UK Hotels to Book Now

Barnsley House

International travel is still a circus, but from 17th May we should be able to stay in UK hotels again. Oh to be looked after and have our breakfast made for us…These are our favourite places to book for a summer stay.

Barnsley House, Cotswolds

Before it was a hotel, Barnsley House was the home of renowned garden designer Rosemary Verey and her impact can still be felt in the beautiful knot garden, Laburnum walk and deep flower beds at this Cotswolds hotel. Bedrooms are romantic and peaceful in their decoration and guests can book dedicated Spa Time, when you have the spa completely to yourself for over two hours along with a treatment. Barnsley House, Barnsley, Cirencester GL7 5EE

The Swan in Southwold, Suffolk

After a recent refurb, The Swan is now the smartest place to stay on this stretch of Suffolk coast. Set just back from the seafront with its colourful beach huts on the sand, the pub-turned hotel has an on-site Adnams brewery and distillery, restaurant and 35 colourful bedrooms. These come in differing tiers but nearly all have four-poster beds and the Family Quarters have interconnecting doors. There’s also a separate Brewers House that sleeps up to six in three bedrooms. The SwanMarket Place, Southwold IP18 6EG England

The Star at Alfriston, East Sussex

As great fans of Hotel Tresanton in St Mawes and Hotel Endsleigh in Dartmoor we’re already excited for the third hotel from Olga Polizzi that will open this summer in East Sussex. A half-timbered 16th century inn has been transformed into a boutique hotel with 30 bedrooms, each individually decorated by Olga Polizzi. The Star sits in the village of Alfriston with walks across the South Downs on the doorstep. Booking now open for stays from 17 June. The Star at Alfriston, East Sussex, BN26 5TA

The Rose, Deal, Kent

A whole load of vintage bicycles are now available for guests to borrow at The Rose. Pick up beach towels at reception and pedal off along the coast stopping for a dip in the sea if you’re brave enough. Return home for a hot shower and then relax on the terrace with warm heaters and blankets and tuck into the new Nuno Mendes spring menu with a seasonal cocktail or glass of natural wine. A Little Bird readers will get a free room upgrade when quoting A Little Bird when booking (subject to availability). The Rose, 91 High St, Deal CT14 6ED

The Rectory, Cotswolds

There’s a wonderful sense of space at The Rectory. Not only are the bedrooms and bathrooms on the generous side, there are several inviting sitting rooms, a bar with tables that spill out onto the lawn of the country garden at the end of which is a gate that leads you through the churchyard out to the fields beyond. A bonus in summer is the small outdoor swimming pool with loungers. The village pub, The Potting Shed is about 100m away. The Rectory, Crudwell, Malmesbury SN16 9EP

The Rosevine, Cornwall

A long-standing family favourite on the Roseland Peninsula. All the rooms are self-contained apartments rather than bedrooms, so you can cook for yourself as well as eating at the restaurant and enjoying the hotel’s spaces like the indoor heated swimming pool, drawing room with wood burner and playroom for children. It’s just a few hundred metres to the sand. The RosevineTruro TR2 5EW

Number One Bruton, Somerset

Bruton is a paradise for foodies. Number One Bruton’s restaurant, Osip has Michelin-starred Merlin Labron-Johnson at its helm and he’s just opened a new wine bar and épicerie a few doors down from the hotel. The Old Pharmacy will serve sandwiches, salads and coffees to tide you over until the spectacular set menu at Osip in the evening. Bedrooms in the Townhouse and the Cottages are full of artworks and objects from local artists and craftsmen. The newly renovated Forge rooms will be available to book from May, but there’s more availability generally in July and August. Number One Bruton, 1 High St, Bruton BA10 0AB

Thyme, Cotswolds

A truly spoiling hotel that occupies a ‘village within a village’ in the Cotswolds. Book a bedroom, cottage or your own country house. This summer there will be an exhibition from the London florist Jam Jar Flowers, with large scale pressed botanical and flower installations inspired by the gardens and water meadows at Thyme. These will be on show in the Tithe Barn from 15th June – 12th September alongside a whole series of events including flower pressing, gardening talks and soap making. Thyme, Nr, Lechlade GL7 3NX

Backwell House, Bristol

A little bit like The Pig but a fraction of the cost. Think roll-top baths, big comfy beds and cutting gardens to explore. 10 minutes by car takes you into Bristol; you’re on the right side of town to drive in over the suspension bridge into Clifton. Backwell House, Farleigh Rd, Backwell, Bristol BS48 3QA

Another Place, Ullswater, Lake District

On the shores of Ullswater, prepare to get outdoors into the fresh air of the fells when you stay at Another Place. There are activities galore at this contemporary hotel from stand-up paddle boarding, star-gazing night swimming, sailing, horseback trekking and more. We would happily spend hours in the enormous swimming pool. Another Place, Watermillock, Ullswater, Penrith CA11 0LP

The Fife Arms, Braemar, Scotland

Wild, romantic Highlands scenery outdoors and over 16,000 artworks and antiques inside. Owned by Iwan and Manuela Wirth (of Hauser & Wirth) spot Man Ray photographs as you sip your pre-dinner cocktail in the Elsa bar and find works by Lucian Freud, Zhang Enli, Gerhard Richter and even Queen Victoria herself as you explore the hotel. The service is excellent – roaring fires are lit wherever you sit down – and it’s also incredibly child-friendly. The Fife Arms, Mar Rd, Braemar, Ballater AB35 5YN

North House, Cowes, Isle of Wight

Take the Red Funnel ferry from Southampton to West Cowes and then it’s a short walk up the hill to this townhouse hotel. Bedrooms are luxurious with REN products and Roberts radios, but service is friendly and there’s a laid-back seaside vibe – dogs are welcome and you’re free to pull out the croquet set and play on the lawn or take a dip in the outdoor pool in summer. North House, 30-32 Sun Hill, Cowes PO31 7TR

— Daisy Allsup
7th April 2021

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