Festive homestays and cottages in Britain

If you’re dreaming of a traditional festive getaway in Britain, you’ll be spoilt for choice, with a wide range of chocolate-box cottages and historic hideaways on offer. From cosy Surrey villages straight from The Holiday to remote Scottish island getaways, it’s just a matter of finding the right one, for a seasonal celebration to remember…

England

Little Foxmore Barn, Surrey

Located just a stone’s throw from the Surrey locations that inspired the festive favourite The Holiday, Little Foxmore Barn is a modern converted property that retains much of its original character. Boasting exposed wooden beams throughout and a contemporary farmhouse kitchen, you can enjoy stunning views across the Surrey Hills and South Downs, or relax amid the surrounding ancient woodland, for a cosy yet contemporary festive break.

Practical information: Sleeps four people (two bedrooms).

Colleton Hall, North Devon

Living room at Colleton Hall, North Devon. Cosy living space with sofas, artwork and antique furniture.

The historic Grade II-listed Colleton Hall is a luxurious venue if you’re looking to explore the lush Devon countryside and its award-winning beaches. A variety of activities including clay pigeon shooting, archery and horse riding can be arranged if you’re keen to make the most of the property’s 38-acre estate, and there are red deer roaming freely within the woodland. The main house can sleep up to 12 guests, with the East Wing providing space for an additional six guests.

Practical information: Sleeps up to 18 people (six bedrooms in Colleton Hall, three in the East Wing).

The Old Stables at Bradley’s Farm, Wiltshire

Set in a former 19th century stable block and offering views over the rolling Wiltshire countryside, The Old Stables is packed with rural charm. The 17-acre grounds, only accessible to guests, feature a secluded walking route dating back to medieval times, as well as a private Mediterranean style botanical garden and arboretum. Recently converted, the cottage is heavily influenced by Scandinavian style and contains a wealth of contemporary fixtures and fittings, for a laid-back festive getaway.

Practical information: Sleeps two people (one bedroom).

The Chapel, Worcestershire

With a raft of period features including oak floors, stone fireplaces and exposed timbers, The Chapel in Worcestershire mixes rich history with plenty of stylish, modern furnishings. Stone-arched windows provide unspoilt views out onto the countryside beyond, while its estate contains an orchard where you can pick your own pears, apples and olives. The grounds are shared with two other properties, Crossbrook Farm and The Well House, which can be booked individually, or together for those seeking to sleep six guests.

 

Practical information: The Chapel, Crossbook Farm and The Well House all sleep two people (one bedroom per property).

The Ruin at Hackfall, Grewelthorpe, Yorkshire Dales National Park

The Ruin can be dated back to around 1767 and sits on the edge of a steep wooded gorge. This Georgian folly sits within the remains of an 18th century garden in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and was one of several buildings scattered across the gardens at Hackfall. Having sat derelict for nearly a century, the small Gothic pavilion has now been restored by the Landmark Trust to create accommodation for two people. Its doorways and arched windows perfectly frame the surrounding countryside, providing a romantic festive recluse within Hackfall. The garden, now restored by the Hackfall Trust, was conceived and created by 18th century British politician John Aislabie, who also formed the gardens at nearby Studley Royal.

Practical information: Sleeps two (one bedroom).

The Clock Tower at Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Living room at The Clock Tower Apartment, Bamburgh Castle

You can enjoy a festive stay in the medieval clock tower that forms part of Northumberland’s imposing Bamburgh Castle. The Clock Tower, part of a restored 13th-century tower and turret built into the castle walls, features three bedrooms and offers exclusive access to the castle grounds and panoramic views over Bamburgh beach and Holy Island. The three-storey apartment blends new and old, with exposed stone walls, antique furniture and a contemporary kitchen, alongside velvet sofas and comfy armchairs.

Practical information: Sleeps five (three bedrooms). Please note, due to its size/design, the property can accommodate a maximum of four adult guests.

Wales

Ty Cipar, Snowdonia

Found in a remote part of Snowdonia that is renowned for stargazing, Ty Cipar cottage sits in the heart of Migneint moorland, a Site of Special Scientific Interest that is rich in plant and birdlife. The cottage is surrounded by stunning landscapes and boasts a traditional interior, as well as a games room in the adjacent barn. Offering an escape from city life, you can enjoy a magical festive stay while taking in the celestial delights of Snowdonia International Dark Sky Reserve.

Practical information: Sleeps four (two bedrooms).

Scotland

Fern Cottage, Isle of Mull

Retreat to Fern Cottage on the Isle of Mull for a true wilderness escape surrounded by untouched land and wildlife. The cottage can sleep up to four people and is packed with traditional features and furnishings to accompany the extraordinary views. With no WIFI, it is an ideal spot for a digital detox, allowing you to reconnect with nature and to discover the island’s many footpaths and sandy beaches. A ferry provides access to the smaller Isle of Iona, and the property is dog friendly too, enabling you to take your four-legged friends out along some of the picturesque walking trails.

Practical information: Sleeps four (two bedrooms).

Linen House & The Scott Apartment, Kelso, Scottish Borders

Living area in the Linen House & Scott Apartment, Kelso

Situated in the Scottish market town of Kelso, close to the River Tweed, the Linen House and The Stott Apartment is a striking Grade II-listed townhouse accommodation. Dating back to the mid-19th-century, the former British Linen Bank building has been sensitively restored to create the five-bedroom property. The picturesque location is just one favourable feature, with the spacious townhouse pairing period features with open plan living and amenities, providing everything you need for a contemporary Christmas celebration or winter stay.

Practical information: Sleeps two (one bedroom).

Supernova, Isle of Skye

A luxury self-catering chapel conversion on the remote Isle of Skye, Supernova can offer a complete sanctuary across the festive period. Set in the Scottish Highlands, up to two guests can take in views over Loch Harport and the mountains beyond from the comfort of a sauna or a bath big enough for two. With a monochrome theme and a king-size bedroom, the conversion is all about comfort, while dogs are also welcome for an additional fee.

Practical information: Sleeps two people (one bedroom).

Northern Ireland

Castle Ward Bunkhouse, Downpatrick, County Down

A stay in the Castle Ward Bunkhouse allows you to enjoy the grounds where the hit TV series Game of Thrones was filmed - there’s even a replica of the Winterfell Archery Range, providing a unique festive experience. The property sits within 820 acres of woodland and can accommodate up to 14 people in two six-bed dormitories and a twin bedroom, with additional space outside for 12 small tents.

Practical information: Sleeps up to 14 people indoors (two six-bed dormitories, one twin bedroom), plus space for 12 tents outside.

Restrictions on travel to and around Britain are in place due to Covid-19. You are encouraged to always check individual websites for the latest information, as details are subject to change.

30 Sep 2021(last updated)

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