Great getaways to escape to this winter

Down Hall

Down Hall - Credit: Archant

Essex Life selects these ideal destinations perfect for a warming winter break

The Suffolk Escape

Northlands Farm

Priory Road




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01473 652149

The Suffolk Escape’s luxurious log cabins are the perfect place to stop, relax and unwind. With just four two-bedroom lodges, each set on the edge of the lake, The Suffolk Escape offers self-catering in spacious log cabins equipped with designer kitchens, hot tubs and private dining decks out over the water which are perfect for al fresco dining. As a small, adult only destination, it is the ultimate romantic destination for couples or small groups of friends looking for a peaceful, relaxing break away from everyday stresses. The Suffolk Escape is ideally located, just off the end of the A12.

Strattons Hotel

Ash Close



PE37 7NH

01760 723845

Strattons is an award-winning boutique hotel, restaurant and cafe deli offering cool contemporary style with originality. The hotel is hidden in the historic market town of Swaffham, located in the beautiful Norfolk countryside, not far from the North Norfolk coastline. Enjoy afternoon tea by the fire, a light lunch from the cafe deli or a delicious dinner in the chic restaurant. Stay in one of the 14 individual, sumptuous and eclectic bedrooms, with features including maybe a Jacobean four-poster bed, an open fire, a freestanding bath at the foot of the bed with room for two, original period features or a huge decked balcony.

Down Hall Country House Hotel

Matching Road,

Hatfield Heath

Bishop’s Stortford

CM22 7AS

01279 732125

ESCAPE this winter with a relaxing break at Down Hall. Try a warming Winter Pimms in the bar or lounge before you enjoy all of Down Hall’s facilities and the fabulous grounds before sitting down to a delicious three-course dinner in the stylish Grill Room Restaurant. Relax with a luxury treatment in the Eden Spa and revive in the new gym, sauna and steam room facility. Then relax for a restful night’s sleep before tucking into a full English breakfast after which you can check out feeling completely refreshed.

Milsoms Hotels & Restaurants

Gun Hill





01206 323150

Who can resist an overnight break this autumn at a Milsom Hotel? There are some delicious offers to tempt everyone. Whether it is the Super Sunday bed and breakfast at milsoms Kesgrave Hall or the Autumn by the Sea offering a dinner, bed and breakfast package at The Pier. Then there is the ‘best, bed and breakfast’ rate at milsoms in Dedham or a top of the range luxurious two-night spa break at Maison Talbooth, also in Dedham. The outdoor pool at the Maison is heated all year round to a sizzling 85?so don’t forget to pack your costume!

Hotel Felix

Whitehouse Lane

Huntingdon Road



01223 277977

Situated just a short drive from the centre of Cambridge, The Hotel Felix is the ultimate venue for any Christmas or New Year celebration. With a roaring fire, fantastic food and wine and first class service, you are invited to experience the magic of the festive season at The Hotel Felix. For those wishing to party in style with colleagues and friends before Christmas Day, why not enjoy a delicious Christmas lunch or dinner from £25 per person? Alternatively, let the team at The Hotel Felix do the shopping, cooking and washing up while you relax and enjoy our delicious Christmas Day lunch, crammed full of all your festive favourites in the glorious surroundings of the award-winning restaurant, Graffiti.

Snape Maltings

Near Aldeburgh, Suffolk IP17 1SR 01728 687172

SNAPE MALTINGS is set in one of the most beautiful and distinctive parts of coastal Suffolk. The landscape is wonderful at any time of the year, with the river, reedbeds and open expanses of water teeming with wildlife, including avocets and even seals. The walks either side of the river are perfect for all to enjoy and Aldeburgh is just a few miles away. The site is also home to the world famous Snape Maltings Concert Hall as well as artisan shops, galleries and eateries. There is even a monthly farmers’ market as well as pop up events such as the vintage and makers markets.

Wyboston Lakes

Great North Road, Wyboston

Bedfordshire MK44 3AL

0333 7007 667

‘Tis the season... for stress? A recent report showed that 41% of people interviewed said that the Christmas holidays are as stressful as a job interview. So why not get away this Christmas and escape it all. Join the team at Wyboston Lakes Hotel for a Christmas break from December 24 to 26 and get quality, stress-free time in a festive environment, where all your needs are catered for. The Festive Two-Night Stay from £279 per person includes all meals including a fabulous Christmas lunch, pre-dinner drinks, Midnight Mass, mulled wine and mince pies.

Spend Christmas afternoon watching the Queen’s speech, relaxing and playing Christmas games followed by a relaxed buffet supper. You can then depart on Boxing Day after a leisurely morning and late breakfast.

The White House

Smiths Green, Dunmow Road Takely CM22 6NR 01279 870257 www.whitehouse

The White House is a delightful, historical manor house dating back to the 15th century and, coming highly recommended by the British Tourist Board and with four yellow stars by the AA for its outstanding facilities and services, guests will not be disappointed. Despite its convenience to Stansted Airport, The White House is set in an acre of serene gardens and is actually an oasis of calm for those about to prepare for a busy flight. To ease pre-travel stress, staff at The White House can even help with issues such as airport transfers. Owner Mike Shields also runs The Lion and Lamb pub just down the road in Little Canfield. Open seven days a week with all its traditional country charm, The Lion and Lamb is well worth a visit, be it for a taste of the wine menu, a sample of the freshly-prepared food or just for the friendly front of house service.