Lawns run down to the Irish sea, roe deer come to eat the roses, sunsets turn the sky red. This beautiful hunting lodge is one of the loveliest country-house hotels in the land. The food is ambrosial, the panelled bar is home to 150 malts, and you’ll find a level of service you rarely encounter in such far-flung corners of the realm. There’s history, too. Churchill once stayed and you can sleep in his room, then climb into the deepest of baths and read his books. Immaculate interiors abound: gorgeous bedrooms, faultless bathrooms, a morning room where the scent of fresh flowers mingles with wood smoke. You’ll find beautiful art, the daily papers, games and books galore. Outside, cliff walks lead over to Portpatrick, peregrine falcons circle on high, bluebells carpet the hills in spring. When it’s stormy, waves crash all around. There’s golf on the coast at Portpatrick, then Luce Bay for miles of sand. John Buchan knew the house and described it in The Thirty-Nine Steps as the house to which Hannay fled. Remote, beguiling, utterly spoiling – grand old Knockinaam is simply unmissable.