Take a road trip around Round & About land and stay at some of the best hotels in the area this summer
With summer around the corner there are holidays to plan, and while the temptation to go overseas is always strong, we’re heading towards the time of year when the UK is at its most beautiful and appealing. With each county offering its own unique charms, vistas and particular slant on hospitality, what could be better than a road trip across the seven R&A counties? From Berkshire to Buckinghamshire, Hampshire to Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex, here the Good Hotel Guide takes us on a roadtrip of some of their top hotels for UK staycations this summer.
Hotels in Berkshire
The regal heritage of Berkshire offers style, sophistication and convenience for those travelling around the UK, with lots of local attractions (not least, Windsor Castle), as well as pretty towns and villages to explore. Meanwhile, hotels in Berkshire add to the experience with their own unique characteristics.
This magnificent property has a reputation that precedes it. Architecturally awe-inspiring, and the former home of a Prince of Wales, two Dukes, an Earl, and the Viscounts Astor (not to mention Nancy Astor, wife of the second Viscount), it has also played host to a litany of famous guests, trysts and liaisons. It is little wonder that this is somewhere that attracts the good and the great – it is the pinnacle of luxury and excellence with five-star service, luxury spa facilities and award-winning restaurants, not to mention National Trust grounds to explore.
Hurley House, Hurley
A great base for those who fancy exploring the Chilterns, Hurley House is a stylish hotel and restaurant in a picturesque riverside village. Offering laid back luxury, it has nine rooms and suites with five-star service. Following an extensive refurbishment, the interiors are contemporary and offer attention to detail from tranquil colours to underfloor heating. There are also electric charge points in the car park. Food is a big part of the experience here, with outdoor terraces and BBQ grill in the summer, as well as an elegant restaurant and bar serving Japanese menu, featuring the freshest sushi in Berkshire alongside more traditional dishes.
Hotels in Buckinghamshire
Brimming with chocolate box villages and historic towns, Buckinghamshire is also a favourite destination with easy transport links, making travel easy and exploration enticing. Home to attractions like Bletchley Park and Stowe National Trust property, hotels in Buckinghamshire offer refined elegance and a warm welcome.
Hartwell House, Aylesbury
Once home to the exiled King Louis XVIII of France in the 19th century, Hartwell House is now part of the National Trust but there’s still something distinctly regal about it. Decadent and luxurious from the food to the rooms, the Jacobean property is also home to an adult-only spa and it has an iconic ballroom pool. Luxurious spa treatments from Aromatherapy Associates await for those in need of a little extra R&R. Choose to stay in suits with four-poster beds for an extra special experience, and for those travelling with four-legged friends, there are also dog-friendly suites in a converted 18th-century riding school. Dress formally for dinner and turn it into a stay to remember.
The Mash Inn, Radnage
The Mash Inn is a celebrated restaurant-with-rooms on a leafy back road in a scattered Chilterns village. Proprietor, Nick Mash, developed the retreat with the idea of helping guests to step back in time and reconnect with nature. As a result, the convivial 18th-century property is not only an enchanting combination of heritage style and contemporary comforts, but also has a unique and beautiful approach to food. Everything is authentic – for example, a wood-fired range forged by local ironmongers in the open kitchen. There are just four rooms above the restaurant and a further two in an annexe, all of which enjoy luxury features such as monsoon showers or hip baths and organic L:A Bruket toiletries. Dinner is a no-choice menu devised around the finest ingredients available on the night, courtesy of chef Tomas Topolar, who spends the day foraging, pickling, fermenting, curing and harvesting produce from the kitchen garden.
Hotels in Hampshire
Known for its New Forest ponies, national parks, stately homes and maritime history, Hampshire is an exceptional part of the UK to visit at any time of the year. Days can be spent hiking, exploring pretty villages or visiting two of Europe’s largest ports, Southampton and Portsmouth, with top attractions ranging from Queen Elizabeth Country Park to the resurrected Mary Rose. Hotels in Hampshire are also destinations in their own right – especially these two.
Chewton Glen, New Milton
A five-star country house hotel in Hampshire, combined with a celebrated spa, Chewton Glen is a quintessentially English escape with extra modern luxury. In addition to the rooms and suites in the main house (decorated in traditional style with sumptuous furnishings), the hotel has made use of its enchanting New Forest location by introducing treehouse suites. They allow you to wake amongst the treetops in decadent style, watch deer roam in the morning light and enjoy time and space to yourselves, all adding an extra layer of magic to your stay.
Montagu Arms, Beaulieu
A restaurant-with-rooms in the village on Beaulieu Water, the Montague Arms offers traditional architecture and contemporary hospitality. On the banks of the Beaulieu river on the edge of the New Forest, the wisteria-covered Victorian hotel is known for its food, offering both a fine-dining restaurant and a pub called Monty’s Inn. Many of the rooms overlook a Gertrude Jekyll-inspired garden, allowing you to wake and watch free-ranging ponies wander by. There are also dog-friendly, open-plan courtyard studios in the grounds, each with a private terrace, and there’s a general atmosphere of relaxation to ease you into your stay.
