25 blooming lovely hotels for a British spring getaway

Advice

These are unusual times, and the state of affairs can change quickly. Please check the latest guidance before travelling. Our writer visited these hotels prior to the pandemic.

The renewal of spring returns each year to banish the dark days of winter and tantalise with the promise of summer. And as warmer, lighter evenings emerge, so does the urge to travel. These hotels are just right for a spring break or an Easter holiday (where you might find some of the year’s earliest sunny days for making the most of once lockdown is lifted). They have been chosen because they all make the most of the season of flowers, whether because of their own exceptional gardens or the countryside that surrounds them, and they all serve seasonal produce, much of it locally sourced, and all have a freshness, lightness of touch and sense of happiness that perfectly complements the time of year.

England

The Newt in Somerset

Castle Cary, Somerset, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

The Newt is one of the most exceptional country house hotels Britain has seen. It occupies beautiful Palladian-fronted red-gold limestone Hadspen House, first built in 1687, but the real centrepiece is the egg-shaped Parabola walled garden, now planted with a comprehensive collection of 460 trained British apple trees, of 267 varieties, arranged in a Baroque-style maze. And then there’s the cyder press, bottling plant and bar, mushroom house, History of Gardening Museum, farm shop, treetop walk, thatched ice cream parlour and wild swimming ponds.


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From


£
383

per night

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Mr & Mrs Smith

Glazebrook House

South Brent, Dartmoor, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

With its beautiful and secluded landscaped grounds on the edge of Dartmoor, a stay at South African-owned Glazebrook House will surely put a spring in your step, not least because of its amazing collection of more than 900 imaginatively mounted vintage pieces. The theme – 19th-century collector’s home meets Alice in Wonderland – is as wacky as it sounds and is a ballsy and youthful change to the identikit country house hotels more usually found in these parts. Stone fireplaces, parquet floors and glittering chandeliers add a dose of traditional class.


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From


£
219

per night

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The Master Builder’s

New Forest, Hampshire, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Its setting in the 18th-century hamlet where several of Nelson’s warships were built, including Agamemnon, is one of the loveliest in southern England. Wake on a sunny morning in a quirkily luxurious main house bedroom and watch the river slowly coming to life. Then take the gentle riverside walk to Beaulieu or strike out into the New Forest, especially picturesque in spring when the foals of free-ranging forest ponies and donkeys appear. Dogs are warmly welcomed, with a cosy bed in front of the fire and a canine rooms service menu.


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From


£
99

per night

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Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort

Wiltshire, England

7
Telegraph expert rating

Set overlooking one of the finest championship all-weather courses in the South West, this elegant country house hotel, a careful blend of traditional and contemporary with its own spa, offers so much more than golf. Bowood House, home to the Lansdowne family since 1754, is yours to visit as well as it beautiful grounds, whose true glory is reserved for springtime: the spectacular Rhododendron Walks (free for hotel guests), which on certain days can be taken in the company of an expert are not to be missed.


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From


£
155

per night

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Park House Hotel & Spa

Midhurst, West Sussex, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

The sophisticated bedrooms of this family-owned country house, decorated in a palette of baby blues, pale gingham and dusky rose, look down on an almost Edwardian scene in glorious Sussex countryside, with the clink of china tea cups and the murmur of conversation in the air. There’s a flower-covered pergola, two lawn tennis courts, croquet lawn, testing six-hole golf course and emerald putting green, all perfectly maintained. Beyond are long views onto a lovely wooded section of the South Downs.


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From


£
150

per night

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The Goring

Belgravia, London, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

Run by the same family for more than 100 years, the Goring harbours a terrific secret: its huge, tranquil garden, an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of central London, carpeted with lawn, surrounded by borders and shrubbery and never lovelier than in spring. Both the garden and the splendid hotel serve as a bastion of Britishness: hand-painted wallpaper of exotic animals (some caricatures of staff and owners) in a romantic English landscape; the soft lawn outside which, from May onwards, becomes a croquet pitch where guests taking afternoon tea often play.


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From


£
412

per night

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Coworth Park

Ascot, Berkshire, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Late spring brings a special reason for visiting this spoiling contemporary country house hotel, part of the Dorchester Collection: its spectacular wildflower meadow, a sea of traditional English flowers. Take the Meadow Tea in the Drawing Room overlooking it, or a tour with head gardener Terri Crow, or simply take yourself for a wander along its paths. Coworth Park is the only hotel in the country with its own polo pitch and, from April, you can watch a match or even learn how to play.


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From


£
405

per night

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Barnsley House

Cirencester, Cotswolds, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

The four-acre garden that Rosemary Verey created at Barnsley House, then her home, now a stylish hotel, is at its best in late spring. There are knot gardens, an ornamental fruit and vegetable garden, the famous Laburnum Walk and much more, all laid out by the celebrated garden designer and writer, which melt into the surrounding Cotswold landscape. The all-white Potager restaurant takes in the view, and a winding pathway through the garden leads to a hidden spa and outdoor hydroptherapy pool.


