25 of the UK’s Best Country House Hotels

stapleford park

Once only those of us with the oldest family names would have been eligible to stay in the UK’s grand country piles, but many of the most beautiful of them have been refurbished and returned to their youthful glory, and turned into country house hotels. Our Gurus have put themselves through the ordeal of sleeping in four-poster beds, dining in Michelin starred restaurants, being pampered in award-winning spas and strolling exquisite grounds to bring your their recommendations for the UK’s best country house hotels.

pennyhill park hotel

Rather than list the UK’s best country house hotels by location our Gurus have listed them by type, so there’s a top selection of the most romantic country house hotels, and a top selection of family friendly hotels and their top recommendations for family-run treasures.

The UK’s Best Country House Hotels

The UK’s Most Romantic Country House Hotels

hotel endsleigh

  • The Hotel Endsleigh is an historic shooting lodge in the Tamar Valley in Devon, now styled by Olga Polizzi into an intimate, 18 room hotel. There are 18 beautiful rooms, two fairytale suites and a villa, many of them overlooking a private stretch of river. The Italian meets Spanish style food is very good and they arrange private picnics in the grounds - and babysitting if you need it.
  • Cliveden House is a grand neoclassical country pile, a National Trust treasure, and probably still best known for its part in the Profumo affair. But it seems like everyone who’s ever been anyone has stayed here, from Churchill to Chaplin and Lawrence to Lennon. There are 44 rooms and 15 suites, but staying here still feels like you’re staying in a country home rather than a hotel. There are original Old Masters on the walls, a spa which boasts Canadian cedarwood hot tubs as well as a whirlpool jacuzzi, boats on the river, two pools and a truly wonderful afternoon tea.

the torridon

  • The Torridon is a remote country escape on the shores of Upper Loch Torridon, with just 18 rooms and 53 acres of park and woodland. The decor its a wonderful meeting of Scottish county house opulence and contemporary design. And there’s a seriously good restaurant and whisky bar.
  • With 500 acres of grounds landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown, Stapleford Park is a wonderful Leicestershire estate to explore - there’s falconry, mini golf and archery to name just s few of the activities on offer. And inside the huge 55 room Georgian mansion the decor is exceptional and the service excellent.
  • The Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa, outside Bagshot, Surrey, is a beautiful, ivy clad 19th century built country house hotel with a Michelin starred restaurant and an award winning spa. There are 123 rooms and suites, surrounded by 123 acres of park and gardens. And you’re only 30minutes from Heathrow and about 45minutes from central London.

The UK’s Best Country House Hotel Escapes

Barnsley House

  • Barnsley House is an imposing Cotswold stately home with famously glorious gardens and 18 beautifully renovated rooms. The interiors are chic and modern and there’s an indulgent spa and modern British restaurant. Perfect for country walks and a bit of pampering.
  • Ardanaiseig, on the beautiful banks of Loch Awe in Argyll is a glorious, and eccentric, baronial mansion turned 18 room country house hotel, with stunning views and award winning food. For real privacy choose the boat shed, which is right on the water.
  • Inverlochy Castle is a 17 room castle near Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis. As well as spectacular views and beautiful decor there’s a multi-award winning, Michelin starred restaurant.
  • Babington House near Frome, is a stunning country house with immaculate decor and grounds and an understated elegance which is precisely what many people want from a country house hotel. There are 32 rooms, a bar, restaurant, spa and cinema. There’s also an outdoor hot tub.
  • Cavens Hotel, close to Dumfries, is an impressive country house surrounded by 20 acres of woodlands and gardens. There are just eight rooms, decorated with chintz fabrics and nice antiques, plus a stunning Scottish restaurant.

The UK’s Best Country House Hotels - with Hot Tubs

For many of us it’s the ultimate way to unwind, so if you love the idea of your own hot tub, check out our Guru’s ultimate guide to UK hotels with hot tubs, or consider these country house highlights:

Chewton Glen

  • Chewton Glen is a fabulous country house hotel close to the New Forest, renowned for its superb service, excellent food and luxurious spa. Book one of their stunning treehouse suites and you get your own deck with private hot tub....ideal for a relaxing soak after a day exploring the surrounding area.
  • South Lodge Hotel is a classic country house retreat near Horsham, West Sussex, with 89 individually designed rooms and suites with handmade mattresses and pillow menus throughout. You’re surrounded by 93 acres of park and gardens and beyond that you have views of the South Downs. One of the restaurants has a Michelin star, the other two AA rosettes. Both the Godman and Farriers Suites have their own private terraces with hot tubs.

