Distinctive Lodgings in the UK and Paris

I have so much to share with you about our trip to England, Scotland, and Paris! I've decided the best way to do this is not chronologically, but topically. The trip took months of planning...consumed nearly all my free time for about three months. It was the trip of a lifetime, and since I'd anticipated it for...oh...ALL my life(!), I really wanted it to be exactly as I'd envisioned. Since so much planning and thought went into our trip, I've decided to share all the links to the places we stayed, ate, visited, toured, etc., in hopes that it might help someone else planning a similar trip.

Since all my postings will be topical in nature, if you need a framework of an itinerary, here's the basics of ours:

-depart Boston Logan Airport on a red-eye (very pleased with Norwegian Airlines)
-arrive Gatwick Airport (London) - three nights in London
-depart London and arrive in Paris - three nights in Paris
-depart Paris and arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland - one night
-depart Edinburgh and arrive in Scottish Highlands - two nights
-depart Scottish Highlands and arrive in Yorkshire Dales/Lake District - three nights
-depart Yorkshire Dales and arrive in Cotswolds - three nights
-depart Cotswolds and arrive in London - two nights
-depart Gatwick Airport (London)
-arrive Boston Logan Airport

The most time-consuming part of the planning process was finding lodgings that: fit the budget, were large enough to accommodate three people, were clean and safe, and were distinctive and gave us the feel of really being in that particular locale. I must say that all the hard work paid off, because we were 100% pleased with each one!

London Hotel

The first hotel we stayed in was the London House Hotel (click here for their website). I found this place through Rick Steves' London 2017 guide. It's located in the Bayswater area of London, sufficiently close to a Tube station and restaurants, yet a couple blocks removed from busyness on a quiet street. The room was super clean, which is very important to me. And the breakfast buffet offered a nice variety of choices. I booked the hotel directly. We would not hesitate to stay here again!

Paris Airbnb

In Paris, we opted to try out Airbnb for the first time ever, because we wanted to stay in a classic Paris apartment (find it by clicking here). It was in the St. Germain area of Paris (6th arrondisement). It had: one bedroom and a sofa bed, nicely sized rooms, two balconies, and the best shower of the entire trip. Best part of this apartment was the view! Worst part was that it was on the 4th floor, and there was no elevator. But the view made it all worth it! The management company was stellar and made us feel ever so welcome!

View from the living room balcony:

Looking hard right at night (zoomed in), we had a view of the sunset and a partial Eiffel Tower view!

And a slightly grainy cell phone shot of the Eiffel Tower at night from the balcony.

Edinburgh (Scotland) Hotel

I wanted to stay in a former country house estate at least once, and so we chose the Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club on the outskirts of Edinburgh (click here for the link). It was built in the 18th century and converted to a hotel in the 1920's. The grounds are beautiful and we enjoyed walking about them. The rooms are all located in the newer addition (not pictured) and ours was nicely spacious. The breakfast buffet is more than generous with omelettes made to order, fixings for a full English breakfast, pastries, fruit, yogurt, cereals, and more!

The light-filled restaurant is where breakfast is served, with views to the golf course, tartan upholstered chairs, and attentive staff.

Scottish Highland Hotel

I will admit that I had my doubts about this hotel when I booked it. Its location was quite remote, and I was dubious. But the Bridge of Orchy Hotel won our hearts (click here for the link)! The staff was exceptional! And check out the restaurant menu! Seriously, some of the most consistently delicious and elegantly served food of the entire trip! Would stay here again in a heartbeat! (That's me on the steps and our rental car on the far right.)

Yorkshire Dales Farmhouse

Although all our lodgings were superb, my hands-down favorite was the Farmhouse at A Corner of Eden in the Yorkshire Dales (in northern England), which Colette gifted to us last Christmas (what a sweetie!). Click here for the link. If you're looking for that classic, English country house feel, this is IT! It feels earthy, yet elegant. And everything you could possibly need to live well is included...right down to the Wellies and Barbour coats for the borrowing. Lots of pictures of this location, because it was just fabulous! Very hard to leave this one, and I'd be most happy to go back and stay a week. And I should mention that it's in the lovely countryside surrounded by green fields filled with sheep and lambs, which you can hear baa-ing from the house. A walk across the fields will get you to the local pub, or cook your own food in the kitchen and serve fireside in the dining room. All just TOO wonderful!

The formal dining room where a fire was already set in the fireplace. 

The cupboards flanking the dining room fireplace were filled with essentials, all nicely labeled with hang tags. This one's tag read "Crockery", and it contained dishes and glassware.

