5 Quirky Romantic Overnighters
Hands-up who wants to be sitting in a restaurant with 20 other couples on Valentine’s Day? If that sounds way too cheesy, why not immerse yourself in the great outdoors staying in a toasty warm lover’s tipi instead, or a romantic folly, deep in the woods, with a cavernous underground spa. Throw in a bite to eat and a glass of fizz – are you feeling the love already? Here’s some quirky destinations where you can just chill (literally!):
The Bath House, near Wellesbourne
‘If you go into the woods tonight, you’re sure of a big surprise’…
No, not a teddy bear’s picnic but a romantic octagonal folly. And the real surprises lie inside. The ceiling and walls of the main bedroom are decorated with garlands of real shells, while in the basement is a cavern-like cold plunge pool brrrr! – your very own 18th century spa (see top photo).
Described as ‘The Poshest bedsit in Warwickshire’, The Bath House is rich in history and was fully restored between 1987 and 1991 by the Landmark Trust. It’s close to Wellesbourne and 20 mins from Stratford-upon-Avon at the end of a long and gated drive with views across a valley and woods.
Toasty Tipi, Snowford Hill, Southam
A night beneath the stars in a Toasty Tipi with views over the Warwickshire countryside, underfloor heating and a steaming hot tub, anyone?
Yes – winter glamping is now ‘the thing’, inspired by rustic stays in chillier climes like Finland and Lapland. Inside the tipi there’s a king-size bed with fluffy duvets and a sumptuous mattress, underfloor heating, a carpet, fairy lights and kitchenette. Best of all you have your own open-air hot tub in a detached wooden gazebo with a BBQ, fire pit, shared shower and private loo.
Toasty Tipis are on a glamp-site close to Tinywood Homes with its teeny wooden pods and houses a short walk away from Long Itchington, known for its 4-day real ale beer festival in April/May. Leamington Spa is 6 miles away. It’s hard enough to get Mr Muddy camping in the summer never mind February – but there’s something Scandinavian about this that’s really very appealing.
toastytipis.com, £175 a night
3. A Tower Suite at Warwick Castle
Ever fancied sleeping in your own Game of Thrones-style private chambers in a 14th Century castle tower? No not Winterfell, but Warwick Castle. On days out here I’ve often wondered what it would be like to stay the night – and now you can.
Pretend to be Daenerys Targaryen or Sansa Stark – Warwickshire’s own Sophie Turner – in your own Tower Suite. There are two to choose from: The Peacock or The Rose. Think ornate high-vaulted ceilings, mediaeval inspired furnishings, rich tapestries and King-size four-poster beds with contemporary en-suite facilities. Can’t you just see Jon Snow sprawled across this four-poster in his black winter furs and breeches?
You can expect champagne on arrival, breakfast, a private Castle tour and two days’ priority access to the Castle attractions and 64-acres of gardens overlooking the River Avon.
warwick-castle.com, suites start from a regal £555 per night.
Hampton Manor, Hampton-in-Arden, near Solihull
Snuggle up for the night at this super-swish, but intimate, award-winning 15-room boutique hotel with gorgeously styled interiors, bespoke rooms, velvet boudoirs, William Morris inspired wallpapers and monsoon showers… the list of fabulous-ness goes on.
Hampton Manor is on a 45-acre historic country estate – once owned by Sir Robert Peel – which has seen a multi-million-pound restoration. Treat yourself to Afternoon Tea in the Parlour or fine dine at Peel’s restaurant which already has four AA rosettes, a Michelin star and won a hat-trick of awards at the Birmingham Food, Drink and Hospitality Awards 2016.
Hathaway Hamlet, Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon
How Shakespearean is this pretty beamed listed cottage? The aptly-named Hathaway Hamlet has an inglenook fireplace, a 17th Century oak four-poster bed and sleeps 3. It’s literally a few minutes’ walk away from Anne Hathaway’s Cottage – the beautiful 500-year-old thatched cottage where Shakespeare ‘courted’ his bride-to-be.