Whether you’re an avid fan of the Bard or looking for a dreamy escape in the rolling Cotswold hills, ‘Shakespeare’s England‘ has it all. From the playwright’s birthplace to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, there’s an abundance of historical places to discover, not to mention an array of galleries, museums and theatres. After all that excitement, you’ll need somewhere to rest your sleepy head, so here are the top places to stay if you’re looking for a boutique weekend getaway.
The George Townhouse, Shipston-on-Stour
Just a 20-minute drive from the Bard’s home, you’ll come to the tiny town of Shipston-on-Stour, which dates back to the 8th century. Among its picturesque streets you’ll find ‘gorgeous George’ – the delightfully refurbished George Townhouse, which has just been awarded the accolade of Best Pub in Warwickshire. The Georgian gem is refreshingly good value for such a stylish outfit, with 15 beautifully decorated rooms, ranging from smaller ‘Classic’ rooms to its jewel in the crown – the huge suite on the top floor.
Book this room for the ultimate romantic getaway – sip champagne in the roll-top bath while gazing out the sash window at the rolling Cotswold countryside beyond and spoil yourself with complimentary Temple Spa treats.
Design fans will love the contemporary twist on the rustic-luxe style that runs throughout the property; mismatched vintage finds are artfully combined with bold, moody colour palettes, geometric patterns and rich, luxurious fabrics. Foodies will also be delighted by the fresh, seasonal ingredients on the gastropub-style menu, proper portions and the warm and welcoming vibe, with a mix of locals and hotel guests mingling in the relaxed bar area – plus the odd pooch, naturally.
Rooms are available from £76 per night.
The Globe, Warwick
If you’re looking for a great place to stay in the heart of Warwick, The Globe is for you. Tucked neatly between the castle and the historic Market Place, this Grade-II listed building has had many faces – it started out in 1788 as the Globe Inn Commercial & Posting House and has also been a theatre. The 16 boutique-style rooms are ultra comfy and come with all the trimmings, from fluffy bathrobes to handmade mattresses. A sophisticated palette of country hues runs throughout the property and design fans may also spot gorgeous Melin Tregwynt textiles in some of the rooms.
Downstairs at The Globe, the restaurant offers modern plates of food with flair but no fuss, with dishes like deliciously creamy burrata, leg of lamb Greek salad and sweet potato hash and chorizo sitting alongside home comforts, including hearty Sunday roasts and juicy burgers.
Rooms are available from £107 per night.
The Bell, Alderminster
While this old coaching inn has bags of history and charm, it also features good ol’ fashioned British wit and eccentricity thanks to Emma Holman-West’s inspired interior design – she’s also the owner of the grand Alscot Estate, where the hotel is situated, which has almost 4,000 acres of stunning Warwickshire countryside.
From the gentlemen’s club-style bar, complete with brown leather armchairs and roaring fires, to the nine stunning bedrooms, each element of The Bell is carefully considered, with charming whimsical details such as the large gold coronet that sits above the regency style-bed in ‘Eaton Hall’, to the bold colour palettes and statement finishes of the ‘Covent Garden’ room.
In summer, the terrace is the perfect spot to enjoy a local ale from the estate itself and soak up the views of the sprawling riverside meadow and Stour Valley beyond. The dining experience won’t disappoint either, with the pub winning an AA Rosette Award for Culinary Excellence – expect everything from classics like ‘Barry the Butcher’s’ 30-day-aged 8oz sirloin steak’ to the more exotic, such as BBQ pulled jackfruit.
Rooms are available from £75 per night.
Dormy House, Broadway
This gorgeous 17th-century farmhouse with views over the charming village of Broadway describes itself as ‘a bit like home, but better’, which sums things up pretty well. Dormy House has struck the perfect balance between relaxed country chic and contemporary design, offering a luxurious yet laid-back retreat to relax in style. Established Chelsea interior design firm Todhunter Earle are responsible for the sumptuous interiors, with a mix of schemes to suit every mood, ranging from charmingly rustic to ultra glam.
For something really special, try one of Dormy House’s ‘Top Notch’ rooms that exude character, with dreamy features including exposed beams and four-poster beds, or for a real blow-out treat, opt for one of the two ‘Hot Tub Suites’, one of which is in a charming cottage with its own courtyard.
Even if you book one of the more modest rooms, you can still treat yourself in the quite frankly spectacular spa created by award-winning London Spa designers Sparcstudio and Howard Spa Consulting. Spend an entire day indulging yourself with the ‘Top to Toe’ package, which is as good as it sounds. After a day of total relaxation, prepare to enjoy a gastronomic experience in either the Garden Room restaurant – a great spot for summer dining with its floor-to-ceiling windows looking out towards the garden – or the more casual Potting Shed, both offering local farmed and foraged fare to tempt the taste buds.
Rooms are available from £254 per night.
The Townhouse, Stratford-upon-Avon
Real Shakespeare buffs will love staying in this 400-year-old Grade-II listed building in the heart of town, which is actually opposite the Bard’s old school, plus it’s just a few minute’s walk to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and five minutes away from Shakespeare’s birthplace.
The Townhouse is run by the same group that runs the George Townhouse in Shipston-on-Stour, and you can expect similar attention-to-detail when it comes to design. Each of the 12 rooms have a fresh, contemporary feel, yet a heightened sense of theatricality, with bold feature wallpapers from the likes of Cole & Son in on-trend patterns – you’ll also notice framed Shakespeare quotes dotted about the place. If you’re staying over the weekend, you can also chill out with the pianist on Friday evenings and a live ‘Sunday Session’ from various local artists.
Rooms are available from £101 per night.
For ideas on places to visit during your stay, visit Shakespeare’s England.