Cheviot Holiday Cottages, Northumberland
Formerly a stable block, the revamped The Retreat at Cheviot Holiday Cottages’ offers a detached romantic bolthole for two. Walks can also be enjoyed direct from the cottage on a myriad of footpaths, bridleways, and sheltered valleys that are rich in wildlife and recent archaeological finds. A three-night stay in The Retreat at Cheviot Holiday Cottages for two starts from £990 and a week from £1690. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Devon Country Barns’ Orchard Barn
The charming Thrushell valley near Launceston is home to Devon Country Barns’ Orchard Barn. Situated within 12 acres of green pasture with river frontage, the gorgeous retreat comes complete with wood burners, private hot tub and king-sized bed.
For active couples there is plenty to do nearby from cycling The Granite Way or the picturesque Camel Trail to canoeing on the Tamar or trying the famous Tree Surfers high ropes course deep in the forest of the Tamer Valley. A week’s stay for two Devon Country Barns’ Orchard Barn for two starts from £875 and a three night break from £481. A break three night break arriving on 12 February costs £536 and a week’s break in February costs £975. www.premiercottages.co.uk
'We Two', near Liskeard, Cornwall
Set amid the rolling fields and ancient woodlands of south east Cornwall, a few miles from Bodmin Moor, this modern shepherd's hut has everything that's needed for an indulgent break just for two. There's a comfy double bed that folds away neatly during the daytime to give more living space, a custom-made kitchen that's well-equipped for cooking romantic meals and, unlike many shepherd's huts, this one has an en-suite bathroom.
This little hideaway is tucked down a country lane next to 24 acres of private woodland that is teeming with wildlife and the nearest country pub is just a mile away, so visitors can really get away from it all. Couples who wish to venture further away will find many of Cornwall's pretty coastal villages and fishing ports within a short drive, as well as plenty of walks in the dramatic landscapes of Bodmin Moor.
Quality Unearthed can offer stays at We Two start from £318 for three nights or £666 for seven nights including Valentine’s week, based on two sharing on self-catering basis. www.qualityunearthed.co.uk
Rose Cottage, Devon
Located in the friendly village of High Bickington, Rose Cottage is an 18th Century thatched cottage with original stone walls, beams and a glorious inglenook fireplace. There are two traditional bedrooms bursting with character and the master bedroom has its own dressing room with a beautiful William Holland copper bath. Plus there’s an open plan lounge and dining area complete with a 3D TV, Blu-ray, Bose surround system and an honesty bar perfect for those cosy nights in.
Within walking distance is a traditional pub, tearooms and a village shop and the North Devon coast and Dartmoor are around a 25 minute drive away. A three night break in low season starts from £599 for up to four and a week’s stay from £1099. Enjoy a special offer four night Valentine’s break for £599. www.premiercottages.co.uk
East View Farm Holiday Cottages in Norfolk
East View Farm Holiday Cottages is an idyllic eco-friendly hideaway perfectly situated in 10 acres of peaceful countryside. The Norfolk Broads National Park, stunning North Norfolk coast and beautiful cathedral city of Norwich are all close by. There’s also wonderful pubs and restaurants with locally produced foods within easy reach.
Train loving couples will enjoy riding on the onsite miniature steam railway. A week’s stay for two in East View Farm Cottages’ Nutmeg Cottage, with its toasty log burner, costs from £395 and a short break from £275. www.premiercottages.co.uk
The Eye Pod, Gwynedd
The Eye Pod is the ultimate hobbit house set in its own secluded corner of a five-star caravan site in Gwynedd. It is proudly described as the only one of its kind in the world: a spherical construction with portholes that looks remarkably spacious and extremely inviting, with a star-gazing dome for non-star-crossed lovers to enjoy. Beyond the round door is all the splendour of the Llyn Peninsula: fine, wild hills and fabulous beaches. From £80 a night. www.the-willows-abersoch.co.uk
Llofft Storws, Newborough, Anglesey
Anglesey has a special significance for Welsh romantics, as tiny Llanddwyn Island is said to have been the home of St Dwynwen, Wales' own patron saint of lovers. Visiting the island's white-washed chapel and ancient well is thought to bless couples with good fortune and it is possible to cross to the island at low tide via a causeway from Newborough Beach. A short distance from Newborough, Llofft Storws is a stylish converted hay loft that’s a great spot for couples to enjoy a romantic break with the added bonus of securing good luck for their relationship.
Within easy reach of Llanddwyn Island, the property is also well located for exploring the Newborough Warren Nature Reserve, which is criss-crossed by footpaths and cycle ways. There are excellent restaurants and cafes within easy reach and more adventurous couples can try surfing at some of North Wales’ most popular beaches including Rhosneigr and Aberffaw.
Quality Cottages offer stays at Llofft Storws starting from £539 for seven nights, or weekend breaks from £364 including Valentine’s week, based on two sharing on self-catering basis. (http://www.qualitycottages.co.uk 01348 837 871)
Barsham Barns, Norfolk
Nestled in a quiet rural location (where the noisiest sound to be heard is birdsong) Barsham Barns' The Loose Box is a cosy two bedroom barn conversion with a sunny courtyard.
The sea is just a 10 minute drive away from here and the local village, with a lovely pub, Farm Shop and superb fish and chip bar, only five minutes by car or a leisurely half hour walk away.
