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Horsted Place, Uckfield, East Sussex
Once a favourite of the royal family, this grand Gothic-Revival house in the heart of the Sussex countryside is now an elegant country house hotel. It tends to attract a more mature and moneyed crowd, as well as those looking for the Downton experience. Play a game of croquet or tennis in the grounds or book a round on one of two championship golf courses nearby, before dining out in the two-AA rosette restaurant.
Despite being just off the A26, the location feels very peaceful and secluded.
Horsted Place is in private grounds, a short drive from the town of Uckfield. Rudyard Kiplings former home Batemans, Pashley Manor Gardens and Sheffield Park are all nearby.
By car: The hotel is 2 hours 15 minutes' drive from London, around 40 minutes from Brighton and just over 2 hours from Oxford. There is free parking at the hotel.
By train: London Bridge to Uckfield takes 1 hour 15 minutes. From there guests can take a five-minute taxi to the hotel. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Built in 1850 for a rich merchant, the redbrick pile is packed with stately treats - from oil paintings and antiques to an elaborate staircase, complete with gilded eagles, which was liberated from the Great Exhibition's Crystal Palace in 1851. It attracts a posh crowd, and we wouldn't be surprised to see a minor royal popping in for afternoon tea.
Service & Facilities
We love following in HRH's footsteps with a pre-dinner amble down the Queen's Walk to the local chapel.
- Award-winning restaurant
- Tennis court
- Croquet lawn
Almost all of the rooms overlook the beautiful formal gardens, but our favourite room has to be the Windsor Suite, where HRH would stay when she was in residence.
Double Room, Junior Suite, Superior Suite, Portsmouth Suite, Winsor Suite and Nevill Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with shower, luxury toiletries, bathrobes, towels, double bed, writing desk, TV, free Wi-Fi, breakfast included
Food & Drink
In the summer, there's simply nothing nicer than enjoying a proper English afternoon tea served on the lawn. The Sussex fillet of beef with slow-roasted portobello mushrooms and bernaise sauce is also pretty darn perfect.
The restaurant: seasonal produce, elegant dishes, traditional roasts. Open daily for lunch from 12-2pm, and dinner from 7-9pm.
The Drawing Room: light lunches, sandwiches, afternoon teas and pre-dinner drinks.