From the Cornish Riviera to the Scottish Highlands, The Good Hotel Guide recommends hotels and B&Bs of character, each with views to sigh for.
THE NARE, VERYAN-IN-ROSELAND, CORNWALL
Quintessentially English, family-run and family friendly, Toby Ashworth’s hotel is set in glorious sub-tropical gardens above Carne Beach on the Roseland peninsula. Built in 1929, it has views across Gerrans Bay from the outdoor pool and hot tub, the sun-trap terrace, jolly Quarter Deck restaurant and more formal dining room. Some bedrooms look over countryside. The best sea-facing suites have floor-to-ceiling glass doors, a balcony or patio. It is old-fashioned in a really fun way. Cream teas and croquet.
B&B £299-£845, à la carte £50. 01872 501111, narehotel.co.uk
STOBERRY HOUSE, WELLS, SOMERSET
Run with great generosity of spirit, Tim and Frances Meeres Young’s B&B stands in landscaped gardens, wrapped in parkland, above the jewel of a city that is Wells, with views across the Vale of Avalon. Our readers recommend the garden studio suite in the park, a short stroll from the main house, with outdoor seating area and ‘sunset views from the bed’. Guests wandering the grounds find wildlife ponds, a fernery, potager, lime walk, sculptures, water features.
Single £85, double £95-£157.50. stoberryhouse.co.uk
DART MARINA, DARTMOUTH, DEVON
Every room has a river view at Richard Seton’s constantly innovating spa hotel. Some have French doors, some floor-to-ceiling windows, terrace or balcony so you can sit out all day watching nautical types messing about in boats. You might even spot a grey seal. On summer days guests can lunch on the terrace, order a pint of prawns at the waterfront Cloud Nine pop-up bar. Arrive by yacht if you will, and for a scenic journey take the steam train that runs by on the other side of the water.
Singles from £153, doubles from £180, à la carte £37. 01803 832580, dartmarina.com
THE COTTAGE IN THE WOOD, BRAITHWAITE, CUMBRIA
A whitewashed 17th-century coaching inn, run as a restaurant-with-rooms by Kath and Liam Berney, this ‘cottage’ on Whinlatter Pass stands surrounded by England’s only true mountain forest. There are distant views towards Skiddaw and the Northern Fells, close-up glimpses of such forest dwellers as red squirrels and deer. The dining room has wrap-around windows and terrace for an incomparable panoramic vista. In autumn the forest blazes copper and gold. The address, fittingly, is Magic Hill.
D,B&B from £210. 017687 78409, thecottageinthewood.co.uk
TALLAND BAY HOTEL, TALLAND-BY-LOOE, CORNWALL
Choose a sea-view room at Teresa and Kevin O’Sullivan’s cliff-top hotel, and you will gaze out over gardens dotted with whimsical sculptures and statuary, here a gauze-winged fairy, there a pixie, a galloping white horse, a giant teapot. And always, of course, there is the water. Outdoor tables and chairs encourage alfresco eating and drinking. Interiors, too, are filled with whimsy. Bedrooms are individually styled and bold. Bring your dog, bring your cat. All are welcome.
B&B £160–£350, à la carte £45. 01503 272667, tallandbayhotel.co.uk
HAMBLETON HALL, HAMBLETON, RUTLAND
Tim and Stefa Hart have created a glorious, all-season patchwork garden of parterre, statues, topiary specimen trees and ornamental ponds at their former hunting lodge turned luxury hotel in 17 south-facing acres. Beyond lies man-made Rutland Water. Master bedroom Fern has a canopy bed, superb lake views from a big bay window. Cedar room, above the porch, looks out at a cedar planted in 1881 by brewer Walter Marshall, for whom the house was built. The chef holds a Michelin star.
B&B single from £225, double from £310. Set dinner £78. 01572 756 991, hambletonhall.com
GLENFINNAN HOUSE, GLENFINNAN, HIGHLANDS
There can be few more dramatic hotel settings in the UK than this. Jane MacFarlane’s 18th-cum-19th-century mansion, with a touch of the baronial, stands against a backdrop of woodland and mountain. It gazes towards the iconic Glenfinnan Monument, commemorating the 1745 Jacobite rebellion, on the banks of Loch Shiel, with Ben Nevis beyond. Several bedrooms face the loch. The lawns run down to the water’s edge. For yet more scenic views you can ride the Jacobite steam train over soaring Glenfinnan Viaduct.
B&B single from £125–£225, double from £145, à la carte £25–£40. 01397 722235, glenfinnanhouse.com
TIRORAN HOUSE, TIRORAN, ISLE OF MULL
A burn runs down to Loch Scridain through the gardens of Laurence and Katie Mackay’s dog-friendly Victorian country house in 56 acres, with private beach. Loch-facing rooms are the most sought after, but you could do worse than gaze out at orchard and hills. A house-party atmosphere prevails. Bring binoculars. Not least of the pleasures of the island is wildlife spotting, with sightings of sea eagles and herons, oystercatchers and puffins, mountain goats, red and fallow deer, otters and seals. Ghillies are available for fishing in the Usk.
B&B from £185, à la carte £30-£40. 01681 705232, tiroran.com
GLIFFAES, CRICKHOWELL, POWYS
You can take a tree walk in the 33-acre wooded grounds of this 19th-century Italianate mansion above the River Usk in the Brecon Beacons, admiring specimen trees planted by a Victorian collector. It is run as a hotel by second- and third-generation family owners. There are fabulous views from the bar, terrace, dining room. A deluxe river-view double room has a balcony. Garden views are lovely too, the style traditional country house. Anglers can fish from a private beach a stroll away.
B&B single from £135, double from £149, à la carte £40. 01874 730 371, gliffaeshotel.com
PEN-Y-DYFFRYN, OSWESTRY, SHROPSHIRE
The Hunter family’s hotel stands in beautiful gardens, against a backdrop of the Welsh hills. Choose a ground-floor room in the Georgian coach house annexe, and sit on your own stone-walled garden terrace taking tea and drinking in the vista. Dog-owners can consult an information pack for local walks. If you wish to visit Wales, the border runs right through the grounds. For a more vertiginous view take a canal trip across Thomas Telford’s Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
B&B double £144–£214, single occupancy £99–£139, set menu £45. 01691 653 700, peny.co.uk
For more hotels with beautiful views, see www.goodhotelguide.com