Great Britain

Best holiday cottages in the UK for a rural retreat OLD

If the thought of leaving these shores in spring or summer is a bit too daunting, you still have plenty of options for finding a holiday cottage somewhere in the UK. They’re being snapped up quickly for dates after 12 April - when self-contained accommodation should be able to reopen in England - but these picks might inspire you to book sooner rather than later.

Blaize Barn, Lavenham, Suffolk

Blaize Barn is a grade II-listed cottage

In the heart of this exquisite medieval village is Blaize Barn, a 17th-century grade II-listed timber cottage that’s as delightful as the rest of Lavenham. Along with two bedrooms, the cottage has a wood-burning stove, oak beamed ceilings and a pretty garden. And it’s seconds from Lavenham’s shops and pubs. Sleeps four.

Blaize Barn reopens from 12 April. Seven nights from £780.

Michaelmas Cottage, Lower Swell, Cotswolds

Michaelmas Cottage

The gorgeous honey-coloured stone cottages of the Cotswolds are alluring at any time of year. Michaelmas Cottage is in the village of Lower Swell near Stow-on-the-Wold, and its warm sitting room with an open fire and beamed ceilings is an inviting place for a group of up to six people. While the three bedrooms are stylishly cottage chic, its bathrooms and kitchen are sleek and modern. There’s also a garden with outdoor dining if the weather behaves itself. Sleeps six.

Seven nights in April from £995.

Loch Avich House, Argyll, Scotland

Surround yourself with heavenly views of Loch Avich in the Scottish Highlands, where you can roam 3,200 acres of the Argyll estate. Loch Avich House is a five-bedroom, dog-friendly Victorian lodge that makes the most of the panoramic views, and also comes with a games room, open fires and an Aga-style cooker. There’s no wifi or TV reception, so if you’ve been tempted to try a digital detox, this could be the place. Sleeps 10.

Seven nights in April from £1,462.

The Lodge, Crickhowell, Wales

The Lodge

Have the wilderness of the Brecon Beacons on your doorstep, as well as the bookshops of Hay-on-Wye, when you stay at the Lodge near Crickhowell. This seven-bedroom house has a country kitchen with an Aga, as well as an open fire and a huge garden for al fresco dining and barbecuing. Catering can also be arranged if you don’t feel like cooking after a day spent hiking in Brecon. Sleeps 12. Dogs welcome.

Three nights in April from £1,277.

Quaker Barn, Haveringland, Norfolk

Quaker Barn

Set in the grounds of a 17th-century farmhouse about 10 miles north of Norwich, Quaker Barn gives you a chance to wallow in lush countryside. This dog-friendly cottage has three airy bedrooms, and its wood-burning stove and underfloor heating make it appealing any time of year. When booked through PetsPyjamas, you get a 24-hour vet helpline as well as doggie treats. Sleeps eight. There’s also a neighbouring four-bedroom barn that sleeps nine.

Four nights in April from £792 per two adults and one dog.

The Manor House, Tenby, Wales

The Manor House

Once we’re allowed to branch out and see people outside our social bubble, the Manor House in Tenby’s Celtic Haven could be an ideal base for a reunion. Six bedrooms and four bathrooms offer plenty of space, as does a large living area with a wood-burning stove. In the garden of this lovely old farmhouse are two hot tubs, and there’s a small beach 15 minutes’ walk away at Lydstep as well as the long stretch of sand at Tenby four miles away. Sleeps 12.

Seven nights in April costs from £2,556.

The Grain Store, Lewes, Sussex

The Grain Store

Soak up serene views of the South Downs National Park from the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Grain Store just outside Lewes. When you’re not hiking or cycling along the South Downs Way, head down to the coast for a dip in the beaches at Tide Mills or Saltdean. Three double bedrooms – including one on a mezzanine level – fit around a large open-plan living-dining area. There’s a boot room for when you come back from your hikes, as well as a large garden and barbecue. Sleeps six.

The Mill, Preseli Hills, Pembrokeshire

The Mill

Couples in need of a change in scenery can snuggle up in the Mill, a cute little one-bedroom cottage in Pembrokeshire’s Presili Hills. After a day of hiking, relax in the warm waters of the wood-fired outdoor hot tub before kicking back in front of the fire. There’s a garden, too, for al fresco dining. Sleeps two.

Three nights in April from £344.

Shaftesbury Retreat, Shaftesbury, Dorset

Shaftesbury Retreat

Another one for couples, this time a romantic log cabin in the midst of a 30-acre smallholding just a few miles from Shaftesbury. Inside it’s all exposed ceiling beams with a book-lined bedroom as well as a kitchen done up in classic country-cottage style. The large covered verandah is a peaceful place for laid-back meals with a side order of tranquil countryside views. Sleeps two, with one dog allowed.

Seven nights in April cost from £410.

Demelza 2, Helford Passage, Cornwall

Demelza 2

You’ll have views of the Helford River from the terrace of Demelza 2, one of three properties on a private area of Helford Passage that all share a huge expanse of riverside garden. There’s also direct access to the beach and the South West Coast Path, as well as an outdoor heated swimming pool within the complex. The three-bedroom cottage has an open-plan living-dining room, and one of the two bedrooms has twin beds. Sleeps four, and one dog is allowed.

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