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Luxury Tours        (Any duration - it's your choice)

First, choose and book any of my Away Tours  - don't worry about the exact itinerary at this stage, we can agree the fine details later, as long as I know which region we're looking at as a base. The first priority is to fix the very best accommodations so before we can do that you must decide if you have an accommodation budget .... or not, and tell me what it is! At the same time we will discuss your preferences, your likes and dislikes.

Now you can leave the rest to me. There are some wonderful places to stay in these Islands, and I know where they are. I will negotiate the very best deals and the nicest available rooms for you. You'll receive the information including pictures, menus and pricing together with my advice and recommendations. When you're happy with your choices, either you, me or your Travel Agent will firm the bookings and we will get down to planning your tour itinerary in more detail. Then all you need do is relax and enjoy the anticipation of a wonderful trip!

To give you an idea of the range and high standards of comfort and gastronomy available on a tour with me, here's a sample of just a few of the finest luxury hotels in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

ENGLAND

Amberley Castle

Nr. Arundel, Sussex

Tel: +44 (0)1798 831 992

With 900 years history this magnificent castle offers a truly unique experience. Through the Portcullis and 60 ft curtain walls you will find beautiful landscaped gardens, fine examples of medieval architecture and an unrivalled atmosphere of peace and tranquility.

Amberley Castle offers 19 luxurious hotel bedrooms and suites, many with four-poster beds and all featuring Whirlpool bathrooms. The hotel's facilities include two restaurants, lounge areas, tennis court, croquet lawn, gardens and lakes, 18-hole professional putting course and a stunning thatched-roof tree house complete with rope bridge.

Staying at Amberley Castle is like stepping back in time, yet with all the modern day luxuries you could desire.  Website

Amberley room
   

The Devonshire Arms

Yorkshire

Tel: +44 (0)1756 718111

Situated on the Duke of Devonshire's 30,000 acre Bolton Abbey Estate in the Yorkshire Dales, The Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel and Spa offers 40 individually designed bedrooms and the relaxing Devonshire Health Spa.

The refined Burlington restaurant with a Michelin Star and 4 AA rosettes is the highest rated in Yorkshire.

The hotel's location is perfect for touring the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park.  Website

 
Devonshire Arms
     

Gidleigh Park

Devonshire

Tel: +44 (0)1647 432367

Chef Michael Caines has been awarded two Michelin Stars for 12 years running at Gidleigh Park in Devon. It has also achieved the highest marks, scoring an impressive 9.86 out of 10, in the first “Britain's Top 100 Restaurants” list published in partnership with The Sunday Times Food List and Harden's restaurant guides. Gidleigh Park won the coveted title of Best Restaurant.

This Number One in the Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants, was described: "flawless cuisine, luxurious and welcoming, a wonderful all round experience in a gorgeous location."   Website    Top of Page

 
Gidleigh Park
     

Gilpin Lodge

Cumbria

Tel: +44 (0)1539 488818

Voted best small hotel in the national tourism awards held by Visit England in April 2010, Gilpin is one of the loveliest places to stay in the Lakes if not in the whole country.

Rooms are charming and cosy, the house is stuffed with treasures and very well run. Gilpin's owners, two generations of the same family, have an enlightened 'no weddings' rule so peace is guaranteed!

The Lodge makes a wonderful and relaxing base to explore the Lake District National Park.         Website      Top of Page

 
Gilpin Lodge
     

The Grosvenor

Chester

Tel: +44 (0)1244 324024

Owned by and named after the family of The Duke of Westminster The Chester Grosvenor and Spa is  a stylish, contemporary 5* hotel situated in the centre of the historic city of Chester.  With an outstanding Michelin-starred restaurant, a vibrant Parisian-style bistro, an ultra-chic spa it makes an ideal luxury base for exploring the area.

The Roman city of Chester is partcularly suited to strolling - the City Walls can be walked, and the galleried shops have their own charm. Not too far distant is Cheshire Oaks, the country's largest Designer Outlet Village.   Website  Top of Page

 
Grosvenor Hotel
     

Hartwell House

Nr. Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

Tel: +44 (1296) 747444

Hartwell House is a beautifully restored 17th century stately home. The magnificent rooms are superbly furnished with antiques and hung with fine paintings. With high ceilings, fine fabrics and dreamy views over the extensive landscape, it is a truly idyllic setting.

There are 30 bedrooms and suites on three floors in the main house and ten suites and six bedrooms in Hartwell Court, the adjacent 18th century indoor riding school. The Old Rectory Hartwell has a superbly appointed master four poster suite with a sitting room and three other bedrooms with bathrooms.    Website   Top of Page

  Hartwell House Drawing room
     

Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons

Nr. Oxford

Tel: +44 (0)1844 278847

Nestled in the picturesque Oxfordshire village of Great Milton, Le Manoir is renowned as one of Britain's finest gastronomic experiences. It is also one of the country's most intimate and original hotels, with 32 individually designed guest rooms.

