The start of the new year might be cold and dark, but the UK has no shortage of cosy hotels that will be ready to welcome guests with a crackling fire and comfy bed, writes Lucy Gilmore.
Lord Crewe Arms, Northumberland
Dating back to the 12th century, the Lord Crewe Arms began life as a guesthouse for pilgrims visiting Blanchland Abbey. Now it’s a honey-hued historic inn, in the village of Blanchland, huddled beneath the wild and windswept Pennine moors. After tramping across the high fells you can curl up in front of a roaring fire – there are even fires in the suites. The 21 rooms are divided into “cosy”, “canny” and “champion,” and are decked out with tartan blankets and roll-top tubs, while in the medieval vaulted pub, the Crypt you can sup a pint of real ale and tuck into “Bar Bait”. Think a warming bowl of butternut squash, sage and apple soup or smoked chicken and ham hock terrine with dill pickled cucumber and toasted brioche.
Doubles from £179 B&B, lordcrewearmsblanchland.co.uk
The Bottle & Glass, Chilterns (pictured above)
This quintessential thatched country pub turned cosy restaurant with rooms on the edge of Henley on Thames has it all – exposed beams, a flickering fire and three heavenly new suites, one with a romantic roll-top tub. Across the courtyard the hanger-style Burger Barn, dishes up local Longhorn beef beside a blazing fire pit. The Chiltern Way meanders through neighbouring Crowsley Park, a 160-acre estate, once home to the Baskerville family (whose dogs inspired Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles), or take a wintery walk along the bosky banks of the River Thames.
Doubles from £120 B&B, bottleandglassinn.com
The Crown and Castle, Suffolk
This cosy dog-friendly, 21-room village pub in the village of Orford, nudging up to Henry II’s 12th-century castle, encourages you to walk off your dinner – or work up an appetite. You can download their seven course-by-course walks which range from a 45-minute stroll to a seven and a half hour “five-course” hike, a 16-mile trek alongside the River Ore, through the Sudborne Marshes and through Tunstall Forest – pick the route depending on how many courses you want to burn off.
Doubles from £140 B&B or £200 DBB, crownandcastle.co.uk
Hotel Meuden, Cornwall
Surrounded by nine acres of lush, green subtropical gardens, the recently revamped Hotel Meuden is open during the winter for the first time in 15 years. From its secluded beach, Bream Cove, you can tramp up to the South West Coast Path for a blustery hike along the cliffs – or brave a bracing dip in the sea. Then warm up in front of the log fire in the Drawing Room before cocktails in speakeasy-style Freddie’s Bar (try a fiery spiced mojito or nutmeg-laced Brandy Alexander) before dinner – perhaps local Newlyn crab to start followed by pork chop, hog’s pudding, chard and apple and Calvados.
Doubles from £119 B&B, meudon.co.uk
No.1 by GuestHouse, York
This newly opened (December 2021) Grade II listed Georgian townhouse, all Gothic high ceilinged grandeur and a dramatic candlelit entrance – is the latest addition to the Guest brothers’ (Tristan, James and Tom) portfolio, their GuestHouse concept mixing up high-end hotel with warm guesthouse vibe. The 39 rooms feature original fireplaces and contemporary textiles, while the old drawing room and library have been transformed into two sumptuous suites with four posters and freestanding tubs. After mooching around the historic city, exploring the Roman walls and York Minster head down to the cellar, an air raid shelter during the Second World War and now a cocoon-like spa for a spot of pampering before curling up in front of a crackling log fire.
Doubles from £165 room only, guesthousehotels.co.uk
The Ship Inn, Fife
During the summer the cricket matches on the beach in front of the pub are a local highlight, but out of season it’s all about crisp coastal walks and wild winter swimming. Just a pebble’s throw away is Lady’s Tower, built in 1760 for Lady Jane Anstruther who would change here for her daily dip. The inn, in the pretty seaside village of Elie, is on the Fife Coastal Path which meanders past ruined castles, secluded coves and picturesque fishing harbours. After wandering along the cliffs warm up in front of the fire in the bar before tucking into a warming bowl of Cullen Skink (a creamy smoked haddock, potato and leek soup) and bedding down in one of the six cosy coastal-themed rooms (Admiral, Captain or Sea Dog).
Doubles from £100 B&B, shipinn.scot
The Bradley Hare, Wiltshire
Modern artworks, antique furniture, contemporary textiles, freestanding tubs; each of the 12 rooms in this smart new village pub have been individually designed. The village of Maiden Bradley is cradled by the Duke of Somerset’s estate and surrounded by rolling downs. Bradley means a large clearing in the woods (“brad” means broad and “ley” clearing) and after a romp around the estate or the nearby 18th-century Stourhead gardens the roaring fire waits in the traditional bar, sofas to sink into in the snug and a menu of hearty, locally sourced dishes.
Doubles from £130 B&B, thebradleyhare.co.uk
The Royston, Llanbrynmair
On the edge of Llanbrynmair in mid Wales, surrounded by 10 acres of rolling pastures and kitchen gardens, this 19th-century bolthole artfully mixes eclectic vintage pieces and modern design. Each of the Royston’s seven striking rooms is scattered with original artworks and features sweeping views of the Cambrian Mountains – and no TVs. This is a place to switch off, scour the grounds with the binoculars and bird books, borrow wellies and a map for a yomp in the hills and then relax in front of the wood-burner before a simple home- cooked supper.
Double from £275 B&B, theroystonwales.com
The Alice Hawthorn, North Yorkshire
You can now bed down in this gastro-pub, wedged between York and Harrogate in the village of Nun Monkton (which along with a duck pond and village green boasts the tallest maypole in England). The 12 Scandi-chic, timber-trimmed rooms were added in May, four in the Grade II listed inn and eight scattered between in three striking new structures in the grounds, built from home-grown Douglas Fir and designed to resemble traditional agricultural buildings. The inn, which provides a handy booklet of walking trails from the door, is named after a 19thcentury racehorse which romped to victory three times in 1844 winning the Goodwood Cup, Doncaster Cup and Ascot Gold Vase.
Doubles from £120 B&B, thealicehawthorn.com
Pentonbridge Inn, Cumbria
In the heart of historic Reivers country, near the border with Scotland and close to the 150-mile long distance walking route the Reivers Way, this cute inn in the hamlet of Penton has an award-winning restaurant and nine cosy rooms kitted out with locally made tartan throws and hot water bottles. The 13-mile Bardon Mill to Wark section of the trail meanders through the beautiful Muckle Moss Nature Reserve and close to Hadrian’s Wall. After working up a hearty appetite, sup a pint of local ale beside the wood-burner before dinner.
Doubles from £125 B&B, pentonbridgeinn.co.uk
(Article source: Inews)