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THE TOP TEN NATIONAL PARK HOTELS

Greg Cook

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Britain's national parks offer a startling variety of landscapes encompassing the countries largest mountains and broadest lakes, rolling moorlands and table-flat wetlands. For nature-lovers they're a haven, for the outward-bound they're a playground, and they all provide fresh air in abundance. Fortunately for those who enjoy their creature comforts after a bracing day communing with nature, the national parks of England, Scotland and Wales are now the location of some of Britain's finest hotels.
Culdearn House Hotel

Not only ideally positioned for exploring the Cairgorms, the largest Arctic mountain landscape in the British Isles, Culderan House is also on the Speyside Malt Whisky Trail. Visiting in the Cairgorms peaks in mid-winter when the snow-covered mountains are at their most spectacular and those availing themselves of the ski facilities at the top will be glad of a warming dram back at Culdearn House. Set in 0.75 acres of landscaped garden, this elegantly preserved Victorian bolthol offers six luxury en-suite rooms, cosy surroundings and warm hospitality.

Two Bridges Hotel

Set in the heart of Dartmoor's 368 square miles of wild, granite strewn moorland, the Two Bridges hotel in Priceton is an oasis of comfort and calm. The 33 room hotel boasts spectacular views all round, and it's 60 acres of pet-friendly grounds lead down to the very edge of the babbling River Dart. Despite it's splendid isolation the hotel and accompanying Tors Restaurant has gained a reputation for excellence that draws diners and guests from across Devon and beyond.

Rhinefield House Hotel

The New Forest, spreading across Hampshire and Wiltshire, was first established as a hunting ground by William the Conqueror, and the Rhinefield House Hotel, Heathclub & Spa situated within provides explorers of the forest and heath with suitably majestic accommodation. This breathtaking country mansion is a Tudor and Gothic confection that delivers dramatic reception spaces, elegant rooms, mouth-watering food and a ‘wow' factor from the moment you catch sight of its façade from the sweeping driveway.

Losehill House Hotel & Spa

A spectacular green lung between the cities of Manchester and Sheffield, the Peak District offers all it visitors fresh air and the time and space to inhale it. As the only luxury four-star residence located inside the Peak District national park, Losehill House provides the ideal base for those who feel they deserve their creature comforts after a day's outdoor exercise. The hotel provides this in abundance, from its 23 luxurious rooms, to spa facilities and a heated indoor pool for soothing a hill-walker's aching legs.

Amberley Castle

The rolling chalk hills of South Downs, stretching 260 miles across the south-east from Hampshire in the west iconic white cliffs of Beachy Head on the East Sussex coast, became Britain's newest national park in 2011, and few places make a better base for striking out and exploring them than The Amberly Castle Hotel. Accommodation and facilities here are set astoundingly inside a 900 year-old castle with a 60ft curtain wall, a historic jewel that provides an experience both luxurious and truly unique.

Ox Pasture Hall Hotel

In terms of location Ox Pasture Hall appears to have it all residing in 17 acres of immaculately landscaped gardens, itself set within the wild sweeping meadows of the North Yorkshire moors, yet only two miles from the coast and historic resort-town of Scarborough. A new breed of country house hotel, Ox Pasture hall provides relaxed, rustically elegant surroundings without a hint of stuffiness or pretense – the proper Yorkshire way! Consistently voted one of the counties best hotels you'd be hard pushed to find a better setting or a warmer welcome.

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