Downton Abbey has returned to our screens for the final time this season, with the Crawleys soon packing their stylish travelling bags and bidding farewell to their country estate forever. Thanks to the show’s international success the number of visitors to stately homes has surged – and plenty of them offer overnight accommodation. If you fancy living like a lord for a night or two, we’ve compiled a list of the six best stately home hotels in the UK.
The Mansion House, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3TQ
Once a Tudor mansion, then a neoclassical country house, Luton Hoo had a string of titled owners before it was turned into a five-star hotel a few years ago. Spread luxuriously over 1,065 acres, the hotel is also home to a spa, a fishing lake and a golf course. Each of the rooms is fully air-conditioned and authentically styled in keeping with the decoration of the original house. Bedrooms in the Mansion House include a balcony and boast stunning views of the beautiful Italianate gardens.
Kinbuck, Dunblane, Perthshire, FK15 9JT
In early 2013, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray purchased the grand-turreted Cromlix House, a Victorian Mansion set in 34 secluded acres three miles from his hometown of Dunblane. Following extensive refurbishment, the Cromlix reopened in spring last year as a five-star 15-bedroom hotel and Gate Lodge complete with a tennis court which gleams in Wimbledon’s patented purple livery. Guests can indulge themselves at the Chez Roux restaurant, offering gourmet yet affordable cuisine. The Cromlix has a traditionally Scottish style, complete with open fires, thick pile carpets, a whiskey room and a grand games room, where mounted stags heads adorn the walls.
Park Road, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, SL2 4PG
Founded in 1908, Stoke Park is a country club, spa and hotel spread over a 300-acre private estate seven miles from Heathrow Airport. The hotel has 49 rooms and suites and offers three dining options including the 3 AA Rosette-awarded Humphrys, which serves modern British cuisine with a twist. Guests can unwind in the treatment room spa, whilst sports enthusiasts can make use of the club’s thirteen tennis courts and go for a knock on the 27-hole Championship golf course.
Dartmoor National Park, North Bovey, Devon, TQ13 8RE
A castle only by name, this lovingly restored Art Deco revival has huge stone fireplaces, ornate panelling and soaring ceilings. The 66 texture-rich rooms are brimming with classic character and offer sweeping views of the surrounding moorland. Guests can relax in the hotel’s full-service spa and work out in the gym and two swimming pools. The traditional 18-hole golf course, designed by JF Abercomby in the 1920s, meanders through the 275 acres of Dartmoor National Park estate.
Blacknest Road, Ascot, SL5 7SE
Over 240 acres of grounds, Coworth Park offers high-end Georgian style with an air of quietly confident grandeur. A gently equestrian theme runs throughout the hotel, a neat nod to the region’s horseracing heritage. Guests can participate in numerous activities, with tennis courts, an equestrian centre and polo academy all on site. All of the rooms are spacious and decked out in calming whites and creams with grand garden views as well as lots of natural light. This versatile country house hotel makes for an idyllic romantic retreat and is perfect for families seeking an adventurous break.
Taplow, Berkshire, SL6 0JF
Set in the heart of the Berkshire countryside, surrounded by 376 acres of magnificent National Trust managed Grade I listed formal gardens and parkland, Cliveden House and Spa is one of the stateliest of stately-home hotels. For more than three centuries it has been home to English nobility, and every king and queen since George I has undertaken residence at Cliveden. This elegant hotel boasts classically decorated rooms, filled with antiques, Persian rugs and old oil paintings, with wonderful panoramic views over the River Thames. Guests can enjoy haute cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant run by Michelin-starred chef André Garrett.