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Your inside line on the new, unique and unmissable across 19 Muddy Stilettos counties

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Girls’ weekend getaways

Try these 31 awesome spas, inns, bars and retreats across the Muddy counties and reconnect with your bezzies in style.

BERKSHIRE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE CORNWALL DEVON GLOUCESTERSHIRE HAMPSHIRE KENT LEICESTERSHIRE NORFOLK NORTHAMPTONSHIRE OXFORDSHIRE SOMERSET SURREY SUSSEX WARWICKSHIRE WILTSHIRE

 

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

The Crazy Bear, Beaconsfield

Need to step outside your Farrow & Ball country retreat bubble? In that case lady, you’re going to love The Crazy Bear! More bling than a Las Vegas headliner, this boutique hotel in central Beaconsfield offers the lot – a super-glam sweeping bar, two restaurants, outrageously OTT bedrooms, Thai massage if you so require, and an outdoor swimming pool and terrace. Frankly it’s heaven for anyone wanting to escape routine and boredom. Join an orderly queue, I’m first in line. crazybeargroup.co.uk

 

Stoke Park, Stoke Poges

Vanity Fair called Stoke Park’s spa one of the ‘four Must Visit spas in the world’ and you and your bezzies will definitely enjoy the frisson of walking into the reception area, all bright, shiny and contemporary, with its modern art, velvet sofas, super-soft carpets and groovy light installations that trippily change colour every few seconds. Stoke Park itself is luxe but relaxed, a five star hotel and country club nestling in leafy South Bucks countryside. There are beautiful walks a few miles away at Burnham Beeches, but mehhh, who cares? You’ll be too busy scoffing at Chris Wheeler’s 3AA rosette restaurant Humphry’s or staring in glassy-eyed happiness at the giant fish tank in the spa! stokepark.com

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HAMPSHIRE

Chewton Glen Spa, New Forest

Hydrotherapy Pool

The New Forest on one side, the sea on the other, set in 130-acres of woodland and twinkling streams, Chewton Glen was recently voted one of the world’s top 5 hotels. It’s a proper country-house hotel — all drawing rooms, red carpets and huge vases of fresh flowers. Think Downton with an Instagram account, 21k to be precise. The main pool is in a soaring, natural-light filled room with frescos and floor-to-ceiling windows. Next door is the hydrotherapy pool which is divided up into different pods offering various types of bubbling *shoulders drop three inches* massage. Outside there is a small, sheltered hot tub.The sauna and steam rooms (one of each) are in the male and female changing rooms — great if you’re on a girls’ weekend, not so good if you’re having a romantic night away with your other half. There are twelve individual treatment rooms offering 50 different treatments and holistic therapies and elsewhere there’s a dance studio, tennis courts, 9-hole golf course, gym, an outdoor pool and a sundeck. Chewtonglen.com

 

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NORFOLK

St Giles House Hotel, Norwich

st giles Georgian hotel

City centre hotels don’t get much more beautiful or historic than the St Giles. Cocktail Masterclasses in the Art Deco bar, Afternoon Tea, Spa treatments and luxurious Georgian suites – St Giles certainly ticks all the ‘girly getaway’ boxes. Plus you’re a stones throw from the action – bars, cafes, the bustling city market and the Lanes – packed with cool independent shops and boutiques. This Georgian, Grade II listed property retains many of its original features, with wood-panelling, ornate chandeliers, parquet flooring, coved ceilings and internal pillars. During the summer months, the pretty outdoor terrace is perfect for a glass of bubbles or two before you hit the night life of Norwich! stgileshousehotel.com

 

Barnham Broom Hotel, Barnham Broom

Set in 300 acres of beautiful Norfolk countryside, Barnham Broom Hotel is the perfect antidote to city life. Take a deep breathe, feel the pressures lift and allow yourself to relax, unwind and have a really good catch up with friends. If detox is what you’re after, there’s a full health club with gym, steam sauna, indoor pool, tennis and squash courts. Plus, The Spa at Barnham Broom offers a wide range of traditional and holistic treatments using ESPA products. There’s a Brasserie, Lounge Bar for Afternoon Teas and Cocktails plus a Sports Bar & Cafe. And don’t worry if you suddenly decide you need a bit of city culture or nightlife, Norwich is bursting with both and only a 15 minute taxi journey away! barnham-broom.co.uk

