Valerie Wilson Travel

United Kingdom

In honor of the United Kingdom being named Travel + Leisure’s 2023 Destination of the year, we are sharing some of our favorite gems scattered across the cloudy island country that sits northwest of mainland Europe. From city centers to medieval castles, you are bound to be swept up in the history and lifestyle of the British. 

Claridge’s Hotel – London, England 

Claridge’s is a favorite among London’s most savvy guests. Sitting at the center of London’s Mayfair, the hotel is an art deco jewel reminiscent of grand English style and timeless glamour. Its unique heritage has been preserved for more than a century adding every modern flourish, bound together with world-renowned service that is highly tailored. The finest afternoon tea in London is served in the grandeur of the Foyer & Reading Room or guests can indulge in vintage champagne and rare spirits in Claridge’s Bar. 

Lucknam Park – Chippenham, England 

Located only six miles from the historic city of Bath, and an under two-hour drive from central London, Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa is the embodiment of country-house living. Approach the house hotel by a mile long avenue of Beech and Lime trees through 500 acres of parkland and embrace the outdoors through the hotel’s equestrian center, football pitch, cycling trails, and tennis courts. 42 individually styled rooms and seven country cottages are ideal for a private and indulgent English getaway. 

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian – Edinburgh, Scotland 

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian sits at the West End of Princes Street in a former Victorian rail station, in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle – one of the city’s most significant landmarks. Guests can admire some of the best views in Edinburgh from 241 guestrooms and sip afternoon tea in Peacock Alley before exploring the city. The Royal City and Edinburgh Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are all within a mile. A luxurious Waldorf Astoria Spa, indoor pool, sauna and steam room await at the end of each day. 

Glenapp Castle – Girvan, Scotland 

Glenapp Castle is a real-life fairytale located in the stunning region of Southwest Scotland. Drive up a long tree clad drive and come upon a 5-star castle hotel that encapsulates the romance of the Scottish Baronial style with magical towers, turrets and crenellations. The 21-room castle is set on 36 acres of ancient woodlands and gardens ideal for exploring, or guests can bike, play tennis, practice archery, and arrange a sea safari to the iconic island of Alisa Craig. 

Heckfield Place – Hampshire, England 

Embrace your dream of living in a Jane Austen novel in this lovingly restored Georgian family home set on 400 acres of lush gardens, woodlands and meadows in North Hampshire. The 45-bedroom country residence is deeply rooted in its land with a biodynamic Market Garden and organic Home Farm, walled gardens and a 500-tree orchard used to enrich curated dining experiences. Embrace quintessential British pastimes like clay pigeon shooting and horse-riding or go antiquing in the nearby Hartley Wintney village. 

Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa – St. Andrews, Scotland 

Best known as the resort in “the Home of Golf”, the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa is adjacent to the 17th “Road Hole” fairway of the famed Old Course in St Andrews – a bucket list destination for all golfers. 175 rooms and suites offer panoramic views of the Old Course and Scottish coastline, less than one mile away from St. Andrews. Here you can explore the history of the Kingdom or Fife or visit the University of St Andrews, the most ancient in Scotland, where Prince William and Kate Middleton’s love blossomed.  

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