Stay for a day and you'll never want to leave the beautifully refurbished Prince Hill House in the heart of Wilts.
Joanna at Muddy Wilts parks her well-travelled bod at the quaint and gorgeous Prince Hill House, a historical Grade II-listed mansion in a spectacular setting in Worton. It’s bang slap in the centre of Wiltshire between Marlborough and Bradford on Avon, with little Devizes nestling at its shoulder and more prehistoric sites (Avebury Stone Circle, Sidbury Hill and Kennet Long Barrow) than you can shake a stiletto at.
Now, this baby is a house with real historical clout. It is believed to have played host to Prince Rupert when he fought on the side of the Royalists during the Battle of Bristol, and dates in part to the 1640s. Enlarged and remodelled in 1913 it was then inherited by Lady Brassey, not only a descendent of Queen Victoria but also godchild to Winston Churchill. Very chi-chi!
Now in the hands of the very lovely David and Lucy Edsell, this magnificent whopper of a gaff has been gutted, scrapped, tossed out, renovated, painted and decorated with a whole shedload of TLC and, I can honestly say, restored to its former glory.
This isn’t a flash, superdesigny hotel nor a large corporate monstrosity – it’s a home. A home from home, I’d go so far as saying. Lucy and David welcome you into their little corner of the world and you leave feeling very special.
What is it with kids and interconnecting rooms – they love them! Polly’s Penthouse Suite was ideal for our purposes (namely zzzs) – two bedrooms, a bathroom and a stunning open roof-conservatory/sitting room/kitchen room comprising the entire top floor of Prince Hill House. The furnishings in these rooms won’t give sleepless nights to Anoushka Hempel but they are smart enough and certainly homely, with decent bath products and wonderfully familiar touches such as Polly’s old teddy bear and her school books on the shelves. For larger family groups the Harry Potter Twin room can be booked together with the Penthouse to sleep a total of 5/6 people. Other luxury rooms include The Churchill Suite, The Aviary and The Eisenhower Suite with triple aspect windows and views across to Salisbury Plain – the bridal suite, natch.
SCOFF & QUAFF
Nope, not here, my friend. It’s B&B only but you’ll get a good slap up breakfast, made even sweeter with Prince Hill House Honey from the bees on the estate.
However, although food is not on the menu you can hire the stunning orangery/ballroom (yep, I’m gonna get me one of those babies in my house) for a formal dinner party. You could even plan your wedding here – there is plenty of space in the gardens for a marquee and David and Lucy will help with organising and catering contacts.
Yes, to a degree. My kids loved Lucy and David and their warm hospitality and, in particular, their dogs. Plus, there’s a trampoline. What more do kids need?
OUT AND ABOUT
Yep, there’s loads to do in this beautiful part of Wilts. There’s walking and cycling, the aforementioned ancient stone circles and barrows (a bit yawn, I know), plus narrow boat trips on the nearby Kennet and Avon canal. It’s not far from hip Bradford-on-Avon, pretty Marlborough, and Stonehenge and Longleat are about half an hour’s drive from here. Top tip: bring your wheels. Ain’t no high speed trains or Uber here – this is deepest Wilts.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Family stopovers or quiet nights away from the Mudlets. Or think bigger – a smart dinner party, a milestone birthday party, a wedding… Book the whole house (18 guests) and The Carriage House (a self-catering cottage for 7/8) and throw a massive bash. Better check with Lucy first though – it’s her pride and joy!
Even better for: A stay in a smart family home steeped in history (you can hear those crinolines swishing down the main staircase).
Not for: If cool design flourishes and sleek black-slate spas are high on your agenda I’d steer clear, but this isn’t why you come to PHH.
The damage: Double rooms from £100, Polly’s Penthouse Suite from £150 (inclusive of breakfast).
Prince Hill House, Worton, Wilts SN10 5SE, 07775 514230, princehillhouse.co.uk