Intimate, serene and totally secluded from city life, the countryside is the ultimate spot to escape to for the weekend or simply for a change of setting. British remoteness is perhaps one of the most underrated – from the peaceful coast of Dorset to the charming rolling hills of the Cotswolds, it’s truly something else. From traditional to modern, quintessentially British to something daring, we carefully selected our top picks for the perfect weekend getaway – just in time for the upcoming spring months.
Heckfield Heath, Hampshire
Located at the heart of a 400-acre estate and housed in a beautifully restored Georgian family home, Heckfield Place celebrates countryside living. Centred around sustainability and forward-thinking, the hotel embraces its rural surroundings in every possible aspect and considers itself ‘a living place committed to building a self-sustaining relationship between the house and the land.’ With interiors flawlessly designed by Ben Thompson, who honoured the history of the spectacular house throughout, there’s no doubt that Heckfield has become known for its sustainable legacy. Each room pays tribute to the grandeur of the property through its use of natural materials and craftsmanship. Following biodynamic principles in the kitchen, at Heckfield the use of locally grown and fresh ingredients is stressed in both of its restaurants, where culinary director Skye Gyngell’s team prepare dishes that celebrate the seasons, setting and simplicity. Home Farm, Heckfield’s very own farm in the riches of the Hampshire landscape, is central to their sustainability belief and provides fresh produce, honey and flowers to the restaurants and rooms daily. Just an hour away from London, this hotel is everything and more one could want in a weekend getaway.
The Lygon Arms
Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, The Lygon Arms sits in a 14th century coaching inn to offer a retreat revolved around timeless elegance and quintessential British country living. Designed with the hotel’s rich history in mind, Tyack Architects Ltd. and Anita Rosato Interior Design brought their traditional yet eclectic touch to every single space within the building. Each of the 85 individually designed guest rooms and suites combines old world glamour with modern luxury to present an unforgettable experience. With accommodations named after famed past guests such as the John Byng Suite, the utmost attention has been given to reflect and reimagine the building’s incredible history. A traditional British-inspired restaurant and spa which is surrounded by three acres of divine Cotswolds scenery completes this spectacular retreat – there’s almost no reason to venture out. Situated in one of England’s most beautiful countryside villages, this hotel has it all.
When the guest list includes names such as Winston Churchill, President Roosevelt, George I and Charlie Chaplin, you can be certain it’s a must-visit hotel. The Cliveden House is just that – immersed in hundreds of years of history, the building sits around 376 acres of stunning National Trust formal gardens and parkland. Named after the prominent guests it hosted over the many years, each of the 48 bedrooms and suites provide a truly unique experience. Defining luxury accommodation, each room is filled with exquisite furnishings and antiques to perfectly resonate with the historic environment. Complete with an American-British restaurant that bases its dishes on the hotel’s diverse owners and residents, this one of a kind getaway in the heart of Berkshire honours its 350-year history in the most flawless manner. As the hotel puts it, ‘the iconic 17th Century stately home, and now one of the world’s finest luxury hotels, has played a pivotal role in British history for over three centuries.’ A definite winner in our books.
New Forest, Hampshire
A luxury boutique country house hotel set in the heart of the New Forest National Park, Lime Wood is an architectural triumph. Designed by Charles Morris and Ben Pentreath and with interiors by Martin Brudnizki and Susie Atkinson, the final result is a knockout retreat. Originally a hunting lodge in the 13th century, the original charm has been preserved in all 33 bedrooms, sitting rooms, library, courtyard bar, cellar, billiard room and The Scullery dining room to create an elusive and enticing balance with its modern additions. Inspired by the hotel’s lush green surroundings, local materials make up the interiors to perfectly complement the eclectic mix of antique and bespoke furnishings. Atkinson used inspiration from the location, decorating each room to present the perfect balance between contemporary and classic to exude a sense of effortless luxury throughout. To top it all off, the hotel’s very own indulgent spa, Herb House, pays tribute to the encompassing forest to offer the ultimate rejuvenating stay.