The 10 Best Hotels Near London

There is a formula for the perfect distance to travel for a weekend away. Far enough to deactivate from automatically refreshing your emails, but close enough to have time to soak in the bath on arrival and avoid scrambling for a supper reservation from the car before the kitchen closes. Here is our pick of hotels in London less than 90 minutes away by road and rail, where wellies abound, patchwork fields sprawl into the distance and it’s hard to believe that the din of the capital is within easy reach when it’s time to return to real life.

  • 1. Heckfield Place, Hampshire

    Best for: celebrating the seasons

    Distance from London: one hour 10 minutes by car

    You might be able to just make out Windsor Castle perched on the horizon when the weather is fine, but with over 400 acres to get lost in, this is a place to get your rural fix. The farm to fork ethos is all-powerful here and culinary director Skye Gyngell has the sprawling biodynamic Home Farm, market garden and extensive woodland to play with. Expect milk, cream, butter and yoghurt from the micro-dairy which opened in 2020; greenhouses that overspill with squash and tomatoes as well as narcissi, tulips, ranunculi and roses, and a 500-tree orchard that bursts into blossoms of pear, damsons and medlars for the bees to feast on. 

    Inside, the Marle restaurant has a Green Michelin Star. Order winter vegetables with Agresto and goat’s curd or perhaps monkfish with a tomato and fennel stew, cuttlefish and black olive tapenade. Meanwhile, at the Hearth restaurant, cooking centres on an open fire. This Georgian house is undeniably grand, but there is a consciously understated luxury to it all. Rooms are plastic-free with locally sourced rush mats and headboards from the River Ouse, open fires, raw, neutral linen and hand-knotted wool rugs.

    Address: Heckfield Place, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 OLD

    Read our full review of Heckfield Place

  • Helen Cathcart

    2. The Pheasant, Berkshire 

    Best for: a bar jostling with locals

    Distance from London: one hour 25 minutes by car 

    Less than a mile off the M4, here is a sanctuary for weary travellers – but also a worthy destination in its own right. With rooms kitted out by interior designers Isabella Worsley, Flora Soames and Octavia Dickinson there’s an abundance of panelling, vintage bar stools, red and white ticking headboards, Roberts radios. There’s also an enviable collection of antique furniture (nearby Hungerford is a Mecca for antique hunters). Now owned by Young’s, it was bought and restored in 2016 by Jack Greenall (of the Greenall Whitley brewing dynasty, who revamped The Surprise in Chelsea in 2021). 

    This is traditionally a place favoured by jockeys for lock-ins (the pub overlooks Lambourn and the famed ‘Valley of the Racehorse’). But Greenall managed to add sophistication while keeping it full to bursting on a Friday night, with traditional ales flowing on tap (including the pub’s Pheasant Ale) and a reassuringly hearty menu. Pull up a stool for a venison scotch egg or settle in for a Sunday roast, with black and white photos of victorious racehorses keeping watch and a gravy recipe that is close to wizardry.

    Address: The Pheasant Inn, Ermin St, Shefford Woodlands, Hungerford, RG17 7AA

  • John Swannell

    3. Beaverbrook, Surrey 

    Best for: mastering a new skill

    Distance from London: one hour by car

    It’s tempting to make an itinerary at Beaverbrook that’s as packed as a working week: there’s cocktail masterclasses, bushcraft with the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, the Sharky and George kid’s club, private tennis lessons or guided bike rides around the 470-acre estate. But you’d be just as wise to book a treatment in The Coach House Spa (designed by contemporary artist Brian Clarke, with views over the Surrey Hills from the pool) before collapsing into bed to admire the carefully curated artwork on the walls. Look out for Terry O’Neill’s portrait of Roger Moore as James Bond in The Ian Fleming Room and Lord Snowden’s Shire horses in The Coach House. Plus, Victorian botanical artist Marianne North’s paintings of exotic plants and flowers that line the walls in the opulent Sir Frank’s bar, where the team makes a mean Smoking Spitfire (Diplomatico rum, smoky Ardbeg whisky, cream, maple syrup and molasses). Fill up at the Japanese grill in the Dining Room or perhaps with a bowl of baked celeriac and fennel risotto in the Garden House Restaurant, tucked behind the walled kitchen garden.

    Address: Beaverbrook, Reigate Rd, Leatherhead, KT22 8QX

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