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SUSSEX

Escape Game Brighton

Planning a seaside hen? Test your brain (and your friendships) at fiendishly fun Escape Game Brighton where you have an hour to earn your release by solving a mystery based on clues hidden round the room. Up to six of you at a time can tackle ‘Murder at the Pier’, ‘Return of the Mad Scientist’ or ‘Secret Agent, The Black Box’. The attraction is near the BAi360 viewing tower on historic Regency Square – also home to fun Rock ‘n’ Roll-themed Hotel Pelirocco, which has cocktails, karaoke and hen activities like retro makeovers. Nearer the Palace Pier is chic Brighton Harbour Hotel with its atmospheric subterranean spa and smart bar and restaurant. escapegamebrighton.com

 

Goodwood, West Sussex

You may know Goodwood for its famous Revival vintage motor-racing weekend but there’s plenty more on site year-round for a girls’ break as active or relaxed as you like. Get a Have a Go at Golf lesson from a PGA professional on the driving range, then soothe yourselves with a pamper session in the Waterbeach spa. Spend a day cheering on your favourites at the horse racing (check out the Harvest, Hops & Horseracing fixture coming up) before enjoying a winning meal in organic field-to-fork restaurant Farmer, Butcher, Chef, which is decorated with quirky vintage finds from around the estate. Suitably full, relax in one of the beautiful rooms of the Goodwood Hotel. goodwood.com

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OXFORDSHIRE

Soho Farmhouse, Great Tew

Critics claim the pristine rural barns, artful wild flowers, electric milkfloats and old fashioned bikes make Soho Farmhouse a countryside artifice, like Oxfordshire’s very own Truman Show. We say, WHO CARES?! If you’re after a brilliant spa, awesome indoor and outdoor swimming pools, buzzy bar and restaurant, deliver-to-your-room cocktails and hangover breakfasts, and outdoor tin baths, you’re in the right place. Prepare to spend a small fortune and not regret a second of it. sohofarmhouse.com


Thirteen, Bicester

The Muddy Award-winner for Best Bar 2018 in central Bicester packs quite the cocktail punch within its 17th century walls, and it happens to be 8 minute’s walk from Bicester Village! They offer nibbles and charcuterie sharing boards to help soak up the aperol spritzers, and thoughtfully there are 7 basic bedrooms should you wish to crash. thirteenbicester.com

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GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Yew Tree Farmhouse, Hannington Wick

Huge Georgian farmhouse? Tick. Open fires? Tick. Games barn with table tennis if you can pull yourself off the sofa and away from those magazines? Tick. Stunning walks in even more stunning countryside to walk off that hangover? Tick. Seven bedrooms, plenty of bathrooms and a huge sitting room to hold girly drinks in? Tick, tick, tick. Yew Tree Farmhouse from the fabulous StayCotswold collection is a gorgeous Georgian affair, located in beautiful countryside close to the villages of Fairford, Lechlade and Highworth and boasting alfresco dining, a BBQ area and only a short hop to the Cotswold Water Park if you fancy a spot of paddle boarding or rally driving *laughs hysterically into her G&T*. staycotswold.com

 

Temple Guiting Manor & Barns, Cheltenham

An absolute stunner, Temple Guiting is set in 14 acres, sleeps up to 30 and is the most perfect, idyllic spot for the girls’ weekend to top all girls’ weekends. Once you’ve decided whether you want to stay in the 15th century Manor House, the luxuriously converted Barn, Granary or one (or both) of their one-bedroom hideaways, perfect for party overspills, all you need to do is choose which of their facilities to check out first: cinema room with drinks, ice cream and snacks, astro-turf tennis court, two hot tubs, table tennis, table football, feature garden, lake…Their Temple Guiting Tearoom is a mere hop away in the heart of the village, with great fry-ups to take the edge off the night before, or stay indoors and arrange for all you lovely ladies to have a fabulous pampering session, with a range of massage and nail treatments either in their quirky Shepherds Hut or the comfort of your own room. A biggie here is that they have an on-site chef who can cater anything from breakfast baskets to 3 course meals. They’ll even arrange cocktail mixology classes! cockahoopcollection.co.uk

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BERKSHIRE

Coworth Park, Ascot

Coworth Park Ascot Berkshire white country house hotel with wild meadow and two chestnut horses lead past a tree

