Soft redbrick houses, winding canals and burbling rivers set the scene in Henley in Arden, a bucolic town deep in Shakespeare country. A mile away and next to large stable buildings are the Hidden Cottages, owned by Julian and Alison, nature and wildlife enthusiasts. No wonder that the wild meadow which surrounds you is his great delight; butterflies, badgers and bats can all be found here and the BBC’s nature team have filmed locally. Three cottages sit together, all 16th-century buildings brought up to date, and great spaces for small families or couples, with two of the barns perfect for couples seeking their own space. All cottages have pine furniture, striking wood-burners, clean lines and laminate floors; kitchens are sleek and simple, with black tiles set off by white walls, combi-cookers and chrome appliances. Rooms are calm and warm, perhaps with a splash of raspberry in the throws on the bed, or duck egg blue in the sofas. Bathrooms too are fresh and new – some with deep baths, others with powerful showers. Kids will love it here: as well as meeting your horsey neighbours, there are plans for dawn chorus treks and bat walks; adults can wander further to find the walks of the Arden Way and a host of National Trust houses.