By Alice Tegg, Editorial and Marketing Assistant

Before the chaos of Christmas begins, take the time to recharge your battery with a restorative country hotel break. If you’re running low on annual leave after a summer of fun, worry not – these UK retreats promise to refresh you head-to-toe within the space of a (long) weekend. 

1 Middleton Lodge Estate, Yorkshire

Best for: all-round restoration

A gorgeous Georgian estate in rural Richmond, close to the Dales National Park, houses enigmatic old buildings, perfumed gardens, a couple of high-class restaurants and an indulgent spa. The rooms at Middleton Lodge are discreetly spread across the 200-acre wooded estate, each one uniquely styled, some even with hot tubs in their private gardens.

The Forest Spa has been inspired by the ancient technique of forest bathing. The woodland setting surrounds treatment huts, a heated outdoor pool, a cosy lounge and a nourishing restaurant, so you can easily spend a whole day here. Throughout the estate, blooms of lavender, rose, sweet pea and other native flowers scent the air. Nothing is overly manicured here; plants are allowed to spill over borders and climb as tall as they can, attracting bees and butterflies of every variety. Embracing the gentle buzz of life is all part of the revitalising experience.

Recharge from £195 per night

2 Fowey Hall, Cornwall

Best for: frazzled families

Often the ones most in need of a recharge, but most lacking in time to do so, are parents. The brains behind Fowey Hall recognised this and created a space where the needs of the whole family are covered. Kids are kept entertained in the creche and parents are given 90 minutes of free childcare each day. Make the most of this treasured free time by heading straight to the spa.

Huge indoor and outdoor pools are backed by serene sea views and lined by loungers. The relaxation room has floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto a vast terrace and scenes across Fowey harbour. The sea air is a refreshing appetiser to the treatments of your choice – all the usual suspects are offered – and there are even a few junior treatments if your child wants to come along (most ages are welcome but best suited to teens who won’t struggle to be still for more than a minute).

Recharge from £191 per night

3 Elmley Nature Reserve, Kent

Best for: back-to-nature bliss

Just over an hour from London but worlds away from the bustle of urban life, Elmley Nature Reserve provides easy escapism. Couples will find romantic boltholes to hide away in, while families will revel in the freedom to have fun. Rooms range from a selection of glamping options (bell tents, shepherd’s huts, cabins) to spacious farmhouse rooms and entire cottages to rent, all situated in a picturesque wildlife reserve with glorious views across saltmarsh and meadow.

Though treatments can be arranged in your room, it’s Mother Nature that does most of the healing here. Watch as hares box and birds flurry, all from the comfort of your bed if you wish. If you prefer an early stretch of the legs, head to the secret beach first thing for an invigorating wild swim; you’ll return to find your ‘Kentinental’ breakfast waiting for you. The sunrises at Elmley are particularly spectacular, thanks to the vast and unobstructed skyline. In autumn the colours are electric, and migratory birds make the reserve their home.

Recharge from £120 per night

4 Cedar Manor, The Lake District

Best for: outdoor R&R

Sitting around doing nothing isn’t everyone’s idea of a blissful break. For the outdoorsy types who crave a bit of adventure to cure the stresses of the daily grind, Cedar Manor is the place for you. The setting in the heart of The Lake District, 5 minutes from the lakeside town of Windermere, means paddleboarding, kayaking, woodland walks and mountain trails are all on the doorstep.

Back on site, the leafy gardens are a haven of calm, the interiors feel decadent, and the owners are attentive. Even if you plan on spending each waking hour in the hills or out on the water, save a few to try their epic afternoon tea. It’s one of the best that the i-escape team have tried, piled high with pastries, scones and sweet desserts and finished off with fizz. You’ll need the calories after all that outdoor activity.

Recharge from £155 per night

5 Monachyle Mhor, Scottish Highlands

Best for: a taste of the alternative

Now this is what a country hotel break should look like. Monachyle Mhor is set in a glen that is steeped in history and breathtakingly beautiful – the tranquility is tangible. The bedrooms in the farmhouse are stylish and full of character; several have loch views and 3 have their own steam rooms. But it’s the cabins that provide the most restorative stays. These edgy constructions are hidden away in the grounds, granting them total seclusion and unrivalled views across the glen.

Waking up to misty Scottish wilderness is food for the soul in its own right, but for something a little more unconventional, why not try Bee Therapy? No, there’s no stinging involved. Enter a specially designed pod with hives attached, where the vibrations of honey bees and smells of wax and honey relax your senses. The air is also infused with Propolis, a substance secreted by the bees believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits. Sounds a bit left field, but a refreshing change from a seaweed wrap.

