Thinking of visiting England’s wine regions this year but not sure where to start? Read on to learn what makes each region special, plus some of our favorite vineyard hotels, wine tasting experiences and even archeological sites within each.
Welcome to the flourishing world of English wines, a historic wine destination where tradition meets innovation amidst the picturesque landscapes of the British Isles. As a #Winetraveler, you’re in for a delightful journey through England’s varied and enchanting wine regions. In recent years, the UK wine industry has experienced a remarkable renaissance, transforming the United Kingdom into a noteworthy player in the global wine trade. From sun-kissed vineyards in East Anglia to the rolling hills of southern England, each region reveals an almost mythical range of flavors and experiences, beckoning wine enthusiasts, history buffs and adventurers alike to explore and indulge.
In This Guide
- Cornwall and Devon
- Thames and Chilterns
- Archeological Sites, Hotels & Winery Trip Ideas Near English Wine Country
- Pin This Article for Later on Pinterest
What Makes England’s Wine Regions Special?
The cool, maritime climate of the UK, influenced by the Gulf Stream, provides an ideal environment for a diverse range of grape varieties. Classic Champagne grapes like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier thrive in the chalky soils of South East England, mirroring the terroir of the famous Champagne region of France. These conditions have led to the production of exceptional English sparkling wine, crafted using the traditional method, and rivaling their continental counterparts in quality and finesse.
In the sunniest regions with south-facing slopes, varieties like Seyval Blanc and Pinot Blanc thrive, further contributing to the spectrum of white wines that characterize English viticulture. The influence of climate change and global warming has allowed for experimentation with new grape varieties, including Pinot Gris and Madeleine Angevine, further diversifying the offerings of English vineyards. This climatic shift has also favored the cultivation of red wine varieties, with Pinot Noir currently leading the charge, especially in areas like the North Downs and the counties of Norfolk.
The South West of England, particularly regions like the Camel Valley and the famous white cliffs of Dover, offers a unique blend of maritime climate and diverse soils, resulting in high-quality wines with distinct character. Here, the limestone chalk soils include visible remnants of ancient marine fossils, adding a unique minerality to the wines. Vineyards like Denbies Wine Estate and Hush Heath Estate stand out for their innovation and have further advanced the quality of the modern English wine industry.
Wine Tourism in England
Wine tourism in England has become a significant draw, with vineyard tours and wine tasting sessions providing an immersive experience into the heart of English winemaking. From guided tours in the vineyards of the Surrey Hills to the scenic coastline of Kent, #Winetravelers can get a glimpse into the growing buzz surrounding UK wines. The southeastern corner of England, particularly Sussex and Kent, currently holds the greatest concentration of vineyards, offering a plethora of opportunities for wine lovers to explore and savor the flavors of English wines.
As you embark on this journey through England’s wine regions, you’ll encounter a world rich in history and tradition, from Roman times to the modern era. The wine trade here is not just about producing bottles of Blanc de Blancs or Rosé wine; it’s about embracing the wine world’s evolving dynamics, influenced by cooler climates, changing average temperatures, and the adventurous spirit of English wine producers.
Join us on a tour through England’s first commercial vineyards, where the marriage of classic techniques and innovative practices has placed the UK firmly on the wine world’s map. From Chapel Down Winery in the southeastern corner to the scenic vineyards of the Surrey Hills, each destination offers a unique story, a different blend, and an invitation to experience the rich range of English wines.
England’s Primary Wine Regions, Vineyard Visits & Beautiful Hotels
England has several official wine regions recognized under the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) schemes, similar to the AOC in France. These designations ensure the quality and geographical authenticity of the wine.
Sussex just recently achieved PDO status for a few of its vineyards in 2016, but has likely been producing wine for over 2,000 years. More recently renowned for its sparkling wines, Sussex’s vineyards are set against the backdrop of the South Downs and the English Channel. The region’s chalky soil, similar to that of Champagne, contributes to the high quality of its sparkling wines.
