Since 1561, generations of Cholmeleys have managed the Easton estate in the rolling countryside of the Lincolnshire/Rutland borders, and in 2001 work began to restore the 12 acres of ‘lost’ gardens which originally surrounded the manor house. You stay in the lodge: a light, bright and peaceful space with good furniture, pictures and books, a downstairs sitting room painted cornflower blue and a well-planned kitchen; you’ll feel very happy staying indoors, perhaps just reading or recharging your batteries, but garden lovers will be too excited to stay put – as evening falls and the visitors leave, the gardens are yours to wander at will. Find walled gardens in the Tudor style, a turf maze, a yew tunnel and grand trees. Return to sleep peacefully in a restful, view-filled bedroom up a narrow spiral staircase, splash about happily in a roomy bathroom with wainscoted walls. You’re just under one miles from the A1 (depending on the wind direction you may hear a slight hum in the gardens) but all is quiet and rural-feeling inside. Walk the three miles to the estate pub for lunch or supper, amble around Rutland Water for birdwatching. Lovely.