Gannet, St Ives, Cornwall
Catch the overnight train from Paddington to arrive at Carbis Bay station in time for breakfast and a stroll along the sand, before checking in to The Gannet – a chic hostel with a cozy bar lit by a fireplace and Elegant rooms with cream walls (book a “Spot the Gannet” Room for gorgeous sea views). Families are welcome, with cots and rollaway beds available. St Ives is a spectacular 30 minute walk along the coast and the C Spa at the nearby Carbis Bay Hotel offers a range of treatments.
Doubles from £265 B&B; gannetstives.co.uk
The Balmoral, Edinburgh
Spend some cash on a weekend trip to the beautiful Scottish outpost of Rocco Forte, a stone’s throw from Edinburgh’s Waverley Station. Originally built as a station hotel, the building features stately staircases, intricate plasterwork, and classical columns, which give the common areas an elegant Renaissance feel, despite being entirely Victorian. The rooms are characterized by the vibrant classicism of Olga Polizzi, making them the ideal place for restful nights after diving into the Whiskey Bar with 500 varieties or the classic brasserie dishes of Simon Lannon.
Doubles from £353 B&B; roccofortehotels.com
The Angel, Abergavenny
As the southern gateway to the Brecon Beacons, Abergavenny makes an ideal base for exploring the National Park, with walks, cycle routes and horse trails from the town. A classic coaching inn, the Angel is close to the station and offers a comfortable base with a lively bar and restaurant and one of the best afternoon teas in Wales. The bedrooms are luxurious, with pocket spring mattresses and Lewis & Wood fabrics.
Double from £160 room only; angelabergavenny.com
Hampton Manor, Hampton to Arden, Solihull
This 19th-century country mansion set in 40 acres of woodland is a 5-minute walk from Hampton-in-Arden train station and 15 minutes from Birmingham by train. A family-run hotel, it’s also a foodie’s paradise, with an on-site baker and nutritionist among its charming staff. The rooms are elegant, with William Morris wallpaper and antique furniture, but the restaurants are the ultimate treat, whether it’s the Michelin-starred tasting menu at Peel or hearty meat dishes grilled over embers at Smoke. .
Double from £215 for bed and breakfast; hamptonmanor.com
The Great, York
A five-minute walk from York Station, this grand Edwardian building was the former headquarters of the North Eastern Railway and is now the city’s most luxurious address. Service is everything here; a veritable army of concierges, doormen and waiters are on hand, with fine dining on offer at Legacy – a glorious room with original oak paneling and blueprint murals – or more informal brasserie fare in the Rise. The rooms are large and extremely comfortable.
Doubles from £152 B&B; thegrandyork.co.uk
The Mansion, Moreton-in-Marsh, The Cotswolds
One of the few towns in the Cotswolds with a train station, Moreton is just 90 minutes from Paddington, with the charming Manor House hotel just a short walk across town. Dating back to the 16th century, it exudes country-house chic without a hint of chintz, while the Beagle Brasserie and more formal Mulberry Restaurant offer indulgent dining after a day of exploring. Dogs are welcome and the walled garden is a happy retreat.
Doubles from £200 B&B; cotswold-inns-hotels.co.uk
The Northcote, Langho, Lancashire
Many visitors to the Northcote come for the Michelin-starred dining room, housed in a cozy mansion an eight-minute walk from Langho station. Room rates include a five-course dinner (and a vegetarian equivalent), with wine pairings available. The spectacular landscapes of the Forest of Bowland are right outside the door, criss-crossed by footpaths, ideal for taking out some wickedly gourmet meals.
Doubles from £410 dinner, B&B; northcote.com
The Great, Brighton
True to its name since a glitzy refurbishment a few years ago, Brighton’s grand dame enjoys a prime seafront position, just 15 minutes’ walk from the station and with all parts of the city – Kemptown, the Lanes and the bohemian Laine Zone north – right on the doorstep. Rooms have a pleasant art deco feel, while afternoon tea on the Victoria Terrace is a must – often best on windy days, when you can watch the waves crashing from your seat.
Doubles from £215 B&B; grandbrighton.co.uk
Colwall Park Hotel, Malvern, Worcestershire
A classic country house surrounded by the rolling peaks of the Malvern Hills, Colwall is ideal for those looking for a car-free weekend walk, with Colwall train station just minutes away. The hotel can provide hiking maps and picnic lunches, with a path through the hotel grounds leading directly into the hills. Back at the base, the 22 rooms are comfortable, dogs are accepted in some. The fireplace-lit bar and lively restaurant offer hearty pub fare.
Doubles from £85 B&B; colwall.com
Carey Manor, Brockenhurst, Hampshire
Get off the train at Brockenhurst station and you’ll find yourself in the heart of the New Forest, with passing ponies and large tracts of woodland on all sides. Carey’s Manor is just a short walk away: a classic mansion that boasts a top-notch spa, with a full hydrotherapy suite and Thai restaurant, Zen Garden, plus contemporary British fare at Cambium. The hotel has one of the most extensive collections of English wines in the country, and there are lovely forest walks directly from the door.
Doubles from £180 B&B; careysmanor.com