Here's our Guru’s selection of the UK’s best budget country hotels, perfect for a weekend break that won't break the bank. From B&Bs to charming country house hotels, via rather a lot of funky inns, these are the sort of places you can ring up on a whim on a Friday afternoon and be down in time for a cosy supper!
There’s so much choice in the West Country that our Gurus main challenge when creating this list of Best Budget Country Hotels was sorting the wheat from the chaff.
In Cornwall we suggest The Gurnard's Head, an informal character filled gastropub ideal for those looking to walk the coastal path. They also have a great Sunday offer if you can sneak an extra day and take Monday off! Devon offers up Nonsuch House, a delightful guesthouse overlooking Dartmouth which does gourmet dinners four nights a week, or the Masons Arms in Branscombe, just ten minutes walk from the beach.
Wales is also full of great value country hotels with fantastic food. The West Arms Hotel in Denbighshire is an unspoilt 16th century inn at the foot of the Berwyn mountain and Y Meirionnydd in the centre of Dolgellau was once the county jail, but now offers five smart bedrooms and a growing reputation for excellent food.
The Cotswolds are always a popular weekend destination, but it is getting harder and harder to find a really good value country hotel in this neck of the woods. Try out the Horse and Groom in Bourton on the Hill, an informal gastropub with a great atmosphere or The King's Head in Bledington, a traditional inn with funky rooms and top notch gastropub fare.
If you prefer to go east, try The Pier at Harwich - it enjoys a prime spot overlooking the harbour and has a reputation for serving up great seafood. Or venture slightly further up the coast and you'll find The Crown at Woodbridge a great weekend spot full of cafes, boutiques and antique shops.
For lovers of the great outdoors, the Sun Inn in Kirby Lonsdale should fit the bill, ideally located for both the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales it is the perfect place for serious walkers. After a day out on the hills the bar, with its roaring log fire and award winning food, will provide welcome comfort.
Last but not least in our pick of the best UK country hotels is Brook Farm Berrington a charming B&B in rural Worcestershire. Think creaky stairs, antique filled rooms and coffee or tea in bed in the morning - sheer bliss! If that's not enough it's just down the road from Ludlow - renowned for its choice of quality restaurants.
A charming Cornish Inn surrounded by breathtaking countryside. A magnet for walkers, the traditional rooms are designed to afford every comfort to these weary travelers. An informal coastal gastropub serves up the best local ingredients, cooked to perfection. Simple, characterful and homely.
Charming guesthouse overlooking Dartmouth with great estuary views. The warm, elegant rooms have been lovingly decorated and boast Egyptian cotton sheets, fluffy towels and award winning views. Gourmet dinners offered four nights a week and cooking lessons are available.
Traditional country pub in a pretty coastal village. Cosy and stylish rooms - muted tones with real wood accents and antique touches. Fine ales and classic dishes, with the beach only a short walk away. A great place to rest your head whilst discovering East Devon’s Jurassic coastline.
Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, Denbighshire, North Wales
Unspoiled 16th Century Inn nestled in the foothills of the Berwyn Mountains. Traditional aspects maintained with the original features and antiques. Rooms are cosy and unique, with modern bathrooms. Seasonal menus, daily specials and a fully stocked bar entice locals and guests alike.
Gwynedd, North Wales
A quaint option at the heart of Snowdonia National Park. A former country jail now beautifully renovated. Rooms feature exposed stone walls, crisp white linen and comfortable beds. The intimate restaurant serves hearty food and there's a cosy bar. An ideal spot to return to after a day outdoors.
A cosy and characterful traditional English Inn. With simple, homely guest rooms and fine pub food - The King's Head offers guests are proper countryside getaway. Lovely scenic walks in the heart of the Cotswolds and outdoor activities available to those looking for something extra.
Harwich, Suffolk and Essex
A charming waterfront hotel overlooking the quayside at old Harwich. Contemporary rooms also capture the views over the harbour. The fish restaurant in a converted pub in the harbour is lively and popular with the locals. A great stay on the Essex coast.
Woodbridge, Suffolk and Essex
Well known, chic Woodbridge gastropub with rooms, close to Sutton Hoo, in a charming Suffolk village of cafes and boutiques. Good food and local ales.
Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria
Traditional town pub with comfortable rooms in a charming market town near the Lake District and the Dales. Popular with locals for its award winning menu. A great base for serious walking, but need a car. Dog friendly with lots of outdoor activities on offer in the surrounding area.
Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire
A delightful haven of calm in rural north-west Worcestershire, a perfect rural b+b in a quirky farmhouse with a pretty garden, stream and roaring fires in winter.