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From


£
369

per night

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The Milk House

Sissinghurst, Kent, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Vita Sackville-West’s Spring Garden at Sissinghurst Castle is one of the great pleasures of the season, a result of the creative tension between the formal design of her husband Harold Nicholson and the exuberant planting of Vita. She described the Lime Walk, a carpet of flower from March to May, as suggesting the foreground of Botticelli’s Primavera. Stay at the delightful Milk House in Sissinghurst village, where you’ll find stylish bedrooms and excellent food in a buzzing, countrified, open-plan setting.


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From


£
95

per night

Congham Hall

Norfolk, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Spring sees the annual resurgence of this gracious hotel’s renowned Herb Garden, which contains a collection of almost 400 varieties, including rare medicinal ones and many culinary ones used by the hotel’s chefs. It’s open to the public during the day, but stroll around at dusk, when the crowds have dispersed and the heady aromas scent the air. Maybe even make a beeline for the seductive Secret Garden Spa. The hotel itself is a calm Georgian house with stylish interiors; Sandringham House, open to the public from April to October, is just down the road.


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From


£
195

per night

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Fawsley Hall Hotel & Spa

Daventry, Northamptonshire, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

The folk here reckon they enjoy a mini microclimate, with more clement weather than the rest of the county. Take a stroll around some of the 2,000 acres of formal gardens and extensive parkland and you’ll see what a magical place this is, walking to the starkly isolated church, passing two of three lakes, then turning towards the historic Tudor house itself, admiring its harmonious mix of architectural styles. Inside, the stupendous Great Hall impresses at any time of year.


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From


£
240

per night

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Goldsborough Hall

Goldsborough, Yorkshire, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

Once home to Her Royal Highness Princess Mary in the 1920s, this privately-owned family home offers stays as a stately b&b. The 12-acre grounds are a trove of horticultural history. In 1922, Princess Mary and husband Viscount Lascelles planted the first tree in the Lime Tree Walk, with 33 trees subsequently planted by honoured guests including King George V and Queen Mary. As a wedding gift to the couple, the Emperor of Japan donated five Japanese cherry trees. Around 50,000 daffodils come to bloom in spring, and in February there’s a seven-day Snowdrop Festival.


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From


£
195

per night

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Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Oxfordshire, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

The village of Great Milton – on the edge of which Raymond Blanc’s 15th-century Oxfordshire manor house sits – is picture-postcard perfect, all rolling hills, village greens and honey-hued homes. There is the archetypally British: manicured lawns, croquet games, 15th century ponds. The fanciful: Japanese ornamental gardens, elaborately and individually designed rooms. Plus, of course, the foodie: a restaurant that takes centre stage, and improbably pretty kitchen gardens. Cookery courses and gardening sessions are two highlights.


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From


£
663

per night

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The Nare

Cornwall, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Few people realise how early spring starts in Cornwall, but the folk at The Nare are only too aware, and each year celebrate the true beginning of the season by monitoring eight Cornish Magnolias to find the true first day of spring. Stay at this beautifully sited, traditional, kindly and warmly welcoming seaside hotel on the lovely Roseland Peninsula and visit some of Cornwall’s magnificent gardens to watch spring unfold. Or else stay and enjoy the hotel’s own grounds, rich with peonies, cacti and shrubbery, with the sea beyond.


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From


£
299

per night

Howard’s House Hotel

Teffont Evias, Wiltshire, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

What better than to hunker down than in a charming house, surrounded by the prettiest of gardens set in the heart of an idyllic but little known village far from main roads? Sitting on the lovely wide terrace at Howard’s House, in a garden protected by an undulating topiary hedge, the only sounds you are likely to hear are of birdsong and the knock of croquet mallet on ball. Stay in April and enjoy the magnificent ornamental crabapple that flowers then. Bedrooms are comfortable and the food is excellent.


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From


£
150

per night

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Northcote

Langho, Lancashire, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

Lancashire’s expanding foodie empire combines Michelin-starred dining with a bucolic rural location. It feels like a proper foodie retreat – from pre-dinner canapés in the cocktail bar to morning tours of the kitchen garden, talking up the importance of local, seasonal produce. Character-wise, the hotel retains a relaxed atmosphere and friendly disposition despite the trappings of its Michelin star. It’s set amid the rolling pasture of Lancashire’s Ribble Valley; views of the Forest of Bowland awaits as you pull back the curtains each morning.


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From


£
179

per night

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Star Castle Hotel

Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

Every March, the Isles of Scilly community gathers together to clean the beaches before the season starts in earnest. This is the time to visit, when skies are blue and the clear light make both land and water sparkle. Stay at the Star Castle, fashioned from a perfect, star-shaped 16th-century castle on a headland above Hugh Town, a delightful family run-hotel, with charming bedrooms, magnificent views from the turrets and ramparts, and lobster and crab caught daily by the owner.


