Staycation inspiration: book a great British break in 2021
UK travel options include wellness stays, luxury castles and island escapes
The Shard wellness break by Shangri-La
Enjoy a sky-high overnight stay at Shangri-La The Shard in London, part of Spabreaks.com’s exclusive Elysium Collection. With this package for two, guests can unwind with a soothing 60-minute massage, access to the hotel’s iconic infinity sky pool and one night in a deluxe city view room.
Perfect for relaxing among the clouds, this midweek spa break allows guests full use of the luxurious spa facilities, all of which are located on The Shard’s Level 52 and include sauna, gym and the gorgeous pool. End the day with a restful sleep overlooking the city below, before heading for a delicious breakfast at TĪNG restaurant. From £382.50 per person, minimum of two people.
Hawkings Hideaway shepherd’s hut
Within easy reach of Exmoor and north Devon’s beaches, the dog-friendly shepherd’s hut Hawkings Hideaway comes with its own private hot tub, fire pit and a large decking area - the perfect spot for taking in the countryside views. A wide range of hiking trails can be accessed straight from the door, the Exmoor National Park is nearby and just a short amble away is the Michelin-star local pub The Masons Arms. The towns of Tiverton and South Molton and the award-winning beaches at Saunton and Croyde are also within easy reach. A week’s stay for two starts from £950 and a three-night stay from £450.
Overnight relaxation at The Berkeley
Set in the heart of Knightsbridge, The Berkeley hotel offers elegance, 300 years of heritage and luxury wellbeing. Providing an energising and tranquil space, the hotel’s spa focuses on treatments designed around organic Cotswold skincare brand Bamford. Those wanting a luxury city escape will love the overnight relaxation package with its one night’s bed and breakfast in a superior king room, in-room welcome amenity and seasonal spa gift to take home. In the spa itself, guests can take some time in the relaxation room before choosing one 60-minute treatment from a choice of Bamford destress massage, Bamford deep tissue massage, Bamford maternity massage or Oskia rejuvenating facial. From £350 per person, minimum of two.
The Old Stables at Godwick Hall
Located in the grounds of the 19th century Godwick Hall, The Old Stables is a stunning new bolthole set in a glorious north Norfolk estate. The Old Stables sleeps six and features a pared-back Scandi style that exudes space and calm. Both the kitchen/diner and the master bedroom have French doors that open onto a south-facing walled garden and there are stunning uninterrupted views across open parkland towards the Lost Village of Godwick, one of the best preserved deserted medieval villages in Norfolk with its own heritage trail. The property is just 15 miles from the north Norfolk beaches of Wells and Holkham. A week’s stay starts from £2,200 and a three-night weekend break from £1,750. There is still some availability for peak summer weeks.
South Place Hotel’s ultimate staycation
South Place Hotel has created a weekend staycation package designed to showcase the best of the hotel and east London. The “Ultimate South Place Staycation” features a weekend stay at the boutique property, with a six-course dinner at its Michelin-starred Angler restaurant and brunch at Coq d’Argent, one of London’s hottest rooftop locations. Also included is a classic British breakfast at Chop House, a welcome cocktail at one of South Place’s bars or terraces and unlimited hire of the hotel’s Pashley bicycles. Available on Friday or Saturday nights only in June, July and August, the package costs £449 per couple in a South Place king room and bookings must be made through the hotel’s website.
Kirkliston Castle, located just outside of Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh, has been lovingly updated to give its interior a more contemporary feel while still honouring its past life. Nestled within 32 acres of private grounds, guests have plenty of space to enjoy total tranquillity and to feel as though they have completely escaped the hustle and bustle of daily life. With contemporary interiors and opulent furnishings across its 12 bedrooms and various entertaining spaces this home is ideal for those wanting to spend time with their loved ones in a space that feels truly royal. There’s also a private tennis court and a fully stocked bar, and the manicured grounds offer plenty of space to roam. From £4,198 per night via Homes & Villas by Marriott International.
Located at Southrop Manor Estate in Gloucestershire, Thyme is described as “a village within a village”. Now open seven days a week, then Wednesdays to Sundays from 1 October, this Cotswolds gem features 32 bedrooms in the grounds and gardens, the Ox Barn restaurant, Baa bar, The Meadow Spa, and the Botanical Bothy. Guests can take part in cookery classes and flower arranging lessons at The School while there’s also many events on the schedule. One of the year’s highlights is The Nature of Thyme, an exhibition of pressed botanicals by JamJar Flowers from 15 June to 12 September at the Tithe Barn. Room-only rates per night start from £285 (midweek) and £345 (Friday and Saturday).
