Forss House, The North Highlands
Located in the far north of Scotland, Forss House is set on 20 acres of woodland and sits below a waterfall, on the gently meandering River Forss. With just 13 bedrooms, the house is informal and friendly and has homely roaring log fires in winter. There is fishing and pony trekking in the area, as well as highland castles to explore. A family room is available for £170 per night. For all other rooms, prices start from £110 per room per night including a full Scottish breakfast.
Natural Retreats, Yorkshire Dales
Go eco-friendly in the Yorkshire Dales in a Natural Retreats residence. This holiday accommodation is designed to blend into the landscape and all the buildings are made from sustainable wood and glass. Each one has three double bedrooms and an elegant, uncluttered feel, with open-plan living space and a hi-tech kitchen. Environmentally friendly features include built-in recycling bins and underfloor heating. There are no gimmicks or swimming pools – just amazing views and the wide-open outdoors. Two nights cost from £325 per residence, with five nights in summer from £880.
Rosliston Forestry Centre, Derbyshire
Tucked away in The National Forest in south Derbyshire is Rosliston Forestry Centre. There are four luxury timber lodges, each able to accommodate up to ten people. Nestling in the young woodland, they are perfect for family breaks. Lodges are made from sustainable timber and the 150-acre site has oodles of activities for children from archery to pond-dipping, falconry displays and an adventure play area. Prices range from £250 to £650 per lodge for a weekend or midweek break.
Chess and Apple Blossom Cottage, Herefordshire
Stay in a luxury cottage on a working farm in Herefordshire with your own herb garden. Located in Kinnersley, eight miles from Hay, this beautiful apple farm has two cottages – Chess and Apple Blossom. Each cottage sleeps four, and children will love to stay here, as they get to help out by putting up bird boxes or heaping up piles of wood to encourage wildlife. Travel cots and high chairs to accommodate babies are available. Cottage prices start from £450 per week.
Billed as an eco-friendly village, Bluestone is nestled within 500 acres of the ancient woodland of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Opening this summer, the luxury timber lodges are perfect for a short break and the design follows a typical Welsh village layout. In the village, there’s a sports club, children’s adventure playground, an exclusive spa and the Blue Lagoon waterpark. Bluestone is set to welcome guests from July 4 with prices starting from £150 for a short break in a two-bedroom lodge.
Mesmear, North Cornwall
This beautiful coastal estate has the added appeal of being neighbours with the fashionable town of Rock. The Mill is one of three recently converted cottages at Mesmear and comes complete with a cook and a housekeeper. The combination of contemporary furnishings, indulgent bathrooms and a heated outdoor pool is almost too good to believe for a family break. For children, there’s a cabin bedroom, a den with beanbags, baskets of toys and nursery equipment, plus enclosed gardens. The Mill can sleep six adults and four children, plus cots, with prices starting from £6,000 per week.
The Cove, Lamorna
Situated near Mousehole, Cornwall, The Cove is a grand old building that has been converted into a number of stunning contemporary apartments, with an acclaimed restaurant and an inspiring coastal location. There are impressive interiors, original artworks, huge four-poster beds and a sophisticated bar and restaurant. For children, there’s a timber outdoor play area, heated outdoor swimming pool and pet rabbits. Accommodation is in studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartments; luxury yurts are also available with modern conveniences such as flatscreen televisions and DVD players. Prices start from £150 per night in a yurt to £2750 for a week in a two-bedroom apartment.
Retallack, North Cornwall
Retallack Resort is a collection of airy, timber-and-glass self-catering lodges located in the rolling hills near the north Cornish coast. Each house has a private terrace with its own barbecue and outdoor eating area. On site, there’s an indoor swimming pool complex with gym and beauty treatment rooms. For the more sporty in the family there are outdoor tennis courts and a nine-hole pitch-and-putt golf course. Activities for children include treasure hunts and Camel Trail Bike Rides. Three-night breaks start at £275 for a two-bedroom lodge and £375 for a four-bedroom lodge.
Fixit and Mixit Cottages, Devon
Two exceptionally quaint cottages on a working dairy farm that is hidden in a country valley near Kingsbridge, south Devon. The cottages have all been converted from huge barns and have shared use of a heated indoor pool and a large flat lawn. Sleeping four and two, respectively, Fixit and Mixit Cottages have cots and high chairs available. Prices start from £209 per cottage, per week.
The Granary, Guernsey
A clutch of sumptuous, five-star self-catering apartments, The Granary nestles snugly in a granite hillside. A break in Guernsey is a traditional British seaside holiday with a French twist – think lobster meunière and Chablis as well as traditional pub grub. There are plenty of opportunities for children to get out and about with rock pools and endless sandy beaches to explore. A two-bedroom apartment starts at £300 per week.
