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In this review, we pick the top 10 best historic luxury spa hotels near London. It is very easy to pick a hotel in the English countryside which is part of a major chain like Four Seasons or Marriott or InterContinental, because you know what you are getting. But in all honesty, some of the best boutique and country hotels require taking a risk, a step into the unknown and picking a hidden gem, a hotel that is not part of a chain at all (at least not a major chain).

These small luxury hotels offer hundreds of years of history, fine dining and beautiful spas. They are set within utterly pretty English countryside, with views across rolling hills and often in a stately home setting. If you’re looking for a historic spa hotel outside of, but near to London and that is easy to get to by driving or by rail… read on!

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My top pick is the Spread Eagle Hotel and Spa, one of England’s oldest Coaching Inns. Dating back to 1430, the place oozes history and character. We visited last week for the second time and loved it once again. Thirty-nine heritage bedrooms offer a perfect night’s sleep. Our favourite room here is the White Room Suite which is set in the eaves of the building. The Queens Suite is the most historic and dates back to 1430. It was apparently graced by Queen Elizabeth I and staying in this room is like stepping back in time. Uneven floors, exposed beams and thick walls make it easy to imagine the history that this higgledy-piggledy building has experienced.

The communal areas are chock full of grandfather clocks, suits of armour and huge hearths warming each room with roaring fires. A modern spa with a glorious pool and a sunbathing area offers as much pampering you need. The location, in the pretty Sussex market town of Midhurst in the heart of the South Downs National Park, means that there are country walks aplenty to keep you occupied and to wear off the delicious food. Midhurst is also close to Haslemere station and it costs around £25 to take a taxi from the station to the hotel.

Another member of the same mini hotel chain, Historic Sussex Hotels, is Bailiffscourt with an equally stunning setting and which can be reached by train via the Main Line Station of Littlehampton just 2 miles away.

My third best historic luxury spa hotel is the Four Seasons Hampshire (yes I included one luxury “chain”!). This beautiful property has been heavily renovated and arguably offers one of the most luxurious hotel options outside London. I would argue that this hotel has been Four Season-ed which means that, whilst it is lovely, it lacks the character of the properties in our top two choices.

What it does offer is incredible facilities and activities, particularly for children. An amazing adventure playground, a large and pretty pool area without any restrictions on times that children can use the pool, generous and spacious rooms with the signature large Four Seasons bathroom and most recently a new kids pool all make this a great destination. The hotel itself recommends taking the train to Fleet (from Waterloo) and then a ten-minute taxi ride to reach it’s winding driveway.

In at number four is, in my opinion, one of the best hotels in England outside of London and it would come higher in this list except for the fact that the hotel is not strictly in the English countryside and is instead in the town of Bath. The Royal Crescent in Bath is the epitome of style and grace and is situated on the iconic Royal Crescent in Bath a short taxi from the main Bath Spa station. This historic building boasts high ceilings and bags of original features as well as an ESPA spa and a gorgeous back garden. If the sun shines, breakfast is served outside amongst the flowers and buzzing bees. It is one of my favourite places to eat breakfast in the world.

In at number five of my best spa hotels is the Greenway that is hidden up the side of a hill in the Cotswolds. it is an absolute favourite of ours with a lovely pool spa and gardens that open up onto meadows. The lawns here are the perfect place to play a ball game or sip a beer in the sunshine.

My sixth best luxury hotel is the Gainsborough in the centre of Bath, a hotel which is part of Leading Hotels of the World and which is built around a historic Spa in Bath. The spa is one of the best in the UK and the hotel is ultra luxury with a delicious breakfast and fine dining restaurant. Rooms are luxurious but lack the depth of character of the Royal Crescent (hence it’s position) although the spa is superior. The hotel does not have its own gardens, but its central location in the heart of Bath counteracts the lack of gardens. We love this hotel.

At number seven, Lucknam Park hotel has a beautiful spa, grounds and restaurant. It typifies a sophisticated English Country Manor House Hotel and is a short drive from Bath station so is easy to get to and nice and near London.

My eight choice is Dormy House in the Cotswolds. This hotel has won lots of awards and has plenty of warming hearths along with a stunning swimming pool and spa area.

In at number nine is Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa which oozes character and style with gardens that seem to be straight out of a picture book. The staff are wonderful and the taster menu at its 1-Michelin Star restaurant is fantastic.

And finally, my tenth choice is Tewkesbury park, a gorgeous hotel on top of a hill in the middle of the English countryside. Dramatic views, great food, golf and a lovely spa will keep you returning back to this hotel.

I have reviewed each of these hotels in more detail below. We think they are all great which makes it so hard to pick the best. Have a read and see what you think.

Top 10 Best Historic Luxury Spa Hotels Near London

The Spread Eagle Hotel And Spa Review

In "Accommodation"

As I drove through the rolling hills from Winchester towards the historic town of Midhurst I had no idea that I would be stepping back in time for the weekend. Read More.

Review Of Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa, West Sussex

In "Accommodation"

From the thick brick walls to the diamond-shaped window frames and chunky historic doors, the luxury Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa appears to be the a perfect example of a medieval property, set within immaculate lawns and with rural views over… Read More.

Four Seasons Hampshire Review

In "Accommodation"

The Four Seasons Hampshire is set in a beautifully restored Georgian Manor on a 500 acre estate in the English countryside. At only just over an hour from central London by car and just 10 minutes from Fleet railway station… Read More.

Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa Review, Bath

In "Accommodation"

Do you ever imagine the perfect English hotel? Would you be welcomed in by a doorman who absolutely insists on taking the load and pain of your baggage – even your handbag? How about the room? Immaculate contemporary furnishings cleverly mingled… Read More.

Review: Dormy House Hotel & Spa. A Luxury Cotswolds Hotel

In "Accommodation"

Dormy House Hotel & Spa is situated in the heart of the Cotswolds. It is part of the Farncombe Estate which sounds very grand but in reality, Dormy House has a beautifully refurbished farmhouse feel, rather than the feel of… Read More.

Review Of Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa, West Sussex

In "Accommodation"

From the thick brick walls to the diamond-shaped window frames and chunky historic doors, the luxury Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa appears to be the a perfect example of a medieval property, set within immaculate lawns and with rural views over… Read More.

Lucknam Park Hotel Review

In "Accommodation"

Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa is a country house hotel near the beautiful city of Bath, on the edge of the Cotswolds set in acres of listed parkland. Read More.

The Cotswold's Greenway Hotel and Spa

In "Accommodation"

If I was quizzed about England’s Cotswolds, and what all the fuss was about, I’d point the inquisitive towards The Greenway Hotel and Spa. Turn off a busy road, travel up the hotel’s long driveway and you are instantly transported… Read More.

Review: Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa. Escape To The Cotswolds

In "Accommodation"

If you dream of staying in an old English Manor house set amongst the rolling Cotswold hills, surrounded by a thousand fields and reached up an almost never-ending tree-lined driveway… you are dreaming of Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa. Read More.

Review: Tewkesbury Park Hotel, Cotswolds

In "Accommodation"

The Tewkesbury Park Hotel is right in the centre of the Cotswolds and around a 20-minute walk from the pretty town of Tewkesbury, where you can visit the Abbey or take a boat trip along the river. There are also… Read More.

Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.