Lympstone Manor

Sip and stay: Vineyard Hotels

Move over Napa and forget the South of France – we discover some of the UK’s most beautiful vineyards, where you can explore the vines, sample delicious wines, and spend a night or two…

1. Lympstone Manor

Lympstone Manor shepherds hut
Lympstone Manor shepherds hut

With breathtaking views over the Exe Estuary, acclaimed chef Michael Caines MBE’s five-star luxury manor house hotel in Devon is home to 21 beautiful bedrooms, six luxurious shepherd’s huts, a Michelin starred restaurant and a stunning outdoor pool and ‘pool house’ brasserie. Caines’ passion for wine is fundamental to the Lympstone experience, with two basement cellars comprising 600 bins, a wine tasting room and a small vineyard, which guests are encouraged to explore at their leisure, or on a guided tour in the summer months. Its very first creation is the Triassic Pinot Noir 2020, a deliciously fruity red wine, which guests can sample in the bar or restaurant(s). Several of the beautiful bedrooms and luxurious shepherd’s huts have outdoor baths overlooking the vines, and with the vineyard’s first sparkling wine expected in 2023, there’s never been a better time to visit…

Rooms start at £360, → lympstonemanor.co.uk

2. Tinwood Estate

Tinwood Estate
Tinwood Estate. Image credit J.Richardson

Close to the cathedral city of Chichester in the heart of West Sussex, Tinwood Estate has a reputation for producing fabulous sparkling wines. With views over the vines, three deluxe lodges blend effortlessly into the rural surroundings. Each one contains an extra-large king-size bed facing floor-to-ceiling doors, which fully open onto a private deck. There’s also a huge bathroom with a walk-in rain shower and a two-person Jacuzzi bath complete with a TV. A welcome crate contains tea, coffee, fresh milk, and – most importantly – a bottle of Tinwood’s delicious wine and some homemade nibbles. Behind the lodges amid the trees is a barrel sauna for guest use, and the vineyard’s chic, contemporary tasting room and terrace is only a few yards away. Spring 2023 saw the arrival of a new on-site restaurant, which dishes up modern British tapas using local seasonal produce.

From £245 per night, → tinwoodestate.com

3. Oxney Estate

Oxney Estate Vineyard Cotttage
Vineyard Cottage. Copyright: Wojciech Ketz www.visionandphotography.com

At its picture-perfect Soil Association–certified vineyard in East Sussex, Oxney is the largest single-estate producer of English organic wine. Its 35 acres of vines produce around 20% of all organic grapes grown in the UK. Vineyard, winery and tasting tours take place all year-round, with the option to add a picnic lunch of local cheeses and Oxney’s very own charcuterie, all packed up in a rustic willow basket. Accommodation is similarly thoughtful; the stunning Vineyard House sleeps ten. An old farmhouse filled with quirky, characterful original features, it has been decorated in a stylish and serene Nordic style. Alternatively, there are two similarly stylish shepherd’s huts that overlook the vines; each has a double bed, small kitchen, bathroom and a lovely outside space, as well as a complimentary bottle of Oxney’s delicious organic wine.

Huts from £105 (two-night minimum stay), Vineyard House from £997 (three-night minimum stay), → oxneyestate.com 

4. Three Choirs Vineyard

Three Choirs Vineyard
Three Choirs Vineyard

In Gloucestershire, Three Choirs is one of England’s oldest vineyards. Today there are 75 acres of beautiful and abundant vines here, which make Three Choirs’ award-winning wines. It is also home to a state-of-the-art winery and eight light and airy bedrooms, with super king beds and private patios overlooking the vine-clad valley. A recent addition is three luxurious lodges; glass-walled and wood-framed, each one has a veranda on two sides with stunning views of the landscape, while a tempting roll-top bath awaits inside. Regular tours and tastings take place and, if you’re feeling peckish, head to the brasserie for some tapas style small plates, and a bottle of Gloucestershire’s finest.

Rooms start at £185, → three-choirs-vineyards.co.uk

5. Ryedale Vineyards

Ryedale Vineyards
Ryedale Vineyards. Image credit ANDY RICHARDS

Lovingly run by the Fletcher family at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds, Ryedale Vineyards is one of the most northerly commercial vineyards in the UK. Here, all aspects of wine production, from pruning and harvesting to pressing, fermenting, bottling and labelling are carried out by hand in a converted byre. Home to over 18,000 vines, the vineyard can be explored in an informal guided tour that also includes a visit to the winery and an opportunity to try Ryedale’s wines and ciders with a selection of local cheeses. After all that, you might need a lie down. Thankfully, there are two beautiful bedrooms, located in a chocolate-box farmhouse; Fox is a cosy room is tucked away in the eaves, and Pheasant has beautiful views over the Wolds. A full Yorkshire breakfast is included, and guests are welcome to help themselves to Ryedale’s tasty wines from the honesty bar.

Rooms start at £130, → ryedalevineyards.co.uk

6. Castlewood Vineyard

Bluebird Bus
Bluebird Bus. Image @GEORGE CHESTERTON

This beautiful boutique vineyard sits on the edge of the Axe Valley in East Devon and specialises in producing sparkling and still wines made by minimal interventional methods. Nestled beneath the ancient hill fort of Musbury Castle, Castlewood is lovingly tended to by the Corbett Family, who follow the philosophy of quality not quantity; their small batch wines undergo no filtration and are left to clarify naturally. The vineyard is also home to Newhouse and Wonover – two Grade 2-listed holiday cottages set in spacious, pretty gardens with gorgeous views. Both sleep six and have lovely period features, whilst Wonover also boats a wood-fired hot tub. But for a truly unique experience, book the Bluebird Bus – a former 1970’s Canadian school bus that has been lovingly converted into a completely private and ingeniously designed off grid getaway, complete with double bed, kitchen, bathroom, spacious living area and countryside views. Guests are encouraged to drop by the cellar door, wander up to the vineyards and enjoy a glass of Castlewood amongst the vines.

