The Cottage in the Woods, Worcestershire
Don’t let the name fool you; the Cottage is actually a striking Georgian town house, high above the spa town of Malvern, surrounded by woodland. The elegant dining room offers panoramic views over the Severn Valley, as well as fine dining and cocktails. This is a charming family-run hotel that tempts guests with delicious afternoon teas, spicy cocktails and fine dining – with cycling, horse riding and wine tasting close by.
Doubles from £129 B&B; cottageinthewood.co.uk
Ty Hiraeth, Mid Wales
Pack walking boots, cycling helmets and swimming gear for this luxury lodge, which features an outdoor hot tub and wrap-around terrace with stunning views over the lush Welsh countryside. Offa’s Dyke Path is close by and the Shropshire Hills are within easy reach, while the market town of Montgomery is 2 miles away, with a picturesque 12th century castle and a number of good pubs and restaurants. Sleeping four people, ideal for two couples or a family, the house has a light, airy feel with an open plan living area, modern kitchen and a spacious utility room with plenty of room for muddy walking boots.
A week from €1,-503; holidaycottages.co.uk
The Tan Hill Inn, North Yorkshire
Dating back to the 17th century, Tan Hill is Britain’s highest inn, at 1,732 feet above sea level. Loved by walkers, cyclists and anyone craving truly unspoilt countryside, it’s a wonderfully secluded spot – with widescreen views from virtually anywhere you sit. There is a fantastic 15 mile circular walk from the door of the pub, past Keld and Ravenseat, and the Tan also offers cycling packages, with bikes (road or mountain) available for hire. Locally brewed ales accompany classic pub fare, including giant yorkshire puds filled with sausages and mash.
Double from £176 B&B; tanhillinn.com
Feather Down’s Fountain Violet Farm, Devon
Pull back the canvas to see stunning views of lush hills rolling down to the sea at this hilltop beef farm, which makes an ideal base for exploring the South Hams. BoerenBed “tents” are actually fully equipped living spaces, with a bathroom and shower, a living room with wood burner and kitchen and a real bedroom, in addition to bunk beds and a “closet bed”. Mill Bay beach is just a 15 minute walk away, and the nearby River Dart offers surfing, sailing and paddle boarding; with dinners around the campfire to round out the days.
Three night breaks from £450; featherdons.co.uk
The Lord Crewe Arms, Northumberland
Steeped in layers of history dating back to the 12th century, the Lord Crewe Arms sits on a hill in the pretty village of Blanchland, with riverside walks and sailing on the Derwent Reservoir right on the doorstep. The pub blends its heritage – the building started its life as a shelter for the nearby priory – with contemporary touches. Hot water bottles, locally made fudge, old beams and window seats give a cozy feeling without descending into chintz. In the evenings, robust British cuisine is served in the cozy dining room, and bicycles, fishing equipment, maps and wellies are all available to borrow.
Double from £189 bed and breakfast; lordcrewearmsblanchard.co.uk
Roughtor Barn, Cornwall
This clever barn conversion, shrunk down a long track eight miles from Port Isaac, opens up to bring the surrounding moorland right in. The slopes of Roughtor – Cornwall’s second highest peak – rise behind the cottage and provide excellent walking and bird watching opportunities. The stylish house is ideal for a group of friends or older families (children under 7 are not allowed), with a cozy upper floor for teenagers and a lounge area with driftwood chandelier, record player, selection of LPs and a good-sized wood burner.
One week from £900; classic.co.uk
Locke’s Cottage, South West Wales
Located above the Hoffnant Valley, this former farmhouse overlooks gently rolling hills and peaceful agricultural landscapes. An unusual combination of stone walls on the ground floor with a wooden upper floor (including a tree growing through the property), the cottage has a homely feel, with a roaring log burner. Floors and windowsills are made from former scaffolding planks, while the double-ended tub sits in a reclaimed wood crib. The upstairs living room opens onto a balcony with lovely views across the valley and there are lovely walks from the door.
Three nights’ holiday from £445; pawsandstay.co.uk
Mulino Pods, Derbyshire
Set on a hill with stunning views over Carsington Water, these three glamping pods offer the simplicity of camping with a little more comfort. Inside there is a double bed, kettle, toaster and fridge, and outside a wooden decking complete with BBQ and chairs. A common area, shared by all three pods, has a covered outdoor kitchen and “info room” with books, games and local maps, and there are two shared bathrooms. There are walking, cycling and bridleways from the farm, and the historic town of Ashbourne is 3 miles away.
Two night breaks from £180; mulinopods.co.uk
Hillside, Isle of Wight
Sitting on top of one hill, at the foot of another, the aptly named Hillside overlooks the seaside town of Ventnor and oozes Scandi style beneath its traditional looking thatched frontage. Bright white walls frame huge, avant-garde works of art, while the bedrooms feel cool and comfortable with Welsh wool fabrics, handmade Danish beds and oak floors. Dinners – a sort of French-Scandi fusion – must be ordered in advance and guests are called to the table when the meal is ready. It’s quirky but charming – like the island it’s on.
Two night break from £392 B&B; hillsideventnor.co.uk
Crag House Farm Barns, North Yorkshire
On the edge of the North York Moors National Park, these two converted barns – ideal for friends or a family gathering – are nestled in the hills above Danby Dale. Inside, the original wall beams are visible, cleverly dividing the lower floor into two airy living areas, with an open plan kitchen and dining area. The three bedrooms are boutique hotel styled, while outside, fairy-lit terraces in sheltered areas are perfect for alfresco dinners and barbecues. In addition to all the rural beauty, the coast is only a 15-minute drive away.
Three nights from £825; craghousefarm.co.uk.