13 OF THE MOST EXTRAVAGANT OUTINGS IN THE UK
Traveling doesn’t always have to take you far; in fact some of the most surprising and spectacular places are right here on our own doorstep. With the trend of short UK staycations growing and growing for busy couples or families in Great Britain, there’s no time like the present to discover the local treasures of our incredible and bountiful island. And if you’re after a little bit of luxury, you won’t have to look too far. Read on and take a look at 13 of the most extravagant outings in the UK below.
If you’re looking for a tailor-made vacation, contact our team today and we can help you build your perfect break in a luxury chateau or castle, stately home or mansion, boutique hotel or villa, right here in the United Kingdom. In the meantime, here is some fabulous minibreak inspiration …
1. A LUXURY STAY IN THE COTSWOLDS
The English Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful regions of the UK; consisting of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Wiltshire, this area in South Central England is best known for its rolling hills and blissful meadows. With outstanding countryside, quaint towns and villages and a number of stylish cities, there’s something for everyone in the Cotswolds. If you’re traveling with children, don’t miss the Tewkesbury Heritage Centre, Birdland Park and Gardens, Cotswold Wildlife Park and Court Barn Museum.
The area is also recognized for its unique Jurassic limestone, and visitors will stumble upon the most striking stone built villages. To get the full luxury experience, stay in or visit one of the many stately homes and manors in the region or book into a special boutique hotel for a unique experience.
2. WEEKEND IN A SCOTTISH MANSION
Scotland is a diverse and wonderful country with so much to offer; from its extravagant cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow to the breath-taking countryside and rugged coastline, a visit to Scotland is nothing less than fascinating. Here at Loyd & Townsend Rose, one of our featured properties, Kinross House, is a Scottish Palladian mansion just one hour outside of Edinburgh. Cited as “Scotland’s noblest classical country house”, this Grade A listed Palladian mansion is perfect for entertaining guests or holding a special event. The opulent interiors have been tastefully restored to reveal its former glory as one of Scotland’s finest country homes.
From the house gardens, you will have an undisturbed view of Loch Leven and the rolling hills surrounding the area.
3. DISCOVER THE SLIEVE BLOOM MOUNTAINS, IRELAND
The Slieve Bloom Mountains (Sliabh Bladhma in Irish) in Ireland, stretch from Roscrea to Rosenallis and its highest point is at Arderin, reaching over 520 meters. Although the Slieve Bloom Mountains are not very high, they are still quite significant in this region and both locals and tourists like to explore the mountain range by hiking or mountain biking. The Slieve Bloom Mountains are the oldest mountains in Europe and they were also once the highest prior to erosion. The most accessible entrance to the mountains can be found just off Exit 18 on the M7 – and there are three different walking routes which take you across the Slieve Bloom. The Glenbarrow Waterfalls are not to be missed and you will also find some strikingly scenic routes by the Ridge of Capard.
To discover these stunning mountains, we would recommend staying in one of our featured properties; Ballyfin, a country mansion set on the foothills of the mountain range. Our historic country house is a refurbished hotel or it can be hired out for private use.
4. GASTRONOMIC TOUR OF EDINBURGH
If you’re looking for a luxurious city break, there really is no other destination quite as extravagant as Edinburgh. Within this historic capital, you’ll find a cosmopolitan shopping center, charming ancient architecture – including the beautiful castle – plenty of pubs and bars, and a world of fine dining at your fingertips. Home to many Michelin star chefs, both past and present, foodies will be spoiled for choice when it comes to 5 star establishments. Go to Tom Kitchin’s The Kitchen for beautifully cooked food made with locally sourced ingredients, Martin Wishart on 54 Shore for an expertly designed 6 course tasting menu, Castle Terrace for a modern take on traditional cooking, or Paul Kitching’s 21212 for a fresh menu every single week. Along with the endless choice of high-end dining, you can couple your gastronomic experience with the many boutique hotels in the city for a trip to remember.
5. YACHTING IN CORNWALL
You don’t have to jet off to the Med to enjoy a luxury yachting experience. Cornwall is a mecca for sailing enthusiasts and it’s a beautiful place to charter during the hot summer months. Cornwall in the summer is simply spectacular and has often been cited as the UK’s version of the Mediterranean; glorious beaches, top diving sites, incredible countryside with scenic trails, lovely towns such as Penzance and St Ives, and beautiful castles with the prettiest panoramic backdrops.
Yachting fans can live the high-life and sail to the wonderful Isles of Scilly or the famous Smuggler’s Cove with various charter companies across the region. The best time to sail is during the summer months, between May to September, but the slightly warmer climate to the rest of the country allows for sailing activity any time of year.
6. EXPLORE THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
There are fewer natural landscapes quite a rugged and raw in beauty as the Scottish Highlands. The vast and remarkable Highlands of Scotland makes for a perfect hiking or mountain biking holiday. It’s ideal for active families or for anyone who appreciates the good work of Mother Nature. But an outdoors driven vacation doesn’t have to mean sacrificing creature comforts. In fact, here at Loyd & Townsend Rose, we feature a stunning property, Corrour Lodge, which is a contemporary castle set in the wilderness, away from the hustle and bustle of towns or cities. This incredible property features a 60,000 acre estate and offers accommodation for 28 guests in 7 double rooms, all complete with en-suite. Set among rolling hills, beautiful moors and glistening lochs, the views will be simply mind-blowing. No expense has been spared in the intricate interiors of this castle, so if you’re looking for extravagant accommodation in the Highlands, get in touch with our team today.
