Nestling in 200 acres of parkland just a few miles from pretty Llandudno, a stay at Grade 1 listed country house Bodysgallen is rewarded with spectacular views of Conway Castle and Snowdonia. With stunning trees and foliage in full bloom as the warmer months approach, the hotel lays on lunchtime events include spring floristry talks and demonstrations by florists Sioned Riwlands and Jenny Wallis. Book a tour with the head gardener through the hall's award-winning gardens - highlights including a rare 17th century parterre of box hedges filled with sweet-scented herbs, a walled rose garden and several follies. There is also a formal rose garden and a number of well-established specimen trees and shrubs, including medlar and mulberry.
Built in the 1800s, this appealing Victorian hotel sits within its own 36 acres smack bang in Dartmoor National Park and has awesome views across the moorland and East Dart River valley. Wind down the private road to get there and allow the famously friendly owners Stephen and Karen Horn (repeat visitor numbers are high) to spoil you with a cream tea before you walk right onto the moorland from the door to explore the park's riot of primroses, wood sorrels, bluebells, red campions and spring squalls. The hotel also owns a three-bed self-catering cottage for those who want more autonomy.
Take a seat on the flower-covered pergola and just breath in the calm, beautiful setting of the South Downs here in chi-chi Midhurst. Family-owned country house Park House is perfect for those soft spring mornings when you can thwack a few balls about on the lawn tennis courts (there are two), indulge in a spot of croquet on improve your technique on the putting green. The modern spa has indoor and outdoor pools, saunas and steam rooms (and once you've done your workout, you can indulge in the frozen mojitos they serve at the pool bar.) Want to take a walk? Spring in the South Downs means an abundance of wild flowers – violets, bugle, red campion, cranesbill, speedwell plus long sunny paths edged with the white of cow parsley on one side and flowering hawthorn on the other.
Sitting regally on the banks of the River Thames just before the Bell Weir Lock is the Runnymede – a Surrey institution. A luxurious bolt hole with everything you would expect to come with that (posh grounds, tennis courts, spas and pools), this hotel also offers roomy riverboats to hire with which to inspect new spring life on the water. Chunter along at eight knots max and admire the riverside willows in their springtime greenery. Can't be bothered? The hotel's Chelsea Flower Show award wining Magna Carta Gardens mean that you don't even have to leave the ground to get a taste of Surrey spring.
Sheep, sheep and more sheep. And 2000 acres of rolling Northamponshire greenery. That's the setting for stunning Tudor Fawsley Hall so expect more than a few lambs gambolling about during your stay. Capability's Brown's divine setting, with its manicured beds and sparkling lakes, means a spring break will leave you desperate to move in forever. They'll even lend you wellies to go yomping through the grounds. Even if you couldn't drag yourself from the arched beams and extravagant windows of the deeply impressive Great Hall, you'd still take in more than enough spring loveliness from the view. Oh – when you're done with all that walking – the 29-seater in-house cinema is pretty lovely for a snoozy film session too.
With Brockenhurst just down the road, Careys Manor is in the heart of the New Forest. This former royal hunting lodge complete with creaky staircases, impressive beams and roaring fireplaces offers a wonderful starting point for walks to take in spring's carpet of wildflowers. Try the captivating Puttles Walk which takes you on a 5.3 mile (8.6km) circular walk covering woodland, open heath and the Ober Water. Drive 10 minutes to the starting point at the car park, or incorporate the two mile walk from Careys Manor. End of the day reward? The widely acclaimed Thai-themed spa which offers everything from am “o-zone” pool to a whirlpool tub, sauna and steam room plus hydrotherapy area featuring a large hydrotherapy pool, herbal sauna, crystal steam room, laconium, tepidarium, health showers, ice room and a large relaxation room.
Lean out of this cosy 19th century windmill in North Norfolk and you'll see lapwings pee-witting across miles and miles of reed beds, with Blakeney Harbour in the distance. The coast here is a wonderful spot for gentle walks along the salt marshes underneath huge skies as terns wheel above you and seals splash around the boats. Blakeney National Nature Reserve is a great spot for wader and wildfowl watching and if you stick to the sea wall and around the Freshes, you get terrific views. Listen to the redshanks and curlews singing as you meander along before returning to the windmill for their trademark hearty meals and comfy beds.
Anglers, take heed – pack your kit and head off to the Italianate Victorian Manor that is Gliffaes where hours and hours of fishing by the River Usk slip by in an instant. As the sun warms the banks, it's an irresistible pastime in this idyllic riverside spot – the owners James, Susie and Peta will even sort out rods, waders and a local ghillie for you. The hotel's location in the Brecon Beacons means walking is also highly popular at this luxurious country house in the shadows of the Black Mountains - walk starts right outside the door. Or head ten minutes away to Mynydd Llangorse, where a circular trail takes in a lake and grand views of rounded heights. It's stunning in spring.
Spring equals Easter equals weeks of school holidays and there can't be many hotels that cater for all of this better than the Cornwall Hotel. With Easter egg hunts, craft tables laid out daily and special early dining for the little ones (they eat for free with a paying adult and choose from their own menu), the staff at this vast estate offering rooms, cottages and self-catering really know how to keep all the family happy. There are Woodland Kitchens (lots of mud play in the forest) for pre-schoolers, the Gwendolyn Trail which takes families across some of the estate's 43 acres to search for clues and answer riddles about the hotel's history and an adventure playground plus giant jenga and lawn games. Get booking!
wned by the Border Reiver Charlton family since 1346, this astonishingly handsome historic country mansion sitting in Capability-designed grounds within Northumberland National Park has three bedrooms (yes, you do get a four poster bed) for guests – which would sorely tempt me to swank around like I was a visiting marchioness looking forward to the parlour games before dinner. The estate's ancient woodlands make for terrific walking and the North Tyne runs through it, so fishing's on the menu too. For a day out, head to Kielder Forest – known as the most peaceful places in the UK – where ospreys, red squirrels, roe deer, badgers, bats, otters and adders arrive in spring.
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