Don’t let cold weather deter your weekend travel plans: England has plenty of cozy, scenic country inns that are ideal for winter getaway.
The Lygon Arms
WHERE: Worcestershire, U.K.
The rooms at The Lygon Arms, which dates back to the 1300s, are filled with history. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor carried on an affair here in 1963, and even Prince Phillip has once been a guest. Today you can enjoy four-star luxury in the heart of a quaint Cotswold village, where the inn has kept its historic touches alongside a contemporary feel. The hotel’s afternoon tea is perfect for cold, wet days and the roaring fireplaces will keep you warm all evening long. Snuggle up in the Charles I Suite, where King Charles once slept before fighting in the English Civil War.
The Milk House
WHERE: Sissinghurst, U.K.
Located in the heart of Kent, The Milk House is a village pub with four comfortable bedrooms above. The building dates back to the 16th century and still features a Tudor-era fireplace. Plan a weekend getaway to take advantage of the pub’s traditional Sunday roast menu and enjoy views of the nearby orchards from your bedroom window. It offers a relaxed atmosphere, ideal for those who need a break from work, and has an intimate feeling that will keep you cozy even in bad weather.
The Rectory Hotel
WHERE: Crudwell, U.K.
The Rectory Hotel is one of only a few buildings in Crudwell, making it a perfect respite from the bustle of everyday life. Book one of the large rooms in the country house, built in an actual old rectory building, and enjoy a soak in a stand-alone bathtub with views of the sweeping fields outside. The restaurant and bar are top-notch, or visit country pub The Potting Shed across the street for some grub. After bundling up for a stroll through the countryside, the hotel has a perfect lobby for a game of Scrabble and a glass of wine next to the fire.
WHERE: Holt, U.K.
Tick ”sleeping in a windmill” off your travel bucket list with a stay at Cley Windmill, an actual windmill from 1713 that now houses nine bed & breakfast rooms. The décor is pastoral and welcoming, with each accommodation embracing a different look and theme (one is even a cottage that’s been converted from the former dovecote, or surprisingly fancy pigeon coop). The onsite restaurant serves a three-course set menu for dinner and Sunday roast is always on offers on the weekends. The best part will be bundling up to take in the views of the sea and the picturesque sunrise every morning.
The Olive Branch & Beech House
WHERE: Clipsham, U.K.
Beech House is located across the street from British pub The Olive Branch and offers weary travelers a cushy place to sleep for the night (or nights). Select from one of six rooms, each with its own style, and snuggle in with a coffee or cup of tea. If you want to venture outside, enjoy a walk down the local roads, including the famed “Woodland Walk,” a three-mile circuit that leaves from The Olive Branch. In the evening, sip on one of the pub’s country-inspired cocktails, like the rum-fueled Country Bumpkin.
WHERE: Worcestershire, U.K.
Travelers looking for elegance and Old World charm should head to Buckland Manor, a country house hotel in the heart of the Cotswolds. It boasts period furniture and paintings and an impressive stone façade that will make you feel like royalty, even if only for a night. Afternoon tea, served fireside in one of the lounges, is a must after a chilly walk through the gardens. The Manor offers an extensive wine list alongside dinner, which lends itself to staying in for the night.
The Mash Inn
WHERE: Bennett End, U.K.
You only need to travel an hour from London to reach The Mash Inn, a small restaurant with five bedrooms above. The food is carefully prepared seasonal dishes, cooked over a wood-fire grill, and guests can pick between a curated tasting menu and a la carte items. The rooms are simple but cozy, and it’s recommended to book into one with a standing bathtub during the colder times of year. The best part: Breakfast is delivered to the room every morning, so you won’t have to get out of bed.
WHERE: Richmond, U.K.
Nestled along the cobbled streets of Richmond, in North Yorkshire, Millgate House offers a high level of service in an intimate guest house atmosphere. Select from one of the six rooms, each individually decorated, or the garden-adjacent Coach House, which is perfect for big groups. A hearty breakfast comes with the price, but save some appetite for the local pubs and restaurants. Be sure to visit the ruins of the nearby Richmond Castle before crawling into bed and pulling up the covers.
The Star Inn
WHERE: Harome, U.K.
Travel to the North Yorkshire moors, where you’ll find The Star Inn. The building dates back to the 14th century, although there are now many contemporary touches in the nine rooms. There are some quirky elements too, like a snooker table in room five and a piano in room eight. The restaurant has previously been awarded a Michelin star. Enjoy a hearty meal and then curl up next to the roaring fire with a book and a glass of wine.
The Feathered Nest Inn
WHERE: Nether Westcote, U.K.
Comfort is expected at a place called The Feathered Nest Inn and that’s what travelers will find in this charming Cotswolds property. There’s a pub and a restaurant, as well as four rooms decorated with antique furnishings and cushy bedding. You’ll find a movie library and selection of board games to enjoy in case of bad weather, although a walk through the rolling Cotswolds hills is always advisable. And if you like the wines on offer in the restaurant, the inn has several types for sale as a souvenir.
The Pig Hotel
WHERE: Brockenhurst, U.K.
The emphasis of The Pig Hotel, a 30-room country house in the area of New Forest, is its kitchen garden. Of course, there may not be much growing during the colder months of the year, but that’s no reason not to visit. The food remains delicious and local during the winter, with an emphasis on seasonal cooking, and you can even join the resident forager in a search for edible wild food. The bedrooms are comfortable and luxurious, or you can book into one of the rustic (but still chic) lodges and cabins for a more remote getaway experience.
Artist Residence Oxfordshire
WHERE: South Leigh, U.K.
Once an old pub, Artist Residence Oxfordshire is a boutique country inn located in the outskirts of Oxford, right down an old dirt road. It features only five rooms, each uniquely decorated with an effortlessly cool aesthetic, and sits above a dining room and bar. The in-room bathtubs, one of which is a vintage cooper tub, are requisite for a hot soak and the cocktails from downstairs are a welcome accompaniment. Enjoy a homey breakfast near the roaring fireplace in the morning—if you can get out of bed.
The Waterside Inn
WHERE: Bray, U.K.
Foodies should book into The Waterside Inn, a culinary destination in the small riverside town of Bray. The downstairs restaurant is run by chef Alain Roux, where travelers can indulge in impression British cuisine. Those who don’t want to make the trip home should book into one of the 11 bedrooms, which are located both in the main restaurant building and in nearby cottages. It has a homey vibe, like you’re being invited to stay over with a friend, and the village itself is full of impressive Michelin-starred restaurants like The Fat Duck and The Crown, where you can settle in to drink away the winter chill.
The Plough Inn
WHERE: Kelmscott, U.K.
Several log fires offer warmth throughout the bar and restaurant areas of The Plough Inn, a quaint country pub with rooms in the heart of the Cotswolds. The bedrooms are small, but comfortable, and each comes with a cooked breakfast in the morning. The Thames is nearby, where you can walk or cycle along the Thames Path, and there are several other villages nearby worth visiting. And if you like pie, be sure to book a room on the last Friday of the month, when The Plough holds its monthly Pie Night.
WHERE: Bibury, U.K.
The Swan, a picturesque inn located along the River Coln, is named for the actual swans that explore the surrounding grounds. Built in an old coaching house, the inn has a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere and famously comfortable armchairs in every room. Grab a cup of coffee at The Swan Bar beside one of the fireplaces, or take a full afternoon tea at The Swan Brasserie, and enjoy the festive holiday-inspired dinner menus throughout the winter months.