Your superb summer three-day stay at Donnington Grove Hotel
Long summer days are just made for being outdoors. Especially in beautiful scenery with exciting things to do. This is why Donnington Grove Hotel is perfect for a three-day summer break.
It’ll see you exploring exquisite grounds and relaxing in gorgeous gardens. Trying your hand at clay pigeon shooting, fishing or golf. Heading out to nearby Highclere Castle and the racecourse at Newbury. Or wandering back from a night at the Watermill Theatre through our grounds.
Donnington has all the ingredients for an idyllic summer-time country house stay.
Mornings at Donnington Grove Hotel
Indulge in beautiful breakfasts
After a sound night’s sleep in your gorgeous room, Donnington eases you into the country house vibe with a fabulous breakfast feast. Whatever your preference, we’ve got it covered: yoghurt and fresh fruit salad, punchy coffee and flaky pastries, rich smoked salmon and golden scrambled eggs, or a full-bodied, full-English breakfast, complete with the finest local pork sausages and grilled back bacon.
Discover our estate
After that fine feed, your first morning might see you itching to explore the 500-acre Donnington estate. Tour the gardens, stroll down towards the magnificent lake, wander across the parkland to the woods. Or you could pick up a footpath to twin-towered 14th century Donnington Castle on the edge of the grounds. If you’d like a longer walk to work off breakfast, consider a stretch of the 20 mile Lambourne Valley Way which winds from Newbury to the Uffington White Horse on the Berkshire Downs. You can pick up the trail from the edge of Donnington’s grounds
Explore Highclere Castle – ITV’s Downton Abbey
Donnington’s country house atmosphere sets the scene perfectly for a trip to one of Britain’s most talked about stately homes. Highclere Castle, star of the ITV series Downton Abbey, is just 8 miles away. It’s a dreamy spot to visit in summer, with its crisp green lawns and fine stonework gleaming in the sun.
The historic gardens are a seasonal highlight, with the Rose Arbour and Wild Flower Meadows particular delights. Highclere tends to open from Sunday to Thursday between, mid-July and early-September, check their website for the latest opening times.
Afternoons at Donnington Grove Hotel
Try clay pigeon shooting
Keep that stately home theme going with a contemporary take on that classic country house pursuit - clay pigeon shooting. Donnington is an ideal place to give it a try - all equipment is provided and skilled staff are on hand to guide you through the basics, or help you perfect your technique.
Cast a fly
Or cast a fly into Donnington’s very own crystal-clear chalk stream – a half-mile stretch of the River Lambourn. The river trout season runs from mid-April to September. What’s more, Donnington’s resident guide, John Stevens, can be on hand to provide tackle and guidance.
Play a round of golf
And then, of course, there’s golf. Donnington is home to a celebrated and challenging 18-hole championship course. It’s also extremely picturesque – the River Lambourn runs through the course,
Savour a classically English afternoon tea
Summer is the season to indulge in that quintessentially English experience – afternoon tea. Dainty finger sandwiches, scones, jam and clotted cream, light pastries and cakes. At Donnington you can enjoy this exquisite meal in exquisite surroundings – on the sunny patio overlooking the lake. Washed those treats down either with a glass of Prosecco or a nice pot of fair-trade tea.
Go all glamorous for an afternoon at the races
What better than a summer day at the races? At Newbury Racecourse, less than 4 miles from Donnington Estate, summer afternoon futures get under way between 1pm and 2pm, with plenty of action until the last races start around 4.30pm or 5.30pm. It’s a classic English scene, an ideal opportunity to sip some fizz, back some winners and dress to impress.
Evenings at Donnington Grove Hotel
See a play or a concert.
One of the many delights of Donnington is that the prestigious Watermill Theatre is right on our doorstep – only 2 miles away. The Watermill is one of the UK’s most successful regional producing theatres and is famous for putting on compelling, entertaining shows. Being able to walk there through Donnington’s grounds on a summer’s evening adds to the appeal.
Also, keep an eye out for evening events at nearby Highclere Castle. It might be a Battle Prom Concert, complete with “music, cannons, cavalry & fireworks” - quite a night.
Enjoy evening races and gin
Newbury Racecourse holds some evening races in June and July. Look out for their popular Gin Thursdays, where they make the most of the long summer evenings, with racing starting just after 6pm, and finishing by around 9pm.
Delight in dinner at Donnington Grove Hotel
Dinner at Donnington Grove is a highlight of any stay. Beau’s Restaurant is named after the famous Georgian dandy, and former Donnington resident, Beau Brummel. It’s a suitably stylish, but also extremely relaxed affair. To a country house setting and attentive service you can add global cuisine – Head Chef Simon Hodgson is passionate about creating traditional cuisine with innovative twists. Expect the finest local and seasonal produce to be transformed by New World and Asian accents. A fitting end to your memorable summertime three-day Donnington stay.