King’s Cross 20 minutes, Cambridge a 30-minute drive and 600 rolling Hertfordshire acres, complete with vineyard, woods and adventure playground to explore! This area used to supply milk to London and cows still graze the lush pasture surrounding the Carters’ smartly renovated 19th-century lapboard barns and Tudor farmhouse. The barns are ideal for an extended family gathering – with kit for all ages, from high chairs to high-end coffee machines. Each unit has its own small paved outdoor area, and barbecue; all centre on the big, shared gravel-edged green, with its flower borders. There’s a barn for parking, one for laundry, another with a whopping biomass boiler, which delivers all the water and underfloor heating you’ll need – though there are pleasing wood-burning stoves too. Well-equipped kitchens come with sleek granite worktops; bedrooms with Egyptian cotton bed linen, deeply comfortable mattresses and state-of-the-art bathrooms. The feel throughout is unfussily stylish and restful, with plenty of wood, light and calm colours. Good cycling and golfing country too.