Who would guess this bucolic spot was an hour from Santander, Bilbao and the beaches of Laredo? In a farming village in time-forgotten Burgos, Casa Zalama is a place to seek out: linger as long as you can. English Graeme and Maria from the Basque country uprooted from Brighton and now are living the dream. Maria’s lovely furnishings are matched by rustic stone walls and big chunky beams, bedrooms have comfortable beds and earthy colours, and, some, balconies with views of the hills. As for the garden, it’s a feast for the eyes, beautifully tended yet half-wild, alive with Graeme’s wooden masks and stone sculptures; soak up the peace, drift off in the hammock. Dinners are served in the atmospheric old stables, and the food is country Spanish and delicious: local sausage, home-grown vegetables, pear tart. Opposite the house is a colourful self-catering cottage, a cosy retreat for a couple or a small family. The birdwatching is brilliant, the countryside a dream, and creative workshops are planned; Graeme works with wood, Maria with felt and their energy and generosity is contagious. What value.