A regal retreat on a regal scale, just outside Windsor, Great Fosters is a Tudor estate steeped in royal history with 56 individually designed bedrooms and suites within red-brick walls that rise majestically amid 50 acres of splendid gardens and grounds.
Dating back to 1550, Elizabeth I’s crest can still be seen above the main porch, and in more recent times the house has played host to likes of Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles. Since 2018 it has been part of the Alexander Hotels group.
Today you can choose to stay in the small yet charming ‘Cosy’ rooms or larger ‘Cosy Kings’, either in the main house or the Coach House & Cloisters, or the ‘Super King’ rooms, luxurious havens in the Dower House or Coach House.
Or there are spacious open-plan suites with a lounge area and interconnecting option for families, topped by the historic-named suites where you might recline on a four-poster bed among 17th Century Flemish tapestries and Jacobean carved features, and feel as privileged as the Tudor royals who once resided here.
Great Fosters is a playground where guests can dip into the art deco outdoor pool and hot tub at the Utopia Retreat, walk the trim trails or play a set of tennis, visit the piggery, beehives and kitchen garden, or hire a bicycle to explore further afield.
Or perhaps stroll through the landscaped gardens, newly restored, with their listed ornamental gardens, manicured hedges and topiary within the Saxon moat and Japanese bridge, admiring sculptures by David Harber before checking the sundial that was a gift from none other than Sir Francis Drake.
Time for dinner? Your options include the Tudor Pass, an intimate gastronomic restaurant with just seven tables, or the more informal Estate Grill with its vaulted ceiling, open fire and mullioned windows, that opens out onto the terraces for alfresco dining in the summer.