Imagine spending a luxurious break in the glorious Oxfordshire countryside. Peaceful, as relaxing or energetic as you want, and no children around!
Look no further than Heythrop Park, a Warner Hotel in the Cotswolds. Built from golden Chipping Norton Limestone from local quarries, the stunning 19th-century manor house stands on 440 acres of grounds in the northeast part of the Cotswolds in Oxfordshire.
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Heythrop Park is on the edge of Enstone Village and near the popular town of Chipping Norton. The hotel is grand and in beautiful surroundings. Inside the manor house, the grandeur continues with elegant lounges and salons with comfy sofas to relax in and views over the grounds.
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A bit of History about Heythrop Park by Warner Hotels
Opened in September 2022, Heythrop Park sits in 440 acres of stunning Cotswold countryside. It is a Georgian Grade II* Listed Building designed in the Baroque style. Dating back over 300 years, the estate was first owned by Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury. The Duke bought the Heythrop estate in 1697 and construction of Heythrop House took place from 1706 to 1711.
The manor house was badly damaged by a fire in 1831. In 1869, the remaining burnout shell was bought by Thomas Brassey, a railway baron for his son, Albert. The house was renovated and extended before being bought by the Society of Jesus. Two blocks were built in the grounds for accommodation and the house was used as a college.
Before it was acquired by Warner Hotels and transformed into the hotel, Heythrop Park, was the staff training college of the National Westminster Bank. All banking paraphernalia has been removed and the hotel has been exquisitely decorated throughout.
The Warner Hotels System
Each Warner Hotel is individually designed, but they all run on similar lines.
It is not quite all-inclusive, but your booking includes, your room, breakfasts and three-course evening meal as well as dance or yoga classes, the pool and of course all the entertainment.
After you have made your booking, you are sent a confirmation email with a link to the MyWarnerStay website. Here you can log in and book any extras you would like, for instance, spa treatments, golf, archery, tea or gin tasting or any of the other experiences on offer.
I would take some time to look at what you would like to book and sign up as soon as possible as things do get snapped up quickly. Read on to find out more about the amazing experiences on offer.
Arriving at Heythrop Park by car
On the outskirts of the village of Enstone, the entrance to Heythrop Park by Warner Hotels is tucked on a slip road. Passing through the impressive gates, the drive winds its way up the tree-lined avenue. It is a long drive, so don’t be worried if you think you have gone the wrong way. There are signposts along the way telling you how far to go.
After a few minutes’ drive, you come to a wooden building on the left-hand side. This is where you check in, without having to get out of your car. The receptionists are very friendly, full of tips and advice. The whole process was effortless. You are handed your room keys as well as a leaflet of the activities. Lastly, you are given directions to your room, and which car park to use.
The Hotel Rooms
We had a beautiful Deluxe room in the north wing of the manor house. We could park in the driveway to unload our car before parking in the north car park. I was impressed to see that there were ample charging points for electric vehicles and a generous amount of parking spaces.
There are a total of 337 rooms at Heythrop Park. The rooms are spread through the manor house, north and south wings.
There are six types of rooms to choose from, to fit your budget and your travelling style: Cosy, Standard, Deluxe, Superior, Superior Large and Superior Suite.
The rooms all have large beds which are comfortable with crisp white linen and cushions and throws in toning accent colours. The artwork on the walls in the rooms is an eclectic mix of modern and florals.
The contemporary bathrooms are spacious with powerful showers in either a separate cubicle or over the bath. Indulge yourself with the complimentary toiletries from Temple Spa. After your bath or shower, dry off with the fluffy towels and wrap yourself up in the cosy robes provided.
There is a fridge in each room with fresh milk and a choice of still or sparkling water. There is also a tea tray with the makings for hot drinks and some biscuits to snack on. There is a large TV in the rooms, and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. Conveniently the luggage store is under the bed, so you can tuck your suitcases away until you leave.
Our room also had a seating area in the window from which we could watch people playing the final hole of the golf course.
Inside Heythrop Park
Heythrop Park is vast and there are many lounges and salons to discover. Each has been individually designed and gives a different vibe, whether you want to sit quietly and read a book, take out a chess board, play one of the other games on offer or sit chatting with other guests, there is a lounge for you.
There are two reception areas. In the manor house, the galleried reception area has plenty of comfy sofas if you want to sit for a while. It has quite a baronial style to it with pillars, arches with ginger jars and quirky objet d’art on the shelves.
The second reception area is on the lower floor just as you come in from the back lawns.
As you have already checked in, you may only actually use the reception for directions, to buy your morning paper or to drop your key when you leave.
Each lounge area has a different style. Whether it is decorated with panelling and beautiful wallpapers in a kind of William Morris style or like the orangery outside the Market Garden which is hand-painted with a water theme with lily pads and, if you look closely, a discreet little frog!
All the rooms look out over the gardens and whether you are looking for a relaxing sofa next to the fire, or an intimate place for a glass of wine or two, there are plenty of options.
There are several bars around Heythrop Park. Depending on your mood, try the Brassey Bar for an upmarket bar feel, or the cosy Snug. For before, during or after-show drinks head to The Late Lounge Bar.
The Three Restaurants at Heythrop Park
Guests have a choice of three different restaurants, each offering a different style of food. Booking is required for your meals, I recommend having a meal in each one as they all offer a great dining experience.
The Market Kitchen in the Orangery
The light and airy Market Kitchen has a self-serve buffet area of hot and cold dishes as well as a set menu that you can choose from. The food is a mix of British and international flavours.
The Market Kitchen is open for breakfast and dinner only. If you would like to eat here, I would recommend booking as soon as you can as it can get very busy.
The Travelling Duke Pub & Kitchen
For traditional British fare and a more casual gastro pub-like feel, try The Travelling Duke. With a mix of table seating and cosy banquettes as well as an outdoor terrace with tables, chairs and sofas. It is a relaxed place to eat.
The Travelling Duke opens at 8:00 am for breakfast followed by lunch and continues until late for dinner.
For à la carte dining, book into The Brasserie32. With elegant surroundings and table service, it is a bit more formal, perfect for a special occasion, a meal with friends or just because!
The Brasserie32 is open from 8:00 am until late whether you want breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Afternoon Tea at Heythorp Park
Afternoon Tea is served in The Brasserie32. We were offered a choice of teas, though you could splurge on some champagne. A delicious selection of sandwiches, cakes, creamy desserts and scones was presented to us. This prompted a discussion of cream first or jam first on scones – neither side convinced the other, so we agreed that we were all right.
The Afternoon Tea is an extra and costs £17.50. (price correct at September 2023)
Each week there are different bands, performances or comedians performing at The Heythrop Park by Warner Hotels.
Enjoy the fun of theatre, shows, concerts and dancing in one place. The Theatre at Heythrop Park combines them all depending on the acts.
There is comfy seating and discreet servers to take your drink and snack orders. Sit back, relax and enjoy.
The weekend we visited the main attraction in the Theatre was Ibiza in Symphony. Playing iconic Ibiza hits from the 80s and 90s, it wasn’t long before there was a whole group, including me, up dancing.
The Late Lounge
Through the Late Lounge Bar, you come to the Late Lounge itself. With cosy seating and a dance floor, this is the place to go for some late-night live music. Listen to bands playing, singers or later pop on headphones for a silent disco.
The acts we saw in the Late Lounge over the weekend included Ami Vaziri on Friday night and on Sunday night we were treated to Erasured. The dance floor was heaving as we relived the Eighty’s hits.
The Spa at Heythrop Park
If you are looking for pampering and relaxation head over to the Spa. From manicure, pedicure to facials and amazing calming massages, you will float out, feeling sensational.
However if you want to keep up with your fitness, there is a well-equipped gym and a choice of classes. Try a Pilates or yoga class, some meditaion or a fitness class.
The 20-metre swimming pool is perfect for a gentle swim up and down. Not too warm or too cold, it was very refreshing and I was lucky enough to have the pool to myself. There are loungers around the pool to chill after your swim.
On the outdoor deck you can relax in the jacuzzi, catch some sun loungers or chat around the firepit. After you can cleanse the pores in the steam room or the sauna.
The changing rooms are very spacious and airy. I was also impressed with the Dyson hairdryers provided, which had my hair dry in no time.
Activities at Heythrop Park
There is a range of activities and experiences that you can do during your stay at the hotel.
18 Hole Golf Course
Apart from the entertainment, one of the big draws to Heythrop Park is the par 72 championship standard golf course. It meanders through the 440 acres with lakes, bunkers and amazing views of Heythrop Park and the surrounding countryside.
Every level of golfer is catered for with different tees to choose from. There is also a driving range so you can practice before you head off. Golf buggies are available.
The 18th hole has spectacular views of the entrance to the hotel down the fairway.
Book for an archery session with tuition. A comprehensive safety briefing is given before you are allowed to fire any arrows. It is great fun trying to hit the bull and then working through the colours. There are lighter bows if you have problems pulling back the bow.
Electric and manual bikes
Explore the magnificent grounds at Heythrop Park by bike. Either electric or pedal bikes are available and there are several routes which take you around the park.
Laser Clay Shooting
Out on the lawn at the back of the manor house, Laser Clay Shooting sessions are held. No clays are hurt, as the lasers record the “hits”. Individual and ground competitions are part of the fun!
Try your hand at bowls on the sunken bowling green. The circular sunken bowling green is to the right of the hotel behind the spa area. Sets of bowls are on the benches around the green.
There is a croquet on the lawn to the rear of the manor house. With the magnificent grounds, there are plenty of walks you can do. If you like quizzes and games, you can take part in the daily ones. The Blenheim Room has a whole host of board games to keep you entertained.
If you go down the stairs behind the main reception you will find the Billiards Room with a full-sized table.
Take part in one of the tasting sessions on offer. Learn about different teas, gins or cocktails and of course, have some samples.
On our weekend, we tried the gin and tea tastings. I must admit I am not a gin fan but did find the gin-tasting fun and learnt a lot about the different types.
However I do like tea, and it was fun to try to guess which teas we were drinking and discover some new ones.
Getting to Heythrop Park in the Cotswolds
Arriving at Heythrop Park by Car/Parking
The postcode for the hotel is OX7 5UE.
Just under two hours drive from London, Heythrop Park is just past Chipping Norton near the village of Enstone. Close to the A44 and easily reached using the M40 or the M5.
Arriving at Heythrop Park by Train
The nearest train station to Heythrop Park is Charlbury. The train to Charlbury from London Paddington takes around an hour and ten minutes. From the station, the easiest way to get to the hotel is to take a 10-minute taxi ride.
Heythrop Park by Warner Hotels – Essential Information
Address: Heythrop Park, Enstone, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 5UE
Disclosure: I was hosted by Heythrop Park by Warner Hotels, however, all views, opinions and photos are my own and remain the copyright of The Silver Nomad.