A country retreat just outside St Albans occupies an extended 300-year-old manor house, once the home of Lord Louis Mountbatten.
‘The three generations were happy with the day. We relaxed over croquet, some played tennis, and we had the library for ourselves.’ Praise this year for this Jacobean-cum-Georgian mansion in an Arcadian landscape, from readers who celebrated a significant anniversary there.
From £200 per night
With views across gently undulating Hertfordshire countryside, this sprawling old building, with its outlying stables and barns, dates back to the 15th century.
At the gates of Waddesdon Manor, a half-timbered, ornately patterned Grade II listed house, originally built to accommodate the architects and craftsmen working on the manor’s construction.
Nick Mash has taken a step back to the future in reinventing the 18th-century red brick Three Horseshoes pub as a restaurant-with-rooms.
In a pleasant market town, Annie Rowley’s artful Georgian B&B is an Aladdin’s cave of vintage glassware, sculptures and ‘an unbelievable collection’ of objects.
Light and airy, South Lodge, Wavendon, is a contemporary B&B in an acre of landscaped gardens bordering a golf course and fields, five miles SE of Milton Keynes. Spoiling additions to the comfortable bedrooms include soft fluffy robes, homemade biscuits, complimentary soft drinks and fresh milk in the mini fridge, and underfloor heating in sparkling bathrooms. A morning newspaper arrives with breakfast, which may be served in the dining room, on the patio or in one’s room. The Wavendon Arms restaurant is within walking distance; the Stables Theatre is just one mile away.
In parkland, a white-painted country house hotel blending classic with contemporary twists. The cheerful lounge has yellow seating, and retains its period features. Oversized headboards add statement to individually styled bedrooms. British cuisine is served in Seasons restaurant overlooking Ouzel Valley Park, or outside on a sunny, decked terrace in summer. Children are offered special menus and board games for rainy days. On the outskirts of Milton Keynes, the hotel is a popular wedding venue.
In Beachampton, a picturesque village a short drive from Milton Keynes, a beautifully restored 300-year-old farmhouse with three inviting bedrooms and a well-equipped gym. Breakfast includes freshly laid eggs and honey from the owners’ hives. Footpaths lead across the fields; the village pub is a stroll away. Bletchley Park, Woburn Abbey and Silverstone nearby.
Last updated: December 05, 2019