There’s nothing quite like countryside getaways to help us forget our work worries and the stresses of day-to-day life. They’re, quite literally, a breath of fresh air and a chance for people to recharge in the lush green scenery the UK has to offer.
Whether you prefer the indulgence of a luxury hotel and spa or the rustic charm of a shepherd’s hut and hot tub nesting on WPC decking, there are plenty of countryside getaways conveniently located across the nation. As a seasoned weekend-breaker, I’ve compiled my top tips for finding the ultimate destinations for your next trip.
Cottages are a popular choice for a luxury couples’ retreat, with many offering plush furnishings, cosy vibes and even a swimming pool or hot tub if you’re pushing the boat out. The self-catering option gives you the ultimate convenience too, allowing you to pack a picnic hamper for a stroll across the fields, or opt for a pint and a pub lunch when the mood strikes.
With so many on offer, there are a few key features to keep in mind when booking, such as parking, if pets are allowed, and what facilities are available. For me, a holiday isn’t a holiday without a proper cup of coffee in the morning, so a coffee machine is a huge bonus!
I’d also encourage you to think about the location. A quaint chocolate-box village may look lovely, but it’s not the most convenient if you want to hit the restaurants and bars in the evening. Scope out what’s nearby and make sure it suits your needs to avoid forking out hefty taxi bills each night.
For countryside getaways with added grandeur, why not stay in a country house? If you’re celebrating a special event and are travelling with a larger group, hiring a whole house is a great way to keep everyone together. Regardless of whether you want a summer or winter break, hiring one large space gives you extra versatility to entertain your group.
For a more intimate luxury couples’ retreat, some manors have been broken down into smaller apartments or even hotels and B&Bs. You might get lucky and find one with a few added amenities, such as saunas, rainfall showers and artisan teas or coffees. Whatever extras you’re looking for, it’s still fun to play lord and lady of the manor for a weekend!
Glamorous camping, aka glamping, has become one of the most popular options for countryside getaways. With a range of beautiful bell tents, yurts and treehouses to name but a few options, it’s the ideal way to immerse yourself in nature without the need for packing all of your camping gear.
The main thing I’ve learned from glamping is to check your electricity requirements. Some pitches have electric hookups, some offer them for an extra charge, and others don’t provide them at all. Of course, for a luxury couples’ retreat, I’d also recommend scoping out the toilet and shower facilities. You don’t want your winter break tainted by the horrific memories of scuttling to a portaloo in the middle of the night.
Glamping is one of my favourite ways to enjoy a weekend away without spending a fortune. Depending on how rustic you want to go, make sure you find a site with the right glamping facilities for you.
Hotels or B&Bs
There aren’t many prettier sights than country retreats with roses, honeysuckle and wisteria rambling up the old stone walls. It’s a vision that completely disconnects me from work and the daily grind, allowing for the mental switch-off and the engagement of holiday mode.
One of the best features of hotels or B&Bs is the food. Local produce cooked and served up to you in a delicious delicacy with no washing up is just delightful. For many of us, cooking isn’t an appealing prospect when considering countryside getaways, which makes these kinds of stays so appealing.
As you’ll be staying with hosts, I recommend doing your research to find the right balance for you. You’ll find some more willing than others to get involved with your stay, such as letting you collect eggs from the chickens or advising you on the local area. Of course, cost is the other element to consider. You do tend to pay a premium for these beautifully cooked meals and extra benefits.
Countryside getaways in a shepherd’s hut are a unique experience. Not quite glamping, but not in the same league as cottages, manors and hotels either. Whatever you class them as they’re certainly up there in the luxury couples’ retreat stakes. With comfy beds, log burners, beautiful furniture indoors and out, and the inevitably breathtaking surroundings, a weekend away in one of these is a little slice of paradise.
Some offer bathroom facilities, while others are more basic and require a pair of wellies to stamp across the fields for a loo break. So keep this in mind when booking your break, especially if you or your travel partner have a strong aversion to camping toilets!
If you’re aiming for a romantic getaway, my best recommendation is to find a shepherd’s hut with a hot tub. If you want to keep up with the “back to nature” feel, I’m a big fan of the log burner-style hot tubs. Loading the timber and enjoying the heady scent of wood smoke really adds to the atmosphere as you sit back in the tub, relax and enjoy a glass of bubbly or 2.
For countryside getaways with a difference, there are all kinds of niche properties for your holiday. Double-decker buses converted into luxury rooms? Yep. Treehouses under the stars? You got it. Whatever you fancy, just give it a go and enjoy the adventure.