Recharge from £220 per night

6 Tillingham, Sussex

Best for: fans of fine wine

If kicking back with a glass of vino in hand is your R&R, Tillingham will tick all your boxes. A working farm and vineyard in the rolling hills of Sussex has been extended to overnight guests through the sophisticated conversion of original barns and outbuildings. It feels wonderfully removed, accessed by a long woodland drive and surrounded by fields, yet it’s only a 10-minute drive from the charming coastal town of Rye.

Autumn brings the wine harvest, a particularly interesting time to join one of the daily vineyard tours and tastings where the team share the ancient practices that make Tillingham wines so unique. To accompany such special wines, the restaurant had to be nothing short of superb. Their field-to-fork ethos has informed a menu crafted with produce from the kitchen garden, neighbouring farms and the day’s catch from Rye. For their efforts, they’ve been awarded a Michelin Green star.

Recharge from £170 per night

7 The Rectory, Cotswolds

Best for: getting cosy

There’s something about the Cotswolds that feels indisputably cosy and effortlessly romantic. Whether it’s the warmth of the buttery stone, the quaint cottages or idyllic village life, it’s a perennial favourite for country hotel breaks. The Rectory in pretty Crudwell fits the bill perfectly.

In the garden there’s a pond topped with lily pads and flanked by foxtrot, and a heated pool for the summer months. Inside, deep velvet sofas, big beds, roll-top baths and ornate fireplaces entice you to curl up with a good book and stay put for the day. Between chapters, spend some time among the trees at nearby Westonbirt Aboretum; the autumn colours are a true spectacle. You’re encouraged to indulge in life’s simple pleasures here, and they sure make it easy.

Recharge from £100 per night

8 Hotel Endsleigh, Devon

Best for: classic country pursuits

A weekend at a country hotel doesn’t get more quintessentially English than this. Hotel Endsleigh oozes old-time charm with a croquet lawn, tasteful antiques, and floral embellishments that mimic the blooms in the acres of rolling estate. Views span the border of Devon and Cornwall, severed by the Tamar river that runs at the foot of the garden.

Country pursuits are plenty at Endsleigh. Keen fishers will revel in the private stretch of river that yields some of the best salmon and trout numbers in the UK. Horse-riding in nearby Dartmoor or Bodmin is a must, with tack and horses provided, and shooting (clay or otherwise) can be arranged if that’s your idea of therapy.

Recharge from £190 per night

9 The Peacock, Derbyshire

Best for: gourmet indulgence

Surrounded by the beautiful walks and historic houses of the Peak District, The Peacock is one of the longest running hotels in the UK and still very much in its prime. Foodies are adored here; you’ll barely stop grazing from the moment you step through the door, greeted with homemade shortbread, onto an extensive buffet breakfast, towering afternoon teas, even packed lunches if you’re heading out.

You’ll soon work up an appetite again after a day spent at Chatsworth House (recognisable as Mr Darcy’s Pemberley) and Haddon Hall, or browsing the UK’s second largest food market at Bakewell. Choose between award-winning fine dining in the restaurant, serving elevated British cuisine, or the atmospheric bar with its relaxed vibe and simple yet scrummy menu. Haul yourself upstairs to your comfy room, country-fied in plaid and brooding hues, and fall into a satisfied slumber – ready to feast all over again tomorrow.

Recharge from £115 per night

10 Chateau de Saint Paterne, Pays de la Loire

Best for: a lavish long weekend

Ok, so this isn’t in the UK. But if you have any spare holiday days to use up before the end of the year, Chateau de Saint Paterne in northern France is ideal for a restful long weekend. Under 2 hours from the channel port of Caen, the eclectic hotel is laden in chintz and velvet, beds are four posters, chandeliers cast regal light. Outside, the grounds are vast and tranquil; hit the heated pool for a few lengths or take a walk through pristine lawns and peaceful woodland.

In contrast to the glitz of the main house, tucked away in the woods you’ll find Datcha, a rustic, Scandi-style chalet. Guests staying here not only reap the benefits of being secluded in the trees, they also get a private hot tub and sauna. It’s basic inside, especially when compared to the Chateau rooms, but a dreamy spot to escape reality. In the main house, guests can release any tension they’ve carried with them with an in-room shiatsu massage.

Recharge from £141 per night