The "dairy" of the house, historically used for keeping food cold, now housed an honesty bar and the Wellies.

The cozy kitchen came provisioned with high-quality cookware and all the essentials for cooking. The owner, who lives in a building next to the Farmhouse, stocked the kitchen with farm fresh eggs, a welcome hamper of treats, homemade bread, and a Victoria Sponge cake! Yum!

Colette chose this bedroom:

And the room Hubby and I chose, and the view from our bedroom window. Bliss!

And a bathroom with a view!

Cotswold Cottage

In the Cotswolds, we stayed at Rambling Rose Cottage (click here for the link). Utterly charming! And the cutest kitchen EVER! And I got to cook on an Aga cooker, which felt so incredibly British! We loved its location, which was close to Stow-on-the-Wold, mere minutes from Daylesford Farm (for a restaurant and healthy groceries), and near other key destinations in the Cotswolds.

London Hotel

And for our last two days, we stayed at The Grosvenor hotel in London, built in the reign of Queen Victoria (click here for the link). Never underestimate the value of Expedia for scoring a great deal! Yes! It was our most spacious accommodation of the trip, had wonderful staff, and was centrally located to Victoria Station, Buckingham Palace, and many other London sites.

Next posting: London Museums!


  1. What a wonderful trip you had! Thank you for sharing all of this information...you planned and organized everything. I bet your travel journal is full to brimming! On another note, we just vacationed for one week in Virginia to celebrate our upcoming 40th Anniversary. We spent two days in Colonial Williamsburg (we honeymooned there). My purpose for sharing this information is that I took inspiration from your photos, mainly your notecards that you used to sell. Still life photos of all the historical things that you see, because of those details I just love my photos from our trip. (My Instagram is melissasnotes if you care to see some of them). Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Just checked out your pics! Gorgeous! I particularly love the blue ones...the boats and the upholstered chair! Just lovely as could be!

  2. Hi Kate, I just checked out all the places you stayed. Did the Dalmahoy offer you a cot or did you need to get a suite? We will be travelling with three people as well. I am wondering if a teenage boy would enjoy the Yorkshire Dales Farmhouse area or the Cotswolds the best or both. I've got to keep him busy! He loves the outdoors and hiking!

    1. Great questions! Upon reviewing the Dalmahoy's website, if you hover over "Rooms & Suites", and then click on "Classic", scroll down the page to "Classic Twin Rooms"...that's what we got. It has two double beds.
      I think a teenage boy would enjoy both the Yorkshire Dales and the Cotswolds. Both have ample opportunity to get outside and explore. The farmhouse in the Dales is fairly remote. I would feel entirely safe letting him roam a bit on his own, provided he could keep the farmhouse in sight. Not sure how old he is? I think there are a lot of great hikes in the area, which the owners seem to do a lot of (I follow them on Instagram), so they could probably point you in the right direction. I also recall there being a fabulous sounding horseback riding outing in the area, which I would've booked for us, but alas...we are all tall people and my husband exceeded their size limitation (which you have to translate from stones to pounds to figure out). BUT, if you are all of a more average height, that would be a breathtakingly beautiful experience!
      There are lots of walking trails (fewer hiking trails, I would think) in the Cotswolds. It is less rugged and remote and more what one thinks of in terms of genteel British countryside. That being said, there are far more restaurants and pubs and more shopping in that area...more to DO in general.
      We enjoyed the atmosphere of the Cotswolds, but found the farmhouse more relaxing. I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite. I like them both for different reasons, and could easily go back and plunk myself down in either one for a week (or weeks!) on end and be perfectly happy.
      Enjoy our planning!

  3. Thank you so much for the info. It's a lot to think about. :)

  4. Hi Kate, Another question, Did you rent a car your entire stay in the Scotland/England? How was driving on the wrong side of the road? I'm quite nervous about this.

    1. We arranged our trip so that we flew into London and used public transportation for three days, then we took the Chunnel/train to Paris where we also used public transportation, then we took the Chunnel/train back to London and transferred to another train and took that to Scotland. Once we were in Scotland, we rented a car. We (I say "we", but it was all my husband) drove it around Scotland, down to the Yorkshire Dales, to the Cotswolds, and to Highclere Castle, afterwhich we turned it in at Gatwick (I think?) and took the train into London. Then we used public transportation again. So our trip was bookended with public transportation, with about 10 days of a car rental in the middle.
      The most challenging driving was in Scotland, because the country roads are very narrow at times. My husband would say that it is easier to drive than you think it might be, because the markings on the road are different than here in the U.S., so it's a constant visual reminder that things are different. Just don't take round-abouts the wrong direction.


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