Fancy making the most of your Easter bank holiday with a 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 bank holiday 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 an Easter bank holiday weekend 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…
The Potting Shed at The Farmhouse, North Yorkshire
If you haven’t yet considered North Yorkshire when planning a UK break, let us tell you, you’ve been missing out. Sandwiched in between the rugged moorland and scenic coast is a hub of very cute villages and towns which are all to be explored.
The cutest of them all has to be Goathland – a tiny village with some 400 inhabitants and a small string of old-fashioned shops (think pastel-fronted post office and tea rooms), among miles of rolling hills.
Here you’ll find The Farmhouse. The original building dates back to 1880, but since 2016 the Carr family have been inviting guests to enjoy it as a luxury country escape. It’s got it all: incredible views of the surrounding valleys and open moors, hearty breakfasts using local produce, vegetable allotments and farmland to walk around and the kind of a fresh air big city folk can only dream of.
Although The Farmhouse does have a selection of rooms, if you want to feel completely secluded The Potting Shed is the place for you. Located on the very edge of the farm, you’ll have your own uninterrupted views spanning the fields and a private path leading right to your door.
Inside, the decor is cosy and chic, using a colour palette of neutral tones. Layers of textured rugs, a huge, white-sheeted bed and an electric fire all contribute to your comfort, as well as homely touches such as local cake, raspberry jam, bottled milk and freshly-baked loaf left in the kitchen for you. It strikes the perfect balance of feeling like an absolute treat, while being a home away from home where you can truly wind down.
When summer rolls around and the need for the fire has died down, throw open the three sets of french doors and feel immersed in nature from the comfort of your bed. Not that you’ll want to stay there too long, considering how much fun is to be had in the surrounding areas.
In under half an hour by car you can reach Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay. The first is known for its connection to the iconic novel Dracula, atmospheric abbey ruins, cobbled streets lined with boutiques and brilliant pubs that look out across the water. And Robin Hood’s Bay is the stuff that Instagram dreams are made on, packed with rose-coloured cottages and lovely shops.
Links House, Dornoch
There are few places in the UK that can claim to be as beautiful as the stretch of coast that runs alongside the Scottish Highlands. On that coast there is a tiny, impossibly cute town called Dornoch which happens to be the home of luxury five-star hotel Links House.
You see, in our fast-paced and polluted city lives, more and more of us are craving a break away that is both aesthetically breath taking and allows us to slow down the pace for a few days. We’re seeing holiday makers move away from party capitals and instead invest in destinations where they can reconnect to nature. Crucially, people are also looking to access their chosen destinations via more eco-friendly methods of travel, like train.
It’s all these things and (much) more which make Links House an incredible destination for a long weekend away. 40 miles north of Inverness, Dornoch benefits from a microclimate which means it’s one of the driest, sunniest parts of Scotland and with some of the most beautiful, pastel-hued sunsets. This fact makes enjoying all of the wholesome outdoor activities Links House has to offer all the sweeter, starting with the picturesque beach which is literally a two-minute walk away.
While staying at the house you can also trundle down to the tiny town, which is not only quaint but has lots of little boutiques and hearty pubs to explore and none of the hustle and bustle of big city life. If you fancy doing something a little more adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking and fishing organised by the hotel. We also couldn’t talk about Links House without mentioning its world-renowned golf course, which is an absolute must-see for golf lovers.
But although there’s plenty to do outside the hotel, we’re not sure you’ll want to venture too far after putting your feet up and experiencing just how accommodating Links House can be. Its traditional Scottish décor will instantly make you feel at home with open fires and big chairs in rich, cosy fabrics, all put together in a design-lead way. Not only are the rooms sumptuously comfortable and the staff are a delight, but the hotel’s new restaurant means you won’t want to go far for your evening meal.
Mara will open in the spring and is inspired by gifts from Scotland’s waters, fields, forests and skies, with a focus on sustainability. Its menu will provide guests with the very best of the Highland’s produce, which for those who have travelled from other parts of the UK, will make their experience all the more special and authentic. Think, for example, lobsters from Portmahomack, Scrabster scallops, Perthshire raspberries and Dornoch lamb… is your mouth watering yet?
No. 131 The Promenade, Cheltenham
No. 131 The Promenade is a Georgian hotel in the Cotswolds, offering a boutique city option for those wanting to explore the surrounding countryside.
Original features and period bathrooms exist alongside super chic interior design throughout the bedrooms, with to-die-for touches like free-standing baths and original artwork from some of the UK’s biggest names. Pick from Cosy, Very Good, and Excellent for your room size, some of which are so spacious we could quite happily call them home forever.
For all your drinking and dining needs there’s the stylish restaurant and bar (we particularly love the Baz Lurhmann-esque neon sign), and you must visit Gin and Juice, the resident cocktail specialist watering hole. With a collection of 350 gins (and growing), we think it’s earned its name.
Elmley Nature Reserve
A getaway with a difference, Elmley is a 3,300 acre estate and nature reserve based on an island in the Thames. Unlike some of the other all-out luxury names on this list, Elmley is more focused on cute and cosy countryside escapes, with accommodation that lets you get back to nature and looks good on the ‘gram.
Elmley has a selection of staycation options, including a tiny traditional hut with spanning views and a glass-fronted she-shed with outdoor vintage bath tub, and there’s plenty more where that came from. All of the immersed-in-the-wild dwellings come with self-catering options and a selection of treats (like marshmallows and coffee) to get you started, but hot meals can be delivered to your door too. You can now also stay in the beautiful 18th century Kingshill Farmhouse, which is has been undergoing renovation.
Buried in the depths of picturesque Somerset, Babington House 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.
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