10 of the best British wine tours

As the UK’s wine industry continues to go from strength to strength, here are 10 wineries to choose from for your next trip.

1) Flint Barns in Rathfinny, East Sussex

Credit: Instagram/rathfinnyestate

A stay in sunny Sussex is good under any circumstances, especially now that the county’s sparkling wines have PDO status. Located in the Cradle Valley, this picturesque retreat sits between the sea and the vineyard, the barns serving as a cozy escape with plenty of opportunities to sample chef Chris Bailey’s higher version of British cuisine with, of course, the premium sparkling wine from Sussex.

2) Glyndwr Vineyard, Glamorgan

Credit: Instagram/ glyndwrvineyard

Named after 15th century Welsh hero Owain Glyndwr, this charming spot in South Wales may well be where the last true Prince of Wales disappeared after his failed rebellion against the English crown, in particular given the tog rating of his pigtails, as he waits to get up yet. As for wines, for over 40 years Glyndwr Vineyard has been producing red, white, rosé and sparkling – there’s also vermouth from a collaboration with Gower Gin. And, as if the offer couldn’t be better, the estate even has llamas.

3) Ryedale Vineyards, Yorkshire

Credit: Instagram/ryedalevineyards

When you think of British wine regions, Yorkshire is often overlooked, but with its striking scenery and historic buildings, it’s certainly one of the most picturesque, and Ryedale Vineyards offers both. Stay in the Pheasant Room for £130 a night, or upgrade to the Fox Room for £150 and spend a night in the attic of a 500-year-old farmhouse. There is also the Hare twin room, to be shared with the Fox or Pheasant room. An additional payment of £15 per person entitles you to a tour of the five-hectare vineyard and a tasting of some of its wines, including Yorkshire’s Lass (a white) and Rosie (a rosé).

4) Tillingham, East Sussex

Best British Wine Breaks: Tillingham
Credit: Instagram/tillinghamwines

Although not exclusively a vineyard, with orchards, woods and livestock, it fits in with Tillingham’s polycultural approach and produces a range of natural wines. Accommodation options are varied, with the former hop farm offering 11 double rooms. From October until the end of the year there is also the Sunday Punch Down package, where customers will be greeted with a bottle of Tillingham sparkling col on arrival, then they can enjoy a four course menu with a matching wine flight and a Bloody Mary for breakfast.

5) Castlewood Vineyard, Devon

Nestled near Musbury Castle, a historic Iron Age fort that stretches the acceptable definition of ‘castle’ in this writer’s view, Castlewood Vineyard’s two listed 18th-century cottages, by contrast, are more than worthy of their reputation. For those who want something a little different, there’s the Bluebird Bus, a decommissioned 1970s Canadian school bus that’s been converted into cozy, retro accommodation – it even has a wood-burning stove (thankfully, the old fuel tank of the bus is empty). When you want to stock up on wines like Devon Minnow and Castlewood Vintage Brut, there’s always the cellar door.

6) Denbies Vineyard Hotel at Denbies Wine Estate, Surrey

Best British Wine Breaks: Denbies
Credit: Instagram/steviemannphotography

With over 100 hectares of vines, Denbies is one of the largest producers in the UK and has an equally impressive hotel. For £225 you and a guest can get a double room, a three course dinner and full English in the morning, there is also the option of afternoon tea and plenty of opportunities to sample Surrey Gold and the estate’s Sparkling Bacchus, among others. If you then feel an understandable need to burn off those meals, renting a bike, pilates or an intense session with Paul’s Absolute Fitness might be in order and luckily all are options for guests of the hotel.

7) Glamping in Secret Valley Vineyard, Somerset

Credit: Instagram/svglamping

Glamping is certainly a divisive style of accommodation – existing in this harsh outback between hotel and tent – but if that’s your kind of thing, then why not pair it with a night in the vineyards. Pinot Noir, Rondo, Orion, Solaris and Reichensteiner are all grown here (and wines available for purchase). Whether you spend the night in a wigwam, lodge or shepherd’s hut, enjoy the serenity of the Quantocks with local wine, and miniature alpacas and donkeys to sweeten the deal.

8) Sandridge Barton Estate, Devon

Credit: Instagram/stay_at_sandridge_barton

The home of Sharpham Wine is also home to a variety of places to stay. Choose from a six-bedroom Georgian house, the Boathouse (also built during the Georgian period) which is perched on the bank of the River Dart, or, for easy winery access, the Lower Well Farmhouse. The restaurant alone is worth the detour: small local producers are favored, the chefs even making their own charcuterie and vinegar. Of course, Sharpham Wine is the perfect accompaniment to the menu.

9) The Goudhurst Inn by Balfour Wine Estate, Kent

Best Winery Stays in the UK - The Goudhurst Inn
Credit: Instagram/thegoudhurstinn

After sampling hearty (but fine) pub fare with Balfour wines or local ale, settle in for a night in one of the boutique hotel rooms, from just £109. Then head to the winery, just a 10-minute taxi ride through the Kent countryside, for a full estate tour and tasting costing £45 weekdays or £65 weekends, or, once a month , immerse yourself in an art and wine evening, then return to the Goudhurst Inn for a nightcap.

10) Valley Farm Vineyards, Suffolk

Credit: Instagram/valleyfarmvineyards

For when you want a grape getaway, there’s always a cabin among the vines of Madeleine Angevine and Suffolk Pinot Gris. Founded in 1987, current caretaker Adrian Cox has owned the site since last year after deciding he wanted to move away from construction and focus on growing vines. While the cabin may seem rustic, its combination of old and new technologies, with sheep’s wool insulation and solar-powered energy, make it an ideal retreat for simple, low-carbon comfort.

If you want to visit somewhere a little further from home, check out 10 of the best wine tours around the world.

Comments are closed.