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TEN COSY HOTELS FOR AUTUMN

Adrian Mourby

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Britain's hotels can provide a lovely backdrop to the countryside in spring and summer but to get the most out of them it's best to visit when the nights are drawing in and you can enjoy those cosy drawing rooms, snug bars and warm dining rooms. Not to mention making the most of your hotel bedroom. Many of our country hotels were once homes to wealthy city dwellers who wanted somewhere rural to relax, or roadside inns where travellers could rest up at the end of a long day on the road. As a result these buildings have long traditions of making you comfortable when the night is dark outside. We have city hotels too that are good refuges when the weather turns cold. So this autumn don't lament the clocks going back. Seize this as an opportunity to explore the richness of British hoteliery and to allow yourself to be well and truly pampered. It may be cold outside but there's sure to be a log fire burning at this selection of fine hotels.
Macdonald Compleat Angler

Dating back to 1640, The Compleat Angler takes its name from Isaak Walton's book of the same name which was published in 1653. Walton's celebration of the art and spirit of fishing finds an echo in this Thameside hideaway whose oak-panelled bar dates back to the seventeenth century. This is a fine place for fly-fishing during the day and to come back to as the sun begins to set. For those who don't want to just doze in front of the lounge's open log fire there's a selection of board games for guests to play.

Hambleton Hall

Imagine the mist rising from a beautiful lake and the view from the bay windows of a Victorian country house overlooking it. This is Hambleton Hall in the autumn. Rutland Water was actually created after the construction of the hall in 1881 but today it makes a perfect framing device for this English country house hotel. Now imagine coming back from a strenuous day walking and birdwatching round the lake, shucking your boots at the door, and collapsing in one of those big sofas in front of the fire place and ordering tea. You have imagined a cosy weekend in Hambleton.

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