There’s a lot to like about Manor House Hotel & Golf Club in Wiltshire.
For a start, it’s based in Castle Combe – a village that must surely be one of Britain’s prettiest.
Taking its name from a 12th century castle, it’s remained largely unaltered since the 1600s.
If you are trying to place where you might have seen it before, Castle Combe was a location for the musical Doctor Dolittle. It’s even appeared in The Simpsons.
Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and Downton Abbey have also showed off the village at its finest.
The golf course is no less attractive, playing host to a series of glorious holes as its winds its way through hundreds of acres of Cotswold countryside and the ancient woodland.
Peter Alliss and Clive Clark designed it and it’s celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
If you can find a more exhilarating hole than the par 3 17th – ‘Burton Brook’ – which sees you try to negotiate a green guarded by a series of bunkers and the River Bybrook, while also negotiating a 130ft drop between tee and green, feel free to mention it in the comments below.
The closer is an absolute stunner as well, the par 4’s green is encircled by bunkers that snap shut on your ball like a Venus flytrap.
But it’s the hotel that’s really historic. Part of the Barony of Combe, it was built to replace a Norman castle that had become a ruin.
The most famous of its Lords was Sir John Oldcastle, who was a controversial English rebel in the 14th and 15th century.
That name may not mean a lot to you, but it’s strongly believed he provided the inspiration for Falstaff – the old, drunk and corrupt comedic foil in Shakespeare’s Henry IV.
The hotel, which has more than a touch of the haunted house about it, remained in the Barony for some 800 years before it was sold in 1947 and converted.
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