Top Cotswolds Escape: 15th Century Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham

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Ellenborough Park, a luxurious countryside manor hotel with an impressive spa and 90 acres of gorgeous grounds, is ideally situated on the edge of the Cotswolds. Gloucestershire's only five-star hotel is a short drive from Cheltenham town centre and Cheltenham Spa train station. Cheltenham is known as the UK’s most complete Regency town. It was the top choice for 18th-century holidays, thanks to Henry Skillicorne unearthing its health-giving spa waters. Today, you don’t go to Cheltenham to “take the waters” but it is a charming city to visit, especially if staying nearby at Ellenborough. And with more than 25 annual international events, Cheltenham is a city of festivals and the home of the world’s longest-running literary festival, the Cheltenham Literature Festival. For equestrian fans too, Ellenborough’s location is ideal as it’s just above the world-famous Cheltenham Racecourse; there’s even a private path from the hotel to the racetrack.

Dating back to 1485, Ellenborough Park is a classic English estate, built from honey-colored Cotswold stone and beautifully restored by the current owners ten years ago. They ensured all the historic features were carefully protected, including the oak beams, vast stone fireplaces and stained glass windows. Even the entrance door evokes a sense of history as it still has musket holes from the English Civil War during Tudor times.

Renowned British interior designer Nina Campbell designed each of the 61 luxury guest rooms with a lavish mixtures of wallpapers and rich fabrics, blending perfectly with the country house architecture.

Best features of the guest rooms include freestanding roll top baths, original fireplaces, and period windows with lovely views. The spacious bedrooms have opulent bathrooms with heated marble floors, fluffy bathrobes and luxury toiletries.

Dining at Ellenborough is special, both for the historic backdrop and the food. On warmer days, alfresco options include the Taittinger terrace, Cedar Pavilion tent or in one of the quirky dining carriages. The Horse Box Brasserie and Restaurant serve modern British dishes with menu highlights including roasted Orkney scallops, chateaubriand, pork belly, stone bass and Welsh wagyu beef burgers. The historic Great Hall is the perfect backdrop for an afternoon tea featuring some of the best freshly baked scones with Devonshire clotted cream and strawberry preserve.

The spa offers a nice range of products by Elemis and bespoke treatments to match every skin type plus excellent massages. Spa packages for hotel and non-hotel guests include complimentary use of the indoor Spa facilities, including a Jacuzzi, Sauna and Steam Room, as well as robes and slippers. Outside, the swimming pool is fully heated all year around.


Ellenborough Park is a Pride of Britain hotel, which features a small collection of privately owned properties, each one unique and characterful, across the British Isles.

A stay at Ellenborough Park is from £299 with breakfast based on a Cosy Double room sleeping two people. If you’re not driving, a GWR train from London to Cheltenham will get you there comfortably in just over two hours with single fares from £18.90 from London Paddington. The hotel is around a 15 minute taxi from Cheltenham station.

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