Venture out of the city of London for a rural escape and you’ll find yourself in the idyllic countryside of England.  The idea of an English getaway conjures up images of quaint villages, narrow lanes, rolling hills, stone walls, forests, walking paths, fields of sheep grazing, historic churches, thatched cottages, medieval castles and cozy pubs. 

In this piece, we highlight the South of England as part of our England Getaways Series.  We were based in Hampshire and discovered there’s much to see in the area — Isle of Wight, New Forest, Stonehenge, Winchester and other nearby places.  Just 90 minutes by train or car from London, and we arrived at Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa with nature surrounding us.

Sharing our favorite places to go, stay, dine & spa.

Find more photos on our Instagram account, click here!

STAY

Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa is a five-star hotel situated on the South Coast of England.  Set in 130 acres of Hampshire countryside on the edge of the New Forest National Park, and just a few minutes walk from the sea, this award-winning hotel raises the bar for customer service.

We arrived on a crisp winter afternoon and were enchanted from the moment we stepped foot into this luxury country house.  A Relais & Châteaux member since 1971, there’s plenty to do at Chewton Glen’s 130 acres from tennis, golf, archery, clay pigeon shooting, croquet, duck herding, falconry lessons, walk or cycle on nearby trails into the forest or to the coast.  Don’t Miss!  A traditional English afternoon tea.

Our Master Suite, named Jacob Faithful, opened up to a generous 76 sq. meters of space of traditional English décor with stunning views of the lawn at Chewton Glen, from our private balcony.

Our suite included a bedroom with a king sized bed, and an elegant sitting room…

and a large bathroom with both bath and double walk-in shower.

DINE

There are two dining locations at Chewton Glen.  The Dining Room, a formal English restaurant in a conservatory setting with intimate dining spaces.  Head Chef Simon Addison and Executive Head Chef Luke Matthews and team present traditional English and cosmopolitan dishes. 

Another restaurant is The Kitchen, a less formal dining venue featuring wood fired pizzas and gourmet burgers.  There’s also an open cookery school where Chef Stephen Bulmer shares his secrets.   Food is sourced locally, and the chef is regularly found picking vegetables and herbs from the Kitchen Garden.  Honey bees are found on the estate too, so try the honey on the menu.

SPA

The Spa is one of UK’s most popular with a hydrotherapy pool, an indoor pool, steam & sauna and a menu of treatments.  We indulged ourselves with the oxygen relax facial and warm oil body massage. 

NEARBY…

Leisurely wander through the landscaped gardens, take a bike ride around the estate, or go on a walk through the ‘Chewton Bunny’ Nature Reserve to the Solent and miles of coastal paths with stunning views over to the Isle of Wight, and visit the Highcliffe Castle.

Then return to cozy up by the roaring open fire in the bar or lounge and sip a winter warming drink.

PLACES TO VISIT

There are stunning country estates, cathedrals, museums, monuments and family attractions in the South Region – a short list below.

  • The New Forest:  Since 1079, this area was a Royal Hunting Playground, and today is a National Park with 900,000 acres of ancient woodland and forest — keep a lookout for the wild roaming ponies.
  • Horse Riding
  • Visit villages such as Burley, Lyndhurst, Beaulieu & Lymington
  • Walk to the beach at Highcliffe-on-Sea and visit the Highcliffe Castle.
  • Take a short drive to one of England’s many seaside towns or coastal cities, Southampton or Portsmouth.
  • Sailing
  • Isle of Wight – take a ferry to the Isle of Wight for the day.
  • Wine Tasting – Visit Hambledon Vineyards, oldest commercial vineyard in the UK, and sip their award winning sparkling wines.

More things to do in Hampshire:

  • Winchester Cathedral, one of the country’s oldest cathedrals
  • Visit Highclere Castle, the home of Downton Abbey
  • Stonehenge
  • Beaulieu National Motor Museum
  • Beaulieu Abbey

HOW TO GET AROUND

The hotel is only 90 minutes by car from central London and London Heathrow Airport.

We highly recommend hiring Driver/Owner Ryan Butler of BCH Executive Travel to chauffeur transfers to/from the airport to Chewton Glen, and tour the countryside and other points of interest in the region. Professional, punctual and a sleek fleet of cars. He and his team share local insights and know the region well.

HOW TO GET THERE

How to Get to London?  VIA Iceland!

We recommend Icelandair as the airline of choice to get to England, with only a 1.5 hrs layover in Iceland.  Icelandair  offers several flights to Europe via Iceland  from New York, Boston, Seattle, Denver & D.C., an attractive option for cross-Atlantic flights.

It’s a great way to book an airline ticket at a competitive rate and experience Iceland if you have a day or two for a short stay.

From the moment we checked in, we were welcomed with friendly smiles. The entire flight went smoothly and “flew by” before we arrived to Iceland for a quick stopover in Reykjavik.  The service was excellent and meals were delicious.

We relaxed at the lounge in Reykjavik and wished we could have stayed longer in our cozy alcoves and lounge chairs.

It was a blue sky day, so we were lucky to have incredible views over London – we even saw Buckingham Palace before landing into LHR – London Heathrow Airport.

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We hope this article gives you some inspiration to plan a getaway to the English countryside.

Please share in comments which getaway in England you’ve visited or where you’re most interested to visit?  We are adding to this series and will be featuring more regions of England.

Also, please share this article with your friends and family using the social media share buttons at the top of this article – THANK YOU!

Acknowledgements:  Global Adventuress thanks Chewton Glen, BCH Executive Travel and Icelandair for hosting us on this getaway.