Riverside retreats: cottages to stay by rivers

Come spring, Britain's rivers are teeming with wildlife, making them perfect for riverside walks and water activities. Here is a selection of cottages and campsite to stay by the riverside

13th March 2018
Flyfisher's cottage

Rivercatcher, Lodges Denbighshire

Rivercatcher
Soak under the stars at Rivercatcher Lodges in Snowdonia

New for Easter, Rivercatcher Lodges are four individually styled Scandi log cabins in the foothills of Snowdonia’s beautiful Berwyn Mountains in North Wales.

Each with its own theme and perfectly designed for two, the cosy self-catering Rivercatcher Lodges feature wood burners, fully equipped kitchens, kingsize beds and glass fronted apex windows to make the most of the green landscape.

Cook alfresco on the gas-fired outdoor kitchen or soak under the stars in the hot tub within the sanctuary of the lodge’s private deck. A three- night weekend break in low season costs £372 and a week £531. www.rivercatcher.co.uk

- Cottages with the best views: stay in Britain's National Parks

- Unusual properties to stay this spring

- 10 stargazing getaways

Rivercatcher Cottages, Denbighshire

Flyfisher's Cottage
Spot salmon from the garden of Flyfisher's Cottage

Alternatively, stay in one of Rivercatcher five luxury cottages, which are dog and family friendly and have a private garden and hot tub.

These gorgeous cottages are on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park at the foot of Berwyn Mountains, the perfect location for active families who will also love the nearby National White Water Centre, Llyn Breing and the Bala adventure and Water Sports Centre.

The River Dee meanders alongside the estate making for great views from the cottages and and their hot tubs.

The estate has its own short stretch of river and they can organise permits for some of the most prolific and beautiful parts of the river for Game Fishing. The local waters are world famous for Grayling fishing and have hosted World Commonwealth and European Championships over the years.  Salmon fishing has always been a prominent aspect on the River and are usually caught from May onwards. They can occasionally be seen jumping out of the water from the garden of Flyfishers Cottage.

A week’s stay in Rivercatcher’s sleeps six property Flyfisher’s Cottage costs from £995 a three-night short break from £660.  

Tree Top Escape, North Devon

Tree Top Escape
Enjoy panoramic views of the North Devon countryside from Tree Top Escape

Tree Top Escape is a luxurious hideaway offering accommodation for up to four guests on a private estate in North Devon.

The five star accommodation offers two bedrooms, two bathrooms, open living space area with fully equipped Italian designer kitchen framed by panoramic views over the North Devon countryside.

Langridge stream runs through the property’s grounds and there are also three lakes on site.

A week’s stay for up to four people costs from £1999 and a three-night break from £999. www.premiercottages.co.uk

Offa’s Brook, Herefordshire

Offa's Brook
Explore the Brecon Beacons in comfort from Offa's Brook

In the heart of Brecon Beacons National Park and alongside a splashing brook, sits Offa’s Brook, an exclusive use group of off-grid huts, surrounded by wildlife and majestic mountain scenery. Three of the hand-made huts each sleep two, on comfy double beds with Egyptian cotton sheets and wood burners, grouped around a large fire pit. A fourth hut serves as a kitchen, with modern bathroom facilities at the rear, a compost loo and hot water heated by a wood-fired oven.

There’s a communal dining table covered by a canopy and a wood-fired hot tub at the water's edge, which is just the thing for relieving tired legs after a day’s hiking, sitting back with a glass of bubbly and listening to the brook babbling by. Visitors can also enjoy evenings gazing at the stars as the whole region is a designated International Dark Skies reserve. Visitors can cycle the popular off road bike routes, climb to the summit of the numerous peaks of the Brecon Beacons, or hike along the infamous Offa's Dyke.  Quality Unearthed offer three night stays at Offa's Brook in April from £663, based on six sharing on self-catering basis. www.qualityunearthed.co.uk

River Dart Country Park, Ashburton, Devon

Riverside Caravan Park
A popular retreat for young families with plenty of outdoor activities to try

This peaceful, eco-friendly site by the River Dart offers a relaxed riverside break perfect for the whole family.

Set in Dartmoor National Park, the River Dart Country Park is open from late March through September and includes a toddler beach to try sandcastle building and Pirate Ship for setting the children’s imaginations free. For older guests, fishing, kayaking and other water-based activities are available, with an on-site shop and café where you can enjoy a bite to eat or prepare a picnic.

Non-electric grass or trailer tent pitches from £33. Electric grass or trailer tent pitches and Electric hardstanding pitches are also available, starting from £41. Prices are based on two-night minimum stay; two people sharing, and include shared bathroom and shower facilities. Book online at www.pitchup.com

Orwell View Barns, Suffolk

Orwell View Barns
Orwell View Barns enjoy views across the River Orwell

Set in 700 acres, Orwell View Barns has breath-taking and glorious views of the River Orwell. Set in a unique Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the eco barn conversions combine luxurious accommodation with charming character and the secluded, idyllic farm setting makes for the perfect escape. Guests can enjoy afternoon strolls on riverbank walks past hidden creeks to the Butt & Oyster pub and the Shotley Marina.

