Imagine a tranquil escape to the heart of the UK’s picturesque countryside, where the lush green landscapes stretch as far as the eye can see, and the only sounds are the gentle chirping of birds and the occasional rustle of leaves. Now, picture yourself lounging by a crystal-clear pool, sipping on a refreshing cocktail, and basking in the warm embrace of the sun. It’s the epitome of relaxation, and it’s exactly what you can expect when you embark on a countryside poolside retreat in the UK.
At From the Poolside, I’ve been keen to share my insider tips on boutique hotels with pools in the UK for 10 years and I thought it would be useful to list my top 5 countryside poolside retreats in the UK and take you on a journey to boutique bliss!
The Newt in Somerset: a majestic gem
The Newt in Somerset is now a firm favorite of ours, and we’ve visited this gem four times, making it a must-visit for any poolside enthusiast. This boutique hotel offers a beautiful countryside setting in Somerset that has attracted visitors from all over, helping to put this slice of English heaven firmly on the map. Here’s what we loved about it:
Gorgeous bedrooms and bathrooms: The rooms are exquisite, with gorgeous bedrooms and even more beautiful bathrooms that make your stay a true delight.
Farm-to-table dining: The farm-to-table restaurant is a culinary journey, perfect for vegetarians and food enthusiasts alike.
Amazing spa treatments: The spa facilities are world-class, offering a range of rejuvenating treatments that will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated.
Majestic gardens: The gardens are a true highlight, and the view of the famous gardens from Hadspen House is simply breathtaking.
A historic location: Hadspen House itself, perched atop a slope, offers a great view and exudes a majestic yet welcoming atmosphere.
Heckfield Place: a gravelled pathway to luxury
Heckfield Place, a true luxury country hotel, has now added a spa so we are planning many returning visits. Here’s why we can’t get enough of this countryside gem:
Serene spa retreat: The bucolic spa, “The Bothy by Wildsmith,” sits in a walled garden, providing a tranquil journey to relaxation. The expansive 17,000ft² spa offers an array of treatments, a large pool with countryside views, and outdoor jacuzzi.
Exquisite design: The interior design seamlessly blends Nordic and English styles, with antique furnishings and captivating art throughout.
Comfortable lounges: The welcoming lounges, drawing rooms, and bar invite you to unwind, read, or enjoy complimentary afternoon tea.
Generous amenities: Spacious bedrooms, a complimentary mini-bar, and professional service make your stay truly special.
Limewood Hotel: a luxury retreat in the New Forest
If you’re in need of a quick and easy luxury escape from London, look no further than Limewood Hotel. This countryside haven, set in the beautiful New Forest, has been our go-to destination for relaxation. Here’s why we keep coming back:
Rooms for every occasion: You can choose to stay in the main building or the outside pavilions. The Forest Hideaway Suites in the pavilions are recommended for families. These rooms come with lounge areas and open fireplaces, offering a luxurious experience.
Refreshed design: In May 2022, we were excited to explore the refreshed design by Susie Atkinson, which has brought more simplicity and modernity to the rooms.
Diverse dining: The Angela and Hartnett Holder & Co restaurant offers delicious, flavorful, Italian-inspired food. The courtyard and the bar have been refurbished and are more welcoming than ever.
Idyllic spa: The spa features a hydrotherapy space with a warm pool, sauna, hammam, and power water jets. It’s a great place to relax, and the swimming hours for kids have been updated.
Natural beauty: Limewood Hotel is located in the New Forest, where horses and pigs roam freely. A walk in the serene surroundings is a must.
In summary, Limewood Hotel provides a true sense of luxury, with beautiful surroundings, great food, and a wonderful spa. Whether you’re in search of tranquillity or a family-friendly escape, Limewood Hotel has it all. Read the full review
Thyme Hotel: a countryside gem in the Cotswolds
In August 2020, we discovered the enchanting Thyme Hotel nestled in the picturesque Cotswolds, and it left a lasting impression. Here’s what makes Thyme Hotel a unique and memorable destination:
Idyllic location: Thyme Hotel is a village within a village, located in the charming village of Southrop in the Cotswolds. Driving through Southrop’s yellow stone houses and lush fields, you’ll immediately feel the peace and tranquillity of the countryside.
