After the Olympics hubbub, it’s high time for an escape. Try these charming country getaways, all within a few hours’ drive of London.
The Pig, Brockenhurst, Hampshire
An hour and 45 minutes from London
Converted from a previously dark manor house, this welcoming inn was named to T+L’s 2012 It List of Best New Hotels. Sitting areas feature wingback chairs, vintage glassware, and working fireplaces, while the 26 guest rooms have claw-foot bathtubs and botanical prints. Just outside your door: the New Forest National Park, where chef James Golding and his staff foraged the ingredients you'll be eating for dinner. Doubles from $196 per night.
Magdalen Chapter, Exeter
About 3.5 hours southwest of London
Award-winning architects Feilden Clegg Bradley transformed the 19th-century West of England Eye Hospital into this contemporary hotel. The 59 rooms are decorated with original art, bold contemporary wallpaper, and velvet curtains. Enjoy the historic walled gardens and the inside-out pool that’s open all year round; you can swim outside in the mild Devon breeze and then swim through indoors and sit back by an open fire. Doubles from $232 per night.
Gunton Arms, Norfolk
About 3 hours northeast of London
Located in a 1,000-acre historic deer park just four miles from the sea, the hotel opened in October 2011 and is a traditional pub with eight bedrooms. There’s a big focus on food here: the restaurant uses local, seasonal ingredients, including its own venison, and seafood, mussels and Cromer crab caught by local fisherman. Head up the coast to go seal watching. Doubles from $148 per night.
Coworth Park, Ascot, Berkshire
About an hour from London
This Dorchester Collection property has 70 rooms spread across former stables, cottages, and an 18th-century whitewashed mansion. The rooms are done in Georgian style with oak floors and leather details, though the real highlight is the semi-subterranean spa with organic treatments. Doubles from $365 per night.
Chewton Glen, New Milton, Hampshire
Just over two hours from London
When Chewton Glen opened in 1966 on the edge of an ancient royal hunting ground, a short walk from the Channel coast and New Forest National Park, it was one of England's first country-house hotels. This summer, the 130-acre property makes room for six new Tree House Suites on stilts in the tree canopy—accessible to the main hotel by foot or golf cart—with floor-to-ceiling windows and compact kitchenettes. Doubles from $483 per night.