24-Hour Room Service: Fawsley Hall, Northamptonshire

Queen Elizabeth I stayed here in 1575, and her chamber, with its soaring ceiling, carved fireplace and four-poster bed, is the most sought-after of the 52 rooms and suites in this Tudor manor-house hotel. For centuries Fawsley Hall had strong links to the monarchy: Charles I hunted deer in the surrounding parkland on the eve of the Battle of Naseby in 1645. In the 1760s and 1770s, Capability Brown designed the ornamental gardens, woods and lakes of the 2,000-acre estate. In the Victorian era, the "Elephant Man", Joseph Merrick, was provided with a grace-and-favour cottage. The house was requisitioned by the government during both world wars; later a consortium bought it, and nine years ago it became a hotel.

Today, it's a pleasing combination of old and new. Parts of the South Wing, including the astonishing vaulted Great Hall, date from the 1530s. Large sofas, low coffee tables and a restored Tudor fireplace combine period elegance with contemporary comfort. In July, an adjoining former stable block opened as Knightley Court, with eight new suites, two large halls and a cosy cinema. The rooms range from Elizabethan through classic country house to modern minimalist. At the heart of the property, a conservatory-bar gives on to an unexpected gem: a secluded courtyard with wrought-iron tables around a wisteria-clad gazebo. The Knightley Restaurant has been awarded three AA rosettes, and there's a spa and a fitness studio in a Georgian cellar.


Fawsley Hall, Fawsley, near Daventry, Northamptonshire (01327 892000; www.fawsleyhall.com). The hotel is set in hilly parkland, 20 minutes from Junction 16 of the M1, near Althorpe, home of the Spencer family and resting place of Diana, Princess of Wales (though this is not open to the public).

Time from international airport: 45 minutes from Birmingham airport; one hour from Luton; 90 minutes from Heathrow. By train, Rugby and Northampton railway stations are 15 minutes' drive away.


The rooms are individually decorated in soft colours, with the styling reflecting the date of their renovation. Some of the suites have four-poster beds; in the standard rooms, the heavily sprung beds are more comfortable than capacious. Much of the panelling and reproduction furniture is in lime oak, contrasting with the chrome of the bedside tables and picture frames.

Freebies: Lotions and handmade soaps developed at Grayshott Hall in Surrey, one of the owners' two sister hotels.

Keeping in touch: Flat-screen TVs in the rooms; free Wi-Fi.


Double rooms start at 159, 169 on Fridays and Saturdays with continental breakfast; full English breakfast is 8. The hotel is currently offering an online deal of 89 per person for dinner, bed and breakfast .

I'm not paying that: The Granary (Fawsley, Northamptonshire; 01327 361 730; www.granary-hotel.com) is a hotel in a converted Grade II-listed farm building a short distance away. Double rooms, with full English breakfast, are 89.50.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
New Articles
i100... with this review
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam