Fancy a weekend in the Cotswolds with no children running around? Read on for our Heythrop Park Hotel Review. The Cotswolds with their gentle rolling hills and villages filled with quaint honey coloured stone houses are quintessentially English. Two hours from London, the perfect place for a weekend break.
AD Paid partnership with Warner Hotels. We were guests of Warner Hotels, all opinions and my fondness for croquet our own.
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Heythrop Park – Country House Hotel with a Difference
At first glance Heythrop Park looks like any other country house hotel. Perfect manicured grounds. Grand salons, decorated stylishly. Surrounded by 440 acres of parkland. What makes Heythrop Park different is that it is adults only.
Heythrop Park is a Warner Hotel. I confess that that meant nothing to me prior to arriving at the hotel. Essentially everyone is on a dinner, bed and breakfast rate with a stunning array of entertainment included in your package. As we walked to our room the corridors were alive with people greeting each other who had met on previous Warner breaks. Everyone we talked to (the guests at Heythrop Park are a very friendly crowd) had been to at least one other Warner property and most many more.
What to expect at Heythrop Park
Heythrop Park is centred on a Georgian Baroque manor house. If you have a bedroom in the manor it will be a suite and very swish. Most of the other 311 rooms are housed in newer wings. We had a deluxe room in the north wing overlooking the final hole of the golf course. Good newMy only niggle, the toiletries were lovely but all in single use plastic bottles. More welcome the home baked cookie.
Arriving at Heythrop Park
You turn off the public road and through a pair of imposing gate posts. Then you drive for ages. Just as you think you must have taken a wrong turn a sign appears telling you not to fret. Continue to drive through the beautiful estate grounds. Eventually you arrive at a wooden building, this is where you check in from the comfort of your car. You will be given your room key and a leaflet outlining all the activities. Make sure you look at this over a cup of tea soon after your arrival so you don’t miss out on any quizzes, walking tours of the estate or day trips.
Heythrop Park: How it works
Once you have booked your stay at Heythrop Park login in the MyWarnerStay page of their website, there should be a link in your confirmation email. On there you can book where and when you want to eat and any experiences, spa treatments or golf. I would advise doing this as soon as possible. One person I spoke to had left it too late to book the Gin Tasting and the session was full, don’t fret they booked Cocktail Making instead and had a great time.
Food and Drink at Heythrop Park
During our stay at Heythrop Park we tried out all the dining options and loved them all. There are three restaurants all offering different vibes and bars dotted around the site ensuring that you need never go thirsty.
Definitely the poshest dining option at Heythrop Park housed in a beautiful suite of rooms in the manor house Brasserie 32 offers table service and a brasserie style menu. If you decide to opt for afternoon tea this is where it will be served.
Travelling Duke Pub and Kitchen
As you’d expect from the name the Travelling Duke offers pub style food and outside meal times is a bar. I opted for a prawn skewer and Mr CW devoured a shepherd’s pie.
Market Kitchen in the Orangery
Self service is the order of the day in the Market Kitchen. This is easily my preferred style for breakfast, no waiting and just select what you want. The menu changes three times a week in the evenings with a different region highlighted each time.
Late Lounge Bar and the Brassey Bar
In addition to the restaurants there are two bars. The Late Lounge Bar is in the midst of the entertainment area and generally open only in the evening. The Brassey Bar is also convenient for the theatre.
Who can resist afternoon tea, especially when taken in a beautiful baroque room. Sandwiches, scones and the cutest cakes all temptingly displayed on a stand. I concede that there were so many cakes that I asked for a doggy bag and ate them on the journey home. Afternoon tea is £17.50 with just tea or you can splash out a bit more for a glass of champagne.
Things to do at Heythrop Park
There are so many things to do at Heythrop Park, many of them included in the price of your stay. We didn’t have time to do everything. Mr CW wants to return to play golf.
