Working within the corporate world of London can be both exhilarating and exhausting. The constant bustle of the capital means that everyone needs a break to recharge every now and then, and so a retreat out with the city – yet still within easy reach for all its conveniences – is the ideal solution. Here are some great venues for just such an occasion, all of which can be reached from London in around two hours or less.
￼Wasing Park is a hugely versatile offering, able to host anything from a formal dinner party for 20 to a bustling festival for 20,000. The range of historic buildings full of country charm and period features include a boutique hotel with 26 en-suite bedrooms, so you needn’t worry about sorting accommodation for your guests. Also found on the estate are stunning lakes, the Woodland Venue, and the Secret Walled Garden. About an hour from London, it can be found less than 10 minutes from the nearest train station.
Proud Country House is set within the beautiful Stanmer Park, which, though feeling every bit the idyllic countryside retreat, is within easy reach of Brighton and therefore good rail links back into the capital, with both Falmer and Moulsecoomb stations reachable in around 10 minutes. There’s a great mix of handsomely appointed indoor and outdoor space to be found, with a total capacity of 1000 to make the most of.
Found in Essex, just an hour from London, Chalkney Water Meadows is a one-of-a-kind festival and glamping space for up to 200 people that offers up delicious hog roasts, pizza ovens, real ale and various team building activities. Backing onto beautiful, still waters, this open space is ideal for those who want to fill their lungs with the freshest of air and revel in the great outdoors, but the luxurious yurt-style accommodation means you needn’t sacrifice comfort.
Millbridge Court in Surrey is comprised of 3 main function spaces, a bar, a lounge and 7 boutique double en-suite bedrooms. The luxurious nature of the décor and the mix of both sumptuous and contemporary finishes makes it a warm and welcoming venue, whilst the picturesque gardens and rural surroundings mean there is also plenty of scope for getting outside and embracing the break from the big city.
The Lensbury in Teddington – less than 20 minutes from the train station of the same name – says grandeur from the moment you arrive, with its striking and imposing building and gorgeous gardens. The attention to detail and high standards are maintained throughout the interior, with various function and meeting spaces making this a popular destination for everything from conferences to wedding receptions. There is even the opportunity to build rafts and take part in various water sports and dragon boating, for something totally unique.
The London Wetland Centre is a wildlife conservation reserve and is, as such, set within wonderful natural surroundings. There are various rooms at your disposal for a range of different uses, and full-length windows ensure you benefit from both great natural lighting and the splendour of the view beyond. The capacity allows for up to 480 guests, and the nearest rail link is a mere 6-minute drive away, belying the venue’s secluded, back-to-nature feel.