11 Unique Accommodations in England’s Oldest Cities

Tuesday 08 October 2019

Taking an unforgettable journey through England’s historic cities is easier than ever. Covering 3,000 years of history, it’s easy to hop on a train starting in London and make your way out of the bustling capital to explore England’s history and countryside.

Each city has a unique story to tell through its culture, heritage, and particularly, architecture. We’ve rounded up a list of places to stay in each city.

1. Lumley Castle, Durham

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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When choosing Durham’s Lumley Castle as your temporary home while exploring the north east of England, you’ll be stepping back in time 600 years - but with every modern convenience. Rooms are named after people who played a part in the history of the castle - the Sir Ralph room is named after Sir Ralph Lumley, who was the first owner of the castle in 1388. His descendent, the Earl of Scarbrough owns it today. The hotel also offers a Mystery Package, which includes a three-course murder mystery dinner theatre, giving you the opportunity to become a detective and solve a crime in the castle halls.

2. Grays Court, York

Here’s your chance to stay in the oldest inhabited house in York. Grays Court is believed to have a Roman gate buried inside the grounds. It’s centrally located right by major attractions, just steps from York Minster. Guests can stay in one of the hotel's 11 rooms and enjoy a walled landscaped garden in the back of the house.

3. Hallmark Hotel The Queen, Chester

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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In Chester, check-in where Charles Dickens, Cecil Rhodes and Lillie Langtry stayed during the hotel’s 150 year history. Built in the 1850s in homage to Queen Victoria, it was England’s first grand railway hotel and now has 221 rooms. Chester Cathedral, Storyhouse, Grosvenor Park and other Chester attractions are located just under a 15-minute walk from the hotel.

4. The White Swan Hotel, Stratford

Dating back to 1450, the building that now stands as The White Swan Hotel was used as an inn as early as 1560. The hotel boasts of connections to Shakespeare, as his friend Richard Tyler’s wife was the granddaughter of the owner of the inn. Just like Shakespeare may have, you can also enjoy a pint at the bar and traditional pub food while staying in one of the hotel’s 41 bedrooms.

5. Christ’s College Cambridge Hotel, Cambridge

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Student or not, you can jump on the opportunity to stay in one of Cambridge’s most beautiful and oldest colleges. Christ’s College Cambridge Hotel offers a unique chance to stay at Cambridge University during student vacations in a central location to all of the city’s attractions.

6. Bath Place Hotel, Oxford

Consisting of several 17th century cottages, Bath Place Hotel sits on the site of Medieval defences, some of which can be observed at the hotel’s dining room. Prior to 1900, these cottages were residences and later used as student accomodation for Merton College.    

7. The Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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In 1775, what is known as one of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture was built. This architectural feat, known as the Royal Crescent, is a row of 30 curved houses and Bath’s most desirable address. In 1950, one of the buildings became a guest house and later combined with a second house, becoming The Royal Crescent Hotel. It’s more than just a five-star hotel, with an acre of gardens and spa to enjoy, plus a wedding venue.

8. Devonport House, Greenwich

Devonport House in Greenwich is all about maritime history. Just 6-miles from central London and about a 15-minute walk to the Royal Observatory (home of the Prime Meridian), the hotel is housed in a red-brick Georgian building built in 1783 as a school for neighboring Greenwich Hospital, which was a home for retired sailors of the Royal Navy. Next door is the National Maritime Museum and the hotel’s garden is where Admiral Hardy, flag captain to Admiral Lord Nelson is buried.

9. Sarum College Bed and Breakfast, Salisbury

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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©Shane Brennan

You can’t get any closer to Salisbury’s main attraction, Salisbury Cathedral, when you stay at Sarum College located in Salisbury’s Cathedral Close. The college offers guest accommodations in a Grade I listed building dating back to 1677. There are 40 en-suite bedrooms and some rooms with shared bathrooms. A selection of rooms offer views of the Cathedral, and the close is just 5-minutes away from High Street and many of Salisbury’s top attractions.

10. House of Agnes, Canterbury

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The House of Agnes hotel dates back to the 13th century when it was a travelers inn. In the Canterbury Tales, written at the end of the 14th century, characters took a pilgrimage from London to Canterbury Cathedral and would’ve passed by The House of Agnes via St. Dunstan’s Street, where the hotel sits. And even before this, the hotel is located on what was once a Roman pottery kiln and Roman cemetery. If you’ve read Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, the hotel was described in the novel as the home of Agnes Wickfield, David’s second wife. Today, the hotel has the largest walled garden in Canterbury and is just a short walk to the Cathedral and other major attractions.  

11. The Alverton, Truro

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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In the 1800s, The Alverton first served as a convent. When the manor become too big for the nuns, it was converted into a hotel. Choose this Grade II listed building as your base for visiting Cornwall’s best attractions.   

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