Many of England’s manor hotels, by all rights and purposes, are veritable castles for the likes of us Yanks across the pond! Abbot’s Oak near Coalville will be convenient for visits to Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick Castle. It is situated on the edge of Charnwood Forest and is one of those Grade II listed charmers that wow the eyes of Americans and other tourists. Placed in 19 acres of beautiful gardens and woodland areas with some unusual granite outcrops where the hotel guests can stroll around or play various lawn games.
It has beautiful oak carvings, throughout, along with fabulous stained glass windows, a staircase that goes all the way up the tower from which it is possible to see five counties! The drawing and dining rooms are simply elegant and you couldn’t find a better place to catch up on your sleep. The house has four rooms available to guests and it is close to Loughborough, Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Donington le Heath (which I’ll explain in my follow-up Leicester entry!)
Once a hunting resort, Hambleton Hall will be a sumptuous stay while in Rutland. It’s situated in Oakham off the A606 and with splendid views of Rutland Water. It was built in 1881 by Walter Marshall to the Queen Anne vernacular (prevalent in Leicestershire) with primarily Victorian features and was converted to a hotel in 1979. It won Johansen’s Most Excellent Country Hotel Award in 1996 as a Relais & Chateaux member and boasts an excellent restaurant. The hotel’s tasteful interiors also impart elegance and comfort alike and sports delightful displays of flowers throughout. A two bedroom suite, The Croquet Pavilion, imparts the additions of a living room and breakfast room.
Seven miles north of Leicester and just east of Charnwood Forest, Rothley Court Hotel was once an ancient manor house with a 13th century chapel addition, by the Holy Order of Knight’s Templar. The order possessed a house in Leicester but were granted land at Rothley by John de Harecourt in 1203 and later the manor house by Henry III in 1228.
This charmer has 30 en suite bedrooms in both the main house and in the converted Court Mews. A beautifully sprawling manor house- it shows off well-manicured grounds, an A-listed oak-paneled restaurant and bar which takes on large event and receptions.
Its history is extensive as it was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086, although at the time it may have been a previous Roman villa built on the site.
The coat of arms that represents Rothley Court was that of the Babington family who bought the house around 1550 and had continuous ownership for 300 years. The motto "Faith is all" was reiterated to Henry V on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 by Thomas Babington, the King’s Squire. Lord Thomas Babington Macauley, who was born at the manor, became a famous literary and parliamentary figure and later became a Baron. Lord Macaulay’s uncle, Thomas Babington, worked with William Wilberforce to bring the Slave Trade to an end officially in 1807.
In 1893 the Merrtens took ownership and added the south and kitchen wings, a Billiards room, together with the Lodge, Entrance gate and stables. Clive Wormleighton, who became Preceptor of Leicester in 1974, converted Rothley Court into a Hotel and Restaurant in 1960 and since then it has been continually modernized.
Bosworth Hall, set in eleven acres of landscaped gardens and woodland, is nearby to Bosworth Field with 192 luxury guest rooms. Not many of the manor or castle hotels offer so many rooms even if they exist. It is a grade II listed William and Mary mansion with two restaurants – Crompton’s and Jenny’s- and has wonderful park and gardens to stroll around in and conference rooms for large events. This veritable treasure is only a half hour drive from Birmingham International Airport.
Ti saluto affettuosamente,, Affectuesement,, Liebevollich,, Muitas saudades!
The Castle Lady
11/13/07 Note: This morning my space reached it’s 8,888th hit! Thanks to everyone who comes to visit!