Want more from your escape than luxury loafing and necking gin and tonics? Head to Coworth Park. It ticks the 5 star eat, sleep and relax boxes… but saddle up, lady cakes, because your gonna get physical. Indulge in horse riding with a Champagne stop off, polo lessons, tennis, croquet, mapped runs or grab a bike and go for a spin round the 240-acre estate. Or get busy doing nothing in the cool spa that looks a lot like the Thunderbirds’ Tracey Villa. Cancel the countryside run, Parker, and crack open the bubbles. Prices from £318. coworthpark.com

 

The Vineyard Hotel, Newbury

The Vineyard Hotel Stockcross Newbury Berkshire wine walls entrance to dinging room and bar with last supper type wine mural on wall

Girls on tour? You’ll want wine, lots of wine. So imagine hauling up in one of the UK’s best wine hotels, surrounded by stunning Berkshire countryside. Who cares about the green and pleasant land, when there’s 30,000 bottle of vino in the cellar, 100 by the glass, a bijou spa to work off the fuzzy head, luxury rooms and a fine dining restaurant without stepping foot outside the door. If you do fancy leaving the party palace, Welford Park (location for the Bake Off) and Newbury Racecourse are just down the road, Prices from £255. the-vineyard.co.uk

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WARWICKSHIRE

ESPA Spa Break, Elan Spa, Mallory Court Country House Hotel, Royal Leamington Spa

Tucked among the trees in the grounds of the ivy-covered hotel, Elan Spa is the ideal setting for a girls’ spa break, on the outskirts of this groovy Regency spa town. Located in a separate wing with stylish en-suite hotel rooms you can enjoy state-of-the-art facilities including an alluring hydrotherapy pool, thermal retreat, nail boutique, fitness suite, treatment rooms and outdoor vitality pool – where you can sip a glass of chilled champagne. Whoop Whoop! A One night ESPA spa break includes overnight accommodation sharing a superior deluxe room, a 55-minute ESPA treatment (Express Facial and Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage, Skin Specific Facial or Aromatherapy Massage), 3-course dinner in the Brasserie and full English breakfast in the spa dining room from £179 per person and for Two Nights Break, there’s 2 x 55-minute treatments, 2 x 3-course dinner, an afternoon tea, plus full English, from £209. Ila Essence Spa Breaks are also available from £259. mallory.co.uk

 

Bespoke Creative Yoga Retreats in the UK and South West France

Caron Lindley, founder of Warwickshire’s Red Hat Yoga & Wellbeing, winner of the Best Yoga/Pilates Studio in our 2018 Muddy Awards, is offering tailored long weekend retreats combining yoga, meditation and arts & crafts for groups of friends in the stunning rural village of Saint-Vallier, Charente in South West France, as well as in the UK. But don’t worry you don’t need to have done any yoga before, nor be a Picasso. Each retreat is designed in close consultation with you and your group. It’s all about self-discovery and exploration. Forthcoming dates in spring 2019 include May 5 – 10 & May 11 – 16. redhatyoga.co.uk

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DEVON

Beyond Escapes, Totnes

Hot tub trees fence blue sky

I spy with my little eye, is that the sea glistening beyond the rolling hills? Ditch the car and crack open the fizz, we’ve arrived at Beyond Escapes. Set between Totnes, Berry Pomeroy and the Torbay coastline, you’ll discover this complex of luxury lodges, mansion suites and apartments, all geared for the ultimate knees up, as you wind down and chill out. The super-flexible accommodation options are a draw, but we’d plump for a Lux Hot Tub Lodge for an occasion like this, for extra bubbles. The other big bonus is the restorative spa and restaurant on-site, which is about as far as you’ll feel inclined to wander during your stay.  Secluded, grown-up and glam: this one’s ticking a gazillion boxes for us! beyondescapes.co.uk

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CORNWALL

The Big Beautiful Beach House, Porthpean

Escape with your besties (and maybe a few hangers-on) to the set of Richard Curtis’ Cornwall-based movie, About Time. Yes, the swanky country pad with astonishing sea views, is available to rent and it’s surprisingly affordable, especially for out-of season stays. The Big Beautiful Beach House overlooking Porthpean Beach is ideal for parties, with a long dining table, space for 21 overnight guests, a perfect lounging lawn, plus a private path to the beach. thebigbeautifulbeachhouse.com

 

St Moritz Hotel, Trebetherick

St Moritz Hotel Cornwall

With the only Cowshed Spa in the west, comfy twin rooms and Daymer Bay just a short walk away, The St Moritz is a no-brainer for a girly weekend getaway. The hotel, near Rock and Polzeath, also boasts indoor and outdoor pools, a sauna steam room and jacuzzi, a relaxed seaside cafe and an elegant bar and restaurant for fancier evenings. When you feel like exploring further afield, The St Moritz Land Rover is at your service! stmoritzhotel.co.uk

 

7th Rise, Beside The River Fal near Truro

Got a girl gang who’d prefer an adventure in the big outdoors than the luxury of a fancy spa? 7th Rise on the banks of the River Fal in Cornwall is a wilderness playground that offers all-inclusive bushcraft weekends at its isolated woodland venue. Sleep in a tree house, tipi, hunting lodge or houseboat, forage and cook, try your hand at archery or set sail on their Canadian canoes. 7thrise.co.uk

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LEICESTERSHIRE

Foxton Lock Lodges, Foxton 

This idyllic retreat has six luxurious log cabins making it a perfect place to escape with a few gal pals. Located  in the heart of rural Leicestershire, each cabin is beautifully decorated and come complete with comfy beds, flat screen TVs, DVD players (perfect for a late night chick flick) but the main reason we love it is because of the private hot tubs – perfect to relax in with a glass of fizz. You can even book in-house beauty treatments and your very own personal chef! You won’t want to leave after spending a weekend here. foxtonlockslodges.com

 

Sophie Elise Beauty, Melton Mowbray

Time for a short girls’ getaway? Round ’em up and head to this cosy beauty spa and salon tucked away in this quintessential English market town. Run by beauty therapist Sophie Hewitt, the Elemis Day Spa is where the party’s at! The spa offers a string of tempting treatments and once booked, you and your girls will have full use of the rooms, sauna, refreshments, complimentary towels and robe. Pick and mix which treatments you want to create a bespoke package and order the afternoon tea too with fizz to make it really special. Try the Cleansing Salt Scrub infused with Japanese Camellia Oil blend to leave you with an all-over body glow. sophieelisebeauty.com

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SURREY

Runnymede-0n-Thames, Egham

This luxury boutique hotel in on the banks of the Thames in Egham has girly getaway written all over it. All the essentials are there: sumptuous spa, extensive gin menu, luxury bedrooms and a la carte restaurant. But there’s plenty more here to entertain with outdoor tennis courts, boats available for hire, a fitness centre and a gym, and the Thames Path if you fancy a riverside stroll. There’s even a hot tub overlooking the river where you can enjoy a glass of bubbles. What more could you ask for? runnymedehotel.com

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SOMERSET

The Shed, Milverton

With heated indoor pool, hot tub, cinema room, vast communal areas with squashy sofas, roaring log fire, games room, piano (yep, they’ve thought of everything), The Shed – actually a huge luxury barn – is perfect for a rural fun fest with friends. Pour a glass of fizz and wait for food – fine dining, food hampers and outdoor eats – to arrive or choose a beauty or spa treatment. Footpaths lead into the Blackdown Hills and beyond, with country pursuits, pubs, tearooms and the coast nearby. The Shed sleeps 14 with 6 more in separate cottage Little Bickley. And yes, you can bring your helicopter. Midweek breaks at The Shed from £1,350. foodfromthefarmhouse.com

 

Mr Darcy’s Abode, Bath

Where better to party in Georgian Bath but an historic Georgian townhouse slap bang in the centre of the city (just 12 mins walk from the iconic Thermae Bath Spa). Mr Darcy’s Abode sleeps 2–16+ in seven bedrooms, has a large withdrawing room with state-of-the art TV/AV, a bespoke kitchen, huge dining table and Cowshed toiletries in the luxury showers and bathrooms. Special Spa and Hen packages (brides go free in 2019). Weekends (Fri–Sun) at Mr Darcy’s Abode from £1,799. Quote Muddy on booking and a bottle of bubbly will be waiting. bathboutiquestays.co.uk

 

