Prefer hands-on holidays to five-star pampering? Take your pick from these four cool new self-catering boltholes in the UK’s most picturesque spots
The Daylesford brand’s supremely sophisticated take on rural life, which includes an organic farm shop, clothing and beauty lines, translates perfectly to a chic Gloucestershire wellness retreat, the Bamford Haybarn Spa. Now, the launch of two ‘Cotswold Cottages’ – think limestone, white-washed walls, pine beams and high-threadcount sheets – means spa junkies from further afield can make a weekend of it. Intersperse walks with mindfulness workshops or a massage and finish with dinner at the Bamford-owned Wild Rabbit pub. From £450 for a two-night stay for two (thewildrabbit.co.uk).
The Pig hotels are boutique venues loved by city and country dwellers alike for their simple-but-stylish ‘restaurant with rooms’ philosophy. At the original outpost in the New Forest, tile supremo Bert & May has created a new type of self-catering room: a single-storey wooden cabin called ‘Bert’s Box’, nestled in the hotel’s idyllic grounds. The bijou homestead has its own kitchen, a log-burning stove and striking chevron flooring that lends a modern edge to the interior. From £360 per night (thepighotel.com).
Guests breakfasting on the balconies of the new treehouses at Kent’s Port Lympne nature reserve (founded in 1976 by John Aspinall) can expect to spot creatures great and small, from swooping eagles to giraffes poking their heads above the canopy. You can stay in the Edwardian manor house hotel, a cottage or wooden lodges, but the ten new arboreal cabins created by interior designer Tara Bernerd have an extra-special charm. From £300 per night for a four-person treehouse and entry to the reserve (aspinallfoundation.org).
Redford Farm Barns
Surrounded by the majestic Shropshire Hills, West Redford Farm Barns was derelict until it was bought by husband-and-wife interior design duo Rupert and Jude Hunt. Both accommodation options – Ludlow Barn, which sleeps eight, and Tenbury Cottage, which sleeps four – have roll-top baths and welcome well-behaved dogs. Visitors can collect freshly laid eggs from the hens, cook in the outdoor kitchen and make the most of the games room – a former stable with a log-burning stove and pool table. Barn £1,095 for three nights, cottage £600 for three nights (redfordfarmbarns.co.uk).
First featured in our October issue