Being nomadic and on the move so much means I end up staying in a range of places, experiencing a huge spectrum of diverse overnight stays and bed hopping. In 2014, I had a few nights in beautiful English countryside retreats and I loved them. It was kind of the English country charm that I’d forgotten all about as I backpacked, camped and slept on endless trains and airport floors around the world!
In 2014, I stayed in the dreamy Clumber Park Hotel and Spa in Nottinghamshire and the tranquil Doxford Hall in Northumberland. Both were relaxing and tranquil times away from the busy city life, backpacker’s hostels and night buses.
So this week, I had a choice to make on my journey from Bournemouth to London as I had a stopover night. I was touring the obscure Lagoan Isles in Portsmouth in the day time and then passing through Crawley on route to London Victoria for the reunion with my mates and the crazy Monopoly Pub Crawl. It was either stay rural or urban, and I opted for rural!
I found this cool looking golf club online, Cottesmore Hotel Golf and Country Club in a place called Pease Pottage near Crawley and the dates worked out well on my journey so I pencilled in a night here. It turned out to be a perfect location and was the first time I have stayed overnight in a hotel that has an accompanying golf course. This place was brilliant and a must for any golf fans, or any fans of English countryside and then flying out of Gatwick Airport. I’ve highlighted my favourite things about my stay below with some photos and videos.
I was able to go for some really leisurely strolls through the parks. Well maintained greens, forests with trees aplenty, lakes and the birds singing. It’s a good place to get some time alone and reflect.
For golf fans, this place is perfect. A fantastic scenic 18 hole golf course right here, a brilliant golf shop, putting green, practice fairways and of course the 19th hole.
3.Fitness Centre and Swimming Pool
Often when I’m backpacking endlessly my only form of exercising is ironically, backpacking itself (or hiking and walking) so to get full use of the gym, and leisure centre is something I loved and took advantage off.
I went swimming and spent some time in the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi too. It wasn’t too busy in the morning time either so I could exercise and relax here.
I had a warm, clean and cosy bedroom with an ensuite. I was in the inner courtyard in room 21. The room included tea, coffee and biscuits as well as a TV.
It was just the pure relaxation of it that I loved. I didn’t need to talk to anyone else, sometimes we need this time alone to relax and in English countryside here at Cottesmore, I definitely had lots of relaxing time and space for myself.
I will always have personal fond memories of the bar here, which is a cosy English traditional country style bar. The reason is, I asked the staff if they could show the football match for me – Northern Ireland v. Greece and they did. It was on SKY Sports 5 and they showed it as the main match in the bar for me that night.
This match was special and memorable on a personal level. Having supported Northern Ireland all my life and with memories of my Dad buying me a Mexico 86 scarf, collecting Panini stickers, seeing Iain Dowie’s last and David Healy’s first home goals in Belfast it has been a crazy life being a Northern Ireland fan. I’ve toured Europe watching my wee country, I’ve set up supporters clubs in three different continents and after watching the victory in the Faroe Islands, we would now qualify if we beat Greece. Here in the bar, drinking fresh pints of Guinness I watched the drama unfold.
And we qualified! We beat them 3-1 in some style, with goals from Steve Davis (2) and Josh Magennis, who also attended Kilmaine Primary School like myself. I was ecstatic and I celebrated in the bar with an English guest and the Romanian bar man.
7.WiFi and my Working Desk
Just because we are in the countryside doesn’t mean we need to switch off from WiFi. I had some work to catch up on and the WiFi is fast and works in the room, bars and main buildings at the Cottesmore. I had a WiFi desk for working, good to have even if you’re not here to work.
I read up on the history of Cottesmore and loved it – it’s still a family run Hotel and that to me makes it more special. It hasn’t become over commercialised like some hotel chains. The Golf Course and Hotel was started by Michael Rogerson, a recently retired prep school head master, and his 23 year old son, Matthew, a young farmer back in the 1970s. They decided to convert their farm and land into a golf course, and later hotel. I met up with Johnny Porter who runs the business now along with his wife Louisa, the business having been passed down the generations of the family.
9.Full English Breakfast
I didn’t sample the restaurant food on the evening as I ate in town, but I could see that it was popular here at the Cottesmore as plenty of others enjoyed food while I watched the match. However the next morning, I was up and able to get a full English breakfast to kick start the day. Admittedly I do miss the good old British grub when I backpack endlessly through places like Bangladesh, Bahrain and the Faroe Islands.
10.Functions and Courtyard
Another big draw of the Cottesmore is that it is perfect for weddings, business meetings and all sorts of functions. There’s a nice courtyard setting and of course the lakes, greens, forested areas and a fountain. All perfect for photographs on your big day.
So I love my stay here and recommend it, especially for golfers heading to England and for couples wanting a relaxing stay in English countryside near Gatwick Airport (believe me – you don’t hear the planes!) then this is the place to stay. Here are the details for booking:
COTTESMORE HOTEL GOLF
& COUNTRY CLUB
Tel: 01293 528 256
Pro Golf Shop: 01293 861 777
Here are some videos from my time staying at the Cottesmore Hotel Golf and Country Club: