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58 staycation self-catering stays

Planning a staycation for when lockdown eases up? It's your resident travel agent here with 58 gorgeous self-catering stays across the 24 Muddy counties.

BEDFORDSHIRE BERKSHIRE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE CAMBRIDGESHIRE CORNWALL DEVON ESSEX DORSET GLOUCESTERSHIRE HAMPSHIRE HERTFORDSHIRE ISLE OF WIGHT KENT LEICESTERSHIRE NORFOLK NORTHAMPTONSHIRE OXFORDSHIRE RUTLAND SUFFOLK SOMERSET SURREY SUSSEX WARWICKSHIRE WILTSHIRE WORCESTERSHIRE

 

BERKSHIRE

Church House Berkshire, Grazeley, Berkshire (sleeps 15)

Church House Berkshrie main living room velvet curved sofas large hanging pendant lights stained glass windows and purple lighting

Looking for a party pad that’s sexier than a hot priest? Take a pew and drink in the splendour of Church House Berkshire in Grazeley, near Reading. Sleeping up to 15 people in 5 bedrooms, it’s a stunning former Victorian church, full of original features and has had a starring role in Made In Chelsea. This ecclesiastical gem has been fitted with state-of-the-art home tech; it has an open-plan lounge with wood burner, a cinema room, plus a hot tub, large garden and the original pulpit is perfect for party preachers. You don’t even have to lift a finger – the concierge team can organise anything from catering and cocktails to a murder mystery.

The Houseboat, Cookham (sleeps 4-6)

The Houseboat Cookham

Ahoy there! Beaches are a no-go in Berks but rivers, well, we have plenty. For a total change of scene (assuming you don’t live on a boat) we’re loving the idea of a break surrounded by water. This surprisingly spacious 2-bed wide beam houseboat is moored in Cookham Dean, and is kitted out with Egyptian linen bedding and towels, TV, fridge, log burner, and wifi. Cookham is brilliant for great walks and you’re a short drive from Henley and Marlow too.

Isolation Barn, Compton (sleeps 10)

The Gallop Compton open plan kitchen

Home goals a gogo, Isolation Barn is a lust-worthy barn conversion, just 100 metres from the Ridgeway National Trail, Britain’s oldest prehistoric road. With direct access from the front door, this wonderful home from home is ideal for walking and cycling and is also within easy access to Oxford and Newbury. This 5-bed holiday crash pad has been renovated to a high standard, whilst retaining many rustic features. It’s also on one level, so no pesky stairs to contend with on your Champagne legs.

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

Apple House, nr Milton Keynes (sleeps 10)

Have a big family (or just planning a huge party to celebrate the end of lockdown)? This 5-bed manor house is the perfect pad to relax in – and there’s so much to do, you won’t want to leave. There’s an indoor heated swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna, and the 7 acres of grounds include a badminton court, a gym, table football, darts, bikes and even canoes. 

The Old Stone Barn, nr Olney (sleeps 2-6 per cottage)

The Old Stone Barn, Olney

Whether you’re after a romantic weekender or a week-long getaway with the kids, The Old Stone Barn can accommodate. Home to seven cottages, each between 1 and 3 bedrooms, this self-catering set-up in North Bucks is perfect for a summer staycation, thanks to the outdoor heated swimming pool, hot tubs and BBQs for hire and the option to order in luxury hampers. Fancy a glamping experience instead? The Old Stone Barn offers two fully self-contained safari tents each sleeping between 6 and 8 people.

Apple House, nr Milton Keynes (sleeps 10)

Have a big family (or just planning a huge party to celebrate the end of lockdown)? This 5-bed manor house is the perfect pad to relax in – and there’s so much to do, you won’t want to leave. There’s an indoor heated swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna, and the 7 acres of grounds include a badminton court, a gym, table football, darts, bikes and even canoes.

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ESSEX

Little Thatch, Walton-on-the-Naze (sleeps 4)

This chocolate box thatched cottage would be right at home nested in the heart of a countryside village, but it’s actually just a two minute walk from the sandy beach in Walton-on-the-Naze. The cottage features a fully equipped kitchen with breakfast bar, a king-size double bedroom and a private garden for catching the last of the day’s sun.

Eldred House, nr Colchester (sleeps 16)

Enough space for you? With 52 acres of woodland, landscaped gardens, two ponds and a lake – this  Grade II listed Georgian gaff is ideal for huge family get togethers. Spend your stay inside in the eight bedrooms, games room or gorgeous kitchen, or head out on a short drive to Colchester for an abundance of shops and restaurants.

