View of the house. CREDIT_ Foxhills
Foxhills, Surrey



There’s nothing like a sumptuous manor house hotel to make you feel like royalty – but such grand destinations don’t always roll out the red carpet for guests with children.


Not so at Foxhills Hotel & Club in Ottershaw, Surrey, which prides itself on making every member of the family welcome, a feeling I got from the moment I stepped into reception with my husband Thom and sons Ralph, seven, and Max, four. Staff did not flinch at my boisterous twosome and their eagerness to touch and explore, calmly handing out maps and explaining where we could find all the facilities.

The former country pile of 18th century politician Charles James Fox is a stunning spot, with views across the wooded grounds and championship golf courses. There’s lots of modern accommodation and an array of leisure facilities built sympathetically to compliment this beautiful period property.

Main house. CREDIT_ Foxhills
Main House Foxhills in Surrey


The main house is home to the hotel’s reception and social spaces, so the 66 rooms and suites are a short walk away in a variety of blocks and self-contained units. The accommodation is classic and comfortable, designed to make you feel very much at home, rather than an awkward interloper in a design installation.

We stayed in a spacious family suite in Lyne House, which had sliding doors between the two sleeping areas. It meant we could put the kids to bed and still enjoy our evening, while they felt very special having their own ‘room’. There was also a large family bathroom with a separate shower and tub, and tons of wardrobe space, plus a small balcony.

More like this

The beds were excellent – we all slept like logs. No wonder the London 2012 Olympic cyclists were based here, a fact my Olympics mad seven-year-old was impressed by, especially because you can see some of their signed jerseys in the lobby. If it’s good enough for Mark Cavendish, it’s good enough for us.

Junior Suite. CREDIT_ Foxhills
Junior suite at Foxhills, Surrey
Family suite - main room. CREDIT_ Alex Lloyd
Family suite at Foxhills, Surrey
Family suite - children's room. CREDIT_ Alex Lloyd
Children's room in the family suite at Foxhills, Surrey


What sets Foxhills apart from other manor house hotels is the country club on site with top class leisure facilities. We’ve been lucky to stay in some fairly grand properties with the kids over the years and there’s usually a pool, a playground and maybe a creche or play room at best.

Not so here, with a packed timetable of activities for all ages, plus three golf courses, a spa and health club, five pools, indoor and outdoor play areas, putting green and driving range, yoga shed, tennis courts and extensive grounds for walking.

Outdoor pool at the Pavilion. CREDIT_ Foxhills
Outdoor pool at the Pavilion, Foxhills in Surrey


Whether you want family-friendly fine dining or a relaxed light bite, Foxhills has an option to suit, thanks to its three restaurants. The main house is home to The Fox, which serves breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner. It’s spread over three opulent rooms, with large windows and a chic botanical inspired décor.

The Fox 2. CREDIT_ Foxhills
The Fox restaurant at Foxhills, Surrey

The evening menu is inventive, with the starter of smoked pigeon breast with blackberry, compressed radicchio and parsnip puree a particular highlight. The braised beef cheek was also soft and tasty. The Fox is not snooty though – our kids were made very welcome by staff and the Young Adult Menu had lovely choices, especially the homemade tomato and basil soup and spaghetti Bolognese. Their favourite meal was the breakfast however, especially the made-to-order waffles.

For a more chilled out dinner, we headed to Nineteen, the bar and restaurant at the Clubhouse, which has hearty lunch and dinner options. There’s everything from club sandwiches and burgers, to cod chowder and dal makhani. It serves food from midday until 8.30pm, but be aware that kids under-six cannot visit until after 3pm.

But that’s no problem, because you can grab lunch at Flo’s café in the Pavilion, a bustling space with big airy windows that has a menu of brunch favourites, a salad bar and sandwiches, as well as Middle Eastern-inspired dishes like chicken shawarma. It was all very fresh and homemade.

Play area. CREDIT_ Alex Lloyd
Play area at Foxhills, Surrey


The Pavilion has plenty of ways for young guests to burn off their energy. My youngest loved the soft play and role play room, which has a secure door so there’s no worry about little ones wandering off. The space also a Tiny Tots timetable of activities, with regular arts and crafts sessions as well as zumbini (Zumba for little ones) and sports.

Upstairs is a games room with pool, electronic darts and table football, which the seven-year-old adored, while they both enjoyed the indoor pool and 25m outdoor heated pool. Even in October it was a comfortable temperature and we loved that there was a fenced off section with a shallower depth for tots. There was also a smaller guest pool outside our accommodation block but that was closed for the winter.

Games room. CREDIT_ Foxhills
Games Room at Foxhills, Surrey

Teens are also able to make use of certain gym sessions and fitness classes, while there are a couple of family workouts per week, suitable for age eight and older. But one the boys’ favourite experiences was tackling one of the woodland trim trails around the grounds. There are seven well marked options, spanning 20 minutes to 45, and we had great fun spotting toadstools and other fungi on our route.

The adventure playground was sadly shut for repairs on our visit but it’s got everything from a zipwire and balance beams to a messy play Forest Nook and race track with pedal cars.


Golfers will be in paradise here, with two championship courses – Longcross and Bernard Hunt – plus The Manor course, a driving range and putting green. There are also a number of tennis courts – acrylic, artificial clay and all weather - and some recently opened padel and pickleball courts, with lessons available.

But you don’t need to like sports to be entertained at Foxhills. My highlight was the spa, a real oasis of calm, with indoor and outdoor saunas, jacuzzi and steam rooms, plus a menu of treatments. There’s also an indoor pool and, for the brave, a bracing plunge pool in the gorgeous spa garden. I had a dreamy massage too.

The resort also has an art hut, offering a range of classes, such as watercolour painting and mixed media, while the Yoga Cabin offers reformer and mat Pilates, tai chi, guided meditation and, naturally, yoga.

Longcross golf course. CREDIT_ Foxhills
Longcross golf course at Foxhills, Surrey


While it’s hard to draw yourself away from all that Foxhills has to offer, the hotel makes an excellent base for attractions in the area. Top of the list has to be Legoland, a 25-minute drive away, as well as Windsor Castle, Windsor Great Park and the town itself.

Thorpe Park is even closer, if you are a thrill-seeking type, and Chessington World of Adventures is a half hour drive. Brooklands Museum, home to vintage racing cars and Concorde, is nearby, as is Crystal Grotto, a spectacular cave at 18th century gardens Painshill.


The hotel is also well placed for exploring the River Thames path, Ascot and its racecourse, RHS Garden Wisley, Hampton Court Palace and Polesdon Lacey, a National Trust property.


We loved the combination of quiet country bolthole and plentiful activities that Foxhills has to offer. It also had the grandeur and style that we craved from our pre-parent days with the easy-going vibe that is essential for feeling relaxed when you have your kids in tow. Plus the location cannot be beaten if you want to combine a stay with days out.


>> Rooms start at £180 per night. Visit