If you’re looking to reconnect with your loved ones on a family escape in the great British countryside, then read on for our guide to the ‘Best of British’ family country escapes…
Classic Cottages: Coombe Lodge Near Nether Stowey In Somerset
Somerset is a beautiful area for a family escape, famous for its crumbling cheddars, crisp and refreshing ciders and lush green Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A fantastic self catering property from which you can enjoy it all is: Coombe Lodge, a striking Scandinavian style lodge ideal for babies and toddlers that sleeps 6, with a steaming hot tub and sauna, all set in the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with views as far as the Bristol Channel.
The lodge, set on a working farmstead, is exceptionally spacious with 3 bedrooms, a galleried landing overlooking the open plan living area and kitchen, utility room, bathroom, ensuite shower room, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a lovely verandah at the front. This property is incredibly child friendly with plenty of stair gates, travel cots, a highchair, children’s plastic crockery, as well as a charming wendy house outside to entertain the little ones. The lodge is easy to reach and yet just far enough off the beaten track for peace and tranquillity and time to reconnect with loved ones.
In terms of activities, the Quantocks are crisscrossed with footpaths and bridleways, ideal for walks, hikes and mountain biking and Exmoor National Park and Hestercombe Gardens lie just down the road. For fossil hunters a trip to Kilve Beach (a rocky beach and a Site of Special Scientific Interest) is a must with ammonites and reptile remains to be discovered. Plus there’s so much more, including: watching the starling murmurations on the Somerset Levels, a Site of Special Scientific Interest; wiggling through the famous letterbox squeeze at Cheddar Gorge; dancing the day away at Glastonbury Festival; looking to the skies for the Bristol Balloon Fiesta or taking a hot air balloon ride over the Levels.
Burnbake Forest Lodges & Campsite
Experience all the creature comforts of a luxurious woodland lodge with bubbling hot tub right in the heart of the beautiful Dorset countryside, surrounded by deer, squirrels, rabbits and abundant birdlife. Burnbake is a truly magical, woodland oasis surrounded by dramatic coastlines and blue flag beaches.
The beautiful 2 and 3 bedroom self catering lodges make the perfect ‘family home away from home’ right in the midst of nature with all the amenities of a luxury hotel room combined with your own private deck with seating area and hot tub right outside; crackling log burner inside to keep you toasty and the tweeting of birdsong as a musical backdrop.
Lodges boast: incredibly comfy beds, oak furniture, cosy sofas, flat screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, robes, slippers and an ensuite and a full size bathroom with complimentary toiletries. There’s a fully equipped kitchen with crockery, cutlery, glassware for indoors and out, a dishwasher, microwave, coffee machine, kettle, toaster, fridge, freezer, oven and hob, dish clothes, washing up liquid and tea towels. The Executive Lodges are even more spacious and lie in their own woodland glade. They come with an even higher level of furnishings including a Bang and Olufsen surround sound music player and an additional flat screen TV in the master bedroom.
A stay at Burnbake means children can be children, simply enjoying a sense of freedom and good old fashioned play, busying themselves by the stream, hiding in the woods and foraging in the forest. As night falls, campfires crackle and marshmallows wait to be toasted. During peak season, the quirky little eatery tempts with artisan treats for a tasty feast under twinkling fairy lights.
Surrounding Burnbake you will find some of Britain’s finest beaches, including: Sandbanks, Studland and Lulworth Cove, just to name a few, not forgetting the charm and wonders of Brownsea Island. Or why not discover the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that stretches for 95 miles from Old Harry Rocks in Studland Bay to Exmouth in Devon. For those who love castles, there are the striking ruins of the one thousand year old Corfe Castle just a stone’s throw away and if it’s action and adventure you’re after there’s plenty to do, including: archery, shooting, climbing, abseiling, kayaking, bushcraft, coasteering, cycling, golf and horse riding to name but a few!
