Wood Hall Hotel & Spa

Family activities Woodhall United Kingdom

ThumbnailThe great manor homes of Britain have long existed as symbols of wealth and class. However, with the passage of time, these manor homes became more and more expensive to keep up, forcing many families to sell them to private developers and historical organizations. Some of the homes have since been converted into luxury hotels that can be rented for holiday weekends, weddings, and other special occasions. Whether you want to play golf, get treated at the spa, participate in a murder mystery game, or take in the local beauty, there are plenty of choices all over the United Kingdom.

1. Barnsley House, Gloucestershire

Now a Grade II listed building, it was built in 1697 by Brereton Bouchier and was the home of internationally acclaimed garden designer Rosemary Verey before her death in 2001. She also designed the gardens that are still maintained at the house and is one of its primary attractions. The home now offers luxury rooms including two story suites. It has its own spa and restaurant called the Portager, though if you don’t wish to eat at the latter, it also owns a pub across the street, appropriately named The Village Pub. Facilities also include the nearby Home Farm Cottage, also built by Bouchier.

miskin-manor-hotel2. Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire

Stoke Park actually goes back so far it appears in the Domesday Book, the estate remained in the Hastings family for at least 515 years before it had to be sold to the crown in 1581 to pay off the debts of Henry Hastings, the Third Earl of Huntington. Eventually, William Penn’s son John Penn came to own the estate and architect James Wyatt designed the manor house while well-known landscape architect Capability Brown was responsible for the grounds. Now a luxury hotel that offers golf, a spa, tennis courts, conference rooms, and more, it represents the pinnacle of a manor home-turned-luxury hotel. If you’re a movie buff, it’s worth staying there for the appearances the estate has made in Goldfinger, Rocknrolla, Die Another Day, Wimbledon, and Bridget Jones’s Diary.

3. Glengorm Castle, Isle of Mull

33085448Perhaps a bit more difficult to get to that other hotels, this 19th Century Scottish home is a Grade B listed building. It was built in 1856 by John Forsyth who cleared the Township of Sorne in order to build the home, which made him beloved amongst the people (see: heavy sarcasm). One old woman’s title was burned by Forsyth and she told him that he would never live in the castle, a prophecy that turned out to be true since he died right before it was completed. Now it provides a picturesque place to stay for holiday travelers, the stately B&B also offers several cottages for hire and the rooms within the castle may be serviced or self-serviced.

4. Wood Hall, Yorkshire

The estate was first possessed by a Norman named Malgar le Vavasour and it was the family estate for several hundred years and passed through a few hands until the original home was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell’s forces during the English Civil War. The current manor home was built by the Scott family in 1750, passed to the diocese of Leeds in 1966, and became a hotel in 1988. Now owned by Handpicked Hotels, in addition to a health club, spa, and fine dining, it also offers an officially licensed Agatha Christie Interactive Murder Mystery Dining Experience.

5. Miskin Manor, Wales

Located just outside of Cardiff in the Village of Miskin, the estate on which Miskin Manor Hotel is located was originally the home of the Basset family for six generations. The current home was built in 1864 and designed by David Vaughn and owned by poet David Williams. It was taken over by the Red Cross in 1940 to serve as a war hospital and after became a block of flats until it was converted into a hotel in 1985. It offers a restaurant, health club, and a beautiful garden that makes the trip well worth it. The rooms include four-poster beds, wifi, attached bathrooms, and a number of other amenities.

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