The best country house hotels for an autumn mini-break

·9-min read
Photo credit: David Griffen Photography
Photo credit: David Griffen Photography

Autumn is the perfect season for a staycation, when you can get away from it all in a beautiful UK location and Britain's best country house hotels offer everything you need for a seasonal escape.

As the trees become ablaze with colour and the days become shorter (meaning more cosy hours by the fire), we wanted to bring you a little inspiration for a trip to the country, whether you're looking for ideas for a weekend away or a week-long stay.

Our pick of lovely country house hotels in the UK allow you to rest, indulge and enjoy a peaceful getaway without the hassle of airports.

These country house hotels offer a chance to see different parts of Britain's countryside, try delicious food and drinks and put your feet up in high-quality style.

Have a browse of the country house hotels we love this season and check out some of our offers for a discounted break.

Lucknam Park

Colerne, Wiltshire

Deep in the idyllic Wiltshire countryside, Lucknam Park is the perfect marriage of the classic and contemporary. Its handsome library, elegant sitting room, antique furniture and pretty English garden will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Regency drama, while the state-of-the-art spa and inventive Michelin-starred food let you know you’re still firmly in the 21st century.

Photo credit: Lucknam Park
Photo credit: Lucknam Park

You won’t need to stray far to enjoy yourself here, with a hot tub and open-air hydrotherapy pool, as well as tennis courts and riding stables on-site; and when you’re not feeling active, lounge around in the library with a cocktail, before heading into Restaurant Hywel Jones to feast on the likes of cured duck liver, roast diver scallops and Brecon lamb.

Check out our offer of two nights in a Country Room with dinner Restaurant Hywel Jones and the Brasserie, an afternoon tea for two, full English breakfasts, a spa treatment and spa access throughout your stay.

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Ragdale Hall

Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

One of the country’s top spa hotels, boasting a string of awards to its name, Ragdale Hall is the ultimate destination for a weekend of pampering, rest and restoration. From the landmark Rooftop Infinity Pool, with stunning views across the 13-acre Victorian estate, to its glittering mosaic Candle Pool, dramatic Waterfall Pool and Volcanic Salt Bath, the facilities here are guaranteed to leave an impression.

Photo credit: Ragdale Hall Spa
Photo credit: Ragdale Hall Spa

Book in for deep tissue massages, luxury manicures and pedicures, holistic facials and much more at this full-service spa hotel, with a highly trained, expert and friendly team to make sure your stay is perfect from start to finish. Visit in 2022 and you could even hang out with fellow Good Housekeeping readers, and hear a talk from our editorial team at our reader events.

Treat yourself to a two-night stay with Good Housekeeping, including two beauty treatments, full use of the facilities, all meals, a Clarins skincare consultation and a Clarins gift worth £34.

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Wivenhoe House

Wivenhoe, Essex

There’s a timeless English appeal to Wivenhoe House, with its carefully manicured lawns and opulent dining room, the ideal place to enjoy a classic afternoon tea or the wonderful flavours of the surrounding Essex and Suffolk countryside conjured into delicate contemporary dishes.

Photo credit: Wivenhoe House Hotel
Photo credit: Wivenhoe House Hotel

From your luxurious base you’re well positioned to explore the picturesque places dotted across this rural region, including Wivenhoe itself – a quaint quayside town with lovely old pubs by the water –Fingringhoe Wick nature park, Colchester and its Norman castle, plus Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and scenic Flatford Mill in Suffolk.

Spend two nights in a highest category Luxury Room, with a five-course dinner for two and glass of prosecco on one evening, an afternoon tea for two, plus a bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries in your room on arrival.

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Pennyhill Park

Bagshot, Surrey

There’s not one, not two… but eight pools at Pennyhill Park, an exquisite, sprawling ivy-clad spa hotel in leafy Surrey. From the moment you arrive at its 123 acres of gardens and woodland you’ll feel a world away from the stresses of every day life.

Photo credit: Booking.com
Photo credit: Booking.com

Indulgence is the name of the game here, whether you want to sip champagne in the hot tub, catch a film in the hotel’s cinema, or simply stay in your room all weekend – some of the suites even come with Jacuzzis. Pennyhill Park is a foodie paradise too; you can choose between artful dishes in Latymer, awarded a Michelin star this year, casual dining on Surrey produce in Hillfield, or lighter dishes in the spa’s very own restaurant and bar, Thermis.

Read our review of Pennyhill Park and book your stay.

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Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel

Windermere, Lake District

Sink into a steamy hot tub and soak up one of the Lake District’s most spectacular and iconic views. From Holbeck Ghyll’s terrace you’ll look out over the vast expanse of Lake Windermere and the dramatic mountain ranges behind it – when it comes to location, this country house hotel is hard to beat!