Upper Crannel Farm Barn, near Glastonbury

Cosy up with the gals in the art-filled, architect-designed Upper Crannel Farm Barn – farmhouse meets Grand Designs – with the Glastonbury Tor as a backdrop. Cook feasts in the large kitchen/dining room, chill in the elegant sitting room or soak up 360-degree views over 200 acres of farmland and beyond. The Tor is a short walk across the fields; the Mendip Hills, Somerset Levels, one of Somerset’s best pubs and England’s smallest city of Wells are all close. Sleeps four in two richly furnished double rooms. Two nights stay £500 (come as a couple it’s £150/night, minimum 2 nights). Upper Crannel Farm Barn

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WILTSHIRE

Bowood Hotel, near Calne

A playground for the well-heeled of Wilts (and beyond) Bowood rocks a boutique-style hotel with gorgeously smart bedrooms, idyllic spa, 18-hole golf course and high-end dining extraordinaire, all wrapped up prettily in the most stunning grounds. Nestled in the Bowood Estate, the hotel and resort is the perfect weekend retreat for groups of girlies who fancy some serious pampering in their oh-so-luxurious spa. Take a dip in the infinity swimming pool, detox in the rock sauna or crystal steam room, pamper yourself with a treatment…even if you just stand under the aromatherapy showers for hours, it’s all a recipe for pure tranquility. And then hit the bar for some serious cocktails… bowood.org

 

Guyers House, Pickwick, Corsham, Wiltshire

This pretty country house hotel is not only picture-perfectly charming, but girls’ weekend perfect too, with elegant dining rooms, snuggly sitting rooms and a croquet lawn if you fancy. The wood-panelled bar has groups of girls and vats of red wine in mind, and scones with jam and cream, sandwiches and homemade cakes are waiting by the fireside for tea. guyershouse.com

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KENT

One Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells

When it comes to location, location, location OWP has it all. Within easy tottering distance from the train station this hotel stands in the cute and characterful part of town. From here you are literally minutes away from, in one direction, the Georgian colonnade of shops known as The Pantiles – a pretty pedestrian area filled with independent boutiques, shops, bars, eateries and also, in the other direction, the High Street with more of the same delights, including The Ivy Royal Tunbridge Wells. Or stay closer to home by dining in the hotel’s own restaurant SEVENTEEN, but not before you’ve filled your kitten-heeled boots during happy hour in the cocktail bar. onewarwickpark.co.uk

 

The Quaives, Canterbury

Nestled in one of our fave pockets of east Kent countryside sits The Quaives – a retreat venue perfect for a relaxed girlie gateway (with a touch of luxury of course). Set in 19 acres, this is all about escaping the hustle and bustle and having a mental and physical reset. On site is a hot tub, tennis court and brand new beautiful yoga studio with high ceilings where you can take part in day or weekend retreats. Need somewhere for a big group in search of some zen? The stylish Scandinavian style dormitory has eight adult bunk beds in one spacious room. There’s an excellent on-site kitchen, but should you fancy exploring you’re a short drive from top nosh at The Duke William in Ickham or The Dog in Wingham. thequaives.com

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NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

Whittlebury Hall, near Towcester

Even the Good Spa guide tout Whittlebury Hall as the fun spa, so we reckon it’s a great choice for a group of girls looking for exactly that. It’s not just a spa though, it’s a four AA-star rated hotel within a short distance to the famous Silverstone racing track, and even though it’s a conference hotel for both business and leisure, it has one of the biggest day spas in the country, attracting many of its visitors just for that. The show pieces are tthe heat and ice experience with hydrotherapy pool, hot and cold thermal rooms and experience showers, but there’s also a sizeable swimming pool and classes available in the exercise studio. The hotel also has loads of entertainment that appeals to groups and dining is a big part of its offering; but really, it’s the spa that’s the big draw here! whittleburyhall.co.uk

 

Brampton Grange, Chapel Brampton

Northamptonshire is blessed with some great venues, and Brampton Grange is something quite special (so much so, Northants hosted its Awards there). This isn’t a hotel where you get pampered, although that can be arranged, this is a large house or three cute cottages which can be booked independently for you to really go for it on your girls weekend. Around 400 years old and built of Northamptonshire sandstone it was purchased by the Spencer Family of the Althorp Estate, in 1825 (you might have heard of one of them, Princess Diana ; )  It’s now privately owned and operated as a wedding venue and luxury accommodation. If you’ve got a sizeable group, up to 15 people can stay in the ‘big house’, which has eight en-suite bedrooms. Guests also have access to the tennis courts and swimming pool in the private walled garden. Pack your inflatable unicorn ladies! bramptongrange.co.uk

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