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CORNWALL

Manor Cottage, Botelet, nr Lostwithiel (sleeps 5)

Manor Cottage stands amongst an array of historic buildings in the heart of the ancient farm at Botelet, set in the rolling countryside above Fowey. Grade II listed, the old Manor House is recorded in the Doomsday Book of 1086.  Inside solid three foot walls, the fire burns warm for your arrival.  The old structure is mixed with touches of eclectic lighting and timeless modern design.  Around the back, there is a large walled garden with lawn and private dining area where chickens or doves may wonder through without a care in the world. Massages are available on site, as is the monthly Breakfast Club in the main farmhouse during the summer season, as well as a sketching club. The gorgeous coastal towns of Polperro, Polruan and Fowey are nearby – closer to hand, walk up to the ironage fort, or pop to the old market town of Lostwithiel to potter in the antique and scandi-themed shops.

Treverra Farm Cottage, Rock, nr Wadebridge (sleeps 8) 

Sleeping up to 8 people, on a 14 acre site, Treverra Farm Cottage has spectacular views across the Camel Estuary – with all of the sailing, waterskiing and water sports you could wish for, as well as the culinary delights of Padstow just across the water.

The cottage has been refurbished and decorated beautifully with a combination of unique finds and vintage pieces, set against whitewashed walls and local Delabole slate floors. Eat outside among the landscaped Cornish gardens and during the summer season join in the occasional supper club at the main farmhouse, or make use of the outdoor infinity pool, jacuzzi and tennis court. The cottage can be combined with the garden studio to sleep up to 10 people.

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DEVON

Old Thatch, Torcross (up to 8 people)

If it was possible to take a break in a Joanna Trollope novel, this is it. A tastefully modernised four-bed thatch with exposed beams, an Aga in the stone-walled kitchen, open fire and a wooden four-poster. Look out for the old amphibious Sherman tank on Torcross beachfront car park, left behind from the practice D-Day landings.

Highview Barn, Saunton (sleeps 4)

Love rustic but don’t want to miss out on your mod-cons? Check out this uber-cool coastal retreat just a few minutes from beautiful Saunton Sands on the North Devon coast. If you want an urban open-plan vibe but in a rustic setting, this two-bedroom beauty is for you.

Beach Bay Cottage, Croyde (sleeps up to 10)

A golden beach, a barbecue and two Muddy-approved pubs on your doorstep, what more do you need? (Okay, I’ll throw in a hot tub.) Inside, it’s kitted out in peaceful creams and whites, with four bedrooms, sleeping up to 10 if you can do two in bunks. And don’t forget your bike and your surf board.

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DORSET

Seascape, Isle of Purbeck (sleeps 8)

This is Grand Designs by the sea, with vast living spaces and the main bedroom up on the first floor – perfect for soaking up the splendiferous views of the sea and Poole Harbour – and three other bedrooms on the ground. Located on the private Glebe Estate in Studland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and with a fab sandy beach, the 3,000 square foot house is in the same village as chic restaurant/hotel The Pig-on the beach (handy).

Sugar Ray,Burton Bradstock, (sleeps 6 +2)

Inspired by hideaway cabins in the Scottish Highlands, this simple but luxurious beach house sits in glorious gardens above Hive Beach and with views to Chesil Beach beyond. Have a dip in the heated outdoor pool (with its own pool house), bounce on the trampoline, cosy up in the Shepherd’s Hut, take a 20-min stroll down to the beach and then sip a drink or two on the terrace as the sun dips below the horizon. Bliss. 

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GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Howell’s Barn, Lower MIll Estate, Glos (sleeps 14)

Situated in the incredible Cotswold Water Park nature reserve just south of Cirencester, Howell’s Barn will have you feeling you’re fully in holiday mode in minutes. Fully equipped so you never have to leave, this stone barn is set in private grounds and surrounded by beautiful lakes to explore (try the row boats they’re brilliant fun or head out on your bike). This 1820s restored house features a private outdoor heated pool, direct lake access and ‘The Hide’ an funky, modernist Grand Designs structure voted Britain’s Best Small Building in 2009 – overlooking one of the largest lakes in the Cotswold Water Park.

Itty Bitty Cottage, Minchinhampton (sleeps 4)

The brilliantly named Itty Bitty Cottage is the cosiest of Cotswold getaways in our opinion, but don’t be fooled, this beautifully bijou stone cottage is quite tardis-like and actually sleeps 4. Although dogs are not allowed here you couldn’t be in a better place for exploring, with the lovely market town of Minchinhampton on your doorstep one way, and the National Trust’s Rodborough Common with miles of wild walks the other. A picture-postcard stay.

The Egg Store, Kingham, Daylesford Farm (sleeps 2)

Set on the Daylesford estate, the Egg Store is a private, self-catering, love nest with everything you need on tap – including an on-site farm shop for your fresh eggs, charcuterie munchies and evening tipples. The place is filled with rustic furniture and deep sofas and you get a luxurious welcome hamper to delve into when you arrive with lots of organic goodies. Dine on croissants and smoothies in the lovely quiet little courtyard. Kingham is also the perfect base for exploring quiet local bridleways with bikes to borrow on site, or set off on footpaths for miles of breathtaking scenery. For bigger groups or larger families, book into the Potting Shed which sleeps 6.

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HAMPSHIRE

Roscoe, Romsey(sleeps 8)

Can we self-isolate here, please? This ultra-modern 4-bedroom pad is squirrelled away in rural Romsey, near the New Forest, and comes with all the mod cons including a heated indoor pool, outdoor hot tub, a steam room and gym. 

Luttrell’s Tower, nr Southampton(sleeps 4)

You might have spotted this Grade-II listed landmark near Southampton before, but did you know you could stay in it? Originally built for MP and alleged smuggler Temple Luttrell back in 1780, the tower offers amazing sea views, plus a secret smuggler’s tunnel running down to the beach.

Temptation II, Southampton (sleeps 4)

And now for something completely different! For a quirky seaside stay, you can’t beat a luxury 60ft yacht moored on the River Itchen – especially when it comes with its own jacuzzi on the top deck. Meet you up there. 

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BEDFORDSHIRE

The Dower House, Sharnbrook (sleeps 6)

Predominantly a wedding venue, Dower House is a majestic country house in beautiful grounds (including woodland and a lake). The accomm is in the form of a semi-detached three-bedroom cottage, which can be booked for family stays for groups of six (not just bridal parties – shh, don’t tell everyone!) The quaint village setting might appeal for a get-away-from-it-all, but it’s also within easy reach of Cambridge for day trips, so you can take the kids shopping, punting or sightseeing if they find it a bit too quiet!

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HERTFORDSHIRE

Lawn House, Hatfield (sleeps 23)

How about this bad boy for when we’re allowed to mingle again? Set in the grounds of Hatfield House, this Grade II listed house was the former home of Queen Elizabeth I and is finished to a royal standard with 11 gorgeously decorated rooms, all with en suite.

Kingsbridge House, Tewin Bury Farm, Welwyn (sleeps 18)

This eight-double bedroom house is in the grounds of the Tewin Bury Farm Hotel. Clean and modern with a traditional twist, it’s great for families with older kids who want a bit more space, and with all bedrooms being en suite, there’ll be no queueing for the bathroom either. Plus, there’s not one, but two hot tubs! Hello G&T-in-the-jacuzzi-o-clock…

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ISLE OF WIGHT

Rose Cottage, Newport (sleeps 4)

A quintessentially British cottage, this National Trust property is the perfect base to explore some of the Isle of Wight’s most famous sights, as well as the island’s capital. The village church and Mottistone Manor are practically within spitting distance, too.

The Old Radar Station, Ventnor(sleeps 8)

If chintzy cottages aren’t your bag, you’ll love this minimal, architectural property. Once a receiver station during World War II, the house is starkly stylish and features plenty of open-plan space as well as incredible views.

The Crow’s Nest, Ventnor (sleeps 2) 

Who needs Santorini with views like this? Perched high on the hillside overlooking Ventnor Beach, The Crow’s Nest is an ideal romantic getaway packed to the brim with luxe finishes and within walking distance of pubs and eateries. That’s if you manage to leave the private sun deck, obv.

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LEICESTERSHIRE & RUTLAND

Mallory Meadows, Leicestershire

This luxury handcrafted wooden roundhouse is a perfect place to retreat to for some serious peace and quiet.Inside this boujis boutique lodge you’ll find a studio style room with a king-size bed, ensuite bathroom, an open plan kitchen/lounge area and door leading to an outside deck. Beautifully unusual, it’s full of character and we love the dark, navy walls and bright pops of red decor. Wake up to views of the gorgeous green countryside, take a dip in the private hot tub outside and stock up on local goodies to cook a dinner for two.

