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Five classic car breaks by Maggie O'Sullivan

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O'Sullivan

One of my favourite drives in Oxfordshire is along the A40, high above the ‘Mitford village’ of Swinbrook, then down through Burford, over the medieval bridge and out along the switchback road towards Stow-on-the-Wold. It would be heavenly in an E-Type Convertible. Even better if I were staying at the award-winning Lords of the Manor hotel, in nearby Upper Slaughter.

Classic Motoring’s two-night package combines the two: a Jaguar E-Type Convertible (above) and two nights at Lords of the Manor, plus admission to Batsford Arboretum (highly recommended) and Blenheim Palace, and a luxury picnic hamper. It’s not cheap at £1,545 for two, but mileage is unlimited so I could do that magical drive as many times as I liked. Further informationClassic MotoringThe Nare is a family-run country house hotel overlooking Carne Beach, on Cornwall’s beautiful Roseland Peninsula. The Nare’s classic car package includes a convertible Morgan (above) – perfect for bowling along the coast, stopping for a picnic and perhaps a quick dip before returnng to the hotel for a candlelit dinner. The Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan are both close by; St Ives and St Michael’s Mount a little farther afield. Price on enquiry. Further information, The NareAt Headlam Hall, a charming 17th-century country house hotel in County Durham, you can take an E-Type (above) for a spin across the Durham Dales. The £350 classic car package for two includes two nights’ half board accommodation, and though you only have use of the classic car for one of those days, that’s still plenty of time to enjoy the area or head for the Lake District an hour or so away (maps are available or, if you must, you can borrow a sat-nav). Further information, Headlam Hall Are you a Jaguar, MG, Austin Healey or Alfa Romeo sort of person? All are on offer at lovely Beechfield House (above) in Wiltshire. The 24-room hotel (each named after a tree growing in the grounds) is located south of Chippenham and east of Bath so there’s plenty to explore: the Cotwolds, Salisbury Plain, Marlborough Downs. Or how about cruising past Stonehenge with the top down (traffic on the A303 and weather permitting, of course)? The package costs £365 per night half board, based on two sharing a ‘Cosy’ room, including a day’s driving. Further information, Beechfield House But perhaps you would rather be driven than drive – in which case, how about the Royal Vintage Experience at London's St. James’ Court Hotel, just around the corner from Buckingham Palace? The hotel has a fleet of classic cars, including the Queen Mother's favourite Jaguar DS420 Daimler limousine 'Grand Princess’, the Downton Abbey Rolls Royce 'Gabriella’ and Lord Mountbatten's vintage Daimler 'Silver Baroness', and the ‘experience’ involves a three-hour bespoke sightseeing tour of the capital followed by afternoon tea back at the hotel. Price on enquiry. Further information, St James' Court Hotel

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