Best UK vineyard stays
For walks with verdant views, picnics amongst the vines and bottles of local brut, take a trip to one of the UK’s ripening crop of vineyards, from Sussex to Cornwall and Wales
Looking for vineyard stays in the UK? Want to go on an English vineyard tour? We've found the best English vineyards and Welsh estates where you can stay over in hotels, cabins and smart rooms. Enjoy English wine tastings and vineyard tours in the UK before putting your feet up on a private terrace overlooking the vines. If you're also a gin lover, why not check out our guide gin holidays.
English wine is enjoying a boom but still underrated, and travelling abroad to Provence and Tuscany is trickier in these times, so it's a great time to visit some of the UK's vineyards and be the first of your friends to try the best bottles. The UK is gaining a particular reputation for sparkling wines – the best of which compares well to the quality of some champagnes (though often come with price tags to match). Check out our pick of the best English sparkling wines here.
Best English vineyard stays in the UK
Balfour Winery, Kent
From £89 per night, check availability at booking.com
Known for its world-class sparkling wines, Kent’s Balfour Winery is home to lush English vineyards, acres of ancient apple orchards and oak woodlands – perfect for nature and wine lovers alike. Located on the Hush Heath Estate, take a self-guided stroll or book for a full estate tour and tasting experience from £45-£65, where an expert will show you around the vineyards, learning about the secrets and history of Balfour as you stroll. This is followed by a tutored tasting of six crisp sparkling and still Balfour wines. The winery’s contemporary building, The View, offers sweeping views across the Kentish countryside, perfect for unwinding with a glass post-tasting. After, visit the winery shop where you’ll find plenty of sparkling and still wines, luxury hampers and gifts.
Open all year round, Balfour Winery hosts social events throughout the year, such as its dining club music sessions, jazz evenings and yoga classes followed by food and wine tasting.
What to eat: You may want to add a sharing platter to your tour booking to enjoy alongside the wines – think local Kentish charcuterie, seafood and cheese served with olives, quince jam, flatbread and crackers. If you’re visiting during the winter months, opt for the warm winter platter of local cheeses, baked camembert, house-made chutney and warm bread. A short drive away and you’ll find Balfour-owned The Tickled Trout, serving its signature fish dishes and hearty pub classics which reflect the best of Kentish produce.
What to drink: A visit to Balfour is not complete without a taste of its flagship Balfour Brut Rosé 2018 – we’d also make a beeline for the Springfield Chardonnay 2018.
Where to stay: The Tickled Trout is part of a collection of Kentish pubs and hotels selling wines from Balfour and Jake’s Beers and Ciders. Boutique rooms are simple, cosy and inviting, with exposed beams, shabby chic décor, modern bathroom fittings and sink-into beds. They also come kitted out with a large flat screen TV, Dualit coffee pod machine and a selection of tea from Joe’s Tea. From £89 for a double.
Tillingham, East Sussex
From £165 per night including breakfast, check availability here.
A few miles from the medieval port town of Rye in East Sussex, Tillingham is hidden away in 70 acres of hills, vineyards and woodlands, scattered with wandering pigs, cattle, sheep and chickens. It’s a serene, bucolic setting for the cutting-edge winery, hotel and dining destination. A renovated Victorian farmstead and neighbouring hop barn contain 11 bedrooms, a restaurant and bar, tasting room and shop, all replete with hip, upcycled furniture and fittings and dreamy views of the surrounding Sussex countryside.
Tillingham offers daily tours and wine tastings (by appointment only), running to around 90 minutes, at £35pp. Start in the tasting room and move through the rest of the estate, from the modern winery, to the ancient oast house hosting Tillingham’s collection of qvevri (earthenware vessels buried in the ground and used to make orange wine) through to the idyllic rolling vineyards. Our tour guide took a deep-dive into Tillingham’s biodynamic, low-intervention approach to wine-making – wine nerds and aficionados will love the level of detail. You’re also given four generous pours of different wines.
