Minto – a planned village designed by William Playfair for the 2nd Earl of Minto – is a mile and a half from the road and consists of the Victorian school, where you stay, the owners’ house next door and a church in the gothic style. Walk straight into a hallway and then a vast room crammed with interesting things, beautiful rugs and wall hangings with Scottish or French connections and Armstrong family history – it’s all fascinating and just a tiny bit bonkers.
A wood-burner warms you, the galley kitchen has all the stuff you need and the welcome hamper is for pure romantics – chocolates, Prosecco and fresh flowers. Up a few steps is a raised area for eating, or on balmy days you have your own terrace overlooking Rubers Law, an extinct volcano that you can climb by various routes.
Ramble through magical Minto Glen with a picnic, wander a mile to Denham for good shops and two pubs – one of which does an Italian breakfast.