The Cottage in the Wood, Worcestershire
Don’t be misled by the name; the Cottage is actually a striking Georgian mansion, set high above the spa town of Malvern, surrounded by woodland. The elegant dining room offers panoramic views over the Severn Valley, as well as upmarket food and cocktails. This is a charming, family-run hotel that woos its guests with indulgent afternoon teas, peppy cocktails and upscale dining – with cycling, horse-riding and wine-tasting all on offer nearby.
Doubles from £129 B&B; cottageinthewood.co.uk
Ty Hiraeth, Mid Wales
Pack walking boots, cycling helmets and swimming costumes for this luxurious lodge that boasts an outdoor hot tub and wraparound terrace with glorious views across the lush Welsh countryside. Offa’s Dyke Path is close by and the Shropshire Hills are within easy reach, while the market town of Montgomery is two miles away, with a picturesque 12th-century castle and clutch of good pubs and restaurants. The house sleeps four, ideal for two couples or one family, and has a light, airy feel with an open-plan living area, contemporary-styled kitchen and a spacious utility room with plenty of room for muddy walking boots.
A week from £1,503; holidaycottages.co.uk
The Tan Hill Inn, North Yorkshire
Dating back to the 17th century, Tan Hill is Britain’s highest inn, perched at 1,732ft above sea level. Loved by walkers, cyclists and anyone who craves truly unspoilt scenery, it’s a wonderfully isolated spot – with widescreen views from just about anywhere you sit. There’s a fantastic 9.5-mile circular walk from the pub’s door, taking in Keld and Ravenseat, and the Tan also offers cycling packages, with bikes (road or mountain) available to hire. Locally brewed ales accompany classic pub dishes, including giant yorkshire puds filled with sausages and mash.
Doubles from £176 B&B; tanhillinn.com
Feather Down’s Fountain Violet Farm, Devon
Pull back the canvas to see wonderful views of lush hills, rolling down to the sea at this hilltop beef farm, which makes an ideal base for exploring the South Hams. Feather Down “tents” are actually fully equipped living spaces, with a bathroom and shower, living area with log burner and kitchen and one proper bedroom, alongside bunk beds and a “cupboard bed”. The beach at Mill Bay is just 15 minutes’ walk, while the nearby River Dart offers surfing, sailing and paddleboarding; with dinners around the campfire to round off the days.
Three-night breaks from £450; featherdown.co.uk
The Lord Crewe Arms, Northumberland
Steeped in layers of history that date back to the 12th century, the Lord Crewe Arms sits on a hillside in the pretty village of Blanchland, with riverside walks and sailing on Derwent reservoir right outside the door. The pub combines its heritage – the building began life as lodging for the nearby priory – with contemporary touches. Hot-water bottles, locally made fudge, old beams and window seats give a cosy feel without descending into chintz. At night, robust British dishes are served in the cosy dining room, and bikes, fishing equipment, maps and wellies are all available to borrow.
Doubles from £189 B&B; lordcrewearmsblanchard.co.uk
Roughtor Barn, Cornwall
Squirrelled away down a long track eight miles from Port Isaac, this clever barn conversion opens up to bring the surrounding moorland right in. The slopes of Roughtor – Cornwall’s second highest peak – rise behind the cottage, offering excellent hiking and birdwatching possibilities. The stylish house is ideal for a group of friends or older families (no children under 7 are allowed), with a cosy upstairs snug for teens and a lounge area with driftwood chandelier, record player, selection of LPs and a good-sized woodburner.
A week from £900; classic.co.uk
Locke’s Cottage, south-west Wales
Set above the Hoffnant valley, this former farm building looks across gentle rolling hills and tranquil, agricultural landscapes. An unusual combination of stone-walled ground floor with a timber upper level (including a tree growing through the property), the cottage has a homely feel, with a roaring log burner. Floors and windowsills are made from former scaffolding boards, while the double-ended bath sits in a cradle of reclaimed wood. The upstairs living area opens out on to a balcony with has glorious views over the valley and there are lovely walks from the door.
Three-night break from £445; pawsandstay.co.uk
Mulino Pods, Derbyshire
Set on a hillside with a lovely outlook over Carsington Water, these three glamping pods offer the simplicity of camping with a little more comfort. Inside, there’s a double bed, kettle, toaster and fridge, and outside a decked terrace, complete with barbecue and seating. A communal area, shared between all three pods, has a covered, outdoor kitchen and “info room” with books, games and local maps, and there are two shared bathrooms. There are walking, cycle routes and bridleways from the farm, and the historic town of Ashbourne is three miles away.
Two-night breaks from £180; mulinopods.co.uk
Hillside, Isle of Wight
Sitting on the top of one hill, at the base of another, aptly named Hillside looks down over the seaside town of Ventnor, and oozes Scandi style beneath its traditional-looking thatched frontage. Bright white walls frame huge, avant garde artworks, while bedrooms feel cool and comfortable with Welsh woollen fabrics, handmade Danish beds and oak floors. Dinners – a kind of French-Scandi fusion – must be ordered in advance, and guests are called to the table when the meal is ready. It’s quirky but charming – rather like the island its on.
Two-night breaks from £392 B&B; hillsideventnor.co.uk
Crag House Farm Barns, North Yorkshire
On the edge of the North York Moors national park, these two converted barns – ideal for friends or a family get-together – are set in the hills above Danby Dale. Inside, the original wall beams have been exposed, cleverly dividing the downstairs into two airy living spaces, with an open-plan kitchen and dining area. The three bedrooms have a sleek, boutique-hotel style, while outside, fairy-lit terraced areas in sheltered positions are perfect for alfresco dinners and barbecues. Alongside all the rural beauty, the seaside is just 15 minutes’ drive.
Three-night breaks from £825; craghousefarm.co.uk.