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Harlington Manor, Bedfordshire

Fancy a history lesson with your weekend break? Check into this luxe Bed and Breakfast which is packed to the rafters with period features, art and antiques.

This ultra-luxe and utterly unique Bed and Breakfast in the pretty Bedfordshire village of Harlington has gorgeous views across the Chiltern Hills and plenty of National Trust-owned land on the doorstep for keen ramblers to explore.

The property has a rich history and is thought to date back as far as the 14th century. It’s positively bursting with period features – think wood panelling, Tudor fireplaces and moulded beams. On that note, there are loads of breakables on display, so no under-11s allowed I’m afraid. But hey, think of it as an excuse for an adults-only getaway (best watch those butter fingers then…).

Charles II is believed to have stayed here once upon a time, and, those who are up on their local history may know of the puritanical preacher (and Pilgrim’s Progress author) John Bunyan, who was interrogated here in 1660, before being imprisoned at Bedford jail.

Stay in any of the five elaborately decorated rooms and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time, from the King’s Room with its crimson damask state bed, to the Garden Room with its high ceilings and Regency four-poster. But don’t worry, all the mod cons (toiletries, Nespresso machine and mini fridges with fresh milk) come as standard, too.

Breakfast is served in the 16th-century Great Parlour and includes fresh fruit, home-made granola and a cooked Full English to order, with locally sourced eggs and sausages.

But you don’t have to book a room to have a nosey around. Tours are available on an ‘invitation to view’ basis, with afternoon tea or light lunch options, too. Or try a candlelit tour after dark, which includes an 8-course meal with Prosecco and Port.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Herts & Beds