Destination Guide

English Countryside

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Dotted with sleepy villages and bustling market towns, the English countryside is beautiful, charming and full of variety. Distinct regions, like the Cotswolds, Hampshire, Yorkshire and Cornwall, each promise their own unique discoveries. Among them: wonderful antiques shops, old-fashioned pubs, rose-covered stone cottages, 13th-century churches and pretty tea shops for enjoying house-made scones and Earl Grey.


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exterior of grand british manor home made of brick

Heckfield Place

An immaculate 18th-century estate-turned-countryside-hotel in Hampshire, England, the Heckfield Place sits on 400 acres, with restaurants by Skye Gyngell.

Exterior View - Soho Farmhouse, Cotswolds, England

Soho Farmhouse

The 40 farmhouse-chic cabins dotted around 100 acres range in size from one- to three-bedrooms (some with bunk beds) and feature kitchenettes or full kitchens, comfy lounging areas, board games and picnic supplies. Upon booking a cabin, guests' shoe sizes and heights are asked, so that their rooms can be equipped with seafoam-green Foffa bikes and wellies for use during their stay.

But the property is equally perfect for a couple's getaway, as certain cabins are particularly romantic, with fireplaces, outdoor bathtubs, a four-poster bed and record players. Certain areas in the public spaces are deemed "adults-only," including two great lofted lounges set above the Main Barn's restaurant. The spa, too, is an oasis, featuring nine treatment rooms, steam, sauna, ice bath and mudrooms, plus a soaking tub for two.

Nick Jones, the owner and visionary behind the brand, seems to have put his everything into this project, and was personally responsible for many of the design elements and thoughtful inclusions. There was no water on the property, so a lake was put in, the pedestrian-only plot is sprawling, so vintage milk carts patrol the lanes offering rides to guests and the design is so inspired that there is a store selling the very same bowls, blankets and rain jackets provided in guest rooms.

Dining options abound, and are all spectacularly delicious, being overseen by British chef extraordinaire, Tom Aikens. There is the Main Barn, which serves food all day (and well into the night), the more intimate Boathouse, which boasts a pizza oven, and a deli, where guests can find small bites as well as snacks. The Pickle, Cheese and Charcuterie rooms are here, too, and are marvels. The Cotswolds in general, and Soho Farmhouse in particular, will inspire you to tie on an apron, and they have built a specialty space for cooking classes, which utilize vegetables, fruit and herbs from the adjacent kitchen garden.

There are four tennis courts, a football field, gym and cycling studio, as well as an indoor/outdoor infinity pool that seemingly flows into the lake. Soho Farmhouse is also home to a dozen ponies and horses, and offers lessons as well as casual trail rides. So while the place is geared towards the more grown-up Soho House members, it nevertheless maintains an offering of amenities and activities that will suit actual children as well as the kids inside us all.

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Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Set on 100 acres of pasture and woodland, Raymond Blanc’s English manor house is for couples looking for a traditional English getaway .

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