Timothy Barber
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Eco-chic hotel The Scarlet sits in a majestic spot on the cliff-tops of Mawgan Porth, looking out to sea. An adults only boutique haven, this is where to completely escape the hordes and spend a few days soaking up the hotel’s zen-like vibe and cool eco style, with its outdoor reed-bed swimming pool carved into the rocks, an Ayurvedic spa with chrysalis inspired sleeping pods and groovy seafood restaurant. Outdoor types can book a surf lesson, try a spot of wild swimming around the rocks or make a splash on horseback with a gallop along the beach. Then back to the spa for a seaweed hot tub, perched on the cliff. A three or four night spa break starts at £505 pp, b&b, including dinner on two nights, plus a four-hour spa Journey. Call 01637 861800 or visit

The Grove, Hertordshire’s splendid country house hotel and spa, has opened a major new exhibition of contemporary sculpture in its gardens. It includes 80 pieces by 28 artists, including Royal Academy luminaries such as Philip King (former president of the R.A.) and Ann Christopher, as well as a host of other well-known and up-and-coming artists. The grounds of the former estate of the Earls of Clarendon make a pretty dramatic backdrop for the best in contemporary sculpture, and the exhibition is open to all, not just guests. Visitors to the exhibition will receive a guide to three art trails through the Grove’s grounds.

Prices from £310 per night including breakfast, with a 25 per cent discount for children under 12 staying in an interconnecting room.