best winter escapes in the uk
We LOVE London (obvs) but we all need a little break from the city every now and again, and at this time of year, we’re all about cosy winter escapes in the UK. Whereas in summer you want to head for one of the amazing beaches close to London, in winter there’s nothing better than getting cosy in a country pub next to the fireplace.
Here we’ve rounded up some of the best winter escapes in the UK, all within easy reach of London so you can make a quick getaway to peace, quiet, and relaxation.
Ebrington Arms, Cotswolds
When it comes to countryside getaways that are within easy reach of London, it’s pretty hard to beat the Cotswolds. It’s got the lot: beautiful scenery, cute little villages, some incredible hotels and, of course, lots of pubs. So if like us you love nothing more than a big country walk followed by an even bigger Sunday roast before retiring upstairs for the biggest lie down then let us introduce to The Ebrington Arms….
This classic little country pub is in the village of Ebrington (duh), about two hours drive from London and it’s been getting quite the reputation since Jim and Claire Alexander took it over in 2007 and spruced it up. The building dates from 1640 and even though there’s some new additions, there’s plenty of creaky old charm too, from the low wooden-beamed ceilings to the heavy flagstone floors and huge open fireplaces.
If you’re a fan of making a special journey for a top restaurant but like to still minimise the travelling, then Bray is the one for you. Not only is it home to two 3 star Michelin restaurants, The Fat Duck and The Waterside Inn, but Heston’s Michelin-starred restaurant The Hind’s Head and his gastropub, The Crown too.
It’s only a 45 minute train journey from Paddington and Bray Cottages has six amazing properties all located within a stone’s throw of the best restaurants in the village. The cottages range from one bed cute love nests to three bed pads, places that in another life you could imagine living.
Lympstone Manor only opened in April 2017 but it’s already got quite the reputation as well as a Michelin star. That’s no surprise though given that Michael Caines is the brains behind the project, previously of Gidleigh Park where his restaurant had 2 stars so he’s well versed in the operations of a luxury hotel.
Set in a beautiful grade II listed country house on a hill that looks out to the Exe Estuary the hotel has just 21 rooms all named after the birds that are found in the area. We went down for a Saturday night and were treated to glorious sunny skies and temperatures that resembled early September rather than October.
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
Raymon Blanc’s Le Manoir is super easy to get to from London, just a 35 minute train from Marylebone to Haddenham and then a 10 minute taxi. Pulling up to the grand manor house, which dates from the 15th century, it’s hard not to be impressed; it’s a beautiful building, the grey stoned walls covered in creeping ivy.
Our room was pure luxury, with a marble-laden bathroom complete with big bath, a huge comfy king size bed, sofa, and TV. We wasted no time in getting stuck into the Madeira wine and chocolates on our outdoor table in the garden. There’s also a great entertainment system that you can plug in to to play your own music (although there’s also a classical CD playing by default when you come in!).
Luxury Cabins in the Cotswolds
We’re all about maximising our time off from work so as well as jetting off for longer trips we’re fans of the weekends away and a luxury cabin in the Cotswolds just 90 minutes from central London makes for a cracking night or two away from the big smoke.
Log House Holidays is a 130 acre nature reserve in the Cotswolds containing eight luxury log cabins dotted around a huge lake. Each cabin comes with it’s own private beach, rowing boat, hot-tub, fire pit with marshmallows and all mod-cons. We shacked up in Kaiser Kabin reached via its own private gravel drive that winds through the trees and set right on the waters edge – just like in the movies. Inside the cabin is an open plan living room and kitchen with panoramic views of the lake; it’s pretty special alright.