With the summer vacation season in full swing, it’s time to take advantage of the beautiful weather and head out into the countryside. When you find yourself with free notes and a blue sky above, sign up for a road trip at one of these beautiful hotels that boast nature trails, great food and spectacular views.
Both are within two hours by rail and taxi of London station, but could not feel further from the crush of commuters at Waterloo.
The Grove, Hertfordshire
Travel time: 20 minutes by train from Euston + 8 minutes by taxi
USP: Family friendly family home
It’s only 18 miles from London, but the Grade-II listed estate The Grove exudes arcadian charm with 300 acres of woodland, manicured lawns and a walled garden. Especially in the warmer months, the list of things to do ranges from camping to golf, tennis to horseback riding, busy families check into rooms with marble fireplaces and whirlpool baths and then they go out to burn off energy. When it’s time for a little pampering, the spa, partnered with Bamford, awaits with charming faces. In the evening, a deep breakfast Cloud 9 Party offers nine courses from hot air balloons in a permanent garden.
From £370, thegrove.co.uk
Pigs on the South Downs, West Sussex
Travel time: One hour and 20 minutes by train from Victoria + 8 minutes by taxi
USP: London-adjacent branch of the fab mini-chain
Chalky mountains, surrounding forests – South Downs National Park is a breath of fresh air that can reach the capital, and in its green surroundings, leaving the group of The Pig offers a weekend. Stylish accommodation is spread across a mix of country houses, stables and stylish ‘carriages’, like its sister hotels, all of which are designed for dining within 25 miles. Hire local bikes or paddle kayaks along the River Arun, or lace up your boots to walk the South Downs Way, looking for higgledy-piggledy pubs to keep you hydrated.
From £220, thepighotel.com
The Bower House, Warwickshire
Travel time: 1.5 hours by train from Paddington + 12 minute taxi
USP: Cotswolds pub with rooms
Craving a bit of Cotswolds romance? This restaurant with rooms in Shipston-on-Stour serves up Georgian originals and funky art. Dishes such as pork belly with gooseberries and white beans – or venison steak tartare – are reasons to reserve six rooms, complete with Scrabble, books and playing cards for rainy day fun. If the weather is playing ball, plan to explore the tea rooms, shops and church before taking a stroll along the River Stour – then head back home to continue the party.
From £155, bower. house
Port Hotel, East Sussex
Travel time: 1.5 hours by train from Victoria + 20 minutes walk
USP: Scandi-chic on the beach
With its Victorian pier, 1930s bandstand and shingle beach, Eastbourne is a fun seaside resort that comes into its own when the temperature rises. The Port Hotel has a sleek modern design, with rooms and studios boasting bright and pastel colors. Many rooms overlook the English Channel, and there are options to suit families and guests with pets. In chef Alex Burtenshaw’s restaurant the ingredients come from the fields and waters nearby, from Sussex wagyu to lobster.
From £95, porthotel.co.uk
The Three Horseshoes Batcombe, Somerset
Travel time: 1 hour and 40 minutes by train from Paddington + 16 minute taxi
USP: Foodie pub from a famous chef
It takes a long time to get to The Three Horseshoes – you can get here in less than two hours from Paddington – but this new pub with rooms from star chef Margot Henderson is well worth the trip. Located in the honey-stone village of Batcombe, north of modern Bruton, it has the old world atmosphere you’d expect in a local bar – low floors, low beams, roaring fires – but with food a few steps up. . It remains authentic, like rabbit pie or cured trout, but with high quality ingredients and a professional touch. When you are full, go up the stairs to the comfortable bedrooms, where guests can sleep.
From £220, thethreehorseshoesbatcombe.co.uk
Travel time: 45 minutes from Victoria + 8 minutes by taxi
USP: A well-known home with a creative flair
Former press house Lord Beaverbrook comes with many attractions – Victorian staircases and gilded oil paintings, 470 acres of woodland and beautiful gardens. But if you’re sick of the cookie-cutter vibe, Susie Atkinson and Nicola Harding’s interiors bring something new, with bright, colorful pictures and Gerhard Richter paintings that make Beaverbrook fun rather than irritating. . With a wide range of dining options from Japanese to pizza, there’s also an interesting crowd-pleaser in the food department.
From £505, beaverbrook.co.uk
Southampton Harbor Hotel & Spa, Hampshire
Travel time: 1 hour and 15 minutes from Waterloo + 10 minute taxi
USP: Today’s water escape
Sailing from the port of Southampton like a luxury cruise ship, this modern hotel is a quick escape when you want a weekend of quality life with your best friends. You can restart your last time on the 6thTh-On the rooftop of HarBAR, overlooking the yachts, before heading down to the Jetty’s seafront restaurant where chef Alex Aitken serves pasta and lobster ravioli (on sunny days, in the open-air terrace). The next day, there is a low-key spa on the train back home.
From £236, harbourhotels.co.uk
Wild Hare, Oxfordshire
Travel time: 1 hour 20 train from Paddington + 20 minute walk
USP: Fun from Daylesford
Nothing quite sounds like ‘rural idyll’ like Daylesford in the Cotswolds, yet the shopping center of Kingham can be reached in just over 90 minutes from Paddington. With exposed stone, bright white fabrics, four-posters made from birch trees and delightfully distressed wood, it ticks every bucolic box. The open-air restaurant buzzes with well-dressed people coming for weekend lunches, as saddle-roasted lamb and Lincolnshire poachers are fed with gusto. If you’re in the mood for some exploring, the ferry – that is, the Daylesford Organic farm shop – is half an hour’s walk away through the picturesque fields.
From £135, thewildrabbit.co.uk
Boys Hall, Kent
Travel time: 40 minutes by train from St Pancras + 5 minute taxi
USP: 17Th– reborn greatness
Opened in January, the refurbished Boys Hall in Kent yanks 17Th– Building a house so far. The bedrooms boast both antique dark wood paneling and new Roberts radios; The royal drawing rooms combine large antique fireplaces with modern fireplaces. In addition to the fine restaurant serving wood-grilled meat and sea bream, visitors come to take a variety of courses from painting to flower arranging. And the pub is set in a walled garden, which eliminates any need to go for a well-dragged pint.
From £180, boys-hall.com
Oakley Court, Berkshire
Time to travel: 25 minutes by train from Paddington + 10 minutes by taxi
USP: Gothic Revival opulence is cool
The Gothic facade of Oakley Court is very complex – it is a chaos of windows and windows, pitched roofs and stonework. But the wow factor is no longer there once you get inside. Thanks to a recent renovation from Eagle & Hodges, the Victorian-era style has been sold with a sofa bed and soft colors. Residencies from guest chefs such as Shimizu Akira or AKIRA ensure that the menu changes constantly in the various restaurants, while the lounges in the books offer smart food. Grab a map to explore the 35 acres of grounds, or take a cruise down the River Thames on a self-guided cruise.
From £295, oakleycourt.co.uk