Family-Run Treasures

plumber manor hotel

  • Plumber Manor Hotel is a wonderful Jacobean manor house in glorious Thomas Hardy country. The house was built by, and has belonged to the same family for centuries, the Prideaux-Brunes - and they have the portraits to match, along wth a wonderful air of faded grandeur. Gently eccentric, with a popular and well regarded restaurant.
  • Gravetye Manor, in a leafy part of West Sussex, is an Elizabethan mansion with 17 fine, wood panelled bedrooms with four-poster beds, and an exceptionally beautiful garden. There’s also a Michelin starred restaurant.
  • South of Belfast in rural Northern Ireland, Newforge House is a six room country house hotel. Built in the elegant Georgian era, the decor has been updated sympathetically where needed. One of the passionate owners is a professional, and accomplished chef.

The Best Country House Hotels by the Seaside

The Pig on the Beach

  • The Pig on the Beach is part of the enormously popular Pig group of hotels. Effortlessly stylish with a shabby chic feel, come here for a real home from home stay. Apart from the proximity to the Dorset beach another good reason to visit is the food. Gourmet delights are served and the philosophy is to keep the food miles to an absolute minimum with many of the ingredients grown on site.

The UK’s Best Country House Hotels for Families

lime wood

  • Lime Wood in the New Forest is a beautifully redesigned Georgian House turned 32 room hotel, known for its superb, super chic restaurant, its location and its family friendliness.
  • Bovey Castle on Dartmoor is 64 room hotel which offers lego room service for the kids and bespoke spa treatments for the adults. There are loads of activities on site, including falconry displays.
  • Fowey Hall in Fowey, Cornwall is a 36 room hotel overlooking to Cornish coast. There’s a great pool and spa and beautiful views from the hotel. It’s well kitted out for families, but still very elegant.
  • Woolley Grange in Wiltshire, is a Jacobean Manor turned luxury family retreat. There are 26 rooms, stunning grounds, a pool, restaurant, an Ofsted registered playroom, a games room and a spa.

The UK’s Best Value Country House Hotels

soulton hall

  • For under £100 a night you can stay at Soulton Hall in Shrewsbury, a splendid Elizabethan manor house with eight romantic, atmospheric rooms and plenty of interesting history to unpick. The surrounds are also very beautiful.
  • Also around £100 per night, the Castleman Hotel in Dorset is a stunning country house surrounded by beautiful parkland. There’s an excellent restaurant specialising in using local produce and eight rooms decorated in dark wood with chintz fabrics, some with four-poster beds and roll top baths.
  • Norfolk Mead, in the peaceful Norfolk Broads, is a charming, 13 room lakeside hotel with lovely grounds and smart, individually decorated bedrooms. They do lovely Sunday lunches and plush afternoon teas. Rooms start from around £130 per night.
  • For a similar room rate you can stay in The Pig Near Bath, a charming boutique hotel converted from an elegant, Grade II listed Georgian mansion. There are 29 rooms, an extensive spa and stunning grounds with a kitchen garden which feeds the excellent restaurant.

If you haven’t found your idea of the UK’s best country house hotels on our Guru’s list you could:

The UK’s Best Country House Hotels

  • The Pig On The Beach 23 rooms from CA$228

    South Dorset

    Stylish country hotel ideal for a weekend break in Dorset. 23 rooms are ultimate shabby chic with four-posters, wooden floors, stand alone bath tubs. Gourmet restaurant uses produce fresh from the kitchen garden. Miles of English coastline to explore and stunning views. The perfect getaway.

    Exclusive offer  -  Complimentary Upgrade
    Full of character  -  Shabby chic rooms with vintage touches
    Restaurant  -  Delicious food from the kitchen garden
    Garden  -  Kitchen garden, terrace and huge lawn
    On the beach  -  Four miles of unspoilt beaches
    Hotel Website
  • Cliveden House 44 rooms from CA$790

    Taplow, Berkshire

    Grand country house hotel close to London, expensive but luxurious, with history

    Exclusive offer  -  Kids stay free
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor and Outdoor Pools
    Country House  -  Grand neoclassical pile
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Frommers, Kiwi Collection
    Check prices
  • Plumber Manor Hotel 16 rooms from CA$270

    Sturminster Newton, Dorset

    Characterful, family-run Jacobean manor house in glorious Thomas Hardy country. This quintessentially English manor has been in the same family for centuries, with portraits to match. An air of faded grandeur. The real deal.

    Country Escape  -  A perfect base for exploring the Dorset countryside- gardens, National Trust Houses, villages and walks.
    Great walks  -  Bring your dog and enjoy the 20 acres of well kept grounds, with a river running through.
    Birdwatching  -  Take a deckchair and plonk it down by the river, sit, relax and listen to the birdsong.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
    Hotel Website
  • Newforge House 6 rooms from CA$321

    Craigavon, Co. Armagh, County Armagh

    Sophisticated family-run country house hotel with excellent food. Original Georgian interiors have been updated with modern elegance - fireplaces, large sash windows, paintings, and tasteful furniture are highlighted by lots of natural light and subtle tones. A romantic escape with plenty to offer.

    Foodies  -  Fine three course dining offering seasonal dishes
    Great walks  -  Lurgan, Moira and Hillsborough Parks
    Sights nearby  -  Lurgan Park & Brownlow House
    Sailing  -  Kinnego Marina
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
    Check prices
  • Inverlochy Castle 17 rooms from CA$566

    Fort William

    Elegance, romance and old-school service in sublime surroundings at the foot of Ben Nevis. Imposing rooms with heavy curtains, chintz wallpaper, antique paintings and four poster beds. The bathrooms are the height of modernity. A multi award winning restaurant. The perfect country getaway.

    Families  -  Plenty of kit for the kids indoors including games rooms, DVDs, playstation plus endless outdoor activities.
    Foodies  -  This fantastic restaurant has been awarded one Michelin Star and 3 AA Rosettes- utterly delicious!
    Fishing  -  Fishing in Loch Na Marag in the Castle grounds or salmon and trout fishing further afield.
    Great walks  -  Stunning scenery to be explored starting straight from the property.
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux
    Check prices
  • Chewton Glen 72 rooms from CA$549

    New Milton, Hampshire

    Classic and superbly run country house hotel with great attention to detail and a wonderful spa close to the New Forest. Newly built, luxury tree-house bedrooms set high in a scenic valley with panoramic views. 5 star amenities, imitable service, gourmet dining and The Beehive, kids club.

    Exclusive offer  -  A Taste of Chewton Glen
    Country Escape  -  A gorgeous country house spa, set in 130 acres of parkland at the edge of the magical New Forest.
    Great walks  -  Plenty of walking across the 130 acres of parkland, or head into the New Forest.
    Fishing  -  There is fishing available nearby, ask at the hotel for details.
    Kids Club  -  All new The Beehive, available every weekend and school holidays
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet, Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection, Relais & Chateaux, Michelin Travel
    Check prices
  • Ardanaiseig 18 rooms from CA$184

    By Taynuilt, Argyll

    A glorious country house hotel, touched with eccentricity and a little bit of magic. Luxurious decor, stunning views and wonderful food on the banks of Loch Awe.

    Romantic  -  Book the 'away from it all' boat shed.
    Restaurant  -  Award winning food with 3 AA Rosettes.
    Fishing  -  Superb angling for trout, salmon, sea trout and perch
    Views  -  Fabulous views across Loch Awe
    Check prices
  • Woolley Grange 26 rooms from CA$270

    Bradford on Avon

    Jacobean Manor turned luxury family retreat in stunning gardens with pools. Comfortable, modern rooms are a great welcome after a day of activities. The restaurant caters to all dietary needs and occasions. Children clubs, games rooms, gardens and more gives parents a chance to relax at the spa.

    Families  -  Ideal for families with babysitting, kids hang out zones, an Ofsted-registered playroom and plenty of activites on the grounds.
    Hideaway  -  With the spa, pool table, table football, extensive grounds, yummy food and homely rooms, you'll find it impossible to leave.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor and Outdoor Pool
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
    Check prices
  • Hotel Endsleigh 18 rooms from CA$321

    Milton Abbot, Devon

    Historic shooting lodge offers an intimate, Olga Polizzi styled stay. Relax in the stunning grounds or in the library. Beautiful rooms overlook the valley and stretch of private river. Italian meets Spanish cuisine with Jose Graziosi's delicious dishes. Good for outdoor-types and families.

