Home Hotel reviewsCountry house hotels Historic luxury at Fawsley Hall hotel & spa, Northamptonshire

Historic luxury at Fawsley Hall hotel & spa, Northamptonshire

This 600 year old hotel has hosted Kings and Queens and has a stunning Great Hall and modern spa

by Sarah Bridge
Fawsley Hall hotel & spa

A stay at Fawsley Hall & Spa

Hand Picked Hotel‘s flagship hotel Fawsley Hall hotel & spa in Northamptonshire near Daventry is an impressively grand country house hotel and spa – we’re talking at least 600 years old here – which has withstood all manner of wars, plagues and famines and was perfectly capable of dealing with coronavirus as well.

fawlsey hall hotel

The four-star Fawsley Hall hotel & spa is set within 2,000 acres of Northamptonshire parkland

fawsley hall hotel exterior

The hotel has 60 bedrooms, including 11 ‘feature suites’ and massive Great Hall dating back hundreds of years

Set in acres of beautiful green Midlands countryside down a quiet country lane, Fawsley Hall hotel is in a bubble at the best of times – like the best country house hotels – and made the most of its ability to create a safe and secure environment.

Get my free email with offers and updates!

Sign up to receive my monthly email full of news, offers and brand new reviews!

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Fawsley Hall hotel history

Built by the prestigious Knightly family, who came over with William the Conqueror and whose descendants were knighted by various Kings of England, Fawsley Hall hotel has even hosted monarchs including Elizabeth I and Charles I.

On arrival we entered the Great Hall, and never has a hall been so aptly named. The ceiling is possibly one of the highest hotel lounge ceilings in Britain and still contains some original beams from its construction in 1537 as well as the original Tudor fireplace, where you can see the coat of arms of Richard I and the 26 knights who accompanied him on his first crusade.

Book Fawsley Hall at Booking.com

Visit Fawsley Hall on Tripadvisor

Great Hall at Fawsley Hall hotel

The aptly-named Great Hall at Fawsley Hall hotel

Fawsley Hall afternoon tea

These days the Great Hall at Fawsley Hall is a popular place for afternoon tea and every sofa was occupied by friends and relatives enjoying a long-awaited catch up over scones and clotted cream, under the watchful eye of Tudor portraits.

The Great Hall is a popular spot for afternoon teas and at Christmastime there’s a massive Christmas tree in the hall.

It felt very fitting that I had bought with me Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy to read and in fact, my bedroom, Louisa Mary Bowater, aka room 42, was the perfect place to read it in – a vast, grand but relaxing space with not only a huge bed but a sofa, huge bay windows and a walk-in closet area so you could keep the main area pristine.

If you like reading historic hotels reviews then check out:




Louisa Mary Bowater bedroom at Fawsley Hall hotel & spa

My lovely room, Louisa Mary Bowater, was on the first floor and was vast, with huge windows (there’s a set of bay windows and a dining table which I couldn’t fit in the picture) and an air of tradition and opulence

Fawlsey Hall bedrooms

Bay windows with original wooden shutters opened out to views of carefully planted gardens and the fields and lake beyond and the whole room exuded opulence and calm. I had a peek into another room, Sir Francis Wolsingham, which was darker and more traditional in feel – four-poster bed and a lot more oak – so the rooms do vary in style and for me, room 42 was just perfect.

bathroom at Fawsley Hall Louisa Mary Bowater bedroom

My en-suite was also of a considerable size, with free-standing bath, separate walk-in shower and lots of fluffy towels and complimentary toiletries

robe-and-slipper-and-lotions bundle

My individual robe-and-slipper-and-lotions bundle

The bathroom was immaculate, with a roll-top bath, walk in rainfall shower, tonnes of large fluffy towels and toiletries and great views across the field to the parish church beyond. It was like going back in time to hundreds of years before coronavirus was even heard of.

Visiting Fawsley Hall hotel spa

My booked swim and spa treatments called so, as requested, I donned the robe and slippers in my room and padded across to the spa which is a minute’s walk from the main hotel building.

The indoor pool at Fawsley Hall

The indoor pool at Fawsley Hall hotel. There’s also a gym and outside hydrotherapy pool.