The 12-bedroom Langton Castle - built in 1785 and set on a plot of land owned by the same family for six centuries - is surrounded by four individual cottages, which sleep between two and six guests. This castle is an A-listed historic building of architectural importance and guests can even find some of the historically significant pieces of furniture dotted around the home. Come together for meals around the main building’s 24-seat, 19th-century oak dining table before shifting into the game room to play billiards, take in the views from the Ionic-style portico, or read in front of the fireplace in the salmon-hued drawing room. From £3,826 per night via Homes & Villas by Marriott International.
This impressive 17th century Castle is a Grade II-listed, detached, hill-top property enjoying glorious 360-degree views over wooded North Somerset countryside on one side and across the Bristol Channel to Wales on the other. With eight bedrooms in total, the main accommodations are located in the central, four-story structure, which is surrounded by a cobbled courtyard and eight turrets (housing five of the eight bedrooms). Facilities also include a grand sitting room and indoor pool. From £1,848 per night via Homes & Villas by Marriott International.
By Achnasheen, Wester Ross, Scotland
The Torridon stargazing experience
Located in the north-west Highlands at the head of a magnificent sea loch, The Torridon is a former shooting lodge, built by the Earl of Lovelace, with 18 individually designed bedrooms and a 3 AA Rosette restaurant, 1887. The 58 acres of parkland surrounding the five-star hotel is classified as a “Bortle scale 1 or 2 location”, meaning that it is amongst the darkest locations on earth and one of the finest places to experience the night sky. Here, stargazing amateurs and aficionados will sight rich views of the Milky Way guided by renowned local astronomer Stephen Mackintosh, who will share his wealth of knowledge in a lecture and post-excursion Q&A session. Available between November and March, the stargazing experience starts at £515 for two people.
Ascot, Berkshire, England
Equestrian escape: play polo at Coworth Park
Coworth Park’s world-class polo grounds are managed by Guards Polo Club, founded in 1955 by The Duke of Edinburgh, who remains the club’s president to this day. Internationally renowned, the club brings almost 60 years of hosting world-class sport and polo events to Coworth Park, which is the only hotel in the UK that provides its own polo fields and practice facilities. From individual lessons to bespoke polo days playing alongside members of the world’s most famous polo club, lessons are available between April and September. Coworth Park has also recently unveiled its new country house accommodation, North Lodge, which is perfect for a staycation this summer.
Northumbria: England’s Wild Frontier
Adventure tour operator Wild Frontiers has launched its first ever itinerary for England. This eight-day walking adventure will take in the wilds of Northumberland including spectacular waterfalls, the Roman remains of Hadrian’s Wall, The Holy Island of Lindisfarne (pictured), breathtaking views up to the highest fells in the Pennines and the magnificent fortress of Bamburgh. The tour costs from £1,945 based on two people sharing for eight days and excluding flights. Includes accommodation, meals, transport and entrance fees.
Scotland: exploring the Orkneys and Shetlands
Introduced by Wild Frontiers earlier this year, this seven-day tour starts in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, and explores the northern island groups of Orkney and Shetland. In Orkney, guests will visit historic sites from as far back as Neolithic times to as recent as the end of the Second World War. Taking a ferry to Shetland, guests will eventually hike to the most northerly point of the United Kingdom - a nature reserve full of birds and a view across to the storm-lashed lighthouse of Muckle Flugga. From £2,095 based upon two people sharing for seven days and excluding flights. Includes accommodation, meals, transport and entrance fees.
England and Wales
The humble beach hut makes a comeback
Beachhuts.com has launched its new website which features huts on more than 40 beaches in England and Wales. From Abersoch and Worthing to Lyme Regis and St Ives, there is somewhere for everyone to enjoy. Guests are able to book their own beach hut from £20 per day or larger huts offering overnight stays from £50.
Summer at Gleneagles
Scotland’s iconic Gleneagles reopened its doors in April and there’s plenty of things for guests to do this summer at the five-star luxury hotel, spa and golf resort. The “Riviera in the Highlands” has an action-packed calendar including alfresco food pop-ups until September, a month-long series of festivities in “jubilant June” and the return of the Explorers Kids Club from July. Summer rates for a Country Double Room start from £485 including VAT and breakfast.
Lower Farm Great Wolford
This charming five-bedroom village farmhouse in the Cotswolds is perfect for all the family. It has an outdoor heated swimming pool, trampoline, tennis court and a two-and-a-half acre garden with a “help yourself” vegetable patch. There are three reception rooms, a spacious kitchen (with separate laundry and boot rooms), and a playroom. Lower Farm Great Wolford sleeps ten people and bookings can be made through Luxury Cotswolds Rentals from £12,500 per week.