What to eat: Come for lunch, dinner or both. Set over two floors filled with vintage and revamped furniture, exposed beams, sheepskins and sprays of dried flowers and foliage, downstairs is a casual wine bar with a small plates menu and an impressive wine and cocktail list (make a beeline for the silky fig leaf martini). Upstairs houses a more formal restaurant, where new head chef Brendan Eades (formerly of Silo and the Conduit Club) has created the four-course Garden Menu that showcases Tillingham’s homegrown produce – think veg from its walled garden, meat raised in its pastures and fish caught in nearby Rye. Dishes are simply cooked and presented, yet pack in the flavour – the quality really sings. Highlights on our visit included delicate Dungeness crab with nasturtium; tender, deeply flavoured Tillingham lamb; and a luscious, perfectly set egg tart. If you’re staying over, breakfast also takes place in the restaurant and features a set menu of sourdough with whey butter and homemade jam, granola and yogurt, local charcuterie and cheese.
What to drink: Natural wine fans will love what’s on offer here. Try the delicate Col 21 with its grassy, citrussy tones, or P21 – highly gluggable, vibrant pink fizz with rhubarb and raspberry notes.
Where to stay: The estate’s old hop barn has been converted into 11 bedrooms, all equipped with midcentury furnishings and earthy jewel colours, heavenly scented diffusers, modern art, Roberts Radios, Haeckels toiletries and welcome snacks of fudge and sherry in crystal glasses. We stayed in the expansive feature double room, which comes with a freestanding tub and huge window with sweeping views of the vines and countryside.
Bolney Wine Estate, West Sussex
From £245 per night, check availability at booking.com.
Nestled in lushly green surrounds on the edge of the South Downs, the Bolney Estate is a long-time fixture on the English wine scene – founders Janet and Rodney Pratt first bought the land in 1972 for wine-making – raking in numerous plaudits over the past five decades. It makes both still and sparkling wines from five vineyards on the site, and there's also a sleek visitor centre complete with café and shop, with plans afoot to expand these facilities next year. Bolney offers a range of vineyard tours and tastings of varying length. We tried the Sussex cheese and wine tasting, which included a tour of the winery and surrounding vineyard, and an accessible yet in-depth guided tasting of Bolney wines paired with delicious Sussex-made cheeses and charcuterie, all of which you can find in the shop (make a beeline for the superb Brighton Blue).
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What to eat: The light and spacious Eighteen Acre Café (if it’s sunny and warm, nab a table on the large balcony for gorgeous panoramic vineyard views) serves up generous sharing plates that make the most of Sussex produce, much of it made just a few miles away – think tender local braised pork belly with Hispi cabbage and Bolney Lychgate red wine jus, or umami wild mushroom ragu with cured egg yolk.
What to drink: We loved the floral and elegant Bolney Bubbly as well as the passion fruit and elderflower-laced Lychgate Bacchus. English still red wines are something of a rarity but Bolney’s silky pinot noir, with delicate cherry notes, is an excellent example and well worth trying. Don’t just stop at wine, Bolney also makes its own gin and rosso vermouth.
Where to stay: Nearby in the picture-postcard village of Cuckfield, Ockenden Manor is a beautifully preserved Elizabethan manor house with rooms ranging from grand oak-panelled suites to spacious rooms with four-poster beds and roll-top baths. There’s also a plush fine-dining restaurant and an award-winning modern spa just moments away from the main building.
Kingscote, West Sussex
From £293 per night, check availability at booking.com
This is one of the best wine tasting breaks in the UK. Not just a vineyard but a full-on countryside experience founded by the late Christen Monge, Kingscote promises walking and fishing, as well as vineyard tours and tastings. Book a vineyard tour with seasonal lunch for £30.
