As the last of the autumnal leaves fall, and we’ve started to embrace the crisp cold mornings and darkened evenings during the fast transition into winter, maybe it’s time for a staycation before the Christmas holiday rush. The perfect season for a staycation in England is arguably prior to the festive season kick-off. Having family to see and presents to buy, there’s no time for ‘me’ time.  With countryside walks and city exploring right outside your door, both transformed by the yellow and orange hues of fallen leaves, you can experience new and familiar destinations in whole new ways.  We’re bringing you the very best cosy winter hotels for this season, and the must-read book from each of their Ultimate Libraries…

The Old Parsonage Hotel, Oxford

Best Cosy Winter Hotel - Old Parsonage

Situated adjacent to the University campus, the 17th century Old Parsonage offers a combination of quintessential English charm and modern luxury. Find yourself exploring the history of the city streets and then head back to the hotel library to lose yourself in the pages of a brilliant read. The library we curated is rich in diversity and features titles set in and around Oxford.

Top Library Pick


Eccentric Oxford – Ben Le Vay

Delve into the medieval back alleys of Oxford and find a fascinatingly fresh look at this city of contrasts.

Old Parsonage - Top Cosy Winter Hotel

The Old Parsonage Hotel Library

Hotel Du Vin, Exeter

Hotel Du Vin, Exeter - Cosy Winter Hotel

This beautiful hotel is a former Victorian hospital situated a short walk from the city centre and famous Cathedral.  On arrival you will notice the iconic architecture and wonderful walled gardens. With plenty to do on a clear day like tour the cathedral or meander the beautiful streets of Exeter, the hotel’s library offers a peaceful haven if the weather is not so forgiving. We supplied books to reflect the local area and create a greater sense of place for guests. Snuggle up by the fire in their cosy sitting room and transport yourself with one of Ultimate Libraries top reads for Hotel Du Vin.

Top Library Pick 


The Hound of the Baskervilles – Arthur Conan Doyle

The perfect classic crime thriller to read when in Exeter. The Hound of the Baskervilles gripped readers when it was first serialised and has continued to hold its place in the popular imagination. Follow Sherlock Holmes as he tries to solve a mystery set in the Devonshire countryside.

Hotel Du Vin Library

Another Place, Lake District

Another Place Outside

This elegant upscale hotel sits on the shores of Ullswater in the Lake District. With beautiful antique style furniture and modern amenities, you can experience the best of both worlds in Another Place. Wake up to frost covered, misty mornings, spend the day fell walking, then retire to enjoy the sunset in the beautiful rolling hills before finally sinking into a sofa in the library lounge to enjoy a book in front of the fire.

Our Library Top Pick 


The Northern Fells by Alfred Wainwright

This is the perfect handbook for walking the Lakeland peaks and fells with beautiful illustrations. The ideal walker’s companion when in the Lake District.

The University Arms, Cambridge

This landmark hotel in the historic city of Cambridge is a must visit. With Edwardian furnishings that emulate a classic period interiors style, you’ll feel transported back in time. Visit the Fitzwilliam Museum or Kings College Chapel to immerse yourself fully in the culture and after a long day of discovery settle down in bed and dip into one of our bedroom book sets.

Our Library Top Pick


Wind in the Willows – By Kenneth Grahame

Kenneth Grahame began to tell the tale of the river bank on the night of his son’s fourth birthday, but what started out as a short bedtime story soon grew into one of the most enjoyable series of adventures ever to be told in children’s literature

Congham Hall, Norfolk

congham hall library

This privately owned Georgian manor is the perfect secluded winter retreat. Wander through the array of sweet market towns, down to the wild sandy beaches of North Norfolk. With beautiful nearby nature reserves and the Royal family’s Sandringham estate on the doorstep, this hidden manor is ideal for exploring the countryside and then retreating into the depths of an Ultimate library.

Our Library Top Pick


Walking Companion

While Wandering: A Walking Companion by Duncan Minshull

This collection of short pieces on the topic of walking is the perfect countryside companion, stomp through the Norfolk hills with musings from Jane Austen, Wordsworth and Colm Toibin to keep you company.

Congham Hall library