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12 Hotels You MUST Stay at on Britain's Walking Trails

After a hard day of walking, the promise of good food and a comfortable bed make all the difference. With 15 years’ experience of arranging self-guided walking holidays on Britain’s long-distance walking trails, we know a thing or two about where to find the best places to stay. 

From ancient inns with roaring fires and fabulous food to remote boltholes with stylish decor and jaw-dropping views, read on to discover 12 unique hotels which guarantee a memorable overnight stay on your walking holiday.

 

Kingshouse Hotel, Glencoe - West Highland Way

Nestled between the majestic mountains of Glencoe and the bleak wilderness of Rannoch Moor, the legendary Kingshouse Hotel has been welcoming weary travellers for over 400 years. It is steeped in history, having been used after the Battle of Culloden in 1745 as barracks for the government troops of King George II (hence the name ‘King’s House’), and historic figures such as Charles Dickens and William Wordsworth have enjoyed the hospitality here.

The Kingshouse reopened in February 2019 following a £12 million revamp, bringing it up to an exceptional modern standard of accommodation. With wild deer roaming outside and jaw-dropping views of Buachaille Etive Mòr, this is an unforgettable stopover on the West Highland Way.

 
 
 
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La Rosa Hotel, WhitbyCleveland Way

This elegant period townhouse on Whitby’s West Cliff is a must-stay for classic literature fans. Once a favourite haunt of Lewis Carroll and facing the Abbey ruins which inspired Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, La Rosa Hotel's interior has been designed for romance, escapism and fantasy.

Each unique room is themed on a Whitby connection, including Bram Stoker, Captain Cook, and Lewis Carroll himself, boasting thrift-shop antiques, ornaments, and art, from ornate four-poster beds to old anatomical posters. A breakfast hamper stuffed with scones, fruit, eggs and yoghurt will set you up for a day of hiking the wonderful Cleveland Way.

 
 
 
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The Gurnard’s Head, near Zennor - South West Coast Path

The stylish and cosy Gurnard’s Head is a haven of tranquillity on the wild and rugged Atlantic coast of Cornwall. The author D.H. Lawrence lived nearby for a time and described the area as being “the most beautiful place, lovelier even than the Mediterranean”.

After a day of tackling the undulating headlands of the South West Coast Path, the bright yellow exterior of the Gurnard’s Head is a welcome sight. The food is delicious and locally-sourced, and the bedrooms feature local art, warm, Welsh blankets, and incredibly comfy beds. We guarantee you will not want to leave!

 
 
 
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Llanthony Priory Hotel, Llanthony - Offa’s Dyke Path

Among the most unique locations for any accommodation in Britain, this hotel sits directly under the magnificent 12th-century ruins of Llanthony Priory in the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park.

Nestled amongst the Black Mountains, a stay at this hotel is a step back in time with the comfortable but basic rooms befitting a 12th-century priory. There’s no television, no Wi-Fi, no mobile phone signal, no en-suite bathrooms (shower rooms are reached via a spiral staircase) - but the incredible location and warm Welsh welcome more than makes up for the lack of amenities.

 
 
 
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Tan Hill Inn, near Reeth - Pennine Way

You might just spend longer than you think at Britain’s highest pub. Sitting high on a windswept hill in the Yorkshire Dales, visitors regularly get stranded at the Tan Hill Inn for days at a time due to heavy snow, while walkers tackling the gruelling Pennine Way have been known to abandon the hike and sign up for a seasonal job at the pub.

With its exposed beams, local ales, and welcoming fire - there are far worse places to get stuck!

 
 
 
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Highlander Inn, Craigellachie - Speyside Way

The picturesque region of Speyside is Scotland’s malt whisky country, laying claim to the highest concentration of whisky distilleries in the world, including Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and The Macallan.

In this land of whisky galore, the Highlander Inn stands out due to Japanese owner Tatsuya Minagawa, who moved to Scotland to follow his passion for whisky. The bar at the Highlander Inn is home to more than 400 whiskies, including the largest selection of Japanese whiskies outside Southeast Asia - ideal to wash down a hearty meal from the restaurant, which serves locally-sourced dishes like fresh fish from the nearby Moray Firth.

