By Lucy Richardson, Editor

Need a weekend pick-me-up? Get yourselves booked into one of these spoiling UK retreats for maximum indulgence and minimum stress


 Calcot & Spa, Cotswolds

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Great for: Feeling utterly pampered.

A typical day at Calcot & Spa might consist of breakfast in a goosedown bed, followed by a refreshing swim in the indoor pool or a relaxing treatment at the fantastic spa. Go for a soak in the outdoor hot tub – champagne in hand, of course – then gorge on haute cuisine in the candlelit conservatory and walk it off with a romantic moonlit stroll around the Cotswold estate. Heavenly.


 The Portobello Hotel, Notting Hill

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Great for: Living like a movie star.

The extremely glamorous Portobello Hotel occupies prime real estate in a whitewashed villa in the heart of Notting Hill. Inside, it’s all old-school elegance and beautiful antiques. Such grandeur has attracted a star-studded collection of guests: Kate Moss, Johnny Depp and Alice Cooper to name a few. Step outside your door and you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a Richard Curtis movie; Portobello Market is a few minutes’ walk away, and there are heaps of smart cafes and glamorous boutiques to see and be seen in.


 Kaywana Hall, Devon

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Great for: Fans of modernism.

Kaywana Hall, a space-age treehouse in the woods, belongs on an episode of Grand Designs. Its elevated position affords tranquil views over the treetops, and its striking architecture features winding staircases and glassy geometric panels, which allow the modern rooms to be flooded with natural light. Outside, there’s a big heated swimming pool and the sights of the Dart Valley to explore.


 Stow House, North Yorkshire

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Great for: Art lovers and creatives.

Think majestic country house on the outside, modern art museum on the inside. The bold and extravagant interiors of Stow House combine velvet chaise longues, grand four-posters, claw-foot tubs and a fun and eclectic mix of artworks: raunchy Pop Art, a papier-mâché hare, even a badger in a gas mask! The extremely welcoming owners treat you like old friends – we found ourselves sipping lethal homemade cocktails with them as soon as we arrived.


 No. 15 by GuestHouse, Bath

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Great for: Playful city living.

Fun-filled No.15 by Guesthouse fills a trio of handsome Georgian townhouses on one of Bath’s grandest avenues. Its character shines through, from the humorous artworks to the oversized dolls houses that are used to store room keys or tea and coffee. Your designer-crafted room might come with a chandelier, or a deep free-standing bath, or a patterned wallpaper by Rossiters of Bath, and – get this – you can help yourself to sweets, snacks and ice creams from the guest pantry whenever you like! Head to the buzzy bar for innovative cocktails, be soothed at the spa, dine in the intimate restaurant, then step out to take in the sights of handsome Bath.


 Wild North Crofts, Scottish Highlands

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Great for: An out-of-this-world experience.

The breathtaking Wild North Crofts hideaways are so remote and so far north that you’ve actually got a chance of spotting the Northern Lights if you come in season. Located at the very top of Scotland, you’ll feel a million miles from anything, surrounded by nothing but soaring mountains, icy seas and endless views. As for the cottages, they are equally breathtaking, with an open-plan layout, log burners and glass walls that frame that dazzling view. Sleep with the curtains open to see the most remarkable sunrises.


 Hotel Endsleigh, Devon

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Great for: Majestic countryside.

Live like royalty at Hotel Endsleigh, an enchanting country retreat that lords over 108 acres of fairytale parkland. Within its grounds, you can get lost in dark conifer forests, stroll along rose-covered walkways, play games on the neat croquet lawn, and amble along riverside trails. Back at the grand house, tuck into lavish cream teas served in the library, cosy up beside crackling fireplaces, and retreat to classically elegant bedrooms with roll-top bathtubs and pretty painted wallpapers.


 Artist Residence, Brighton

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Great for: Bright young things.

A visit to hip Brighton needs a hip hotel to match, and the achingly cool Artist Residence captures the essence of its city perfectly. Every room has its own quirky style, decorated with vintage and upcycled pieces from local markets and galleries. The buzzy restaurant offers a 10-course tasting menu, and the bar’s mixologists concoct creative cocktails. But best of all, it’s incredibly good value.


 Elmley Nature Reserve, Kent

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Great for: Watching wildlife from your bed.

If your idea of an indulgent getaway is being at one with nature, you’ll absolutely love the shepherds’ huts and houses at Elmley Nature Reserve in Kent. Twitchers will be in paradise: we counted over 50 different bird species when we visited. Head out with your binoculars and bird guides, then return for hearty homecooking and huddles around your firepit before drifting off beneath vast open skies.


10  The Pig in Brockenhurst, New Forest

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Great for: A gourmet escape to the country.

The Pig gets everything right. This restaurant-with-rooms, which now has offshoots up and down the country, does foodie breaks to perfection. You’re served fresh, homegrown produce, with meat reared on the land, veggies hand-picked from the walled garden, and fish plucked from a stream down the road. What’s on offer changes daily, sometimes hourly, according to what the gardener deems to be in perfect condition. And you get to savour it all in a handsome manor house set among bucolic British countryside, the leafy New Forest as your backdrop. Bedrooms are plush, there’s a little spa in the potting shed, and food prices are surprisingly reasonable. Tip: Book early – it’s exceptionally popular.