After an interminable winter, most of us are yearning to get away.
Summer seems very far off, so in the meantime why not take a short sojourn at one of Britain’s top hotels, with their pampering spas, attractive gardens and fine restaurants.
After all, breaks at this time of year are far cheaper, especially if you stay midweek. Here’s our pick of the crop.
A CLASSIC CAPER
Old school but not old fashioned, Hampshire’s Chewton Glen has wonderful staff and sublime surroundings. There’s also tennis, golf and a spa.
Seal the deal: Breaks at this time of year are far cheaper, especially if you stay midweek. Three nights in an Estate Room at Hampshire’s Chewton Glen is from £1,210 per couple until March 31
DON’T MISS: Walking to the beach or seeing the New Forest on foot, bike or by pony.
THE DEAL: Three nights (3 for 2) in an Estate Room is from £1,210 per couple until March 31. The same deal, Friday to Sunday in August costs £2,250 — saving 46 per cent (chewtonglen.com).
ON THE BORDER
Fans of Cringletie, a small country house in the Scottish Borders, return for its comfort, welcome and good food. It has a 350-year-old walled garden and a 28-acre estate to wander.
DON’T MISS: The abbeys of Melrose, Jedburgh, Dryburgh and Kelso. Edinburgh is a short drive.
THE DEAL: Two nights’ B&B in a Classic Double until March 31 is from £550. The deal, Friday to Sunday in August is £698. A 21 per cent saving (cringletie.com).
After a bracing coast walk, return to Norfolk’s Titchwell Manor for dinner in the 3AA rosette restaurant.
DON’T MISS: Seeing the vast sands of Holkham Beach, before taking a look around Holkham Hall.
THE DEAL: Two nights’ B&B this month in a Good Double Room is from £264. Same deal Friday to Sunday in August is £515, saving 49 per cent (titchwellmanor.com).
Two nights in a Classic room in the Lake District’s Linthwaite House (above) costs from £450 in February
A G&T on Linthwaite House’s terrace on a sunny day, is hard to beat — with views over Lake Windermere and surrounding fells. Stylishly refurbished, the hotel has a restaurant, Henrock by Simon Rogan of L’Enclume fame.
DON’T MISS: Taking a ferry across the lake, then walking to Beatrix Potter’s old home, Hill Top.
THE DEAL: Two nights in a Classic room costs from £450 in February. The same deal, Friday to Sunday in August costs £630 — saving 29 per cent (leeucollection.com).
SOMERSET IN STYLE
The Royal Crescent hotel is Bath’s swankiest town house in its swankiest crescent. Think Georgian grandeur with a modern twist plus a dreamy spa and pool.
DON’T MISS: Soaking up Bath’s history, culture and shopping.
THE DEAL: Two nights’ B&B in a Deluxe Room is from £600 before March 24. Same deal, Friday to Sunday in August is £905, saving 34 per cent (royalcrescent.co.uk).
The boutique Peacock at Rowsley is perfect for walks in Derbyshire’s Peak District. The Pride And Prejudice cast (the Colin Firth one) stayed here while filming.
DON’T MISS: Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall, where the Peacock’s owners reside.
THE DEAL: Two nights’ B&B in a Standard Room is from £470 until the end of March. Same deal in August is £640, a 27 per cent saving (thepeacockatrowsley.com).
A STATELY AFFAIR
Three nights in a Club Room at Berkshire’s Cliveden in February is £1,900
It may not be warm enough for that outdoor pool (yes, we’re talking the Profumo Affair) but there’s far more to distract at Cliveden in Berkshire.
DON’T MISS: Discovering other posh piles, such as Highclere (aka Downton Abbey) or, of course, Windsor Castle.
THE DEAL: Three nights (3 for 2) in a Club Room in February is £1,900. A Friday to Monday stay in August is £3,215 — saving 41 per cent (clivedenhouse.co.uk).
A former windmill, in St David’s, transformed into Wales’s first art hotel. Twr y Felin Hotel’s design is sleek and contemporary. Many bedrooms have sea views.
DON’T MISS: Exploring Britain’s smallest city and walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
THE DEAL: Three nights’ (3 for 2) B&B in a Windmill Spacious Room from £337. The same deal, Friday to Monday in August costs from £693, a saving of 51 per cent (twryfelinhotel.com).
OUT ON THE TOWN
Gleneagles Hotel offshoot the Townhouse, in Edinburgh, is a cut above. Classy bedrooms, a glamorous restaurant and a sexy gym …
DON’T MISS: Whisky tasting at the Johnnie Walker Experience.
THE DEAL: Two nights’ B&B in a House Bedroom is from £750 until March 15. Same deal, Friday to Sunday in August is £1,650, or 55 per cent less (gleneagles.com/townhouse).
A GRAND OLD TRIP
Middlethorpe Hall, a National Trust property near York, set in 20 acres, is all swags, antiques and paintings plus a renowned restaurant and spa.
DON’T MISS: Exploring the medieval town walls and streets of York.
THE DEAL: Two nights’ B&B in a Standard Double from £294 until end of March. Same deal Friday to Sunday in August is £441, saving 33 per cent (middlethorpe.com).
A CAPITAL DEAL
One of the great London railway hotels, Clermont Charing Cross has pleasant bedrooms, but it’s the public areas, notably the restaurant and bar, that really shine.
DON’T MISS: Visiting the National Gallery and Covent Garden.
THE DEAL: Two nights’ B&B in a Classic Double all this month is from £516. Same deal Friday to Sunday in August is £763, saving 33 per cent (theclermont.co.uk)
- Prices are for two nights midweek in the next few weeks compared to August weekends.