Editor’s Choice Historic Hotels

2019 Editor's Choice Historic Hotels

Editor’s Choice Historic Hotels

1
Special offer
Hartwell House

Hartwell House - 'Stay One Night and Receive the Second night for £30' Special Offer

AYLESBURY

For the five years after 1809 this Jacobean country mansion, refashioned in the 1700s, housed the court of the exiled Louis XV111 of France, along with his niece, the daughter of Marie Antoinette, and the exiled monarch of Sweden. The roof was converted into a miniature farm with birds and rabbits in cages, and tubs of vegetables and herbs, while outbuildings hosted the shops of impoverished French émigrés. Now in the hands of the National Trust it caters for a rather different clientele but the vast elegant rooms still have remarkable decorative ceilings, panelling and fireplaces, alongside historic paintings and antiques.
From £200 per night
  • gym
  • weddings
  • golf
  • garden
  • spa
  • wi-fi_
  • parking
  • indoor_pool
  • historic
  • honeymoon
  • romantic
  • tennis
2
Special offer
The George

The George - Sumptuous Sundays Special Offer

STAMFORD

An institution in this town of mellow stone. There may well have been a hostelry on this very spot in the tenth century. Its clientele of pilgrims and knights on their way from the north to Jerusalem would have stayed in the adjoining religious houses, with the ancient stones contained in the present-day building, including the crypt beneath the Champagne bar. The main block was rebuilt by Lord Burghley in 1597, an era reflected in the mullioned windows and initials over the entrance, while, just over a century later, the George became a famous stagecoach stop, the route’s two destinations listed on doors marked London and York. The famous gallows sign, erected directly outside across the old Great North Road, both welcomed guests and deterred highwaymen. Past guests include Charles I, William III and Sir Walter Scott.
From £195.00 per night
  • wifi
  • weddings
  • garden
  • dog_friendly
  • child_friendly
  • wi-fi
  • weddings
  • child_friendly
  • dog_friendly
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3
Llangoed Hall

Llangoed Hall

BRECON

Tucked into serene grounds reaching down to the River Wye, this unashamedly romantic Jacobean mansion sits on land believed to be the original site of the White Palace – home to the first Welsh Parliament in 560 AD. Its remarkable past includes being owned for two generations by a family who had acquired it for winning a game of cards, and a later redesign into an Edwardian country house (for a London bowler-hat maker) by Clough William Ellis, his first major commission, over a decade before his work on Portmeirion. Formerly owned by Sir Bernard Ashley (husband to fabric designer, Laura), it holds his superb art collection including sketches by James Whistler and works by Augustus John.
  • weddings
  • child_friendly
  • walking
  • bird_watching
  • garden
  • value
  • wifi
  • romantic
  • honeymoon
  • country_house
  • historic
  • view
  • wi-fi
  • gourmet
4
Prestonfield

Prestonfield

EDINBURGH

Designed as a replacement for a mansion burnt down during anti-Catholic protests in the late 17th century, lavish Prestonfield still displays the rewards of the original owner’s family’s fortune. Artworks, antiques and decorative features include Chinoiserie lacquered cabinets and the Leather room’s gilded Spanish wall coverings. The Italian room, a private dining venue, has panels painted with Italian-style landscapes inspired by travels of Sir Alexander Dick (the Rhubarb restaurant celebrates the fact he successfully introduced the plant to Scotland) while a future descendant remodelled and extended the property with a glorious circular stable block, an imposing new entrance and surrounding parkland. Since it became a hotel half a century ago guests have included Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Elton John.
  • weddings
  • child_friendly
  • garden
  • dog_friendly
  • wifi
  • parking
  • romantic
  • honeymoon
  • country_house
  • historic
  • disabled
  • wi-fi
  • golf
  • gourmet
5
The Lord Crewe Arms

The Lord Crewe Arms

BLANCHLAND

Now part of the small stylish Calcot Collection, this hospitable hotel has weathered stones that were laid in 1165 at the founding of Blanchland Abbey. Once the abbot’s lodge with guest quarters, kitchen and dining room, it retains in its gardens the cloisters where the white-robed monks walked. After the dissolution of the monastery in 1539, the lodge was reincarnated as a manor house, used for hunting by Northumbrian aristocrats, before later becoming a local inn for moorland lead miners, its name originating from the previous owner, Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham. It still reeks of history with flagstone floors, barrel-vaulted ceilings and an enormous fire, along with bedrooms in former miners’ cottages.
  • weddings
  • child_friendly
  • walking
  • garden
  • value
  • dog_friendly
  • wifi
  • romantic
  • historic
  • wine
  • disabled
  • wi-fi
6
The Rookery

