Queen Lizzie has just rung in the big 9-0, and we’ve no doubt over the decades she’s hung her drawers in some seriously luxurious flopspots. In honour of the nonagenarian’s reign supreme, we’re counting down our top five Windsor-worthy retreats across the UK. One is amused…
The Gainsborough Bath Spa
You’ll dip more than your crown jewels into magisterial life while bathing in the natural, mineral-rich thermal pools this historic, UNESCO-listed city is famed for. You’ll feel like a goddess among mortals whether strutting about the Romanesque pillared pool area or lounging in your private bath spa suite. And after a hard day on the massage table, cuisine by Mich-starred Johann Lafer will put the pep back in your step.
Gainsborough Bath Spa, Beau St, Bath, UK. +44 122 535 8888, thegainsboroughbathspa.com.uk
The Witchery by the Castle
Melt into the shadows of this smouldery Gothic Tudor hideaway secreted away at the top of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Dark, velvet-strewn suites are fitted with romantic, dramatically draped four posters and bathtubs big enough for two, making this atmospheric C.16th merchant’s house just the spot for a right royal tryst. No need to eschew modernity altogether, however – look behind the tapestry for the concealed telly.
The Witchery, Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, UK. +44 131 225 5613, thewitchery.com
Belmond Royal Scotsman
Tartans on, pants off! Train travel’s never looked more steamy than aboard this nostalgic, Highlands-crossing carriage. Departing from Edinburgh, you’ll be whisked through the prettiest forests n’ lochs in all the kingdom while nibbling local delicacies (sans haggis, thank God) in the mahogany-panelled dining car. Post sups, retire to your sumptuously appointed ensuite cabin for nightcaps. Oh, behave.
Classic journeys are 4 nights/5 days. Book via belmond.com
Nothing separates hoi polloi quite like a full-blown castle complete with a previous owners’ manual starring three former Queens of England. Get your very own palatial stay at this private, fully-restored Warwickshire pad featuring mod cons aplenty beyond the charmingly crusty ancient exterior. Sleeps eight and boasts a dandy wood burning fireplace, so text the handmaidens and book well a-head (before you lose yours).
Sleeps 8. Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Book via landmarktrust.org.uk
Hotel 41, London
Can’t get past the guards at Buckingham Palace? Fret not, Pippa, check into 41 instead and get Royal Mews views a mere tiara toss from Liz n’ Phil’s. Round-the-clock butler service, fresh fruit and flowers, and a free-for-all pantry simply scream luxury, and best of all pets are welcome too. Ready the corgis, Jeeves!
41 Buckingham Palace Rd, London. +44 20 7300 0041, 41hotel.com