Five of our favourite cosy winter boltholes
The post-Christmas blues are in full swing and it’s that time of the year when we all want to cuddle up and hibernate. We’ve chosen five of our favourite places from our cosy boltholes collection – those perfect for wrapping up on the sofa, getting the fire going and having a pie bubbling away in the oven. If you do want to venture out, all five have wonderful walks straight from the door and a local pub not too far away.
We challenge you to find a more perfect country getaway. This 15th-century cottage is one-of-a-kind and one of the oldest known in the whole of Devon. It’s perched between a leafy lane and a stream, blending seamlessly into the rural landscape. It’s easy to stay sitting snuggled on the sofa while the wood-burner blazes in the ancient fireplace, the outside world a distant memory. There’s a welcome basket of local goodies to start you off, so bring everything you need and you’ll never need to leave.
Gardens fore and aft are unfussy and informal, the sound of the stream mingling with birdsong. Walk to the dramatic and craggy coastline, join the coastal path for challenging hikes in either direction. The only crowds you’re likely to meet are dairy cows strolling up the lane for milking.
The Little Abode is a snug, self-contained garden room that’s been lovingly converted from an old stable. You have independence from the main house, but you’re very welcome to order breakfast. Expect fresh orange juice, local sausage and bacon sandwiches as well as pastries, muesli and berries from the garden.
Its location near Helmsley means you are in prime spot for hiking, with the North Yorkshire Moors National Park right on the doorstep. There are wonderful pubs close by too, perfect for a post-walk pint and warm up by the fire.
In the swish and unspoilt Cotswold village of Upper Slaughter, a stylish country bolthole for two with a sweet courtyard garden. In a previous life this was the stables for the dairy farm, but the occupants have long gone. Now you’ll find stone floors with toasty underfloor heating, pale creams and greys, beautiful bed linen.
Sink into impressively plump sofas in front of the crackling fire before retiring upstairs to sleep in the pretty beamed bedroom. Bathing in the elegant roll top bath is a pleasure. There’s a wonderful attention to detail throughout – fresh flowers, handmade chocolates and complimentary logs are thoughtful touches. Pack your wellies so that you can explore the glorious countryside in this postcard-perfect corner of the world or visit the beautiful neighbouring villages of Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water.
Trundle down a rough track and you’ll stumble across this old worker’s cottage surrounded by 40 acres of wildflower meadows. All is quiet and calm, writers can tap away and artists scribble. The open fire makes it cosy to hunker down on the sofa with a good book and there are plenty to choose from on the bookshelf. Upstairs, a roll-top bath awaits – perfect for a hot bubbly soak after a long day.
From the door, you can follow paths into the countryside or jump in the car and walk along empty beaches on the Pembrokeshire coastline. The cottage is dog friendly too, so you won’t need to leave your four-legged-friends at home.
A romantic cottage for two in the Pentland Hills, with views for miles and your own private wood-fired hot tub. It’s a mile-long drive down a bumpy farm track but you’re rewarded by a timber-clad cottage that blends beautifully into the landscape.
Inside, the large French windows flood the room with light, there are fresh, home-made scones waiting for you and a log burner which will fill the space with warmth and crackles. From here, you can walk straight into the Pentland Hills National Park with numerous routes and paths to conquer. Come back, jump in the hot tub and enjoy star-gazing.
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