A hidden retreat
Get away from it all in a pretty cottage tucked away among the trees in the Dolmelynllyn estate of Snowdonia. As it was originally built as a 19th-century observatory, you can gaze upon the stars from the veranda as night falls. And when the sun rises, spectacular views across the valley unfold. Inside the pink-washed timber cottage is a cosy nook with a warming log-burner and sloping ceilings. As you’ll be in the heart of Snowdonia National Park, you’ll have miles of walking trails straight from your doorstep. Nearby, there’s a footpath to Rhaeadr Ddu, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Wales.
• Three nights self-catering at Nant Las cottage, which sleeps two, costs from £266 for three nights. To book, visit Nationaltrust.org.uk
Beside the sea
The award-winning coastal city of Brighton is quintessentially British with an edge, famous for the Royal Pavilion, the pier and the pebble beach. Wander through the Lanes, with its maze of eclectic independent boutiques and antiques shops, before heading out for dinner and a cocktail or two. For the coolest of stays, we suggest checking out The Artist Residence in Brighton. This creative bohemian hangout on the seafront comes with sunset views, and each of the 24 bedrooms have been individually designed. The 12 “Arty” rooms have been decorated by local and international artists, while the 12 “House” rooms have up-cycled furniture and amazing limited-edition prints. We suggest booking a room with a sea view and a roll-top bath to make your stay that little bit more special.
• Prices start from £99 per night. To book, visit Artistresidence.co.uk
London’s country estate
Set within 300 acres of rolling Hertfordshire countryside, The Grove offers the ultimate five-star romantic retreat, just 18 miles from central London. The former family home of the Earls of Clarendon, the estate dates back to the 16th century and retains many of its original features. The property has been restored to provide 215 luxurious guest rooms, ranging from contemporary and stylish Superior West Wing rooms to a grand Presidential Suite. The hotel boasts a world-class, 18-hole championship golf course, as well as an expansive spa that includes a 22-metre indoor pool, jacuzzi, heat experience rooms and state-of-the-art fitness centre. The hotel has also launched two incredible pop-up restaurants – mountain-inspired eatery Jimmy’s Lodge and Madhu’s, a gourmet South Asian restaurant.
• Nightly rates at The Grove start from £325 for a West Wing Superior Room, on a room-only basis. To book, please visit Thegrove.co.uk
Cosy in the Cotswolds
What could be more romantic than taking a rowing boat to a shepherd’s hut on its very own private lake? The Fish Hotel and Retreat is a charming boutique hotel set in 400 rolling acres in the Farncombe Estate, the Cotswolds. There’s a boot room on site, so you can borrow a pair of wellies to explore the grounds. The rooms are excitingly varied – there are shepherd’s huts, treehouses or rooms and suites. We recommend booking dinner at the hotel’s restaurant Hook, with its seafood-inspired menu and romantic booths for two.
• Rooms start from £135 a night. To book, visit Thefishhotel.co.uk
Dine under the stars
Tucked away in the picturesque Aberdeenshire countryside is the manor Meldrum House. This luxury hotel has cosy log-burning fires, slouchy leather sofas and elegant grandfather clocks. We
love the Cave bar – it’s over 800 years old and features more than 120 warming whiskies. Book a private dining dome, so you really are dining under the stars! These luxury heated domes are even fitted with a Bluetooth music system, so you get to choose the vibe.
• Book the “Time to Celebrate” package, which includes an overnight stay
in a deluxe room with full Scottish breakfast and dinner in a dome from £295 per couple per night. Visit Meldrumhouse.com to secure your stay.