Nature-inspired style: The hotel is a masterfully restored manor and farm, offering 30 rooms in various houses, cottages, and barns, creating a “village within a village.” The outdoor style seamlessly extends to the rooms, with furnishings and colours inspired by nature.
The Lodge experience: We were fortunate to stay in The Lodge, which felt like having our own country house. The Rose bedroom on the ground floor provides a private garden where you can enjoy your morning tea while gazing at the fields.
Exquisite room decor: The room is adorned with floral fabrics, antique furniture, and carefully selected linens. Underfloor heating and peaceful views of the lawn complete the experience. It’s a serene and comfortable retreat.
Tranquil spa experience: The spa, while small, provides a serene environment. With a lovely pool and exceptional treatment rooms, it’s an ideal place to unwind.
To note: Thyme Hotel does not accommodate children under 12, making it best suited for couples or families with teenagers. Families can opt for the self-catering village cottage, Old Walls, and enjoy daytime meals.
Thyme Hotel is a beautiful retreat, offering a scenic setting, tasteful decor, scrumptious food, and friendly staff. It’s a luxury hotel, although certain customary luxury amenities like breakfast inclusion, room service, or morning newspapers are not provided. Despite the minor drawbacks, Thyme Hotel is perfect for those seeking a chic, indulgent, and relaxing countryside getaway. We left with a longing to return. Read the full review
Soho Farmhouse Oxfordshire: a rural retreat for city escapes
For a long time, I had yearned to visit Soho Farmhouse Oxfordshire, and my anticipation finally became reality. As a non-member, it’s often challenging to secure a booking here, even with multiple attempts. However, a friend who’s a member extended an invitation for a girls’ weekend getaway to celebrate our daughters’ exam success, making our dreams come true.
Luxurious camping in cabins : The Soho Farmhouse cabins, instead of traditional rooms, offer a luxurious camping experience. We stayed in a spacious three-bedroom cabin, each of which boasts a private outdoor space, a comfortable living room, a fully-equipped kitchen, and delightful bathrooms. Bicycles and wellies, complete with personalised labels, are provided for your enjoyment.
Charming interior design: The cabin’s interior design emanates a warm, shabby-chic vibe that Soho Houses worldwide are renowned for. Wood, cosy blankets, cushions, and nature-inspired décor elements make the cabins both inviting and trendy. The thoughtful addition of bunk beds for our girls made the experience even more delightful. Plus, you’ll find an array of Cowshed toiletries in the generously-sized bathrooms.
Privacy: Privacy is a key feature of these cabins. You have the option to cook your meals, and the staff can cater to your needs, whether it’s serving breakfast or mixing up cocktails right in your cabin. If you want to go out, Soho Farmhouse offers a variety of dining options, including a restaurant in the barn, a cafe, a Japanese eatery near the pool, and a charming courtyard for al fresco meals. Remember, some of these spots have age restrictions, so plan your dining accordingly.
Rejuvenating retreat: The highlight of Soho Farmhouse is the boat house with its indoor heated pool opening to an outdoor counterpart. The site also offers various water activities, a spa, an outdoor jacuzzi, and a steam room. The spa treatments were a hit among my friends and me, with clear and bright spaces and excellent massages. Additionally, a daily program of activities keeps everyone engaged, from gym classes to horse riding lessons and more.
While I found it a bit crowded during my summer visit, especially around the pool, my friends and their kids adored the sense of freedom and safety. Read the full review
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For the past 10 years, it’s been my passion to uncover these hidden gems and share them with you. My goal with From the Poolside is to provide you with a curated selection of exquisite boutique hotels with pools, not only in the UK but across Europe.
From the romantic poolside escapes in Italy to the luxurious poolside accommodations in Greece, I hope that I becam your go-to resource for discovering the best of boutique hotels with pools across the continent. With my handpicked recommendations and in-depth reviews, you’ll never run out of extraordinary places to explore.
So, if you’re yearning for a countryside poolside retreat in the UK or have your sights set on poolside perfection in other European destinations, look no further than From the Poolside. I’ve got your next unforgettable getaway covered! Your journey to boutique bliss starts here.