According to the UK’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs wine team, “The cooler climate and longer growing season gives rise to crisp lemon citrus and green apple acidity from the chardonnays, while the pinot’s can have a more earthy mix of red berry and baked apple flavors, producing wines that are clean and fresh, yet have depth and are complex, with a richness in character. The longer on-lees bottle aging produces wines with developed autolytic notes of brioche, fresh toast, melon, baked brioche and honey aromas on the nose and palate.”
Exploring Sussex’s wine country involves meandering through remarkable landscapes, with stops at various vineyards to savor their renowned fizz.
Local Accommodation Near Wineries in Sussex
For those seeking a deeper understanding of the winemaking world of Sussex, there are several excellent accommodation options available, each offering a unique experience. For instance, the Oxney Organic Estate, within the picturesque High Weald AONB, is the UK’s largest single estate organic vineyard. It provides guests with the opportunity to stay in charming cottages, converted barns, or cozy shepherd’s huts amidst scenic vineyards and rolling hills.
Tillingham, another notable estate, offers a blend of traditional and modern accommodations, including B&B rooms in a converted hop barn and luxury bell tents for summer visitors, set among 70 acres of hills and woodlands.
For those preferring a coastal retreat, The Gallivant in East Sussex, renovated to resemble rustic Californian motels, offers chic rooms with white-washed wood exteriors. It’s an ideal spot for those who appreciate environmentally friendly practices and local sourcing. “Happiness is a place,” as they like to say.
Similarly, the Flint Barns in the Cradle Valley of South Downs National Park is a cozy farmhouse hotel, located on the western end of Rathfinny Wine Estate, is perfect for groups of all sizes, offering home-cooked meals close to the rolling hills and vineyards.
The Tinwood Estate, located near the cathedral city of Chichester and the beaches of the Witterings, offers lodges with luxurious amenities and beautiful sunset views.
For a more opulent experience, the South Lodge, a 5-star estate, features individually designed rooms, a spa and a range of dining options, set on 93 acres of gardens, lakes, and woodlands.
Best Wineries in the Sussex Wine Region
In terms of vineyard visitations, the Bolney Wine Estate, one of Sussex’s oldest vineyards, provides a range of tours and events with a café offering local foods and wines. Nutbourne Vineyard, owned by the Gladwin family, features a self-guided vineyard trail and a unique tasting room in a windmill. The Rathfinny Wine Estate is known for its high-quality Sussex sparkling wines and offers guided tours with lunch and tastings. Carr Taylor Vineyard offers an immersive experience with group tours and tastings, highlighting its historic role in the evolution of English wine.
More Wine Tour Options in Sussex
Often referred to as the “Garden of England,” Kent’s lush, fertile lands produce both sparkling and still wines of high caliber. The region’s vineyards rest among historic estates and orchards, offering a scenic drive through the countryside. The experience here is a blend of wine tasting and exploring the rich history of the area.
If you’re looking to get a true sense of the wine culture in Kent, several vineyards offer more than just tastings. Squerryes, for instance, is a must-visit with its winery, craft brewery, deli, and farm shop, offering a glimpse into the region’s viticulture. Also worth visiting is Balfour Winery on Hush Heath Estate, which is a winery and visitor center offering tutored tastings and a chance to explore the surrounding ancient woodlands.
For the Winetraveler seeking a more comprehensive gastronomic experience, Kent offers a variety of foodie hotels. The Marquis at Alkham near Dover is a standout with its emphasis on local produce and a menu featuring the best of Kentish fare.
The Milk House in Sissinghurst, a favorite among locals, is another great choice, offering a seasonal menu sourced within a 20-mile radius and a selection of local wines.
Wine Tours in England’s Kent Wine Country
This region’s boutique vineyards are set in the beautiful Surrey Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Surrey offers a range of wines, including noteworthy sparkling varieties. The best way to experience Surrey’s wine scene is by visiting its family-owned vineyards, which provide a more intimate and personalized wine tasting experience.
Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking is about the experience. Wander through the vines and feel the gentle breeze on your face as you learn about the journey from grape to glass. Denbies makes you feel like you’re living in a landscape painting.
Greyfriars Vineyard, on the gentle slopes of the North Downs, epitomizes the elegance of English sparkling wine. Visiting Greyfriars is like stepping into a world where time slows down. The vineyard’s charm lies not just in its wines but in the serene beauty of its surroundings.
Albury Organic Vineyard offers a unique experience in the heart of Surrey. This small, family-run vineyard is a hidden gem where the charm of organic winemaking comes to life. Meeting the people who pour their hearts into the vineyard, hearing their stories, and walking among the vines, you’ll feel a connection to the land that’s as real and authentic as the taste of their wines.
Local Accommodation & Wineries in Surrey
Thinking of staying? Visitors exploring the boutique vineyards in the Surrey Hills AONB will find a variety of unique accommodations to enhance their wine tasting experience. It’s an ideal place to post up for a few days and slowly traverse the countryside.
For a luxurious stay, consider the Beaverbrook in Leatherhead. Set on a sophisticated 470-acre estate, it offers stunning views of the Surrey Hills. The estate comprises three buildings: the House, the Garden House, and the Coach House, each exuding classic country charm with a focus on art. The estate also includes excellent dining options and a spa. You can even go ice skating through the months of November and January.
For those seeking a more intimate setting, The Nest in Ranmore is an ideal choice. This stylish AirBnB garden cottage offers a tranquil getaway with rustic interior design, vaulted ceilings, and a sun trap patio. It features a private outdoor heated swimming pool with breathtaking views of the Surrey Hills and Leith Hill Tower.
Guildford Manor, located near the beauty spot of Newlands Corner, is a boutique spa hotel that offers a luxurious escape. With a variety of rooms, spa facilities, and a restaurant serving traditional and hearty dishes, it’s a perfect spot for relaxation and indulgence.
Barnett Hill, an Alexander Hotels property, stands as a chic and modern retreat. Its 56 boutique rooms, suites, and residences, adorned with trendy designer furnishings, span across the Mansion House, Courtyard, and Gardener’s Cottage, catering to a variety of preferences. Whether it’s a romantic stay in a four-poster suite or a countryside getaway with your dog in the dog-friendly Courtyard rooms, Barnett Hill offers a stylish escape for all. Images courtesy Barnett Hill Hotel.
Barnett Hill Hotel in Guildford offers chic and contemporary design within a traditional red brick building. The hotel features spacious rooms with plush beds and chairs, and its Oak Room Restaurant serves locally sourced ingredients from the Surrey Hills.
For those preferring a more traditional and cozy atmosphere, The Plough Inn in the village of Coldharbour serves as a cozy haven in the Surrey Hills. This traditional country pub offers several en-suite rooms with a light and airy feel, complemented by large windows overlooking the local countryside. The pub sources fresh ingredients from its own vegetable garden and local sources for its seasonally produced menu.
Hampshire is also a sparkling wine haven, blending traditional and modern winemaking techniques. The county’s vineyards are spread across rolling hills and historic towns.
Hambledon Vineyard is England’s oldest commercial vineyard. It’s steeped in history and is a pioneer in English winemaking. A visit here is like stepping back in time but with a modern twist. The vineyard offers comprehensive tours. Learn about the influence of climate change on viticulture and the nuances of the traditional method used in their sparkling wine production. It’s an experience that marries the past with the present, culminating in a tasting session where the quality of their wines speaks for itself.
Hattingley Valley is a family-owned winery that epitomizes the modern spirit of the UK wine industry. At Hattingley Valley, innovation meets tradition, with a focus on producing high-quality English sparkling wines. The vineyard tour here is an intimate affair, offering insights into their sustainable practices and the effects of the cooler climates of Hampshire on their wine. Their tasting room is a cozy haven where you can enjoy their exquisite range of wines, including their flagship Blanc de Blancs.
