July 7, 2020 | Pride of Britain Hotels
With lockdown easing and most hotels re-opening in July, now is the time to escape and explore Britain’s most sublime spots, from rural countryside, lakeside and coastal locations to city-centre havens. Pride of Britain Hotels, a 50-strong collection of luxury hotels, has ideas-a-plenty for those hoping to holiday on home turf this summer; see the video for instant inspiration.
Breaks for foodies
Most of us are probably ready to have a break from home cooking. Be thoroughly indulged at Gravetye Manor, in deepest Sussex – book the all-inclusive two-night Renew at Gravetye break. From £1,288 per room/£644 pp (two sharing), it includes daily full English breakfast, alfresco lunch, cream tea and dinner. Spend time exploring the hotel’s 1,000 acres, which include a stunning wildflower meadow, two-acre walled vegetable garden – delivering the freshest of herbs, and much more, to the kitchen daily – and an orchard with 32 varieties of apple.
Wine lovers can book The Vineyard Experience, a two-night stay at The Vineyard near Newbury, Berkshire, from £995 total/£498 pp (two sharing), with breakfast, use of the spa, one three-course dinner and a seven-course dinner on the second night, complete with paired wines from the hotel’s extraordinary 30,000 bottle collection.
Grove of Narberth is tucked away in the Pembrokeshire countryside, close to the pretty market town of Narberth. The new Exceptional Gourmet Escape includes a five-course tasting menu by Executive Chef Douglas Balish in the elegant Fernery Restaurant, followed by an overnight stay in a tastefully-decorated bedroom and full Welsh breakfast, from £299 per room/£150 pp (two sharing).
Fresh from winning the BBC’s Great British Menu 2020, Niall Keating also achieved a second Michelin star in October for his innovative cooking in The Dining Room at Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, Wiltshire. The hotel is welcoming back guests with an overnight Michelin Star Experience from £504 per room/£252 pp (two sharing), including a chef’s menu for two, bottle of Gusbourne Brut NV, full English breakfast and use of the Aquarias Spa with indoor and outdoor hydro pools.
Enjoy a midweek Michelin-starred feast at five-star The Chester Grosvenor, located in the heart of historic Chester. From Tuesday to Thursday, Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor is offering guests a Midweek Michelin Treat, consisting of a tantalising eight-course tasting menu, overnight stay and full English breakfast from £159 per person (two sharing).
Yearning to explore the dramatic cliffs and little harbours of Durham’s Heritage Coast? Seaham Hall, a beautiful 21-suite Georgian building where Lord Byron was wed in 1815, sits atop the cliffs on this new section of the England Coast Path and is set in 37 acres of grounds, perfect for fresh air, walking, bike rides and relaxation. The four nights for the price of three break is £1,215 total/£608 pp (two sharing a junior suite), from 1st August until 27th September. Included are three-course dinners each evening, full English breakfast daily, use of the very spacious spa (when advice permits), a bottle of Taittinger champagne, afternoon tea on arrival and a picnic on a day of your choice – perfect for outings on foot or by pre-bookable bike (FOC). Subject to availability, this special offer can be taken from Sunday to Thursday.
Guests at Airds Hotel & Restaurant, near Oban, can expect glistening seascapes, rugged mountain views and plenty of fresh air. The four-night Scottish Escape is £1,285 per room/£643 pp (two sharing) on a half-board basis, with gourmet dinners served in the 3 AA Rosette restaurant. Given the hotel’s location, expect delicious fresh seafood on the menu. Explore the nearby beaches and islands and spot seals and otters.
Swap the Côte d’Azur for Climping this summer at Bailiffscourt Hotel and Spa in West Sussex. The hotel was built in the 1930s using 13th century materials and many of its buildings have thatched roofs and sit in lavender-filled gardens. The hotel has a ‘travel less, stay longer’ offer – two-night stays are from £595 total/£298 pp, including breakfast (saving 15%), and discounts of up to 35% are available for seven-night stays.
The Hebridean Princess is a royal favourite – HM The Queen, no less, has booked her twice for family holidays. With just 30 elegant cabins – and 50 staff providing exceptional hospitality – the ship will be resuming its boutique cruises around remote Scottish isles from September. First to depart is the four-night Outer Isles and Smaller Isles cruise, on 4th September, priced £3,900 pp (two sharing), inclusive of all meals.
Outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts and more
Rules for swimming pool usage at hotels are likely to be relaxed in July; here are just some of the Pride of Britain Hotels with enviable outdoor pools. (See here for a full list of members with either indoor or outdoor pools.)
Frequented by Noel Coward in the 1920s and 30s and celebrating its 40th anniversary as a hotel this year, Hambleton Hall is welcoming guests back on 5th July. A one-night 40th anniversary stay, including an exquisite three-course dinner with coffee, full Hambleton breakfast and a Hambleton china mug to take home, is £475 per room/£238 pp (two sharing). The hotel overlooks Rutland Water – an idyllic spot for cycling and walking – and boasts gorgeous gardens with views from its outdoor pool to the huge body of water below; perfect for relaxing – or for keen bird watchers. Valid Sunday-Thursday until October 2020.
Wimbledon might be cancelled, but there still two pristine grass courts available to guests at Park House, Hotel & Spa, West Sussex. There is also an outdoor pool with sun loungers, spa, six-hole,18-tee golf course and a croquet lawn. A two-night stay this summer – with dinner, breakfast and a bottle of Champagne included – is £440 per room/£220 pp (two sharing).
