10 of the UK’s best cosy hotels to book in January and banish the winter blues

Lord Crowe Arms, Northumberland

Dating back to the 12th century, The Lord Crewe Arms began life as a guest house for pilgrims visiting Blanchland Abbey. Now it’s a historic honey-filled inn, in the village of Blanchland, tucked under the wild, windswept Benin swamps. After going up the high cliffs, you can turn around in front of a roaring fire – there are even fires in the wings. The 21 rooms are divided into ‘comfortable’, ‘smart’ and ‘champion’ and are decked out with tartan blankets and pull-out bathtubs, while in the vaulted medieval pub you can sip a pint of real ale. In “Bar Pete”. Think a warm bowl of squash, sage, and apple soup or smoked chicken and pork with dill-pickled cucumbers and toasted brioche.

Doubles from £179 for bed and breakfast, lordcrewearmsblanchland.co.uk

Bottle and Glass Chilterns

A log campfire at a Bottle and Glass Inn in Benfield Heath, Henley-on-Thames

This quintessential thatched country pub has been transformed into a cozy restaurant with rooms on the edge of Henley on Thames that have it all – exposed beams, twinkling fires, and three heavenly new suites, one with a romantic retractable bathtub. Across the courtyard is the barn-style Burger Barn, serving local Longhorn beef dishes alongside a blazing fire pit. Chiltern Road meanders through neighboring Crowsley Park, the 160-acre property that was once home to the Baskerville family (whose dogs inspired Conan Doyle’s baskerville dog), or take a winter stroll along the busy banks of the Thames.

Doubles from £120 for bed and breakfast, bottleandglassinn.com

The Crown and the Castle, Suffolk

This cozy, dog-friendly, 21-room village pub in Orford Village, up to the 12th-century Henry II Castle, encourages you to bust out dinner – or up an appetite. Download their seven itineraries that include trail-by-track that range from a 45-minute hike to a seven-and-a-half hour “five-lap” hike, a 16-mile trek along the Rough River, through the Sudborne Marshes and through Tunstall Forest—choose the trail based on the number of courses that you want to burn.

Doubles from £140 B&B or £200 DBB, crownandcastle.co.uk

The Meuden Hotel, Cornwall

Surrounded by nine acres of lush subtropical gardens, the recently renovated Meuden Hotel is open during winter for the first time in 15 years. From its secluded beach, Bream Cove, you can climb up the Southwest Coast Trail for a rambunctious stroll along the cliffs – or a dip in the sea. Warm up in front of the wood-fired fireplace in the drawing room before cocktails at Freddie’s Bar (try a fiery mojito or nutmeg-dipped Alexandre brandy) before dinner – perhaps starting with local Newlen crab followed by pork chops, pork pudding, chard, apples and calvados.

My Husband from £119 for bed and breakfast, meudon.co.uk

#1 by GuestHouse, York

Old Drawing Room at No. 1 by GuestHouse in York

Newly opened (December 2021) Grade II listed Georgian home, all grandiose high-ceilinged Gothic and candlelit hallway – is the latest addition to the guest brothers’ portfolio (Tristan, James and Tom), their GuestHouse concept blends a high-end hotel with the ambiance of a guesthouse warm. The 39 rooms have original fireplaces and contemporary textiles, while the old drawing room and library have been converted into two luxury suites with four posters and free-standing bathtubs. After wandering around the historic city, exploring the Roman walls and head to York Minster for the bunker, a refuge from air raids during WWII and now a cocoon-like spa for a spot of pampering before curling up in front of a crackling log fire.

Doubles from £165 per room only, guesthousehotels.co.uk

The Ship Inn, Five

During the summer, cricket matches on the beach in front of the pub are a local highlight, but in the off-season, it’s all about walks on the crisp coast and wild winter swimming. The Ladies’ Tower is only a pebble throw away, and was built in the 1760s for Lady Jane Anstruther who would change here for her daily dip. The inn is located in the pretty seaside village of Ely on the Fife Coastal Road that winds through ruined castles, secluded coves and picturesque fishing harbors. After strolling along the slopes, warm up by the fire in the bar before stepping into a warm bowl of Cullen Skink (a creamy-smoked haddock potato and leek soup) and bed in one of six comfortable coastal-themed rooms (Admiral, Captain or Sea Dog).

Doubles from £100 Bed and Breakfast, shipinn.scot

Bradley Hare, Wiltshire

A roaring fire in the dining room at The Bradley Hare in Wiltshire

modern artwork, antique furniture, contemporary textiles, and freestanding tubs; Each of the 12 rooms in this new smart village pub is individually designed. Maiden Bradley Village cradled by the Duke of Somerset estate and surrounded by rolling stock. Bradley means big space in the woods (‘brad’ means wide clearance and ‘lay’) and after a tour around the estate or nearby 18th-century Stourhead Gardens, a roaring fire awaits at the traditional bar, sofas drenched in cozy and a menu of delicacies from local sources.

My Husband from £130 for bed and breakfast, thebradleyhare.co.uk

Royston, Lanbrenmeier

On the edge of Llanbrynmair in central Wales, and surrounded by 10 acres of rolling pastures and kitchen gardens, this 19th-century venue masterfully blends eclectic vintage pieces and modern design. Each of Royston’s seven stunning rooms are dotted with original artwork and feature sweeping views of the Cambrian Mountains – no TVs. This is a place to stop off, clear the grounds with binoculars and bird books, borrow wells and a map for a walk in the hills and then relax in front of the woods before a simple home-cooked dinner.

Double from £275 for bed and breakfast, theroystonwales.com

Alice Hawthorne, North Yorkshire

Comfortable double bed in a Scandi-chic room at The Alice Hawthorn in North Yorkshire

You can now sleep in this food pub, sandwiched between York and Harrogate in the village of Noun Moncton (which includes Duck Lake and the tallest pole green in England). 12 Scandi-chic wood-decorated rooms were added in May, four rooms in a Grade II listed inn and eight scattered across three stunning new buildings in the grounds, built from homemade Douglas Fair and designed to resemble traditional farm buildings. The inn, which provides a handy handbook of walking trails by the door, is named after a 19th-century racehorse that won three times in 1844 and won the Goodwood Cup, Doncaster Cup, and Ascot Gold Vase.

My Husband from £120 for bed and breakfast, thealicehawthorn.com

Bentonbridge Inn, Cumbria

In the village of Benton in the heart of the historic Rivers Country, near the border with Scotland and close to the 150-mile hiking trail and Rivers Road, this beautiful inn features an award-winning restaurant and nine comfortable rooms equipped with locally throw tartans and hot water bottles. The Bardon Mill section meanders into the 13-mile Wark through beautiful Muckle Moss Nature Preserve and near Hadrian’s Wall. After you’re done with a hearty appetite, have a pint of local beer by the wood stove before dinner.

My Husband from £125 Bed and Breakfast, pentonbridgeinn.co.uk

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