Exton Park Vineyard is set on the rolling hills of the South Downs. With a unique approach to winemaking, including sea-aged wines, this vineyard focuses on expressing the distinct character of their 60-acre single vineyard. Their guided tour is an educational journey through the art of blending different harvests to create wines with depth and complexity.
Local Accommodation & Wineries in Hampshire
Exploring Hampshire’s wine region is complemented by staying in some of the county’s charming accommodations. For a cozy and traditional setting, The East End Arms in Lymington is a great choice. It’s a country pub with rooms, known for its excellent wine list and delicious food options. The atmosphere is warm, especially with a pint of local ale by the wood-burning fire. It also features five elegantly furnished bedrooms, ensuring a comfortable stay.
Another notable option is The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu, New Forest. This hotel provides a blend of traditional country house charm and excellent service. With its picturesque setting, cozy rooms, and a renowned restaurant that celebrates the local larder, it’s a perfect retreat for food and wine lovers.
For those seeking a luxurious experience, Careys Manor & Spa in Brockenhurst is an ideal destination. Known for its award-winning Thai SenSpa and three restaurants offering a range of cuisines, it’s a place for relaxation and indulgence. The hotel’s setting in the New Forest adds to its charm and provides a serene backdrop for your stay.
Rhinefield House Hotel, hidden away in the heart of the New Forest, offers a grand and romantic setting. Built in 1887, this Gothic-style country house features stunning ornamental gardens, an outdoor pool, and a small health suite. Its luxurious rooms and suites make it a popular choice for special events and weddings.
Lastly, for those visiting Hambledon Vineyard, a partnership with Lime Wood offers a luxurious escape. This retreat includes a stay at Lime Wood, indulgent dining at HH&Co, use of the Herb House Spa, and a full English breakfast, providing a comprehensive and upscale experience.
Though smaller in wine production, Dorset’s vineyards produce both sparkling and still wines, including aromatic whites. The region’s scenic beauty, with its close proximity to the dramatic Jurassic Coast, makes for a splendid backdrop for wine exploration. Dorset’s wineries are ideal for those looking to discover emerging wine styles in picturesque settings.
Furleigh Estate is situated in the heart of the Dorset countryside and is a true gem, offering a delightful range of both still and sparkling wines. Enjoy a guided tour that touches on the nuances of their winemaking process, showcasing how the unique soil types and microclimate contribute to the distinct flavors of their wines. The estate’s tastings, set in a beautiful barn conversion, provide an intimate setting to sip and savor.
Langham Wine Estate is tucked into the rolling hills of Dorset and is renowned for its traditional method sparkling wines. The vineyard tour here offers insights into the meticulous care and sustainable practices that go into each bottle. Sitting on their terrace, sipping a glass of their exquisite bubbly, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the vine-clad landscape. There’s also a vineyard cafe to enjoy.
Melbury Vale Winery, a family-owned winery located near the historic town of Shaftesbury, offers a more personal touch. At Melbury Vale, you can enjoy a relaxed wine tasting in their cozy cellar door, set against the backdrop of the lush Dorset countryside. The winery is known for its commitment to low-intervention winemaking, producing wines that truly reflect the local terroir.
English Oak Vineyard is set in a picturesque location near Poole. Their guided tours provide an insightful look into the vineyard’s eco-friendly approach, followed by tastings of their elegant sparkling wines. The vineyard’s tranquil setting makes it a perfect spot for a leisurely afternoon of wine exploration.
Local Accommodation & Wineries in Dorset
Exploring Dorset’s wine region can be paired with stays in a variety of unique and charming accommodations. For a glamping experience, Loose Reins in Blandford Forum offers a unique stay on an American-style ranch. It features standalone log cabins complete with horse riding, a cozy atmosphere, and a close connection to nature.
