Moonfleet Manor – Weymouth, Dorset
Is there a more idyllic setting for a family break than the intriguingly named Moonfleet Manor? If it sounds like something out of an adventure novel, it is: steeped in smuggling history, the house formed the backdrop for John Meade Falkner’s swashbuckling novel of the same name. Built for Maximilian Mohune and overlooking Fleet Lagoon on the Jurassic Coast, the big, friendly Georgian house has a spectacular location. Its elegant and welcoming interiors provide the perfect contrast to the spine-tingling landscape of Chesil Beach, an 18 mile-long stretch of pebbles (about 180 billion, they reckon) and setting for the eponymous film based on Ian McEwan’s novel. With its Ofsted-registered crèche, verandah, indoor play zone, outdoor sandpit and playground, tennis courts, spa treatment rooms and indoor pool, plus sophisticated dining in the Mediterranean-style restaurant and bedroom decor that ranges from grand to contemporary, Moonfleet truly has something for everyone. There’s plenty to explore nearby too, from walks along the South West Coast Path that runs along the bottom of the hotel’s garden to crabbing in Weymouth.
Doubles from £109
+44 (0)1305 786948; moonfleetmanorhotel.co.uk