Escape for a winter break in the countryside with this selection of cosy country cottages.
Broadgate Farm Cottages, Yorkshire
Broadgate Farm Cottages (pictured above) are a set of award-winning eco-friendly barn conversions in the Yorkshire Wolds featuring underfloor heating and woodburning stoves. There are walks from the door and a wealth of wildlife on the farm and in the surrounding nature reserves. Visit Spurn, a long narrow crooked finger of sand reaching out from the coast with a wildlife rich habitat including over wintering migratory birds, seals, roe deer and more.
Just two miles from the cottages is the historic market town of Beverley with its quirky cafes, acclaimed restaurants and upmarket shopping. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Ashford Farm Cottages, Shropshire
Just three miles from Ludlow, dog-friendly Ashford Farm is an ideal base from which to explore the beautiful Welsh Marches.
Great for a winter break as it’s is close to the market town of Ludlow, with its impressive range of places to eat and shop as well as a historic castle and picturesque half-timbered buildings. The National Trusts’ neo classical mansion Berrington Hall with its Capability Brown landscape and Croft Castle are also a short drive from the cottages. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Mulberry Barn Cottage, Hampshire
Mulberry Barn Cottage sits in the picturesque village of Milford on Sea, with views to the Isle of Wright and the Needles. Guests staying here can enjoy bracing beach and cliff top walks or head eastwards from the cottage along the shingle bank to English Heritage’s Hurst Castle.
Wildlife enthusiasts will love the Lymington to Keyhaven Nature Reserve home to wintering wildfowl such as Mallard, Shoveler and Teal plus wading birds like Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew and Lapwing. The New Forest National Park also starts just over a mile away with150 square miles of open heathlands and ancient woodlands to explore. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Mulberry Barn, Milford on Sea, Hampshire
Heritage Mews in Stratford-upon-Avon
Heritage Mews is a delightful modern property five to 10 minutes’ walk from Stratford’s town centre with its historic buildings, the world famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre plus an amazing choice of restaurants and tearooms as well as lively weekend markets and interesting small independent shops.
An interesting way to explore Stratford, its history, attractions and fascinating relationship with William Shakespeare is on the award-winning guided Town Walk, which takes place every day including Christmas Day. Bardolators can also visit the bard’s birthplace and family homes: New Place, the site of his last home in Stratford, Hall’s Croft, his daughter’s home in Old Town and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the childhood home of his wife – all open every day in winter. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Claypot Cottage, Gloucestershire
Claypot Cottage is a gorgeous Grade II listed stone cottage for five in the pretty village of Barnsley just 40 yards from a cosy gastro pub.
In the heart of the Cotswolds, this quintessential cottage has been totally refurbished but retains bags of character with an inglenook fireplace and ancient beams as well as local artwork. Cheltenham and Cirencester are within easy reach of the property and those looking for some R&R will love the Barnsley House Spa – just a two minute walk away. For families there’s the Cotswold Wildlife Park, which is 20 minutes from cottage. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Waternook Lakeside Accommodation, The Lake District
Waternook Lakeside Accommodation comprises two luxury 17th Century residences on a private 26 acre lake-fronting estate in the heart of the Lake District, a World Heritage Site. Waternook sleeps 12 guests over six luxury suites and boasts a roaring log fire, private cinema and Spa & Wellness Sanctuary. The Great Barn sleeps eight guests in four luxury suites with Minstrels Gallery, snug and lakeview dining. Both properties boast panoramic lake and mountain views.
There’s plenty of opportunity to spot wildlife in fields that surround the private estate including Red Squirrels, Peregrine Falcon, Wood Warblers, Arctic Char and England’s last surviving herd of Red Deer whose bloodline dates back to 1066 and the times of William the Conqueror. The spectacular Aurora Borealis can also be viewed from here. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Bordering the West Wales counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, Gellideg Cottage is a cosy rural hideaway surrounded by beautiful woodland. This is a fabulous spot for a winter stay with riverside walks, waterfalls, castles and golden beaches nearby. The pretty coastal towns of Newquay, Aberaeron and Cardigan can all be reached within 30 minutes.
Gellideg sleeps four and has a plentiful supply of toys, books and games and underfloor heating and a log burner ensure everyone stays toasty even on the coldest of days. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Chestnut and Culls Cottage, Eco Chic Cottages, Gloucestershire
Culls Cottage is a quintessentially Cotswold Cottage dating from 1670 that combines all the charm of the past with modern fittings and luxurious extras. Its larger sister property The Chestnuts, is a stylishly furnished traditional stone cottage with original artworks, two lounges and three bathrooms. Both properties are toasty warm with traditional inglenook fireplaces, wood burners and underfloor heating.
Glorious walks over the fields can be enjoyed direct from the door and historic Burford, Lechlade, Blenheim Place and The Ashmoleum Museum are within easy reach.
