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To the manor born in Sussex

The manor to become accustomed to

If the British spring still feels a long way off, you could do worse than attempt to escape the seasonal gloom with a stay at a luxurious country house hotel in the heart of rural Sussex. The mile-long driveway is enough to tell you that 16th-century Gravetye Manor, with its thousand acres of landscaped grounds, is as out of the way as it gets. Those looking for seclusion, grand wood-panelled rooms, large open fireplaces and old-school, attentive service will quickly feel at home. The vast gardens are the big attraction and, when the weather’s not playing nicely, staff will kit you out with umbrellas, wellies and a map of walks, and send you on your way. Choose from four routes exploring the beautiful surrounds and build up an appetite in preparation for a hearty meal back at the manor. Local ingredients dominate the restaurant’s inventive dishes – when in full bloom, the circular, walled kitchen garden provides up to 95 per cent of the menu’s fruit and vegetables. Should the weather prove favourable, while away an afternoon with a spot of trout-fishing in the immense lake, deer-spotting within the grounds or a genteel game of croquet on the lawn before dinner.

9 Gravetye Manor was built in 1598 and its grounds landscaped by famed gardener William Robinson in the late 19th century
PHOTOGRAPHS: ISTOCK, MARK READ, LEE THOMAS/ALAMY, GRAVETYE MANOR/JEREMY PELZER
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