As much as I love to jet off to the sun, over the years I have discovered so many gorgeous places to stay in the UK that for a short break I’m now just as happy to retreat to one of those for pure rest and relaxation that doesn’t involve arduous travel and a plane ride. I wanted to share some of those discoveries, so here are some of my absolute favourite places to stay in the UK:
Driftwood – Rosevine, Cornwall
We’ve stayed at Driftwood in Cornwall a number of times, each time staying in the ‘Rustic Cabin’ rather than the main house, and it is wonderful. The views across the stunning Gerrans Bay are phenomenal and this boutique hotel even has its own private beach and cove. Privately-owned and stylishly designed, it is relaxed but en pointe when it comes to service and facilities. And then there’s the food – it has a Michelin Star-ed restaurant run by Chef Chris Eden and his team, who source the very best local ingredients and produce. Amazing and delicious. A gorgeous spot for edge-of the country escapism. Highly recommend booking the two-roomed cabin, which overlooks the sea – either for a stay for two or even with the kids in tow. We have done both and it worked brilliantly both times. Wonderful place.
The Pig – Brockenhurst, New Forest
We stayed at The Pig for a long weekend a couple of Summers ago and had THE best weekend away (with kids in tow) ever. It was bliss. A gorgeous place to go with or without the littles, The Pig in Brockenhurst in the New Forest is a 26-bedroom country house that describes itself as a ‘restaurant with rooms’ and there really is a huge emphasis on the food, which makes it bloody good. If you’re a foodie, this is the place for you. A beautiful walled kitchen garden on-site makes the perfect place to wile-away an afternoon, there’s also pigs and chickens and an assortment of other animals in the grounds, which the kids really enjoyed visiting of a morning. The whole place is centred around great food and it doesn’t disappoint. We stayed in one of the family bungalows and it was beautiful. Stylishly relaxed decor and lovely touches for the kids on arrival – like piggy biscuits with their names piped in icing. When we could tear ourselves out of swinging in the hammock in the sunshine, hiring bikes to pedal our way around the beautiful New Forest landscapes was a great way to spend a day.
Babington House – Frome, Somerset
One of my favourite places on earth, let alone in the UK. I will never tire of visiting Babington House and while it is child-friendly, this is a place we have so far reserved for weekends away just the two of us. You can read about our latest stay here. Amazing food, amazing service, gorgeous interiors, fabulous spa, private cinema, rambling grounds, delicious cocktails… I could go on, but you get the drift.
Clydey Cottages – Pembrokeshire, Wales
We stayed at Clydey Cottages over the summer last year for a week, with the kids, and had a wonderful break in the North Pembrokeshire countryside. The cluster of 18th century farm buildings, which have been converted into lovely cosy cottages, are located on beautifully manicured and maintained gardens and there’s even a little farm on-site that the kids are invited to come to each morning to help the Farmer feed the animals. Much excitement at the start of each day. And I can confirm, there is no ‘farm smell’ to contend with, so it’s a win-win. There’s a little playground as well as an indoor soft-play and a swimming pool with hot tub (indoor and out), so the kids can have lots of fun and you can enjoy the views with a glass of wine in hand if that is your idea of a good time (it certainly is mine). You need a car as it’s quite remote, but it’s a great place from which to day-trip out to a number of places and we visited Tenby for the day, went dolphin-spotting in Cardigan bay and explored many of the stunning beaches that were only a relatively short drive away. The perfect spot for a relaxed luxury family holiday that suits both grown-ups and kids alike. Oh and if you’re worried that self-catering means far too much cooking commitment, then fear not – they even have a chest freezer on site that’s packed with COOK meals in case you just can’t be bothered. But if you do head to that part of the world, be sure to make a visit to Pizza Tipi for amazing pizza al fresco.