Poking out of a secluded forest on the shore of Lake Windermere, The Samling must be one of the most magnificently appointed hotels in the country. It occupies a pretty Victorian mansion, but it’s no chintzy country hotel – the interiors mix heritage classicism with boutique style, the restaurant has a Michelin star, and its 11 rooms, spread between the main house and surrounding cottages, are plush as you like. From £230 per room per night. www.thesamlinghotel.co.uk.
Walking country Arguably England’s most dramatically scenic region, the Lake District is all sweeping vistas, craggy peaks – known as Wainwrights, after the artist who documented them – and shimmering water. The Samling lies within walking distance of Wordsworth’s famous residence, Dove Cottage.
NORTH YORKSHIRE MOORS
The Feversham Arms Hotel
In the village of Helmsley, this cosy spa retreat occupies an old Victorian inn. Walking guides are in every room, and walkers get picnics to take with them. The Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud package includes dinner, two nights’ stay and a luxurious mud treatment for revitalizing those tired post-walk muscles. From £120 per person per night. www.fevershamarmshotel.com.
Walking country Helmsley sits at the start of the Cleveland Way walk, in an area of rugged hills, dry stone walls and secluded villages. Aim to take in the stunning ruins of Helmsley Castle and nearby Rievaulx Abbey.
Alladale is a remote wilderness reserve high in Invernesshire, with hundreds of acres of lonely Highland scenery to explore. As well as the main lodge with its seven smart rooms and homely comforts, there are two “bothys” – isolated cottages (with all mod cons, including meals prepared by the chef at the main house) with stunning views of their own. From £112.50 per person per night. Alladale is offering City A.M. readers a 20 per cent discount for stays during May and June, and 15 per cent off normal rates for the rest of the year, if they quote City A.M. upon booking. www.alladale.com.
Walking country Rangers will guide you out across the valleys and mountains of the huge estate where, in the warm months the mountainsides glow purple as the heather flowers. Look out for friendly, docile highland cattle.
Wyck Hill House Hotel & Spa
Wyck Hill, near Stow-on-the-Wold, is an impressive manor house that’s recently been refurbished. It’s a place of smart, old-fashioned elegance, with four-poster beds, wood-panelled interiors and a restaurant that comes with its own cigar terrace. There’s also an Elemis spa and 100 acres of grounds to stroll around. From £85 per person per room. www.bespokehotels.com/wyckhillhouse
Walking country The rolling beauty of the Cotswolds comes into its own in the spring. Walks in the Wyck Hill area take in the River Eye, glorious views from Icomb Hill and chocolate-box west country villages with names like Lower and Upper Slaughter and Chipping Camden.
There aren’t many places like Glencot House, a Jacobean-style Victorian mansion whose antiques collector owner has turned it into a dazzling slice of baroque, fairytale flamboyance. It stands in a beautiful rural spot on the southern edge of the Mendips, in the village of Wookey Hole – named after its famous cave system. The hotel is offering guests three nights for the price of two until 17 June. From £165 per room per night. www.glencothouse.co.uk.
Walking country The open grasslands and gentle beauty of the Mendips are pockmarked by the craggy limestone peaks and precipitous fissures and gorges, most notably Cheddar Gorge with its famous network of caves.
Lake Country House & Spa
In a serene corner of the Powys countryside, a relaxing place to put your feet up after a stirring yomp around Wales’s Brecon Beacons National Park. With its clipped lawns and refined stylings, this is a country house hotel in the best tradition, with the added bonus of a sizeable spa, including a 15m swimming pool and four treatment rooms. From £185 per room per night based on double occupancy. www.lakecountryhouse.co.uk
Walking country The Brecon Beacons offer everything: rugged mountain peaks, sweeping valleys, and some spectacular waterfalls, including the 27 metre Henrhyd Waterfall and the picture perfect falls at Ystradfellte.