Bovey Castle, Devon, England
In England, perched on a windswept bluff, is Bovey Castle, the former estate of bookshop mogul W.H. Smith, who later became Viscount Hambleden. What the 1890-built property lacks in age it makes up for in charm and sporting activities: hot-air ballooning, fly fishing, archery, falconry, air-rifle shooting, and “croft," a golf/croquet hybrid.
As the castle sits in the middle of Dartmoor National Park, you can explore the rugged Pride and Prejudice-worthy landscape — deep, wooded valleys, rivers, flora and fauna-filled hills — by foot, bicycle, or horse, as the hotel has a partnership with Liberty Trails for cattle drives and a “War Horse” outing to see shoot locations for Spielberg’s film of the same title. You can also hit the Devon coast for kite surfing. For recreation of the tippling sort, guests can also learn the art of sloe-gin making on site. There is fine dining based on “classic cookery” (rosette of Devon lamb, fillet of Dartmoor “beef welly," roast squab pigeon) as well as a brasserie for more casual meals.