Situated in the North Yorkshire market town of Helmsley, setting for the soon-to-be-launched film The Secret Garden, with Colin Firth and Julie Walters, Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa is offering a post-lockdown Three Day Retreat for £645 per room/£323 pp. Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast, a chilled bottle of fizz on arrival and use of the outdoor heated pool and spa are included. Valid Monday – Thursday.
Maison Talbooth, in the heart of Constable country, Essex, is a 19th century country house hotel with a large (heated year-round) outdoor pool, hot tub and pool house, tennis court and verdant lawned gardens. During July and August, the hotel is offering three-night stays for the price of two, from £600 per room/£300 pp (two sharing), including continental breakfast, arriving on Mondays or Thursdays.
Calcot & Spa, near Tetbury in the Cotswolds, is offering guests 20% off a two-night midweek break (Sunday to Thursday) with a complimentary upgrade*, use of the spa and outdoor swimming pool, valid from 8th July – 30th September, Sunday -Thursday (*subject to availability).
Middlethorpe Hall is a National Trust-owned William III country house hotel set in 20 acres of grounds, yet close enough to explore all that York has to offer. The hotel is offering four nights for the price of three once it reopens in July. Rooms are from £219 per room per night (two sharing), including full English breakfast.
The Edinburgh Festival may be cancelled this year, but there is still plenty to do in this lively city. The Dunstane Houses, a five-star Victorian town house located in Edinburgh’s West End (just 10 minutes’ walk from the castle), features 35 stylish bedrooms (some with copper baths and four-poster beds), an all-day dining restaurant and a cocktail bar with velvet Chesterfield sofas. The hotel’s four nights for the price of three ‘Edinburgh Escape’ package includes four nights’ B&B, a bottle of champagne, fruit and newspaper on arrival plus a useful road map of Scotland, from £672 per room/£336 pp (two sharing a luxury king room).
Head to Bath’s iconic Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa for a reviving Quintessentially British Getaway that includes two nights’ bed and breakfast in a Heritage room, a bottle of English sparkling wine, luxury chocolates, a complimentary room upgrade (subject to availability) and valet parking. The price is from £668 per room/£334 pp, valid 10th July – 30th September. Friday and Saturday nights incur a surcharge; quote PONQUIT when booking.
The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences is a five-star family-run hotel, perfectly situated opposite Green Park in Mayfair and boasting a striking exterior living wall of plants. Decorated with an eclectic collection of artworks and featuring an award-winning restaurant, Pride of Britain guests will enjoy a ‘welcome back treat’ when quoting POBWB – a complimentary upgrade and a bottle of champagne on arrival. An overnight stay costs from £331 per room/£166 pp (two sharing), including full English breakfast.
Reopening on 16th July, Ellenborough Park is a historic Cotswold manor house set in 90 acres of grounds and overlooking Cheltenham racecourse (complete with its own private entrance to the racecourse). The hotel features a three-AA Rosette restaurant, relaxing spa and The Horse Box, the hotel’s very own country pub. The ‘Lord and Lady Ellenborough’ overnight stay costs from £164 per room (two sharing), including full English breakfast. A discreet outdoor pool and easy access to Cheltenham’s attractive Montpellier shopping district, just a short drive from the hotel’s delightful Cleeve Hill location, complete the picture.
Lavish country estates
Set in 275 acres of countryside within Dartmoor National Park, a Summer Staycation at Bovey Castle includes an overnight stay in a Mews room with breakfast and a sparkling picnic-style Devon cream tea on arrival. The price is £339 per room/£170 pp (two sharing), and includes use of all facilities – a spa, its own deer park, woodland trails, tennis, crolf (a mix of golf and croquet) and off-road driving.
Rockliffe Hall sits on a 365-acre estate in County Durham – an area which inspired Alice in Wonderland’s creator, Lewis Carroll. The Be Our Guest package includes an overnight stay with full English breakfast in bed, a Champagne picnic for two, Mind therapy experience, use of the spa and wellness facilities, access to the whimsical Mischmasch children’s garden, tennis courts and nature trails, for £350 total/£175 pp (two sharing), valid Sunday to Friday (subject to availability).
Standing high above the dramatic Ayrshire coast in the south-west of Scotland, Glenapp Castle is a baronial pile complete with fairy-tale turrets, spacious oak-panelled rooms galore and a wide range of activities such as clay-pigeon shooting, falconry, tennis and croquet. It boasts its own boat for sea trips around the nearby island (separate charge). The hotel is welcoming guests back with a special four nights for the price of three package. The price of £825 total/£413 pp (two sharing) includes a Glenapp cream tea on arrival, four nights’ B&B, room upgrade (subject to availability) and full use of the spa.
Grantley Hall is a striking 17th century Palladian mansion close to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Its new Yorkshire Dales Escape includes seven nights’ B&B (two sharing a Deluxe room), complimentary upgrade (subject to availability), a couple’s spa treatment, one Grantley Hall picnic, a Yorkshire gift bag, tickets to nearby Fountains Abbey (founded in 1132), a £25 gift voucher for Betty’s Tea Rooms and a local guidebook. From £2,500 total/ £1,250 pp (two sharing); when booking, quote YORKSHIRE.
To book any of the above special relaunch breaks, please contact Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).