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Wivenhoe House, Colchester, Essex
Home to Britain's only hotel-based hospitality school, Wivehoe House is a very comfortable and unusual place to stay, with the feel of a country house hotel but also benefiting from the existence of the University of Essex nearby, which ensures good bus connections into town, shops and other facilities. It divides between the eponymous original 18th-century country house and the more contemporary rooms of the modern wing, many of which have floor-to-ceiling windows and big balconies overlooking the park. Easy to reach from London and not a bad place for a weekend escape, it's a good base for both Colchester itself and also multiple attractions nearby, including the appealing seaside town of Wivenhoe, Beth Chatto's famous gardens a couple of miles away and the delights of Dedham and Constable Country a little way north.
Wivenhoe Park has lots of nice spots for a stroll, stretching out towards the university campus and two nearby lakes.
The hotel is a 10-minute drive from Britain's oldest town, Colchester. Visit Layer Marney Tower, Mersea Island or Tiptree Museum & Tearoom.
By car: under 2 hours from London, 1 hour 30 minutes from Cambridge and 3 hours from Birmingham. Free parking on-site.
By train: London Liverpool Street to Colchester takes around 1 hour. The hotel is a 10-minute taxi ride. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The hotel suits couples looking for an easy escape from London that's not too expensive but whose rooms offers a touch of luxury. The fact that you may be served by a student adds an extra dash of charm to the place.
Service & Facilities
The prices are very keen but the rooms are still luxurious, and with 24-hour room service you can feel properly pampered.
- Board games
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
The contemporary rooms and suites in the modern wing are the best. We loved the views of Wivenhoe Park from the guest room balconies.
Classic Room, Superior Room, Deluxe Room, Luxury Room
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, bathrobes, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, digital radio, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Breakfast is a high quality and delicious mix of cereals, fruit, pastries, filled breakfast muffins and an excellent Full English (plus a veggie alternative). They also do a really good burger on the bar menu.
The Brasserie: modern European cuisine, seasonal menus, locally sourced produce. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Three-course lunch menu, £21.50.