On the fringes of Stratford-on-Avon lies a Jacobean-style country hotel that will make your next trip to Shakespeare country extra special, as Group Travel World's editor Helen Milbank discovers...

With Shakespeare country on its doorstep, The Welcombe Hotel – or Hallmark Hotel Stratford-upon-Avon The Welcombe to give it its full name – is a slice of Jacobean-style decadence that mixes contemporary décor with traditional oak panelled chic.

Just a 15-minute walk, across parkland, from the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon, the hotel’s ideal for families, couples and groups keen to explore all the town has to offer. And that’s quite some offering, with the world-famous Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (shakespeare.org.uk) and Royal Shakespeare Theatre (rsc.org.uk) just two of the attractions that hint at the epic history of the town.

Back at the hotel, and you’ll feel as though you’re at a country retreat. We loved the newly revamped pool and spa, and were impressed by the quality of the food in the Trevelyan restaurant, which serves breakfast, dinner and afternoon tea. Expect top-notch British and European fare, with starters from £7 and mains from £14.50. The house Chardonnay at £20-ish a bottle was one of the best I’ve had.

Doubles start at around £99 per night, and dogs are welcome in the Classic rooms. Affordable luxury and a great location. Find out more at www.hallmarkhotels.co.uk

PHOTO: GTW's editor Helen and daughter Georgie explore the grounds, which link to paths that head straight into town.

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