You can almost reach out and touch the steep wooded hillsides of the sunny Liébana valley – they hug this tiny hamlet. Opposite an old waterwheel where sheep’s fleeces were once pounded into Cantabrian felt, find a large, robust Spanish farmhouse that beats with an English heart: John and Gwynneth, from Cumbria, relish the peace and off-the-beaten-paths of the Picos de Europa. John cooks tasty dishes – local lamb, black pudding, apricot crumble, home-churned ice cream – served at bright tables in a fire-flickered dining room. Before dinner, mingle with locals in the bar or take a drink out to the suntrap terrace, or the large lawn where children can play; all you hear is a gurgling stream and birdsong. Nothing disturbs the peace. Tired muscles rest soundly in simple, homely rooms with patterned bedcovers, rugs and armchairs; the triple, under the eaves, breathes in light and landscape through a velux window. Your hosts know the best hidden hiking and snow-shoeing spots; you’re close to the Fuente Dé cable car and the classic Picos town of Potes. No fuss, no frills, just friendliness and good value.