The 63 acres surrounding this elegant 17th-century country house retain many original features, including the walls of the kitchen garden (still in use), the apple trees in the former orchard, and a mile-long avenue of Linden trees, the longest in Europe. The house itself is similarly rich in period details such as a baronial staircase, wood paneling with carvings by Grinling Gibbons in the bar, and two fireplaces surrounded by hand-painted Delft tiles. (The house dates
from the reign of William and Mary, when all things Dutch were in fashion.) Rooms may have original wood shutters and ceiling molding, but the bathrooms have up-to-date electronics and under-floor heating. Smaller, less pricey rooms in one of five extensions are more modern. Don't miss the falconry displays featuring the resident owls and falcons or the ruined 12th-century chapel. The hotel is 2½ miles northwest of Winchester.
Woodman La., off B3049, Sparsholt, SO21 2LT, England