Photo credit: Booking.com
Photo credit: Booking.com

Housed in a beautiful Arts and Craft hunting lodge, the hotel’s rooms are furnished in classic style, with comfy armchairs to sink into, views across the lake, and a choice of a shower and bathtub in the ensuite to relax after a day’s exploring the Lake District’s inspiring scenery. The highlight, though, might be the 3-AA Rosette dining, with an eight-course tasting menu of beef tartar, scallops, chicken, lemon sole and lamb, alongside desserts, cheeses and bread and butter both made in-house.

Read our review of Holbeck Ghyll and book your stay.

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Ardanaiseig

Kilchrenan, Scottish Highlands

For a romantic getaway that’s truly remote, head to this magnificent manor house on the banks of Loch Awe – the clue’s in the name! From magical woodland walks, to afternoons snuggled up by the fire with a whisky in the fabulous drawing room, this secluded hotel offers a genuine slice of Highland life.

Photo credit: Booking.com
Photo credit: Booking.com

Head out among the 240-acre estate to spot wildlife, or borrow a boat and fishing rod and drift out on the loch for an afternoon, then return to the hotel in time to tuck into mouthwatering Scottish cuisine in the restaurant – think Isle of Mull scallops, Inverawe smoked salmon and Highland venison. And when darkness falls, step outside and gaze skywards for unforgettable views of the Milky Way undisturbed by light pollution – the nearest town is 22 miles away.

Read our review of Ardanaiseig and book your stay.

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Amberley Castle

Arundel, West Sussex

A stay at Amberley Castle in the South Downs is like stepping into a children’s book. Some parts of the hotel even date back to the 12th century, and inside you'll find suits of armour, open fireplaces and bedrooms with bags of original features.

Photo credit: Amberley Castle
Photo credit: Amberley Castle

Not only will you feel like a royal as you relax into a historic bedroom with armchair, fireplace and old wooden doors, but you’ll dine like one too, choosing from the seven-course tasting menu or three-course à la carte. The food is modern, creative and formal, so you can enjoy your evening as a special treat.

Read our review of Amberley Castle and book your stay.

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Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Restaurant

Evershot, Dorset

Summer Lodge in the pretty Dorset village of Evershot is the perfect alternative to a holiday abroad. Not only will the crisp Belgian linen, luxury toiletries and elegant furnishings make you feel pampered to perfection, but this country house hotel has such a wide range of facilities that you can enjoy loads of fun activities during your stay.

Photo credit: Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Restaurant
Photo credit: Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Restaurant

There’s plenty to do, from the all-weather tennis court, croquet lawn and bicycle rentals, to the pool, gym and spa - where you can take advantage of a full range of treatments. If you’re looking for an extra dose of relaxation, some private cottages include their very own hot tub.

Read our review of Summer Lodge and book your stay.

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The Bath Priory

Bath, Somerset

Tired of your own four walls and missing the inspirational architecture of Britain’s great cities? The Bath Priory, located just outside of the UNESCO Roman city of Bath, is the ideal getaway for soaking up the city while remaining safely tucked away in a quiet suburb.

Photo credit: David Griffen Photography
Photo credit: David Griffen Photography

Although the centre of Bath is only a leisurely 20-minute stroll from the hotel, The Bath Priory is a quiet haven nestled among four acres of award-winning gardens. The bedrooms are all individually designed, floral scents fill every space and the botanical theme continues into the spa - with L'Occitane products from Provence. Plus, the elegant light-filled restaurant is the perfect spot for afternoon tea.

Read our review of Bath Priory and book your stay.

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The Slaughters Manor House

Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire

The Slaughters Manor House in Lower Slaughter combines the classic and the modern, with its gorgeous old honey-stone exterior and stylish furnishings inside.

Photo credit: The Slaughters Manor House
Photo credit: The Slaughters Manor House

You’ll find pink suede bar chairs, antique maps and retro lamps in the ritzy cocktail bar, while the Billiards Room features teal wallpapers, leather Chesterfields and fabulous stucco ceilings - perfect for an after-dinner game of pool. The restaurant serves a seasonal menu with local Cotswold produce, and you can savour snacks and British classics at the trendy bar.

Read our review of The Slaughters Manor House and book your stay.

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Gidleigh Park

Chagford, Devon

Gidleigh Park in Devon’s Chagford boasts one of the best wine cellars in Britain. You can taste your favourites or try something new, getting cosy by the open fire in the Tudor-style living room. For outdoor pursuits, Dartmoor is perfect for hiking, cycling and horse-riding.

Photo credit: Adrian Houston
Photo credit: Adrian Houston

After you’ve worked up an appetite, you head to the country-house Pantry, where you can make your own tea, coffee or snacks without needing to ask anyone. For dinner, enjoy ingredients fresh from the estate, like veg from the kitchen garden and honeycomb from the apiary.

Read our review of Gidleigh Park and book your stay.

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You can see our full collection of country house hotels here


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