One of the wonderful decisions to make when travelling to England is where to stay, and one of the delights of the countryside is the choice beautiful country house style hotels that are oozing with history and stories, through to some slightly more surprising modern styled hotels.
There is a real plethora of choice.
We are delighted to share one of our favourites to help in your decision making.
We’ve recently had a wonderful visit to Stoke Park Hotel and Country Club and were reminded of how special it is.
The history of Stoke Park is extraordinary and, for a history graduate like me, and absolute treasure trove. It’s been owned by the British Crown twice with Elizabeth I being the last royal owner.
Stoke Park has been owned by some of the oldest aristocratic families in the country and many of the family members through the centuries have been killed fighting and defending the realm. The house even served as Charles I prison for a short while during the Civil War in the seventeenth century.
Recent history, you’ll be pleased to hear, has been a lot more peaceful. The numerous owners have spent huge amounts of time and money developing the estate, and creating the stunning piece of English countryside that it is today.
It became Britain’s first country club in 1908, when Nick “Pa” Lane Jackson returned from a trip to the US that had quite an impact on him. He had been touring with his football team, the Corinthians, and during this sporting trip he witnessed first hand the role that country clubs played in American society.
He decided that he wanted to create something similar in England. It all started with golf, tennis and cricket and the golf course, I have been told, although I don’t claim to be an expert, is apparently one of the finest in the country today.
The deer park and grounds are quite magnificent and may look familiar as they have played a starring role in a number of films, notably playing host to Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger. The grounds were originally designed by Launcelot “Capability” Brown and update and restored by Humphry Repton (who gave his name to Humphrys, the wonderful hotel restaurant).
The hotel has 49 bedrooms, those in the main house are beautifully traditional in style and, if you prefer a more modern environment, the Pavilion rooms are just stunning.
It also plays host to a wonderful sporting event, the Boodles Tennis Tournament, which takes place in the week before Wimbledon where you are likely to see almost 50% of the worlds top 20 tennis players.
The hotel is only 40 minutes from London and 25 minutes from Heathrow and is ideally located to visit the local highlights of Windsor, Henley on Thames and one of the country’s favourite National Trust gardens at Cliveden House.