What to eat: There’s a tiny coffee shop serving Kingscote’s own coffee in the on-site wine and artisan food store. For a full meal, visit nearby Gravetye Manor where a set three-course lunch is £65.
What to drink: The Silvan Bacchus 2019, a creamy, lightly oaked white.
Where to stay: Doubles at Gravetye Manor start at £293.
From £150 per night, check availability at booking.com
Established in 1986, Denbies wine estate in Surrey offers indoor and outdoor winery tours. The former explores the working winery along with a cellar tasting, while the latter takes you on a 50-minute toy train tour of the vineyard, showing off panoramic views of the North Downs.
What to eat: A gallery restaurant looks over the 265-acre vineyard. Order Sussex confit pork belly with savoy cabbage, pan-fried halibut with roasted romanesco, or, on a Sunday, the Surrey Farm roast beef with rosemary-roasted potatoes.
What to drink: A glass of the award-winning Cubitt Blanc de Noirs 2014, full-bodied and replete with notes of baked pear and rose petal.
Where to stay: The on-site Denbies Vineyard Hotel has 17 en-suite rooms with views across the estate and surrounding hills. Price start from £150.
Rathfinny Estate, East Sussex
From £100 per night, check availability at booking.com.
It may be young, but Rathfinny Estate in the South Downs is still one of Britain’s most beautiful wineries. Vines are separated by rows of wild flowers, there are glimpses of the Sussex heritage coast throughout, and visitors can stay overnight in a stylishly converted 1860s barn.
What to eat: Head chef Chris Bailey has curated lavish picnic hampers to enjoy in a quiet spot on the vineyard with a glass of Sussex sparkling wine.
What to drink: Rathfinny's range of vintage Sussex sparkling wines includes a Classic Cuvée 2018, Blanc de Noirs 2016, Blanc de Blancs 2017 and Rosé Brut 2018.
Where to stay: Rooms at the Flint Barns are simple but have expensive bathroom fixtures, quality bedsteads and access to a luxurious communal living room. From £100 for a double.
Sandridge Barton, the home of Sharpham Wine, Devon
From £950 for three nights, check availability at sykescottages.co.uk
One of the best vineyard tours in the UK, Sandridge Barton, the home of Sharpham Wine is a great experience. Sharpham Wine has been established for more than 40 years and is a serious producer of more than a dozen wines. It opened a brand-new visitor centre in summer 2022 at its new home, Sandridge Barton. Visitors to the site can enjoy guided tours as well as self-guided tasting flights presented in cute baskets.
What to eat: The team behind Exeter's Circa runs the restaurant, using foraged, estate and vineyard produce in dishes such as Sandridge Barton beef carpaccio with black garlic and fermented celeriac remoulade; and Brixham day boat fish with seaweed butter and foraged sea herbs.
What to drink: Sharpham Pinot Noir, crammed with wild strawberry, cherry and cranberry flavours.
Where to stay: The Boathouse is a tranquil holiday cottage within the Sandridge Barton estate, sleeping up to four people. With views over the River Dart, it makes a relaxing base to discover local wildlife and is within stumbling distance back from the vineyard.
Jabajak, Whitland, Carmarthenshire
From £108 per night including breakfast, check availability at booking.com
This family-run vineyard restaurant-with-rooms makes for an idyllic base to explore the coastal paths, mountains and beaches of Pembrokeshire National Park. Since their first harvest in 2014, Julian and Amanda Stuart-Robson have produced award-winning white wine and sparkling rosé using grapes grown on the south-facing slopes of this former droving farm.
What to eat: The owners grow a substantial amount of seasonal produce on site, including fruits, herbs and shoots. The locally inspired menu features rock salt-roasted Welsh lamb rump with port and cranberry jus, and local grilled smoked mackerel with marinated beetroot and apple salad.
What to drink: Try the award-winning White House white and sparkling rosé.
Where to stay: From the simple doubles in The Annex to the more secluded Grainstore and Garden suites, the eight differently sized bedrooms cater for all.