Wonover £742-£2467, Newhouse £679-£1883, Bluebird Bus £470-£836 (all per week, short breaks available on request), → castlewoodvineyard.co.uk

7. Wild Escapes

Black Chalk Vineyard
Black Chalk Vineyard. Image credit Daniel Alford 2015

Tucked away in the woods of Black Chalk Vineyard in Hampshire, Wild Escapes have created four stunning treehouses – the first ever to be built on a vineyard in the UK. Crafted using local materials and techniques that minimise their effect on the local land, each one looks out over rows and rows of picturesque vines. Inside, there are chic Scandi-style interiors, a luxurious double bed, a welcome hamper, a contemporary kitchen, and vast windows throughout, making the most of the stunning views. Outside on the terrace there’s a huge zinc bath – a perfect spot for sipping on a glass of chilled fizz made from the vines visible from the tub. If you can bear to tear yourself away, you might like to head over to the winery for lunch or a guided tasting.

From £274 per night, → wildescapes.com

8. Tillingham

Tillingham Winery
Tillingham Winery

Set amid 70 acres of rolling hills and woodlands near Rye in East Sussex, Tillingham Winery offers natural wine, seasonal food, and a choice of stylish accommodation. In what was formerly a hop barn, there are now 11 serene bedrooms with stunning views across the estate and original Victorian farmstead. All are beautiful, but Room 11, with its freestanding bathtub, is particularly special. In the summer months, two smart bell are erected in a peaceful, private spot behind the oast house; each one containing a king-size bed, private terrace, log burner, and fire pit.

Once you’ve unpacked, explore the vineyard and sample the delicious wines made here on a guided tour and tasting, before tucking into wood-fired pizza in the barn, or the four course garden menu in Tillingham’s beautiful field-to-fork restaurant.

Rooms start at £165, → tillingham.com

9. Denbies Wine Estate

Vineyard Restaurant and ‘Wine Library’
Vineyard Restaurant and ‘Wine Library’. Image @TonyHphoto2022

With 265 stunning acres and a production capacity of one million bottles, Denbies is one of England’s largest single-estate vineyards. Located just outside the historic market town of Dorking in Surrey, it’s also home to a 17-bedroom hotel, Vineyard Restaurant and ‘Wine Library’, all with fabulous views of the vines and surrounding Surrey Hills. Various vineyard tours and tastings take place daily, including The Secret Vineyard Tasting Trail, which is exclusively for hotel guests and a unique opportunity to explore areas of the vineyard not normally accessible to the general public. For a Napa Valley–esque experience, book one of the restaurant’s private cabanas for dinner, and enjoy locally sourced produce and wine produced on the estate while looking out across the vineyard.

Rooms start at £170, → denbies.co.uk

10. Rathfinny

Rathfinny Flint Barns In Vines
Flint Barns In Vines. Image ©Vivienne Blakey 2010

Renowned for producing some of the very best English sparkling wine in the world, Rathfinny Wine Estate in Sussex has also recently achieved B Corp status, meaning that its environmental and social impact is of the upmost priority. Its award-winning B&B is located in The Flint Barns – a cluster of characterful buildings. Here, guests can enjoy the picture-perfect landscape among contemporary, cosy furnishings; there are ten comfortable en-suite bedrooms, some with vineyard views, and there’s also a sleek restaurant, terrace, and cosy lounge area. Outside, guests can enjoy a glass of ‘Sussex Sparkling’ in the pretty courtyard, or on top of the open bank that overlooks the neat rows of vines. Vineyard and winery tours take place all year-round, and no stay would be complete without a portfolio tasting, where you’re able to try Rathfinny’s range of delicious Sussex wines and spirits.

Rooms start at £110, → rathfinnyestate.com

11. Jabajak

Jabajak
Jabajak

Set in seven acres of beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside, Jabajak is an award-winning vineyard, restaurant and rooms. Among rows of vines laden with grapes lies a beautifully restored farmhouse; there are three spacious suites and a five individually designed bedrooms all dotted around in nearby buildings. The Grainstore is a private hideaway in the eaves of The Smithy (a former blacksmith’s workshop), complete with vaulted ceiling and roll top bath. Elsewhere, the ground floor Garden Suite has a private terrace and direct access onto the vineyard. The relaxed restaurant serves up seasonal dishes created using local suppliers and a variety of ingredients from Jabajak’s own kitchen garden and honeybees. There’s also a cosy bar, and guests are welcome to sit out on the pretty patio or by the pond with a bottle of Jabajak’s award-winning Welsh wine and enjoy the stunning views of rolling countryside and local wildlife. Don’t miss the daily wine tasting talk.

Rooms start at £120, → jabajak.co.uk

12. Llanerch

Llanerch
Llanerch

Tucked away in peaceful Welsh countryside yet only 20 minutes from Cardiff city centre, Llanerch is a 6.5-acre vineyard and home to a 37-room hotel and restaurant. Its vineyard is the oldest in Wales and produces the grapes for Llanerch’s award-winning Cariad wines. There are regular tours and tastings, whilst the award-winning restaurant serves seasonal dishes using locally sourced ingredients, with tables overlooking the vines. Bedrooms are equally striking; located in Llanerch’s new hotel building, the spacious Superior Countryside Rooms have sweeping vistas over the sheep-dotted landscape, and each one has its own outdoor terrace or Juliet balcony.

From £70 room only, → llanerch.co.uk

Text by Sophie Farrah

You May Also Like