UK autumn adventures: hotel experiences and things to do in October and half-term

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    Glenapp Castle          Alt Text 

    Glenapp Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland      

Hire the entire top floor of a Scottish castle or enjoy a taste of Japan in London

  In Depth

  Mike Starling

    Monday, September 14, 2020 - 3:51pm    


     School holidays may have only just ended but we’re already looking ahead to the autumn months and the October half-term. 

  See related 

    Eight castles in England you must visit this autumn      A 4,500-star experience: best places for stargazing    Tourist attractions are open and many hotels are coming onto the market or reopening in the next few weeks. 

We pick out some of the best adventures to have this autumn and the places to stay across the United Kingdom.
Hotel experiences

‘Taste of Japan’ package at The Prince Akatoki, London 
London’s only five-star Japanese hotel has reopened and is offering a new “Taste of Japan” package to immerse guests in Japanese hospitality and culture. The Taste of Japan option sees guests welcomed into their rooms with delicacies such as matcha cake and sweet sushi rolls prepared by the hotel chef. Complimentary cocktails are offered in The Malt Lounge, whereby the drink preparation is turned into an art form and categorised by “Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Void”. Traditional spirits are used such as sake, as well as quirkier flavours including yuzushu and homemade kumquat wasabi jam. The package also includes a sushi masterclass, sake tasting experience and a gift unique to Japan – an ikebana flower arrangement to take home.
Rates start from £229 and the sushi masterclass, sake tasting experience and Ikebana flowers are only included once per stay and for a maximum of two adults per room; theprinceakatokilondon.com

‘Into the Wild’ Cotswolds nature walk at Lower Mill Estate
Get up close and personal with wildlife at Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds, a nature reserve where visitors can stay overnight. With more than 500 species to see, guests can take a stroll or head out onto the lakes and be rewarded with a sighting of a water bird, a deer or an otter. Guests staying this half term will get the chance to book a spot on the “Into the Wild” nature walk. Setting off at dusk, an expert guide will take the group on a tour of the estate pointing out otters, owls and other nocturnal beasts in their natural habitat. The walk will have a maximum of 16 participants, and it will take place in family bubbles. Other outdoor activities include kayaking, paddle-boarding, cycling, tennis and swimming. 
Prices start from £375 and the Into the Wild walk will take place on 25 October. Guests can reserve a ticket when booking accommodation; habitatescapes.com 

The Endeavour and Hebridean Sea Safari, Glenapp Castle, Scotland 
The Ayrshire-based castle will launch its new penthouse apartment, “The Endeavour”, in mid-October. Through the conversion of the castle’s entire top floor, the Endeavour provides 4,500 sq ft of luxurious accommodation made up by four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a lounge with a dining room for up to 16 guests, a TV snug with seating for 12, a sauna, library, a games room, a private lift and a personal treatment room for massages and beauty treatments. The hotel also offers a sea safari aboard the Glenapp Castle boat for exploring the remote Hebridean islands. 
Guests can book the whole floor of The Endeavour from £4,500 per night on a B&B basis; glenappcastle.com
Places to stay: new properties and reopenings

Buxton Crescent Health Spa Hotel, Derbyshire
With 81 rooms and suites, the Buxton Crescent opens its doors on 1 October following an extensive refurbishment of one of England’s most significant Georgian architectural buildings. Reviving the wellness traditions of this historic spa town in Derbyshire, the Buxton Crescent is home to three pools – the thermal pool, a relaxation pool and an indoor-outdoor rooftop pool. The spa features eight treatment rooms and signature treatments include the thermal mud pack which uses mineral rich mud sourced from Heviz in Hungary and the Co2 Infusion Mineral Bath. 
Rates start from £125 per night based on two people sharing an Attic Room on a B&B basis; ensanahotels.com 

Lemons Cottage, Atherington, North Devon
Nestled within the picturesque village of Atherington, Lemons Cottage is a newly renovated, thatched luxury cottage with a stylish contemporary interior. Sleeping up to six people, the quintessentially English property is a haven for families or groups of friends wanting to take a staycation. Guests can settle down for a film night in the cottage’s very own movie room with a massive 75-inch Sony Cinema TV. The cottage is situated just a short drive from the popular town of Barnstaple and is located to some beautiful nearby beaches in North Devon. 
Stay at Lemons Cottage from £235 per night (three-night minimum stay); sandandstoneescapes.com

The Mitre Hampton Court, London 
British brand The Signet Collection has created a portfolio of hotels across the UK, each unique and all set in buildings of historical significance and grandeur. The first hotel to open is The Mitre Hampton, which sits on the banks of the River Thames. This Grade II-listed property dates back to 1665 and was originally used as ancillary accommodation for guests of King Charles II. The 36-bedroom hotel will include a riverside all-day dining and wine bar, brasserie, Orangery, riverside terrace along with meeting and private dining areas.
Prices start from £150 per room per night; mitrehamptoncourt.com

The Mayfair Townhouse, London
Drawing inspiration from the property’s flamboyant past the creators of this new high-end neighbourhood hotel promise an engaging, witty and curious experience – think Oscar Wilde meets Alice in Wonderland. The townhouse oozes opulence, mystery and sophistication with the Dandy Bar serving bespoke cocktails. A ground floor library space, private dining room and individually designed bedrooms, suites and penthouses boast little touches reflecting the hotel’s sense of humour and personality.
Opening autumn; themayfairtownhouse.com
Experiences and things to do

EXCITING NEWS: We’re delighted to announce our new launch dates. Our ‘Plymouth Preview’ will take place on Fri 25-Sun 27 September (we’ll contact everyone who’s been successful in our ballot very soon). We’ll then be open to the public from Tue 29 September. %uD83C%uDF89 #TheBoxPlymouth pic.twitter.com/URuqfwerjJ
— The Box, Plymouth (@theboxplymouth) July 29, 2020

Mayflower 400: Legend & Legacy exhibition at The Box, Plymouth
This new multi-disciplinary arts and heritage centre will finally open to the public and feature a free gallery that will be the largest of its kind in Britain. The Box in Plymouth will open on Tuesday 29 September with major exhibition Mayflower 400: Legend & Legacy. Created in partnership with the Wampanoag Advisory Committee, it commemorates 400 years since the first voyage of the Mayflower from Plymouth to America.
From 29 September; theboxplymouth.com

The Little Mermaid Cocktail Experience, London 
Dive deep into a subversive tale of tails! Relive the centuries-old fairytale as you witness the human world collide with ocean life in a theatrical cocktail experience. Surrounded by stunning decor, talented actors and secrets to be uncovered, prepare to sip on mysterious cocktails as you immerse in the wonderful and magical world of the Little Mermaid.
Until 24 October, price £42.50; feverup.com

Drifters canal cruise to Castle Quay in Manchester 
Starting at Drifters’s canal boat hire base at Anderton on the Trent & Mersey Canal in Cheshire, it takes around ten-and-a-half hours to reach Castle Quay in Manchester, cruising along 31 miles of inland waterways and passing through just one lock. This route, which begins at the site of the incredible Anderton Boat Lift, aka “The Cathedral of the Canals”, is perfect for a four-night midweek break. It includes three tunnels, miles of countryside, the pretty village of Lymm and an urban section passing Manchester United FC, Salford Quays and the Old Trafford Cricket Ground, before reaching moorings at Castle Quay. 
The Laughing Gull, a 66ft narrowboat for up to six people, is available from 26-30 October for £999. Price includes damage waiver, gas, parking, tuition on arrival, towels, bedding and first pet. Fuel is extra. A £50 deposit is taken for a short break; drifters.co.uk


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