 
 
 
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The Queensberry Hotel, Bath - Cotswold Way

You’ll be due a celebratory meal after completing the 102 mile Cotswold Way, and where better than at Bath’s only Michelin star restaurant? The Olive Tree restaurant is part of the Queensberry Hotel, which is run by husband-and-wife team Laurence and Helen Beere.

The stylish hotel spans four of Bath’s quintessential honey-coloured Georgian townhouses - a more than fitting place to stay in a city as refined as Bath. If you can ever drag yourself away from the comforts of the hotel, you’re only a short walk away from Bath Abbey, Pulteney Bridge, and the Jane Austen Centre.

 
 
 
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Sligachan Hotel, Sligachan - Skye Trail

This famous old drover’s inn at the foot of the Cuillin mountain range provides an ideal shelter from the unpredictable elements of the Isle of Skye. The Sligachan is ridiculously rich in climbing history and even contains its own museum!

The expansive Seumas’ Bar has a casual vibe: an ideal spot to rest and recuperate with a bite to eat after a day on the Skye Trail. The hotel sits adjacent to the Cuillin Brewery, so there’s no shortage of excellent local beer to sample while soaking up the sensational views.

 
 
 
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The Hawes Inn, South Queensferry - John Muir Way

Sitting in the shadow, quite literally, of the famous 19th century Forth Bridge, this old inn has a long history stretching back to 1793. Robert Louis Stevenson reportedly stayed in Room 13 while writing his famous novel, Kidnapped, in 1886. The seaside setting at South Queensferry provided lots of inspiration for this adventurous tale, and the Hawes Inn even appears in chapter five of the book.

Today, the Hawes Inn has the feel of a lovely country pub, with satisfying food and cask ales. There is a roaring log fire for the winter and a pretty beer garden for the summer months.

 
 
 
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De Vere Devonport House, Greenwich - Thames Path

Situated in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Greenwich, London, the handsome red-bricked Georgian building of De Vere Devonport House blends seamlessly into its historic surroundings. 

A stone's throw from the Thames Path, the maritime connections are everywhere you look. The pretty hotel gardens feature a small cemetery where Admiral Hardy, flag captain to Admiral Lord Nelson is buried, whilst the National Maritime Museum is directly next door, and the Cutty Sark just minutes’ walk away.

 
 
 
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Gigha Hotel, Isle of GighaKintyre Way

Although not technically on the Kintyre Way, a 20-minute ferry ride from Tayinloan will transport you to Isle of Gigha - a highly recommended detour from the trail. Gigha is the most southerly of the Hebridean Islands and one of the most beautiful. In 2002, the tiny isle was bought by its 160 inhabitants.

The community also own and run the Gigha Hotel, where you’re assured of a warm, island welcome. The bar is a favourite with locals, visitors, and visiting yachtsmen, and is a great place to relax and watch colourful yachts sailing past into Ardminish Bay.

 
 
 
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House O’Hill Hotel, Bargrennan - Southern Upland Way

Choosing somewhere to stay while walking through the Galloway Forest Park on the Southern Upland Way is never an agonising decision - there is only one place to choose from! Thankfully, House O’Hill Hotel in Bargrennan (affectionately known as “The Hoose”) is first-rate.

People flock from far and wide to the restaurant, which serves high-end food in a relaxed atmosphere. Think freshly-caught shellfish and wild venison straight from the Galloway Hills. House O’Hill is also a perfect spot for star-gazing, being located in Britain's first official Dark Skies Park.

 
 
 
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If you'd like to experience one of Britain's wonderful long-distance walking trails, Absolute Escapes offer self-guided walking holidays which include excellent accommodation, daily baggage transfers, guidebook/map, and a full information pack. Send us an enquiry - we’d love to help you plan your unforgettable walking holiday!

Scott Smyth

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