HOTELS • May 2019
Pull up your anchor and cast away for a night or two in a luxurious lakeside spa hotel, idyllic riverside inn or boutique beach hut. Hotel expert Rachel Truman picks her summer favourites
Set just back from Studland Bay, The Pig on the Beach is a prime spot for exploring the Jurassic Coast – if you can bear to venture away. Surrounded by the grounds of an 18th-century mansion, everything about The Pig was designed for relaxation and good times. Book one of the garden’s gorgeous little shepherd huts for the best sea views. Wherever you stay, though, grab the in-room beach bags (complete with bucket and spade) and head to the sand – the hotel has a chic beach hut that guests can hire.
Rooms from £135 per night.
You’ll need to navigate narrow, winding roads to reach this 17th-century coaching inn deep in rural Monmouthshire. But once you arrive, you’ll lose the urge to go anywhere else for a while. Set on the banks of the River Monnow with rolling green hills as a backdrop, all the rooms have enchanting views. Walkers, dogs and kids are welcome in the cosy Dog and Boot Bar, which serves good food and excellent wines. Afternoon teas are popular, especially when tables spill out into the garden on warm days. There are great walks, trout fishing, and the ruins of a 12th-century castle to explore. Also, two of Monmouthshire’s renowned restaurants, The Walnut Tree Inn and The Hardwick, are a short drive away.
Rooms from £150
With an enviable position slap-bang on the shores of Ullswater – one of the National Park’s loveliest stretches of water – Another Place certainly makes the most of its location. Guests can enjoy watersports such as kayaking, paddle-boarding, sailing, ghyll scrambling and guided wild swimming. If the water’s a little too bracing, there’s a pool and a hot tub. This ultra-family-and-dog-friendly retreat strikes a wonderful balance between special and relaxed. If you have the little ones, take them on a Swallows and Amazons-style adventure on Ullswater.
Rooms from £140
Fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves and wake up to seagulls in a Shaldon Beach Hut on the Teign estuary. These five-star huts epitomise beach romance – all nautical strips and pastel hues with underfloor heating, Wi-Fi, well-kitted out kitchens, power showers, terraces and bi-fold doors for lapping up the dreamy views. Beach hut number two is the roomier of the pair. To continue the cosiness outdoors, the delights of the so-called English Riviera are a mere stone’s throw away.
Huts from £100 per night
Yes, you could book into a Thames-front suite, but where’s the adventure in that? What about bedding down in a boutique barge instead, next time you’re in London? Created in collaboration with Made.com, the interior design brand, The Boathouse London is a beauty of a barge with Scandi-inspired interiors. Moored in west London, it sleeps two (or four with no lounge) and, should they wish, guests can splash out on hiring a captain, chef or yoga teacher. Either way, a hamper of tasty Rude Health treats will await you, plus bikes and a rowing boat. Paddle off to explore Little Venice, stopping for lunch at The Summerhouse.
One night from £250
Set on a minuscule island with a millstream on one side and the gurgling River Churn on the other, this cute cottage in the village of South Cerney is impossibly romantic. Once you’ve crossed the humpback bridge, hunker down in the enchanting 18th-century stone building, originally used as a storehouse for the cart of the neighbouring mill’s horse. The tranquil garden is a glorious place to kick back on a sunny day with a G ’n’ T as you watch the water trickle by. Stock up on local goodies at Made by Bob’s Deli in Cirencester.
Monday to Friday stays from £795
Water is all around at this private island retreat within the mouth of Loch Creran in West Argyll. As guests arrive across a bridge, they’re wowed by uninterrupted views of Loch Linnhe and the mountains beyond. An imposing 19th-century, baronial-style mansion is at the resort’s heart, and a stay here has the feel of a country house weekend. Outdoor pursuits include golfing, archery and clay pigeon shooting. There’s a lovely pool and spa and wonderful walks, or take a boat trip to spot otters, seals or golden eagles. Be sure to dine in the acclaimed restaurant, which uses fantastic West Highland produce – its groaning cheese trolley is a sight to behold.
Rooms from £295