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Love is in the Air

Hyde Hall Rose Garden

A three-day romantic jaunt taking in stunning gardens, a luxury spa hotel, historic sites, retail therapy and fine dining.

Day 1

Spend a leisurely morning at RHS Gardens Hyde Hall near Chelmsford. One of only five Royal Horticultural Society gardens in the country, it’s a must-see for garden lovers with stunning rose gardens, an inspirational dry garden, rare and beautiful shrubs and trees from Australia and New Zealand and a stunning Winter Garden, a site to behold off season.  Take a romantic stroll in the Wild Wood and feast on fresh produce from the Global Growth Garden in the Gardener’s Rest restaurant on site.

From 3pm, you can check in to Prested Hall at Feering near Colchester.  A charming 15th century part-moated manor house hotel, Prested Hall is set in 75-acres of beautiful parkland and offers a relaxing spa hotel experience.  Along with comfortable, stylish bedrooms and an excellent restaurant, Prested has a well-equipped health club and spa, a pool, sauna and steam room and offers a variety of racket sports including Real and Padel tennis.   Spend the afternoon exploring the extensive grounds, indulge in spa treatments and a relaxing massage or have a go at Real tennis!

Day 2

Spend the morning at Braintree Village, a designer outlet village offering typically up to 60% off well-known brands such as Dune, Calvin Klein, Armani and North Face.

Stick around for lunch at one of the many restaurants on site or head over to nearby Cressing Temple Barns for a lunch or afternoon tea at the Tiptree Café there.

Cressing is renowned for its magnificent medieval barns, built by the Knights Templar in the 1200’s.  Known as ‘cathedrals of timber’ these barns are a masterpiece of early engineering.  Here you can explore the Tudor Paradise walled garden, once a kitchen garden for the great house on site and now lovingly restored.

Afternoon – head back to Prested Hall to relax and enjoy the health club and spa, an afternoon siesta or curl up with a good book.

Strike out for dinner this evening at the  at The Lion Inn, a gastro pub just up the road in Boreham.  An elegant mix of old and new interior style means that the dining room of this local inn provides comfortable, relaxed surroundings with a Modern British menu.  

Day 3

Check out of the hotel and head over to the Hylands Estate, just outside Chelmsford, for an invigorating walk around the lovely landscaped grounds and formal gardens.

Visit the Stables Café and well-stocked second-hand bookshop before checking out the designer-maker studios in the converted stable block. You could pre-book one of their expert-led courses such as jewellery making or glass blowing workshops. Time your visit to coincide with the monthly Open Days where you can tour the main house and enjoy the buzz of the Farmers’ and Craft Market.

Heading south?  Why not stop by the lovely Alec’s Restaurant in Brentwood on your way home for a delicious lunch in a relaxed setting – a perfect end to your romantic trip to Essex. 

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Product Information

  1. RHS Garden Hyde Hall


    Set in the heart of rural Essex, and enjoying stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, RHS Hyde Hall is one of the finest gardens in the East of England and is a haven of peace and tranquillity.

  2. Cressing Temple Barns


    Historically the most important - and dimensionally the largest - of the Knights Templar's Essex landholdings, Cressing Temple is a fascinating medieval moated farmstead boasting the oldest recorded timber-framed barn in the world.

  3. Hylands Estate


    Hylands Estate includes the fascinating & beautifully restored country house, stables and 574 acres of parkland and castle-themed adventure playground to explore. The Stables house a café, second-hand bookshop, information point, and resident artist studios and shop.

  4. The Lion Inn

    Boreham, Chelmsford

    Dine in elegance with a mix of new and old providing a comfortable atmosphere to enjoy major celebrations and everyday dining to the fullest. Our menus contain many pub classics together with specials boards to give variety. The bar is a main feature of the dining room, dominating its entrance. We…

  5. Alec's Restaurant


    Alec’s Restaurant Bar & Grill sets out to provide simple, quality fresh food. Although predominantly a seafood restaurant serving the finest fish and shellfish, mouth-watering meat dishes add to this impressive menu. Produce is purchased daily from Billingsgate and Spitalfields Markets and…

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
RHS Garden Hyde Hall (51.66806,0.57236)Cressing Temple Barns (51.83746,0.61163)17.15
Cressing Temple Barns (51.83746,0.61163)Hylands Estate (51.71118,0.4372)16.65
Hylands Estate (51.71118,0.4372)The Lion Inn (51.76,0.53522)7.81
The Lion Inn (51.76,0.53522)Alec's Restaurant (51.65427,0.25784)20.22
Total Distance *61.81 miles
Estimated Journey Time1.99 hours

* Approximate distance by road

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