Created by celebrated chef Raymond Blanc in 1984, it was awarded two Michelin stars a year later, which it has now held for a remarkable 26 years.

Surrounded by lawns, flower borders and orchards, Le Manoir enjoys an idyllic setting. Beyond the eye-catching grounds the Manor's vegetable and herb gardens provide the kitchen with ultra-fresh, and often exotic, produce.
 Website  Top of Page

  Le Manoir
     

Lucknam Park

Wiltshire 

Tel: +44 (0)1225 742777

Lucknam Park is a 5 star luxury Country House Hotel for unspoilt, grand country house living at its very best.

There's fine dining, a new Spa offering a range of treatments, and an Equestrian Centre enjoying its' own 500 acre park.

Located in the heart of the English countryside, yet quite close to Bath. Lucknam Park is a member of Relais & Chateaux, has a Visit Britain Gold Award, a Michelin Star and AA 5 Red Stars.  Website       Top of page

 
Lucknam Park
     

Manor House Hotel & Golf Club

Nr. Bath

Tel: +44 (0) 1249 782206

Pretty terraces and 365 acres of stunning gardens and woodland, add to the choice of intimate space to create your own occasion - you can really Lord it at this Manor.

Steeped in dramatic history and totally hospitable, the charming 14th century Manor House Hotel and Mews Cottages combine 21st century comforts, fine food, friendly staff and unique touches that turn simple breaks into serious treats.

Richard Davies and his team at the Bybrook Restaurant create Michelin Star dishes in a beautiful setting.          Website     Top of page

  Manor
     

Sharrow Bay Cumbria

Tel: +44 (0)1768 486301

Since 1948 the world-famous Sharrow Bay hotel and its Michelin star restaurant has enjoyed a breathtaking setting on the shore of the beautiful Lake Ullswater in the English Lake District. The hotel was where the term ‘country house hotel' was first coined.

The kitchen, led by Colin Akrigg, uses the finest local ingredients to produce some of the best ‘British’ cuisine you are likely to find and it was here that the famous British dish, Sticky Toffee Pudding was invented.

Nestled in twelve acres of private gardens and woodland and surrounded by magnificent fells, Sharrow Bay provides the perfect destination for outdoor activities or even just relaxing in the comfort of the hotel. Sharrow Bay is the founding British member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux.      Website     Top of page

  Sharrow Bay Room
     

Whatley Manor

Wiltshire

Tel: +44 (0)1666 822 888

Set in beautiful landscaped gardens, the hotel's rooms are all individually decorated in an eclectic style, combining classic antiques, handpicked from around the world, with furniture, wallpaper, lighting and fabrics from leading international contemporary designers.

The building may be a traditional Cotswold Manor House, but it draws its influence from mainland Europe. Aquarias is the hotel’s European style spa, with thermal cabins and a hydrotherapy pool.

The two restaurants are the Dining Room, gastronomic in style and Le Mazot which is more informal. Both are managed by Head Chef Martin Burge who has gained two Michelin Stars.       Website     Top of Page

  Whately Manor
     
SCOTLAND
   

One Devonshire Gardens

Glasgow, Scotland

Tel: +44 (0)1413 392001

Set in a tree-lined Victorian terrace in the fashionable West End of Glasgow and only 30 minutes from the Loch Lomond, Hotel du Vin Glasgow at One Devonshire Gardens is a luxury boutique hotel. This five star hotel has an enviable reputation for service and style, with 49 stunning bedrooms and suites, bistro, bar, cigar shack and whisky room.

Chic City hotel describes One Devonshire Gardens very well. The hotel has a calm, elegant atmosphere and truly excellent dining.

If you like to be pampered, but don't like things to be too stuffy and formal One Devonshire Gardens could be the perfect choice. Website    Top of page

 
One Devonshire Gardens
     

Gleneagles Hotel

Auchterarder, Scotland

Tel: +44 (0)1413 392001

Although only an hour’s drive from the international airports of Edinburgh and Glasgow, Gleneagles Hotel has a beautiful setting in 850 acres of Perthshire countryside. A member of Leading Hotels of the World, it is one of the world’s most famous 5 star resorts, being home to three of the top Scottish Championship Golf Courses.

Throughout the hotel you will find the finest comfort – from the elegant restaurants to the luxury bedrooms and the calming environment of the spacious new spa.  Website    Top of page

  Gleneagles room
     

Inverlochy Castle   

Fort William, Scottish Highlands

Tel: +44 (0)1397 702177

Inverlochy was built in 1863 by the first Lord Abinger, near the site of the original 13th century fortress and is one of Scotland's finest hotels.

