As it looks like booking a holiday abroad is still off the cards, we’ve put together a short guide to five of the best staycation locations in the Cotswolds for you to visit this Summer. These luxury hotels are all well known for outstanding food, views and ambience, making them the perfect locations for a UK staycation
Named as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1966, the Cotswolds covers almost 800 square miles across Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire. While Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water constitute the most-loved tourist towns, there are country estates, myriad castles and plenty of places of interest to explore. Not to mention thousands of miles of footpaths and walking trails for those of you who feel like you haven’t walked in enough in the past year…
These are five of the best luxury hotels in the Cotswolds to book for a UK Staycation.
Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham
Grade II-listed Southam House, was a baronial hall and then a private girls’ school before it was turned into luxury hotel Ellenborough Park in 2008. Original furnishings include 16th Century oak beams, wood-panelled rooms, great stone fireplaces and winding staircases. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the hotel has 62 rooms and a private pathway to neighbouring Cheltenham Racecourse, which can be seen from the hotel’s front lawn. Guests can make use of a heated outdoor pool and a spa with sauna and mood showers. There’s an accomplished restaurant inside the hotel, and rolling, wooded countryside all around.
Lucknam Park, Chippenham
Dog-friendly Lucknam Park is situated at the southern-most tip of the Cotswolds, close to Chippenham and Bath. There are only 43 rooms and suites, each individually-designed, and three sole-occupancy cottages. The hotel is set in 500 acres of parkland, meaning if you desire you can go an entire day without bumping into any other guests – until everyone presents themselves at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Hywel Jones for dinner. Elsewhere, there’s the more informal The Brasserie, an equestrian centre and a well-appointed, ESPA-backed spa. During the summer months, guests can make use of a personalised picnic service too.
Soho Farmhouse, Chipping Norton
Back in 2015, Nick Jones, founder and CEO of the Soho House group, once again proved himself the members’ club kingpin with the Midas touch by transforming a derelict smallholding some 20 miles north of Oxford into the group’s first ‘resort’. Immediately, the 100-acre estate, with its collection of converted 18th-century outbuildings, became one of the UK’s most talked-about country retreats. You don’t have to be a member of Soho House to stay at Soho Farmhouse – and enjoy its three restaurants, spa, pub, cinema, cookery room, indoor and outdoor pool, gym, tennis court and boating lake.
A self-titled village within a village, Thyme is a boutique hotel spread across a sprawling 150-acre estate, Southrop Manor. Made up of several 17th Century Cotswold-stone cottages, a barn, a former rectory and a farmhouse, all of which have been lovingly restored, Thyme initially began life as a cookery school before growing to offer the full scope of luxury hospitality. Now consisting of 31 refined rooms, two restaurants, a bar and a spa. Pack your walking boots for a stroll around the estate’s verdant gardens and wildflower-strewn meadows, or venture beyond the boundaries to visit the market town of Cirencester or William Morris’s country escape, Kelmscott Manor. Foodies shouldn’t miss the cookery school, which offers a year-round programme of classes.
The Greenway Hotel & Spa, Cheltenham
A 16th Century Elizabethan manor house with its own Elan-backed spa – hydrotherapy pool, alfresco hot tub, fitness suite. The Greenway Hotel & Spa comprises only 21 (generously-proportioned) bedrooms. Guests can choose from two restaurants including a 3 AA Rosette contemporary British fine dining option, The Garden Room. Close to Cheltenham (three-and-a-half miles away) and set in eight acres of well-kept grounds, The Greenway is a classic open-fire-and-grand-staircase sort of hotel – an ideal base from which to explore the Cotswolds on foot. Perfect for those looking to book a UK staycation with great spa facilities.
Calcot Hotel & Spa, Tetbury
Dating back to the 14th century, Calcot Hotel & Spa’s tithe barn, now used as an event space, was initially an annexe of Kingwood Abbey, and belonged to the church until the 16th century when Henry VIII dissolved England’s monasteries. The land has remained under private ownership ever since, and over the years has been expanded to include a manor house and several outbuildings, which now collectively serve as the Calcot Collection’s flagship hotel. Comprising 35 rooms (12 of which are child-free), the hotel promises a peaceful retreat in the charming village of Tetbury, with two restaurants, a large spa with seven treatment rooms and indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and excellent playground facilities for children.
Barnsley House, Cirencester
Nestled in the tiny Cotswold village of Barnsley, this 17th Century manor house offers an intimate country escape. The former home of the late garden designer Rosemary Verey, who created outdoor spaces for the likes of Prince Charles and Sir Elton John, Barnsley House is home to four acres of beautifully-landscaped gardens, including a laburnum avenue, a large vegetable garden — the produce of which is used in the two restaurants, The Potager and The Village Pub — and meadows that back onto a dairy farm. Hidden among the greenery is the Barnsley Spa, where the botanical surroundings inform the treatment menu. A great choice for those in search of a luxury UK staycation.