Many Best Loved hotels are awash with historical connections, and the pleasure of staying in historic and architecturally distinguished houses is key to many Best Loved experiences. Last month, three of the most exquisite Best Loved hotels, Hartwell House near Aylesbury, Bodysgallen Hall in North Wales, and Middlethorpe Hall in York, were presented to the National Trust by the directors of Historic House Hotels in one of the most generous gifts in the Trust's history. As inalienable property of the National Trust, these beautiful stately homes will remain as first-class hotels of highest standard and at the same time be protected and conserved for the nation in perpetuity.
For those soaking up history at Middlethorpe Hall, or indeed at the Grange Hotel (see below) in the city centre, this is a marvellous time to walk around York after dark courtesy of the Illuminating York Festival from 24 October until 2 November. Live music, dance, drama and stunning light installations, both indoors and outdoors, are bringing creativity, light and colour to the long autumn evenings.