Classic Cottages: The Cow Shed, Bishopswood, Somerset
The stylish Cow Shed is a great self catering holiday cottage for a family stay set in the stunning British countryside with stunning beaches to the north and south, as well as pretty countryside hamlets, villages and towns to explore, not forgetting the impressive Stonehenge, Cheddar Gorge, Mendip Hills and Glastonbury! The property is also surrounded by the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Jurassic Coastline at Lyme Regis is within easy driving distance.
The Cowshed itself is a beautiful historic south Somerset farmstead that’s been transformed into a luxurious and strikingly contemporary cottage with wow-factor! This home away from home with a relaxed, country-chic vibe, has everything you could need. There are four bedrooms (one with an ensuite shower room), a family bathroom with free standing roll top bath tub and large separate shower, and a large hallway which leads on to the open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area with its comfy sofas, armchairs, Wi-Fi throughout, TV, DVD player and wood-burner. The kitchen boasts all the latest appliances including a full size dishwasher, washer-dryer, microwave, fridge-freezer, oven, induction hob, and plenty of crockery, cutlery and glassware for everyone. Outside you will find a large and spacious stone patio with tall dining table with 6 chairs ideal for a little alfresco dining, an outdoor sofa area, parasol, barbeque, plus the wonderful hot tub overlooking meadows, woodland and green hills. Through a little gate from the terrace, you can allow children (or your dog) to play in the small grassy field next door, while you relax in comfort watching them. There is also, underfloor heating downstairs, radiators upstairs and private parking for up to 3 cars.
A perk of this self catering property is that if you don’t want to purchase groceries and cook for yourself, you can request delicious home cooked meals from the owners in advance, for a small fee, plus a very short stroll down the road there’s a wonderful pub, The Candlelight Inn, which serves excellent food.
The Engine Room Cottage In The Yorkshire Wolds
If you’re looking for a family countryside escape a little further north, then try the Engine Room set in the heart of the stunning Yorkshire Wolds. It’s not just a great self catering escape but it’s a unique getaway in a converted fire station in the picturesque conservation village of Sledmere. The excellent location is ideally placed for exploring both the East Coast and the rolling wild hills of the Wolds. This area makes an ideal escape from the usual 9 to 5 hustle with the Yorkshire Wolds National Trail nearby and if you need some civilization, the city of York is only 25 miles away.
There are 3 ensuite bedrooms that beautifully blend old and new and sleep up to 6 guests. The cottage itself is a sociable place with a huge, open plan living area that runs the whole length of the property, perfect for family fun and relaxation, with a large dining area, huge sink in sofas and all the mod cons as well as the impressive feature window in the living area converted from the original engine room door. On sunny days, open the French doors and lounge on the enclosed terrace; soak up those views, dine al fresco and enjoy the most spectacular sunsets. There is ample off road parking and bike storage as well as underfloor heating, and the well equipped kitchen has several surprising extras that really make life easier; like a slow cooker, a Nespresso coffee machine and even a separate drinks fridge.
Cressland By The Splash Cottage In Suffolk
Suffolk is the perfect location for a blissful British family countryside retreat in the heart of ‘Constable Country’. Conveniently located (just 90 minutes from central London!), with quaint villages, idyllic countryside and a delightful coastline. Cressland By The Splash, a 15th Century Grade II listed cottage, is the perfect location from which to discover it all.
The cottage lies in Kersey, one of the most photographed, and picturesque villages in Suffolk and is right next to the famous centuries-old water `Splash’ in the heart of the village. Awarded five-star Gold by VisitEngland., the lovingly restored cottage retains many original features and boasts four bedrooms (2 with king size beds, 1 twin and 1 single) a large living with welcoming open fire, a dining area with a huge table perfect for hosting family parties and a large kitchen. Outside there’s a beautiful cottage garden, a summer house and plenty of space to lie back on a deck chair or dine al fresco when weather permits.
In terms of activities Suffolk offers zoos and wildlife parks, Pleasurewood Hills Family Theme Park, Go Ape Thetford, Hollow Trees and Jimmys Family farms, Clare Castle County Park, Suffolk Owl Sanctuary and Framlington Castle. Or you can visit the beautiful Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty which lies about 45 minutes away.
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