Savour the colours and beauty of autumn on an idyllic seasonal getaway
Nestled in the Otter Valley and just 15 minutes from the coast sits The Pig at Combe hotel. This magnificent country house is set against the backdrop of lush, landscaped gardens, giving way to spectacular views of Devon’s rolling hills and valleys awaiting exploration. Indulge in the sustainable menus, consisting of fresh fish, cheeses and locally reared meat from butchers around the market town of Honiton. Spa seekers can enjoy a variety of organic beauty treatments using sea-inspired products at the Potting Shed – a perfect way to soothe sore muscles after days spent hiking among the nearby wildlife and Jurassic coastline.
Snug Rooms from £255 per night. To book, visit Thepighotel.com
Into the Wild
Elmley Nature Reserve provides the perfect off-the-grid retreat for those who love being outdoors. Ideal for nature enthusiasts to enjoy wild swims, wanders in the forests, bird watching, and woodfired pizza feasts under the stars. Embark on a wildlife safari led by one of Elmley’s expert guides and you’ll have the opportunity to spot buzzards, marsh harriers, and peregrine falcons. Stay in the Little Owl Shepherd’s Hut, boasting a wood-burning stove and bird-watching hide that looks onto the oak trees where owls nest. Beautifully designed in a traditional style, it has everything you need to have an extremely comfortable adventure.
A one-night stay in the Shepherd’s Hut starts at £130 per night. Go to Elmleynaturereserve.co.uk
Situated minutes from the River Cam and Jesus Green, the Fellows House sits in a prime location for providing access to everything Cambridge has to offer. Providing a home away from home, there’s a cosy feel to the apartment-style rooms. Enjoy delectable drinking and dining at The Folio restaurant, which features a new menu centred around plant-based ingredients, as well as innovative twists on traditional British cuisine. Guests can get creative while enjoying craft cocktails from the Folio Bar at Sip and Paint workshops – perfect for all artistic abilities. Away from the hotel, relax with a picnic or go on a punting tour, taking in the classical sights and beautiful views of the college “Backs”. Afterwards, shopaholics can explore over 250 independent businesses, with wares ranging from food and drink, gifts, clothing and more. Take a look at Love Cambridge’s “Hidden gems” map for shopping inspiration.
Rooms start at £162 per night. Book at Thefellowshouse.com
If you’re in search of some seaside zen, look no further than St Michaels Resort, Falmouth. Situated on the shoreline of Gylly Beach, the hotel is easily accessible; fly to nearby Newquay airport or take the train to Falmouth station, a short walk away from the resort. Having recently undergone a refurbishment, the hotel features the UK’s first Cornish sea salt steam room, an outdoor barrel sauna, a cedarwood hot tub, and large heated swimming pool that boasts seaside views galore. Guests can partake in one of the many retreats this health haven has to offer, including wild swimming, Pilates, paddle boarding and beach fitness. You’re guaranteed to leave feeling revitalised by the energy of the ocean, the upbeat beachside vibes and that salty sea air.
A Cosy Double Room for two starts at £135 per night. Book at Stmichaelsresort.com
A Grape Escape
Kent provides the perfect romantic rendezvous for couples during the autumnal months, when the county’s vineyards and orchards are filled with vibrant colours. Sip and savour the delicious flavours on the picturesque wine trail experience, where visitors can enjoy guided tours and tutored tastings. From the iconic Chapel Down to Gusbourne, your thirst for wine will certainly be quenched. Stay at the family owned Biddenden vineyard, where 11 varieties of grape are grown across 23 acres, producing award-winning white, red, rosé and sparkling wines. Here you’ll find a quaint countryside cottage for two, bestowed with a wooden hot tub overlooking the grapevines. Guests can also head into the nearby town of Tenterden and browse the wide range of independent shops, or enjoy a delicious meal at the one of the areas local pubs.
Three nights in the Biddenden Grape Escape cottage starts at £548. Visit Biddendenvineyards.com for more information.
Words: Helena Holdsworth