Why fly, when there’s so much happening on home turf? From inspiring retreats to incredible landscapes, get your bags packed and sunglasses at the ready
If you’re in need of alone time, look no further – we’ve rounded up the best spots for solitary travellers
For those chasing time for contemplation, these relaxing quilt retreats – taking place in a bright and airy studio – are a great choice. Sustained with delicious, just-out-of-the-oven treats from the bakery, the weekend will be spent patching together your project.
With a well-stocked gallery of works created by guests during their sojourns, this haven also hosts writers, musicians and performers. Those who prefer independence will feel at home: on arrival, you will be provided with a plentiful food hamper, which you can use to cook up a storm at self-catered accommodation.
Set among the South Downs National Park, this literary hideaway is an opportunity not only to get the creative juices flowing, but become immersed in nature – at the former stomping grounds of Virginia Woolf, Maynard Keynes and TS Eliot. A holistic massage and cedar wood sauna are on hand for extra unwinding.
One of the UK’s top yoga retreats. Classes, workshops, treatments and therapies are housed here – plus a revered plant-based restaurant, Offbeet. With community at its core, bespoke courses are shaped around you, with sessions ranging from shamanic healing to sound therapy.
Down towards Dorset, this crafty 19th-century cottage is decorated to match its courses in photography, woodworking, basket making, lampshade creation, bookbinding, pottery and much more – led by esteemed artisans.
The bright lights, the big smoke – seek welcome sanctuary at these decadent hideouts
A skip across from Cambridge, this gorgeously bedecked boutique hotel is the perfect rest stop away from the centre – and, if you want to return, it’s a mere 20-minute drive into town. A deluge of dinner options are available for your choosing; from the glasshouse dining village where you can sup under the stars, to the Mediterranean-infused courtyard bar and grill, serving tasty pizzas to keep the kids happy. Settle in to alluring and attentively furnished rooms, either in the main house, the loft, or – for a breath of fresh air – the stables.
The essence of opulence, this 30-year-old hotel in the heart of Cambridge blends modern elegance with bygone lavishness. Historic city-centre sights are on your doorstep; though, with a 24-hour gym and executive lounge, it will be hard to drag yourself away. “The Hilton Cambridge City Centre hotel is a welcoming, contemporary escape after a busy day exploring this charming city,” says sales manager Charlotte Braddick. “The concierge team are on hand, offering valet parking as visitors arrive and recommending the best attractions.” If you’re seeking an afternoon pit stop, it has exquisite afternoon tea. Or, to begin your evening revelry, its cocktails, often accompanied by a live pianist, could be just the tipple.
Foodie Haven A-Z
Got a taste for romance? Here are our top destinations to tuck into
A direct train from Cambridge, this seaside city serves the best British fare with a twist. Find fresh fish (Murmur, The Little Fish Market), gastropubs (The Ginger Pig) and authentic Indian (Curry Leaf Cafe).
Adored seaside town Margate is famous for art, but the culinary scene is also one to rival. Think Balkan bites, maritime menus and sugary cafes – check out Bottega Caruso, Dolma Bar, Sargasso, Scissortail Coffee and The Greedy Cow Cafe.
With its famous Food Hall showcasing the best of Suffolk’s farm produce, this nearby county is enriched by some of the UK’s best restaurants – including Bury St Edmunds’ Maison Bleue and Lavenham’s The Great House.
The Coast is Clear
With the glorious British seaside a shell’s throw away, there’s no need to jet off to catch some waves
The world is your oyster at this dotingly restored and renovated Victorian farmhouse, nestled within a prime location along the Norfolk coast. Cared for by Margaret and Ian Snaith since 1988, many of the hotel’s 28 bedrooms surrender stretching views of the salt marshes leading up to the sea. The gastronomical offering here is another absolute essential – spearheaded by head chef Oliver Bacon-Hilton, expect flavourful flourishes and some pristinely presented dishes.
Keep the end-of-holiday blues at bay with this entrancing escape on East Anglian shores. It boasts a massage hut hidden away in a secret garden, the award-winning restaurant with seafood freshly plucked from fishermen’s nets – and four special family rooms, kitted out with all you could need to cater for children, big and small. A stay seals the deal for sun, sand and sea, quite literally at your fingertips.