Wolterton Park, Norfolk
Wolterton Hall is one of four grand power houses of Norfolk, built by Horatio Walpole, the brother of Britain’s first prime minister, Robert Walpole. Wolterton’s new owners have set about restoring the 500-acre estate’s Grade I-listed buildings. Currently there are four properties which have been completely refurbished: the East Wing, Steward’s House and Treasury which span the entry to the park, and the Garden House, which has views over the walled gardens. All have private outside space, atmospheric lighting, bespoke kitchens and luxurious bathrooms with underfloor heating and Hans Grohe rain showers. All rooms are furnished with period furniture, Colefax & Fowler and Malabar fabrics and oak, marble and mosaic flooring. We love the look of the East Wing, which is an ideal place for a gathering with family and friends. With seven bedrooms and five bathrooms, this beautiful home has views towards the lake, a spacious drawing room and dining room, a fully equipped kitchen and a garden.
Wolterton Park, Norfolk, NR11 7LY
Aynhoe Park, Oxfordshire
In 250 acres of Capability Brown Cotswolds countryside is Aynhoe Park, a 17th-century, 28-bedroom country house. By booking the house, guests have the run of one of the most unusual stately homes in Britain, one with 16 one-of-a-kind bedrooms and six apartments with 12 bedrooms to retreat to, and the support of a personal butler and a team of discreet, there-when-they’re-needed household staff. From grand Georgian parlours with bold wallpaper to boudoirs with colonial flourishes, every bedroom has a personality of its own – as well as spacious bathrooms, cosy robes and king-size beds. When to comes to food, Anyhoe’s team of chefs can pull together everything from grand banquets to home-cooked Sunday roasts and the kitchen can tailor-make menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between.
Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX17 3BQ
Cowdray House, West Sussex
Set in 110 acres of private gardens, grounds and parkland, Cowdray House is a striking place to gather with friends and family. It was home to Cowdray Estate’s original polo field, commonly referred to as the ‘House Ground’, and guests today can enjoy polo lessons on the new field as part of their stay. All Cowdray House’s 22 luxury bedrooms include super-king or king-sized beds, high-speed wifi, luxury toiletries and Nespresso machines, plus Cowdray-embossed towels, robes and slippers. Of the lot, we like the look of the Crystal room, which comes with an en-suite, an adjoining dressing room and a walk-in shower. The room overlooks the front gardens and has extensive views of the South Downs. Don’t forget to stock up at the on-site well-filled farm shop on the way home.
Cowdray Park, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 0AY
Frampton Court, Gloucestershire
Frampton on Severn lies close to the east bank of the River Severn in Gloucestershire and is well known for its traditional summer cricket on Rosamund’s Green and Frampton Country Fair in the autumn. The Clifford family, who have owned the estate for over 1,000 years, have diversified from farming in recent years and now offer a host of wonderful places to stay. The two grandest houses on the estate – the striking timber-framed 16th-century manor and the splendid 18th-century Frampton Court – face each other across the village green. Within the court itself, we like the look of the pretty Flora Room which comes with an original 18th-century fireplace and blue and white Bristol Delft tiles. The bedroom is light and airy and Frampton Flora watercolours hang on the walls. There’s also an en-suite bathroom, with a bath, basin and separate shower, plus lovely views across the north end of the park and the orangery.
Frampton on Severn, Gloucestershire, GL2 7EP
Sibton Park, Suffolk
This Grade II*-listed Georgian country house was designed by the celebrated architect Decimus Burton. The manor was built in 1827 and has giant Ionic pillars creating a dramatic portico entrance. Inside you’ll find a number of reception rooms with classic Georgian proportions, a drawing room with listed Chinese wallpaper, open fires, antique furniture and chandeliers alongside discreet technology. Upstairs, there are 12 bedrooms with Hypnos beds, eclectic furnishings and views through large sash windows. Eleven en-suite marble-floored bathrooms have underfloor heating, luxurious fittings and most have roll-top baths, as well as power showers. The dining room is a grand affair perfect for celebrations and bringing friends and family together. For more informal dining, there is the large kitchen with wood-burner, Aga and deer-antler chandeliers. There’s also a gym, cinema and games room.
Sibton, Suffolk, IP17 2LZ
Clevedon Hall, Somerset
Clevedon Hall is a Victorian mansion house on the coast in Clevedon in North Somerset. The house offers 25 bedrooms sleeping up to 50 guests, all with en-suites and some with dressing rooms and sitting rooms. This a private and exclusive venue offering five-star, bespoke hospitality services – the Great Hall and Great Library are both excellent places to throw a party. Partnerships with local suppliers allows the team to offer activities across its 17 acres of land, such as clay-pigeon shooting, paintballing, quad biking, geese herding, kayaking and canoeing in the recently renovated marine Marlens Lake – perfect for those with children. The sea is within walking distance, as is Clevedon Pier and the village of Clevedon itself.
Clevedon, Somerset, BS21 7RH
Cadhay is an historic Tudor manor house dating back to 1550, offering luxurious self-catering accommodation for up to 22 people. The house is located at Ottery St Mary in rural East Devon, ten miles east of Exeter and six miles from the sea at Sidmouth. While Cadhay offers history and grandeur of centuries past, the house itself is far from a museum (although it is open the public on Friday afternoons between May and September). Instead, the family home has been beautifully transformed into a house used for family gatherings and groups wanting a large house to stay in together for a special occasion. The accommodation is set over three floors: guests can choose whether to stay in a traditional four-poster bed or a more contemporary version hand-crafted by Cadhay’s furniture-maker owner, while children can sleep under the eaves in the cosy attic rooms. If you’re in need of extra space, two of holiday cottages sleep six and a third sleeps two.
Ottery Saint Mary, Devon, EX11 1QT
Thorpe Manor, Oxfordshire
Thorpe Manor is a Grade II*-listed Georgian manor built in the mid-1600s in the style of Thomas Archer. The original owner was Thomas and Mary Kirton, a first cousin of Oliver Cromwell. Over the last two and a half years, current owners Henry and Natasha have managed the extensive works to restore the manor. Fourteen contemporary bedrooms come with rainfall showers and roll-top baths, 100% Egyptian cotton sheets, period details, Roberts radios and room service. Within the house, there’s also a bar, games room, relaxing drawing room and flower room, while outside offers a courtyard for al fresco dining, plus a hot tub and croquet lawn.
Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX17 2HR
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