Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is a haven of peaceful walking trails and lush green hills in the heart of Gloucestershire, UK. Here are the best hotels and boutiques in the area – bookable on Culture Trip.
Between rolling hills and medieval towns dominated by towering abbeys lies Westonbirt, The National Arboretum in Gloucestershire, south-west England. Sitting 4.8km (3mi) away from the small town of Tetbury, this is considered the most important arboretum within the UK thanks to its collection of more than 2,000 tree species. It’s also a fab place for a long walk, through its colourful, leafy landscapes and twisting paths around tall trunks. When it’s time to rest your head (or fuel up on some local grub), check out one of these local hotels.
This is a classic country pub that’s practically on the doorstep of Westonbirt, The National Arboretum. It’s lovingly furnished with a traditional flare, from roll-top baths and four-poster beds in certain guest rooms, to the library where you can sit by the fire and read. And it’s a social spot, thanks to the drawing room where board games are on a constant rotation and the well-preened garden, around which you can take an old-fashioned turn. Come dinnertime, you’re in luck: traditional pub grub gets a major upgrade here, with Gressingham duck, rack of lamb and lobster all on the menu.
All simple furnishings and pastel-painted walls, the Rectory hotel is a hidden gem in the village of Crudwell (famous for its abbey). The hotel offers 15 well-furnished rooms, with Victorian roll-top baths and goose-down bedding. All rooms have TVs with free streamable films, and enjoy the gentle hum of a Roberts Radio. If you’re looking for extra privacy, the hotel also has a three-bedroom cottage with a stocked log burner and terrace where you can enjoy your morning coffee. Don’t miss the heated outdoor pool and the honesty bar, where you can enjoy a glass of scotch after a long day (or swim).
Beside the 12th-century abbey in the town of Malmesbury, Wiltshire is this quintessentially English hotel – you’ll recognise it for the bright floral vine that twists around the main door. Here, historical features chime in harmony with modern amenities. Exposed beam ceilings preside over soft, fresh bedding, and room service is equally tempting as dining at the hotel restaurant. While you’re waiting for your steak and chips, begin the arduous task of working your way through the cocktail menu: all drinks are inspired by the surrounding town, so it’s rude not to try them all.
Whether you’re after glamping, camping or a classic hotel stay, the Holford Arms sits on 3.2ha (8 acres) of private land that has it all. Start your morning with freshly baked pastries and homemade yoghurt, head to the National Arboretum for the day, and finish off the evening with a live forest concert. Then it’s your choice: tuck into a four-poster bed inside the pub, stake out your tent surrounded by nature, or doss down in a handbuilt cabin.
The Kings Arms hits the sweet spot between attentive service and privacy. Guests book into self-catering cottages – barn conversions built from the pub’s original 17th-century stables, and cosy with exposed dark wooden beams, leather touchpoints and large skylights. But you’re far from cut off from the neighbouring pub. You get daily room service and a freshly brought breakfast every morning, plus access to a variety of activities including a “safari” trip around the local area. Then there are the historical walks and hikes, all culminating with a sit-down by the large open fire, pint of local ale in hand.
Established in 1594, this hotel has had plenty of practice when it comes to offering a classic stay in an English inn. Each of the 12 bedrooms are individually designed, with wooden four-posters, antique leather sofas and walls adorned with oil paintings. Downstairs, local ciders are poured alongside an impressive selection of brandies and ports, to be taken with dinners of pork ribs or chicken and chorizo pie. Even if you just pop in for an afternoon tea, feet warmed by the log burning fire, you’ll be glad you did.
This hotel wears modernity on its sleeve, from the striking antler light fitting to the stunning golden mirrors and jazzy feature walls in the bedrooms (not to mention the Netflix button on the TV remote). But this old coaching house has been operating since the 17th century, and hints at its ancestry via antique furniture centrepieces and vintage ornaments in the communal areas. A quiet retreat in the busy town of Tetbury, this boutique hotel offers simple dining – think poached eggs on avocado toast – but includes gluten-free options, too.
Picture the Cotswolds and you’ll likely imagine something that looks a bit like Burleigh Court. A manor house set in 1.6ha (4 acres) of land, overlooking the beautiful Golden Valley, this boutique is a cut above when it comes to luxury in the area. Wellness packages allow you to unwind and relax, in the hotel’s art deco plunge pool or with an in-room massage. Pop on your bathrobe and take afternoon tea in the courtyard, tucking into finger sandwiches, homemade scones, jam and an all-important glass of bubbles. When it’s time to rest your head, you’ll do so between pale-painted, wood-panelled walls and beneath a polished-wood, four-poster bed.
Everything about this recently refurbished inn, in the small village of Shipton Moyne just outside Tetbury, conspires to set you up for a blissful night’s sleep. After your dinner of locally sourced ox cheek, followed by a sugary dose of cat custard pot pudding (thank us later), it’s time to head upstairs and draw those thick drapes – and draw a steaming hot bath in the roll-top tub. Once your skin is sufficiently prune-like, wrap yourself in the impossibly fluffy robe and sink into the goose-down bedding – propped up by squishy throw cushions and with a view of the wooden beam ceiling. Then it’s off to the land of nod, before waking up and doing it all again tomorrow.
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