BEDFORD LODGE HOTEL & SPA, SUFFOLK
Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa in Newmarket, Suffolk, is well placed for trips to Cambridge or Bury St Edmunds – but racegoers will chomp at the bit over the hotel’s close proximity to Newmarket racecourse. Newmarket’s racing history dates back to the rule of James I and today the venue is the largest in the country, with 38 meetings a year. Built in the 18th century as a hunting lodge for the Duke of Bedford, Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa blends country-house comfort with contemporary cool throughout its 77 elegant rooms and suites. Sip a Newmarket Gin before sampling a locally-sourced seasonal meal in award-winning Squires Restaurant; bliss out in the complimentary Health & Fitness Club with indoor swimming pool or indulge in the glamorous spa, set in a Georgian building within beautifully-landscaped gardens.
Doubles from £130 B&B; 01638 663175, https://www.prideofbritainhotels.com/hotels/bedford-lodge-hotel-and-spa/
MIDDLETHORPE HALL & SPA, YORKSHIRE
Middlethorpe Hall & Spa is an elegant 17th century William and Mary country house standing in 20 acres of manicured gardens and parkland just outside the historic medieval city of York. Owned by the National Trust, the hotel’s 20-acre grounds overlook neighboring York racecourse. There’s a spa with indoor pool set in a sweet cottage in the grounds and all 29 rooms are spread between the main house, the restored courtyard buildings and three cottage suites, all decked out with original oil paintings and antiques. Dine in the wood-panelled dining room on a Modern British menu heavy with local produce and vegetables fresh from the garden.
Doubles from £199 B&B, 01904 641241, https://www.prideofbritainhotels.com/hotels/middlethorpe-hall-and-spa/
BAILIFFSCOURT HOTEL & SPA, SUSSEX
A captivating 15th century medieval manor complete with mullioned windows and tapestries, Bailiffscourt is, in fact, a 1930s-built whim of the late Lord Moyne, then Walter Guinness of the brewing family. Horseracing fans can relax after a day at Goodwood Racecourse – a 20-minute drive away and famous for hosting the Glorious Goodwood festivals – in the timber-framed spa with indoor and outdoor heated pools and an outdoor Californian hot tub. There are 39 rooms arranged across the main house and in thatched cottages and all feature grand four-poster beds, oak beams and log fires. A short walk through the hotel’s 30 acres of stunning parkland leads guests to an unspoiled stretch of coast – delightful Climping beach.
Doubles from £250 B&B, 01903 723511, https://www.prideofbritainhotels.com/hotels/bailiffscourt-hotel-and-spa/
ELLENBOROUGH PARK, GLOUCESTERSHIRE
A historic honey-stoned manor house dating back to the 1500s, Ellenborough Park lies on the edge of Cheltenham, in the heart of the Cotswolds, in 90 acres that were once part of the original racecourse. Its proximity to Cheltenham Racecourse – including a room overlooking the finishing line – make this hotel a winner for race goers. There’s even a private track through the grounds to the racecourse entrance. The 61 rooms include four-poster beds, roll-top baths and marble bathrooms. Savour seasonal ingredients in the oak-panelled Beaufort Dining room, or sample a cosy afternoon tea in the Great Hall. Burn off the excess with laps in the outdoor swimming pool or a country walk using the Hunter wellies that the hotel loans.
Doubles from £189 B&B, 01242 545454, https://www.prideofbritainhotels.com/hotels/ellenborough-park/
Article written by Jo Fernández