Cottages to stay for a British wildlife break

BBC Springwatch is back on our screens next week and this year the show is based at Sherborne Park in Gloucestershire, a working farm landscape amid the rolling Cotswolds. Take a look at our selection of National Trust cottages you can stay to enjoy your own wildlife break

Published: May 24th, 2017 at 2:32 pm
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Sherborne Park was left to the National Trust 30 years ago by Lord Sherborne. The traditional 4,000 acre landscape includes historic parkland, woodland and five tenanted farms.


But that’s not all; there are two holiday cottages on the estate, offering the unique experience of exploring the abundance of flourishing wildlife from your doorstep.

National Trust cottages to stay

Deer Park Lodge, Sherborne, Gloucestershire

Deer Park Lodge in Sherbourne/Credit: ©NationalTrust

With its ornate exterior, built into the Park’s entrance gates no-less, a cosy interior complete with an open fire, plus panoramic views of the countryside, Deer Park Lodge, really ticks the boxes for a unique getaway. Sleeping four, this one-storey cottage it’s just the place for a small family or two couples looking to explore the estate and its wildlife. Guests can look forward to spotting everything from fallow and roe deer to badgers and foxes. Not to mention the otters, water voles and dragonflies that can be found in the 18th-century water meadow, which has been restored in partnership with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

Price: Two nights from £274

Book: Visit: or call 0344 800 2070

West Lodge, Sherborne, Gloucestershire

West Lodge, Sherbourne/Credit: ©NationalTrust

This semi-detached lodge cottage is reached by an impressive tree-lined drive and perched on the edge of Sherborne village, where you’ll find a great village shop and traditional tea-room. Sleeping two there are walks from the door across Sherborne Park. The fields, woods and wetlands simply teem with wildlife, with everything from bats and barn owls to stoats and flocks of farmland birds calling the Park home. And after all that exploring you’ll be able to cook-up a feast in the simple but well-equipped kitchen or head out to the family-run Sherborne Arms, just four miles away.

Price: Two nights from £232

Book: Visit: or call 0344 800 2070

And if these cottages have given you a taste for a wildlife break, why not discover these gems?

Wireless Cottage, Cornwall 

Wireless Cottage, Cornwall/Credit: ©NationalTrust

Wireless Cottage is a simple wooden building that's part of the Grade II-listed Lizard Wireless Station built by Guglielmo Marconi in 1900 for use in his early radio experiments. It's situated in the most southerly part of Britain and faces south. Far reaching sea views of the shimmering ocean means guests can enjoy spotting grey seals, dolphins and hopefully even Cornish coughs.

Price: Two nights from £250

Book: Visit: or call 0344 800 2070

Choristers' House, Ripon, Yorkshire

Chorister's House, Yorkshire/Credit: ©NationalTrust

Originally built as a music school, Choristers’ House is now one of 11 holiday cottages on the Fountains Abbey estate. The house is set within the 400-acre Studley Royal Park, which has been populated by deer for the past 500 years. As well as Fallow, Red and Sika Deer a walk along the River Snell might just reward guests with the chance to spot otters.

Price: Three nights from £764

Book: Visit: or call 0344 800 2070

Rockside Cottage, Northumberland 

Guests can enjoy great views of the sea and the beautiful Embleton Bay from Rockside Cottage. With its cosy nautical interior, complete with wood burner it’s a great place to kick off your boots after a busy day of wildlife spotting. You can see mallard, coot, teal and swans in the nearby freshwater lagoon. With a bit of luck you might also spot rare waders and wildfowl including pochard and warblers.

