The Good Hotel Guide lists 10 hotels geared to guests who like to stretch their legs with a gentle stroll, or to challenge themselves with a day-long trek. Here are ten of our favourite hotels for walking.
THE HORN OF PLENTY, TAVISTOCK, DEVON
With Tamar Trails on the doorstep and Dartmoor National Park a short drive away, guests at Julie Leivers and Damien Pease’s Victorian former mine captain’s house in a hamlet on the Cornish border can meander through a landscape shaped by the region’s mining history, or stride out for a day’s hiking. A good breakfast provides plenty of ballast. Log fires, books, board games and seriously good cooking awaits the rambler’s return.
B&B single £120–£265, double £130–£275, D,B&B £210–£355. Set dinner £53. 01822 832 528, thehornofplenty.co.uk
TUDOR FARMHOUSE, CLEARWELL, GLOUCESTERSHIRE
Guests can wander in 14 acres of ancient grassland surrounding Hari and Colin Fell’s boutique hotel, or venture into the Forest of Dean to follow a four-mile sculpture trail. The hotel has teamed up with naturalist Ed Drewitt, who leads wildlife safaris in search of wild boar and their humbug-striped boarlets, fallow deer, bats, badgers, amid ancient woodland… Early risers can catch the dawn chorus walk. Raoul van Den Broucke conducts foraging trips.
B&B £129–£299, D,B&B £209–£389. Tasting menu £60, à la carte £42. 01594 833 046, www.tudorfarmhousehotel.co.uk
THE WHITE HORSE, BRANCASTER STAITHE, NORFOLK
There is a lovely, light-and-airy feel at the Nye family’s inn, set amid tidal salt marshes, with all-year-terrace, glass-walled dining room, and views to Scolt Head Island. Walkers can follow the boardwalk to sandy Brancaster beach, hoping to spot seal, or climb to the top of Barrow Common for panoramic sea views. The Peddars Way national trail runs right by, taking in fishing villages and countryside, nature reserves and archaeological sites.
B&B £120–£200 Àla carte £30. 01485 210262, whitehorsebrancaster.co.uk
PEN-Y-DYFFRYN, OSWESTRY, SHROPSHIRE
A morning newsletter accompanies breakfast at the Hunter family’s stone rectory turned welcoming hotel on the Welsh border, with glorious views of hills and mountains. The hosts have compiled a folder of walks, from a 30-minute constitutional to a day’s trek with a pub stop along the way. Offa’s Dyke long-distance footpath passes a mile from the door. A packed lunch can be provided. Rooms have scenic views, some a private patio.
B&B per person £72–£107. D,B&B £99–£139, single occupancy £99–£120. Set menu £45. 01691 653 700, peny.co.uk
THE PEACOCK, ROWSLEY, DERBYSHIRE
Energetic types strap on their boots to explore a landscape of moors and dales, rivers, springs and caverns within the Peak District National Park. Others mosey around the grounds of medieval Haddon Hall, home to Lord and Lady Manners, who own this 17th-century manor house turned smart hotel in a lively village. The Derwent Valley Heritage Way passes nearby Elizabethan Chatsworth House in its deer park. Events include guided-walk weekends and foraging excursions in Haddon’s ancient parkland.
B&B single £135–£150, double £215–£320. À la carte, bar £34, restaurant £65, 01629 733 518, thepeacockatrowsley.com
HOWTOWN HOTEL, ULLSWATER, CUMBRIA
An exchange of letters secures a booking at the Baldry family’s proudly old-fashioned hotel in a hamlet close to Ullswater, where the day begins with a cup of tea delivered to the bedroom, and a gong summons guests to an excellent dinner. There is a tea room, a walkers’ bar, spectacular hiking, including a seven-mile lakeside stretch from Howtown to Glenridding – or, for the indefatigable, a 20-mile footpath around the lake, linking the four piers.
B&B per person £67–£75, dinner £37. 017684 86514, howtown-hotel.co.uk
THE TRADDOCK, AUSTWICK, YORKSHIRE
At the foot of Ingleborough, one of the three peaks of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with the Forest of Bowland AONB five miles distant, the Reynolds family’s dog-friendly Georgian-cum-Victorian hotel in the dales offers walks for all abilities and ambitions. The Wainwright Walk to Crummackdale starts from the front door. Order a packed lunch or a (tempting but rather less portable) wicker gourmet hamper.
B&B double £95–£230. À la carte £40. 01524 251 224, thetraddock.co.uk
THE ROSE AND CROWN, ROMALDKIRK, CO DURHAM
Hugely popular with Good Hotel Guidereaders, Cheryl and Thomas Robinson’s Georgian coaching inn beside the Saxon church ticks all the boxes as a dog-friendly pub, hotel and restaurant in a pretty Pennines village. Walkers can pick up the Teesway footpath along the river to Cotherstone, returning via the old railway track bed, visit Hury and Grassholme reservoirs, take a short drive to discover the waterfalls and rapids of Low Force, Cronkley and Widdybank fells, a nature reserve famed for rare birds and flora, a European Geopark… Packed lunches, maps and washing/drying facilities are all available.
B&B £120–£205, D,B&B £185–£270. Àla carte £40. 0183. 01833 650 213, rose-and-crown.co.uk
RANNOCH STATION RESTAURANT AND ROOMS, MOOR OF RANNOCH, PERTH AND KINROSS
Small and remote but warm and welcoming, Scott and Stephanie Meikle’s dog-friendly hotel stands a short stroll from the station, at the end of a single-track, dead-end road, in a vast, high wilderness of moorland and peat bogs, lochs and lochans, with distant views of Glen Coe. Escape the chatter of the digital age – there’s no mobile coverage, no broadband, no radio or TV signal, just abundant wildlife, peace, quiet, and a dark, dark sky. Rooms are supplied with binoculars, oat biscuits, a decanter of malt whisky. There is an ever-open bar, with board games to play by a roaring fire.
B&B single £125, double £180. Set meal £42. 01882 633 238, moorofrannoch.co.uk
THE FELIN FACH GRIFFIN, FELIN FACH, POWYS
A relaxed and happy vibe, stylish simplicity and great food distinguish Charles and Edmund Inkin’s original dining-pub-with-rooms, beautifully situated between the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains. Maps and guidebooks are available, and ‘the old man of the hills’, the aptly named Kevin Walker, runs a local business, providing guides for parties of up to four. Dogs and children are made welcome. Check out also the Inkin brothers’ Cornish outposts at Zennor and Mousehole.
B&B £140–£180, D,B&B £197–£238. À la carte £33, set supper £29. 01874 620 111, felinfachgriffin.co.uk