Chipping Norton, England
Oeil de Boeuf
Enjoy the country way of life in the Cotswolds by booking a stay at this grand cottage. You can spend your mornings looking out over the croquet lawn while the kids play in the puppet theatre in their own private den. The outdoors are as plush as the interiors, with gardens and wildlife surrounding the property. There’s also a swimming pool and spa area which is shared with the other cottages. Oeil de Boeuf, which can be booked via Plum Guide, features five bedrooms, five bathrooms and sleeps up to ten.
The Pavilion at Gidleigh Park
A beautiful thatched cottage, The Pavilion sits within woodland in Gidleigh Park’s 107-acre estate and offers two bedrooms and bathrooms, an open plan panelled sitting room with kitchen diner and a private veranda overlooking the croquet lawns. Guests will also have access to the tennis court as well as the grounds. Prices are from £846 per night, two sharing, or from £886 per night, four sharing, available to single households and including daily breakfast hamper, minimum two-night stay. Dogs are welcome.
Aigas photography workshop with Wildlife Worldwide
Spend a week at Aigas Field Centre, one of the finest conservation centres in the UK, for a new trip led by expert photographers Alex Hyde and Nick Garbutt. This week-long photographic workshop will provide ample opportunity to capture images of British wildlife fringed by a backdrop of the Highlands. The Aigas Estate boasts a variety of habitats - ancient pine forests, secluded woodlands, tranquil lochs - and is home to numerous iconic species. From £2,995pp sharing, including seven nights’ accommodation, most meals, guided photography tuition, wildlife guiding and transfers. Departs 26 June 2021.
The Penthouse Suite at 45 Park Lane
The two-bedroom Penthouse Suite at 45 Park Lane features a wrap-around balcony that offers a rare and wonderful panoramic view of London and Hyde Park. Only accessible via a private lift, the penthouse includes a living room, separate dining room, a grand bathroom with a bathtub overlooking the park and a master bedroom with a dressing room. The suite also comes with a dedicated butler and concierge.
The Isles of Scilly
Located only 28 miles from Cornwall’s Land’s End, the idyllic Isles of Scilly offer a magical holiday with a wholesome appeal. The Isles also boast more daily hours of sunshine than in any other British region - around 7.6 hours at the height of summer. From St Mary’s, the largest island, it’s easy to hire a boat or hop on the inter-island boat services to explore all the islands. Hugh Town is the capital, nestling between two sandy beaches, and offers a wealth of independent shops, galleries, restaurants and pubs. A great way to get around is by bike and there are also more than 30 miles of nature trails and walks. Prestige Holidays has five nights at Tregarthen’s Hotel in a standard room on a B&B basis with return ferry from Penzance from £739 per person. The 32-room hotel has an award-winning restaurant specialising in seafood and features spectacular harbour views. Dogs are also welcome.
Eilean Shona Experience
Vanessa Branson, owner of the private Scottish island of Eilean Shona, will this year launch the Eilean Shona Experience, five-night breaks from £1,700pp based on two sharing. Staying in comfort in the six bedrooms at Eilean Shona House, a maximum group size of 12 people will get to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, including kayaking with seals, wild swimming, wildlife watching, and open-fire feasts at the water’s edge. There will be two experience breaks per year, the first being 18 September 2021, and all meals, house wine, activities, and return boat transfers to the mainland are included.
Glastonbury camping experiences
Although the Glastonbury Festival is cancelled this year you can still have your own camping experience - except with warm showers, less mud and your own choice of soundtrack. Available through Glamping Hideaways, the properties in Somerset - Braeburn, Bramley and Pippin - are set in a meadow next to a beautiful orchard just ten minutes from Glastonbury. They are the perfect retreat for couples, families or groups of friends wanting to escape for some peace and tranquillity.
Darlington, County Durham, England
Stay, play and dine golf break at Rockliffe Hall
Rockliffe Hall hotel’s 18-hole championship golf course is one of the most challenging in Europe. While its full 7,879 yards from the back tees will give even the best professional tour golfer a stern test, most will find the five individual tee boxes on each hole a welcome addition, offering players of all abilities the chance to experience the challenge. Choose whether you would like to play 18 or 36 holes of golf on the championship golf course, which has no winter tees. From £215 per person for 36 holes or £195 per person for 18 holes. To book call 01325 729 999 or email email@example.com