Winter is the time for fun holidays, entertainment, and relaxation. In England, you can find the best country cottages for a holiday with your family, from 17th-century Cornish hideaways to Cumbrian stone barns. With reasonable prices and beautiful sights surrounding the places, these cottages are the most perfect choices to enjoy your relaxing and quiet time in front of the fireplaces.
1. High Park, Hay-on-Wye, Powys
|Photo: The Nant
This wonderful two-bedroom cottage deep in the Radnorshire Hills on the England-Wales borders is as close to country cottage heaven as you can get. Set amid the hills above Hay-on-Wye, it’s rustic and charming but at the same time has all the modern amenities you need for a luxury stay, tastefully refurbished with a beautiful living area, kitchen, a hot tub, and a contemporary country-living vibe. With two comfy bedrooms upstairs, it’s perfect for both a small family and a group of friends.
Inside the cottage been beautifully done – decorated with taste and style while retaining the original features of the old stone cottage, with beams and timbers, wooden floors, and a wood-burning stove to keep things cozy. They’ve made it wonderfully light and airy for an old cottage, with retro furniture that complements perfectly the predominantly rustic, countryside feel. Part of an open-plan living area downstairs, the kitchen comes with a dining table for four people, and up-to-date electric oven and hob, fridge-freezer and DeLonghi coffee machine, and opens onto a good-sized garden, where’s there’s not only a fire-pit but an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven too. The living area has a sofa and easy chairs and a wood-burner (but no TV), and there’s good wifi throughout. Local art peppers the white walls, while upstairs there are two beautifully furnished, spacious bedrooms in the eaves of the house, one with a king-size bed, the other with twin beds; there’s also a family bathroom with a shower.
The cottage is pet-friendly and couldn’t be better placed for exploring the surrounding countryside on foot or by bike, but you’ll also want to visit nearby Hay-on-Wye – famous for its secondhand bookstores and May literary festival but worth a visit at any time of year.
2. Lemons Cottage, Devon
|Photo: Lemons Cottage
Sleeping up to six guests, Lemons Cottage is a thoughtfully renovated luxury cottage nestled in the pretty countryside of North Devon. Its charming period character has been cleverly aligned with stylish contemporary furnishings, and all the mod cons have been installed to ensure you’ll want nothing during your stay. Along with its two gardens, Lemons Cottage is a delightful haven for a group of friends or family to enjoy the wonders of the Devonshire coast and countryside.
A solid oak door opens onto the cottage’s ground floor where you’ll find the dining and living areas. The chic modern kitchen is well-equipped with all you need for a self-catered holiday and meals can be enjoyed in the adjacent dining room with exposed beams and an original brick fireplace. Guests can enjoy lazy afternoons, family board games, or pre-dinner drinks in the living room where comfortable sofas and wool blankets create a homely ambience. The cinema room with its 75” Sony Cinema TV and surround sound is the ideal spot to hunker down for a movie night.
Upstairs, there are three bedrooms to choose from. The Master bedroom has a King size bed and an en-suite bathroom with a roll-top bathtub and rainfall shower. The second bedroom has a super king-size bed that can be turned into a twin on request and the third bedroom is a single that can accommodate an additional single fold-out bed. Also upstairs is a shared bathroom with a bath/rain shower and loo.
3. Scargill Castle, County Durham
|Photo: The Guardian
Scargill Castle cuts an imposing dash on the spectacular Teesdale landscape, set within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Close to the refreshing Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District National Park, Scargill Castle was built in 1560, on the site of a former medieval castle and located on the edge of a working farm. Recently rescued from ruin, this newly transformed and beautiful retreat perfectly combines characterful history with plenty of contemporary creature comforts.
Enter your castle for two through your very own sheltered courtyard garden, created from the former Tudor manor house, and the perfect setting from which to plan your many royal visits!
The garden leads you through an arched entrance hall and into a traditional dining area with a long oak table, framed by ornate roof beams uniquely carved from trees felled over 400 years ago. A grander celebratory setting simply can’t be imagined, while light and charming kitchen area, overlooking the Tudor gardens, completes this picturesque scene.
Take the spiral stone stairs to the living room, with antique furniture, oak floors, and welcoming wood-burning stove crackling in an authentic Tudor fireplace…the perfect setting for evening storytelling. By day, luxuriate in the views from deep-set windows that look out over the lush Teesdale landscape.
A further set of stairs lead to an opulent bedroom, complete with exposed timber beams, mood lighting, and oak flooring covered with richly colored Persian rugs. Relax in the cozy double bed, perfectly enrobed in royal luxury, according to Host Unusual.
4. Stable Lodge, Dorset
Nestled in beautiful Dorset countryside, close to coastal and inland West Country gems, is this lovingly converted stable, now a perfect dog-friendly holiday cottage for four.
Stable Cottage is in the hamlet of Woolland, in the heart of the Blackmore Vale. Your hosts have acres of semi-wild meadows through which you can ramble and take advantage of the incredible views across rolling Dorset hills. Head out and you have coastal delights like Durdle Door and Abbotsbury around 30 minutes away or alternatively, even closer there are historic towns like Sherborne and Shaftesbury to explore. There’s a country pub within walking distance too!
Central Dorset is well served by road, with the A303 and motorways close by. There are train stations nearby too, but a car will really help you get the best out of a stay here.
5. The Green, Cumbria
|Photo: Rated Trips
Richard and Carly have converted this stone barn near Ravenstonedale into three lets, two sleeping four and one sleeping six, which can be booked individually or together. The Haystore and the Byre are perhaps the coziest, with an upside-down layout: two en suite bedrooms on the ground floor, both with whirlpool baths; a double-height, open-plan living/dining area on the first floor and a balcony with steps down to a courtyard. The space is kept toasty with a ground source heat pump. Carly’s interiors are inspired by nature, with natural fabrics and eco-friendly products. Richard is a mountain leader who can take guests on guided walks over the Howgill Fells.
6. The Hemmel, Oxfordshire
The Hemmel is a stunning cottage located on the outskirts of Faringdon in West Oxfordshire. It has 2 bedrooms; the master suite has a double bed and in-room roll-top bath and hand basin, with a separate, private w.c. The 2nd bedroom is a twin room. There is a separate family shower room with a walk-in shower, WC, and hand basin. It has an open-plan lounge, kitchen, and dining area to comfortably accommodate 4 guests. To the front of the cottage is a paved seating area where you will also find the original well – now ‘capped’ for safety. There is off-road parking for 2 cars.
The Hemmel is the ideal choice for friends and families to explore this gorgeous part of the country.