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Have you ever traveled to a place where you can feel the history beneath your feet?  Maybe it’s because I currently live in the US, where much of our history doesn’t span more than 300 years.  Whenever I visit European cities, I can’t help but feel humbled when I think about how much history has been made on the streets I’m standing on.

I was fortunate enough to visit The Grove, outside of London, England, recently, pictured here.  The Grove has an interesting history spanning hundreds of years.  The earliest record I could find of it dated all the way back to 1294.  That’s a lot of history.  Throughout the years, The Grove has been used as a gardening school, a health center, a riding school, and a girls’ boarding school.  It was even at one time used as wartime quarters for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway company.  In 1996, the estate was converted into a hotel.

After staying at The Grove for just under 7 days, I fell in love with the estate.  Apparently, I’m not alone, because in 2008, it was voted the UK’s Favourite Leisure Hotel by Condé Nast Traveller readers.  You can walk for miles around the estate and you will continually seen nature and architecture continually unfold.

The only downfall of the estate is that it seems targeted for golf-focused guests who want to call it an early night.  There are 2 restaurants, both with full bars, that are open during the day, but close relatively early.  Your only hope for food or drink after hours is the steeply priced room service (get the burger!).

Here are just a few of the shots I took from my strolls around the estate:

What is the best hotel you’ve ever been to?

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