These are 5 of the finest countryside hotels in Britain

best country manor house hotels fife arms
The finest countryside hotels in the UKCourtesy the Fife Arms

From characterful estates and charming manors to rustic farmhouses, the British countryside has an abundance of exceptional retreats for top-tier rest and relaxation. across the UK, you can find delectable fare, soothing spas, cosy fireplaces and thoughtful personal touches – proving that you don’t need to travel far to get away from it all.

Spanning Aberdeenshire, Cumbria, Hampshire and beyond, these are our favourite close-to-home countryside escapes to visit this year.

Gleneagles, Perthshire

It’s the year to visit this Perthshire institution, which not only celebrates its centenary, but played host to a very fashionable crowd in June, when Dior showed its cruise collection at nearby Drummond Castle. Every detail at Gleneagles is exquisite, from the infinite variety of omelettes, fresh fruit and baked goods on offer at breakfast, to the sporting activities available, such as shooting lessons with Ian, who has worked at the range for 40 years, ever since it was founded by the racing driver Jackie Stewart. The suites are ridiculously tasteful, as though you have entered a period drama, and the restaurants and bars are world-class. Come rain or shine, this stylish icon delivers.

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best country manor house hotels gleneagles
Courtesy Gleneagles

Hound Lodge, Goodwood, West Sussex

Ever since the Duke of Richmond bought Goodwood in the South Downs National Park in 1697, Hound Lodge has provided superlative shelter for the resident dogs – being equipped with heating even before the main house. Now a cosseting 10-bedroom retreat filled with original antiques and homely touches, such as mini whisky decanters and indulgent bath oils, as well as a personal chef serving up an organic seasonal menu, a stay here is anything but a dog’s dinner. Time your visit to coincide with the estate’s famous motor festival and book a driving experience at the historic circuit; pack your most glamorous vintage looks for Goodwood Revival; or come for the Goodwoof Dog Show and bring along your canine companion, who will of course be warmly welcomed with a comfy bed and plenty of treats.

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best country manor house hotels goodwood
Courtesy Goodwood

Langdale Chase, Cumbria

If you stay in room 15, a perfect, dual-aspect suite of generous proportions, you wake up to a view of Lake Windermere, so glassy and still that it’s impossible to tell where the horizon is. Langdale Chase affords many of these opportunities. After extensive renovations, this Victorian country house, built from dark Brathay stone, retains its impressive grandeur, but has a homely feel inside. The modern British cooking at the restaurant, overseen by the chef Michael Coles, is excellent, and there are nice touches in the bedrooms – cookies and gold-flecked chocolate-dipped madeleines were waiting for us when we went in. A fantastic new addition to the south Lakes.

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best country manor house hotels langdale chase
Courtesy Langdale Chase

The Grange, Hampshire

Surrounded by 3,500 acres of tumbling hills, meadows and lakes, the Grange, built in the 1660s, has hosted royals and literary icons alike, including George VI and Jane Austen. Classical-music fans flock here in the summertime for its annual opera festival, with the option to stay the night in one of the glorious cottages there – and the Grange team is also on hand to arrange post-performance drinks with the cast, and tours of the estate’s vineyard. The nine-bedroom Abbotstone Farm House comprises six acres of gardens, a heated swimming pool and a tennis court, while the two-bedroom Clock Tower, in the Victorian stable block, has plenty of cosy corners in which to curl up.

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best country manor house hotels the grange
Courtesy the Grange

The Fife Arms, Aberdeenshire

Slowing down is imperative, in every sense, when driving through the Cairngorms to the Fife Arms in Braemar. Once a Victorian coaching inn that acquired royal patronage, due to its proximity to Balmoral, it still commands guests of a starry calibre (Judi Dench was tinkling the ivories there last New Year’s Eve). The art throughout is extraordinary; breakfast beneath a 500-year-old painting by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, read a book in front of Pablo Picasso’s image of Marie-Therese Walters and admire Queen Victoria’s watercolour of a stag. Activities are just as well-curated – we recommend going on a wild art walk armed with a sketchbook, guided by Annie Armstrong through the ancient birks (birches); sipping shocking-pink cocktails at Elsa’s (inspired by Schiaparelli); or booking into Bertie’s, where you can choose between 528 bottles of whisky from across the globe.

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best country manor house hotels fife arms
Courtesy the Fife Arms

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