Empty your mind with Bespoke Hotels
With summer crowds beginning to leave for popular holiday destinations abroad, now is the perfect time to spend a weekend exploring the peace and glories of the British countryside. For a calm getaway swapping heaving crowds for tranquil scenery, Bespoke Hotels offers a selection of the UK’s best affordable boutique hotels from which to plan to walk – whether you are seeking seaside hikes or hilltop climbs. Each providing staggering natural scenery and plenty of outdoor adventure – with cosy beds and seriously good local food ready and waiting on your return.
One of the oldest Cotswold inns, Charles II is said to have stayed here during the English Civil War. Exuding a sense of tradition throughout its 28 rooms, the inn is at the honey-stoned heart of Chipping Campden, overlooking what is often referred to as England’s most picturesque High Street. The Noel Arms marks the start of the Cotswold Way footpath, with its more than 100 miles of scenic walking through open landscapes and idyllic villages. Guests might stop for Sunday tea at the tranquil St. John the Baptist Church with its wonderful view over the Severn valley. Or, if you like a challenge, on 26th June you can join others walking, running and jogging the 100km of the Cotswold Way. Doubles from £99 a night.
Located at the centre of 200 acres of National Trust land, the Hunters Inn in North Devon is a traditional country inn with 10 en-suite bedrooms and one two-bedroom self-catering apartment. Many of the rooms feature grand four-posters or balconies with majestic views over gardens and out to Exmoor. This is a convenient resting point for walkers exploring the popular routes through Exmoor National Park – including the Southwest Coast Path – the longest National Trail in the UK, with 630 miles of inspirational coastline. Guests can also make a trip through charming woodland alongside the River Heddon, to where it meets the sea – a rugged gap named Heddon’s Mouth between some of England’s highest cliffs. Look out for otters and the rare high brown fritillary butterfly. After a day of exploring, guests can then relax and unwind at the inn’s Exmoor Restaurant and Bar: the perfect place to refuel with a drink and predominantly fresh local and seasonal dishes alongside traditional pub favourites. Doubles from £80 a night.
The award-winning Lugger Hotel – named ‘Best Seaside Hotel’ by the Sunday Times – sits at the water’s edge in the heart of Portloe – one of the last unspoiled hamlets in Cornwall. Surrounded by commanding headlands and cliffs, this charming 17th-century smuggler’s inn perfectly combines Cornish charm with luxury, featuring deluxe showers and fine linens in each of its 22 bedrooms. The hotel is conveniently situated on the South West Coastal path, giving guests access to picture-perfect coves and rugged coastlines.Visitors can head off to Falmouth harbour – 14 miles away and once the second busiest port of the British Empire – taking in magnificent views and highlights including St Mawes Castle, St Anthony’s Lighthouse and the Dartmoor ponies at Treluggan Cliff. Completing this challenging walk will work up an appetite for dinner at the Lugger Hotel restaurant where guests can enjoy local cuisine that may even have been freshly caught by the village’s own fishing vessels. Doubles from £164 a night.
Arrochar Hotel, Arrochar
The Arrochar Hotel is based at the foot the ‘Arrochar Alps’ on the shores of Loch Long. With 75 comfortable en-suite bedrooms each with stunning views of the Loch, the hotel is the ideal base from which to explore the surrounding countryside. The highest peak of the ‘Arrochar Alps’ is a lofty 3,318 ft but for a slightly shorter hill walk, consider a visit to the Cobbler, also named Ben Arthur, with its distinctive rocky summit. This area offers extraordinary yet accessible adventures after which there is a fine malt whisky in the lounge bar of the Arrochar Hotel and a hearty traditional Scottish meal. Doubles from £57 a night.