub, and open-air saltwater pool are the perfect places take in the chestnut and pop-green colours of the rolling gardens. Book a table by the window at Restaurant Hywel Jones (complete with cheese trolley!) and reserve a Parkland room for maximum exposure to those bronzen bucolic views. Read the full review: Lucknam Park, Wiltshire • The best spa hotels in the south of England Four Seasons Hampshire, Winchester  Country pursuits is a notable strong point at this supremely sexy hotel estate. This year it's all about the zip wire (think Tough Mudder meets Downton Abbey), complete with parachute simulator ominously named Power Fan, offering – shall we say – stirring views of the red-and-yellow canopy below.  Autumn at Four Seasons is all about country pursuits to a backdrop of browning fields and irridescent orange trees Clay pigeon shooting, falconry and fishing offer yet more opportunities to be out and about enjoying the backdrop of browning fields and irridescent orange trees. Even entry-level rooms have garden and estate views – though the very best autumn vistas are the preserve of the Park Suites. The spa's heated open-air vitality pool, hemmed in by radiant trees and shrubs, is also a cosy vantage point from which to soak in the colours of the fall.  Read the full review: Four Seasons Hampshire, Winchester • The most amazing hotel experiences in Britain Llangoed Hall, Powys What a vision Llangoed Hall is in autumn, with its turmeric-hued meadows leading down to the River Wye, and moody Black Mountains looming behind. The hotel's handsome 17-acre gardens, which are ablaze with wild flowers as Christmas approaches, also have a mini farm with chickens, ducks, quail, a kitchen garden and a smokery to explore. Master Suites have the best views, which can be enjoyed from a four-poster bed, glass of sherry in hand. What a vision Llangoed Hall is in autumn, with its turmeric-hued meadows leading down to the River Wye  A candlelit tasting menu showcasing the hotel's autumn produce is a must; tables by the windows in the restaurant have glorious estate views. Master Suites have the best vistas, which can be enjoyed from a four-poster bed, glass of sherry in hand.  Read the full review: Llangoed Hall, Powys

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