The Rookery

London

The days when a rookery was slang for an urban slum may be long gone – the hotel’s home area of Clerkenwell is now the haunt of many city types – but this hotel, forged from a tumble of 18th-century houses, has oodles of Georgian charm. The warren of interconnected buildings has antique furniture, wood panelling and stone flags, along with gilt-framed mirrors and Turneresque landscapes. Each bedroom is named after a raffish former resident. There are 17th-century carved oak beds, period four-posters and heavy silk curtains, with the showstopper of a two-storey penthouse suite boasting a sitting room beneath a 40-foot spire.
  • child_friendly
  • garden
  • wifi
  • romantic
  • historic
  • disabled
  • wi-fi
7
The Old Rectory

The Old Rectory

BOSCASTLE

Twenty-four years after it was built in 1846 this Victorian rectory played host to one Thomas Hardy, then an architect working on the renovation of nearby St Juliot’s church. It was a stay that saw him fall in love with rector’s sister, Emma, his future wife. Over four decades later, following her death, he returned as a writer, penning some of his finest verse, the lines recalling the past, the rectory and the ‘wandering western sea’. Converted into a B&B in 2000, it retains period features including sash windows, fireplaces and atmospheric staircase, while the original Victorian walled kitchen garden supplies produce for breakfast.
  • walking
  • bird_watching
  • garden
  • value
  • dog_friendly
  • bandb
  • wifi
  • exceptional_value
  • romantic
  • historic
  • b&b
  • wi-fi
8
The Pig on the Beach

The Pig on the Beach

STUDLAND

Today a member of the highly successful litter of Pig hotels this eclectic riot of turrets, chimneys and gingerbread windows, decorated with gargoyles and stone carvings, was the 19th-century coastal villa of aristocratic MP George Bankes. Its walls, rumoured to contain the remnants of King John’s medieval castle, now contain the group’s signature artfully mismatched interiors including a 17th-century woodcarving from a Portuguese palace. The grounds, gazing across to Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight, also boast significant history in the shape of the concrete bunker from which Churchill, Eisenhower and King George VI observed the rehearsals for the D-Day landings.
  • child_friendly
  • walking
  • garden
  • wifi
  • seaside
  • wi-fi
9
Hilton Park

Hilton Park

CLONES

Ageing family portraits in this imposing country house with its handsome porte-cochère – part of its transformation into an Italian palazzo in the 1870s – reflect the fact it has been in the Madden family for ten generations. The hotel’s dining room, which survives from an earlier rebuilding project after a fire in 1803, sports a fine ‘Nelson’ ceiling depicting ropes and oak leaves – a nod to the then owner’s father-in-law who had been an admiral of a squadron in the fleet at Trafalgar. You can still see the architect’s drawings for the estate’s parterre and lake, a chimney piece that Colonel John Madden brought back from Naples and a unique colonnaded ride, created to exercise his horses on wet days.
  • weddings
  • child_friendly
  • golf
  • walking
  • bird_watching
  • garden
  • value
  • fishing
  • wifi
  • parking
  • romantic
  • honeymoon
  • country_house
  • historic
  • view
  • activities
  • wi-fi
10
Old Parsonage Hotel

Old Parsonage Hotel

OXFORD

This splendid Headington stone property is built on ground owned by University College – the same landlord as when its construction, interrupted by the Civil War, was finished in 1660. Original features include the doorway with its mighty oak door, stone window frames and north stairs – one of two staircases in its design. Initially owned by the prosperous chef of nearby St John’s College, it has since been occupied by a master in Chancery to Edward IV, two Oxford mayors, a wig maker and a sculptor. In the late 19th century its tenants included Oscar Wilde, temporarily suspended from Magdalen College after returning late from travels in Greece.
  • weddings
  • child_friendly
  • garden
  • value
  • wifi
  • parking
  • historic
  • disabled
  • wi-fi

