At the end of the week, why not buckle up your seatbelts and head straight to the countryside for a weekend retreat? Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire, as well as sharing their Shire titles, also boast a conveniently close proximity to London. This, combined with their stunning scenery, makes these spots the ideal counties to escape to.
Below is a roundup of the most idyllic hotels to stay in for a weekend away from the city.
Originally an old stable block, the newly renovated Hertfordshire oasis comprises 16 Mews set within the 12-acre grounds of the stunning Georgian manor house, Sopwell House.
With the choice of studio, one bedroom and duplex mews houses, each of the properties is styled in a quintessentially British manner. The glamorous retreats benefit from full use of the Sopwell House Hotel’s elegant restaurants and award-winning spa.
The Mews surround a stunning communal botanical garden with a hydrotherapy pool, designed by Chelsea Flower Show gold medallist Ann-Marie Powell. Many have their own private terraces with sunken hot tubs.
The Mews at Sopwell House is at Cottonmill Lane, St Albans, AL1 2HQ. For reservations, please call: 01727 864477.
This escape needs no introduction. Belonging to one of the most exclusive group of members clubs in the world, there’s no wonder why Soho Farmhouse has been frequented by the likes of Henry Holland, Princess Eugenie and Alexa Chung. The charming seven-bedroom farmhouse is set in 100 acres of Oxfordshire countryside and the retreat boasts a four-bedroom cottage as well as 40 additional cabins. Activities on offer include pony hacks across the fields, tennis on the all-weather courts, boating from the boathouse pontoon and football on the five-a-side grass pitch.
Soho Farmhouse is at Great Tew, Chipping Norton, OX7 4JS. For reservations, please call: 01608 691000.
Located in acres of picturesque parkland– this luxurious country house hotel on the borders of Windsor Great Park boasts high-end style coupled with a countryside ambience. As part of the prestigious Dorchester collection of hotels, the retreat comprises a Georgian style Mansion House and self-contained converted Stables and Cottages. An understated palette of subtle colours lends an air of calm to the spacious rooms and suites. The hotel also offers a spa as well as equestrian and polo facilities.
Coworth Park is at Blacknest Road, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7SE. For reservations, please call 01344 876600.