The Railway Carriage Cottage, Somerset
Located beside the West Somerset Steam Railway Line, the Railway Carriage is a unique replica railway carriage designed to look like a period GWR Brake Van. Perfect for a romantic getaway, as couples can spend evenings on the decking verandah or enjoying a drink in the hot-tub while watching the trains chug past.
Nearby are Exmoor, the Quantock Hills and the South West Coastal Path and there are plenty of other outdoor activities to choose from close to the property including: horse riding, quad biking, coasteering, clay pigeon shooting and mountain biking. A week’s stay for four starts from £525 and a three night short break from £345.
Visit www.premiercottages.co.uk or call 07813 821475
The Watermill, Exmoor
Nestled in the peaceful Hawkcombe valley, within the beautiful Exmoor National Park is the charming 19th century Watermill. Lovingly restored and luxuriously furnished with antiques, the Watermill’s original features such as the stable door, Waterwheel and Waterwheel mechanisms make for a truly memorable stay.
Surrounded by an acre of terraced gardens featuring a waterfall and river frontage, there is much to admire at the watermill. With the ancient Hawkcombe woods on the doorstep, couples can enjoy woodland strolls and spot deer and wild ponies in the wilds of Exmoor. A week’s stay for up to four guest starts from £535.
Visit www.premiercottages.co.uk or call 07768 101402
The Tree House, Lavender Hill Cottages, Somerset
Situated on the edge of the beautiful conservation village of Halse near Exmoor, the fairy-tale Tree House promises an unforgettable holiday for a family of four. A magical spiral staircase leads up to the five-star boutique property’s gorgeous master bedroom, and children can view the starlit Somerset skies from the skylights and quirky triangular windows.
Guests will love the little luxuries such as under floor heating, wood burning stove, outdoor hot-tub, Wifi and TV. There are a plethora of outdoor activities nearby including: cycling and walking, steam trains to the seaside on England’s longest and best heritage railway, the cheddar gorge and caves, family beaches and themed adventure playgrounds, plus a fabulous gastro-pub close to the property.
A week’s stay for four starts from £895 and from £595 for a three night weekend break.
Visit www.premiercottages.co.uk or call 01984 656622
Shortflatt Tower, Northumberland
Shortflatt Tower is a 13th century Fortalice Tower, set in idyllic surroundings and offering luxurious accommodation bursting with original features. The property has seven individually designed double bedrooms, antique furnishings and stunning views overlooking formal gardens. There’s also a Tower Keep drawing room with vaulted ceiling, six-foot thick walls and an open fire, as well as a glorious dining room with striking family portraits.
The property has its very own spa, the Fullerton Place with steam room, outdoor hot tub and luxury authentic Hammam, a speciality not to be missed. A week’s stay at Shortflatt Tower for 14 starts from £3425 and a three-night short break from £2225.
Visit www.premiercottages.co.uk or call 01661 881804
“Pigsty” Cottage - Blakelow Farm Cottages, Derbyshire
Blakelow Farm Cottages are ideal for holidaymakers seeking to get away from it all, especially those who are after some ‘alone time.’ Idyllically situated on the edge of Winster Moor, there are heart-lifting walks right from the doorstep over the hills and along the numerous dales. There are four cottages to choose from, the smallest and quirkiest being Chestnut Cottage which sleeps just one and was converted from the farm’s pigsty.
The cosy cottage is named after the large horse chestnut tree it sits under and it oozes charm and character. It’s is all on one level and guests enter into the kitchen which still has one of the stone feeding troughs in the feature exposed limestone wall. The sitting room has a vaulted ceiling, beams and a sweet dining table and chairs. There is also a bedroom and well appointed shower room. Prices for Chestnut Cottage start from £345 per week and from £240 for a three-night break.
Visit www.premiercottages.co.uk or call 01629 650 814
Steeles Mill - a former cornmill with its workings remaining inside
A stunning three-story conversion of a corn mill, Steeles Mill is close to the heart of the Lake District. Dating back to the 14th century, its restoration preserves the building’s history whilst embracing the modern comforts needed for a luxurious stay.
Underfloor heating throughout ensures a warm welcome at any time of the year and the original mill’s internal workings remain in place on the ground floor having been enclosed safely behind oak and glass, and uplit. The kitchen range stands within the beautifully domed stone-cut alcove where grain once dried.
There’s also a viewing balcony where guests can become acquainted with the inhabitants of the River Lyvennet including: kingfisher, dipper, brown trout, heron and the occasional otter. A week’s break for four starts from £650 and a three-night short break from £425.
Visit www.premiercottages.co.uk or call 01931 714017
Platform 1, Castle Howard, Yorkshire
Just the ticket for a first class holiday with a difference, Platform 1 - Castle Howard provides unique accommodation within the former Castle Howard Station, a grade II listed building with a fascinating history.
