Please note, our writers visited these hotels prior to the coronavirus pandemic
It’s no secret that London is surrounded by incredible beauty. The rolling hills and quaint country villages are the perfect antidote to frenetic city life and, thankfully, the glorious English countryside is alive with character all the year round. It’s also dotted with an array of top-notch hotels. From boutique inns and restaurants-with-rooms to country house hotels and castles, here’s our pick of the best hotels near London – within an hour’s train or car journey.
Note that with London now classed as a tier-two area under the latest government restrictions, those travelling from there should follow the relevant rules, notably that stays should be with members of your own household only. Always check which tier the hotel you plan to book comes under before you travel.
Gravetye Manor, East Grinstead
The gardens define this country house. Guests can amble amongst the heaving rhododendron bushes and popping pink magnolia trees, or explore the apple orchard and fruit’n’veg garden. Gravetye Manor itself – an eight-minute drive from East Grinstead station – is an authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks. Inside, the past doesn’t echo; it booms. Instead of chairs expect 16th-century-style oak thrones; instead of radiators, gigantic fireplaces, engraved with Tudor flowers and coats of arms. The restaurant, overseen by George Blogg, has a Michelin star and is one of the most pleasurable places to dine in the country.