From £105 per night, check availability at booking.com
Just over an hour's drive from London, this Kent vineyard produces sparkling wines. Choose between three types of tour and explore the vineyards followed by a tutored wine tasting, or discover how to pair wine with food.
What to eat: For those that want to delve deeper into the world of wine, the estate tour includes vineyard visits before a three-course seasonal lunch with paired wines in the modern tasting room. Or opt for a picnic of locally sourced produce and a bottle of Brut Reserve while you soak up the surrounding views.
What to drink: Golden-hued 2017 Gusbourne Brut Reserve is fresh and fruit driven.
Where to stay: Head to the sleepy Kent village of East Brabourne – just a 30-minute drive away – and stay at The Five Bells Inn (Read our full review here)
Old Walls Vineyard, Bishopsteignton, South Devon
From £192 per night, check availability at booking.com
Well positioned for the many attractions of the glorious South Devon coast, Old Walls Vineyard offers tours, tastings and, if you time your visit for mid-autumn, there’s even a chance to pick the grapes for the next vintage.
What to eat: Hearty dishes like Devon sausages and mash, and shepherd's pie tartlet with butternut squash purée, come drizzled in jus made from the vineyard's own red wine.
What to drink: The best-selling wines are the Palace Red or White Priory Dry, although the Bishop’s Blush rosé is the way to go on a balmy summer’s evening.
Where to stay: Available for short stays or the whole week, there are six two-bedroom luxury lodges overlooking the vineyard, each with a veranda and private BBQ area.
Three Choirs, Gloucestershire
From £205 per night, check availability here
A lovely wine tasting break in the UK. You can taste, trek, eat and sleep at Three Choirs near Newent, one of the longest established English vineyards. Most visitors book ahead for a guided tour with tastings.
What to eat: Take a seat among lots of local regulars to tuck into tapas-style dishes including lamb meatballs in spicy tomato sauce, patatas bravas and griddled halloumi with toasted pistachios, honey and yuzu oil.
What to drink: Blanc de Noirs 2016, a rich English sparkling wine.
Where to stay: Eight bedrooms in a red-brick block, from £205, have pretty views over the vines, but the nicest accommodation is in the glass-walled, timber-framed lodges with verandas, from £235.
Llanerch Vineyard, Wales
From £90 per night, check availability here
A farmhouse hotel, restaurant, cookery school and vineyard in South Wales. Guided tours and tastings show guests how Llanerch’s Cariad wines are made, and how the local terroir affects the taste of each vintage.
What to eat: Celebrating seasonal produce grown, caught or reared in the region, try dishes such as curry spiced mushroom fricassee, roasted Welsh lamb cannon and rib, and pan-roasted stone bass with shellfish bisque in the fine-dining restaurant overlooking the vineyards.
What to drink: Try the sweet Cariad sparkling brut.
Where to stay: Hotel rooms vary in size, from superior doubles to suites. Standard double bedrooms start from £90.
Lympstone Manor, Exmouth, East Devon
From £395 per night, check availability at booking.com
Overlooking the Exe Estuary, Lympstone Manor is part of chef Michael Caines’s growing South West empire of restaurants and hotels. The vineyard, with its 17,500 vines, is open for guided tours every Wednesday from May to September. The tour includes a tasting of English wines and a four-course lunch.
What to eat: With meat and game from local estates, and fish direct from Brixham, try salted Newlyn cod with lemon purée and Lyme Bay crab, or Darts Farm Ruby Red beef fillet with celeriac and smoked bone marrow.
What to drink: You'll have to wait until at least autumn 2023 for the release of the first Lympstone Manor Cuvée. In the meantime, explore the extensive 600-bin list which showcases many English wines.
Where to stay: Set in 28 acres of rolling countryside, the hotel boasts a range of rooms and suites, many with estuary views.