Open the door to the exclusive self-contained apartment, where more than a century and a half before, Her Majesty Queen Victoria walked through the very same doorway, as she arrived to begin her visit as the guest of the Earl of Carlisle to the glorious palace of Castle Howard, just a couple of miles away.
Situated within an area of outstanding natural beauty Platform 1 is a real find for those with historical, architectural and wildlife interests as well as those passionate about railways. A week's stay in Castle Howard – Platform 1 for two guests starts from £590 and a three night break starts from £375.
Visit www.premiercottages.co.uk or call 01653 749750
The Old Cheese Factory, Derbyshire
The Old Cheese Factory is set in an idyllic and supremely private location in the rural village of Windley right on the edge of the Peak District and has breath taking views and fantastic walking and cycling opportunities straight from the door.
Built around 1690, and used at various times as a farm outbuilding, a Malt House and then a Cheese factory, producing Stilton Cheese, this grade II listed building has been restored to an incredibly high standard. It retains many original features including the oak beams and lime ash floors.
The Old Cheese Factory offers 5 star holiday accommodation for up to eight people with four bedrooms, all en-suite and is available for a week’s stay from £1270. Alternatively, a three-night short break in the property starts from £1010.
Visit www.premiercottages.co.uk or call 01773 550947.
Llysmeurig, the “Vintage villa”, West Wales
A handsome pre-war property with many of its 1930’s features still in tact, it has been renovated to its former glory with traditional decor including: black and white photographs displayed throughout the house and a WW2 gas mask in the hall. Additional attractions include the photographic darkroom in one of the outbuildings.* and the large garden where, in season, guests may pick soft fruit for breakfast and onions for supper.
Just one hour ten minutes from Cardiff and twenty minutes from Tenby, Llysmeurig is perfect for those wanting to stay in a vintage property. It’s close to all the beaches and attractions in west Wales, and a short walk to the pub or town. It also welcomes dogs.
A week’s stay in Llysmerurig Villa which sleeps six starts from £528 and a three-night break from £376. Photographic tuition is also available.
Visit www.premiercottages.co.uk or call 07765 250230
A railway carriage in Dorset
Inspired by the explorers of the Victorian age, this former railway carriage has been completely transformed into a glamping hideaway and is the newest addition to the Quality Unearthed portfolio. The ‘Explorers Carriage’ is now permanently settled in a paddock in the Dorset countryside, a few miles from Lyme Regis and sleeps up to four. Inside, there are lanterns, a log burning stove, a comfy Chesterfield sofa and double bunk beds, with décor including vintage maps and a night sky mural showing the major constellations. There are deckchairs and a campfire outside for toasting marshmallows, or more substantial meals depending on your level of outdoor culinary expertise. In adjacent huts are compost loos and hot showers, and the site forms part of a private retreat where the owner can offer yoga, massage and meditation sessions as well as lessons in foraging, surfing and spoon carving. There’s plenty of space for little ones to race around outdoors and there’s a real sense of adventure staying here that kids (and adults) will love.
The beautiful beach at Charmouth is a 30 minute walk away and there’s mile upon mile of dramatic Dorset coastline to explore. Foodie hotspots including Axminster and Bridport are nearby, as well as fossil-hunting sites along the Jurassic Coast and, further afield, highlights such as Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and Chesil Beach.
Prices start from £85 per night, based on up to four sharing on self-catering basis and with a minimum stay of two nights.
Visit www.qualityunearthed.co.uk or call 01348 830922
A chapel in Pembrokeshire
Built in 1864, Rhosson Chapel Cottage sits in the tiny hamlet of St Justinians, just two miles from St David's. The chapel has been carefully converted and now offers accommodation ideal for a family of four, in a beautiful coastal location. Inside, though the furnishings are modern, there's plenty of character and glimpses of the building’s past, with exposed beams and stonework, whitewashed walls and polished wooden floors. Downstairs the space is open-plan with a lounge and kitchen, plus dining area with bench seats reminiscent of the old chapel pews. The two bedrooms upstairs are built into the pitched roof, with sloping windows and views towards the sea. In the second bedroom, the twin beds are low to the ground so particularly good for little ones. Outside there's an unexpected treat too - a hot tub - as well as a decked dining area.
The cove at St Justinians is the site of the modern Lifeboat Station, plus the old lifeboat slipway is the departure point for boat trips to the wildlife haven at Ramsey Island and elsewhere along the coast. St David's itself is only a mile and half away, with plenty to see including the famous Cathedral as well as an amazing ice cream parlour and a range of exhilarating coastal pursuits available including coasteering and sea kayaking. Also within walking distance from the chapel, along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, is the beach at Porthselau, small and sheltered with rock pools to explore, this is a spot loved by generations of small children.
Prices for seven night stays start from £450, based on up to four sharing on self-catering basis.
Visit www.qualitycottages.co.uk or call 01348 837 871.
