Ahhhhh....a luxury cottage full of character tucked away in the country. Is there anything more seductive for an idyllic holiday or a long weekend break? And to inspire you we thought it would be useful to pick out some of our favourite romantic retreats around the country – with the help of a specialist holiday cottage company whose range of properties in spectacular locations is second to none.
We've got together with Hideaways who have not only come up with a selection of beautiful and romantic places to stay but they're giving all Cool Places folk an exclusive 5% Cool Places discount. To redeem the offer just put the code "COOLPLACES" on the booking request form and 5% will be deducted from the total price. Now that is seductive!
Part of a much larger estate, this brick-built tower was built in the middle of the 19th century for ladies to watch the hunt over the land around, and has recently been restored as the ultimate romantic retreat for two. Situated on 3 floors, it consists of a beautifully fitted kitchen, cosy sitting room and top floor bedroom with en-suite bathroom, and views over the surrounding grounds from this elevated spot that make you feel you're somewhere really special – the ultimate country bolthole for two. We wouldn't blame you if you didn't want to leave, but just in case you do, it's worth knowing that you're just 2 miles from the amazing house and gardens at Stourhead, wonderful footpaths like the 600-mile-long Monarch's Way pass nearby, and you're less than half an hour or so from beautiful Wiltshire towns like Castle Cary, the safari park at Longleat and Bath is less than an hour away.
Contrary to its name, this cottage not really 'above' anywhere; instead this beautiful whitewashed cottage nestles in its own private valley, just a couple of miles from the south Cornwall town of Losthiwthiel, home to Daphne du Maurier, and the gorgeous seaside town of Fowey, where they host the annual Daphne du Maurier literary festival. Perfectly positioned for exploring this part of Cornwall, and handy for the Southwest Coast Path, which passes nearby, it has 4 bedrooms – 3 doubles, 1 single – a comfy sitting room with giant sofas, a dining room with open fire and a brilliantly appointed kitchen. All in all perfect for a family holiday or a group of friends – indeed the garden, and the meadows and woodland beyond, are big enough to make you never want to leave.
Situated in the heart of the South Hams, this large and comfortable house couldn't be better situated. It's just 2 miles from Wonwell Sands beach, with its large expanse of sand at the end of the picturesque Erme estuary; it's also close to Salcombe and the other major towns of the South Hams area, and not far from Dartmoor, with all the national park has to offer – that is, if you can tear yourself away from the house, which is a beamed old converted mill with 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, wood-burning stoves, a lovely kitchen and wifi throughout. It also has a beautiful garden, apple orchard and a patio that's perfect for an evening glass of wine.
The ultimate country retreat, one of the nice things about Lower Goosemoor Cottage is that it feels so remote, yet is so accessible and not far from facilities, situated just 10 minutes or so from the village of Wheddon Cross. Situated in the Somerset half of the Exmoor National Park, this former miner's cottage has polished wooden floors and whitewashed walls, 2 bedrooms, both with en-suite facilities, and lovely grounds, with a bubbling brook and a small lake beyond. It's also in a beautiful location, close to Exmoor's highest point at Dunkery Beacon and the enchanting small town of Dunster with its magnificent castle.
It's not every day you get the chance to stay in your own thatched cottage for two, complete with stepped-gable and crenellated tower. But that's what you get with the Shooting Folly on the Shropshire-Staffordshire border – a beautiful old beamed building that's been converted into the perfect romantic hideaway. It's been beautifully transformed from a ruin, and has all the modern facilities you might expect, including a fitted kitchen with microwave, TV and DVD, but it's lost none of its old-world charm – it has a cosy wood-burning stove and you can even hire a chicken coop from which to collect eggs during your stay. You can set off on any number of walks and footpaths into the surrounding countryside, and it even has a hot tub! Truly a place to switch off your phone, hide the car keys and pretend the world beyond doesn't exist.
If you're looking for a secluded hideaway in the New Forest, look no further: this timber-framed, thatched cottage fronts onto the Avon river and has three-quarters of an acre of garden. Featured in a Sunday Times '100 Best Cottages' feature a few years back, it's actually three properties in one, with additional sleeping accommodation in a nearby Fishing Lodge and the converted Hayloft, so it's perfect for large family gatherings or groups of friends, who can all happily be accommodated in the main building's impressive galleried main sitting room and on the riverside patio.
The Old Pumphouse feels like a real hideaway, tucked away in woodland with its own private yet semi-wild garden, trout stream and small pond. With 3 well-appointed bedrooms, an open fire with plenty of logs, TV and wifi, you could tuck yourself away here quite happily for some time, yet it's within easy distance of the main attractions of the Forest of Dean and the beautiful river Wye, including the ruins of Tintern Abbey and the crossing at Symonds Yat.