“This was my sixth stay at the Petwood, and no less a pleasure than all of the others. Parking is never a problem, and the splendid grounds never fail to lift the spirits as soon as I enter the gate. The staff were helpful and friendly, and I was soon relaxing in the comfortable oak panelled rooms of this remarkable country mansion turned hotel, by way of a spell as the home of officers of the famed ”Dambusters” Squadron.
That wartime history is not just a memory in this grand mock Tudor to Jacobean house; the bar once serving pints of beer to those heroic airmen is an atmospheric oasis of artifacts of those grim days, in a setting not too far removed from the cosy sanctuary of respite it once was.
Walking the corridors can take a long time if you are inclined to enjoy the innumerable works of art dedicated to the wartime exploits of the RAF, many signed by the very men whose story they tell. Striking as many oil on canvas tributes are, it is perhaps the monochrome of contemporary wartime photographs that are most poignant and arresting.
Back in the here and now, the hotel facilities are more than adequate, the food of high quality, the bar well stocked with traditional ales those airmen would have heartily endorsed, and all provided at reasonable prices by friendly and efficient staff.
The hotel is walking distance from the Charming village of Woodhall Spa, with one of the few ”traditional” high streets left in Britain. If, however, you just crave a quiet commune with nature, the large formal grounds give way to woodland, some of which is deliberately wild and teaming with wildlife, but also allowing a variety of well marked gentle paths through a canopy of trees, home to small mammals and a host of bird life.
If you can appreciate an elegance of a former age, the cosiness of a log fire in the lounge if the evening has a chill, but with sufficient modern comforts and conveniences, such as wifi throughout, the Petwood will delight. Lots of chrome, plate glass and a high tech gymnasium would be out of place there, and truly out of time.”