7. VISIT A UK SPA TOWN
The UK has many spa towns, so for those in search of a little bit of luxury and pampering, why not spend a weekend in Harrogate, Royal Tunbridge Wells or Bath. These incredible spa towns are home to some of Great Britain’s finest spa facilities; The Turkish Baths in Harrogate offer a truly therapeutic experience, Royal Tunbridge Wells offers a fantastic 4 spa and hotel experience, whilst Bath remains as one of the most famous locations for the original Thermal Spa which is known to have many health benefits.
8. DESIGNER SHOPPING IN THE CAPITAL
If you have a penchant for the finer things in life, head to London for a designer shopping experience. London is so incredibly diverse when it comes to places to shop. From the local high street to independent labels, weekend markets to vintage and antique shops, some of Europe’s biggest department stores to impressive shopping complexes such as Westfield, or the finest designer shopping streets, London is the place to be for shopaholics. For lavish designer labels, head to Bond Street and Mayfair (where you will find the likes of Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.), Regent Street for luxury department stores (Hamleys and Liberty), or the famous Savile Row for bespoken English tailoring.
9. LAKE WINDEMERE
Lake Windermere has been voted one of the most romantic vacation destinations in the UK; with its magical sunsets and breath-taking panoramas, it’s easy to see why. The Lake District is one of Great Britain’s most idyllic regions and is home to sixteen lakes spanning across market towns such as Kendal, Keswick, Ambleside, Bowness-on-Windermere, Ullswater, Ulverston and Grasmere. The vast region offers a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere with a great choice of private chalets and luxury cottages or 5 star boutique hotels. For food and drink connoisseurs, the area around the Lakes is peppered with great independent restaurants and traditional gastropubs.
10. ENJOY AFTERNOON TEA IN LONDON
It doesn’t get much more glamorous than afternoon tea at The Ritz in London. When it comes to daytime activities, there’s nothing quite as lavish as a posh afternoon pick-me-up to refuel after your shopping trip. The British tradition of afternoon tea started in the 19th Century when tea consumption became popular among the aristocracy. At the time, Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford complained of “having that sinking feeling” during the late afternoon – and it is since then that afternoon tea has become an event for all to enjoy. Traditionally, the act of afternoon tea has been widely prevalent with royalty and the upper class; so if you’re looking for an opulent setting with elegant afternoon snacks, take a trip to our capital and enjoy afternoon tea for yourself.
Some of the best places to enjoy afternoon tea include The Ritz, Claridge’s Hotel, The Dorchester, The Savoy, The Connaught, The Berkley and the ultra-glamorous Aqua Shard.
11. A WEEK IN DEVON
A surfer’s paradise, Devon is a rich and exciting region boasting some of the UK’s best beaches. Some of the finest award-winning beaches include Blackpool Sands, Dawlish Warren which is brimming with glorious wildlife and Teignmouth which is perfect for families, South Milton Sands, Bigbury on Sea, Bantham Beach, Mothercombe, or Beesands. In addition to the wonderful beach lifestyle, Devon also boasts some of the most amazing luxury hotels, the best restaurants and plenty of tourist attractions to keep the entire family entertained. Just East of Devon is the county of Cornwall so if you’re looking for an extended trip, you can cover both regions in the same week.
We have a stunning featured property available to view online; a Grade 1 listed building designed by Humphry Repton back in 1814. Hotel Endsleigh is a beautiful historic house that has been transformed into a luxury hotel and makes the perfect base for exploring Cornwall and Devon. Hidden in a secret valley in Dartmoor, this 16 bedroom establishment offers the most amazing views, and Cornwall’s striking North Coast is less than an hour’s drive.
12. DINNER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
The Bellmond British Pullman – sister train to the Venice Simplon Orient Express – is an iconic part of British culture and is luxury at its finest. If you’re looking for something different, jump on board the British Orient Express and take a journey through the UK’s most beautiful countryside. Experience fine dining on board the Pullman and taste gastronomic creations cooked using the freshest local ingredients. Top chefs to have cooked on board the Pullman include celebrity 2 Michelin starred chef Tom Kerridge and the illustrious chef Anton Mosmann OBE.
Expertly prepared in a tiny cupboard-sized kitchen, it’s truly amazing what wonders can be cooked up by some of Britain’s top chefs. Journey types vary so you can get a short dining experience, a short break in the UK, specialist tours such as Murder Mysteries, or journeys abroad.
13. SIGHTSEEING IN CAMBRIDGE
Cambridge broke the record for one of the most expensive cities to visit for a short break (according to The Guardian Newspaper), but if you’re after a bit of grandeur, there really is no other city quite like it. It’s a city made for the modern day culture vulture and you can walk around to explore the wonderful historical architecture or visit the city’s many museums. Don’t miss the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Anglesey Abbey, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Ely Cathedral and the Cambridge Corn Exchange.
Second only to Edinburgh in price, Cambridge is brimming with opulence and finery; dine out at Michelin star restaurants such as Daniel Clifford’s Midsummer House, Mark Poyton’s Alimentum, or Hans Schweitzer’s Restaurant, Cotto.
If you’re looking for the most extravagant accommodation in the UK, take a look at our featured properties online. We can help you build the perfect getaway in a castle, country mansion, stately home or 5 star boutique hotel across various locations in Britain. Just call us on + 44 (0) 1835 824642 today and tell us your dream UK destination.
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