Escape to the countryside this Christmas – here is a selection of country retreats with availability over the festive season.
The Bend at The Bend Retreat, Dorset
The Bend is a stylish holiday home overlooking the fields in the pretty rural hamlet of Neacroft. It is ideally located for the New Forest, which is alive with special events over the festive season including a Christmas canoe paddle, carol services and a magical Victorian Christmas experience at Beaulieu, The property is close to a choice of cosy country pubs and there are plenty of activities nearby to help burn off the Christmas excesses including: bike riding, horse riding and a choice of fabulous sandy beaches ideal for festive strolls.
The child-friendly house features a large sitting room with roaring log fire, a modern kitchen, elegant dining space plus a games room with toys, books and a full size tennis table. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Those seeking a taste of the aristocratic lifestyle will love Cossington Park an elegant period house that has that been in the same family for 400 years and lists explorers, adventurers, sailors, politicians and philanthropists amongst its former owners. It has plenty of space for families to celebrate New Year in style. Think roaring log fires, luxurious roll-top baths, cosy four poster beds and rooms brimming with antiques and portraits.
The grand old drawing room has cosy chaises-longues, shiny brasses and a wood-burner in the gorgeous Library Dining Room that seats up to 32 and is perfect for a formal dinner party. Outside, the hide and seek opportunities are endless with some 22 acres to explore including extensive gardens and fields including play area with swings and slides. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Forest Barn Holidays, Gloucestershire
Forest Barn Holidays is a private hamlet of five luxurious barns set in 800 acres of woods in the Forest of Dean, on the edge of the Cotswolds. The cottages will be decked with real Christmas trees for the festive season, with on-site hot tubs and log burners adding to the cosiness. Cottage options include Brambles , a bolt hole for two, Stables a traditional stone barn for six, The Manor, a stylish country house sleeping eight; Orchard Barn a 17th century barn for six and Meadow Byre with its vaulted roof and beams, which sleeps four.
Guests can destress ready for Christmas with a spa treatment or soak in the woodland hot tub and kids young and old will be kept entertained in the heated games room with its table tennis, air hockey, table football and choice of board games. Bird lovers can take a course at the onsite falconry school and visit the aviaries to see the owls and peregrines. Foodies are spoilt for choice with three Michelin starred restaurants nearby. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Llanfendigaid Estate, Wales
Steeped in history the grade II* Llanfendigaid Estate has been owned by the same family since records began in AD 1241. Occupying one of the most attractive stretches of Welsh coastline within Snowdonia National Park, the property benefits from stunning views towards Cardigan Bay and is set in an acre of private wooded gardens.
This is a fabulous place to spend a family Christmas and the properties will be decorated for the festive season. There are a host of festive activities happening in the local area including a Christmas Eve candlelit Carol Service in the local 12th century Church perched on the cliff top above Cardigan Bay. Guests have use of a 28’ x 14’ indoor heated swimming pool as well as access to one of the more secluded beaches in the area. www.premiercottages.co.uk
With a choice of 17 luxury five-star houses set in 1000 acres of historic woodland, Trelowarren is the perfect place to celebrate a Cornish Christmas. The estate is ecologically driven, and guests receive a warm welcome in the beautifully bedecked reception area.
The traditional cottages brimming with character and stunning eco-houses all have fantastic views of the Cornish countryside. Facilities include: an outdoor tennis court countless picturesque walks around the beautiful estate, the award winning New Yard Restaurant adorned with festive recyclable decorations and open throughout the year for lazy afternoon teas, tasty pizzas, delicious evening meals and homemade cocktails. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Belle Grove, Suffolk
Celebrate Christmas in style at the gorgeously converted former farm buildings at Belle Grove. Decorated with Christmas trees and bursting with character and comfort, their ‘East meets West’ twist is provided by carefully chosen antiques and textiles. The cottages have under-floor heating and wood-burning stoves ideal for cosy nights in. With a choice of five cottages to stay in, available for mini-breaks or longer, look no further than Belle Grove. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Neuadd Farm Cottages, Wales
Neuadd Farm Cottages will be decorated with Christmas trees for the festive season and are some of the prettiest in Wales with terrific walking, beaches and golf courses nearby. On site there is lake fishing and an all-weather tennis court plus the wildlife viewing in the area is outstanding with the chance to spot red kites and dolphins nearby. The little harbour town of New Quay, one-time home of Dylan Thomas is just three miles away and the National Trust coastal path only a mile away. www.premiercottages.co.uk