Since hopping on a plane to visit the famous vineyards of the world has been put on hold, have no fear – there’s no reason you can’t experience the magic of a winery, ‘a licenced property that makes wine’, whilst staying put in the UK. Make a staycation of it by booking a night or two at one of our Great British & Irish Hotels, and enjoy hours of walking, tasting, learning and discovering at one of these UK wineries.
Britain’s Best Wineries
Nestled in the sunbaked foothills of the South Downs is Nyetimber, a 640-acre estate that can be traced back to the Domesday Book and boasts a beautiful house that was once the home of Anne of Cleves. Thirty years ago, then-owners Stuart and Sandy Moss planted the very first vines, which grew and matured in the greensand and chalk soils. The estate was bought by current owner Eric Heerema in 2006, who then hired winemakers Cherie Spriggs and Brad Greatrix, who both shared his vision for crafting exceptional sparkling wines. Today, it’s a multi award-winning wine producer, and beloved around the world.
Dating back to 1430, The Spread Eagle in neighbouring Midhurst makes the perfect accompaniment to a weekend exploring the slopes of Nyetimber. But, despite its old-world looks, this 39-room coaching inn hides a tempting secret under its roof: an impressive contemporary spa and indoor pool with classes and treatments, where you can restore a sore head in peace and tranquility. Doubles from £119. hshotels.co.uk
The family-run Hattingley Valley estate in Hampshire specialises in English sparkling wines. The wine-making team look after the estates’ 60 acres of land and the sparkling wines they create are renowned all over the UK, available from stores such as Ocado and Waitrose Cellar. Pre-book your winter winery tour and tasting resuming on 31 October for £17.50 per person, and ask any burning questions you may have for the experts. Book at hattingleyvalley.com
Complete your winery experience in true luxury with a stay at the Four Seasons in Dogmersfield, just 34-minutes in the car from Hattingley Valley’s estate. This branch is the Four Seasons’ only UK country hotel, and set amid 500 acres you can find sophisticated bedrooms and a spa, and tons of amenities (if you needed any more reasons to elongate your stay) such as croquet, clay pigeon shooting and fishing. Doubles from £285. Book via fourseasons.com
Set within the rolling hills of Gloucestershire Valley, The Three Choirs Vineyard and Winery offers tastings and tours to allow wine lovers to experience the tastes of the UK. Discover the secret to growing grapes, get lost amongst the vines and learn the process of wine-making, from grape to bottle, before trying the divine libations yourself. Book the Wine Tour & Tasting Experience for only £12.50 per person, which includes a guided walk of the vineyard, 4 wines to taste, a screening of the Three Choirs video, and a 20% discount when buying 6 or more bottles during your time there. For bookings of 6 people or more, call to book on 01531890223. Or, book a tour and tasting with lunch too, which includes a longer 45-minute tour, lunch for you and a guest, and a bottle to take home. This package costs £89.95 for two people. Three-choirs-vineyards.co.uk
Just a 30-minute drive to the Three Choirs’ winery, book a room at the luxurious Cowley Manor hotel and roll into a sumptuous bed after a day of walking and wine-ing. You can even borrow wellies and bicycles for your wine experience! Doubles from £195. Book via cowleymanor.com
Denbies in Dorking, Surrey, is England’s largest vineyard. They offer indoor winery tours starting from £11.50 per person which range from those focussing on classic wines to sparkling wines, wine and food tastings to cheese and winemaking experiences, and their newest addition introduced in 2018, the gin and vine experience. The outdoor tours cover the same sorts of topics and would be splendid when taken on a crisp Autumn day. Whichever you choose, book here!
Only 10 minutes by car to Denbies’ estate. Dubbed as Britain’s most exciting country-house-hotel, Beaverbrook boasts stylish yet relaxed interiors and the spa treatments available at The Coach House Health Club & Spa are ultra soothing. There are also two restaurants, The House serving modern Japanese cuisine, and the Anglo-Italian restaurant in The Garden Room. Doubles from £280. Book via beaverbrook.co.uk
English wine producers Hush Heath Estate in Kent are the makers of the award-winning sparkling wine Balfour Brut Rosé. At their winery in the Garden of England, tours and tastings are available of the 400-acre estate. Go for the free self-guided tour where you’ll be able to taste 3 different wines, or the private guided tour and tasting for 6 people which is a more detailed experience including a tutored tasting (perfect for groups who want to leave having learnt), or any other of the decadent tours available. Find out more and pick which one is right for you at hushheath.com.
A mere 9 minute drive from Hush Heath Estate, The Milk House offers more than just a convenient location. Hole up in the cosy bedrooms in the evening, relax on the terrace in the morning before your wine tour, and, if you’re there on a Wednesday, enjoy live music! Doubles from £80. Book via themilkhouse.co.uk
For a more boutique winery experience, visit Jenkyn Place in Hamshire’s North Downs. Tours are run for the public between October and December and are priced at £20, and you can also inquire about hosting a special event or function there. Wines made at Jenkyn Place are created using the traditional Champagne method and the end product is award-winning English sparkling wines. Book your experience via jenkynplace.com
Just a 24-minute drive to the winery, The Thomas Lord in the picture-perfect village of West Meon promises cosiness and comfort during your stay, denoted through the leather sofas, roaring log fire, and general rustic-style. There’s also a bar with an excellent range of ales, should your wine experience leave you parched and needing a more casual drink. Book via thethomaslord.co.uk
If you don’t want to travel to France to visit their wine estate in the Languedoc region, head to the North Downs of Kent to experience their English wine estate. From a Valentine’s special to ‘sunset sessions’, book an experience here that’ll teach you wine lovers all about how their product is made. Find out more via simpsonswine.com
The Five Bells Inn, a 25-minute drive from Simpson’s Wine Estate, has been renovated in a gorgeous modern-rustic style and serves delicious locally-sourced food and drink. Doubles from £120. Book via ramblinns.com