News of the Downton Abbey movie hitting cinemas this year reignited this need in myself to gallivant off into the countryside and go on rambles in really un-rambly gowns. Lol just kidding – about the gowns. Countryside weekenders? Absolutely a mood for 2019 thanks to the Downton Abbey resurgence.
While Australia’s known for it’s outback red dirt and sandy beaches, it’s also got some epic countryside getaway spots. Just a few hours out of major cities you can find quaint little English-esque towns and rolling hills just waiting for your picnic blanket to be laid upon. And yes, if you look hard enough you’ll find manor-esque properties to stay so you can curl up in front of a fireplace and sip tea like Maggie Smith.
Here’s our picks around Oz for your next weekender, Downton Abbey style.
Minutes from the extremely cute town of Bowral and smack-bang in the middle of the Southern Highlands, Peppers Manor House is a reworked 1920s heritage manor, now boutique accommodation complete with a Great Hall, where you’ll find a huge roaring fireplace through winter.
The rooms are modern, but with nods to the heritage – so expect huge comfy beds and renovated bathrooms, but large windows looking out over beautiful gardens.
Set atop the most breathtaking valley you’ve seen in Australia, the Hydro Majestic was originally created in 1904 as a health retreat for the wealthy, who made the long journey up from Sydney to it’s Blue Mountains location to do weird treatments as was the way back then. These days it’s tastefully renovated and lush as hell, keeping it’s historic charm but also providing modern amenities.
Many rooms look out onto the valley, which is often covered in thick cloud like the photo above.
Another Peppers property (they do boutique country accom REAL well), Peppers Mineral Springs is set in Hepburn Springs, famous for it’s water. Since the olden days, people have been venturing up here from Melbourne to bathe in the natural springs, but these days you can get the experience at the Peppers Day Spa, where you can relax in one of their soothing baths or book in a specialised treatment.
The accommodation itself is cosy yet chic, the perfect escape from city life without losing out on comfort.
A country retreat just two hours from Melbourne, Brooklands Farm is the perfect place to gather your mates and make a weekend of it, aristocracy-style. The huge property is tastefully decorated and set amidst a real farm, so expect beautiful pastureland and breathtaking serenity.
A grand manor in the lush Barossa Valley, this Airbnb is set on 77 acres of land and features high ceilings and old world furniture so you can really feel like (sub)royalty.
This absolutely wild property is actually more like you’re in Game Of Thrones over Downton Abbey, but it deserves a mention due to it’s opulence. Designed like a castle, the boutique hotel features ornate ceilings, lush decor and it’s all only 20 minutes from Adelaide.
A historic house from 1892 turned bed-and-breakfast, Arcoona Manor is just outside of Launceston in the picturesque village of Deloraine. Featuring just 5 luxe suites, grab your novel and venture to the fireplace in the drawing room to relax.