The Hampshire High Life

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England’s bucolic countryside is dotted with charming cottages and elegant manor houses, but the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire is one spot well worth lingering a little longer at.
About an hour southwest of London, the 18th-century Georgian-style structure sits in Dogmersfield Park, which is no stranger to famous faces. It was here that Henry VIII first met Catherine of Aragon, the first of his six wives. Historic tidbits aside, the luxurious manor house boasts all of the proper modern comforts, too, including an indoor conservatory lap pool and year-round tennis courts.

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Rooms and suites feel undoubtedly English, peppered with soothing floral patterns and neutral tones, wood furniture and idyllic views of the grounds and gardens. The shining star of this Hampshire luxury hotel is its 500 acres, allowing for ample outdoor activities that are only possible with this amount of space.

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Spend the morning on the Basingstoke Canal (which runs through the grounds) aboard the hotel’s custom-built boat, and take time in the afternoon to go horseback riding, fish on Belvedere Pond, get a falconry lesson or play croquet on the lawn. Thrill seekers can enjoy the Highwire Adventure, the tree-top challenge for adults and children alike, which includes a high and low rope course, an exhilarating zip line and the ‘Power Fan’, the ultimate free-fall experience.

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While there’s plenty to keep you active, you’d be remiss not to pay a visit to the onsite spa as well, located inside the hotel’s 18th-century stable block. Experience local ingredients at the property’s restaurants thanks to executive chef James Dugan’s commitment to regional products from nearby producers such as Laverstroke Park and Secretts Farm, and cozy up to Bar 1086’s crackling fireplace when the temperatures begin to drop, with Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire’s very own crafted ale, ‘1086’.

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Fear not about leaving your precious pooch at home, either — not only is Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire pet-friendly, but an adorable black Labrador, Oliver Beckington, serves as the resident top dog.

What I Really Wanted (ww.whatireallywanted.com) offers a unique range of luxury hotel and resort gift voucher experiences throughout the UK.  With gifts available for every age and budget, experiences include overnight luxury hotel stays, spa days, golf breaks, fine dining experiences, afternoon teas and champagne afternoon teas. www.whatireallywanted.com
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