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From


£
171

per night

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The Mill at Gordleton

New Forest, Hampshire, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Just the ticket: a ‘secret garden’ that rambles around a river well stocked with salmon, trout and perch and visited by ducks, heron and sometimes kingfisher. And the gardens at this creeper-covered restaurant with 12 bedrooms are stocked with something else besides: sculptures and artworks, some surprisingly large, not to mention stunning floral borders interspersed with plenty of nooks to sit and ponder. Five minutes’ drive away is the Georgian sailing town of Lymington with its Saturday market and cobbled alleys down to the quay.


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From


£
89

per night

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The Pheasant Hotel

Harome, Helmsley, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Want to stroll along the Farndale Daffodil Walk? Then stay at the Pheasant Hotel in nearby Harome, overlooking the picturesque village duck pond… a perfect pairing. The full walk, much of it alongside the River Dove in the North York Moors, is three-and-a-half miles in length and takes about 90 minutes to complete. Afterwards, sink into a comfy armchair at The Pheasant and prepare for superb seasonal and local cooking from co-owner Peter Neville, a strong advocate of wild, foraged food.


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From


£
180

per night

Gravetye Manor

East Grinstead, West Sussex, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

This Elizabethan mansion is the one-time home of celebrated gardener William Robinson, a pioneer of wild gardening and natural planting. The hotel sits prettily within a thousand acres on the fringe of the Sussex Weald, surrounded by a wonderful riot of flowers and shrubs and footed by a lake. Its gardens bloom with year-round interest, but come now to see the magnolias blossoming, clematis emerging from its winter slumber, and narcissi carpeting the meadow floor. What’s more, homegrown produce enhances dishes in the Michelin-starred restaurant.


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From


£
221

per night

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The Ollerod

Beaminster, Dorset, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

‘Ollerod’ is Dorset dialect for cowslip, and this destination restaurant with rooms is surrounded by pretty countryside in Hardy’s Wessex. Behind the hamstone and mullioned windows of the town’s oldest building is a sense of old-world charm that has been sensitively updated since chef Chris Staines and his partner, Silvana Bandini, bought what was known as the Bridge House. The wonderfully manicured garden is popular for al fresco summer drinks when the bespoke barbecue and brick oven might be lit.


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From


£
145

per night

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Wales

Tyddyn Llan

Denbighshire, Wales

8
Telegraph expert rating

With views across meadows in the Vale of Edeyrnion to the slopes of the Berwyn Mountains, this tranquil Georgian house, once a shooting lodge belonging to the Dukes of Westminster, offers three acres of lawns and flowerbeds, with swathes of snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells in spring, as well as specimen plants, clipped yew hedges, a fountain and pond. There’s also a huge kitchen garden where the produce for Bryan Webb’s Michelin-starred cooking is grown.


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From


£
195

per night

Bodysgallen Hall and Spa

Llandudno, Wales

8
Telegraph expert rating

It’s a privilege to stay in this fine 16th-century mansion graced by remarkable gardens and, at its core, a medieval tower which provides thrilling, all-encompassing views: as you turn, Conwy Castle, Snowdonia, Anglesey, Great Orme and lastly Llandudno, with the promise of its marvellous 19th-century promenade, replace one another in your field of vision. To make the most of the immediate surroundings though, take one of head gardener Robert Owen’s garden tours through the 200 acres of mature parkland.


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From


£
275

per night

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The Felin Fach Griffin

Brecon Beacons, Wales

9
Telegraph expert rating

Walking around the Griffin, between the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons, with daffodils blooming and lambs gamboling, is never more rewarding than at this time of year, while the nearby Golden Valley is carpeted in bluebells. The cosy, delightfully unpretentious yet quietly stylish Griffin, noted for its excellent food and drink, makes the perfect base for exploring the Brecon countryside too: It’s very much geared towards hikers and dog-walkers, and is a delightful place to put your feet up, read the paper and enjoy a pint after a day in the hills.


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From


£
115

per night

• The best hotels in Scotland

Scotland

Isle of Eriska Hotel

Scotland

8
Telegraph expert rating

Cross the wonderfully rumbly bridge that connects the mainland and you are on a private island where peace wraps around like a warm tartan blanket. April heralds the opening of The Deck, Eriska’s second restaurant, part of its Stables Spa, wonderfully set overlooking the golf course and Loch Linnhe. Spa treatments make use of seaweed, salt and clay harvested on the island. In the Scottish baronial Big House, you’ll find roaring fires, malt whiskies, and Michelin-starred cooking. The magical island is all yours, with its seals and otters and dreamlike views.


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From


£
261

per night

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• An expert guide to Edinburgh

At the time of writing these hotels were set to reopen pending the end of lockdown 3.0. 





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