The UK has basked in balmy weather all summer, and it’s set to last through to the last throes of the season. Now is the time to pencil in that late-summer staycation: a final hurrah to look forward to before the leaves start to fall. Here’s our pick of easy-to-reach UK escapes for soaking up the last of the rays.
Stylish city breaks
Number Thirty Eight, Bristol
Yes, we’re biased, but our beloved hometown of Bristol really does have all the makings of a perfect weekend break. Elegant Georgian townhouse-turned-B&B, Number Thirty Eight, is moments from a plethora of Bristol’s finest attractions – including the Downs, Clifton Suspension Bridge and Bristol Zoo. There’s plenty of green space for soaking up late-summer sun too, with Leigh Woods and Ashton Court a short walk away. Or, make like a local and bag a people-watching perch on the harbourside.
Price: From £130/night
A little extra for i-escape guests: A complimentary tea for two
No. 15 Great Pulteney, Bath
Bath’s handsome Georgian centre is home to spectacular architecture, superb museums and excellent retail therapy – the makings of a weekend break – and is surrounded by rolling countryside ideal for late-summer basking. Stay at No. 15 Great Pulteney: a flamboyant, curio-filled boutique bolthole on one of the city’s grandest avenues.
Price: From £89/night
A little extra for i-escape guests: 10% off in the hotel’s Café 15 and complimentary on-street parking permits
Boutique beach boltholes
Artist Residence Brighton
Vibrant Brighton marries the best of seaside resort and cosmopolitan buzz. Eclectic boutique bolthole Artist Residence Brighton is a chilled and charming base, where you can sip cocktails in retro-inspired bar The Fix, before feasting on the creative 5-course menu in restaurant The Set. Shake off your fuzzy head with a restorative stroll along the promenade and a visit to the neo-classical Brighton Pavillion – what could be a better farewell to summer?
Price: From £89/night
A little extra for i-escape guests: A complimentary bottle of Bramley Body Wash
Swain House, Watchet
The rugged harbour in time-forgotten Watchet is an inspirational place: it stirred Samuel Taylor Coleridge to pen his lyrical epic The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and, 200 years later, inspired Jason and Annie Robinson to open boutique B&B Swain House. The 4 contemporary rooms occupy the upper floors of a Georgian townhouse on the high street, and from here you’re well-placed for harbours, beaches and the wilds of Exmoor National Park – all glorious in the late-summer sun.
We love: Owners Jason and Annie have a real passion for the area and its produce – Jason’s locally sourced Full English is a real highlight
Fabulous foodie finds
The Old Bell, Malmesbury, Wiltshire
The oldest hotel in England, The Old Bell is a cosy country weekend retreat for couples and families alike. The market town of Malmesbury is steeped in history, and you’re well-placed for exploring the Wiltshire countryside. Return after a day of exploring to hearty British and European fare, and wake in the morning to a delicious breakfast – continental, cooked-to-order and not options – and excellent coffee. i-escape guests get homemade macaroons on arrival, too.
Price: From £79/night
A little extra for i-escape guests: Homemade macaroons on arrival
Star & Garter, Falmouth, Cornwall
Buzzing Falmouth has a young, creative spirit. A student hub, it’s also home to great boutiques, bars, galleries and coffee shops and has been voted among the best places to live in southwest England. Stay in these stylish apartments-for-two, above an award-winning pub serving up some of the best food and cocktails in town, including the best Sunday roast we’ve ever had, and stunning sea views.
Price: From £110/night
A little extra for i-escape guests: A welcome hamper of fresh bread and cakes from the local bakery
Solo spa indulgence
Cowley Manor, Gloucestershire
Set in 55 acres of Cotswold parkland, this stately home turned contemporary country hotel has an atmosphere of pure relaxation. But it’s the heated outdoor pool and excellent spa that are the real stars of the show. Plump for The Cloud 9 experience: a mixture of aromatherapy, Qi energy balancing, reflexology and acupressure that’ll leave you ready for anything autumn has to throw at you.
A little extra for i-escape guests: A full-size Green & Spring spa product
Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa, Devon
Salcombe benefits from a sunny micro-climate and some of the best sea views in Britain, so it’s a great spot for a late-summer escape. Drink in the glorious views from your balcony at Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa (binoculars provided) before replenishing mind, body and spirit in the swanky new spa – perfect if you’ve had a busy summer of socialising.
Price: From £113/night
We love: The fabulous location – moments from Salcombe’s shops and the ferry to unspoilt beaches