It offers a world class dining experience amongst the glens, lochs and mountains of the West Highlands of Scotland.

In September 1873 during a trip to Balmoral, Queen Victoria spent a week at Inverlochy sketching and painting where she wrote in her diaries 'I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot'. Scottish Tourism 5 stars, AA Five Red Stars, AA 3 Red Rosettes and a Michelin Star for cuisine.   Website    Top of page

 
Inverlochy interior
     

Kinloch House   Perthshire, Scotland

Tel: +44 (0)1250 884 237

A fine example of a Scottish country house, built 1840, with an oak panelled hall and first floor portrait gallery. Kinloch House stands in 25 acres of woodland and parkland looking out over a wide and lush valley.

The 18 bedrooms including three suites are individually decorated with fine furnishings and fabrics. Guests can enjoy a stroll to the walled garden or take tea in the conservatory or by the log fire.

Under executive chef Andy May, there is a consistency of performance in the kitchen and a belief in the value of freshness and quality. Full use is made of local game, beef, fish, shellfish and produce from the garden.  Website  Top

  Kinloch House
WALES
   

Bodysgallen Hall  Llandudno, North Wales

Tel: +44 (1492) 584466

Believed to have 13th century origins and standing in over 200 acres of its own parkland with spectacular views of Snowdonia and Conwy Castle, Bodysgallen Hall provides fine standards of country house hospitality.

Beautiful gardens include a rare 17th century parterre of box hedges filled with sweet-scented herbs, a rockery with a cascade, a walled rose garden, and several follies.

The hotel has two restaurants and was awarded three rosettes by the AA for fine-dining in the Main Hall. Fresh local produce, carefully prepared is complemented by fine wine. 1620, Bodysgallen Hall's new Bistro offers simpler good value food in a contemporary setting.    Website  Top

  Bodysgallen Hall suite
     

Ynyshir Hall   Machynlleth, Powys, Wales

Tel: +44 (0)1654 781209

Once owned by Queen Victoria, set in beautifully landscaped grounds and surrounded by a RSBP reserve, Ynyshir Hall is a haven of calm.

Lavishly styled bedrooms, each individually themed around a great painter, provide high standards of luxury and comfort.

The lounge and bar have different moods, and both feature abundant fresh flowers.

The Michelin starred dining room offers outstanding cooking using the best ingredients with modern flair.        Website    Top of Page

 
Ynyshir Hall
IRELAND
   

Ballynahinch Castle  Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland

Tel: +353 (0) 95 31006

One of the finest 4 star luxury castle hotels in Ireland. Set in a private 450 acre estate of woodland, rivers and walks in the heart of Connemara. This luxury, yet unpretentious hotel overlooks its famous salmon fishery, with a backdrop of the beautiful 12 Bens Mountain range.

The kitchens led by Head Chef Xin Sun, have been delighting both visitors and local diners for years. Credited with two rosettes by the Automobile Association and using only the finest and freshest ingredients, Xin and his team take advantage of the wealth of fresh fish, and game available on the West Coast, to produce wonderfully balanced yet creative dishes.   Website    Top of Page

 
Ballynahinch Castle
     

Lough Eske Castle

Donegal Town, County Donegal, Ireland

Tel: +353 (0) 74 97 25100

The castle has roots back to the 15th century, following a fire major 20th century restoration was carried out so that today the castle fulfills expectations of a 5 star hotel with every comfort and amenity.

A beautiful baronial estate, the setting is picturesque. An inviting lobby with elegant stone floors and an imposing oak staircase leads into comfortable Drawing Rooms with attractive open fireplaces and views of the beautifully landscaped gardens. Executive Chef Philipp Ferber has created a tantalizing menu that features fresh, local ingredients, masterfully prepared.  Website  Top

  Lough Eske Castle
     

Ashford Castle    Cong, Co Mayo, Ireland

Tel: +353 94 9546003

13th Century Ashford Castle is located by Lough Corrib, near the medieval city of Galway, in acres of beautiful gardens and forests. Once the country estate of the Guinness family, it was transformed into a luxury hotel in 1939.

The great hall is lavishly decorated with rich panelling, fine period pieces, objets d’art and masterpiece paintings. Guest rooms are appointed with style and refinement and many feature high ceilings and delightful lake or river views.

Country sports, including falconry, fishing on Lough Corrib, clay pigeon shooting, horseback riding, an exclusive 9-hole golf course, can be enjoyed; plus a fine health centre and gymnasium. Website

  Ashford Castle

 Top of Page

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