    Exclusive offer  -  Three for Two
    Families  -  Babysitting and monitors available plus such delights as picnics (complete with lanterns and blankets) in the grounds.
    Honeymoons  -  Fairytale suites, gourmet cuisine, cosy fireside sofas and incredible grounds for strolling hand in hand- enchanting!
    Country Escape  -  Extensive grounds for fishing, shooting, and rambling, plus plenty of comfy armchairs for the weary walker!
    Sights nearby  -  The National Trust and its stately homes make for a great day exploring - Cothele House, Saltram House and Castle Drogo.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection
    Hotel Website
  • Fowey Hall 36 rooms from CA$296

    Fowey, Cornwall

    Small country house hotel overlooking the south Cornish coast, kitted out for families, with pool and spa - so beware if you have none in tow.

    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor Pool
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Kids Club  -  Fully staffed.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
    Check prices
  • Pennyhill Park Hotel and The Spa 123 rooms from CA$566

    Bagshot, Surrey

    Creeper clad 19th century country house hotel. Michelin-starred restaurant and award winning spa just half an hour from Heathrow. Country style with lavish facilities.

    Spa  -  The fabulous spa boasts eight indoor and outdoor pools, plus canadian hot tubs, treatments and much more.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    5* Luxury  -  Very high service standards.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Small Luxury Hotels
    Check prices
  • Cavens House 8 rooms from CA$304

    by Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway

    An impressive country house set in a stunning location. Traditional rooms feature large sash windows and tastefully upholstered furniture. Good Scottish cuisine with award winning service. Plenty of country pursuits in the surrounding area. An ideal country escape with all the comforts of home.

    Country Escape  -  A charming country house set in 20 acres of woodland and lawns, with excellent walking and warm fires to great your return.
    Romantic Break  -  A cosy hideaway for two in this enchanting part of the country, with charming suites and romantic dining.
    Birdwatching  -  Pack the binoculars as there are two nearby reserves RSPB Mersehead and WWT Caerlaverock.
    Sights nearby  -  Explore the 17th century Drumlanrig Castle and the 13th century Sweetheart Abbey.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide
    Check prices
  • Barnsley House 18 rooms from CA$505

    Cirencester (Barnsley)

    An imposing Cotswold house set within stunning (deservedly famed) gardens. Gorgeously renovated rooms are light, airy and full of mod cons. The chic modern interiors, indulgent spa and contemporary British cuisine make it hard to leave! A popular rural escape for urbanites.

    Romantic Break  -  A stately home with indulgent chic interiors- think dual baths, large suites and a pampering spa.
    Country Escape  -  A rural abode on another level, the ultimate luxury getaway in stunning surrounds.
    Great walks  -  This area is littered with beautiful walks, ask at the front desk to be pointed towards a favourite.
    Cooking classes  -  The nearby reputed Foodworks Cookery School offers a number of different classes for various levels.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection
    Check prices
  • Gravetye Manor 17 rooms from CA$439

    East Grinstead, West Sussex

    An Elizabethan gem of timeless comforts, with fine wood panelled bedrooms, four poster beds and an exceptional garden. Old fashioned hospitality with modern standards. Independently owned with Michelin starred cooking and lots of outdoor activities.

    Romantic Break  -  Grand period country house - utterly charming for a couple's getaway
    Foodies  -  The restaurant holds one Michelin star
    Fishing  -  Boasts a 3 acre lake for fly fishing
    Great walks  -  A range of wonderful local walks
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux, Michelin Travel
    Check prices
  • Babington House 33 rooms from CA$490

    Nr Frome, Somerset

    The original offering from the Soho House Group, a stunning Georgian house and grounds set in beautiful Somerset countryside. Immaculately chic interiors with individually designed rooms and suites. Understated elegance and five-star luxury. Bar, restaurant, spa, and cinema.

    Private Hot Tub  -  The Wood Cabin features an outdoor hot tub
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    5* Luxury  -  Very high service standards.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Kiwi Collection
    Check prices
  • The Torridon 18 rooms from CA$372


    Country escape on the shores of Upper Loch Torridon. 53 acres of park and woodland provide many outdoor activities. Scottish country house opulence twinned with contemporary designs. Seriously good restaurant and whisky bar.

    Bar  -  Over 300 Malt Whiskies available in the Whisky Bar not forgetting their very own Arcturus Gin and Cushie Doos Tonic.
    Restaurant  -  3 AA Rosettes
    Sailing  -  Sailing tours on S/Y a 13 m sailing yacht both within the loch and to the Isle of Skye and the Outer Hebrides.
    Sights nearby  -  Boat cruises available off the west coast for dolphins and if you're lucky whale watching.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
    Check prices
  • Stapleford Park 55 rooms from CA$486

    nr Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

    Unusual and massive Georgian country house hotel and sporting estate, popular for weddings and corporate events. Plenty of activities for the active, including golf.

