Five Christmas markets paired with a Pride of Britain hotel

A wonderful aspect of Christmas in Britain are the delightful markets. Towns and cities up and down the country play host, and they provide wonderful opportunities to drink mulled wine, stock up on presents and feast on local foods. We’ve chosen five of the best in England, and also paired with a Pride of Britain hotel, so you can make it into a little trip away.


What: Every Christmas, Gloucestershire’s historic market town, Cirencester hosts a spectacular Christmas fair. There will be beautiful gifts and crafts as well as locally sourced and prepared food from the likes of Dottie’s Pigs and Mates Cider & Perry.

When: 5 – 24th December

Where: Market Place, Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Where to Stay: Barnsley House is a Grade 2* listed house built in 1697 and is just four miles north of Cirencester. Take some time out before the rush that is Christmas and unwind in their spa, watch a film in their private cinema and head out for a walk in their gardens.


What: Exeter’s Cathedral Green in the heart of the city will be filled with over 50 market stalls for a whole month in the run up to Christmas. It’s the perfect spot to find handmade and unique gifts and food for the festive period also whilst listening to the choir sing carols.

When: 19th November – 19th December

Where: The Cathedral Green, Exeter, Devon

Where to Stay: Bovey Castle in the heart of Devon is glamorous, indulgent and a retreat. Brace the elements and walk through Dartmoor, or spend the afternoon on the golf course, or in the ESPA spa.



What: Take in the sights of London this Christmas and all the beautiful lights that fill the streets at this Christmas market. The wooden chalets will be selling gifts, treats, festive food and plenty of mulled wine.

When: 11th November – 4th January

Where: Southbank, Southbank Centre, London

Where to Stay: The Arch is a boutique hotel in Marble Arch, a stone’s throw from Oxford Street and Hyde Park. It’s a mix of traditional townhouse living and a contemporary atmosphere and interior.



What: The Salisbury Market takes place in the Guildhall square. There will be 76 chalets filled with local businesses selling gifts, food, decorations and Christmas treats. They’ll also be a whole host of events, and children will be able to meet Father Christmas too.

When: 26th November -20th December

Where: Guildhall Square, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Where to Stay: The charming Montagu Arms can be found within the village Beaulieu in the New Forest. It’s not only steeped in charm and history, it is also home to the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the New Forest.



What: Leeds Christkindelmarkt brings a touch of Germany to the city centre. Decorated with festive greenery, the wooden chalets will sell everything from toys to traditional German food and drink such as Stollen. There will also be a carousel for children and events happening throughout such as face painting and band sing a longs.

When: 13th November -20th December

Where: Millennium Square, Leeds, Yorkshire

Where to Stay: Set in 20 acres of manicured gardens and parkland, Middlethorpe Hall\, was once the home of the famous diarist Lady Mary Wortley-Montagu. Now a hotel, it features a spa, restaurant and private rooms.

An Autumnal Bucket List of London Activities

With the leaves turning gold, the crisp air, and the hint of Christmas around the corner, Autumn in London is beautiful. We’ve rounded up five things that should be on your Autumnal bucket list of London activities:

Although it is just outside of London, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the middle of the countryside when you head to Richmond Park. With the majestic deer that roam the parks, the lakes and beautiful scenery, the park is the perfect place for an afternoon walk. If you are looking for somewhere a little closer to home then London has eight Royal parks, as well as the commons and gardens, so you’re never that far from somewhere to walk.

Autumn is the time to indulge in comfort food and we say there is no better way to spend a Sunday than by going to the pub for a long, lazy roast lunch. Of course there are hundreds of pubs to choose from, but if you’re looking for something a little more special then head to The Harwood Arms in Fulham, London’s only Michelin-starred pub.

Celebrate Bonfire night by heading to one of the big fireworks displays happening around the 5th November. Popular shows include the displays at Battersea Park, Wimbledon and Alexandra Palace.

Escape the cold streets this autumn and head to one of the museums or galleries for something a more cultural. The Royal Academy is currently hosting Ai Weiwei’s exhibition which occupies the main galleries or at the Museum of London they have an exhibition dedicated to crime.

