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The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa, Midhurst, West Sussex
Stay where Elizabeth I once laid her head! This former coaching inn in the South Downs town of Midhurst is now a hotel with features that date back as far as 1430. Expect latticed windows, low beams and sloping floorboards. There's a modern spa too, while the terrace and conservatory are lovely spots for afternoon tea. Dinner is a white table-clothed affair enjoyed next to a huge inglenook fireplace and beams hung with copper pans and maturing puddings wrapped in muslin.
We love the view from the National Trust's Uppark House near Petersfield.
The hotel is in the centre of Midhurst, a pretty market town with plenty of independent shops and pubs. Nearby attrations include Petworth Palace, Goodwood and Cowdray Estate.
By car: Midhurst is a two-hour drive from London 1 hour 20 minutes from Brighton. Oxford is also a two-hour drive away. There is plenty of free parking at the hotel.
By train: The train from London Waterloo to Haslemere takes approximately 55 minutes with a further 15-minute taxi ride to the hotel.
Style & Character
The hotel suits history lovers, spa seekers and South Downs walkers. We love the old letters and quirky vintage finds displayed on the walls upstairs.
Service & Facilities
The small enclosed courtyard spa garden, where you can lounge under a tree just outside the pool, is lovely.
Indoor heated pool
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free breakfast
- Free parking
- Pets allowed
The Queen's Suite where Elizabeth I stayed is irresistible. It's said she leaned out the window to watch a performance in the square underneath. It also has a 'wig closet', now containing a dressing table.
Cosy, Classic, Midhurst, Sussex Four Poster, Feature Four Poster, Sussex Junior Suites, Queen's Suite
Facilities include: double bed, ensuite bathroom with shower, Temple Spa toiletries, free Wi-Fi, Nespresso coffee machine, tea tray with homemade biscuits, TV, phone, dressing gowns, hairdryer
Food & Drink
Breakfast is the stand out meal, with Bloody Marys and sparkling wine available. We also love the vegetarian full English, with proper sausages, and the decent cheesecake.
Restaurant and bar: refined European dishes, light bites, long drinks list with more than 100 gins. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. 8am-11pm. Three courses £38.