By Elizabeth Greatrex
With lockdown restrictions now being eased, we know how eager you’ll be to grab your passport, sunglasses, and bikini and catch the first flight out of England that you can get your hands on. However, with the current climate still highly unpredictable and flights being cancelled daily, we believe that there is a much better way to holiday this year: planning a staycation. If you know where to look, England is an ideal location to explore, decompress, and experience some of the most breathtaking sights that mother nature has to offer. So, without further ado, here are a handful of our most dreamy English locations that will leave you completely refreshed and de-stressed.
The Seaside Boarding House, Dorset
Located deep in the heart of tranquil Dorset, this idyllic hotel will remind you that you don’t have to visit another country to experience true bliss. Although a terribly popular location for a getaway, Dorset is surprisingly unspoilt. The hotel itself overlooks the sweep of Lyme Bay and is seconds away from the fresh coastal air and golden sands of the seafront. A collection of just nine rooms, The Seaside Boarding House has an incomparably authentic design with renovated fittings and furniture from the 1920s–1980s, its interiors taking inspiration from a mixture of classic British Edwardian hotels and the Cape Cod paintings of Edward Hopper. With only the sights and sounds of the sea as a backdrop to each room, the hotel encompasses an extremely private, quiet atmosphere. You and your partner or friend will easily be able to enjoy some quality time together without ever encountering an interruption. At the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant, you will dine like a king or queen on fresh, delicious seafood served straight from the sea and local produce from the surrounding countryside. This staycation is an unbeatably British experience all round, and after one visit, it won’t be hard to see why Dorset is the land of the longest life expectancy in Britain.
The Lakes by YOO, The Cotswolds
In just two hours after leaving London, you will find yourself arriving at The Lakes. An absolutely sublime gated community of woodland and lakeside homes in the Cotswolds, where you can spend some much needed time with your family or friends. The Cotswolds is the ultimate fairy tale location; famed for its enchanting villages, rolling hills, and dazzling landscapes; this is bound to be a holiday that you will never forget. The beauty of this staycation is that you can go at your own pace. Whether you desire to get active with a spot of kayaking, spend the day experiencing the local wildlife on a canoe, unwind at the spa, or even just enjoy a private dinner cooked in your home by a chef, The Lakes has endless activities for both adults and children. Every home is ideally secluded yet tastefully designed with open plan spaces and sleek interiors, many of which have a range of features such as outdoor terraces, kayaks, outdoor heated pools, hot tubs, rowing boats, canoes, paddleboards and bar areas. This summer, there has never been a better way to recharge your batteries than at The Lakes.
Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire
Although the name of this highly acclaimed hotel franchise speaks for itself, it is only through taking a trip to the Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire that you will truly understand the magic of this restored 18th-century manor. Surrounded by 500 acres of country estate, you will feel as if you are walking in the shoes of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy as you meander through the quintessential English countryside. Every room is beautifully lit, elegantly furnished, and allows for a glorious view of the historical grounds, while all the food and drink options are utterly delicious. Whether you would prefer to enjoy in-room dining or a night at the Wild Carrot feasting on locally sourced food from the Hampshire markets, The Four Seasons Hampshire has it all. There is also an abundance of exciting activities on offer during your stay at this hotel, so partaking in at least one is an absolute must. Choose from a game of tennis, a day at the spa, a journey along the Basingstoke canal, or horse riding at the equestrian centre, amongst many others. ‘Seamlessly blending legacy and heritage with 21st-century modernity’, the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire offers everything you could possibly want in a countryside escape.
Bathen House, Bath
If you’d like to head towards the West Country, then you have to check out Bathen House. This stunning Edwardian hotel of 13 elegant rooms and suites is situated in one of the most beautiful cities in England, Bath. Well-known for its Roman history, boutique shops, world-class museums and natural thermal spas, the city itself provides an ideal opportunity for a relaxing staycation and is definitely not short of things to do and places to see. Yet even if you never left the premises, we can guarantee you would still be in total bliss for the entire stay. The bedrooms are a plush paradise of pastel shades, soft furnishings, glass chandeliers, and flowers washed in bright warm light; while the bathrooms are a spacious haven of rain showers, roll-top baths and marble walls. When it comes to dining, you won’t possibly be able to resist the mouth-watering dishes served at the all-new Bouvardia restaurant, all created from the best of locally sourced British ingredients. A perfect mix of traditional and contemporary, this has to be one of Bath’s most stylish, tranquil venues for a staycation.
Seaham Hall, Durham
Last but certainly not least is Seaham Hall in the historic town of Durham. This Georgian Country house hotel has been cited as one of the best places to stay in the North East of England and is the perfect place to staycate if you want to explore the landscape of Durham’s Heritage Coast. Durham offers an array of attractions to fill your stay with such as bike rides across panoramic landscapes, strolls along stony beaches, and visits to several historic sites. Seaham Hall is rich in heritage but very contemporary in style and design, with all rooms and suites embodying splendid views, glamourous furnishings, and all the luxurious amenities one could want from a hotel. Dining at Seaham Hall is a whole experience in itself, with one of their restaurants, The Dining Room, named among the best in Durham. This fabulous restaurant offers seasonal menus of delicious, quirky dishes made from the finest local ingredients. And if you’re a fan of Pan-Asian cuisine, then sampling the vibrant, warm dishes at their other restaurant, Ozone, is an absolute must. Coupled with an award-winning spa experience at Serenity Spa, we can’t think of one reason why Seaham Hall won’t provide you with one of the best staycations of your life.
Stay in with Farmison & Co’s Staycation Eats and Treats
Even if you don’t fancy venturing to the other end of the country, you can still eat like you’re on vacation with Farmison & Co’s Staycation Eats and Treats! Their scrumptious range of curated meat boxes are an excellent addition to any banquet or BBQ and are available to be delivered to any location. Choose from options such as The Great British Reunion Box, F&Co’s Half Crispy Peking Style Duck, and The Burger Collection Box.