You shall have a holiday this year, after all! Enjoy the ultimate staycation with our edit of chic, design-led UK holiday homes for groups big and small
THE LOST ORANGERY NEAR BATH. IMAGES: LUXURY COTSWOLD RENTALS
The Lost Orangery, Wiltshire
Whether you and your beloved have been separated by the lockdown, or you’re looking for a (gorgeous) change of scene after months together in your own four walls, The Lost Orangery is the perfect romantic retreat. Part of the sixteenth-century explorer Sir Walter Raleigh’s old hunting lodge estate tucked away between bath and Castle Combe, it’s a world away from the average holiday let.
Set in stunning grounds created by Julian and Isabel Bannerman, Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medalists and the designers of the world renowned gardens at Highgrove, The Lost Orangery’s interiors are equally whimsical. The open plan living space is set around the long central dining table, overlooked by a grotto-like fountain. Two double en-suite bedrooms with antique four-poster beds means there’s room for another couple should you like the company. It has its own private roof terrace overlooking the estate, and the owners encourage guests to make use of the entire estate; from the Folly Mound to the tennis court and the magnificent boating pond.
Sleeps 2-4, availability in July and August from £2,372 per week; luxurycotswoldrentals.co.uk
THE MEADOWS AT RETALLACK IN CORNWALL. IMAGES: JONATHAN BOND PHOTOGRAPHY
The Meadows at Retallack, Cornwall
Be among the first people to stay at one these brand-spanking new two, three, four and six-bedroom barns at the 5-star Retallac Resort & Spa in the heart of Cornwall. Designed by Notting Hill-based interior design practice House Nine (who also provided the interior planning and styling for the Aria Resorts’ much lauded Gara Rock hotel in Salcombe) the barns have a contemporary yet timeless appeal.
With their burnt black larch wood-clad exteriors and floor to ceiling glass frontage, the barns would not be out of place on a Swedish archipelago. The larger barns have hot tubs and roof terraces to add to the Scandi feel. Inside, you’ll find Crittal-style shower screens, luxurious fabrics, Bert & May tiles and Farrow & Ball painted cladding while bulkhead lights and rope details give a subtle nod to Cornwall’s nautical heritage. You won’t want to leave, so you may be tempted by the fact that some of the barns are also for sale.
From £2,049 for four nights in August 2020 for the two-bedroom premium barn; ariaresorts.co.uk
BROWNBER HALL IN CUMBRIA. IMAGES: BROWNBER HALL
Brownber Hall, Cumbria
Named ‘Hotel of the Year’ in 2019’s i Newspaper Staycation Awards (no mean feat when the competition included The Pig at Combe and Beaverbrook), Brownber Hall was looking forward to a busy spring and summer of bookings. Then came lockdown. But its dynamic young owners Peter and and Amanda Jaques-Walker wouldn’t be defeated and so from 1st August, eight-bedroom Brownber Hall will be reopening in a different guise: as a luxurious private rental, along with Brownber House, a newly-converted four-bedroom farmhouse.
Set within the Howgill Fells on the border of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, Brownber Hall’s location is perfect for a group getaway, with beautiful walks and cycling routes abounding. The interiors, designed by Amanda’s sister and former Soho House architect Georgina Rose, are bright and youthful, livening up the handsome Victorian mansion’s solemnity. Georgina is also overseeing the interiors at Brownber House and guests can expect Vanessa Arbuthnott fabrics, Perrin & Rowe wares, Burlington bathrooms and handpicked vintage furniture. And if you can’t face cooking, beautifully cooked meals and freshly prepared picnics can be delivered to your door.
Brownber Hall sleeps 15 across 8 bedrooms, £3,400 for 7 nights in high season; Brownber House sleeps 8 across 4 bedrooms, £2,400 for 7 nights in high season; brownberhall.co.uk
ELEMENTAL IN PITLOCHRY, SCOTLAND: IMAGES: UNIQUE HOME STAYS
Standing on the shores of Loch Rannoch amid ancient Viking woodland in the Scottish Highlands, Elemental is true to its name. Its sublimely remote location and the staggering vistas make this four-bedroom self-catering cottage a true escape from reality.
Originally – and unsurprisingly – designed for a Norwegian family and inspired by the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, the current designer-architect owners have renovated the house to an exacting standard, allowing the clean lines to let the staggering vistas beyond do the talking. Inside, you’ll find modern monochrome interiors, poured concrete surfaces and tactile wooden floors. Outside, the two private beaches and acre of wildlife-filled garden mean there’s plenty to explore on the doorstep.
From £1,695 for 3-night stay in September; Unique Homestays, +44 (0) 1637 881183
EDEN HALL COTTAGE IN NORFOLK. IMAGES: SARAH GRIGGS
Eden Hall Cottage, Norfolk
If you’re looking for a seaside family retreat, they don’t get much better than Eden Hall Cottage on the Norfolk coast. Lovingly restored by owner Vicky White, the founder of stylish lifestyle brand Plum & Ashby, and her husband Chris, the five-bedroom cottage is a serene home from home.
Just a five-minute stroll from the beach and close to the Norfolk broads, you’ll have plenty to keep you busy during the day, and returning to the soothing rooms of Eden Hall Cottage will be balm for the soul. From the handcrafted Humphrey Munson kitchen and the bathrooms with their waterfall showers and luxurious freestanding baths to the washed linen sofas and unique handpicked furniture, this light and airy Georgian cottage brims with character.
Sleeps 10 with two children in the bunkbed room; availability from October from £1,400 per week; edenhallnorfolk.co.uk
VINTAGE HOUSE IN SUFFOLK. IMAGES: KIP HIDEAWAYS
Vintage House, Suffolk
This former outbuilding of an abandoned Manor House near Bury St Edmunds stole the heart of the Creative Director who rescued it and lovingly breathed new life into it. Now a three-bedroom light and airy retreat, she made it her home and rents it to a lucky few.
The plain white walls provide the perfect backdrop to the vintage treasures the owner has collected over the years from Morocco, Lisbon and Northern California. The smooth polished concrete or salvaged tile floors juxtapose history with modernism and the vaulted ceiling allows the light to flood in. From cycling and walking to wild swimming on Knettishall Heath by day, to watching a film on the projector by night, you’ll be re-energised by a stay at this quietly elegant home.
Sleeps 6, from £250 per night with availability in July, August and September; kiphideaways.com
THORPE MANOR IN OXFORDSHIRE. IMAGES: THORPE MANOR
Thorpe Manor House
If you’re looking for somewhere to host a really special reunion, this Grade II* listed Georgian manor near Banbury is the perfect party house. With 14 luxurious bedrooms, each named after a horse belonging to one of the previous owners, Thorpe Manor is an understandably popular wedding location but is also available for short private lets.
Built in the 1660s, Thorpe Manor has been painstakingly renovated by its current own Henry Teare (all 99 windows were removed and restored for starters) to ensure that all of its period features are preserved. Alongside the quintessential country try pile fixtures such as a wood-panelled billiard room, a room-for-30 dining room, ‘downstairs’ kitchen for casual dining and a croquet lawn, you’ll find plenty of modern luxuries including a cosy cinema room and an oversized Norwegian-style hot tub in the garden. If you want to push the boat out, this is the place to do it.
Prices start from £16,800 for a three-night weekend stay, with good availability this summer; thorpemanorhouse.co.uk
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