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The mercury’s plummeted and we’ve all gone into forced hibernation. So a weekend getaway to one of these unbelievably cosy hotels might be just what the doctor ordered, writes Tamara Hinson.
This stunning hotel, which dates back to 1698, can be found in Bourton on the Water, which is widely regarded as one of England’s prettiest villages.
Inside the honey-hued stone building, guests will find roaring log fires and four-poster beds, while the beautiful walled garden is a wonderful place for a winter walk – and a great way to burn off the hotel’s legendary afternoon teas.
Visitors to the Gilpin can opt to stay in the main building or the lake house, which is just a short walk from the hotel. It’s the ultimate cosy bolthole for guests in search of privacy – there are just six suites, along with an indoor pool, sauna and a large outdoor hot tub.
The spa is a great place for some winter pampering, with two treatment rooms which open into a relaxation room with its own roaring log fire.
Over in the main hotel, thick rugs, precious ornaments and well-thumbed books give the place a homely feel, while the restaurant’s menu specialises in comfort food, with plenty of locally sourced fish.
We’re rather excited about this luxurious country hotel, which reopens on December 7 after a £1.7 million refurbishment. The Grade-II listed building dates back to 1852, and can be found on the edge of the New Forest’s rolling downs, so guests should keep their eyes peeled for the local wildlife.
Inside the hotel it’s an explosion of rich fabrics and beautiful trinkets, with plenty of armchairs to sink into for a pre-dinner tipple. Described as a “restaurant with rooms,” the focus is very much on the food.
On the menu? Steamed mussels, clams and chorizo, and wood roasted fore rib of beef.
There’s something wonderful about being able to see a slice of chilly, grey ocean from the window of a luxurious hotel room, but the views from this gorgeous hotel aren’t the only reason it’s the perfect base for a winter retreat.
In the lobby, the enormous, faded mural depicting a world map is a great way to work out where to go when the warmer weather returns, and the main living room, with its squashy sofas and roaring fire, is the ideal place to enjoy the hotel’s afternoon tea, served with lashings of local clotted cream, of course.
The Bushmills Inn is quite simply one of the cosiest hotels we’ve come across. Head to the gas-lit bar, which has a peat-burning fire, to sample a dram of Bushmills’ very own malt whiskey, or to the snug-like hidden library – accessed via a secret door – if you fancy curling up with a good book.
The hotel, which was once a coaching inn frequented by saddle-sore visitors en route to the Giant’s Causeway, even has its own private cinema, which can accommodate 30 people.
A night at this ridiculously cosy hotel is the perfect way to recover from a hike through the nearby Berwyn Hills. Expect beautiful rugs draped over worn flagstones, inglenook fireplaces and thick wooden beams.
The rooms are all unique, with our favourite being the split-level Bunny Warren suite, which can be found in a part of the hotel which dates back to the 16th century. The Willow Suite, which comes with its very own massage chair, is probably the best option after a long day of hill walking.
It’s hard not be seduced by this quaint hotel, which can be found in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. In addition to the log fires and roll-top baths (some positioned by the window for unbeatable views while you soak), there are antique wardrobes, window bays with built-in seating and framed pictures depicting the moors in years gone by.
Sadly, winter probably isn’t the best time to enjoy one of the hotel’s delicious picnic hampers out on the moor, so head to the cosy restaurant instead, where you can feast of locally sourced food prepared by The Traddock’s two AA Rosette chefs.
We don’t know what we love most about this Hampshire hotel: the tea cosy-clad teapots hanging behind the bar, the fact that the eggs served at breakfast are produced by the hotel’s very own flock of hens or the beehives which can be found in the garden.
Owners Simon Page and Jason King have done a wonderful job of creating a cosy sanctuary which still feels wonderfully modern. In the beautifully minimalist bathrooms, for example, there are fabulous Aesop toiletries and designer sinks, and guests sleep under Hungarian goose down duvets, on 400-thread count white bed linen.
Gleneagles might be one of the UK’s largest hotels (there are 232 rooms),
but its location, nestled deep in the Scottish hills, makes it a fantastic destination for a winter break.
One advantage about its size is that there’s very little reason to venture outside – the hotel has a gorgeous shopping arcade, a hair salon, four restaurants, a spa and a heated outdoor pool.
Cuisine is thoroughly Scottish and deliciously hearty, with menus which include everything from Scot’s porridge and mountain lamb to game reared on the local moor and smoked salmon carved and flambéed at your table.
This former rectory has a rather impressive claim to fame – it features in Thomas Hardy’s A Pair of Blue Eyes. The author fell in love with his wife, Emma, at this house while he was working as an architect.
The majority of the food is produced in the hotel’s walled garden and the hearty breakfasts are cooked in an Aga, served with toast and jars of homemade jam.
On cold winter days we recommend heading to the living room, where you can huddle by the log-burning stove and gaze out onto the beautiful garden.
Please note: All prices were correct at the time of writing and may fluctuate.
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