If you want a country manor with all the action, you’ll never need leave the grounds of this historic hotel
It’s been a long year, so if you are looking for a little luxury, a lot of history and loads of lush countryside, then Tortworth Court, in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, just north of Bristol, is for you. It ticks all the boxes – it’s a grand manor house set in 30 acres of grounds, with gourmet dining, luxury spa and deluxe accommodation.
Although it’s located in a beautiful part of the country – Bristol and Bath are within striking distance and the Cotswolds are easily-reached in the other direction – most guests will be happy to just spend their minibreak wandering around the grounds of the hotel. In fact, you can have a weekend away that includes everything from amazing food, history tours, walks in nature, spa treatments and live entertainment, without leaving Tortworth’s grounds.
The grand Victorian mansion sits on an estate that is mentioned in the Domesday book and was in the Ducie family for 350 years before a £20 million restoration turned it into its current incarnation. Former stables became bedrooms, the grand library is now the dining room and the estate’s historic Orangery a centrepiece to the hotel. Built in 1899 it was designed as a smaller-scale Crystal Palace, built for the Great Exhibition in 1851, and housed exotic and rare plants. This beautiful building, which is part of an arboretum home to over 300 plant and tree specimens, is popular now as a wedding venue. In fact, so packed with history is Tortworth Court, that you can take two fascinating audio tours on the grounds and house, which we enjoyed. After a couple of hours wandering around taking it all in, it was back to our smart room, with comfortable bed and sleek bathroom.
Food and drink
The hotel’s main restaurant, called 1853, is housed in its original library which is very atmospheric with its dark wood panelling and grand fireplace and serves traditional British fare, like roast Scottish salmon and Eton mess. There’s also an Atrium Bistro Bar for more relaxed dining and The Terrace, which is perfect for afternoon tea or cocktails.
The hotel also houses its Leaf Spa, which contains treatment rooms, swimming pool and gym. It has a wide range of treatments and we particularly enjoyed the Rebalancing Ritual, which was a relaxing scalp massage and foot and leg massage.
But one of the main attractions to the hotel is its enormous array of entertainment throughout the year, from live music on the terrace to an outdoor cinema in the summer, firework displays in autumn and even Murder Mystery evenings.
Rooms from £80.19, visit devere.co.uk, or call 01454 263000.