Nestled in the North Downs – just an hour’s drive from central London – Polesden Lacey is an Edwardian country house and one of the National Trust’s most popular properties.
This country pile has a royal seal of approval, too – King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and the Queen’s Mother spent the first part of their honeymoon here in 1923. These days, visitors flock there to dine on the seasonal menu at its cafe, picnic in its extensive grounds and peruse its second-hand bookstore. If you’re thinking of paying a visit to Polesden Lacey and want to make a weekend of it, here are the best places to stay nearby – bookable on Culture Trip.
Once the home of botanist John Evelyn, his influence still lives on at Wotton House. With 13 acres (5.2ha) of landscaped gardens to explore, you’ll discover grottoes, 17th-century Italian gardens – the first of their kind in England – and two Roman temples. The chic interior is just as impressive: with neutral-hued rooms, a restaurant centred on an olive tree and an indoor heated swimming pool.
A grand dame of the Surrey Hills, the Grade II-listed Beaverbrook is a hotel that lives up to the hype. The characterful interiors are courtesy of Susie Atkinson – Soho House’s designer – so expect a dose of opulence and a dash of grandeur. For a deeply romantic stay, book yourself into the Dowager Suite in the House for pink detailing and a tub overlooking the rolling hills. The spa is also one of the best in England – be sure to set aside time for a treatment or two.
With grape-laden vines as far as the eye can see, a stay at Denbies Vineyard Hotel will have you feeling as though you’ve been transported to the south of France. The hotel sits just next to the working winery and the star is its Vineyard Restaurant – with indoor-outdoor dining and views across the vines. Here, wines can be paired with ham hock terrine, braised lamb shoulder and a selection of local cheeses.
Set in a stately 19th-century mansion, Woodlands Park Hotel is a grand choice for your stay near Polesden Lacey – it’s just a 15-minute drive away. Rooms are modern, but you can get a peek of the hotel’s history in its common areas – namely the Grand Hall and the wood-panelled Oak Room restaurant. Summer is when this hotel truly shines as it offers al fresco dining, picnic hampers and a classic English afternoon tea.
Tucked away on a quiet street in picturesque Dorking, the Waltons Bed and Breakfast is a B&B that should definitely be judged by its cover. Set in a Victorian manor that dates back to the 1830s, rooms are wonderfully modern – but with nods to the home’s history with in-room fireplaces and eclectic wallpaper. The room price includes a substantial continental breakfast, but the owners will cook eggs to your liking, as well.
For a foodie break, you can never go wrong by booking into a pub-with-rooms. Those looking to visit Polesden Lacey should turn to the Running Horses – it’s just a 12-minute drive or an hour’s walk away. Here, each of the seven spacious rooms are individually designed with earthy tones and antique furnishings – while the elevated pub grub serves dishes like pan-fried scallops, wagyu beef burgers and lobster and crab risotto.
A good bed and breakfast needs two things: comfy lodgings and stellar fare. Luckily, the Hurtwood Hotel Bed and Breakfast has both – and then some. Set in a century-old inn, the interiors are contemporary with neutral palettes, elegant mirrors and crisp bedding. Breakfast is all fresh fruits, cereals and juices or opt for a classic full English to set you up for a day of exploring – if you fancy it.
A short 22-minute drive from Polesden Lacey, the Talbot Inn is set in a former coaching inn with over 500 years of history. It seamlessly blends old and new with its ivy-covered facade, beamed ceilings and creaking staircases – contrasting with the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows and velour furnishings. Its position in the heart of the village of Ripley means there are lots to explore straight from your doorstep.
This restaurant-with rooms-has a South African twist, where the menu is influenced by the Southern African nation: order traditional South African dishes like Bobotie and Bunny Chow. In true African style, the rooms here are named after the Big Five. If you’re looking for a romantic stay, request to book a suite with an in-room tub – an excellent choice for honey – or mini – mooners.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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