Castle Combe is often rated one of the prettiest, or most ‘Instagram-able’, villages in the UK.

With winding streets lined with honey-coloured stone cottages, postcard views and that delightful British charm, it is a beacon for tourists, history lovers and ramblers alike.

So how does a premier hotel in the middle of this quaint oasis in the Wiltshire countryside live up to those kinds of expectations?

We arrived for our stay at the Manor House in the middle of a very wet February but were eager to see what this famous retreat would offer.

A winding drive through well-maintained grounds and a passing waterfall certainly set you up with the expectation of a special visit.

The 14th-century manor house comes into view and instantly exudes charm and class and gives any visitor that sense of grandeur from its days at the centre of the area's peak in the wool industry.

As well as the grand entrance, warm and attentive staff ensured you felt cared for with their unwavering hospitality throughout our stay, with a special thank you to Denzel, the new manager of the hotel.

What strikes me from our stay at the hotel, between its various elegant lounges and bars with their tasteful décor, is how it balances out that opulence we all crave for with a strong sense of cosiness.

Because we took along our young cocker spaniel for some walks in the countryside we chose one of the string of dog-friendly cottages alongside the main hotel.

All are individually designed and the March Furlong Cottage we stayed in is a gorgeously renovated abode, blending the cosiness of the 'oldy-worldy' with all the mod cons that you would hope to have to really relax in comfort.

From the exquisite wood panelling to the kingsize bed and the special ‘aquavision’ TV in the large bathroom, it really felt like a little retreat from what is a surprisingly busy area for tourists.

For food there are several options but the main draw for most should be the hotel's Michelin-starred Bybrook restaurant, offering an exquisite fine dining experience.

With the kitchen led by Executive Chef Robert Potter, the team focuses on seasonal dishes crafted from local ingredients, as well as boasting an extensive collection of wine expertly picked and matched by the team's Sommelier, making it an experience to savour.

As well as severally nicely decorated bars there is also the lounge for the ala carte menu which we took in thanks to its dog-friendly approach.

Much like the Bybrook, the menu is uncomplicated and is loyal to the UK seasons. What you get as a result is wholesome meals that feel genuine to your surroundings adding to the satisfaction of the tasty food on offer, with us picking out the locally sourced sausages and the fennel and hake options. Delicious.

Afternoon tea, served in the elegant lounges or on the terrace (weather permitting), is also a delightful way to take in the surroundings.

Circling the village is plenty of countryside walks of varying levels difficulties and lengths to suit anyone. Be warned some trails are very muddy in the wet months!

Italianate gardens offer a peaceful haven, perfect for an afternoon stroll within the grounds. And there's even a top class, challenging 18-hole golf course on the hotel grounds if you are that way inclined.

The village itself is picture-perfect from any direction and is often bustling with visitors looking for their next selfie which makes for great people-watching from the comfort of the two lovely country pubs in the centre.

We took in lunch at one of these establishments the Castle Inn, also owned by the hotel as are many of the buildings, which is perhaps the more upmarket of the two.

On offer at this well-appointed public house are, like the hotel, relatively straightforward meals using in-season ingredients. The result is hearty, substantial options full of taste, particularly the roasts which we found difficult to finish.

A visit to Manor House is an experience to cherish. An experience as close to that quintessential old English country vibe that so many places look to replicate but few achieve.

That blend of rustic charm with modern comforts is balanced perfectly and for my money has to be one of the country retreats in Wiltshire and most likely in the country. For countryside charm it is well worth putting the Manor House on your list as a place to visit.