The feeling of excitement was high as we headed down the long driveway for a stay in one of Britain’s most historic homes. And it was thrilling when Littlecote House finally burst into view, flags waving, lights twinkling, the rolling Wiltshire countryside rising behind it.
Built in the mid-1500s and set in 34 acres of elegant formal gardens, this red-brick mansion is where Henry VIII wooed Jane Seymour – and where the D-Day landings were planned. There’s also a haunted room and a ghost dog, apparently.
So it’s not your average B&B floral bedspread in Berkshire.
Part of Warner Leisure Hotels, a group of 14 luxury resorts in coastal and rural areas of Britain, it specializes in adults-only short breaks themed around live music, celebrities and wellness. to be. It even hosts its own gin festival weekends.
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My friend and I booked in for one of his popular live late night breaks. Late mornings, spa treatments, cocktails and festive evenings seemed ideal to us. And it’s also the perfect place to get off the radar and recharge for a few days.
We were thrilled when we laid eyes on our Grand Tudor Room, one of the 12 fanciest rooms in the main house.
With vaulted ceilings, polished woodwork and a huge fireplace, we felt like VIP guests.
Large enough to accommodate two sofas, as well as three window seats overlooking the front gardens, it was a restful place to relax with the newspapers and watch the deer graze.
For a real royal treat, you can book the Queen Elizabeth Suite or the historic Henry VIII or Jane Seymour Rooms. There are more rooms in the stable yard, with most of the others in Kennet Hall, the newer wing, with 189 standard, signature and royal rooms.
With so much history to uncover, we did the audio tour, visiting the Great Hall with its checkerboard floor and wall-mounted deer heads.
Just walking through the same ancient doors as the colorful characters who once stayed there was a real treat for a history buff like me. Judge Popham, who presided over the trials of Mary Queen of Scots and Guy Fawkes, is included in his list of former residents. They even named the hotel restaurant after him.
The site itself dates back to Roman times and a beautifully preserved mosaic is on display in the grounds. And whatever time of year you visit, a stroll through its gardens, with its topiary hedges and carriage roundabout, would lift your spirits.
During Warner stays, guests can book activities or simply use the facilities and explore the house and gardens at their leisure.
It’s not every day that you get the chance to play with bows and arrows, so we decided to give target archery a try. With expert advice on how to perfect your stance, grip, positioning and aiming, we did our best Robin Hood impressions and found it hilarious and fun when our arrows nose-dived pathetically at our feet.
Our rifle shooting was no better. We did our best…
But hoorah for the gin tasting class, held in Master George’s cozy living room, one of my favorite rooms in the house. I now know which gins to pair with which toppings. Aldi’s own brand with Doritos, however, was not mentioned.
Well refreshed, we headed to the Popham restaurant for dinner. There’s always a roast of the day and classics like fish and chips, burgers and curries.
The hotel has its own well-equipped spa and we spent hours relaxing after a massage and facial, followed by a session in the steam room, sauna, heated pool and bubble pool.
The evening entertainment at Warner’s is really what makes these short breaks so special. There are entire nights themed around different decades of music, with tribute bands and DJs, plus star breaks with famous faces such as Bobby Davro, Joe Pasquale, Michael Ball and Billy Ocean. Every night of your break is different.
My companion and I are in our late twenties and were the youngest guests this weekend by some margin.
It didn’t bother us or anyone else, though. Why not love a hotel stay with lots of fun things to do, great food and entertainment, and no kids running around the halls at 7am?
Book the holidays
Warner Leisure Hotels is offering an adults-only break at Littlecote House Hotel in Wiltshire from £279 pp for three nights arriving October 7. Includes breakfast, three-course dinners, live music, access to pool, sauna and steam room, and activities.
Theme nights such as Motown & Soul Festival, Festival of Gin and Star break with Wynne Evans are also available.
Learn more about warnerleisurehotels.co.uk.
You can also get more information about the area at visitwiltshire.co.uk.