The riverbank also leads to internationally acclaimed bird watching sites, where 100 different species of bird have been spotted. A seven-night stay for four guests staying in Orwell’s Primrose property starts from £450 and a three-night weekend break from £338. www.premiercottages.co.uk

Dysynni and Craig y Deryn, Wales

Dysnni and Craig
Visit Snowdonia National Park or the coast from Dysynni and Craig y Deryn

Dysynni and Craig y Deryn are two cosy cottages located on the River Dysynni within the Snowdonia National park and close to the beaches of Aberdyfi and Tywyn. Converted from a former 17th century cow byre and hay loft, they are just three miles from the sea and six miles from the old fishing village of Aberdyfi, with views across to Cadair Idris, the second highest mountain in Wales.

Each of the cottages has an open plan downstairs living area, with Welsh slate floors and modern kitchen, dining area and lounge with log burning stove.

Prices start from £355 for a seven night stay in Dysynni based on two sharing. www.premiercottages.co.uk

Riverside Lodge, Herefordshire

Riverside Lodge
Soak in a hot tub at Riverside Lodge, Herefordshire

The famous wandering Wye flows along the border between England and Wales. Birds fly overhead, trout swim upstream, fishermen throw out their rods and, secluded on its banks, sits the aptly-named Riverside Lodge. Only eight miles from Hereford, this luxury wooden lodge sleeps four and is perfectly equipped for spending days and nights watching the river go by. It has an outdoor cooking and dining area with a pizza oven and barbecue and a bubbling hot tub nestled into the side of an old oak.

Inside, the cosy cabin is equipped with log burning stoves, a Belfast sink, beautiful slate floors and even a roll top bath. This stretch of the river Wye meanders past the Neolithic Arthur's Stone, a chambered tomb dating from 3,700 BC, and through the beautiful rural village of Monnington on Wye. A few miles from the lodge, in the village of Eardisley, is the CAMRA award-winning Orgasmic Cider Company which is set in hundreds of acres of orchard land and produces the perfect local ciders to take home and sip by the riverside.  Quality Unearthed offer three night stays at Riverside Lodge in April from £563, based on four sharing on self-catering basis. www.qualityunearthed.co.uk 

Clare Park, Devon

Clare Park Devon
Clare Park is set on the River Teign estuary in Devon

Clare Park is a  riverside retreat on the banks of the River Teign estuary in South Devon. Clare Park is situated in over an acre of private lawned gardens with direct gated access to the river. Lovers of water based activities can enjoy boating and swimming from the bottom of the garden. For those who enjoy fishing, there is ample space to cast a line in hope of catching something for an evening meal although for those who prefer the easier option, there is a pub within a five minute walk.

There are also miles of walks in the surrounding rolling countryside and along the estuary right on the doorstep. A variety of coastal beaches and the wild open spaces of Dartmoor can all be reached easily within 20 minutes or less. Clare Park is built on one level, with no stairs at all in the property, so it is ideal for a wide range of guests, both young and old. A week’s stay for up to eight starts from £900 and from £720 for a three-night weekend. www.premiercottages.co.uk

Tyn Y Coed Cottage, Powys

Tyn Y Coed
Tyn Y Coed provides the ultimate base camp for an adventure in the Brecon Beacons National Park

A truly peaceful retreat situated in the Brecon Beacons National Park Tyn Y Coed Cottage is surrounded by mature woodland and lush green fields. Built of Welsh stone, the cottage features exposed wooden beams, inglenook fire place and a large wood burning stove.

The cottage’s nearest neighbour is over 1.7 miles away so, seclusion is guaranteed. Ideal for nature lovers, walkers and cyclists, Tyn Y Coed provides the ultimate base camp for an adventure in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Children can also play safely on the rope swings, run free in the gardens or go exploring the surrounding fields. Prices for a three-night break start from £580 for up to six guests and from £1100 for a week’s stay. www.premiercottages.co.uk

Mendham Mill, Norfolk

Mendham Mill
Mendham Mill is ideally placed to explore Norfolk

With over 1,000 years of history and in perfect harmony with its surroundings, Mendham Mill has often been described as Narnia. The enormous watermill and slow moving river transports families to a world of relaxation and adventure. Artist Sir Alfred Munnings PRA, the focus of the film Summer in February, was born here and the surrounding water meadows are virtually unchanged since he painted them. The river can be explored by canoe or rowing boat and the kids can see wildlife up close, including otters, kingfishers and other birds.