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NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

The Old Rectory, Maidford (Sleeps 14)

The Old Rectory Maidford

Fancy a spot of Georgian sophistication on a grand scale? This sumptuous former rectory set in five acres of beautiful grounds may be just the ticket for your post-lockdown gathering. Immaculately furnished in a comfy traditional style, you’ll find a games room with pool table, ping pong and darts, not to mention the heated outdoor swimming pool with plenty of space for lounging. There is also a cottage in the grounds, which sleeps up to five additional guests, plus space for your helicopter to land, naturally.

Ashbrook Cottage, Moreton Pinkney (sleeps 6)

Ashbrook Cottage Moreton Pinkney

This open plan and super stylish, charming new build property sits on a farmstead in a picturesque rural setting. The decor is simply fabulous and it ought to be, as the property also serves as a film and shoot location, so attention to detail is impeccable. You get your own private garden and terrace for al fresco dining as well as all mod cons inside the house. The Jurassic Way long distance walking path is right outside the door, and Muddy fave the Crown Inn at Weston is a decent stagger back along country lanes.

The Tower, Canons Ashby (Sleeps 2)

canons ashby

Fairytale romantic sixteenth century tower, anyone? Ok, here’s one. Accessed via a spiral staircase and painstakingly restored, the utterly charming apartment sits at the very top of the tower at Canons Ashby, a historic National Trust property. After the visitors have gone away in the evening, you’ll be able to stroll around the beautifully kept gardens to your heart’s content, pretending to be the Lady of the Manor.

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OXFORDSHIRE

The Copse, Kidmore End (sleeps up to 20) 

This wedding venue and self-catering county house in the Chiltern Hills seriously has the wow factor with nine bedrooms, a large kitchen, cinema room, hot tub and stunning private gardens (just look at that lake!). It has a spacious and homely feel – perfect for a big family reunion. 

Alysas Cottage, Chipping Norton (sleeps 5)

This pretty cottage looks like it’s been plucked straight for a pastoral postcard with it’s honey stone and rural surroundings. Inside, traditional meets modern creature comforts with bags of character – exposed beams, solid oak doors, Cotswold stone fireplace – and a gorgeous shaker style kitchen in stylish, muted tones. Location-wise, it’s the idea base for exploring the Cotswolds, a stones throw away from Chippy, Stratford-upon-Avon and Woodstock if you fancy a ramble around Blenheim Palace.

The Boathouse, Henley-on-Thames (sleeps 2) 

Naughty weekend on the river? Say hello to this luxe boathouse, just a two minute walk from Henley town centre with it’s many pubs and restaurants (book a table for two at Hart Street Tavern or The Bull on Bell Street). The apartment is flooded with light and furnished to a top spec (plus a Sonos sound system and smart TV), but the real star of the show is the balcony, with expansive views of the river and Henley Bridge. Perfect to watch the sun go down, cocktail in hand. 

Goodlake Barns, Faringdon (sleeps up to 28) 

Sometimes it’s nice to have everybody in one place, but still have your own front door to lock at the end of the day, right? Ideal for huge family gatherings, Goodlake Barns is a collection of five independent properties (sleeping 4 – 10) all set around a communal courtyard. The barns are just a five minute drive from Faringdon Folly – check out the top of the hill for gorgeous views – and seven minutes from the town centre.

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NORFOLK

Rocket House, Sea Palling, North Norfolk 

This chocolate box thatched coastal cottage in the traditional fishing village of Sea Palling will steal your heart from the moment you arrive. Lots of unique offerings including generous private parking, a three dog policy and an award winning blue flag beach on your doorstep. The welcome hamper is bursting with local delicacies and foodies rejoice – you’ll find fresh crab and lobster at the local fish stall, a local pub serving traditional pub grub, two cafes and a fish & chip shop all within walking distance.

A home away from home, this cottage sleeps five (a double and triple) and is perfect for families and small groups. Plenty to keep small people amused and if they do tire of the beach, there’s a small amusement arcade, trampolines and new playground right behind the cottage. Adults, simply sit back – eat, drink and watch the sun set over the neighbouring lighthouse – heavenly!

