Inspiration - 5 min read

Five places for a last-minute Christmas stay

By Claire Maguire

With Christmas plans hanging in the balance for many, there’s still time to book a getaway over the festive break. We’ve rounded up five places still available to book, from a nautical Cornish villa a short stroll from sandy beaches, to an Isle of Skye cottage in an area so remote its got a population of two.

 

 

 

Isle of Rona, Portree, Scotland

For a truly remote Christmas escape, stay at one of these three stone cottages facing the sea and Skye. A gang of seals greets you as you draw into Big Harbour – as, less raucously, does friendly and knowledgeable Bill, one half of Rona’s permanent population.

The modern world recedes further as you settle in. Underfloor heating and wood burners in the kitchen and sitting room keep things cosy. Fresh local produce such as Isle of Rona venison, seafood, vegetables and free range eggs can be ordered in for your arrival. There’s games and books aplenty and sea views all around – it would be a shame not to enjoy it all with some Isle of Rona whisky. If you decide to venture out, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most beautiful and dramatic walks in the country, and plenty of wildlife-watching opportunities – look out for otters, sea eagles, dolphins and minke whales.

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Graig Ddu – The Cottage in the Forest, Monmouthshire

If you fancy spending Christmas hiding out in the woods, this is the place for you. You’re likely to not see another soul and that’s what’s so great about this little two up, two down cottage – the feeling that the rest of the world has evaporated. You’re deep in the Llanthony Valley, and the closest signs of life are the Llanthony Priory ruins a short walk away and the local pub a little further.

If you need to stretch your legs, Offa’s Dyke is nearby, or stay local and enjoy one of many walks from your front door. You’ll love waking up to birdsong and enjoying the simpler way of life. There’s no television or wifi, but plenty of books, board games and even a piano and guitar to while away those days between Christmas and New Year.

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Antonia’s Pearls, Cornwall

These five nautical-chic cottages are dotted around the pretty harbour town of Charlestown and look like something straight from a Christmas card. All of them are beautifully decorated, and most have sea views.

Each seaside house has been thoughtfully restored and feels almost like a boutique hotel; although you’ll find all the gizmos in the kitchen for cooking up your Christmas feast. If you need a day off from cooking, meal deliveries can be arranged. There’s a lovely circular walk from Charlestown to Porthpean, perfect for a Boxing Day stroll and with a golden sandy beach and crashing waves to enjoy at the end.

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The Coach House Frome, Somerset

This little bolthole, tucked away between a listed building and a medieval church, is perfect for an understated Christmas for you and your loved one. Beautifully designed by owner Ellie, the interested and interesting will feel happy at this quiet, light and spacious haven.

Relax in the elegant living space, cook up a festive feast in the fully-equipped kitchen or curl up with a book while gazing out the windows overlooking the churchyard. If you manage to tear yourself away from the comfy sofa and antique French bed, arty Frome is perfect for a day trip, or head further into the surrounding countryside for some fresh air and picturesque walks.

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Moon Barn, Cumbria

You’ll feel properly spoilt with a stay at the dog-friendly Moon Barn; Caroline’s eye for detail is extraordinary and everything that could possibly delight guests is already here. There’s an elegant curved staircase designed to follow the line of the wall, an outdoor wash station for muddy pooches, luxurious Vanessa Arbuthnott fabrics and buttery soft mattresses.

Any pre-Christmas stress will lift away as you settle in and enjoy the fresh flowers and complimentary wine, and there’s a fantastic kitchen for cooking delicious meals at your own pace. Amazing walks start from the door – stroll along the Lyvennet river or hop in the car to explore the Lakeland Fells and the Pennines.

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