Tinwood Estate, West Sussex
From £225 per night, check availability at booking.com
Want to do a wine tasting in Sussex? Back in 1985, Dutchman Tukker bought 200 acres of land here to grow iceburg lettuce. 10 years ago, Tukker’s son, Art, took on the land for his own project – growing vines for English wines. Art and his wife Jody have worked, manicured and nourished the land and now 100,000 champagne variety vines flourish in their 65 acres of chalky, flint-topped soil. Book a vineyard tour with the optional extras of a cheese platter for two or a canapé selection.
What to eat: A classic afternoon tea with plenty of Tinwood fizz – think fresh baked scones, Cornish clotted cream, sarnies and sweet treats.
What to drink: Tinwood's appley, refreshing Blanc de Blancs.
Where to stay: Double lodges at the Tinwood Estate start from £225 per night for a double room.
Chapel Down, Kent
From £50 per person, check availability at Virgin Experience Days
One of the best-known English vineyards, Chapel Down recently expanded its site to a huge 325 acres of prime Kentish wine country. It’s open all year to visitors, and offers packages and gift experiences with tutored tastings. Alternatively, just go and have a look and pick up a treat from the terrific wine and fine food shop.
What to eat: Prawn tartare with chive crisp, then Romney Marsh lamb chop with confit potato, artichoke purée and lamb stock jus.
What to drink: Chapel Down's first-ever pinot noir rosé, full of red fruits.
Where to stay: Sissinghurst Farmhouse, home to Chapel Down’s CEO, is also a charming B&B with brass beds and rural views, from £160.
Oxney Organic, East Sussex
From £100 per night, check availability at oxneyestate.com
An organic vineyard with holiday cottages in East Sussex. The estate produces organic sparkling and still wines using pinot noir, pinot meunier and seyval blanc and chardonnay grape varieties. Winery and tasting tours take place every Saturday 11am and 2pm. Wander through the vines, learn about the estate’s approach to winemaking and end with a tasting.
What to eat: Tuck into a post-tour picnic of local cheeses, charcuterie, bread and, of course, wine.
What to drink: Try the toasty 2018 Oxney Classic.
Where to stay: A farmhouse cottage sleeps 10, three barns sleep 14 between them, while cosy wooden shepherd’s huts complete with a double bed and fire-pit start from £100 per night.
Wyken Vineyards, Suffolk
Wyken has been established as a vineyard since 1988, and is energetically tended by Mississippi-born Lady Carlisle, who, as a girl, trained at Chez Panisse and loves the ‘raciness of English wine’.
What to eat: The menu at the estate’s Leaping Hare restaurant/café/shop, housed in a 14th-century barn, might include the likes of mussels in Wyken Good Dog Ale, or Suffolk venison fillet with roast quince.
What to drink: Wyken Moonshine, a sparkling wine made with pinot noir and auxerrois grapes.
Where to stay: Camomile Cottage, an arty Suffolk longhouse where you’ll breakfast in the garden room on full English or eggs benedict with home-baked bread. Doubles from £89. camomilecottage.co.uk
Ryedale Vineyards, North Yorkshire
There’s no visitor centre, shop or café at one of England’s most northerly commercial vineyards, rather a tiny winery set in a listed cowshed. Here Stuart Smith conducts tastings, once his wife Elizabeth has guided guests around the entirely unmechanised site. Tours and tastings take place between April and October.
What to eat: Head to nearby foodie hub Malton, home to a famous food market, and restaurants, cafes and pubs galore.
What to drink: One of Ryedale’s award-winners, such as a bottle of Yorkshire’s Lass, a delicate dry white.
Where to stay: In one of two cosily outfitted rooms in Ryedale's farmhouse, from £130 a night.
Words by Mark Taylor, Sophie Dening, Ellie Edwards and Alex Crossley
Photo credits: Paul Winch-Furness, Ian Forsyth, Helen Dixon
First published August 2015, updated May 2019