Let’s start with the golf, you glimpse the golf course as you drive along the very long drive. It is a par 72, 18 hole Championship course. Each hole has a variety of tee options enabling you to tailor the course to your abilities. I always opt for the shortest option! A round of golf will cost you £30, if you’ve left your clubs behind don’t fret clubs are available to hire. There is also a driving range which is £5 a token.
Entertainment at Heythrop Park
The thing really sets Heythrop Park and indeed all Warner Hotels is the entertainment on offer. Heythrop has a proper theatre. The weekend we visited the Saturday night show was Ibiza in Symphony. You could sit in your comfortable chair, drink in hand but lots of people made straight for the dance floor. A little further along is the Late Lounge, with laid back seating and a stage.
I spent a lot of time in the spa. Swimming up and down the pool. Relaxing in the outdoor hotub. Steaming in the steam room (I love a steam room) and baking in the sauna. Mr CW made use of the gym with its fearsome machines but I prefer lengths of the pool. Use of the spa is inclusive, I especially liked the Dyson hairdryers in the changing rooms. I also took part in a Pilates class. After all that activity I decided I was worth a massage, which need to be booked and paid for.
Pride of place on the lawn in front of the manor house is a croquet lawn. Mallets and balls are available at all times. My grandfather had a croquet lawn and was a stickler for the rules. Even as tiny children we played rouquets. That means that I am a dull person to play croquet with as I try to adhere to the rules and find that most normal people just want to bash their way round.
You can stroll gently round the estate but with 440 acres to explore a bike is the best way to get to the furthest corners. We hired regular push bikes for £8 but others opted for electric bikes (£12.50) given that the estate is quite hilly a little extra help from a battery is no bad idea.
Archery and Shooting
Mr CW made a beeline for the archery class and laser pistol shooting. He was also keen to try out laser clay pigeon shooting and proper rifle shooting but ran out of time. All the shooting and archery is included.
When we were first exploring Heythrop Park I briefly lost Mr CW. When he eventually emerged it turned out that he had found a full sized snooker table and had felt it his duty to sink a few balls.
Gin tasting, Quizzes and much more
Make sure you look at the Welcome to Heythrop Park leaflet you are given when you check in as it details all of the many activities on offer. We took part in Tea Tasting (included) and splashed out on Gin Tasting (£17.50). We didn’t have time to join the quiz or to play any of the many board games on offer.
Heythrop Park: a quick history
Charles Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury went on holiday to Italy and loved it so much that he wanted his very own Baroque home. Heythrop Park is what he had built in 1706. In 1831 a fire ripped through the house destroying the fine baroque interior but leaving the walls standing. Forty years later Thomas Brassey gave the keys to his son as a wedding present and he restored it. In 1921 it became a Jesuit college and then 1960 Nat West took over the estate as a training college. In 1999 it became a hotel. Warner took over in 2018 and have just finished a multi million pound refurbishment.
Getting to Heythrop Park
Heythrop Park is a little north of Oxford just a short hop from the A44. Most guests arrive by car, it took us just over a couple of hours from Epsom. The nearest train station is Oxford Parkway, 14 miles away. Booking a stay at Heythrop Park is best done via the Warner website.
Affiliate link, if you book via the link above I will get a small sum of money
What to see near Heythrop Park
It would be very easy to come for the weekend to Heythrop Park and never leave the grounds. That would be a shame because the surrounding area is beautiful. We arrived early and visited Chipping Norton and her stunning church. Afterwards we meandered home via Blenheim Palace.
What we thought about Heythrop Park
Every member of staff that we met from the man who checked us in to the singer in the house band were universally lovely. Even more impressive, when I got home and realised that I had left our raincoats in the wardrobe and needed them urgently to take on holiday with us four days later. The coats were found and posted to us in time to head to rainy Austria. Guests at Heythrop Park are older than average but also massively more friendly. We really enjoyed the choice of entertainment in the evening.
Have you ever stayed at a Warner hotel?