2018 Editor's Choice Historic Hotels

Editor’s Choice Historic Hotels

1
Special offer
Lewtrenchard Manor

Lewtrenchard Manor - Winter Sale Special Offer

OKEHAMPTON

‘Can only talk in superlatives,’ writes a reader this year of Sue and James Murray’s historic manor house.
  • weddings
  • child_friendly
  • walking
  • garden
  • value
  • dog_friendly
  • wifi
  • romantic
  • gourmet
  • honeymoon
  • country_house
  • historic
  • disabled
  • golf
  • fishing
  • wi-fi
Upgrade voucher
2
Special offer
Middlethorpe Hall & Spa

Middlethorpe Hall & Spa - Tailor make the break of your choice

YORK

'Tis a very pritty place,' wrote the diarist and former resident, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. After visiting the National Trust’s red brick mansion, Guide readers happily concur.
  • weddings
  • garden
  • spa
  • wifi
  • parking
  • country_house
  • indoor_pool
  • historic
  • gourmet
  • disabled
  • romantic
  • wi-fi
3
Special offer
Bodysgallen Hall and Spa

Bodysgallen Hall and Spa - Spa Break Special Offer

LLANDUDNO

‘Without exception the house and its antique contents are fabulous; it’s an absolute gem,’ wrote a long-term Guide reader after visiting the National Trust hotel overlooking Snowdonia.
  • gym
  • weddings
  • walking
  • garden
  • fishing
  • spa
  • wifi
  • tennis
  • honeymoon
  • country_house
  • indoor_pool
  • historic
  • disabled
  • wi-fi
4
Temple House

Temple House

BALLYMOTE

Sheep crop the grasses in the parkland around Roderick and Helena Perceval’s classical Georgian mansion overlooking a lake and a ruined 13th-century castle – a working private estate rather than romantic Grand Tour fantasy.
  • weddings
  • child_friendly
  • walking
  • garden
  • fishing
  • bandb
  • guesthouse
  • wifi
  • historic
  • country_house
  • wi-fi
Upgrade voucher
5
Burgh Island Hotel

Burgh Island Hotel

BIGBURY-ON-SEA

A consortium headed by Office Space in Town has just acquired hotel space in Devon. This gleaming white Art Deco hotel on a tidal island, sold by its former owners after 17 years, is undergoing a multi-million-pound make-over,
  • gym
  • weddings
  • bird_watching
  • value
  • wifi
  • parking
  • romantic
  • tennis
  • seaside
  • outdoor_pool
  • historic
  • view
  • wi-fi
6
Castle Leslie

Castle Leslie

GLASLOUGH

Scottish Baronial meets Italian Renaissance in Samantha Leslie’s Victorian pile on one of the last great Irish castle estates still owned by the founding family.
  • weddings
  • child_friendly
  • walking
  • garden
  • fishing
  • spa
  • wifi
  • parking
  • romantic
  • tennis
  • country_house
  • historic
  • disabled
  • golf
  • wi-fi
  • gourmet
7
Llanthony Priory Hotel

Llanthony Priory Hotel

ABERGAVENNY

Ecclesiastical historians rejoice! In the ‘romantic’ setting of a vertiginous valley beneath the Black mountains, this ‘atmospheric’ small hotel partly occupies an ivy-clad medieval tower. It is one of four Grade 1 listed buildings in the ruined priory’s precincts.
  • walking
  • exceptional_value
  • romantic
  • historic
8
Sign of the Angel

Sign of the Angel

LACOCK

‘Little has changed over the centuries’ at this Tudor coaching inn in a National Trust village. Familiar to Harry Potter fans as the Babberton Arms, it was once home to Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
  • child_friendly
  • garden
  • dog_friendly
  • wifi
  • gourmet
  • historic
  • weddings
  • british
  • wi-fi
9
The Goring

The Goring

LONDON

A royal warrant and a Michelin star are but two accolades held by London’s last grand Edwardian hotel, still run by the family that built it.
  • gym
  • weddings
  • child_friendly
  • garden
  • wifi
  • parking
  • gourmet
  • disabled
  • romantic
  • honeymoon
  • wi-fi
10
Stone House

