A change of scenery is usually all it takes for me to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. A couple of weeks ago I headed over to Warwickshire for a long weekend break, which came at the perfect time for me as I had started to feel run down, tired and lacking in motivation with both my fitness and with blogging. Not only was the break exactly what I needed but I also discovered that a trip to the heart of the English countryside is an ideal place for a wellbeing weekend away!
The perfect wellbeing hotel
The hotel I stayed in during my trip was the perfect choice for a wellbeing break. Ardencote Hotel is nestled in the Warwickshire countryside, literally down a country lane to get to it, and it provided everything you could want for a relaxing weekend. It has a spa, indoor and outdoor pools, gym, tennis courts and was located within stunning grounds that were perfect for morning walks and to sit outside in the afternoon and relax with a glass of wine…or two. The rooms are spacious and clean and my bedroom looked out onto the beautiful entrance courtyard. I realise that this sounds like a bit of an ad for the hotel but I paid for my entire stay and nothing was given to me for free – I just really enjoyed my stay!
Places to visit
Although I could easily have stayed at the hotel all weekend and not get bored, I also wanted to explore the surrounding area. The location of the hotel meant that it was in easy driving distance to many local tourist attractions including Stratford Upon Avon, a lovely small English town that is the birthplace of William Shakespeare, as well as the historic Warwick Castle. As I’ve been to both these places before I decided to go somewhere different and headed to Kenilworth Castle. The castle is only a short drive from the hotel and, despite being a ruin, is still fun to explore. Most of the castle’s buildings had almost entirely fallen down but English Heritage, which owns the site, has built steps that allows visitors to climb to the top of the castle where it provides stunning views over the Warwickshire countryside.
The great thing about a weekend break in the English countryside is that there are lots of traditional pubs to choose from for eating out. Just over the road from Kenilworth Castle is a pub/restaurant called Queen and Castle where I stopped off for lunch. The pub offers a flexible menu where you can choose to have a large lunch or opt for a lighter meal. I went for a lighter option of a flatbread with mixed vegetables which was perfect. Not only is the food good, but the prices are also reasonable, making it the ideal place to stop off for a relaxing lunch after spending the morning exploring the castle.
As my aim of the weekend was to relax, I didn’t spend much time being active – apart from getting some miles done on the treadmill in the hotel gym. When I was at Kenilworth Castle I did spot signposted walks which looked like they followed some beautiful and fairly easy to walk routes. As well as walking and hiking, the country lanes provide the perfect place for running. In fact there are a number of marathon races in the area including the Warwick Half Marathon which takes place on 1 March 2020, as well as the Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon which take place just down the road on the 26 April 2020 – both a good reason to head back one day!