If you’re planning to hit London on April 29, but still haven’t booked a place to stay, fear not. We’ve found the 10 best places to stay outside of the England’s capital that offer an easy commute to the royal wedding and still have great packages available.
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“For anyone happy to commute an hour or so outside of London, there are some fantastic packages at very reasonable rates in places such as Brighton, Windsor or Kent,” says Emma Thomas, Media Relations Manager, North America, for VisitEngland, the official tourism body for England.
And according to Emma, you don’t even have to make the trip to London to make the most of the party atmosphere that’s sweeping the nation. “With excitement growing as the wedding day nears, England is gearing up to celebrate across the country — from special weekend packages and screenings to street parties and themed menus,” she explains.
Here’s our pick of the best last-minute deals outside of the Big Smoke:
1. Windsor (30 miles west of London, 30-minutes by train)
With majestic Windsor Castle providing the town’s dramatic backdrop you can spend hours wandering the quaint streets dotted with antique stores and tea rooms. The Macdonald Windsor Hotel’s Royal Wedding Package costs £98 per person and includes either a one-night stay on either Thursday 28 April or Friday 29 April, plus a Bucks Fizz Buffet Brunch from 10am on April 29 in the Castle Suite, a four-course dinner in the Caleys restaurant on the night of your stay and commemorative gift
2. Kent (1 hour by road and rail from central London)
Historic Leeds Castle, a fabulous medieval fortress in Maidstone, Kent is offering luxury accommodation on the night of the Royal Wedding in one of the newly refurbished Stable Courtyard bedrooms, including breakfast in the 17th Century Fairfax Hall. And, if you decide to stay in Kent to watch the wedding, guests have access to a live screening on the Pavilion Lawn with a Key to the Castle ticket (valid for one year) and entry to the evening event with a screening of Mamma Mia followed by an amazing firework display. The total price for two guests staying one night is £237. Additional nights cost £160 per night. Go to leeds-castle.com or call +44 (0) 622 767813 to book.
3. Winchester (1 hour by direct train from London Waterloo and just over an hour by car)
Winchester hosted its own royal wedding when Mary Tudor married Philip II of Spain there in 1554. The city has lots of events happening on April 29. The Norton Park Hotel is offering a royal wedding weekend stay for two nights including accommodation in a standard room and a full English breakfast on both mornings from £130 per room, based on two guests. To book, visit QHotels.co.uk or call +44 (0)845 074 0060 and quote SPRINGHOTEL.
4. The Cotswolds (around 1.5 hours by train from Central London, or 2.5 hours by car)
One of England’s most beautiful areas and the home of senior royals including Prince Charles and Princess Anne. The Three Ways House is offering a ‘Royaltea Break’ which includes 2 nights or more in April for only £120 per guest sharing a twin or double room. Guests are offered a complimentary Royal Afternoon Tea – including The Earl’s smoked salmon sandwiches, homemade scones with thick cream and homemade Victoria Sponge with Earl Grey Tea, and a glass of Bubbly to toast the happy couple. For bookings, go to threewayshousehotel.com or call +44 (01)386 438429 and mention the Royaltea Break.
5. Stratford-upon-Avon (1.5 hours to London’s Marylebone station London by car and train)
In the historic home town of William Shakespeare, Royal Wedding Weekend Breaks are available at the Arden Hotel, where double start at £185 per room, per night and include a full English breakfast. The Arden is located directly opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatres, overlooking the River Avon. For staying in Stratford on April 29, the hotel will be hosting a Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea Party, which includes a glass of Deutz Champagne followed by a full afternoon tea for £25 per person. And the royal wedding’s not the only celebration in Stratford at the weekend. The town will also be hosting Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations, with events throughout the town. For details, go to: shakespeare-country.co.uk
6. Birmingham (120 miles from London, 1 hour 20 minutes by train)
The city of Birmingham is offering lots of royal wedding celebrations at the weekend. Enjoy food fit for a princess at Simpsons to get a taste of England with dishes such as Rhubarb & custard crumble soufflé, in a beautiful Georgian Grade II listed building, close to Birmingham’s city centre. The restaurant won a coveted Michelin star in 2006, which it has retained ever since, thanks to its light modern dishes. Simpsons boasts four individually themed en-suite bedrooms, The French, The Colonial, The Venetian and The Oriental, which all include a welcome basket of fresh fruit, mineral water, petit fours and a delicious continental breakfast the next morning. Rooms start at £160 per night, including continental breakfast. For more info, go to: simpsonsrestaurant.co.uk
7. Brighton (Less than 1 hour away from London, with over 100 direct trains running daily)
Located on England’s south coast, Brighton has plenty of royal history thanks to the fabulous Royal Pavilion, built as a holiday home of George IV. Over the wedding weekend, The Market Inn in the heart of the Brighton Lanes shopping area is offering a double room for three nights for just £240 including breakfast. The four-star Ambassador Hotel also has double rooms from April 29 to May 2 for just £302 for three nights including breakfast. For more deals, go to visitbrighton.com
8. Stoke-on-Trent (1.5 hours from Central London by train)
Home of the Potteries, which produces some of England’s best fine china tableware, Stoke-on-Trent is the best place to buy an authentic range of royal wedding souvenirs – and even see some of them actually being made. Trentham Estate, Shugborough Hall Wedgwood and Emma Bridgewater all offer tours. For more info, go to visitstoke.co.uk/royalwedding.aspx For accommodation, The Moat House hotel is offering rooms from £95 including breakfast over the royal wedding weekend. For more info, go to stokeontrentmoathouse.co.uk
9. Stamford (100 miles north of London. Just over 1 hour by train and two hours by car)
England’s greatest Elizabethan stately home, Burghley House in Lincolnshire, has long dominated the sweeping approach to the stone town of Stamford. He home was used as one of the locations for 2007’s ‘The Golden Age’ as well as Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley. The historic Bull & Swan in Burghley offers quirky luxury and hearty local food in the ‘Bedlam’ dining room, a former gentleamen’s drinking club. Double rooms at the Bull & Swan start at £90. For more info, go to: thebullandswan.co.uk
10. Bath (1.5 hours from London by train, 2 hours by car)
The royal family has been visiting the historic town of Bath for years, thanks to its famous Roman baths and picturesque Royal Victoria Park. Fosse Farmhouse, situated a few miles from Bath, will be hosting a Royal Garden Party for all overnight guests, including homemade Royal Wedding Cake and Earl Grey tea served in the beautiful grounds. Rates start at £99 per night including breakfast, wedding cake and tea. For more info on royal wedding celebrations in Bath, go to: VisitBath.co.uk