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Fit for a queen?

Muddy's Georgina Forsythe escapes to the country in the school holidays for some overnight R&R in the Warwickshire countryside.

A beautiful little bolthole for grown-ups in rural Warwickshire originally owned by Elizabeth I’s would-be suitor Robert Dudley – but is it a right royal set up?

 

THE LOWDOWN

A real hidden gem, you reach White Hall Farm B&B via the Warwickshire countryside – the farm is off the beaten track, in a peaceful rural setting but close to Long Itchington, Southam and Leamington Spa where you’ll discover the 15th century farmhouse within an arable farm, where owner Sara and her husband decided to remodel two of their rooms into a B&B when the kids left home. The association with original owner Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, is real though oblique – he never actually lived at White Hall (he opted for the rather less modest Kenilworth Castle), but he rented it out, and Sara’s family has owned the property since the 1800’s.

 

THE VIBE

There are just two rooms, nestled in their own little wing of the house, with a separate entrance, staircase and spacious shared sitting room for guests with wood burning stove and Sky TV, so you get the best of both worlds; a homely vibe, while it feels like your own secluded space.

Both guest rooms have en-suite bathrooms with a roll-top bath, flatscreen TV, kettle and hairdryer. It may be remote but there’s WiFi throughout – you decide whether that’s a good or a bad thing!

The view from my bedroom into the Victorian walled garden

 

SCOFF & QUAFF

The Stag at Offchurch

With ample countryside and fresh air to enjoy, my husband and I ventured out for a lovely dinner at The Red Lion, Hunningham (the 2019 Muddy Award winner in the Best Destination Pub category), a short 5-minute country drive away. But there are more local pubs within walking and easy driving distance including The Stag at Offchurch (above) and The White Hart Inn at Ufton – which has  two Blue Lias Rings walks that begin and end at the pub, around 5 ½ miles long through ancient woodlands. The huge benefit I found from being in such a small and intimate B & B is the personal touch. Breakfast made to order the day being one, I opted for poached eggs on fruit, and my husband croissants with fruit and yogurt. The dining room offered gorgeous views out over the farm. Ingredients are mainly as local as possible, or homemade, and everything was en pointe.

 

OUT & ABOUT

Long Itchington is your playground if you’re after long countryside walks, but if you want to mix it up a bit, the more cosmopolitan charms of Leamington Spa is only 9 miles away.

 

THE MUDDY VERDICT: 

Good for: Couples looking for escapism for a night or two, romantics, frazzled brains needing a reboot; and walkers up for exploring. It’s also good for families with older children as the twin room shares a Jack-and-Jill en suite with one of the double rooms.

Not good for: Those who crave the mix of rural and cosmopolitan. The pace is slow here and the vibe is peaceful rather than buzzy.

The damage: It’s very affordable. Our double room cost £100 per night, including breakfast, while the twin costs £75, plus VAT.

Please telephone Sara on: 07701 024521 to book. If busy please leave a message with your desired dates and she will get straight back to you. You can also find White Hall Farm  on Booking.com

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Warwickshire