Stone House

Rushlake Green

Stone House closed down at the end of January 2018.
  • walking
  • garden
  • fishing
  • wifi
  • historic
  • activities
  • wine
10% discount voucher Upgrade voucher

2017 Editor's Choice Historic Hotels

Editor’s Choice Historic Hotels

1
Special offer
Hartwell House

Hartwell House - 'Stay One Night and Receive the Second night for £30' Special Offer

AYLESBURY

In a Georgian Arcadia, this Jacobean mansion, refashioned in the 1700s, was the palatial refuge of the exiled Louis XVIII and his court.
From £200 per night
  • gym
  • weddings
  • golf
  • garden
  • spa
  • wi-fi_
  • parking
  • indoor_pool
  • historic
  • honeymoon
  • romantic
  • tennis
2
Special offer
Lewtrenchard Manor

Lewtrenchard Manor - Winter Sale Special Offer

OKEHAMPTON

‘Can only talk in superlatives,’ writes a reader this year of Sue and James Murray’s historic manor house.
  • weddings
  • child_friendly
  • walking
  • garden
  • value
  • dog_friendly
  • wifi
  • romantic
  • gourmet
  • honeymoon
  • country_house
  • historic
  • disabled
  • golf
  • fishing
  • wi-fi
Upgrade voucher
3
Special offer
Middlethorpe Hall & Spa

Middlethorpe Hall & Spa - Tailor make the break of your choice

YORK

'Tis a very pritty place,' wrote the diarist and former resident, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. After visiting the National Trust’s red brick mansion, Guide readers happily concur.
  • weddings
  • garden
  • spa
  • wifi
  • parking
  • country_house
  • indoor_pool
  • historic
  • gourmet
  • disabled
  • romantic
  • wi-fi
4
Special offer
Bodysgallen Hall and Spa

Bodysgallen Hall and Spa - Spa Break Special Offer

LLANDUDNO

‘Without exception the house and its antique contents are fabulous; it’s an absolute gem,’ wrote a long-term Guide reader after visiting the National Trust hotel overlooking Snowdonia.
  • gym
  • weddings
  • walking
  • garden
  • fishing
  • spa
  • wifi
  • tennis
  • honeymoon
  • country_house
  • indoor_pool
  • historic
  • disabled
  • wi-fi
5
Currarevagh House

Currarevagh House

OUGHTERARD

Reputedly Ireland’s longest running hotel under one family’s ownership: its ‘true country house’ atmosphere and easy access to rural pursuits draw back guests year after year.
  • child_friendly
  • golf
  • walking
  • bird_watching
  • garden
  • value
  • fishing
  • wifi
  • tennis
  • country_house
  • view
  • dog_friendly
  • wi-fi
10% discount voucher 25% voucher
6
Castle Leslie

Castle Leslie

GLASLOUGH

Scottish Baronial meets Italian Renaissance in Samantha Leslie’s Victorian pile on one of the last great Irish castle estates still owned by the founding family.
  • weddings
  • child_friendly
  • walking
  • garden
  • fishing
  • spa
  • wifi
  • parking
  • romantic
  • tennis
  • country_house
  • historic
  • disabled
  • golf
  • wi-fi
  • gourmet
7
Boath House

Boath House

NAIRN

‘We were looking forward to our stay,’ write Guide insiders, on returning to this classical Georgian mansion in ‘wonderful grounds’, rescued from ruin in the 1990s by Don and Wendy Matheson.
  • weddings
  • child_friendly
  • golf
  • garden
  • fishing
  • dog_friendly
  • wifi
  • gourmet
  • country_house
  • spa
  • b&b
  • disabled
  • wi-fi
  • walking
  • bird_watching
8
Hilton Park

Hilton Park

CLONES

It is easy to see why this 18th-century Italianate country house is known locally as The Castle.
  • weddings
  • child_friendly
  • golf
  • walking
  • bird_watching
  • garden
  • value
  • fishing
  • wifi
  • parking
  • romantic
  • honeymoon
  • country_house
  • historic
  • view
  • activities
  • wi-fi
9
Stone House

Stone House

Rushlake Green

Stone House closed down at the end of January 2018.
  • walking
  • garden
  • fishing
  • wifi
  • historic
  • activities
  • wine
10% discount voucher Upgrade voucher