If there’s two things the third lockdown has taught us it’s that a) we could all really use a holiday and b) we have absolutely no desire to spend any amount of time in crowds right now. The solution to planning a luxurious holiday that doesn’t involve a plane, train or even taxi? Book yourself a stay in one of the UK’s most elegant rural rental homes.
From the Cotswolds to the Peak District, Britain is teeming with gorgeous holiday destinations that, should you choose, don’t require coming within miles of another living soul – so you can enjoy that family reunion or group getaway in complete privacy. The good news is, finding those properties doesn’t have to be taxing. Luxury home rental platform Holidu has brought together more than 15 million holiday lets, both at home and abroad, allowing you to search by destination, date and property size so you can find your perfect rental in minutes. Here’s our pick of the best rural homes in the UK to book now…
Cotswold Valley Manor, Cotswolds
Situated in the chocolate box village of France Lynch, not far from the popular Stroud market town, this traditional manor home dates back to 1650 but has recently been extensively modernised. Sleeping 17 people in six bedrooms, holidays at Cotswold Valley Manor tend to centre around its cosy country kitchen and large living room, while the formal dining room is the perfect spot for hosting long overdue celebrations.
Set in three acres of grounds, this is also an ideal home for a summer holiday, offering plenty of space for lawn games, afternoon strolls and al fresco dining. And, if all you really want after a long day of hiking in the Cotswolds hills is a long soak, there’s a hot tub for that too.
Georgian Manor House, Cornwall
Cornwall may be best known for its buzzing surf towns and beach bars but, located in the pretty countryside around Bodmin, this elegant Georgian manor demonstrates there’s plenty the South West has to offer those who prefer a slower pace of life. Its safe, secluded location and seven bedrooms make it the perfect choice for multi-generational families while, coming equipped with tennis courts and a swimming pool, it’s also a great option for large groups looking to unwind in privacy.
While within easy reach of Cornwall’s famed fine dining spots, the large kitchen and sumptuous dining room for 16 offer an ideal set up for budding chefs to show off their skills, while pre-and post-dinner drinks are elevated thanks to the home’s baby grand piano. You can even bring your favourite four-legged friend along for the trip too.
The Manor, Somerset
Always dreamed of living in Austen-style grandeur? Become lord (or lady) of the manor with this lovingly cared for Georgian home in the heart of Somerset. Once the home of the family of Scott of the Antarctic, the property is full of period charm, with a grand central hallway, winding staircase and original stained glass roof light, but has also been sensitively updated to offer guests a host of modern conveniences.
Along with eight bedroom, eight bathrooms and a vast open-plan kitchen with range cooker and adjoining breakfast room, there is a cosy drawing room with piano, a large dining room, boot room with dog shower, a well-equipped gym and games room with a full-size pool table. If that weren’t quite enough, smart use has been made of the manor’s expansive grounds, with a heated swimming pool and al fresco dining area forming the focal point of the landscaped gardens. There’s also a play area with tree house, swings and slides for little ones while bigger guests can relax after a hectic day in the manor’s courtyard hot tub.
Ty Camlad, Powys, Wales
Planning a getaway on a smaller scale? This gorgeous 16th century barn conversation near the quaint village of Church Stoke is perfectly proportioned for a luxurious holiday for two. Characterised by dramatic high ceilings, exposed beams and flooded with natural light thanks to huge feature windows, the property comprises an open plan ground floor space and cosy mezzanine bedroom, making for a seriously stylish couple’s retreat.
For those visiting in the summer, the property also has access to a well-maintained garden, while those checking in during the colder months can make use of a traditional wood-burning stove. Located close to the Welsh border and in the vicinity of the Shropshire Hills, this is also an ideal base from which to explore this beautiful part of the British countryside.
High Fellside Hall, Cumbria
The Lake District county of Cumbria is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations and for good reason. Draw-dropping scenery, idyllic villages and some of the country’s finest restaurants make it a location to rival anything a European break can offer. The result, however, is that finding a great rental in Cumbria is no easy task – so if you like the look of this spacious former farmhouse (and we think you will), snap it up quickly.
Nestled in the wide open countryside near the town of Sedburgh, this seven bedroom property can sleep up to 18 people, meaning it’s perfect for making up for all those postponed parties and celebrations. Stylishly updated, alongside its sophisticated living spaces, cosy reading nooks with log burning stoves, huge country kitchen and impressive formal dining room, the real selling point here is the home’s vast leisure suite. Located on the lower ground floor with views over the garden, a heat swimming pool, steam room, sauna, jacuzzi and yoga studio make for everything you need to return from your holiday relaxed and rested.
Holy Loch Chateau, Argyll & Bute, Scotland
The Scottish Highlands has really come into its own over the past 12 months as a pandemic-friendly location that’s about as far from the hustle and bustle of London life as it’s possible to get in the UK. Come for the wide open skies and endless acres of countryside, stay for the beautiful seasonal produce and friendly locals. Set in three acres of grounds on the banks of Holy Loch on the Cowal peninsula, this immaculate eight-bedroom home is a brilliant base from which to explore.
Organised across a five-bedroom main house, two-bedroom annex and one-bedroom Gatehouse cottage, each with private entrances, kitchens, livings spaces and bathrooms, flexibility is the name of the game at Holy Loch Chateau. Guests can choose between coming together to socialise in the 16-seat dining room, study and drawing room of the main house, gather on the loch-side beach to use the barbecue, trampoline and garden games or retreat to their own lodgings for a little quiet time.
Lyth Valley Country House, Crosthwaite, Cumbria
Few and far between are the holiday rentals that can sleep up to 25 – and even rarer are those that do it in the style and luxury of Lyth Valley Country House. Situated in Crosthwaite, near Kendal in the Lake District, the hillside location of the nine-bedroom, nine-bathroom home means it offers spectacular views over the surrounding countryside, which are best enjoyed from its spacious first floor terrace.
Elsewhere, an industrial-style kitchen offers all the facilities you need to cook up a storm for your group while a large living/dining area with games room and bar will keep everyone occupied should the weather keep you from exploring the great outdoors. Lucky enough to get some sunshine? A hot tub, sauna and lawn make for perfect al fresco entertainment options.