This autumn, Original Travel UK is excited to host an agent familiarisation trip around the idyllic English countryside including The Cotswolds, Buckinghamshire, Surrey and the fascinating cities of Bath and Oxford. While touring with some of our local expert guides, we're excited to showcase a few of our favourite hotels…
The National Trust-owned Grade I listed house will make you feel as if you're stepping back in time to Georgian England. Steeped in history, this stately home was once owned by Louis XVIII, the exiled King of France, between 1809 and 1814 before becoming a hotel in 1989. Away from the stunningly decorated traditional house, its 90 acres of glorious Capability Brown-designed gardens and grounds are a true highlight on any stay here. Hartwell House makes an excellent overnight stop from London and its airports, being only 40 miles northwest of the city in Buckinghamshire.
OTUK's Letitia loves looking along the Jacobean principal staircase, comprising extraordinary carved figures, to spot the more recent addition of a baluster portraying Winston Churchill himself!
Located amid 500 acres of rural countryside just outside Bath, the beautiful Cotswolds retreat of Lucknam Park is an ideal spot for families in search of a luxurious countryside playground, with a wide range of activities from horse riding at the on-site equestrian centre to cookery classes in their very own cookery school. As well as the main house, with its individually designed rooms and suites, the recently built Keeper's Cottage is a perfect self-catered option for those wanting a home away from home.
OTUK's Rita recommends a wander down to the stables where the friendly team will introduce you to their beautifully groomed horses, perfect for guests of all ages.
The indulgent 15th century country estate of Ellenborough Park is situated on the outskirts of Cheltenham, just a few furlongs away from its world-famous racecourse. After a day exploring the picturesque town of Cheltenham or walking through the Cotswolds' countryside, indulge in the Indian-inspired spa and outdoor heated swimming pool before dining in the estate's traditional countryside pub (accompanied by a glass of their very own Ellenborough Park gin) or in The Restaurant for some modern British fine dining.
OTUK's Chloe can't wait to see who else will be entering the New Year's Day Races in style, with Ellenborough Park offering private chauffeur driven access straight into the heart of the Cheltenham racecourse.
The 400 acre Farncombe estate is home to not one, but three very special luxury hotels; the exclusive, adults-only Foxhill Manor; the family-friendly, farmhouse-chic Dormy House; and The Fish, whose luxury huts make for the perfect rustic romantic retreat (they've also just opened their new luxury treehouses). Filled with parkland and forest, there really is something for everyone on the Farncombe estate, whether you're looking for a family-stay, a romantic getaway or a place to relax and indulge in some gourmet dining.
OTUK's Susie thinks the breadth of experiences that the estate has to offer is fantastic. From the wonderful children's playzone and top-notch spa to quad bikes and segways for those who prefer to explore the grounds at speed.
Located in the heart of the Surrey Hills, this family-friendly British countryside estate is surrounded by a rich history and breathtaking views. Once home to one of the most powerful men of the 20th Century, Sir Winston Churchill, you can even stay in his old bedroom and soak in his bath! And being only 20 miles from London, Beaverbrook is an excellent hotel choice before returning to London or flying home. With a new spa opening this autumn, including an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a steam room, sauna, and a Hammam, there really has never been a better time to visit.
OTUK's Caroline loves the history behind the UK's first cinema, where Lord Beaverbrook & Sir Winston Churchill discussed the war's progress, still boasting the original Art Deco wood-panelling & lighting!