Another glamping option is Caalm Camp in Shaftesbury, where traditional Mongolian yurts set in tranquil fields provide a peaceful countryside getaway. These yurts are well-furnished and offer a blend of rustic charm and comfort.
If you’re looking for a boutique hotel experience, The Christchurch Harbour Hotel and Spa in Christchurch is an excellent choice. This harborfront hotel is known for its multi-award-winning restaurant, The Jetty, and offers rooms with free gin and sherry.
The Grosvenor Arms, located in the old market town of Shaftesbury, offers a mix of history and contemporary comfort, making it ideal for English history enthusiasts.
The Fontmell is another boutique hotel, ideal for wildlife lovers, located close to the Collyer’s Brook Nature Reserve.
For those seeking luxury, 10 Castle Street in the village of Cranborne offers a stay in a Grade II-listed Palladian mansion, complete with an impressive art collection. The Ollerod, set in the village of Beaminster, is perfect for art aficionados, featuring works from the local art community. The Bull Hotel in Bridport is a great option for dedicated drinkers, offering a wide choice of drinks from cask ales to crafted cocktails.
Finally, The Seaside Boarding House in Burton Bradstock provides a unique stay on the Jurassic Coast, blending Edwardian style with modern comfort. The Nici in Bournemouth offers a retro and vibrant atmosphere, while The Eastbury in Sherborne is a traditional luxury hotel with contemporary chic rooms. The Pig on the Beach in Studland Bay and Moonfleet Manor in Weymouth are other excellent options, each offering unique experiences and scenic views.
Cornwall and Devon
These southwestern regions benefit from unique microclimates, contributing to the distinct character of their wines. The coastal influence is evident in the wines produced here. Exploring these areas often involves scenic drives along the coastline, punctuated with stops at vineyards that offer tastings with stunning sea views.
In the heart of Cornwall, Camel Valley Vineyard is a family-run winery renowned for its award-winning wines. The vineyard takes full advantage of Cornwall’s sunniest regions, producing exceptional still and sparkling wines. Tasting sessions on their sun-drenched terrace overlooking the Camel Valley are a highlight.
Overlooking the River Dart, Sandridge Barton is also celebrated for its range of still and sparkling wines, crafted using both traditional and newer grape varieties to the region. Their vineyard tours offer a fascinating insight into their sustainable practices, followed by tastings of their diverse portfolio.
Located near the famous Eden Project, Knightor Winery offers a delightful experience with its historic buildings and beautiful grounds. Known for their quality still and sparkling wines, including varieties like Madeleine Angevine and Pinot Gris, Knightor offers informative tours and tastings. The winery also hosts regular events and has an on-site restaurant where visitors can enjoy locally-sourced dishes and pairings.
Local Accommodation & Wineries in Cornwall and Devon
In Cornwall, consider staying in Truro, a central location with access to local amenities. The Falmouth Hotel in Cornwall offers stunning sea views and proximity to the beach, ideal for those seeking a coastal experience. In Devon, accommodations like the Tavistock House Hotel on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park offer a blend of rural beauty and town convenience, perfect for exploring both the wine region and the natural landscapes.
The vineyards in Essex County, though less frequented, offer quality and variety. Exploring Essex’s wine country is a journey of discovery, perfect for those seeking off-the-beaten-path wine experiences.
Located near the picturesque town of Colchester, Dedham Vale Vineyard is a hidden gem in the heart of Essex. The vineyard’s serene setting makes it an ideal spot for picnics and leisurely afternoons.
Established in the 1960s, New Hall is one of the oldest vineyards in Essex. This family-run vineyard is renowned for its award-winning wines, particularly its varietals of Pinot Noir and Bacchus. Set in a picturesque location, New Hall is a perfect example of Essex’s combination of heritage and modern wine production.
Also in the heart of Essex, West Street Vineyard is a modern winery known for its eco-friendly approach. Indulge in a wine tasting experience that showcases a variety of wines, including sparkling and aromatic whites. The vineyard also features a delightful restaurant with a menu that pairs perfectly with their wines.