Culls Cottage is a quintessentially Cotswold Cottage dating from 1670
Erw Gwenllian, Wales
The gorgeous Erw Gwenllian has some of the most breath-taking views of Aberdovey village. Aberdovey sits on the northern edge of the Dyfi estuary, where the mountains meet the sea on the edge of the Snowdonia national park. This peaceful village has a thriving harbour and remains a popular seaside resort.
Recently refurbished to an incredibly high-standard, this property is the perfect bolthole for a weekend of coastal walks and hunkering down inside by the fire watching films. With glass sliding doors opening out to a patio, the house, which sleeps eight, makes the ideal base for a relaxing break – whatever the weather.
Erw Gwenllian has some of the most breath-taking views of Aberdovey village.
Oliveduck Cottage, Narberth
Located in an idyllic market town full of boutique shops, galleries and cafes, this warming period cottage provides a comfortable stay in a great location. There is an open fire place, roll top bath and, for kids, a lofty playroom up a spiralled staircase with beanbags, games and a tv. www.qualitycottages.co.uk
Stay in the cosy Oliveduck Cottage in Pembrokeshire
Fairy Hill House, Newport
Sat in the foothills of the Preseli Hills, this former farmhouse offers 12 guests a snug retreat in sumptuous surroundings. Spacious yet cosy, the house has inglenook fireplaces, exposed beams, oak floors, underfloor heating and an original feature fireplace with a bread oven. www.qualitycottages.co.uk
The Bend, New Forest
Situated in the pretty hamlet of Neacroft, in the New Forest National Park, The Bend is a stylish luxury holiday home sleeping up to 12 guests. The house is well located for exploring the New Forest – on foot, by bicycle or on horseback – and there are plenty of cosy country pubs nearby. In addition to spacious living areas and a roaring log fire, the house also features a games room with table tennis and plenty for all the family to enjoy.
The Old Cheese Factory, Derbyshire
The Old Cheese Factory is set in an idyllic location in the rural village of Windley, offering breathtaking views of the Peak District and fantastic walking and cycling opportunities straight from the door.
Built around 1690, this grade II listed building has been restored to an incredibly high standard. It retains many original features including the oak beams and lime ash floors.
The property will be tastefully decorated for the festive season and guests will be welcomed with a variety of Christmas treats. The Old Cheese Factory sleeps up to eight people. premiercottages.co.uk
Cae Du, Snowdonia National Park
Cae Du provides a stunning location for a festive escape with beautiful mountain panoramas, quiet forest walkways, lakeside trails, and tumbling waterfalls nearby. A short distance away is Betws-y-Coed, the principal village of the park, if you need anything. Dogs are welcome here too; there’ll be plenty of space for them to run around. premiercottages.co.uk
Candlestick Cottage, Crewkerne, Somerset
The perfect white-washed cottage with staggering hilly views and a hot tub, and a great location that’s a short drive from the Jurassic Coast – or just 10 minutes from Crewkerne train station.
Expect a welcome treats and kick off your stay in style. The pretty master bedroom has its own roll top bath tub for added luxury. There’s a gorgeous period fireplace with open fire and the house looks over a totally organic country estate, there is even a sauna in the nearby woodlands for you to relax Scandinavian style! www.coolstays.com/candlestick-cottage
Wolf Wood Treehouses, Okehampton, Devon
Get back to nature at Wolf Wood Treehouses, ethically sourced and constructed getaways up in the canopy on a 13-acre area of woodland in the heart of Devon – and just 20 minutes from Okehampton train station.
The treehouses built from ethically sourced, local materials. Large decks look out across the treetops with outdoor bath for added luxury. Black Wolf is the perfect family getaway while Stargazer is great for couples. Meander along the footpaths and discover the wildlife and plants. Go a little further field and explore Dartmoor, the North Cornwall coast and more. Wood burner for added winter cosiness. www.coolstays.com/wolf-wood-treehouses
Country hotels to stay this winter
If you’d prefer a hotel stay here are two options which offer walking trails and wildlife on your doorstep.
The Moorings Hotel, Fort William, Scotland
One of the most popular hotels in Fort William The Moorings on the banks of the Caledonian Canal is in an ideal location for climbing Ben Nevis and to enjoy winter activities on and around the Nevis range.
Due to its elevation and location, snow can fall as early as October on the UK’s highest mountain Ben Nevis, and last well into the spring. Skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed on the Nevis Range as well as activities like snowshoeing, sledging and even snow biking.
Fort William is also home to Scotland’s big five – golden eagle, red deer, red squirrel, harbour seal and otter. www.prestigeholidays.co.uk
Visit the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland when it’s less busy, more peaceful and becomes a winter wonderland with opportunities for skiing and cross-country skiing, dog sledding and other snow sports. Stay at The Grant Arms Hotel, also known as the ‘Wildlife Hotel’ and enjoy spotting osprey, golden eagle, white-tailed eagle, crested tit, and black grouse as well as deer, pine martens, badgers, mountain hare, rabbits, Scottish wildcats, otters and feral goats. www.prestigeholidays.co.uk