Converted vintage horse boxes in Scotland from £15pppn:
Bonar Bridge, Scotland: Set in the Caledonian pinewoods on a 20-acre family run croft, The Prancing Pony offers a unique Highlands hideaway staying within a restored and upcycled vintage horse trailer. The ideal retreat for adventurers, wildlife lovers and eco-tourists, the trailer is solar powered and comes complete with an ensuite side stall containing composting loo and a shower, which uses a rain-capture system. Inside the horsebox, there’s a sink, wood-burning stove, double pull-out bed and ample storage. Night-time woodland adventures under the fairy lights include foraging for mushrooms and wildlife spotting.
Price: From £30 per night for two adults, £15 per person per night. Or from £210 for seven nights for two people.
Swinton Bivouac, Masham, North Yorkshire:
This luxury site in the Yorkshire Dales offers glamping with a hipster vibe. Made from upcycled materials, the woodland and hillside lodges and yurts offer non-stop Instagram opportunities thanks to the quirky decorations and beautiful finishes. Kitted out with wood-burning stoves, rocking chairs and cosy nooks and crannies. An outdoor hot tub and meals delivered directly to the door ramp up the luxury factor even further. The onsite cafe is not only super cute and offers the opportunity to enjoy delicious meals and drinks in the evening, it also boasts a family den underneath that leads to a walled garden. Local attractions include the ‘miniature Stonehenge’ druids temple, while the nearby Swinton Park Estate wows with miles of picturesque moorland, rivers and dales.
Price: From £270 for two nights, sleeping up to seven people (£19.29 pppn)
Eco Camping Cabin, Isle of Mull, Scotland:
This Scandinavian-style wooden log cabin is the epitome of ‘hygge’ and even comes with its own sauna and plunge pool. Surrounded by a smattering of woods before the landscape opens out into rolling fields, the mountains appearing on the horizon, guests will feel like they are starring in a romantic Wild West movie. If they are lucky enough, guests can even spot the Northern Lights appearing in the dark, starry skies. Without electricity and running water, this back-to-basics retreat will encourage visitors to reconnect with themselves and nature whilst enjoying outdoor adventures such as horse-riding, fishing, cycling, climbing, sailing and wildlife watching. Escape the eco warrior existence for a little while with a trip to the nearby restaurant and indoor swimming pool.
Price: From £50 per night for up to four people (two adults, two children). (£12.50pppn). £350 per week for four people.
Riverside Camping, Caernarfon, North Wales
Just a short drive away from the Snowdonia mountains and the Welsh coast, the spacious and well-equipped Riverside Camping is the perfect site to explore the beautiful countryside and enjoy outdoor adventures before warming up again in a cosy but spacious wooden three bedroom lodge. Boasting ‘hygge’ features such as a cupboard bed that guests have to climb into - kids will love it - a freestanding roll top bath, plenty of candle lights and lanterns as well as a wood-burning stove, the modern rustic vibe of the pod is welcoming and friendly. Situated in a sheltered loop of the River Seiont, which is great for fishing, birdwatching, boating and paddling, and surrounded by woodland, treasure trails, a covered picnic area and children’s playground add to the appeal. And if the weather doesn’t show itself from its best side, guests can get their ‘hygge’ on by relaxing in the outdoor hot tub, enjoying a meal in the beautiful onsite Mill Bistro or making use of the free wifi.
Price: From £325 for four nights, sleeping up to six people. (£13.54 pppn)
A lorry in Pembrokeshire
Lottie the Lorry has led a well-travelled life, including many adventures driving across Europe as far as Budapest and Morocco, but now sits at the top of a tree-lined field near Solva, looking out over lush north Pembrokeshire farmland where it has been converted into an atmospheric glamping wagon. Packed full of character, Lottie is decorated with an eclectic collection of items picked up on its travels and features a log-burner, an up-cycled interior, a comfortable bed situated over the driving cab and everything needed to cook some delicious food to be enjoyed with the beautiful view - including a traditional Moroccan tagine. The shelves are well-stocked with travel books, making it ideal for inspiring wanderlust. Lottie’s location is adjacent to a small hamlet of holiday cottages and bathroom facilities are in a separate building just across the field.
A short drive away is the pretty harbour village of Solva, which has a choice of pubs, cafes, craft shops and galleries. The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path runs right across the quay and along the cliff-tops on both sides of the secluded bay. Many of Pembrokeshire’s Blue Flag beaches are within easy reach too, including Whitesands Bay - a popular spot for surfers, and Newgale, 4km of wide sand towards the north of St Brides Bay. As well as walking on the Coastal Path, visitors to Lottie can take to the nearby Preseli Hills and discover not only incredible views and landscapes but ancient burial chambers and legends.
Quality Unearthed offer stays in Lottie the Lorry from £74 per night, based on up to two sharing on self-catering basis. For more information and to book, visit www.qualityunearthed.co.uk or call 01348 830922.
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