Mendham Mill is ideally placed to explore Norfolk. The neighbouring Harleston offers a mixture of both high street and independent shops, and those with a sweet tooth will be delighted to visit the award-winning chocolatier. Southwold’s famous beach and lighthouse is nearby, and Norwich and Thetford Forest are also within easy reach. A seven-night stay in Mendham Mill’s property The Lodge costs from £630 for four. www.premiercottages.co.uk

River Cottage, Newport, Pembrokeshire

River Cottage
Set on the edge of 30 acres of woodland and farmland, River Cottage is a pretty white stone cottage

River Cottage is perched on the banks of the River Nevern near Pembrokeshire's north-western coast. Set on the edge of 30 acres of woodland and farmland, River Cottage is a pretty white stone cottage in its own garden with the river flowing gently alongside. The cottage sleeps up to eight in four bedrooms, is dog-friendly and offers fishing along a half-mile stretch of the river. There is a large family kitchen and a living room with log burner and views across the garden and river, plus a utility room that's handy for muddy boots and paws after enjoying the riverside walks. Visitors can expect to see ducks, herons, dippers and brightly coloured kingfishers from their windows or the spacious patio and garden, and more wildlife on the fringes of the surrounding woodland. This idyllic spot is just two miles from the bustling coastal town of Newport, which has two beaches, a choice of pubs and several good restaurants.

Quality Cottages can offer seven night breaks at River Cottage in April from £1,555, based on eight sharing on self-catering basis. www.qualitycottages.co.uk 

Steeles Mill, Lake District

Steeles Mill
Stay in a converted Corn Mill

A stunning three-story conversion of a corn mill, Steeles Mill sits in a quiet, idyllic setting on the banks of the River Lyvennet in the heart of the Lake District. Dating back to the 14th century, its restoration preserves the building’s history whilst embracing the modern comforts needed for a luxurious stay.

Underfloor heating throughout ensures a warm welcome at any time of the year and the original mill’s internal workings remain in place on the ground floor having been enclosed safely behind oak and glass, and uplit. The kitchen range stands within the beautifully domed stone-cut alcove where grain once dried.

There’s also a viewing balcony where guests can watch the inhabitants of the River including: kingfisher, dipper, brown trout, heron and the occasional otter. A week’s break for four starts from £925 and a three-night short break from £550. www.premiercottages.co.uk

Cae Du, Snowdonia National Park

Cae du
Cae Du is just five miles from Betws-y-Coed, making it the perfect base for outdoor adventures

Cae Du in the Snowdonia National Park provides a stunning location for an escape with beautiful mountain panoramas, quiet forest walkways, lakeside trails, and tumbling waterfalls all close by.  Surrounded by around 14 acres and with the river Lledr running the full length of the land, the property is also only five miles from Betws-y-Coed, the principal village of the Park. 

There are great walks straight from the door ranging from gentle strolls to a challenging hike to the summit of a distant ridge. Dogs are also welcome here. Enjoy a week’s stay for up to 12 people from £1120, and a three-night stay for £930. www.premiercottages.co.uk

Court Lodge, Gwaun Valley, Pembrokeshire

Court Lodge
Court Lodge in Pembrokeshire

In the pretty Gwaun Valley, surrounded by the Pembrokeshire’s Preseli Hills and just a short drive from the coast, sits Court Lodge, right on the banks of the River Gwaun itself. With south facing decking and free private fishing, it’s the perfect riverside base for those looking to explore Pembrokeshire. A traditional Welsh stone cottage, it sleeps four, has under-floor heating, a wood-burning stove and cosy rooms with exposed beams.

The cottage can be found within seventy acres of private woodland and just a short walk up the valley is the historic Dyffryn Arms, known locally as “Bessie’s”. This little time warp of a pub has been run by the same family since the 1840’s  - ale is still served from a jug through a hatch in the wall, the walls are lined with WW1 posters and New Year is celebrated on 12th January, according to the Julian calendar. Further afield there are numerous outdoor activities are available including coasteering and sea kayaking, hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, or taking a boat trip to the offshore islands to visit the puffins, seals and other wildlife.

Quality Cottages offer seven night breaks at Court Lodge in April from £474, based on four sharing on self-catering basis.www.qualitycottages.co.uk

Riverside Caravan Park, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

Riverside Caravan Park pods
Stay in one of the Riverside pods at Riverside Caravan Park

Sit amongst the weeping willows on the bank and watch the swans pass by or bring along your fishing rod to enjoy the mile and half of free fishing. The Riverside Caravan Park is just a mile away from Shakespeare’s town, with a river taxi transporting guests from the Park to Stratford-upon-Avon.

The Riverside Bar & Restaurant is the ideal place to unwind, with its elevated balcony offering stunning views of the River Avon, whilst the wide range of accommodation suits all camping preferences.

Camping and Beehive pods from £120; Two-bedroom static caravans from £250. Prices are based on three-night minimum stay; up to four people sharing, and include shared bathroom and shower facilities. Book online at www.pitchup.com

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