    Child friendly  -  Mini golf, falconery, archery - and Rutland Water and Twinlakes
    Garden  -  500 acres landscaped by Capability Brown
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels
    Check prices
  • Bovey Castle 64 rooms from CA$387

    Chagford (Dartmoor)

    Family friendly country hotel with something for everyone: lego room service for the little ones & bespoke spa treatments for the adults! Ideally situated for exploring the wilderness of Dartmoor and more activities on site than you can imagine.

    Child friendly  -  Daily egg collecting, meet the ferrets and falconry displays. Colouring books & crayons for little ones at meal times!
    Spa  -  UK's flagship SUNDARI spa
    Great walks  -  Complimentary walking guides and dog towels.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Frommers, Small Luxury Hotels
    Check prices
  • Soulton Hall 8 rooms from CA$159

    Shrewsbury, Shropshire

    A splendid Elizabethan manor located in rural Shropshire. Steeped in history (it features oak panelling from the 1400s), romantic, atmospheric, yet comfortable and hospitable. Highly recommended for a country getaway with self catering cottages for those who prefer more flexibility.

    Birdwatching  -  At least 83 varieties of field birds can be found in the surrounding countryside
    Great walks  -  Great walks from the front door
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Check prices
  • Lime Wood 32 rooms from CA$667

    Lyndhurst, Hampshire

    Scintillating luxury hotel in a superbly redesigned Georgian house in the heart of the New Forest. Wonderfully comfortable beds in large rooms all with unique features including free standing baths, fireplaces or four posters. A sublime restaurant curated by a celebrity chef. Countryside perfection.

    Exclusive offer  -  Complimentary upgrade
    Foodies  -  A super chic restaurant, serving Anglo-Italian fare. A product of Lime Wood’s Luke Holder and high-profile chef Angela Hartnett.
    Families  -  Extra beds allowed in rooms, kids activities on site and baby sitting facilities makes this an obvious choice for parents.
    Country Escape  -  A beautifully renovated country house situated in the heart of one of the UKs finest National Parks.
    Cooking classes  -  The excellent Hartnett Holder & Co Backstage cookery school has a wide variety of hands on courses.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet, Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection, Relais & Chateaux, Sawdays
    Hotel Website
  • Norfolk Mead 13 rooms from 130

    Norwich, Norfolk

    Charming country house hotel in Norfolk Broads with its own boat for exploring the waterways. Lovely grounds and lake. Smart individually decorated bedrooms. Sumptuous breakfast, Sunday lunch, proper afternoons teas and hampers provided. Perfect for short breaks, weddings or business conferences.

    Garden  -  Well-kept pretty garden with lake and wildfowl. The 12 acres extend to bank of the River Bure
    Sights nearby  -  minute drive away or visit the Sandringham Estate and its beautiful grounds
    Fishing  -  There is a fishing lake in the grounds and off-river mooring
    Great walks  -  There are over 300km of footpaths around the Norfolk Broads
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
    Check prices
  • The Pig near Bath 29 rooms from CA$235

    Bath, Somerset

    Charming boutique hotel. Quirky rooms sit within the Grade II listed building and cozy outhouses. Restaurant and kitchen garden, extensive spa, stunning grounds. Country walks and sights nearby make it the perfect romantic getaway.

    Exclusive offer  -  Complimentary upgrade
    Country House  -  Georgian Mansion, Hunstrete House, a Grade-II listed country house dating from 1820
    Foodies  -  All food in the restaurant is locally sourced within 25 miles
    Garden  -  Kitchen garden growing vegetables, herbs and fruit
    Spa  -  Potting shed
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape
    Hotel Website
  • Castleman Hotel 8 rooms from CA$169

    Blandford Forum, Dorset

    Stunning country house in beautiful parkland. Excellent restaurant priding itself on using local produce. Traditional interiors with dark woods, warm coloured walls and chintz fabrics. A handful of rooms some featuring roll top baths and antique four poster beds. The ideal country escape.

    Exclusive offer  -  Midweek Offer
    Total relaxation  -  Sipping Champagne in your claw footed tub, feasting on traditional English delights, and bracing walks through the countryside.
    Great walks  -  Bring your wellies, there are beautiful walks from the village to sandy beaches, chalk downlands and ancient heathlands.
    Fishing  -  Anglers will be kept busy with fantastic fishing on the river Stour, Allen and Avon.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide
    Hotel Website


Written by Kat Parr Mackintosh

posted Friday, 17th May 2019