Three night stays for up for four start from £395, www.premiercottages.co.uk
Boscrowan Farm, Cornwall
Boscrowan’s Ring and Thimble is a dreamy thatched cottage for two set in 25 acres. It’s a Poldark cottage from the outside but exceptionally spacious inside with beautiful soft furnishings, a roll top bath plus a woodburner and Aga – ideal for getting cosy on winter nights.
Close to both North and South coasts and many iconic places – St Ives, St Michaels Mount, Lands End, the Minack theatre – there’s also easy access to countless walks on the South West coast path.
Three night stays from just £270 and a week from £495 in low season, www.premiercottages.co.uk
Porth Cottage, near Newquay, Cornwall
Porth Cottage, just 100 yards from sandy Porth Beach on Cornwall’s north coast is a cosy beach-side cottage that would make a romantic bolthole for a couple. Once a fisherman’s cottage, this 18th century property has been completely refurbished and has two bedrooms with modern comforts but still plenty of character and original charm.
Many of North Cornwall’s loveliest beaches and prettiest coastal villages are really close by for drives and walks along the coast including Perranporth, Crantock and the sweeping sands at Watergate Bay. The Eden Project is also within easy reach for a day out and it’s even possible to book for a romantic Valentine’s dinner experience inside the Rainforest Biome.
Breaks in Cornwall can offer stays at Porth Cottage start from £378 for three nights or £500 for seven nights including Valentine’s week, based on two sharing on self-catering basis. www.breaksincornwall.com
Fernie Castle treehouse, Fife
In the county of Fife is the amazing Fernie Castle Treehouse. It’s almost an attempt to build a fairytale in a tree. This magical house has been constructed around six great sycamores: their trunks form part of the bedroom. The house looks like a little castle: you have to climb a staircase to enter. Three balconies afford magnificent views of the country around, but the treehouse itself is less easily spotted. It lies deep in a glade, hundreds of yards from 14th-century Fernie Castle. The East Neuk of Fife, with all its pan-tiled villages and coastal walks, lies on the doorstep. From £445 a night, www.ferniecastle.co.uk/treehouse-2
Bridge End Farm Cottages, Cumbria
Bridge End Farm Cottages are a cluster of four and five star, 500 year old Grade II Listed cottages surrounded by some of the Lake District’s most spectacular peaks in the glorious Eskdale Valley.
There are two lovely pubs a short two to three minute stroll from here both serving great food. Also within walking distance are: Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain; dramatic Wastwater, its deepest lake and Stanely Force waterfall, often described as “Lakeland’s Loveliest”.
Enjoy a three-night weekend break in one of Bridge End’s four sleeps two properties from just £375 or a week’s stay from £655, www.premiercottages.co.uk
Skyfall, The Highlands
When it comes to special hideaways, you’re spoilt for choice in the Highlands of Scotland. The difficulty is getting to the truly wild corners for a short break. Even for me, travelling from central Scotland, it means a two-hour journey at least. If you’re short of time, the best solution would be a flight to Inverness and a hire car from there, and that would be my suggestion for reaching the wonderfully named Skyfall on Loch Ewe.
A gem of a cottage with a hot tub and a barbecue hut; everything one could need in or out of season. Skyfall is surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in the West Highlands: truly daunting mountains and quite magnificent beaches. You can choose to take any direction beyond your front door to go walking and exploring – it’s all glorious. From £895 for a short break. www.uniquehomestays.com/self-catering/uk/scotland/loch-ewe/skyfall/
The Love Shack, Cumbria
The Love Shack in Ambleside looks almost built into the woods. Perched high above Lake Windermere in its own small woodland with stunning views over the water, it has been created to become part of the treescape. Because of that it is rendered a kind of wildlife hide; all manner of birdlife frequents the mature trees and you may be lucky enough to spot a red squirrel. And of course you’re right at the heart of great walking country. From £380 for a short break. www.lakedistrictloveshack.com
Filly Island Cottage, Gloucestershire
What could be more romantic than knowing you’re separated from the world by water? And yet this island house is right in the middle of a village. Filly Island cottage began its life as a store for the cart, and the island is created by a mill lade on one side and by the River Churn on the other. It’s set like a gem in the village of South Cerney in the Cotswolds, with all the loveliness that corner of England has to offer. From £580 for a short break. www.uniquehomestays.com
The Sea Room, Cornwall
What could be more priceless than finding a hideaway accessible only by boat or a single footpath?
Perched on the edge of St Austell Bay, The Sea Room at Ropehawn seems to have leapt out of a Daphne du Maurier story. This luxurious renovated boathouse offers a large woodburning stove and a private patio – not to mention its own private shingle beach, with ample winkling, walking and canoeing opportunities.
Just imagine sitting eating al fresco as the sun goes down in fire. From £936 for a short break. http://bit.ly/1hkGqFU
Finn Lough, County Fermanagh
Last but not least are the Finn Lough Forest Domes in County Fermanagh. These delightful transparent bubbles are situated on a forested promontory curving out into the lake waters, allowing you to immerse yourself within the woodland environment. And, of course, the 180-degree transparent curved walls allow you to lie awake gazing at the stars. This 75-acre resort is just one mile from the Fermanagh/Donegal border. This is lovely watery country, just made for messing about in boats. Close by is the mysterious Boa Island, with its early Celtic stone heads. And all the wild beauty of Donegal couldn’t be easier to reach. From £175 a night. www.finnlough.com
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