Price: Three nights from £371

Book: Visit: or call 0344 800 2070

Stackpole, Pembrokeshire

Stackpole Cottages, Pembrokeshire/Credit: ©NationalTrust

Situated on the beautiful coastline of south Pembrokeshire, the Stackpole Estate includes award-winning sandy beaches, tranquil wooded valleys, wildlife-rich lily ponds, walking trails and watersports. The estate also offers a wide variety of activities, from sea-kayaking to guided walks and high-adrenaline coasteering. Rosemary Cottage, Thyme Cottage and Lavender Cottage are a terraced trio of cottages converted from farm buildings offering laid-back accommodation, with easy access to Barafundle Bay and Broadhaven beach. While Manor House is a large, stone house situated just minutes from the Bosherston Lilyponds. They’re all part of the National Trust’s Basic Collection of cottages which offer great value for money and a real chance to get back to basics and enjoy a simpler way of holidaying.

Prices: Rosemary Cottage (sleeps 6) from £139 for two nights, Thyme Cottage (sleeps 6) from £139 for two nights, Lavender Cottage (sleeps 6) from £158 for three nights.

Book: Visit: or call 0344 800 2070

Mrs Preedy’s Cottage, Burnham-Overy-Staithe, Norfolk

Mrs Preedy's Cottage, Norfolk/Credit: ©NationalTrust

Sleeps five

At the heart of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Blakeney National Nature Reserve boasts wide open spaces and uninterrupted views of the beautiful North Norfolk coastline. Extend your visit by booking into Mrs Preedy’s Cottage, which offers a great base for exploring the reserve. Internationally important, the reserve is noted for its spectacular displays of the summer breeding tern colony and winter breeding grey seals ensuring delight for visitors all year round

Prices:  From £355 for three nights

Book: Visit: or call 0344 800 2070

Pomone, Irex and Varvassi, Totland Bay, Isle of Wight

Pomone, Isle of Wight/Credit: ©NationalTrust

Perched high above Alum Bay on The Needles Headland is a row of former coastguard cottages now used as holiday lets. Named after local shipwrecks, Pomone, Irex and Varvassi, each cottage sleeps between four to five people. Step outside one of the cottages on to acres of downland waiting to be explored. Amongst the gorse bushes are small birds and thousands of minute downland flowers. Cliff nesting birds soar effortlessly along the cliff tops using the updrafts.

Prices: Pomone: Three nights from £242 Irex: Three nights from £245 Varvassi: Three nights from £245

Book: Visit: or call 0344 800 2070

Crom, Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh

One of Ireland's most important conservation areas, Crom offers relaxation, adventure and wildlife all in one unique location. Tucked away in a sunny courtyard are seven holiday cottages all offering the chance to discover the vast array of rare species , like otters, red squirrels and pine martens as well as some of the UK's rarest butterflies and moths. And with fishing, biking, boating all on offer, you’ll probably never want to leave the estate.

Cottages: Alder CottageBadger CottageErne ViewAspen CottageOrchard ViewWillow Cottage and Woodford Cottage

Book: Visit: or call 0344 800 2070

White Edge Lodge, Longshaw Estate, Derbyshire

Sleeps 5

This place is in an amazing spot, surrounded by the wide expanses of heather moorland of White Edge Moor in the National Park, with views extending more than 20 miles down the Derwent Valley and up to the Dark Peak. Originally the gamekeeper’s cottage, it has many interesting and original interior features, a kitchen in the former game cellar and a bathroom with fine moorland views from the bathtub. With excellent moorland walks around the gritstone edges of the Longshaw Estate, this is heaven for walkers and birdwatchers.

Price: Three nights from £532

Book: Visit: or call 0344 800 2070

Holeslack Farmhourse, Kendal, Cumbria

Holeslack Farmhouse, Cumbria/Credit: ©NationalTrust

Holeslack is on the Sizergh estate and dates back 400 years. It is a lovely spacious farmhouse once possibly used as the dowager house for the estate. It has views over the estates farmland and in the evening deer walk through the surrounding woods and in to the garden. During spring and summer buzzards and pheasants are a common sight. There are several good pubs to eat at nearby including the estates own Strictland Arms. Kendal is just 10 mins away.

Price: Two nights from £290


Book: Visit: or call 0344 800 2070



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