Hotels in Oxfordshire
Combining countryside with the beauty of Oxford itself, a trip to Oxfordshire is multifaceted. It would be remiss not to spend a little time in the collegiate city, exploring the world-famous university, the Ashmolean Museum and Bodleian Libraries. However there’s much to see beyond these hallowed streets, whether it’s shopping at the popular Bicester Village or exploring the grounds, the Baroque Blenheim Palace, or the hotels in Oxfordshire themselves.
The Feathered Nest, Chipping Norton
An 18th-century malthouse turned restaurant-with-rooms, The Feathered Nest sits proudly overlooking the Evenlode Valley. Combining modern hospitality, Adam Taylor’s gastropub-with-rooms is particularly well known for its food courtesy of Michelin-starred chef Matt Weedon. Alongside the luxury foodie experience however, the atmosphere is underpinned by an innately cosy vibe, complete with plenty of space for pint in the pub by a crackling fire and with live music in true pub style.
The Lamb Inn, Burford
In a quiet town on the River Windrush, The Lamb Inn has been welcoming guests since the 1750s. A weaver, cooper and chandler once occupied the 16-century cottages, and inside there are still lots of nods to that history around the property. The mullioned windows and log fireplace sit alongside beautiful interiors that envelope you as you walk in, and luxury touches such as homemade flapjacks and Molton Brown toiletries are ready and waiting in your room.
Hotels in Surrey
Known for its world-class golf courses, home to one of England’s largest vineyards, Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking (as well as lots of smaller vineyards), Bronze Age forts and pretty villages, Surrey is an enchanting place to add to your summer road trip. The hotels in Surrey also serve to enhance the experience exponentially.
Broadway Barn, Woking
A restored 200-year-old barn in a historic village, Broadway Barn is a B&B that takes the experience to the next level. Described as ‘Nigh on perfect’ by one reviewer, it’s a pretty property filled with characterful antiques and artwork as well as little luxuries. Each room has its own style, and all guests are welcomed with dressing gowns, slippers, flowers and home-made shortbread. Breakfast is served in a bright conservatory overlooking a walled garden, as you tuck into a feast of home-made breads, jams and granola, and house-recipe chipolatas.
Bingham Riverhouse, Richmond-upon-Thames
Overlooking the river in Richmond-Upon-Thames, Bingham Riverhouse combines the best of London with a sense of tranquillity and wellbeing. Spend time paddleboarding on the river or strolling to see the deer in Richmond Park, wake in stylish rooms and suites, and enjoy fine dining in a library lined with Penguin classics. Smart and sophisticated but welcoming at the same time, the Georgian house has a sense of theatre to it, with each room named after poems and verse dramas by Michael Field, nom de plume of two Victorian poets, Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper, who lived here until 1914. It’s a unique experience and definitely worth the visit.
Hotels in Wiltshire
Head towards the South West and Wiltshire welcomes you with open arms. Brimming with prehistoric monuments and beautiful countryside, the area is well known for its foodie expertise as well – all served with skill at Wiltshire’s hotels and inns.
Widbrook Grange, Bradford-on-Avon
This Georgian farmhouse is a treasure trove of interesting details. Filled with upcycled agricultural salvage, it’s all about heritage and character. Honouring the history of the property, the owners have turned vintage miscellanea like churns, handcarts, seed spreaders and weighing scales into part of the shabby chic decor. The dog-friendly hotel is both fashionable and welcoming, with friendly staff and tasty food. Explore the surrounding countryside by day and tuck into large portions of regional fare in the evening.
Lucknam Park, Chippenham
A Palladian mansion in 500 acres of parkland and gardens, Lucknam Park is grand and decadent – a real treat on your road trip. Arrive in style along a mile-long avenue of lime and beech trees and enter a world with its own arboretum and rose garden, horse riding, a luxury spa and more. Children are treated like mini VIPs with sports and pony rides, while adults enjoy the understated elegance. For meals, choose between chef Hywel Jones’s Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant and the informal contemporary brassiere.
Hotels in West Sussex
Spanning Adur, Arun, Chichester, Horsham, and Mid Sussex, as well as the boroughs of Crawley and Worthing, West Sussex is known for its natural beauty as well as its arts and musical heritage. A diverse place of country, coast and city sites, the hotels in Sussex reflect the area’s heritage and virtues.
Belle Tout Lighthouse, Eastbourne
A unique destination, Belle Tout Lighthouse is a former lighthouse situated at Beachy Head. Built in 1832 it was restored after WW2 and today, it stands proud on the clifftop. Guests wake to 360 degree views of the English Channel, the South Downs and the enigmatic Seven Sisters. Stay in a choice of rooms ranging from the Captain’s Cabin to Old England or Keeper’s Loft, enjoy dramatic sunsets, picnic suppers in the lounge and then ascent to the lantern to view the star-spangled sky.
Gravetye Manor, East Grinstead
A romantic Elizabethan manor house, Gravetye Manor sits deep in the countryside surrounded by 1,000 acres of historically important gardens. An exceptional destination with a fantastic reputation, the interiors both honour the heritage of the property whilst embracing the best of contemporary style. Food sees guests enjoy Michelin-starred menus with ingredients from the orchard and kitchen gardens as well as forged ingredients. The gardens are a treat to explore, overflowing with flowers and embracing both beauty as well as wild and natural gardening.