Britain’s best new country hotels

Call it the Downton Abbey effect: everyone wants to live like a mid-level aristocrat these days. With the opening of a clutch of grand country hotels in Britain in the coming year, it’s time to indulge your visions of grandeur.

Tennis ace Andy Murray is planning for life off the court with the opening of the stunning Cromlix House (left), located close to his hometown of Dunblane in Perthshire, Scotland.

Behind the grand façade there are 10 sumptuous guestrooms and five suites, a Chez Roux restaurant and lots of cosy lounges to curl up on when the Scottish weather turns.

Built in the Georgian period and expanded in Victorian times, Heckfield Place has been reunited with its original 330-acre farm to create a bucolic country retreat.

The hotel boasts 60 individually designed bedrooms, a historic walled garden of flowers, herbs and fruit trees, 65-seat subterranean screening room, a host of beauty experiences, and a restaurant that makes the most of the produce grown out back.

The 19th-century The Gainsborough Bath Spa (above) occupies three listed and historic buildings: The Gainsborough, Bellotts, and Helting House, the last original Elizabethan building in the heart of Bath.

With chic interiors as well as the makings of a five-star establishment, The Gainsborough also houses the UK’s only natural thermal spa within a luxury hotel.

Or you could always settle for The Real Downton Abbey Tour; a chauffeur driven amble to the majestic Highclere Castle, the setting for the award-winning series (left).


Don’t forget to pack:
Get in the mood before you go with Nicky Haslam’s Folly de Grandeur, the interior designer’s delightful homage to his own country house revival ($55, Rizzoli).