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TEN OF BRITAIN'S COSIEST HOTELS

Sarah Turner

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Great food, log fires, a sense of community and armchairs that you can sink into; the list of things that makes a hotel cosy are varied but always have comfort at their core. Most of them are small, but are run with real passion and verve. They can be expensive or a bargain but they're never stuffy. Ultimately, a cosy hotel is one that feels like home with a welcome extra ladling of glamour.
The Galley of Lorne Inn

In the 17th century, when drovers were transporting livestock along the west coast, reaching this inn meant a warm bed and a well-deserved dram at the end of a long day. Now, most of us might arrive by car but it's still a relief to arrive here. By the loch in the pretty village of Ardfern, it welcomes sailors, pets – everyone in fact. A great base to explore the Hebridean islands, there's a popular bar and a superb restaurant.

The Bear's Paw

The prosperous Cheshire village of Warmingham houses this classic Arts & Crafts gastropub. This being prime WAG territory guests can cosy up to HD television, wifi and ipod wizardry upstairs. Downstairs, things get a bit more traditional with wood-burning stoves, leather armchairs and a flagstoned bar and restaurant. Food is locally sourced and most beer comes from local breweries.

Cley Windmill

Quirky, mildly eccentric and a real local landmark. There are just nine bedrooms, some round, some beamed, all utterly delightful. Essentially, this is a B&B (there are also some self-catering cottages) with evening meals that celebrate classic English cooking. Guests get to enjoy a fabulous circular sitting room (with honesty bar) and staggering views across the marshes.

Lakeside Hotel on Lake Windermere

There's carefully controlled chintz at this hotel, one of my all-time favourites. It's larger than most of the others featured but the owner, Neville Talbot makes staying here an intimate experience. A lot of its pleasures are pleasingly old-fashioned such as duck-feeding on the lawn or afternoon tea in the conservatory and the setting on the shore of Windermere is idyllic.

Lydgate House

In the heart of the Dartmoor National Park, this seven-bedroom country house hotel is a refuge from the modern world. Surrounded by 36 acres of tranquil gardens, meals are served in a light-filled conservatory and there's also a lounge with wood-burning stove. Food comes from local farms and clotted cream features strongly! Dogs are welcomed too.

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