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Hotel Deals for London
Millenium Apartments
England, GBR
Jan 16 - Jan 16, 2019
per night from
$ 227.23
$ 87.54

Don’t get us wrong, we love London. The food scene is brilliantly diverse, old and new seamlessly coexist side by side, and—despite the often dreary weather—there’s a vibrant buzz about England’s capital city that has endured for centuries. However, there’s so much more to the English experience than a visit to London alone. Britain’s countryside is blanketed with rolling green hills, medieval villages, farm-to-table pubs and estates fit for royalty. Areas like the Cotswolds, Somerset and Sussex serve as wonderful weekend getaways, perfect for escaping the hustle of city life. Below, we’ve rounded-up 6 reasons the English countryside is better than London.

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The Hatch Inn, Sussex | Photo by Compass + Twine

1) Nothing beats a country pub

Unlike a trendy restaurant or hotspot bar in the city, country pubs ooze character and charm, and tend to stand the test of time for decades—sometimes centuries—as the central gathering point of their communities. Some, like The Hatch Inn, set in the thick woods of Ashdown Forest in East Sussex (home to Winnie the Pooh), have been serving thirsty locals since 1430. That’s over 500 years of fabulously frothy pints! Whichever country escape you choose, pony up to the bar at the nearest local pub and enjoy tasty snacks like potatoes and gravy, hearty dishes like Shepard’s Pie, and don’t forget the sticky toffee pudding.

Photo by Compass + Twine

2) Stay in a stately manor

Rife with history and a myriad of magnificent estates, you don’t have to settle for standard, drab hotels in the English countryside. Outside of the big cities, you’ll find some of the coolest accommodations for a vacation home-base. Over the centuries, many of the old manor houses have been converted into lovely hotels, where the character of the original home still shines through. Beyond their plush and spacious guest rooms, these estates often have elegant spa facilities, brilliant afternoon tea experiences and well-manicured grounds peppered with fun lawn games. Unwind at the tranquil yet luxurious Bath Priory Hotel  & Spa in Somerset or escape to the elegant Ashdown Park Hotel in East Sussex.

3) Nosh on world-class farm-to-table fare

Farm-to-table is the O.G. style of dining in the British countryside. Often times, you’ll walk right by the farm supplying ingredients to the restaurant on your way to dinner. Fresh and organic is always better, and in the country, they’ve been doing it that way forever. In recent years, Daylesford Farm in Gloucestershire has brought the  farm-to-table experience to a more modern, next level with their chic cottage accommodations, cookery school, garden workshops, and award-winning inn and pub, The Wild Rabbit. Up in Yorkshire, The Black Swan at Oldstead won the coveted #1 Best Restaurant in the World for Trip Advisor’s 2017 rankings, beating out renowned, celebrity-chef-driven restaurants like Alinea in Chicago and Maison Lameloise in France. Pretty impressive for a countryside village pub!

River Punting | Photo by Compass + Twine

4) River punting

The English countryside boasts ones of the most uniquely fun and relaxing pastimes: river punting. What the heck is river punting you ask? It’s slightly akin to gondola riding in Venice (though, don’t make that loose comparison to a professional punter!).  The river sport consists of propelling a flat bottomed boat, usually with a square-cut bow, down a small river by pushing off the bottom of the river bed with a pole. Head out for a fun afternoon on the water with a friend or two, and take turns standing and maneuvering the boat as the punter. But, don’t forget, if you’re going with the current one direction, it’ll take you thrice as long to return going back the other way. But a little exercise and adventure never hurt anyone!

Welsh corgi pembroke herding a flock of sheep

5) Dog lover’s paradise

Out in Britain’s bucolic countryside, dogs are generally more welcome than humans. Emerald hills and wooded forests provide a playground for canines and owners alike. It’s rare to see someone out on a long stroll without a four-legged friend in tow. You’re bound to see every species from majestic Great Danes to the Queen’s favorite, Corgis. Crave a post-stroll pint? Dogs are almost always allowed in pubs, and you’ll often see them inside taking a snooze at their owner’s feet—as if they’ve done it thousands of times before!

Cleeve Hill

6) Long walks… in any weather

Long leisurely strolls are almost a mandatory daily activity in the countryside. Sunny and dry or damp and dreary, every day is the perfect day for a good walk, and the only difference is whether you wear your wellington boots or not. It doesn’t matter if the end goal entails visiting a friend’s house, popping into the pub, or just getting out for some good ole exercise—breathing in the sweet country air always rejuvenates the soul. Plan a weekend to take scenic walks around the Lake District or stroll the undulating hills of the Cotswolds. Cleeve Hill is one of the highest points in the Cotswolds, boasts breathtaking views, excellent bird-watching, and beautiful flowers in the springtime.

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Compass + Twine
Sarah Driggs and Lindsay Ridenour are the story-tellers behind the NYC-based luxury travel blog, Compass + Twine. Follow along on Instagram @compassandtwine as they unearth some of the best hotels and travel experiences around the globe. From scenic landscapes to local cafés, they reveal the true character of a destination, always highlighting the best place to stay on .

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