Great venues for gatherings of the clan
Be it a special birthday or anniversary, a hen or stag party, every large gathering is made more special when spent in beautiful surroundings with your closest friends and family. Happily, England handsomely provides for just such occasions with a plethora of lavish stately homes, beautiful country piles and stylish bolt-holes throughout the country all available for hire to groups who require a holiday home with a distinct wow factor.
Below are 10 of the country’s most spectacular establishments, each one certain to provide the sense of occasion deserved by your special celebration. Hills, this is a particularly pretty patch of English countryside. Attractions nearby include the town of Tiverton, the National Trust properties Knightshayes Court and Killerton, and the Devon Railway Centre. What to expect An unusual quirk of this protected property is that a “first responder” (who would help to evacuate the building in the event of a fire) is on site at all times. The attendee is discreet, however, and guests including families with young children should feel at ease throughout their stay despite the house’s heritage. Though there are plenty of original antiques on display, nothing in the house is too precious to touch. Standout feature The interior design is spectacular, and with more than 55 sofas spread throughout the property, a comfortable perch from which to enjoy the view is never far from hand. The rooms There isn’t a short straw to be pulled from Huntsham Court’s 34 elegant, characterful bedrooms – all are en suite and each has charm. Guests might find rooms with fourposters, original Victorian wallpaper or their own private harpsichord. Who it’s good for Those celebrating a very special occasion. Weddings are frequently held here – there’s even a church in the grounds – and all guests are provided with five hours’ assistance from an events planner before their stay to ensure the house caters to their requirements. How to book: From £8,500 for two nights’ weekday hire or from £11,100 for weekend hire with 19 of 34 bedrooms, sleeping 44 and six infants (huntshamcourt.co.uk; 01398 361277).