Hampton Manor and grounds
Travel

Check-in Time: 3 of the Best Manors in the UK

We’ve stayed at a slew of majestic manor houses over the years, but when it comes to whittling the list down to some of the best, these three are firm favourites.

Stately homes, manor houses and castles – there’s no doubt about it, Britain is home to some of the best. From modern makeovers to specially curated wine and foodie experiences (and even a Michelin-accoladed restaurant), here we round up three of our favourite manor houses to live it up like a Lord and Lady for a few nights.

1. Cowley Manor in Cheltenham

Once you have taken in the astonishing grandeur of this Italianate stone house near Cheltenham, you may think yourself convinced that whatever is within cannot match it.

Get swept away by Cowley Manor’s grandeur

Cowley Manor with stone steps and planter pedestals

To call the look 'designer' doesn’t do justice to Cowley Manor’s funky, flamboyant aesthetic; the effect of cowhide window seats and comical papier-mâché ‘hunting trophies’ is certainly a world away from the usual country-house hotels.

Breakfast room at Cowley Manor with flamboyant lighting

A trip here is not complete without a stop at the gorgeous C-Side spa. Using all-natural, organic products, treatments are designed by award-winning therapist Michelle Roques-O'Neil, and are exclusive to Cowley – so you won't find their facials or massages anywhere else. We're particularly partial to a 'Cloud 9' massage, which combines aromatherapy and reflexology in a heavenly, 90-minute treatment.

Click here to enquire about a stay at Cowley Manor

Dining table at Cowley Manor
Bedroom suite at Cowley Manor
Stone archway with view to Cowley Manor

2. Hampton Manor in Hampton in Arden

Once a playground to the cream of British society thanks to its-then-owner, Sir Robert Peel, Hampton Manor is a truly special experience that perfectly fuses nostalgia and the history of the manor with plenty of modern-day accoutrements.

Hampton Manor's acclaimed restaurant

Sitting area at Hampton Manor

With it's distinctly unstuffy atmosphere. It was Sir Robert’s son Frederick who transformed the house into the gothic showpiece it is today, complete with an ornate clock tower, walled garden and grand rooms fit for lavish entertaining. These historic features are now back to their best, but owners James and Fjona have also breathed new life into the 45-acre estate, sweeping away stiffness in favour of a more familial atmosphere.

Hampmton Manor in wintry scene with snow

The individually designed rooms are now bright and welcoming, with period features mingled with bold colours and striking patterns. Michelin-starred restaurant Peel’s is cut from similar cloth, serving delectable British cuisine in a grand yet casual dining room, which also plays host to gin, wine and whisky tastings held around a communal table.

Pleate of food served in stoneware dish
Stone arched room divider with clear display shelves
Rustic table and chairs in room with wainscotting

And an insider tip: They are expanding the offering early next year to include another foodies experience and more rooms in a new, modern development that will be somewhat of a farm-to-table fanfare.

Click here to book a stay at Hampton Manor

3. Cliveden in Berkshire

Ever since John Profumo first laid eyes on Christine Keeler as she basked in Cliveden’s pool, it’s been clear that this Berkshire boutique hotel was destined to be a Mr & Mrs Smith (and 55/Redefined) retreat of choice.

The majestic neoclassical manor in all its glory

Sunset view of the neoclassical building at Cliveden

As well as being a celebrated haunt for politicos and literati, this majestic neoclassical manor, with its air of not-so-faded grandeur, has had decadence, scandal and intrigue bound up in its walls since the day it was built – to house the Duke of Buckingham’s mistress, no less.

Front walk with small topiary box garden design and extensive lawn

Each one of Cliveden’s rooms – named after the illustrious personalities who have been part of the manor’s history – has something uniquely appealing about it. But if forced to pick favourites, the Henry James suite, with its 10-mile view of rolling countryside from its marble bath tub, the Sutherland room with its palette of soft pastels and its astonishingly ornate chimneypiece, and the Chinese room, which is light, airy and impeccably styled in light golds, are all pretty special. Ask for a suite in the main house, overlooking the gardens, rather than rooms on the ground floor, which are located by the car park.

Lavender in front of outdoor swimming pool at Cliveden
Aerial view of Cliveden house and river
Internal pool at Cliveden

Make sure you book in ahead to visit the impressive spa, which set in the rose- and lavender-filled gardens, the large, luxurious spa has both a heated indoor and an outdoor pool, a sauna, an aromatherapy steam room, an indoor Jacuzzi, outdoor hot tubs, seven treatment rooms all with water mattresses, and a manicure, pedicure and hair dressing studio. We booked in for one of Sarah Chapman's 'Skinesis' facial treatments. All therapies begin with a foot-bathing ritual while your therapist works out your particular needs. There's also a spa restaurant, should you get peckish between pampering sessions.

To plan a visit to Cliveden, click here

Share this story