You don’t need to fly to get away from it all. Especially if you check into one of these beautiful UK homestays. The only downside will be having to leave again.
1. Montana, Lyme Regis, Devon
This lodge is like something out of Grand Designs. Two eco-friendly cedar clad buildings are a festival of wood and glass, making the most of the surrounding alpine-like fir forest.
Inside, oak softens concrete project floor tiles and wood panelled ceilings slung with pendant lights bring a Nordic cool, so you might forget you’re on the Jurassic Coast.
On rainy days, children have a private games room with toys including giant Jenga, while you can kick back with a fire in the living room and take in the view. When the weather plays ball, the terrace is the place to be for a Ping-Pong match or BBQ after a long trek through the forest.
Hop on a bike and head to Hawkchurch for a pub lunch at The Old Inn, or nip up the road to Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall’s restaurant in Axminster.
Sleeps: 6 in the main house, and a further 2 in annexe
Book it: www.uniquehomestays.com
2. Priory Barn, Thornham, North Norfolk
From the outside this flint and brick modern barn is not exactly quintessential postcard Norfolk. But the position: down a quiet lane in pretty Thornham and just a short stroll from the beach and harbour makes it a winner with young families. The area has great pubs, a modish deli/café and a brilliant farm shop for supplies.
Nautically styled in chalky, seaside hues, there’s plenty of room to spread out, between the conservatory and playroom, the large open plan living area and a games room with pool table. The breakfast table is the heart of the house while the outside bar and BBQ area are designed for long, languid afternoons and balmy evenings.
Explore the rugged coastline on the historic Peddar’s Way from Thornham, or head to the Shakespeare in Love beach, Holkham.
Book it: www.barefootretreats.co.uk
3. Sheepscombe House, Gloucestershire
Sheepscombe House is magnificent Georgian manor house surrounded by Alapaca stocked fields and boasting amazing privacy and space.
Outside there’s also a wood-fired pizza oven and two BBQs as well as a brilliant kids play area, treehouse, in-ground trampoline and tennis court. The stunning heated pool can be used all year round, thanks to a retractable aluminium and glass enclosure.
Inside, the décor is seriously swanky. The drawing room has open fireplaces, there’s a cinema room, music room, kitchen/breakfast room and leafy conservatory that doubles as a dining room – just fling the doors open onto a secluded (yet sunny) courtyard garden.
Bring kids, dogs and friends and hunker down. Just make sure they don’t draw on the expensive furniture with your eyeliner while you’re reclining in a deep bath.
Book it: www.luxurycotswoldrentals.co.uk
4. Lake Windermere Lodge, Lake District
What this new lodge (built in 2013) lacks in history, it makes up for in location and views: perched on the shores of Lake Windermere in Cumbria’s Lake District National Park.
The contemporary design and acres of glass make for superlative views over the lake, and frame the boathouse and private jetty.
Active families who love watersports, fishing and exploring will be well met here. Get bad weather though, and you still won’t be sorry to be holed up inside.
A few minutes’ drive away Bowness is great for supplies or the odd meal out but, personally, we would have it all delivered and hunker down. After a few days, even the birds seem too noisy.
Book it: www.thewowhousecompany.co.uk
5. The Clock House, Suffolk
To the manor born? Then check your brood into this imposing Grade II listed Georgian former coach house, sharpish.
Part of the Sibton Park estate, the Clock House centres on a huge south facing courtyard, where everything from the manicured box hedging to the table linen has been carefully curated.
Not so much a cottage as a McMansion, you can self cater or call in chefs and waiting staff who will glide around the brick-floored kitchen and serve delicious dishes in the secluded courtyard.
Access to the naturally filtered swimming pool and use of the tennis court means that kids can swim and play safely within the estate.
If you are celebrating with other families (or generously hosting your own) then nab The Barn too, discreetly connected and equally exquisite.
Sleeps: 8 (14 including The Barn)
Book it: www.wildernessreserve.com