The Best Hotels to Book Near Wimpole Hall

Wimpole Hall is almost as historic as nearby Cambridge
Wimpole Hall is almost as historic as nearby Cambridge | © John Morrison / Alamy Stock Photo
Joe Bindloss

Sitting pretty in a garland of gardens, Wimpole Hall was constructed as the ultimate status symbol, advertising the wealth of a series of earls and viscounts. Queen Victoria came to tea, and Rudyard Kipling’s eccentric daughter took up residence before the house passed to the National Trust. Stay in nearby Cambridge and you can beat the rush to the gorgeous grounds – and duck into the Imperial War Museum at Duxford for a bonus dose of history. Book these hotels with Culture Trip.

1. Rectory Farm Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

The leaf-covered facade of Rectory Farm guesthouse
Courtesy of Rectory Farm / Expedia

With two acres (0.8ha) of its own grounds and a fringe of woods and parkland, Rectory Farm is more country house than farmhouse. Behind the huge frontage, enormous rooms with statement curtains and space to swing an afghan hound look over neatly pruned gardens. You’d never know that the M11 passes nearby. Extra perks include a pool and tennis courts.

2. Graduate Cambridge

Hotel

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Courtesy of Graduate Cambridge / Expedia

Hidden behind Peterhouse College, the Graduate is a genuine surprise. The university theme is not unexpected, but rooms have been designed with playful flair. Framed pictures of rowers, and bookshelves styled like rowboats stand beside beds with headboards upholstered in India-inspired fabrics. For dinner, head to chef Adam Wood’s Garden House restaurant, which sprawls around a huge oval bar beneath an ornate ceiling.

3. Hotel du Vin Cambridge

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Tables set for dining and potted plants in the stylish restaurant at Hotel du Vin in Cambridge
Courtesy of Hotel du Vin Cambridge / Expedia

Cambridge’s Hotel du Vin spills across three Georgian townhouses filled with period details and tastefully modern bedrooms. It’s the bathrooms that leap out, though: freestanding copper-and-ceramic tubs are found in all but two of them, and some suites have ritzy side-by-side tubs for couples. Egyptian cotton sheets, subtle colours and fine French food complete the luxe picture; there’s even a suite with its own cinema.

4. The Varsity Hotel & Spa

Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel, Hotel

Tables and chairs set for dining the restaurant at the Varsity Hotel & Spa in Cambridge, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering a view over the city
Courtesy of the Varsity Hotel and Spa / Expedia

Set away from the college bustle, the Varsity makes a bold, modern statement. The brick building climbs to a rooftop bar and restaurant that’s become Cambridge’s favourite place to catch the sunset over the spires. It’s boutique, but with a designer edge – huge rooms feature parquet floors and magnolia blossom wallpaper, fronted by giant windows that make artwork out of the views over old Cambridge.

5. University Arms Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

The imposing wood-panelled seating area and fireplace at the University Arms Hotel, Autograph Collection, in Cambridge
Courtesy of University Arms Hotel, Autograph Collection / Expedia

Rising grandly beside one of Cambridge’s historic greens, the University Arms looks like it’s been here for generations, but much of what you can see is a lavish reconstruction, replacing a little-missed 1960s annexe. Inside, there’s a strong university theme, with blazer-coloured bedsteads, two-tone colour schemes, and a library full of design books – the perfect place to retreat with a brandy. For dinner with your drink, the hotel’s bar and brasserie is a striking, Belle Epoque space facing the green.

6. Clayton Hotel Cambridge

Hotel

A semi-circular marble bar with leather barstools at the Clayton Hotel Cambridge
Courtesy of Clayton Hotel Cambridge / Expedia

The Clayton has one foot in the past and one foot in the present, with rooms that pay a respectful nod to wood-panelled college halls, reinvented using straight lines. It’s handy for the station and botanic gardens, and an easy walk from the academic areas. Eat in style at the vast art deco dining room before browsing the cosy library, stacked with timeworn tomes.

7. The Fellows House Cambridge

Hotel

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Courtesy of The Fellows House Cambridge / Expedia

Fellows House sounds like a college-themed museum piece, but in fact, it’s stylish and contemporary, decorated with a New York loft vibe. Rooms and apartments are decked in easy-on-the-eye greys and blues, with rainfall showers and big-picture windows looking onto a quiet corner of Cambridge. It’s away from the hubbub but minutes from Jesus Green, with a quiet, private pool and a big open-plan restaurant and bar.

8. The Waterman

Hotel

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Courtesy of The Waterman / Expedia

A cheerful Cambridge pub just a stone’s skim from the Cam, the Waterman is light-filled and relaxing both upstairs and down. The saloon bar has a friendly spread of stools and leather benches, with real ales and European imports on tap; upstairs are angular rooms enlivened by quirky artworks, reclaimed timber and fun fabrics. It’s like art-school student digs taken upmarket.

9. The Green Man

Pubs with Rooms

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Courtesy of The Green Man / Expedia

A patchwork of fields encircles Biggslewade’s Green Man, a cottage-like pub to the west of Wimpole Hall. At heart, this is a vintage coaching inn, but the building is going through an imaginative modernisation, transforming frilly bedrooms into contemporary spaces complete with shiny new bathrooms. There’s a family-friendly menu in the pub restaurant, while the best rooms sit away from the bar, dotted around the courtyard.

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