Overlooking the River Crouch, with the motto “come for the wine, stay for the view,” Crouch Ridge Vineyard offers stunning views and many high-quality wines.
Local Accommodation & Wineries in Essex
You can find a range of lodging choices in Essex that cater to different preferences and provide a great base for exploring local vineyards.
For those seeking a luxurious and immersive vineyard experience, Toppesfield Vineyard offers contemporary, eco-friendly accommodation. Their Scandi-style villa overlooks the vineyard and features high-tech amenities, including Alexa-controlled services and high-speed broadband. The villa includes luxury bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a private patio, an outdoor cooking area with a BBQ and pizza oven, and even a 4-person jacuzzi. It’s an ideal choice for those looking to indulge in a high-end, wine-focused stay.
In addition to vineyard-specific accommodations, Essex offers a variety of hotels and B&Bs in picturesque locations such as Colchester, known for its historical significance and proximity to several vineyards. You can choose from family-run inns to more luxurious hotels, depending on your preferences.
Thames and Chilterns
This region, encompassing the Thames Valley and the Chiltern Hills, offers a variety of wines, including notable sparkling varieties. The experience here is characterized by gentle drives through scenic landscapes and historic towns, with plenty of opportunities to stop and taste the local produce.
Stanlake Park Wine Estate in the Thames Valley is a must-visit. This historic vineyard, housed on an estate dating back to Roman times, offers a wide range of wines, including exquisite English sparkling wines. The picturesque setting amidst the vine-clad estate offers a tranquil backdrop for wine lovers.
Chiltern Valley Winery and Brewery in the Chiltern Hills combines traditional methods with innovative techniques to produce an array of wines, ales, and liqueurs. A tour here offers insights into the art of winemaking and brewing, followed by tastings in their cozy cellar door. The experience is both educational and enjoyable.
Harrow & Hope Vineyard and Winery, located near Marlow, is a family-run estate specializing in sparkling wine. Their vineyard tours give an intimate view of their passion and dedication to winemaking, where visitors can explore the vineyards, the winery, and enjoy tastings of their premium sparkling wines. The breathtaking views of the rolling hills add to the charm of the visit.
Brightwell Vineyard, near Wallingford, offers a unique experience in one of the UK’s sunniest regions. Specializing in a variety of white and red wines, their vineyard tours and tastings are a journey through the flavors of the local terroir. The vineyard’s location on the banks of the River Thames makes it a perfect spot for a leisurely afternoon of wine exploration.
Local Accommodation in the Thames Valley and the Chiltern Hills
Exploring the Thames Valley and the Chiltern Hills wine region is an experience enhanced by the diverse and charming accommodations available. In the Chiltern Hills, each lodging option offers a unique blend of luxury, comfort, and rural beauty. The Crown Inn in Amersham, a former coaching inn, marries historical charm with modern design. It’s an ideal stay for those who appreciate the blend of the past and the present, with stylish rooms and gourmet dining experiences. Meanwhile, Handywater Cottage in Henley-on-Thames epitomizes the essence of country living with its peaceful setting and homemade breakfasts, showcasing the warmth of British hospitality.
For a more adventurous stay, Shillingridge Glamping in Lower Woodend presents a luxurious glamping experience in the heart of nature. These safari lodges offer a perfect balance between rustic charm and modern amenities, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Chiltern countryside. On the other hand, Danesfield House Hotel And Spa in Danesfield is a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation, offering indulgent spa treatments and beautifully landscaped gardens for a peaceful retreat.
In the Thames Valley, the accommodations are equally varied and inviting. The Chequers in Marlow is renowned for its traditional pub atmosphere coupled with boutique rooms, making it a cozy and inviting choice for those looking to unwind after a day of wine exploration. Coworth Park in Windsor offers a luxurious stay with its focus on sustainable British luxury, fine dining, a spa, and stylish accommodations. This modern take on a classic establishment provides a unique and opulent experience in a scenic location.
