I have been so anxious to share our time in the English Countryside with you for so many reasons. Brian and I both agreed it was our favorite part of our trip to England. When we first started talking about or travels to London, we knew we wanted to be there long enough to really see the city. We decided that 10 days was a good amount of time to fit everything in. What we didn’t really think about was how much we would want to escape the constant hustle and bustle of the city.
Brian and I enjoy the city but we much prefer the open countryside. After a full week in London, which is one of the busiest cities I have ever visited, we were so excited to get away to the quiet, peaceful town of Oakham in Rutland County. Thanks to the recommendation from my parents we were going to be spending the weekend at Hambleton Hall. My parents stayed at this charming hotel in 1988 and when they heard of our plans to visit London they suggested we spend a weekend in the country.
We took a train from Kings Cross Station to Peterborough and from there to Oakham. It was an easy 45 minutes from London but felt like a world away. I felt like we had gone back in time to a Jane Austin novel. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love English period pieces. Everything from Pride and Prejudice to Downton Abbey, so I could not have been more excited to pull up to the most beautiful property I have ever seen.
Hambleton Hall is a member of the Pride of Britain which is a collection of around 50 luxury hotels. It has just a few rooms, all unique and amazingly decorated by theme. We were in the Cedar room which had the best view of the cedar trees that lined the driveway. Each room in the hotel is stunning. I loved exploring all of them, but nothing could compare to the gardens and grounds.
As you probably know by now, I love spending time in gardens. I love to be surrounded by flowers and I was amazed at the variety still in bloom in September. As soon as we were settled into our room we rushed outside to explore the grounds. Pictures do not do this place justice. The beautiful view from the terrace overlooking the gardens and down to the water was breathtaking.
On our first morning, after a delicious breakfast, we decided to take a walk down to the water. The morning was cool and a silver fog was lingering over the water. Even now as I sit here writing this, I can still smell how sweet and clean the air smelled. I was the most peaceful morning. Being so removed from the modern world, completely disconnected from everyone, and just enjoying the natural beauty around us was amazing.
After walking along the water, the path turns toward the town. Which is incredibly small and very charming. As we were walking passed the church we noticed a local had left a few fresh apples from their garden on the bench for everyone to help themselves. I was in heaven walking around such a quintessential English village, fresh apple in hand.
I loved not having a schedule or needing to be anywhere. We spent the morning exploring all around Hambleton Hall and just enjoying each other’s company, free from distraction. Except my constant need to take pictures. But who could blame me in such a beautiful place!? xo Bryn
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