Make the most of autumn weekends and cosy down with loved ones in one of these pretty country inns, cottages and indulgent country hotels.
As the nights close in and that distinctly autumnal nip in the air makes itself known, we reckon there’s nothing more pleasant than cosying down with a good book or a board game in front of a roaring fire – and it’s even better if you’ve managed to sneak away to a pretty country inn or cottage for a long weekend.
A lovely weekend away needn’t cost a packet (though if you’re on a reasonable budget, there are some absolute gems to enjoy across the length and breadth of the country).
Our selection embraces simple self-catering properties, indulgent country hotels with world-class spa and leisure facilities – and some amazing destination that are worth the visit just for the views across spectacular scenery.
Whatever you choose, take the one you love for a break you’ll remember and enjoy the British autumn at its best!
Lucknam Park, near Bath
- Michelin-starred dining
- Extensive equestrian facilities
- Autumn offer – 3 nights for the price of two, saving £275 per stay
- www.lucknampark.co.uk (opens in new tab)
Set in 500 acres of parkland and woodland with an arboretum of over 600 rare and unusual tree species, Lucknam Park is a 42-room Palladian mansion and an ideal escape for those looking for country walks amongst the Autumn leaves, with dogs now welcome to stay in the lap of luxury with their owners. Autumn is a perfect time to visit, with walks through leafy woodland and afternoons in front of roaring open log fires in the library and drawing room – with a fabulous choice of books and board games.
Wind down with a pampering treatment in the world-class spa, and relax in their range of thermal cabins and spa facilities. There is a fabulous gas fire that lights up at dusk along the wall beside the swimming pool.
Autumn Weekend Breaks: The Pheasant, Bassenthwaite, Cumbria
- Two nights from £330, including afternoon tea, cheeseboard with wine and use of Armathwaite Hall spa facilities
- Bring your dog for £10 a night
- www.the-pheasant.co.uk (opens in new tab)
This lovely country coaching inn has created a peaceful break for those looking to take in Cumbria’s spectacular Autumn colours this year. The charming, traditional property nestles at the foot of the fells just a few minutes walk from the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. It offers an idyllic spot to observe the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ and is combining its beautiful location with delicious food, roaring fires and restful rooms to give guests a comforting Autumn break. Don’t miss a visit to the pretty gem town of Cockermouth which is full of independent boutiques and eating places. Also must enjoy a walk to Bassenthwaite Lake - the view is beautiful. The Pheasant’s Autumn Colours Break costs from £330 per couple including two nights accommodation in a double room, full afternoon tea, cheeseboard with wine and use of Armathwaite Hall Spa facilities nearby.
Autumn Weekend Breaks: Portavadie, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
- Scotland’s largest infinity pool
- Glass walled retreat with stunning views
- From £127 per night
- www.portavadie.com (opens in new tab)
Head for this is a luxurious retreat which has luxury apartments, cottages and the most romantic and cosy couples’ retreat: Tighnamara. The retreat has glass walls looking across Loch Fyne and the Isle of Arran, as well as a woodburning stove and cosy rugs and sofas for relaxing. With walks across the hills and Scotland’s newest and most luxurious spa within the Portavadie on the doorstep, this really is the most relaxing and restorative location possible. Ideal for a couple looking for a hideaway, or even the place to propose, Tighnamara is dog friendly, homely and yet modern and eco conscious in its build. While visiting Portavadie don’t miss a swim in Scotland’s largest outdoor infinity pool perching on the side of the loch (pictured), or ride around the mountain bike tracks followed by a session in the glass-walled sauna with mountain views. The retreat is available from £127 a night.
Autumn Weekend Breaks: 89 Church Lawn Stourhead, Wiltshire
- Two night breaks from £590 in October, £774 at half term
- Home cooked food at the estate’s pub
- Dazzling colours of the Stourhead Gardens
- www.nationaltrustholidays.org.uk (opens in new tab)
With a lake at its centre, Stourhead is a world-famous landscape garden. Dotted with classical temples and mystical grottoes, and planted with rare and exotic trees autumn colours wash through the landscape and reflect in the magnificent lake. Set at the entrance to the garden, this pretty 18th century holiday cottage, which sleeps seven, allows you to enjoy the dazzling displays of colour before the crowds. Out of the front door, turn right and the garden of Stourhead is there to be enjoyed daily. And for home cooked food and real ales The Spread Eagle is a warm and welcoming inn on the Stourhead estate.
Autumn Weekend Breaks: Spinney Falls, Cotswolds
Set in more than 550 acres of prime British countryside, which encompasses eight lakes and two rivers, Spinney Falls on the Lower Mill Estate is a beautiful five bedroom detached property with an oak frame structure. Perfect for families - with with spacious living areas, pool table and log burning stove. The house also has an idyllic outdoor deck with stylish furniture and a BBQ, which can be reached via the sliding doors. Whether it’s hopping on a bike, throwing on a pair of wellies and rambling through the heart of the nature reserve, kayaking or paddle-boarding on one of the lakes or simply taking a dip in one of the two heated swimming pools, every moment can be spent trying something new.
Autumn Weekend Breaks: Ynyshir Hall, mid Wales
Michelin-starred dining Rooms start at £205 a night on a b&b basis, or £305 with dinner for two. www.ynyshirhall.co.uk (opens in new tab)Follow in the footsteps of Richard Gere, Eddie Izzard and Denise van Outen, and chill out in Ynyshir Hall – a fabulous foodie hotel close to the Welsh coastline. Rooms are opulent with Princess and the Pea style beds and bathrooms big enough to host parties in! Plus the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant fuses modern European cooking with an Asian twist. Memorable dishes in the restaurant include mackerel with pork belly and oyster seaweed, perfectly cooked fallow deer with black bean and garlic followed by the most delicious little venison burger, a one-mouthful morsel that explodes with flavour.
Autumn Weekend Breaks: Cottage Lodge, Brockenhurst, New Forest
- 3 nights from £95pp
- Complimentary tea and cakes
- Much hotel furniture made from fallen New Forest trees
- www.cottagelodge.co.uk (opens in new tab)
The New Forest in Old England is a great destination for spectacular autumn foliage displays. Cottage Lodge, the award-winning small, family-owned-and-run hotel in Brockenhurst in the heart of the forest is offering three-night breaks between Sundays and Thursdays from £95 pp (two sharing) – a saving of 10%. There are some great walks right from the front door into the forest and maps are provided free (plus recommendations of good pubs for lunch). The price also includes Cottage Lodge’s renowned New Forest Marque full English breakfast made with locally sourced ingredients and complimentary tea and cakes!
Autumn Weekend Breaks: The White Hart, Nettlebed, Oxfordshire
- Close to Henley-on-Thames
- Rooms from £95 a night
- Top notch pub grub
- www.secretescapes.com (opens in new tab)
Set against the Chilterns' wooded hillsides, near the royal regatta town of Henley-on-Thames, The White Hart is a 14th-century country inn that prides itself on old-school hospitality, with a modern helping of four-star amenities. Exposed original beams, a cosy fireplace, and wingback chairs jostle playfully with designer lighting and flatscreen TVs. Roam the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty or navigate Henley's famous waterways, retire to a roaring log fire, uncork a fruity number, and cosy up for hearty pub grub of the highest order, courtesy of The Tailor Made Dining Company £95 per room, per night – includes breakfast and dinner.
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