The Olde Bell in Maidenhead, a traditional coaching inn, provides a blend of historic charm and modern comfort. Its location by the river makes it an ideal choice for those who enjoy picturesque riverside settings and want to immerse themselves in the tranquil beauty of the Thames Valley.
As one of the smaller wine-producing regions, Yorkshire’s boutique vineyards offer a unique experience. The region’s cool climate and passionate winemakers result in a range of interesting wines. Visiting Yorkshire’s vineyards often involves a combination of wine tasting and enjoying the county’s rugged natural beauty.
In the heart of Yorkshire, Ryedale Vineyards is the northernmost commercial vineyard in England. This family-run vineyard offers a range of wines that capture the essence of Yorkshire’s terroir. Enjoy guided tours and tastings and sample a selection of their signature whites and rosés. The vineyard’s picturesque setting amidst rolling fields and traditional farm buildings adds to the charm of the visit.
Within the countryside north of York, Yorkshire Heart Vineyard is another hidden gem producing high-quality wines. Tasting sessions here are a delightful experience, where visitors can savor the unique flavors of their handcrafted wines while enjoying views of the serene Yorkshire landscape.
Near Leeds, Leventhorpe Vineyard is a pioneer in Yorkshire winemaking. The vineyard prides itself on producing everything on-site, from growing the grapes to bottling the wine. Visiting Leventhorpe allows wine enthusiasts to explore a range of varietals, including their acclaimed Madeleine Angevine and Seyval Blanc. The tranquil setting of the vineyard, with its well-tended vines and peaceful surroundings, offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Overlooking the picturesque Holme Valley, Holmfirth Vineyard is a full-package experience. The winery has a lovely restaurant with accommodation options, making it an ideal spot for a longer stay to fully immerse yourself in the Yorkshire wine experience.
Local Accommodation in the Yorkshire Wine Region
In the beautiful village of Harome, The Black Swan stands out as a 14th-century coaching inn, brimming with character. Its blend of Tudor, Elizabethan, and Georgian architecture creates a setting that oozes Yorkshire charm. Set amidst rolling hills and quaint country lanes, the Black Swan is an ideal retreat for those seeking both rural tranquility and indulgence in fine Yorkshire food and luxurious accommodation.
Another noteworthy option is The Red Lion in Burnsall. This 16th-century coach inn, located on the banks of the River Wharfe, is perfect for exploring the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The village of Burnsall itself is a gem, surrounded by picturesque landscapes, making The Red Lion an ideal spot for those looking to immerse themselves in Yorkshire’s natural beauty and enjoy traditional local fare.
For those seeking an urban touch to their stay, The Principal in York offers an elegant blend of late-Victorian charm and modern design. Located in the heart of York, it provides easy access to the city’s rich history, including the iconic York Minster and other historical landmarks. The Principal is a gateway to luxury and comfort, making it a splendid choice for those looking to explore the urban aspects of Yorkshire alongside its wine regions.
In Scarborough, The Sands provides a coastal retreat. This townhouse hotel, located on North Bay Beach, offers self-catering apartments with stunning views of Scarborough Castle. It’s an ideal choice for those who love to be beside the seaside, offering a mix of beach relaxation and local dining options.
Lastly, Dean Court in York, situated near the majestic York Minster, offers a luxurious stay in a building steeped in history. Its modern decor and stylish furnishings blend perfectly with its historical context, providing a unique experience right in the heart of the city.
More Things To Do in English Wine Country: Combine Archeological Sites with Hotel Stays & Winery Visits
At Winetraveler, we’re all fans of incorporating a bit of history with our wine ventures. It’s not all about the wine. As such, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite archeological sites within easy driving distance from some of our favorite English wineries and hotels to craft the perfect English wine route.
