Catch a train to Colwall in the Malverns, from London, Birmingham or South Wales, and you will be following in the footsteps of spectators who used to flock to one of England’s prettiest racecourses.
Colwall Park Racecourse operated for 40 years, and owed its existence to the railway…and one very determined Victorian gentleman, named Roland Cave-Brown-Cave.
The man behind the racecourse, one of his first improvements was to build a hotel close to the railway station. Named the Park Hotel, it thrived then, and does now, as the Colwall Park Country House Hotel & Restaurant.
Despite the moderate prize money, Colwall Park Racecourse hit financial difficulties about 15 years after its creation; and it was auctioned off on November 25, 1915 – ironically enough at Colwall Park Hotel – before finally succumbing to the inevitable on May 25 1939.
Memories of the racecourse still exist, as do the hotel’s connections with Dame Laura Knight, the first woman to be elected a Royal Academician, who had her studio at Colwall Park Hotel from 1947 to 1961. Married to Harold Knight, they were also the first husband and wife team to be Academicians.
The association with Dame Laura continues to this day in an hotel which, as well as having a timeless atmosphere, has also embraced the 21st century need for hospitality, fine food, and comfortable accommodation.
The bar, stocked with local real ales, remains – like the rest of the hotel – at the very heart of the village, which is located in the picturesque Malverns.
Walkers love it – as do dogs, who are given an especially warm welcome to the hotel, through numerous special packages, a paws-and-wellies wash, and their very own dog beer.
The latest example of canine catering at Colwall Park Hotel is an exclusive Yappy Hour Package, valid up to April 30, 2017, which offers two nights accommodation with breakfast, a complimentary upgrade to a Superior Room, dinner in the restaurant one evening, one packed lunch per person, a Hair of the Dog pint, and walking maps for guests and their pets. The all-inclusive cost of the package is £285 per room.
Boasting 22 rooms in total, B&B at Colwall Park Hotel starts from £105 for two people sharing, bed-and-breakfast.
For further details, visit http://colwall.co.uk.