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Norton House Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh, Scotland
If your idea of an ideal city-break is not to sleep in the city, this country house hotel in wooded grounds surrounded by fields, 20 minutes from the city centre fits the bill. The main house, an extravaganza of romantic high-Victorian excess (a stair landing with carved Italianate arches is straight out of Romeo and Juliet) merges easily into modern additions. The 84 bedrooms spread across the main house and annexe are quietly comfortable, while downstairs there is always a corner to call your own for drinks, lunch, or afternoon tea. The Brasserie Restaurant appeals to all ages and you can shrug off excesses with a spa treatment followed by a few laps in the pool.
This hotel escapes the city-centre mayhem - especially when you fall asleep to the soothing sound of owls hooting outside your window.
Walk along the canal at nearby village, Ratho. Edinburgh city centre is a 30-minute drive away.
By plane: flights from London to Edinburgh take 1 hour 25 minutes. The hotel is a 5-minute drive. Free parking available. skyscanner.com
By train: 4 hours 30 minutes from London. The hotel is a 30-minute drive from Edinburgh Waverley. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
With its easy-going vibe and the distractions of a health club, spa and swimming pool, everyone in the family will love it. We loved the ornate original drawing room ceiling panels, painted in green and gold.
Service & Facilities
What could be more delightful than a member of staff bringing a glass of champagne to your deckchair by the ornamental lake? Pets will love the glorious grounds and are welcome in public areas. Dog-friendly bedrooms come with beds, bowls and treats.
- Swimming pool
- Fitness centre
- Wellness suite
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
The Classic room has a high ceiling, elegant windows, period features and views over the grounds. Don't worry if you can't get to the spa - the dreamy Hypnos Lansdowne 'cashmere' mattresses are as relaxing as a massage.
Classic, Executive, Deluxe, Feature, Junior Suite, Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, bottled water, desk, lifestyle magazines, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Treat yourself to traditional afternoon tea in the airy atrium of the spa after the rigours of a Himalayan salt massage. Indulge in the six-course Chef's Experience menu - think Orkney scallops with ponzu and duck with cherry and coffee.
The Brasserie: traditional Scottish fare with a twist. Dishes include braised Scottish lamb shank, Scottish salmon fillet and haggis, neeps and tatties. All-day menu, open daily. Chef's experience menu from £75.
The Conservatory: lounge serving bar snacks and afternoon tea. Open daily, 10am-10pm.