48 hours in Berkshire: the best bits

Wondering where to go on your next weekend getaway? If you want to escape city life and indulge in some well-earned rest and relaxation, Berkshire could be the perfect countryside retreat.

Stay… at Hurley House, Henley

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The drive is straightforward from Sheffield to Berkshire… two hours 40 minutes via the M1, merging onto the M40. And there’s free parking on arrival at the hotel.

The rooms are luxurious! With all of the modern conveniences you’d expect from this newly built boutique hotel; yet combined with traditional country features – wooden beams, classic antique furniture and soft throws – in-keeping with its rural location.

Rooms are priced from £160 – £210 per night (including breakfast). Book here.

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Dinner…

The restaurant at Hurley House is something special! Relax with a pre-dinner-drink by the fire or in the gardens, then step into the chic fine dining restaurant where Michelin star chef, Michael Chapman, serves a seasonal, locally-sourced menu.

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I ordered the crab starter, followed by fillet steak main.

Theres also a tempting choice of desserts if you don’t overindulge in the complementary warm bread basket appetiser.

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Book your table here.

After an exceptionally quiet and comfortable night’s sleep, breakfast was served in the restaurant.

Help yourself to the continental buffet and/or order a hot breakfast from the menu – from a full English to porridge or avocado on sourdough.

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Relax on the riverside…

Drive just ten minutes down a long country lane and you’ll reach Henley on Thames. Watch the boats go by from the beer garden or stop off for a coffee – theres a chocolate cafe right on the riverside.

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Wander around Windsor…

15 minutes south east of Henley is Windsor.

Take a tour of the castle – an official residency of her majesty the Queen – or enjoy wandering along the riverbank and browsing the shops.

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Break up the journey at Bicester…

On route back north, we stopped off at Bicester Village, about 30 minutes north of Henley. Home to the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Chloe, Tommy Hilfiger and YSL – take advantage of designer shopping with up to 60% off the price tag.

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If you’ve got room for lunch, head over to Soho House farmshop at the far end of Bicester Village; serving up rustic British food on wooden tables with cobblestone floors and quirky barn doors. Not hungry? Visit the takeaway stall outside and take home some hearty farmhouse fare.

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