Vine Cottage, Blakeney

Vine Cottage is the ultimate cool coastal party pad. Super comfortable and super luxe, the house has plenty of room for everyone to breeze on in and enjoy one of our favourite holiday homes on the Norfolk coast.  It boasts modern furniture, funky artwork and lighting installations plus the views from the double height windows across the marshes are mesmerising. Bagsy the master bedroom if you want to wake with the best morning view.

Blakeney is a traditional North Norfolk coastal village with plenty of eating spots, a good deli, a small village store and miles of walks from the Norfolk coastal path all on your doorstep. Try crabbing on the harbour wall followed by fresh seafood in the Blakeney Crab Shed! 

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KENT

Bonnington Cottage, near Canterbury

Located in the Goodnestone Park estate, owned by Lord and Lady Fitzwalter and once a regular haunt of Jane Austen, Bonnington Cottage is a quintessentially English countryside escape – perfect for a break with the family. The cottage is incredibly well-equipped for self-catering with a modern kitchen, there’s also two bedrooms, (one master bedroom with kingsize bed and one twin room) is just a short walk to the village of Goodnestone, near Canterbury.

Elmley Nature Reserve, Isle of Sheppey

Hunker down and escape from it all at Elmley, a 3,200 acre estate on the Isle of Sheppey. Enjoy a spectacular landscape full of wildlife and pretty little shepherd huts like this one for you to hide away in. Complete with a full sized double bed, ensuite bathroom, wood burning stove, blankets and fairylights – snuggle up, pour the brandy in your hot chocolate and enjoy the sweeping vistas across the marsh, Swale Estuary and the mainland beyond. On a clear day you can see Whitstable. In winter spy rafts of wildfowl sheltering on Swale, and short-eared owls gliding over the ponds. Peeeeeeace and quiet.

Romney Marsh Shepherd’s Huts, Romney Marsh

Escape to these gorgeous, traditional shepherd huts that offer a touch of luxury (of course), situated at the heart of the family farm on the Romney Marsh. With stunning views, these huts give you the chance to experience the true magic of the Romney Marsh, to unwind and get close to nature (they have a flock of 1,200 Romney ewes and 150 Merino ewes).

The huts are fully equipped with a double bed, kitchen (including hob), a built in toilet and shower room, and outdoor fire pit – basically everything you could possibly need so you can hide away from it all for as long as you like.

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CAMBRIDGESHIRE

Kingston Barns, Kingston, Cambridge (sleeps 16)

The clever folk who renovated these four former corrugated metal farm buildings in 2018 have turned them into a thing of beauty. Take over the entire property with 16 of your nearest and dearest or just rent one for the family. Inside you’ll find open plan, high-end interiors (the sort that make you want to completely redo your own house). Barn one is our pick as it includes the quirky silo, which houses a gorgeous master suite and circular kitchen. Outside there are landscaped gardens, and an orangery, that is just screaming out to host one helluva party. 

Converted boat, Sutton, Ely (sleeps 2)

A boat in Ely – well that’s nothing new. Or is it? How cute is this cool conversion – a boat turned upside down to create the quirkiest little glamping spot. The 1945 boat, that used to sail out of Penzance in Cornwall, overlooks a beautiful forest and open fenland and somehow has space for a kingsize bed, kitchen and walk-in shower.

Waterside Lodges, Landbeach

There’s just something about water that makes everything seem tranquil and alright. So if you’ve been missing the sound of lapping waves or the rippling sound of a lake then get yourself booked into one of these cute waterside lodges in Landbeach. Bird watchers will be in ornithological heaven with all the water birds flitting around, plus you can while away your days fishing in the lake.

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SUFFOLK

Found Tower, Woodbridge (sleeps 2)

This might look like a bit of a brute from the outside, but inside this 19th century Martello tower is a thing of beauty. It’s set in an area of outstanding natural beauty along the River Deben and you can enjoy the stunning scenery from the wow-factor circular room and roof terrace at the top of the tower, complete with a cool circular kitchen and outdoor fire. Definitely the place to book with up to 6 friends to celebrate the end of lockdown in style!

House in the Clouds, Thorpeness, Suffolk (sleeps 12)

You might as well aim high when it comes to your first post-lockdown getaway, and you can’t get much higher than Suffolk’s famous folly – House in the Clouds, in Thorpeness, the fantasy seaside holiday village created by an eccentric millionaire in the 1920s. The views from ‘the room at the top’ are incredible. There are five bedrooms and a games room, plus a lot of stairs. Don’t worry though, each landing has a little resting spot for when you’ve had too many G&Ts.