The Barge Aground, Jersey
Stay somewhere really unusual in Jersey through the Jersey Heritage Trust, which specialises in historic accommodation. The Barge Aground is built in the shape of a grounded boat and overlooks the breathtaking sunsets of St Ouen, which is also famous for its superb surfing. There’s an outside dining area with amazing views and steps leading down to the sea wall and beach. The Barge Aground sleeps a family of four and a short break costs from £360 per room.
Fairfield Barns, Bath
Just outside Bath, Fairfield Barns consists of three five-star-rated stone barns complete with an indoor heated swimming pool, tennis courts, wooden trail, a mini-slide for toddlers and a log cabin playhouse full of toys. Adults can enjoy the gym and sauna while the cottages have cots and high chairs for babies. The beautiful city of Bath, with its famous Roman spa, is nearby. Prices start from £650 per week.
Garlic Farm, Isle of Wight
The famous Garlic Farm is home to six cottages that have been created from traditional buildings around Mersley Farm in the Isle of Wight’s rural heartland. Mill Cottage is an early 19th-century stone barn that faces the Downs and sleeps six. There’s free WiFi internet access and use of a tennis court. The highlight of staying at Mersley Farm is the on-site Garlic Farm shop – a great place for fresh local produce and to sample a diverse range of garlic products, including smoked garlic, garlic flour and even garlic honey! One week will cost £200 per person.
Brackenborough Hall, Lincolnshire
In the grounds of Brackenborough Hall, three stunning apartments form part of a Grade Two-listed 18th-century coach house. The Hall itself is set in the grounds of a deserted medieval village. The original herringbone stone floors and exposed beams have been conserved, so the accommodation is really atmospheric. The apartments accommodate from four to eight people when occupied separately, but are also ideal for much larger groups who can enjoy the exclusive use of the entire building. The city of York is an easy day trip. From £125 per apartment for a short break or £265 for a week in low season.
Wendy – The Aberporth Express, Ceredigion
Enjoy some of the finest views in Wales from Wendy, The Aberporth Express – a converted Edwardian railway carriage located on the coastal footpath between the sandy Blue Flag beaches at Aberporth and Tresaith. The beaches are great for fishing, rock-pooling and crabbing. From your carriage window, you can look for bottle-nose dolphins, seals and porpoises that appear along this stretch of the coast. Built around 1905 as a sleeper coach for the Great Western Railway, Wendy sleeps five in the two train compartment bedrooms. The carriage is beautifully restored and lined in oak. There are open fields to the rear, sea to the front, an enclosed garden and no neighbours. Prices start from £229 per compartment for a three-night weekend.
West Stoke House, Chichester
Check into this gorgeous boutique bed and breakfast just outside Chichester and enjoy walks on the South Downs, splashing around at West Wittering and cuisine by Darren Brown, formerly of the Lanesborough in London. There are only eight rooms, one of which – Rosemary – has an adjoining children’s room; while Thyme has bunk beds, its own television and a games console. Cots and baby monitors can be supplied. There are five acres of gardens on site to explore, complete with a croquet lawn and treehouse. From £130 to £215 per room, per night, B&B.
Fritton House, Norfolk
Set in the 5,000-acre grounds of the Somerleyton Estate on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, Fritton House is a chic boutique hideaway of just nine rooms and a restaurant. The hotel is surrounded by rolling parkland and sits on the edge of the calm waters of Fritton Lake, with boating and fishing trips available. Rooms suitable for families have original wooden beams and fabulous views over the estate. Cots and babysitting can be arranged. Prices start from £137 per room for a short break, B&B.
Grant Cottage, Loch Ness
Built in an environmentally sensitive manner using local materials and stone, Grant Cottage is made all the more attractive by its beautiful Loch Ness setting. There are two bedrooms and an open-plan living area, with solid oak floors, free WiFi, a log burner and satellite television. A stream that’s perfect for paddling and fishing runs through the garden, and there’s a patio area with a barbecue. As well as farm animals, children can keep their eyes peeled for deer and eagles. Prices start from £575 to £920 per week.
Hayfield Manor, Cork
This five-star hotel is surprisingly child-friendly for such a posh hideaway. It provides mini bathrobes, milk and cookies at bedtime, babysitting, and children’s menus in all its restaurants. Although it’s in the middle of Cork, the hotel is an oasis of peace, surrounded by two acres of gardens. There’s an Elemis spa and indoor pool for a spot of pampering. The charming city of Cork is on the doorstep and if you rent a car, gorgeous sandy beaches are within easy reach. Price start from around £83 per person, per night, B&B.
Linthwaite House, Lake District
Linthwaite House is a stylish boutique hotel situated on a hilltop overlooking Lake Windermere. It’s one of the AA’s top 200 hotels, with a Three Rosette award for outstanding food, and interiors more reminiscent of Ralph Lauren than Laura Ashley. There are plenty of attractions nearby and it even has its own tarn where you can fish for brown trout or just relax and listen to the silence. From £160 per room, B&B, with children an extra £25 per night.