Fancy making the most of your Easter bank holiday with a last minute UK break? We thought you might like that idea…
Staycations are what bank holidays were made for. One extra lie-in isn’t always enough to tempt us out of the country, because travelling does somewhat counteract the point of getting some rest. But, with so many gorgeous hotel and spa breaks just a short journey away, it makes perfect sense to explore more of what the UK has to offer.
If you’re anything like us, though, you might not have exactly got your act together and meticulously planned your Easter weekend months in advance. Which means, as it gets closer and the stories of your friend’s dreamy sounding weekends get ever-so-slightly grating, the need to book something last minute goes from a nice idea to a must-do.
Enter our list of tried and tested gorgeous getaways, each one worthy of your attention and ideal for a last minute Easter break in the UK.
From an Elizabethan manor to Soho House’s most picturesque venue, there’s no need for hours of research to find a hotel last minute. These staycations are exactly what you need…
Buried in the depths of picturesque Somerset, Babington Hous really does have it all.
For those with an eye for design, the eccentric style is sure to wow, from the dusty-pink velvet furniture to the twee, striped pool side loungers. And this sense of luxury (a staple of the Soho House group) is carried throughout the entire venue, which makes choosing a bedroom ever so much fun.
Broken into several parts, overnight accommodation is offered not only in the main house, but coach house, lodge, walled garden, cabin and stable block, too. Each area has its own charms, but all feel decidedly rustic and ensure that any city dweller-anxieties that you might be carrying around will melt away soon after your arrival.
When you’re not lounging around in your room or taking a soak in your free standing bath, there’s also a calming spa and outdoor pool to enjoy, which comes complete with indoor relaxing area (perfect for reading a book and enjoying a coffee) and a selection of Cowshed treatments to try. Outside, be sure to try out the tennis courts, explore the walled garden, take a peek at the chapel and explore the grounds, working up enough of an appetite to try out the delicious menu in The Orangery restaurant.
There are no words to describe the luxuriousness of Cliveden House: spending the weekend at this five star Grade I stately home is akin to taking a staycation at the magnificent Downton Abbey.
As soon as you arrive, the staff rush to greet you, promising you that, from this moment on, you won’t be lifting a finger. Which, let us tell you, after a long week at work is a welcome pledge. Thanks to the rich colour schemes, crackling fires and sumptuous furniture, the house’s communal areas (which include a library bar and Marie Antoinette-style dining room) are ideal spots to relax. But, if you want to truly unwind, we recommend you take a trip to the spa.
Not only is there an outdoor pool (the only listed one in Britain) and hot tub, surrounded by lavender and sitting below an ornate clock tower, but there is also a health-focused spa restaurant, expansive indoor pool, relaxing area with reclining beds and an abundance of treatment rooms. The little touches go a long way here, with well kitted out changing rooms and fluffy robes which you’re invited to pull on before trying an indulgent facial or massage. The spa even uses its own products. The Cliveden body COLLECTION has been created especially by OSKIA for the house and has fragrances and products used in the facials inspired by some of the strong women who have graced Cliveden, like the first female MP to take her seat, Nancy Astor.
And, of course, after you’ve been pampered and preened it’s only right that you should have a fabulous room to head back to, of which we can heartily recommend the Mountbatten Junior Suite. It’s ideal for an authentic English experience, all wood paneled walls, green velvet curtains and stretches out across two levels.
Ockenden Manor and Spa
There’s no need to sacrifice any of your tastes when booking a weekend away at Ockenden Manor, for its two sites offer both sides of the spectrum when it comes to a relaxing staycation.
Over in the main house you’d be forgiven for thinking you were visiting a museum-like stately home, such is the vintage decor and antique furniture. The building dates back to Elizabethan times, having originally being built in the mid-1500s, something the current owners have clearly been conscious to preserve in the dusty-rose pink walls, dark overhead beams and crackling fireplaces.
But, while the manor house feels like the perfect place for a cup of tea and a hearty slice of cake (especially in the Drawing Room which has flawless views of the rolling countryside), a two minute walk will deliver you to one of the swishest spas around.
Set in a huge, cube-shaped, bright orange building, the Ockenden Manor Spa is an exciting contrast - almost making you feel like you’re visiting two venues in one. Once inside, the treatment rooms and two lounging areas fan out around the central pool, which impressively sits half inside, half outside the building with a glass wall allowing for beautiful views.
If you’re looking to visit a spa as a group this is the ideal place as there’s plenty of space to all relax together, and there’s plenty to try out too. Treatment-wise, we recommend the Electric Body Signature Massage which includes body brushing with Thai and Swedish massage techniques. However, you also need to check out the floatation tank and relaxation room.
The Lygon Arms
Four star hotel and restaurant The Lygon Arms is a simply gorgeous place to while away a weekend. There’s a wide range of rooms, from the smaller sized ‘cosy’ to the extravagant master suites, and four other types inbetween. Whatever size you go for you’ll be treated to a great night’s sleep (their mattresses are made in Devon), original artworks and perks like a Nespresso machine.
However, with all the loveliness of The Lygon Arms, we don’t think you’ll be locked up in your room for long. The hotel boasts a grill restaurant, wine bar and lounge underneath its 16th century roof, and the afternoon tea is well worth your attention.
After you’re done filling your boots, make your way to the spa for some serious down time. Not only is there a 13-metre indoor pool swimming pool with a retractable roof and a relaxing spa bath, but a whole host of treatments on offer, too.
Nestled in the New Forest, this Grade II listed building was built in 1852 (although there’s history surrounding the grounds and old manor building dating back to the 13th century) and the owners of the restaurant and rooms have worked hard to capture its history by keeping original features.
Everything about the experience at Burley Manor feels warm and hearty, from the welcoming staff to the huge beds, and the restaurant is no different. Not only does it boast views across Burley Park where you’ll see many a deer, but the chefs know how to whip up some delicious fare, too. We recommend opting for a sharing dish and giving the Moroccan spiced lamb a try, for something that will truly warm your cockles.
And, of course, no relaxing weekend away would be complete without a little ‘me time’, so make sure to book yourself into the spa for a facial or massage to truly forget all of those work-related stresses.
Images: Courtesy of venues