The Lord Mayor’s Show is taking place on the 14th November, the stunning procession will see 7000 people, 200 horses and 155 floats proceed from Mansion House to the Royal Course. The rest of the day will include flotillas, guided walks and a spectacular fireworks display. It’s a great day out for all the family.

Personal Service Stars

Congratulations to Craig Jackson of Northcote on being named Front of House Manager of the Year at the Boutique Hotelier personal service awards.

Also to Davina Hassell of Seaham Hall on being named Spa Manager of the Year

The awards were presented on the evening of October 20th in front of an audience of over 250 senior hospitality professionals.


Personal Service Stars

New members elected

Bedford Lodge

Ellenborough Park

Pride of Britain has two new member hotels, following a successful inspection and voting process as per the consortium’s rules. This brings the collection to 48 hotels, just two short of our upper limit.

Bedford Lodge is a fine hotel and spa on the edge of Newmarket in Suffolk while Ellenborough Park is a historic property close to the racecourse at Chelteham in Gloucestershire. Both have red stars from the AA and are highly rated for their food.

Please look out for these exciting new members – they will appear on our web site soon.


New Michelin stars

Congratulations to Pride of Britain members Gravetye Manor and The Goring on being awarded Michelin stars.

Head chef at Gravetye Manor, George Blogg said: “I’m very proud of every member of the Gravetye team and this accolade is testament to the effort we have all put in. I am also extremely grateful for the support from our owners and managing director Andrew Thomason, who have all shown great faith in me.”

While Jeremy Goring, chief executive of the eponymous Belgravia Hotel said: “We’re delighted and honoured to be recognised by Michelin for what we are trying to achieve. It’s only taken us 105 years!”



Barbour & Pride of Britain: WIN a cookery break at Northcote

Pride of Britain hotels are delighted to introduce a new collaboration with the iconic British luxury brand, Barbour, focusing on our common values of the heritage and authenticity of Great Britain.

To celebrate this collaboration, the renowned luxury country-house hotel and Michelin-starred restaurant, Northcote, a proud Pride of Britain member in Lancashire, is offering a two-night stay with breakfast and in-room Barbour gifts. Co-owned by Michelin-starred chef, Nigel Haworth, Northcote boasts an outstanding cookery school in the heart of its prestigious kitchen and the prize includes a one day cooking course and a five-course Gourmet dinner, inviting you to experience the energy of a Michelin-starred kitchen. For more information and the opportunity to win this fabulous prize, please enter here

As part of this collaboration, six selected Pride of Britain members, including Northcote, have teamed up with Barbour to create a unique series of blogs from September 2015 to February 2016 combining the hotels’ local insider tips with Barbour’s top picks of what to wear whilst you’re exploring them.

Discover these hidden secrets on the Barbour Blog.


Scottish hospitality visits London

Pride of Britain’s only floating member hotel the splendid Hebridean Princess moored up near Tower Bridge on the Thames for a brief stop in London this week and its operators used the opportunity to put on a delightful lunch for business associates and other guests and to show off the results of a major refurbishment. Needless to say pipes were played and haggis was addressed in the traditional manner.

Here she is on The Thames, leaving the city behind at the start of another luxurious cruise.

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Sept 3-6

We are delighted to be exhibiting this year at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials which runs from September 3rd to 6th inclusive.

Please come and meet a few of our member hoteliers on the Pride of Britain stand within the Country Living Pavilion, collect your complimentary hotel directory and enter our prize draw to win £250 in Pride of Britain hotel vouchers.

Two new member hotels join Pride of Britain

We are delighted to welcome two new hotels: Armathwaite Hall near Keswick in the Lake District and Rockliffe Hall near Darlington in County Durham. Look out for their pages on the Pride of Britain website soon, and of course the famous Pride of Britain plaque outside their front doors.

Admission to the consortium is subject to an inspection visit by an existing member hotelier, approval by the elected board and then a vote involving all members. We have an upper limit of 50 hotels (all within the UK) to preserve the quality and exclusivity of the brand. Members pay an annual fee to cover a wide range of marketing and other services and all are visited on a rotating basis by our mystery guests.

So, getting in is quite an achievement!