Enjoy a barn in Bath
The newly converted Congrove Barns are designed to be a romantic bolthole for two, but are also spacious enough for a group of friends or family. Situated in the beautiful Bath countryside, there’s a living barn with a fully equipped kitchen, TV room and dining space. The second barn is the sleeping area with two bedrooms – there’s also a sofa bed for extra guests – and two bathrooms. This cottage also comes with table football and board games for inside entertainment, while in the private gated gardens, you’ll find croquet and badminton sets for when the sun shines. Best of all, the sunken hot tub offers the perfect sunset view after a busy day. If you can tear yourself away, then Bath city centre is within easy reach, and you’re close enough to explore the Cotswolds using the cottage as a base. For a family day out, head to Bristol Zoo (Bristolzoo.org.uk) in Clifton, home to gorillas, pandas and penguins.
· Congrove Barns, Bath, costs from £1,395 per week, sleeps six, and dogs are welcome. Contact Luxury Cotswold Rentals to book (0207 993 6545, Luxurycotswoldrentals.co.uk****)
Retreat for two in Yorkshire
If a chocolate-box cottage is right up your street, then these pretty little houses in the town of Staveley, Yorkshire are perfect. The exterior has roses growing over the door, and the interior doesn’t disappoint – low-beamed ceilings, soft colours and a wood-burner await. There’s a table for two, and a comfy bedroom and bathroom upstairs. The other cottage is a modern loft conversion at the end of the garden, but you access it via a secret path, so it’s secluded. Head out to explore the local nature reserve, or visit York, which is a 30-minute drive away. The gardens at Newbury Hall are within easy reach, too. In the evenings, there are several local pubs and restaurants a short stroll away.
· Lodge Cottages, Staveley, Yorkshire, costs from £450 for a week or £100 a night during high season. Each cottage sleeps two, and well-behaved dogs are welcome. Contact Sawday’s to book (0117 204 7810, Sawdays.co.uk****)
If you’re after a countryside escape with easy access to towns and amenities, then the Cornish charm of Old Pear Tree Barn, a renovated hayloft and piggery, is ideal. It’s tucked away, but just a few minutes’ drive from coastal views and, if you can social distance, the blue flag beaches of Newquay and Perranporth.
The cottage features exposed beams, and there’s a large kitchen-diner leading out to the sunny terrace with views of the surrounding area. Upstairs is a sitting room with panoramic views and two giant sofas. Sleeping a family of four, there are two bedrooms on the ground floor and easy-access bathrooms. The area is waiting to be explored, so head to the beaches for the day, or visit Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm for a tour of the cider brewery – there’s even a kid-friendly farm for the little ones.
· Old Pear Tree Barn, Newquay, Cornwall, costs from £915 a week or £131 a night and sleeps four people. Contact Niche Retreats to book (03333 058404, Nicheretreats.co.uk****)
Relax in Norfolk
A stay at Colts Lodge in Postwick, Norfolk, is a must for a getaway with the whole family. Set in acres of beautiful grounds and situated down a quiet track, this single-storey cottage is surrounded by a wildflower meadow and farming fields of cows, sheep and horses. The cottage has a comfy open-plan living space with a large sitting room, dining room and conservatory around an attractive brick fireplace. With four bedrooms, there’s room to sleep up to nine people, and the well-equipped kitchen with AGA oven adds to the country cottage feel.
If you want to get out, visit the nearby Bewilderwood (Bewilderwood.co.uk), which is an outdoor adventure park located among the trees and is ideal for families. If you fancy heading further afield, opt for a trip to Cromer beach – 45 minutes away – which has that traditional seaside feel. Don’t forget your bucket and bait for some crabbing at the end of the pier!
· Colts Lodge, Postwick, Norfolk, costs from £747 for a week or £689 for three nights. Contact Sykes Holiday Cottages to book (01244 356695; Sykescottages.co.uk****)