The treatment by the cheerfulJodie was excellent – far more thorough than I was expecting – and I was completely unknotted by the time I headed to the pool for my first swim in months. Only two other people were swimming at the same time and while the sauna and steam room were closed, the large outdoor hydrotherapy pool was open.

I was so busy chatting about to a fellow bather that Jodie had to come and fetch me for my pedicure. An hour of gossip and foot therapy later, me and my transformed feet were heading back to the hotel to change for dinner.

dining room at Fawsley Hall.

The dining room at Fawsley Hall

Fawsley Hall restaurant

Dinner was in one of several smaller rooms and probably the only room I thought could have done with a touch of improvement: it was rather dark, not especially packed with atmosphere, and a few thoughtful design touches to give it a touch of life would work well here – maybe some quiet music or some better lighting.

Fawsley Hall menu

The menu for dinner at Fawsley Hall. Menus as well as newspapers and magazines were also available on the hotel’s app

The menu, as in other Hand Picked Hotels I’ve stayed in, including New Hall and Brandshatch, was clearly written and a good range of modern British cuisine, and we started with Caesar salad and British charcuturie.

baked sea trout

My excellent baked sea trout

British charcuterie

Our starter of British charcuterie

I then had baked sea trout, brown shrimp, fine beans, parsley and caper butter, while my dining companion had 10oz Herfordshire beef sirloin with chunky chips. There was also an extra course thrown in with eggs confit. All were very well done indeed, the mains being particularly tasty.

However for the first time ever – I’m probably out of practice – I couldn’t even look at the dessert menu because I was so full, and indeed I had to go for a walk around the grounds after the meal before I was genuinely scared I was going to go ‘pop’.

The upside was that it was a beautiful evening and I had the hotel and grounds to myself.

quiet country lanes next to the hotel

My morning walk took me along the quiet country lanes next to the hotel and over the fields along the Knightly Way footpath

Exploring Fawsley Hall hotel

My disturbed night’s sleep was certainly a result of over-eating and not a fault with the immense and comfortable bed, but it did mean that I was determined to walk off a few more calories before breakfast. On the dot of 7.30am I headed out for a the perfect Sunday morning walk; first down the winding lane to be greeted by dozens of grazing sheep, then across the fields along the well-marked Knightly Way, and then back across the neighbouring field to the hotel which contained the charming little church of St Mary the Virgin.

St Mary the Virgin church Fawsley

Sheep safely grazing next to the lovely historic parish church of St Mary the Virgin which is the final resting place of many of Fawsley Hall’s former residents

sign showing the Knightly Way footpath

The sign showing the Knightly Way footpath

St Mary the Virgin church, Fawsley

This is a popular place for weddings at Fawsley Hall – although you’d have to persuade the sheep to go someone else for a few weeks beforehand I’d suggest – and the little parish church is the final resting place of many of the Knightley family, but sadly not of its copper roof which made headlines when it was stolen in 2015 – an appeal raised £100,000 to replace it. It’s well worth a visit though and is full of fascinating facts such as the bells date from 1440 and are possibly the oldest set of still ringable bells in the country.

Breakfast at Fawsley Hall hotel

After a palate-cleansing yoghurt and granola breakfast (there were many cooked options too) it was time to head off to North Yorkshire to review another hotel – but it would be hard to compete with the history and grandeur of Fawsley.

Hotel information and to book Fawsley Hall hotel

Fawsley Hall hotel & spa, Fawsley, Northamptonshire, NN1 3BA

Rooms start from £270 for a classic room and from £508 in a Master Suite.

Book Fawsley Hall at Booking.com

Visit Fawsley Hall on Tripadvisor

Hand Picked Hotels is a collection of 19 luxury hotels in the UK and the Channel Islands. Other Hand Picked Hotels reviewed by ALadyofLeisure.com are: New Hall hotel and spa in Birmingham – an historic hotel with a moat; Relaxing in the slow lane at Brandshatch hotel and spa, Kent

If you liked this review of Fawsley Hall hotel then why not Pin It?

Fawsley Hall hotel & spa pinterest pin

You may also like