If you’re planning a luxury self-catering break in the UK this year, but are stuck on where to go, our handy guide to five of the UK’s top spots is a perfect place to start. Whether you’re after peace and quiet in luxurious surroundings, tranquil natural beauty, thrilling races, cultural treasures or elegant dining; you’ll find all of the above and a lot more – around the UK.
Class, charm and charisma in the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds is renowned across the world for its picturesque little villages, beautiful green hills and charming atmosphere. A luxury self-catering cottage in the Cotswolds is a perfect way to enjoy the best of all worlds.
The Cotswolds offers a great balance between relaxed country living and classic English culture; so one day you can enjoy a thrilling day at Cheltenham race course, and the next browse for antiques at one of the many fine antique shops.
The pretty towns and villages are dotted around the Cotswolds and are full of character and quintessential English charm; with honey-coloured stone buildings, village greens and a fantastic selection of first-class gastro-pubs to choose from.
Castles, culture and classic trains in Ludlow
Nestled on the Welsh border, Ludlow is a bustling and vibrant market town alive with attractions, whatever your tastes. Ludlow is viewed by many as a foodie’s paradise and offers a great selection of places to eat; from market stalls and artisan shops to world-class Michelin starred restaurants.
Enjoy a luxury break in this unique medieval town and take in its many delights; from the classic medieval market to the cream of contemporary culture and gastronomic delights.
Explore the scenic ruins of Ludlow Castle and take in the town’s Norman history through its well-preserved architecture. If classic engineering is more your thing, then be sure to check out the nearby Ironbridge Gorge; the birthplace of the first steam locomotive.
Poetic beauty in the Lake District
The scenic vistas of the Lake District have charmed and inspired people from around the world for hundreds of years and make the perfect spot for a truly tranquil holiday.
Walk in the footsteps of classic poets like Wordsworth, writers such as Ruskin or Beatrice Potter, to contemporary celebs like Brangelina (who booked up an entire boat house for their own getaway!) You’ll soon fall in love with its timeless appeal.
Absorb the seemingly endless expanse of beautiful scenery with a leisurely stroll (or an energetic hike!). For an extra special day out, why not hire a boat and take to the water with a bottle of fizz and picnic hamper? If you fancy a change of pace, it’s hard to beat the views from the top of The Old Man of Coniston!
Find something for everyone in the New Forest
From its beautiful woodland scenery to wind-swept coastland and charming villages, the New Forest has a wealth of gems waiting for you to uncover. A luxury cottage is the perfect way to set up base, and explore the wildlife of this British treasure.
Savour the sights, sounds and smells of the magical forest scenery – from wild deer and New Forest ponies to the lush and vibrant Bluebell Trail. Whether you’re an old pro or a beginner, horse and pony riding is a great way to explore the Forest – there are plenty of helpful riding schools around.
If you are a rider, why not rent a cottage with stabling and take your horse for a break too? Once you’ve worked up an appetite, there are lots of tantalising local tearooms, pubs and restaurants waiting for you to enjoy!
When you’ve finished your hiking, cycling or riding through the forest; why not pamper yourself with a spa day at one of the boutique hotels in the area? Or a day out to make you truly green with envy; why not take in the unique collection of cars and motoring memorabilia at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu?
Stunning scenery across the Scottish Highlands
With warm hospitality, breath-taking scenery and quintessential Scottish culture, the Scottish Highlands make the perfect romantic holiday. Treat yourself to a break that you will treasure for a lifetime.
Food and drink is Scotland’s lifeblood, and a visit to the Highlands allows you to sample its tantalising delights. With local Aberdeen Angus beef, wild trout, oysters, salmon and langoustine; all local produce derives from the clear waters and rolling hills. However, you must remember to leave room for a small Scottish malt!
Take the opportunity to “live like a Laird” on one of Scotland’s many estates and try some of the more traditional field sports that the Scottish Highlands has to offer such as stalking, fishing or shooting.
Steve Jarvis is the Managing Director of Independent Cottages.