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Cosying up by the fireplace with a brewing pot of tea is one of the best parts of winter, so this year, why not plan a staycation with exactly that in mind? While many hotels have fireplaces in the common areas, not many have rooms with their own private log burners or wood burning stoves. We’ve rounded up eight that do – combine that with a nature trail or coastal walk and you’re all set for a winter escape.
This mid-16th-century thatched-roof, stone slab farmhouse might seem humble but inside, the nine guestrooms are decked in colourful, groovy-patterned furnishings, as is characteristic of all Artist Residence hotels. Think: large mirrors with teal frames and bedside tables made with upcycled crates. Extra cosy are the stable and barn suites both of which have log burners. A 20-minute drive is Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which has a wildlife park that’s home to over 260 animal species and walking trails in the ancient beechwood forests.
A stately multi-domed building with a clocktower, the Balmoral on Princes Street has been an Edinburgh icon for over a century since its opening in 1902. Interiors are just as grand, with classical columns and the nearly 200 rooms come in colour schemes of teal and lime green, silvers and ocean blue. The larger suites have fireplaces fronted with rugs and blanketed chairs to snuggle up in. While the hotel bar stocks hundreds of different types of whiskeys, a short walk away are Edinburgh Gin Distillery and Pickering’s Gin Distillery.
The stone slab building looks older than it is – this West Sussex hotel was built in the 1920s by a Lord of the Guinness Brewing family. A lavender-lined pathway leads to the hotel and the grounds have indoor and outdoor heated pools separated by window panels. Book one of the Sussex rooms which come with fireplaces with snug set-ups – rugs, plush sofas and dark-wood tables. Less than a 10-minute walk is the pebbly Climping Beach and further afield is Chichester Harbour AONB, a bucolic meshing of tidal inlets and salt marshes.
Another Cotswolds beauty, the Fish Hotel has luxury “shepherd’s huts” with snazzy, modern-look wood-burning stoves complete with logs to feed the fire. Other rooms have white and pastel walls, some with doors that open to the hotel’s gardens. The Fish Hotel sits in 400 acres of fields in Farncombe Estate, which are wonderful to explore – the hotel even provides wellies for this. Walk through the fields to Broadway Village’s High Street, a cute row of cafés and antique shops.
Manicured lawns with neatly-aligned hedges and flower beds lead to a palatial cream-façade building with double-sided staircases. This Maidenhead gem was built in 1666 and rooms are unapologetically regal – imagine vanity corners, four-poster beds with gold drapes and pink headboards. Deluxe rooms come with antique fireplaces complete with old portraits hung above and a coffee table to place a hot beverage. Cliveden has numerous walking trails, including a “green trail” of woodland paths and a steeper riverside “gold trail”.
A glimmering white house nestled in the sunbathed lawns near the Pembrokeshire Coast of Wales belies the fact that this is a 15th-century structure initially built for farmers and their livestock. There’s not much evidence of this Medieval past – rather, rooms are elegant yet homely, decked in Vietnamese silk and Persian rugs. The Pipit Room has an antique fireplace, and inside the Seddon House is a charming antique ceramic fireplace. Explore the surrounds of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, from the rugged sea stacks of Stark Rocks to the coastal hamlet of Porthgain.
Rising from rows of flowerbeds set in 100 acres of dreamy woodlands by the River Tamar in Devon is the vine-covered Endsleigh. Reserve the big suite in the stables which has a lovely wood burning stove in the sitting room, as well as a pantry and several rooms including a children’s bunk bedroom and a bedroom overlooking the stable yard. Have a walk around Tamar Valley AONB, home to the whopping 35-mile Tamar Trail, which, conveniently can be broken down into smaller riverside trails.
This 16th-century East Sussex red-brick inn has seven rooms and four lodges with their own gardens and fire pits. The forest infiltrates the rooms in brilliant ways – wood-board floors, wooden headboards, wood beam ceilings and even tree trunks poke their way in. There’s plenty to discover nearby, such as Pashley Manor Gardens, known for its blooming tulips in spring. A 40-minute drive is Ashdown Forest with its magical landscape of acorn-littered grassland, towering pine and oak trees and ancient trees with twisted, windswept trunks that inspired A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh.
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