Meander through the shady Japanese garden with its Acer tree, past a stone bridge and under a canopy of grapevines to arrive on the sunlit patio of this pretty semi-detached cottage. Dine outside or sunbathe while dragonflies flit among the reeds and the odd moorhen floats on by. Inside: fresh colours and exposed beams; a sleek and compact kitchen with black marble surfaces and a big oak family table perfect for board games. Underfloor heating cosies up the living room where you can curl into an armchair with a book, or wrap up in a rug on the sofa around the wood-burner and watch a film. Up the stone spiral staircase with a tiny window which peeps out onto the award-winning village shop and café: two comfy double bedrooms with window seats, and a sofabed on the landing. The bath/shower overlooks the lovely river, and there are extra pillows, hot water bottles and Molton Brown soaps. Linda will greet you with a hamper of village goodies; you can dine out at the celebrated Talbot Inn up the hill near a historic church. Further afield: Nunney Castle, bustling Bath, Longleat and the gardens at Stourhead National Trust.