London is much-loved, and for good reason, but the United Kingdom offers so much more than just the bright lights and landmarks of its cosmopolitan capital.
From Cornwall’s balmy climate and surf-ready beaches to the Cotswolds’ picture-perfect villages and the dramatic landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, it’s easy to see why the Royal Family has long-favoured holidays close to home. Why not extend the coronation celebrations with a luxury stay near one of these royal favourites?
The Scottish Highlands and Balmoral
Scotland has a long royal history and is a well-known favourite of the Royal Family today. Edinburgh, where the Palace of Holyrood house lies at the end of the famous Royal Mile, and St Andrews, where Prince William and Kate Middleton met whilst studying at university, both offer the discerning traveller a host of impressive accommodation and activity options. However, it’s no secret that the Royal’s heart has long laid in the rolling, heathered Highlands and, like his mother, King Charles has treated the Balmoral Estate as his retreat of choice since childhood.
Soulful, romantic, brimming with nature and offering scenery straight out of James Bond’s ‘Skyfall’, the beauty of the Scottish Highlands is truly outstanding. In an area so wild and dramatic, you perhaps wouldn’t expect the world-class luxury that the Highlands offers, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
What to do
Scotland is an outdoor pursuit lover’s dream, shooting and fishing are all favourite royal pastimes, and Scotland offers the perfect landscape. Salmon fishing is especially popular and top hotels and estates hold fishing rights for their guests to enjoy.
When not marvelling at the scenery or exploring the rolling hills and serene lochs, you can visit historic castles, enjoy a private whiskey tasting tour at one of the world’s best distilleries, or spot golden eagles and red deer from a 4x4 safari tour.
Where to stay
Top hotels in the Highlands include the ever-impressive Inverlochy Castle, where Michel Roux Jr oversees the award-winning Seasgair restaurant, 5-star boutique hotel The Fife Arms, which is perfect for exploring the grounds of nearby Balmoral and, whilst technically nestled on the border, the Gleneagles Hotel which needs no introduction. Or, if exclusive use of a luxury estate is more to your taste, then we’d recommend the stunning Glen Affric Estate, owned by Pippa Middleton’s father-in-law.
Cornwall and the Duchy Estate
With its laid-back living, whitewashed fishing villages, exceptional seafood and secluded beaches, it’s easy to see why celebrities and Royals have fallen in love with this charming part of the British Isles. Until their accession, Camilla held the title of Duchess of Cornwall and Charles was responsible for running the thriving Duchy of Cornwall estate, a title and honour that has now passed to Prince William and Kate. As keen surfers and sailors, Prince William and Prince Harry have also been known to enjoy the fantastic water sports that the Cornish coast offers.
What to do
When it comes to the top places to visit, we recommend the upmarket port of Padstow and the nearby village of Rock, nicknamed Chelsea-on-Sea. The small but stylish harbour of St Mawes, trendy St Ives, and the surfers’ paradise Polzeath are also well worth a visit. Wherever you go, you’ll be in for a gastronomic treat; many top chefs have moved to the region and there is a shellfish shack, country pub or tearoom around every corner.
From exploring sites such as the Eden Project, the Minack Theatre and Tintagel Castle, to taking a sunny clifftop walk or trying your hand at adventurous water sports, there are plenty of activities to help you build up an appetite.
Where to stay
Cornwall offers a host of luxurious spa hotels. Our favourites include the imposing The Headland, which sits high on a cliff overlooking Fistral Beach, Scarlet Hotel, which oozes sophisticated luxury with its impressive design and expansive use of glass, and formidable newcomer The Pig at Harlyn Bay, with its quirky character and remarkable menu. You can even hire Restormel Manor, owned by the Duchy and located in the heart of the Fowey valley, which is the Royals’ official Cornish residence.
Gloucestershire Cotswolds and Highgrove House
With its charming honey-hued towns, cobbled streets and rolling countryside views, the Cotswolds is about as quintessentially British as it comes, so it’s no surprise that a visit ranks highly on most people’s UK bucket list. The Royals’ love for the area is evident, with many visiting regularly for weekends and sporting events and others having chosen to base their primary residence in this stunning spot – including King Charles and The Queen Consort at Highgrove House and the Princess Royal at Gatcombe Park.
What to do
Take a tour of the gardens at Highgrove House and explore the many stately homes in the area. Stroll and shop your way through picture-perfect towns and villages like Bourton-on-the-Water, Burford, Stow-on-the-Wold and Castle Combe. Enjoy a wide range of sporting or country pursuits, from shooting on grand estates to horse riding through the stunning landscape or watching a polo match at Beaufort Polo Club. And, after a long day of enchanting exploration, there are plenty of impressive gastropubs and fine dining restaurants to cosy up at.
Where to stay
Top picks include exclusive members club Soho House’s offering, Soho Farmhouse, which is set within 100 acres of farmland and boasts an impressive health club, range of restaurants and stylish suite options. The country-chic classic Thyme Hotel, high-end boutique hideaway Foxhill Manor, award-winning hotel Calcot & Spa and the grand Lucknam Park will also be sure to delight.
Speak with one of our Global Account Managers today to book your private jet for the Coronation weekend.