Belle Grove Barns, Halesworth

Welcome to the dragon house, the coolest and quirkiest house in Suffolk. Accommodation isn’t actually in this movie set of a house, but in the just-as-quirky outbuildings, namely the Upper Barn, The Granary, The Coach House, The Gate House and The Stable. All have wow-factor decor and oodles of charm, but still retain that home-from-home feeling.

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SURREY

The Garden Cottage, Bookham (sleeps 6)

Photo: Mike Henton/National Trust

Pretty as a picture and with views out over the Surrey Hills, the Garden Cottage is part of the National Trust’s 1400-acre Polesden Lacey Estate in Bookham. There are three bedrooms over two floors and two bathrooms. Downstairs there’s a kitchen/diner and a sitting room and the cottage comes  with its own private garden and two small patio areas. You’re in the shadow of the main Edwardian house at Polesden Lacey, and guests have free access to Polesden’s grounds, which offers plenty of walking opportunities through woodland and over rolling hills. Dogs are not allowed. Bookings are being taken for the period after June 30. There’s a minimum two-night stay, and it’s booking up quickly. nationaltrust.org.uk

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SUSSEX

Withyfield Cottage, Partridge Green (sleeps 6)

Located at a working dairy farm in the very heart of Sussex, on the edge of the South Downs and within easy reach of the coast, this roundwood timber, straw bale and cedar shingle holiday cottage has been built by a team that featured on none other than Grand Designs. It’s so sustainable and local you can actually sit out on the wooden deck and look at the very wood from which the timber was felled (and then replaced, of course). Inside, it’s as quirky and cosy as they come, all wood panelling, patchwork quilts, duck-egg blue kitchen units and the odd glimpse of floral chintz. Sleeps 6, wheelchair, dog and kid friendly. 

Ditchling Cabin, Ditchling (sleeps 4)

Say it with us, your own private lake. Swim, row, paddle-board, dive and splash to your heart’s content when you stay at this incredible cabin, which is so remote you can’t even get to it by car. Instead, hosts Paul and Lisa will meet you at the nearby car park and ferry you and your luggage over by quad bike. If you can tear yourself out of the lake, you can sit out on the deck looking at it, while you cook on the barbecue. You can even wash outside as there’s a hot shower. Then curl up in front of the woodburner before retiring to bed. Brighton’s 20 minutes away by car but honestly, why would you leave your own private lake? Sleeps 4, dogs welcome but they’re not allowed upstairs. 

Lavender Cottage, Iden

Close to Camber Sands, Battle and Hastings, this 17th century cottage is a slice of rural heaven. With three cosy bedrooms, one with an ensuite, plus a family-sized bathroom it’s spacious enough for the largest and unruliest family or several couples – Fido’s welcome too. Cook on the barbecue while the kids play under quince and cherry trees (pick and eat the fruit, if it’s in season).

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SOMERSET

Manor Farm Lodge, North Perrott, (sleeps 2)

This little beauty is a Grade II listed Victorian gatehouse in the pretty village of North Perrott, on the Somerset/Dorset borders and about half an hour from Lyme Regis. Enjoy a game of tennis on the courts of the Manor House next door, watch a game of cricket on the village green, fire up the BBQ in an open-fronted barn, enjoy a drink in the walled garden before heading up to your big – antique brass (natch) – bed.

Nightjar, nr Dulverton (sleeps 8)

Surely the most luxurious hayloft ever? This horseshoe-shaped pad on Exmoor is all on one level with an enormous open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area set around an amazing circular log burner and four bedrooms in separate wings. Explore the moor by day (on your own horse if you like, there’s stabling for three next door) and ponder the mysteries of its dark, dark skies by night. 

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WARWICKSHIRE

One Abbey Lane, Southam

Fancy staying in a stylishly renovated elm timber framed building featured on BBC 2’s Restoration Home with Caroline Quentin? Owners Sally and Stuart Forgan started a major restoration project to bring this Tudor house back to life in 2010 – it’s now a lovely, large luxe self-contained one bedroomed apartment fitted with hi-tech mod cons. Located in the Warwickshrie village of Southam, it’s within an easy drive to Leamington Spa, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds. Great for couples or a small family. Continental breakfast included.Book via http://oneabbeylane or email Sally on bookings@oneabbeylane.com.

