UK & Ireland

Through the looking glass: 7 hotels with the best views in the UK

Get a view with a room at these hotels across the UK, from B&Bs tucked amid rolling hills to suites with windows that frame views of the sea

Have you ever booked a room with a view only to find that the view in question was only visible by squinting through a magnifying glass or pressing your nose right against the window? Many hotels claim to offer windows that bring the scenery inside yet fail to deliver more than far, far away hills or a distant shimmer of sea.

That’s not the case with the properties on our carefully curated list. Each of these hotels has been selected because they offer some of the best views in the UK, from iconic London architecture to Britain’s most inspiring landscapes.

Here’s our pick of the best hotels for soaking up the surroundings from the comfort of your room.

See London's Tower Bridge from your room

Of all the views in London, Tower Bridge must be among the most recognisable and, well, fairytale-like. And of all the hotels in the UK’s capital, The Tower Hotel offers some of the best views around. No room is left in the dark, unless you’re talking about the twinkly “dark” of London, where inky skies are a backdrop to soft street lamps, the illuminated windows of sleek skyscrapers and historic buildings, and bridges flooded with light.

Each room or suite has a wide window, either framing views of the bridge’s Gothic-Revival towers and powder-blue rails or overlooking St. Katherine’s Docks marina, one of the prettiest and most peaceful pockets of central London.

Dine above a patchwork of green scenery around the Malvern Hills

The Cottage in the Wood is actually more of a grand hotel on a hill, though, don’t hold that against it. Perched up in the Malvern Hills and with forested slopes rolling up and behind the elegant white, pitched-roofed building, the hotel makes for a pretty picture. The views from inside, though, are something else, sweeping and swooshing down and across the Severn Valley.

The Georgian hotel and restaurant dates back to the 18th century and has eight acres of its own woodland for guests to explore. Chic, cottage-style rooms have large windows looking out onto the valley. But it’s 1919 Restaurant and Bar, where breakfast, afternoon tea and innovative, seasonally focused dishes are served, that really shows off the scenery. Grab a table right by the lofty windows and gaze across a patchwork of woodland, hills, farmland and orchards, with towns and villages tucked in-between.

Cottage In The Wood

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (587 reviews)

Bring the beach to your room on the Devon coast

Rooms at Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa in Devon are so prettily decked out in soft, nautical stripes and coastal textures of whicker and pale wood that you may have to keep reminding yourself that this isn’t a particularly elegant cruise ship. You are, in fact, stationary, though views like this can carry you away. The spa hotel is right on the water’s edge so there’s nothing but glass between the rooms and Salcombe Estuary.

The scenery is so serene it’s almost soporific, though, you’ll want to stay awake to watch boats glide past, sails fluttering softly in the breeze, and just to stare at the slate-blue water, edged by pale sandy beaches and backed by thick forest.

Overlooking the Salcombe estuary, this upscale hotel is a six-minute walk from the Maritime Museum and 1.4 miles from Salcombe North Sands beach. Nautically themed rooms, many with balconies and estuary views, are equipped with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, tablet computers and complimentary decanters of gin and sherry.

Balcony rooms come with a pair of binoculars. Suites add living spaces. Luxury three-storey villas with full kitchens are also available. Room service is offered. A waterside restaurant serves free full breakfast, and offers al fresco dining for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. There’s also a spa, a pool and a private cinema.

Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (774 reviews)

Breathe in the ocean air from your balcony on Jersey

You’d be hard-pressed to uncover an ugly inch of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands. You’d also be hard-pressed to find a place to stay with views quite so spectacular as those from The Atlantic Hotel, near Saint Brelande.

Tucked within its own six acres of impeccably landscaped, beautifully blooming gardens, it’s set just high enough to look down and across St. Ouen’s Bay and out to the Atlantic Ocean.

The singularity of the setting thankfully wasn’t lost on whoever designed the hotel. Every single room has a balcony jutting out towards the ocean or towards the nearby golf course, while studios have larger terraces stepping directly out to the gardens and outdoor pool. If the weather happens to be less than clement, the floor-to-ceiling French windows bring the views into the cosy indoors.

The Atlantic Hotel

Top rated
Saint Brelade
9.6 Excellent (516 reviews)

Sleep by the shores of a loch in the Scottish Highlands

Not every room at Isles of Glencoe Hotel in the Scottish Highlands, enjoys a view of Loch Leven, a lake and nature reserve that’s home to more breeding ducks than any other inland destination in Europe. No, some have views of the mountains, which stretch and soar behind the hotel.

So, really, there’s no bad choice. Rooms have huge picture windows framing whichever view you choose, so you can either gaze at the forest-lined water – scattered with the nine isles of Glencoe that give the hotel its name – or draw the curtains each morning to reveal slopes carpeted in green. Not a bad dilemma, really.

The elegant hotel is in Ballachulish, a village split in two by the loch, and the surroundings aren’t neglected in other parts of the building. The restaurant, Water’s Edge, has tables outside and in an orangery-style structure with uninterrupted views of the loch.

Isles Of Glencoe

Top rated
8.5 Excellent (2215 reviews)

Swim in a pool with views of Lake Windermere

Considering the abundance of glorious views in the Lake District, few hotels actually look out directly onto the water. Even fewer are situated lakeside, which is what makes Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa so special.

The spa hotel sits on the shores of Lake Windermere, one of the loveliest lakes in the region (and there’s some pretty stiff competition). It’s so close to the water that, viewed from across the lake, it appears to float. It can feel that way inside the hotel, too, with floor-to-ceiling glass seeming to bring the water and its forested shoreline into the atrium and – a real treat – a spa pool and loungers overlooking the lake.

Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa

8.4 Very good (1366 reviews)

See the sea from every window at this Cornish beauty

Newquay isn’t short of heart-stopping views, though, few hotels take advantage of them so spectacularly as the Bedruthan. The hotel perches on the bluffs above the shortbread-hued sands of Mawgan Porth Beach, and not an inch of the scenery is wasted.

Enormous picture windows bring it into the bright café and Herring, the relaxed restaurant where guests are encouraged to linger over slow-cooked dishes made with ingredients drawn from the surroundings.

The hotel opened in 1959, but it manages to be both timelessly classic and thoroughly modern with a blend of Danish design and Californian coastal architecture. Rooms are breezily decorated with splashes of jewel colours from amethyst to jade: just enough to keep it joyful, without distracting from the main event outside.

Bedruthan Hotel And Spa

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (666 reviews)