The best country house hotels for a rural mini-break

country house hotels
The best country hotels in the UKGleneagles, courtesy of the hotel

Winter is the perfect season for a cosy staycation, when you can get away from it all in a beautiful UK location - and the best country house hotels offer everything you need for a rural escape.

With the shorter days and more snuggly 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 break or a week-long stay.

We’re particularly blessed here in the UK with a range of historic country houses that have been lovingly converted into stylish hotels. Cosy yet elegant, a stay in one of these rural hotels is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors, with many set on or near beautiful national parks, and within stately homes with idyllic gardens.

For those looking to relax, our pick of lovely country house hotels in the UK allow you to rest, indulge and enjoy a peaceful getaway without the hassle of airport queues.

They offer a chance to see different parts of Britain's countryside, try delicious food and drink, 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, too.

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.

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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.

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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.

ragdale hall offers
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 2023 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 £37.

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Mosborough Hall Hotel

Mosborough, Sheffield

You’ll find Mosborough Hall Hotel a short drive from both the lively city of Sheffield and the heather-clad hills of the Peak District, making it a wonderful hotel base for a break that combines town and country.

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www.mkiphoto.com

The hotel is in an artfully restored 12th-century manor house with graceful interiors and an acclaimed restaurant. There are pretty gardens here for leisurely strolls, perfect for dog walks if you're bringing your four-legged friend. The renowned gardens at Chatsworth House are also nearby or take your pick from other grand residences including Renishaw Hall & Gardens, Haddon Hall, and Tissington Hall.

With our two-night offer you full English breakfast on both mornings and a three-course dinner with wine pairings.

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Mallory Court

Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

Located on the outskirts of the historic Royal Leamington Spa and in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside, Mallory Court is a wonderfully grand Lutyens-style house with a three AA Rosette restaurant and a serene Elan Spa.

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Great Little Breaks

A highlight of any stay at Mallory Court is sure to be a meal in The Dining Room at The Manor House, the hotel's celebrated restaurant. Here, you can enjoy a five-course 'Taste of this Season' menu with dishes like loin of Balmoral venison and roast Cornish cod.

With our offer you’ll stay one night at Mallory Court with a five-course tasting menu and an upgrade to Classic Room.

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The Wood Norton

Evesham, Worcestershire

Check in at The Wood Norton in the leafy Worcestershire countryside and you can sleep in converted stables that once housed giraffes and zebras owned by the eccentric former owner, Prince Philippe, Duke of Orléans. The Duke’s flamboyant influence can still be seen here, in the touches of opulent French 19th-century decor.

country house hotels
Great Little Breaks

Sitting between Worcester, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Cheltenham, The Wood Norton is in the ideal location for exploring the tranquil Malvern Hills, visiting pretty Cotswolds villages, or enjoying the riverside town of Evesham.

Stay for one night with our special offer and you’ll get a full English breakfast, £30 per person to spend in the Fleur de Lys Brasserie, and a bottle of prosecco in your room on arrival.

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The Greenway Hotel and Spa

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

With its warm Cotswold-stone ivy-clad exterior, The Greenway is peak English country charm, with eight peaceful acres of grounds to explore during your stay. This Elizabethan manor house is the perfect bolthole for anyone looking to escape the stresses of everyday life, or those who wish to explore the Regency town of Cheltenham.

country house hotels
Courtesy of the hotel

A highlight of your stay is sure to be the warm welcome in The Greenway's three-AA Rosette Garden Room Restaurant. Here you’ll find modern, seasonal British dishes made with ingredients from some of the finest artisan producers in Cheltenham.

Our one-night offer includes a three-course dinner at the Garden Room, as well as a full English breakfast, 20% off any pre-booked spa treatments, and pre-booked use of the pool.

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The Petwood Hotel

Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire

This Tudor-style country house hotel has become known as one of Lincolnshire's best foodie stays and has a rich heritage waiting to be discovered – the building was once home to the RAF’s most famous squadron, The Dambusters.

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Courtesy of the hotel Court

The hotel’s history is reflected throughout the hotel, like in the cosy Squadron Bar, where you can dine surrounded by RAF memorabilia. There are also acres of gorgeous gardens and woods to explore, and most of the rooms offer wonderful views across the surrounding greenery.

Book an overnight stay with us at The Petwood and enjoy a full English breakfast, a seven-course tasting menu in the Squadron Room with a personal greeting from the chef, a pre-dinner drink, late check out and early check in.

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Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

New Milton, Hampshire

There’s a timeless charm to Chewton Glen, an exquisite five-star country house hotel on the borders of the New Forest. From your luxurious base you’re well positioned to explore both the New Forest, with its adorable, free-roaming ponies, and the south coast – a 25-minute walk through the grounds will bring you to Highcliffe Beach with a view of the Isle of Wight.

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Booking.com

There’s lots to keep you occupied at the hotel itself, if you’re planning on hunkering down for a weekend. There’s a swanky spa with its large hydrotherapy suite, large indoor swimming pool, outdoor hot-tub and a range of restorative treatments. Check in to the treehouse suites with uninterrupted forest views for the extra wow factor.

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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.

country house hotels uk
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, a homemade chocolate treat in your room on arrival and late check-out.

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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 everyday life.

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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, Themis.

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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.

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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, is the fine dining, with an eight-course tasting menu of seasonal favourites, from venison to celeriac, alongside desserts, cheeses and bread and butter both made in-house.

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Gleneagles

Auchterarder, Perthshire

Gleneagles is one of the world’s great hotels, and has lots to shout about. This iconic resort was built in the 1920s as a palatial country house hotel with a golf course for glamorous guests to enjoy the glorious surrounding countryside. Nowadays you’ll find touches of jazz-age glamour alongside modern touches.

country house hotels
Courtesy of the hotel

For a hotel built as a rural playground for the wealthy, it’s no surprise that Gleneagles has an almost encyclopaedic choice of outdoor pursuits available, from fishing, shooting, riding and even falconry, to rounds of golf on the championship courses. The Restaurant Andrew Fairlie has two Michelin stars (the only one in Scotland) and you can choose between a la carte and tasting menus, with dishes like Perthshire grouse with spiced plum and home soaked Scottish lobster.

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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.

country house hotels
Amberley Castle

Not only will you feel like a royal as you relax into a historic bedroom with an 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.

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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.

country house hotels
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.

Check out our offer for two nights in a cosy double with breakfast each morning, dinner both evenings, a bottle of house wine on your first night, and access to the hotel's spa and swimming pool.

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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.

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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.

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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.

country house hotels
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.

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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.

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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.

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You can see our full collection of country house hotels here


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