Put a spring in your step with Elite Hotels…
Lighter evenings, warmer weather – and flowers and blossom a-plenty everywhere you look – can only mean one thing: spring is here! It’s time to get some dates in the diary and to make the most of the events taking place at Elite Hotels and close to their lovely locations, both in the country and at the seaside…
Based in the beautiful counties of Hampshire and East Sussex, Elite Hotels’ three historic properties offer inspiration for outings and are the perfect places to enjoy the best of the spring and early summer months for all the family:
Tylney Hall Hotel & Gardens, near Hook, in Hampshire, is a grand Victorian Grade II listed mansion packed with character and history, inside and out. An RHS Partner Garden, Tylney Hall boasts water gardens designed by Gertrude Jekyll, vast lawns, a glistening lake surrounded by snowdrops and daffodils, followed by magnolias, bluebells and rhododendrons – plus an avenue of very imposing redwood trees – which all vie for your attention. Explore alone, or book a guided tour with one of the gardening team. Adventurous children can, with supervision, climb the lower trunk of one of the redwoods. Huge red kites, with their 6-foot wingspan, swoop amidst the trees’ uppermost branches, which frame what is the longest uninterrupted vista in Hampshire. Spend the spring evenings exploring these magnificent gardens, and the days getting out and about nearby.
Pride & happiness
For Jane Austen fans, wonderful news! After significant restoration work, Jane Austen’s House in Chawton (just 14 miles from Tylney Hall) re-opens on 4 May 2022. Visit early for a fabulous preview over Easter weekend, 15 to 18 April, for a rare glimpse into Austen’s life and works (adult entry £12, children £5).
Building blocks of life (and art)
Brick by Brick, at the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery, in nearby Basingstoke (just 6 miles from Tylney Hall), presents an exciting display of artwork using LEGO® bricks. Appealing to art enthusiasts and LEGO® fans alike, several of the artworks have been created by internationally-recognised artists such as Ekow Nimako and Michael Brennand-Wood. Visitors can also make their own creations with a LEGO® wall. Taking place until 2 May 2022 (free entry).
Embark on an immersive adventure with Marwell Zoo (30 miles from Tylney Hall), which offers a world-first with an all-new collection of 55 dinosaur sculptures called BRICKOSAURS! Evolution. Showcasing over 20 dinosaur species made with more than 2 million toy bricks, visitors are transported back in time to get up close to an incredible seven-metre-long Spinosaurus, and a huge Mosasaur bursting out of the water. Children can also walk in the dinosaurs’ footsteps on the fossil trail. Until 4 September. Prices are £25 per adult, £21 per child.
Stay overnight at Tylney Hall Hotel & Gardens from £230 per room (two sharing), including dinner and full English breakfast. Call Tylney Hall on 01256 764881 (www.tylneyhall.co.uk) to book.
In East Sussex, Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club – a commanding country house mansion in the heart of the Ashdown Forest, and The Grand Hotel – one of Eastbourne’s most imposing seafront buildings – both offer lasting memories for children and adults, with some superb events both in its grounds (Ashdown Park) and in its local area (The Grand).
A hunger for nature
Join ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ at Kew Gardens’ Wakehurst Place this Easter. Based on Eric Carle’s adored book, children can live life as ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ and follow the interactive trail through the wild botanic garden (just eight miles from Ashdown Park Hotel). Enjoy a caterpillar picnic and go on a scavenger hunt. Prices from £14.95 per adult; children go free; until 24 April.
Get a flower fix this spring at nearby Borde Hill (12 miles from Ashdown Park Hotel), with its 17 acres of Edwardian garden established in the 1900s, boasting ribbons of bluebells and daffodils along with magnolias and camellias, the highlight of which is a horse-shoe-shaped azalea ring flowering in May. The perfect day out for horticultural enthusiasts, country lovers and families alike. Prices are £10.50 per adult, £7 per child.
Or try your hand at creating your very own vibrant spring hanging basket, at Ashdown Park Hotel’s Hanging Basket Masterclass with afternoon tea, which takes place on 25 and 26 May. Learn to make the most stunning hanging baskets for the garden and learn about the best flowers to use. £52.50pp.
Ashdown Park’s dog-friendly family break is fantastic for a Sussex exploration with your doggie family friend and the kids in tow. The break features an overnight stay with dinner, breakfast, goodie bag for the children, and use of the Country Club & Forest Spa with indoor pool, plus the extensive grounds, where you’ll discover charming enclaves around the estate and spot secretive deer and other wildlife whilst walking the dog. From £345 per room, per night (family of four sharing).
Back to the 1950s
A real showstopper for those who love the decade that really rocked, The Grand Hotel’s Spring Ladies Lunch has a fabulous fifties theme, with Champagne, a three-course lunch and a talk by guest speaker, Delia Taylor. Delia will take a fun look back at the decade that bought us rock ‘n’ roll greats such as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and Bill Haley, plus fashion & film icons Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. £40 pp, Monday 25 April at 12 noon.
To view the sights of Eastbourne from a different perspective, visit the beach right opposite the hotel to try out kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding with Buzz Active, and enjoy a leisurely taster morning or afternoon bobbing on the sea. Prices from £49.80 pp. Why not enjoy lunch or afternoon tea at the hotel afterwards, to round off your day nicely?
Spring by the Sea or in the Forest
The Grand Hotel Eastbourne and Ashdown Park Hotel are running a ‘Spring Offer’ until 31 May, prices start from £220 per room (two sharing), including full English breakfast and use of the health club. A 50% discount will be applied to a third night’s stay. Contact The Grand Hotel on 01323 412345 (www.grandeastbourne.com) or contact Ashdown Park Hotel on 01342 824988 (www.ashdownpark.com).
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