Staying at Grim's Dyke is a bit like entering a time machine and drifting back to Victorian and Edwardian England. The house has an impressive pedigree, most notably as the home of Sir William Gilbert – of Gilbert & Sullivan fame. He drowned in the lake in 1911. More recently the house has been used as a TB sanatorium and now as a hotel.
We were there mid-week and there weren't many other overnight guests. The 49 acres of grounds are very popular with day visitors but we found that towards evening the place quietened down. The staff were all very professional and helpful, and they successfully reflected the historical dignity of the house without resorting to any tacky 'faux history' gimmicks.
The house and grounds retain much of the character of their Victorian roots but important bits like plumbing and heating have been discretely upgraded. We stayed in an original Victorian-era room upstairs in the main house and found it to be charming and quite adequate for a short stay. The bed was good but the Victorians seemed to believe that furniture generally should be elegant rather than comfortable. The floor creaked and the door was warped, but these eccentricities fitted in with the historical ambience. We had a great view of the grounds through the very old lead-light windows, and saw a fox on the lawn soon after dawn. The first room that we were given had no hot water but the manager quickly rectified this by moving us to another room. We seemed to be the only guests in the main house that night, so this wasn't a problem for them. More-modern accommodation is available in the Lodge which is a separate building a few minutes walk through the grounds.
We found Grim's Dyke to be a great place for a slightly quirky and historical mid-week stopover. It was quiet, dignified and sophisticated but be aware that on weekends, with major weddings and gatherings on site, it could have a very different atmosphere.
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- Also Known As:
- Grims Dyke London
- Dyke Grims Hotel
- Hotel Grims Dyke
- Best Western Plus Grim's Dyke Hotel Harrow, Greater London