Lengthsman’s Cottage, Lowsonford, near Stratford-upon-Avon(sleeps 4)

This cosy rare barrel-roofed cottage, on the Stratford-upon-Avon canal was refurbished by the Landmark Trust in 2006 and sleeps 4. It was originally built in 1812 for the ‘lengthsman’ – who maintained the lock as well as the next stretch of canal.  Sit and watch narrowboats negotiate the lock in a peaceful village setting. The restored property is full of original features and great for fantastic walks along the tow path. 

Whitley Elm Cottages, Mousley End, Warwick

Four family run self-catering cottages named after female characters in Shakespeare plays – Portia, Bianca, Octavia and Viola. The cottages are .converted from 18th century barns in the grounds of heritage property Whitley Elm, a Tudor manor house dating back to 1453. Each provides well equipped, luxury accommodation with exposed beams and stunning views across this beautiful corner of rural Warwickshire. Ideally located for walking, cycling and horse riding near to the towns of Warwick, Leamington Spa, Kenilworth and Stratford Upon Avon. Sleeps 4 – 6.

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WILTSHIRE

Whychurch Farm, Malmesbury

It’s glamping all the way at this cool and quirky gaff just outside Malmesbury. Glamping wagons are cute and comfortable, with enough mod-cons for a fair-weather camper like me, and the perfect spot to rest your head if you’re visiting glamorous Malmesbury, Abbey House Gardens, Westonbirt Arboretum, Cotswold Water Park, Bath, Badminton Horse Trials, Stonehenge, Lacock or Castle Combe, or even if you’re hitting the bright lights of WOMAD this summer. There is also a campsite and two B&B cottages on site but it’s the wagons I particularly love. In fact, bring the car around, will you? I might just hitch one up and take it home.

King John’s House, Rushmore Estate, Tollard Royal

Wow, wow and again I say wow. To stay in this extraordinary, historic house is truly unique – Medieval, Tudor, Grade II listed, it’s got it all. A tad spenny but you get an entire Japanese pagoda, sauna and croquet lawn for your hard earned. Snuffle canapes in the Medieval entrance hall, dine in style in the Tudor panelled dining room before clicking your fingers for the butler and obligatory Dubonnet in the drawing room (butler not included. But they will hire you a chef if you fancy) and then tumbling into bed in one of their seven bedrooms. The original building was a hunting box used by King John in the 13th century (would that my gaff was as large as a ‘box’) and so the estate is one of the best examples of a typical English landscape anywhere in the country. A 15 minute walk will bring you to the Larmer Tree Victorian pleasure gardens or 18 holes at Rushmore Golf Club, if that’s your bag. When it comes to luxe, this one tops it all.

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WORCESTERSHIRE

The Parsonage, Ombersley, Worcs (sleeps 12)

If you ever pondered where Alice in Wonderland might have retired to in later life, The Parsonage could very well be the spot. Set amidst 12 acres of super-private landscaped gardens, the adventure starts when you sweep up the long drive past fantastic topiaries and uninterrupted views of the Malvern Hills (strap your trainers on the walks are incredible). Sleeping 12, you could go with loads of your family or friends and still love them afterwards it’s so huge. We adore the polished marble floors, open plan living and Grade II listed features. With deep, free-standing bathtubs or a Tundra hot tub to choose from, this is next level-luxe. You’ll find us thumbing through a good book in the adjacent Orangery, darling.

Wishbone, Malvern, Worcs (sleeps 2)

Imagine a romantic hideaway where no one can ask you for a snack – ahh, the bliss! Muddy is here to grant your wish. Wishbone cottage is tucked into the wild and glorious Malvern Hills, wrapped in 16 acres of lush, rambling meadows, a private apple orchard and a fishing lake. The epitome of rustic charm, this ivy-clad stone cottage is the place to go if you want to drop off the radar into your own little peaceful paradise. Fully equipped with a stylish open-plan kitchen, you also get a luxury hamper on your arrival, Netflix on demand and free Wifi – you may never want to leave.

Orchard Cottage, Broadway, Worcs (sleeps 4)

Who wants to stay in a thatched cottage straight out of a story book?! Then how about 18th century Orchard Cottage in the ever-enchanting town of Broadway. Located in a peaceful street with stunning original features throughout, it’s a great retreat for couples or families wanting a quiet getaway but with shops on hand. Plus Chipping Campden is just around the corner so it’s a great base for exploring.

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