And it'll take you less than an hour
London’s great and all, but sometimes you want an escape from city life, that doesn’t come with a five-hour journey attached. Enter The Runnymede, less than an hour’s train ride from Waterloo – this hotel and spa is a great way to escape the city and find yourself in the pretty surrounds of Egham, where you can literally walk out of the hotel onto the banks of the River Thames.
Did we mention it overlooks the River Thames? Walk through to the back of the hotel, where the comfy lounge bar is situated and you are literally standing overlooking water. Even for the unadventurous, it’s worth taking a walk along the canal-side path to get your nature-fix, before coming back and having a drink on the terrace, which of course, overlooks the water.
We stayed in a duplex apartment style room which was unexpectedly large and overlooked the water. The room, which was slightly separate from the main hotel, giving it a cabin-esque feel, also had a separate lounge room, and huge living area with a king-size bed. These types of rooms at the Runnymede are also dog-friendly – featuring in- room dining for both you AND your dog with their inspired WONDERBOO doggie menu.
The restaurant here was a real highlight, and far from being an add-on element, the Lock Bar & Kitchen would easily be a reason to return to the Runnymede, even if you weren’t staying the night. Everything about the food when we stayed was perfect, from the perfectly cooked steak and tasty sauce, right down to the wine that was selected for us. A real treat.
The Runnymede has an outdoor pool and terrace for summertime dips, as well as a good-size indoor pool and whirlpool bath, but we were mainly in it for the luxe, yet super welcoming day spa. If you’re short of time, opt for the ESPA aromatic back, neck and shoulder massage (£45) which will literally sort out any aches and pains (thanks for that 9-5), or if time is more on your side, go for their signature hot stone full body massage which is the ultimate in luxury.
You’re on the banks of the Thames, it’s a warm summer’s evening, and you’re on holiday… what are you to do? Opt for a ride in the ingenious HotTug, obviously. Because yes, during the summer months, the watery-location takes on a life of its own, and nothing makes your trip to The Runnymede complete than a ride in this hybrid vessel that’s half hot tub, half boat. Don’t worry, the wood-burning stove keeps the water a tropical 38°c so it’s more like the tropics than the Thames.
While you’re there…
During our stay, we took a trip in to Windsor (a few minutes by car, or if you’re feeling brave, an hour or so by foot), and spent a few hours pretending we were royalty in Windsor Castle – it’s an Instagram dream.
Stays at the runny are from £169 per room per night based on two sharing a standard double on a B&B basis.