Now that the weather is turning decidedly chilly here in the UK, my thoughts are turning towards weekends away in cosy country cottages or hotels, where we can head out for long walks and then warm ourselves by the fire with a nice warming glass of something alcoholic… If you’re planning on honeymooning over the winter period, you may be perfectly happy to make the most of the colder weather, rather than jetting off for some winter sun. And why not? Here’s a few delightfully cosy places to stay in the UK that might just tempt you to stay at home.
September Cottage, North Bovey, Devon
Dartmoor is perhaps my most favourite place in the UK, and though it’s wonderful throughout the year, in my opinion it’s at its best in winter, when the moors seem especially dramatic and wild, and you can make up for those blustery walks by retreating afterwards to a gorgeous old pub. And where better to stay in Dartmoor then a gorgeous fifteenth-century thatched-roof cottage?
With fireplaces in both the living and dining rooms, and an Aga in the kitchen, this is every inch the cosy countryside cottage you really want at this time of year. It’s been beautifully decorated in keeping with the property’s age, while seeming modern and stylish at the same time. It’s situated in the charming village of North Bovey, so you’ll be able to wander down to the local pub (always a bonus), and Dartmoor is literally right on your doorstep. The only trouble will be dragging yourselves away from the cottage to explore the world outside…
From £1000 a week (shorter stays available).
The Inn at Whitewell, Lancashire
Winter is the perfect time to make the most of the many fantastic old country pubs in the UK, and I love staying at a “pub with rooms”, not least because it means just stumbling upstairs after sampling some of the local beers. Set in a pair of gorgeous old buildings on the edge of the fells, with beautiful views over the countryside, the Inn at Whitewall is another great place for brisk walks before retreating to a fireside seat in the bar to sample some local food and drink.
The rooms are surprisingly luxurious for a pub – expect lots of dark wooden furniture, floral (but not fussy) fabrics, and even the luxury of a fireplace. Bathrooms are kitted out with antique bathtubs, and there’s beautiful views from the restaurant. A really gorgeous retreat – and you’re not far from Manchester or Leeds if you fancied combining a stay here with a few days in a city.
From £113 a night.
The Grove, Pembrokeshire
I’ve obviously read far too many Classics as, for me, the British coastline is at its dramatic best in winter, though of course I know that thousands (no, millions?) would disagree. Pembrokeshire has a well-deserved reputation for having one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the UK; and, set among the gorgeous countryside, The Grove is ideally placed for exploring this part of Wales.
I love the combination of striking wallpaper and period features (including roll-top baths – always a luxurious touch), which create the sumptuous feel that you really want from a winter hideaway. If the weather isn’t in your favour, you can cosy up in the lounge bar by the log fire, or enjoy locally-sourced food (including some from their own kitchen garden) in the restaurant. That said, you won’t want to miss out on exploring the local area – wonderful coastal walks, cute little fishing villages, boutiques and galleries in nearby Narberth, and more activities (mountain-biking, golfing, coasteering…) than you’ll have time to squeeze in.