Stop at the mystical Stonehenge in Wiltshire, known for its awe-inspiring prehistoric stone circles. After exploring this iconic site, a short drive will take you to A’Beckett’s Vineyard, celebrated for its English still and sparkling wines. This vineyard offers a tranquil escape where you can savor the flavors of the local terroir. For your stay, consider The Pembroke Arms, conveniently located just a few miles from both Stonehenge and A’Beckett’s Vineyard. This accommodation blends comfort with history, providing an ideal resting place after a day of exploration and wine tasting.
In the wine-rich regions of Sussex and Kent, you have the opportunity to explore well-preserved Roman villas, such as the Bignor Roman Villa in West Sussex and the Lullingstone Roman Villa in Kent. These historic sites display stunning Roman mosaics and artifacts, offering insights into the luxurious lifestyles of Roman Britain. Nearby, the vineyards of Sussex and Kent, like the Ridgeview Wine Estate in Sussex and Chapel Down in Kent, invite you to indulge in some of England’s finest wines. Stay at accommodations like The Cat Inn in West Sussex, a quaint and cozy inn that offers easy access to both the vineyards and the Roman villas, ensuring a blend of historical exploration and modern viniculture.
For those venturing to Dorset, the ancient Iron Age hill forts such as Maiden Castle present an impressive historical excursion. Post-exploration, you can visit vineyards like Langham Wine Estate, known for its sparkling wines that reflect the unique terroir of Dorset. To complete your experience, stay at the Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, a luxurious retreat in the Dorset countryside, conveniently located to both the vineyard and the archaeological site.
Lastly, in Yorkshire, the city of York is something special for history buffs. From its Roman roots to its Viking past. After wandering through the medieval architecture of York, including the York Minster, take a scenic drive to Yorkshire’s boutique vineyards like Yorkshire Heart Vineyard. For your stay, consider The Grand, York, an opulent hotel that echoes the city’s historical grandeur while placing you within reach of both the city’s heritage sites and the tranquility of the vineyards.
Navigating England’s diverse wine regions can be a delightful and enriching experience. Here are some key travel practicalities to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey through England’s picturesque wine landscapes.
Transportation and Routes:
- Car Rental: Renting a car is often the most flexible way to explore the English countryside, especially for reaching remote vineyards. Ensure you’re comfortable with left-hand driving. You can check current rental car rates on Kayak.
- Public Transport: For those preferring not to drive, many wine regions are accessible by train or bus, especially areas like Kent, Sussex, and parts of Surrey. Plan your routes in advance, as public transport can be less frequent in rural areas.
- Guided Tours: Consider booking guided wine tours, especially in regions like the Thames Valley and Chilterns. These tours often include transportation, making it easier to visit multiple sites without the hassle of driving.
- Advance Booking: Especially during peak seasons (typically May through September), book your accommodations in advance. Many boutique hotels and B&Bs in English wine regions have limited rooms and can fill up quickly.
- Location: As we’ve highlighted many in this guide, choose accommodations that are centrally located to the vineyards and attractions you plan to visit. Staying in a central location can minimize travel time and maximize your wine tasting experience.
Weather and Clothing:
- Seasons: The best time for wine touring in England is late spring through early autumn, when the weather is milder. However, English weather can be unpredictable, so it’s wise to pack layers and a rain jacket.
- Footwear: Vineyard tours often involve walking on uneven terrain. Comfortable, sturdy footwear is a must.
- Tasting Etiquette: At wineries, it’s customary to sip and spit if you’re tasting multiple wines or visiting multiple vineyards. This will allow you to savor your days for longer periods and is critical if you’re driving.
- Age Restrictions: The legal drinking age in the UK is 18. Bring identification if you look under 25, as you may be asked to prove your age.
- Local Cuisine: Don’t miss out on the local gastronomy. Many vineyards and nearby restaurants offer dishes that pair wonderfully with their wines.
- Bookings: For popular restaurants or vineyard dining experiences, make reservations in advance to secure a spot.
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