September 9, 2015 | Pride of Britain Hotels
With Downton Abbey embarking on its final series on Sunday 20th September (ITV1, 9pm), why not head to a grand stately home or a lavish country house hotel for your own aristocratic experience? Here are just some of the options available with Pride of Britain Hotels:
Once home to Louis XVIII, the exiled King of France, and a training ground for British and American forces during the Second World War, Hartwell House in Buckinghamshire is steeped in history. Downton Abbey creator, Julian Fellowes, recently stayed at the breath-taking Grade I listed 17th century stately home which is set in 90 acres of gardens and lush parkland adorned with historic statues. A night’s stay at Hartwell House costs from £230 per room (two sharing), including full English breakfast and use of the spa.
Less than an hour north of London, Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire is a grand, Grade I listed mansion house hotel, with extensive Capability Brown-designed grounds which include formal gardens, a 50-acre lake, tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course and a spa housed in the former stable block. Inside, the bedrooms are beautifully furnished, as are the impressive state suites, some with four-poster beds, lavish drapes and fabrics, opulent furniture and magnificent chandeliers. A night’s stay at Luton Hoo costs from £280 per room (two sharing), including traditional English breakfast and full use of the spa facilities.
Situated in the spectacular Dartmoor National Park, Bovey Castle is a glamorous Devonshire retreat with sweeping views over the surrounding countryside. An ambitious refurbishment has recently transformed the hotel’s two restaurants: The Great Western fine dining restaurant now pays homage to the glamour of a bygone era and is named in tribute of the railway company which opened Bovey Castle in 1930, and the relaxed Smith’s Brasserie is named after the estate’s 19th century owner, WH Smith. With 63 luxurious bedrooms and 22 stylish self-catering lodges, the hotel also has an Art Deco-inspired spa, 18-hole golf course and a busy programme of activities ranging from falconry to cider and sloe gin-making.
A night’s stay at Bovey Castle costs from £160 per room (two sharing), on a room-only basis.
Middlethorpe Hall and Spa is a beautifully restored William III country house, overlooking 20 acres of manicured gardens. Owned by the National Trust, the hotel is particularly magical in autumn and winter with its roaring log fires and candlelit rooms amidst a backdrop of antiques and fine paintings. The spa houses an indoor swimming pool, spa bath, steam room, sauna and several beauty salons as well as a gym. A night’s stay at Middlethorpe Hall costs from £199 per room (two sharing), including full English breakfast.
Set in a 3,000 acre estate at the foot of the North Downs in Kent, Eastwell Manor was home to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s son, Prince Alfred, for 20 years and there are photographs in the manor house which show Queen Victoria visiting him there on many occasions. Today, it’s the ideal place for a relaxing break; enjoy a delicious afternoon tea in the panelled drawing room in front of the fire, stretch your legs in the formal rose gardens or indulge in some modern-day pampering in the spa. A night’s stay at Eastwell Manor costs from £160 per night (two sharing), including full English breakfast and full use of the spa facilities.
BOOKINGS: To book an overnight stay, and for the best available price, call Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).
The Pride of Britain collection of independent hotels spans the UK. Admission to the group is subject to each hotel successfully passing an anonymous overnight inspection and a ballot of the membership. The consortium is limited to a maximum of 50 hotels to guarantee quality and exclusivity.