This super little hotel is located just outside Whittlesford village (about 20 minutes brisk walk), very handy for the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and a great alternative to staying in bustling Cambridge.

It’s right next to the sleepy railway station (the train takes a little under an hour from London)  but there wasn’t any noticeable noise. If you’re driving, it offers easy access being just moments from the M11 and there is ample free parking.

The main building originally founded as a priory is over 700 years old is rumoured like so many of our ancient coaching inns to have accommodated Royalty, notably King James I on a trip to nearby Newmarket.

Red Lion Hotel

The hotel which has been sympathetically restored with a contemporary twist offers just 18 bedrooms, we stayed in #15 which was cosy and extremely comfortable. The room was clean but amenities were a little haphazard, the tap in the bathroom was wobbly loose, remote control for the large screen television was missing as was one of the bedside lights and the iPod dock / alarm clock didn’t appear to work, although this could possibly be attributed to a case of ‘operator error’.

I had booked a double room for 2 adults however there was only one glass, one bathrobe etc which was a little disappointing. I’m quite confident though that had I brought this to the attention of the team this would have been resolved very quickly as we found service to be outstanding; from the moment we arrived everyone was welcoming, friendly and enthusiastic.

After a walk into the village (and a quick drink in the lovely Tickell Arms), we returned to the hotel for dinner, I had reserved a table earlier and mentioned that I had a tastecard. Once again service was charming, efficient and the food (British cuisine) was excellent. The bar was inviting and beautifully decorated but fairly quiet on that night although of course we stayed for a quick drink before retiring!

I really wanted to give this hotel a 5 rating and a little more attention detail would have done it for me. There is a Holiday Inn Express onsite which offers the option of staying in a more sanitised and organised environment however the charm of the Inn was perfect for us. Would go out of our way to stay here again, highly recommended for great staff, great service and great food!