Friendly staff in the welcome centre will show you to your room and give you a map: this place is a vast warren of corridors and rooms of varying size, shape and comfort level, all divided between the West and East Wings. The whole place has a collegiate feel, in a good way – just being here makes you feel you are becoming more cultured. There are guest sitting rooms in both wings, with comfy seating and a huge open hearth in one.
Breakfast is served in the cafe, which is also open for lunch and early dinner, and nearly everything is produced on site: homemade pastries and granola, salad and vegetables from the garden and a creative menu with plenty of vegetarian options. The pub on site serves food every night too. Take a stroll around the gardens with their countless species of trees, summer houses, writers’ retreats, an impressive tiltyard and sculptures.
The courses on offer are a real draw: well-being, crafts, arts and more.