When you’re seeking something different for a company get-together, event, conference or incentive, rural retreats in the UK make a refreshing change. Especially when your staff are wholly or tend to be city-based. With our long, rich and varied history, there are some incredible country hotels here.
So why not take advantage of this fact when arranging your next corporate event? Or you could even offer country breaks in the UK at properties like this as incentives, spurring staff onto greater things.
Whether you’d rather find rural retreats in Wales, country retreats near London for convenience or indulgent spa retreats in the UK to really treat your team, this guide showcases eight of the best options.
Here are eight of the top country retreats in the UK. Which will you be booking for rural escapes in a stunning setting?
8 of the best rural retreats in the UK
Chewton Glen, Hampshire
Best for the coast and New Forest
- Location: New Milton, Hampshire
- Closest station: New Milton
Luxury country retreats in the UK don’t get any better than at the Chewton Glen. Though we might well be biased, as it’s only around a mile from Venue Finder Pro HQ. So, yes, we are lucky enough to have been there many times.
Any list of the finest country house retreats in the UK is, frankly, incomplete without the mighty Chewton Glen. But what many people don’t know is how well-connected it is. New Milton train station is about a mile-and-a-half away, and getting to the beach at Barton-on-Sea involves just a stroll down the road.
Chewton Glen has it all – a sumptuous spa, a superlative setting among rolling parkland, treehouses in the grounds, proximity to the New Forest and even a James Martin cookery school.
Palé Hall, Snowdonia
Best for the river and national park
- Location: Bala, Wales
- Closest station: Chester
How about a hot tub retreat in Wales to really spoil someone – or everyone? The rooms at Palé Hall in Wales are incredibly elegant, and some have their own whirlpool baths. History can be seen and felt throughout, with four poster beds, wooden panelling, fireplaces, domed ceilings, and bay windows placing this among the most romantic retreats in Wales.
You may wander along the banks of the River Dee by taking a three minute walk from the front door via the manicured lawns. Of course the peaks of the national park are a big draw, but you can also take a train to the top if you’re not feeling up to scaling a mountain.
Chilston Park, Kent
Best for the Garden of England
- Location: Maidstone, Kent
- Closest station: Lenham
This is another property we know and love due to family living in Lenham in the past, and it’s the perfect pick among countryside retreats near London. Like Palé Hall it’s one for the traditionalists, with feature fireplaces, panelled walls, dramatic paintings and four poster beds.
Country retreats in Kent don’t come better than this, and the afternoon tea served here really is something to write home about. If you want space, 22 acres of parkland in the Garden of England should cover it.
Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Lake District
Best for boating on a private lake
- Location: Windermere, Cumbria
- Closest station: Windermere or Oxenholme
Modern architecture and a laid-back ambience make this one stand out from other rural getaways in the UK. The Lake District location doesn’t hurt either, of course. There’s just 25 rooms here, giving it a more intimate feel than other big country piles.
Half a dozen of these boast their own hot tubs made from cedarwood, or you can book The Lake House situated a mile away among 100 acres. At Gilpin Hotel you can take a boat out onto the private lake, sweat it out in the sauna or take a dip in the pool. Alternatively, dine Indian-style at Gilpin Spice or savour fine dining at Michelin-starred HRiSHi.
Cliveden House, Berkshire
Best for boat trips along the Thames
- Location: Taplow, Berkshire
- Closest station: Taplow or Burnham
Not all luxury rural retreats in the UK can claim to have hosted royalty, but the bride herself stayed here the night before Prince Harry married Meghan Markle. Cliveden is awash with ornate, Italianate flourishes, and accommodation ranges from the classical to the more contemporary.
Cliveden can even supply boats for a trip along the Thames. The spa in the walled garden here is also outstanding.
Bovey Castle, Devon
Best for gin-making and country pursuits
- Location: Newton Abbot, Devon
- Closest station: Newton Abbot
Countryside retreats in the UK surely don’t come with more of a wow factor than an actual castle. Add to that a dramatic Dartmoor location, classic country pastimes and a championship golf course and you have a sure-fire recipe for getaway success.
There are some cool activities to get your guests involved in at Bovey Castle. These include archery, fly-fishing, clay-pigeon shooting and even gin-making. The spa also boasts a Gentleman’s Quarter, and you can book into the main house or one of the cottages scattered across the 275 acre site.
Bodysgallen Hall, Conwy
Best for a serene spa and sea air
- Location: Llandudno, Wales
- Closest station: Llandudno Junction
If you’re seeking spa retreats in Wales, then just stop right here. Bodysgallen Hall has one of the most tranquil and relaxing spas you’ll find anywhere. It’s also ideal when you need to source dog friendly retreats in Wales, as pets are permitted.
The spa has a steam room, sauna and swimming pool, while the restaurant offers superb views from tall windows and fare that’s been awarded three AA rosettes. Llandudno is also only two miles away, too, which is ideal for those craving some fresh coastal air.
Seaham Hall, County Durham
Best for coastal views and a cathedral city
- Location: Seaham, County Durham
- Closest station: Seaham
A Georgian pile with a commanding cliff-top position – that’s Seaham Hall in northeast England. It’s one of the finest weekend spa retreats in the UK, and is also only 13 miles from the small but very beautifully formed cathedral city of Durham.
Take country holidays in the UK – or indeed host a corporate event – at Seaham Hall and there’s lots to make it a memorable occasion. Including some sea view rooms, marble bathrooms and an Asian restaurant with a globular terrace.