Royal Oak Swallowcliffe

Grab your wellies and head to Wiltshire for an autumn break packed with iconic sights, world-class seasonal food and rambles along paths littered with crisp, colourful leaves. The Good Hotel Guide has selected five cosy hotels in Wiltshire that are perfect for making the most of the season.

Pork pies and stately homes

Stay: Wake up to countryside views from the huge windows of The Beckford Arms’s country chic-style bedrooms. Set at an ancient crossroads on the edge of the Fonthill Estate, this Georgian pub-with-rooms has log fires and fabulous food. A pork pie with hand-made chutney and a local pint is just the thing after one of the many walks from the inn’s doorstep.

Do: Stourhead’s landscaped gardens put on a fabulous autumn display. North American maples, Japanese acers, chestnuts, tulip trees and beech are awash with vivid scarlets, oranges and yellows – best viewed near the mirror-like lake for double the spectacle. Longleat is celebrating the Great British Autumn with an array of activities on its Capability Brown-landscaped parkland, from flying owl shows to wicker-making workshops, chainsaw art and presentations on hibernation. It’s also an excellent time of year to drive through Longleat Safari Park, decked out in autumnal colours (until 4 November).

Beckford Arms

Creaky floors and filmic heritage

Stay: You’re following in the footsteps of icons when you book a room at the Sign of the Angel in Lacock. This photogenic Tudor coaching inn was once home to Isambard Kingdom Brunel; more recently it was used as the Babberton Arms in Harry Potter. The olde-worlde feel really comes into its own in autumn, with enormous open fireplaces, creaky floors and low beams. Bedrooms are filled with oak furniture and, if you’re lucky, home-made chocolate bites.

Do: Potterheads will be just as thrilled when they step outside. Lacock, a National Trust village was a filming location for Harry Potter; Wolf Hall, Pride & Prejudice and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald were filmed here too. Explore Lacock Abbey, the birthplace of British photography, and The Fox Talbot Museum, which delves into the history of photography and William Fox Talbot, Lacock’s most famous owner and a photography pioneer. Soak up the colours of autumn on a stroll through the Abbey grounds and Lacock village.

Sign of the Angel Lacock

Craft beer and country walks

Stay: Epicureans should check into The Three Daggers. It’s not just a pub-with-rooms – although the cool, rustic bedrooms with fresh flowers and fluffy towels are rather splendid. There’s also a buzzy on-site microbrewery, a well-stocked farmshop where you can drink freshly-ground coffee and watch the brewers in action, and seasonal food made with ingredients from the pub’s own Priory Farm.

Do: The Three Daggers is within trotting distance of the iconic Westbury White Horse so borrow a pair of wellies from the inn and take a hike. Follow with a massage and plunge into The Three Daggers Spa Barn’s outdoor hot tub.

Modern interiors and ancient castles

Stay: The thatched roof and quiet, wooded valley setting belie what awaits inside the 18th-century Royal Oak in Swallowcliffe. Modern art adorns the walls and the wooden furniture was crafted by local designer Matthew Burt. Bedrooms – each with a locally significant name – are cool and contemporary; request Ashcombe for a freestanding bath and birds-eye views of the eponymous oak’s canopy.

Do: Now in ruins, Old Wardour Castle was one of the country’s most innovative homes when it was built in the 14th century; it was created as a luxury residence designed for entertaining. It’s about an hour’s walk from Swallowcliffe, but if you’ve got the energy you can extend your walk past woodland, streams and lakes to the new Wardour Castle.

Royal Oak Swallowcliffe

Michelin stars and timeless landscapes

Stay: Between them, The Red Lion Freehouse and Troutbeck Guesthouse have all the essentials for a cosy autumn break. With its beams, exposed brick, log-burner, wooden tables and chairs, the bar in the thatched gastropub is spot on for a pint and a pickled egg. But the big attraction is the Michelin-starred modern British cooking, made using the freshest local and home-grown ingredients. Each of the stylish bedrooms in a bungalow across the road has a private deck overlooking a peaceful stretch of the River Avon. 

Do: There’s no better time of year to explore the nearby Stonehenge Landscape than this “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”. Rise early and, weather permitting, you’ll see sun rise over the ancient stones wreathed in mist. Find out more about Stonehenge itself in the visitor centre, but take the time to explore the barrows, ridges and megaliths of the timeless landscape that wraps around the world-famous site, too.

Troutbeck Guesthouse East Chisenbury

There are so many things to do in Wiltshire and we look forward to welcoming you soon. You can also find out what's on closer to the time you are visiting here. 


The Beckford Arms
External View

The Beckford Arms has 8 en-suite bedrooms which all include our pampering Bramley Products, crisp Egyptian cotton sheets, Siberian goose-down and vintage Welsh blankets.

Stourhead - National Trust
Stourhead Gardens

Stourhead estate on the Wiltshire-Somerset border is the perfect day out for everyone. A breathtaking 18th century landscape garden with lakeside walks, grottoes and classical temples is only the beginning.

Safari Park
car driving past two lions

Longleat, nestled within 900 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped grounds, is home to the UK’s original Safari Park, one of the best examples of Elizabethan architecture, and an abundance of exciting attractions including Jungle Kingdom and Animal Adventure where you can get up-close and personal with truly amazing animals.

Sign of The Angel
Sign of the Angel

A 15th Century wool merchant’s house in the National Trust Village of Lacock, Wiltshire. Crackling log fires, squeaky floorboards, oak panels and beams add up to a quintessential English inn with an internationally renowned restaurant.

The Three Daggers
The Three Daggers

The Three Daggers oozes sophistication and elegance but with its bespoke furniture and quintessential British luxury it almost feels like home!

Old Wardour Castle
Old Wardour Castle

The unusual hexagonal ruins of Old Wardour Castle stand serenely in their lakeside setting, protected by acres of wood, making a picturesque setting for picnics. But their beguiling scene of rural tranquillity masks a bloodthirsty past.

Red Lion Freehouse

This Michelin-starred country pub has a national reputation for serving outstanding food in a quintessential pub setting; the recent addition of their 5 star boutique guest house means you can experience a room just as special as the food.



  1. Andrewprod
    Hi there. The chessboard in the top picture is round the wrong way - has to have a white square in the right-hand corner from both players' perspective, so that queens start on a square of their own colour. The board in the photo has black squares in the right-hand corners, which means the black queen (still on its starting square) is on a white square, which is incorrect.
    I'm such a pedant, sorry.

    Wiltshire is lovely though! 😀

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