This is a kindly place, in the family for 200 years; Clare and Sam introduce you, brilliantly, to the delights of rural life – or leave you to do your own thing. Two of the holiday cottages are in the old stable-yard, simple and attractive, divided by a flower-filled courtyard and next to the produce shop. Interiors are warm: curtains are made of Welsh blankets – family antiques, fresh flowers and pictures will make you feel at home. The third space is more contemporary, private and will suit romantic couples – although there’s an outside bell tent or indoor loft den for smaller adventurers. You can roam the gardens and the 80-acre estate (perfect for dogs), send your children to Forest School (check the website for dates), row on the lake (little life jackets provided) and order home cooked food to be waiting for you. There is a ‘gentle’ emphasis on sustainability, with sausages from their own pigs, honey from their bees, apple juice from their apples and seasonal produce from the bountiful kitchen garden. If gardening is your thing you can volunteer here too. Utterly special.