Scottish Daily Mail
HOUSES BIG AND SMALL OVER THE FESTIVE BREAK
You’ve got five days to spend with friends and family... so head for the hills!
Families can reunite over Christmas — no matter what tier you’re in. For five days from December 23 (December 22 in Northern ireland) three households can get together and the rule of six won’t apply.
Traditionally, many of us would choose to celebrate in the comfort of our own homes, but, with the best part of this year spent staring at the same four walls, we may be looking for a change of scene. and, luckily, there are plenty of self- catering properties with availability during the tierfree period. From seaside cottages to stately piles, here are the most charming properties for a festive family fiesta.
SETTLE INTO SOMERSET
KiCK-sTarT Christmas morning with a swim in the indoor heated pool at Boheme, a 16th- century cider press turned boho farmhouse in somerset. Nine bedrooms, arranged in a horseshoe sleeping up to 20, sit across from the vast living area, meaning some can snooze while others stay up into the small hours chatting. The l arge farmhouse table i s perfectly set up for a family games night and Christmas dinner. CROWD PLEASERS: The entertainment room’s gigantic projector and open fire. TIER: Two BOOK IT: seven nights f rom December 22 for £15,495 ( uniquehomestays.com).
A CORNISH CHARMER
FaNCy Christmas on the coast? rosewell Cottage is just a short distance from the turquoise bays surrounding st ives, recently voted the happiest place in Britain. Prepare Christmas lunch in the well- equipped kitchen, before tucking in on the dining room’s French bistro table. One of the three bedrooms, which sleep six, has bunk beds.
TIER: One CROWD PLEASERS: The trickling stream and pretty r eservoir
—which can be fished with a permit. BOOK IT: Seven nights from December 21 from £2,520 ( boutiqueretreats.co.uk)
ALL SET FOR SUFFOLK
PrOPerTieS don’t get much prettier (or quintessentially British) than wisteria-clad Flora and Fauna i n Worlingham, Suffolk. Set on 448 acres of private land (yes, you read that right), the property’s five bedrooms, sleeping nine, come with heavy curtains, Tibetan furniture and original artwork. a homely Christmas lunch can be made in the traditional cream aga. CROWD PLEASERS: Those grounds, including the wild meadows andtrees, some hundreds of years old. TIER: Two BOOK IT: Five nights from December 23 for £13,829 ( plumguide.com).
HISTORY IN YORKSHIRE
HiGH Hall is a 16th-century country house bursting with history andcharacter. Set on the edge of the delightful village of appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the Grade ii-listed property has seven bedrooms (sleeping 14), featuring mullioned windows and oak beams. CROWD PLEASERS: The Minstrels’ Gallery, a great place to sit and read. TIER: Two BOOK IT: Five nights from December 23 for £5,693 ( sykescottages.co.uk).
STARRY SKIES IN SCOTLAND
SPeND Christmas eve watching the sun dip behind the mountains andthe stars appear from Cleughbrae Cottage in Kirkcudbrightshire. The pretty property, which sleeps six, is close to the Dark Sky Park, as well as the 214-mile Southern upland Way coast-to-coast walk. CROWN PLEASERS: The star-gazing. LEVEL: Two BOOK IT: Seven nights from December 23 for £899 ( cottages.com).
A DORSET DELIGHT
THiS lovingly restored 18th-century cottage looks like it’s come straight from the front of a Christmas card. in t he delightful Dorset t own of Wimborne Minster, Meadow Cottage sleeps four in the main property, anda further two in the shepherd’s hut in the walled garden — perfect for adventurous children. CROWD PLEASERS: The nearby Jurassic Coast, as well as unlimitedlogs for the stoves in the shepherd’s hut and living room. TIER: Two BOOK IT: Seven nights from December 21 from £2,042 ( oliverstravels.com).
COSY IN THE COTSWOLDS
NOrTON Hall, Mickleton, is a magnificent Georgian manor house, with spectacular views over the Cotswolds’ Meon Hill. it sleeps up to 18 in four ensuite bedrooms and a further five bedrooms sharing two bathrooms. With tennis courts, an outdoor heatedswimming pool, arboretum, snooker room, cinema room and large drawing room with grand piano, there’s not much Norton Hall doesn’t have.
Open fireplaces feature in many of the rooms — perfect for Father Christmas to squeeze through. CROWD PLEASERS: The 12 acres of private gardens, bursting with seasonal fruit andvegetables which can be picked for Christmas cooking and crumbles. TIER: Two BOOK IT: Seven nights from December 21 for £15,000 ( l uxurycotswold rentals.co.uk)
JuST a ten-minute walk from the beach, Bwthyn Stabal on the peaceful, wildliferich Llyn Peninsula is ideally placed for a family of nature l overs. The pretty converted stable has three bedrooms, some with sea views, and is surroundedby private woods and walled gardens. CROWD PLEASERS: Two of the bedrooms have Victorian open fireplaces. TIER: No tiers in Wales yet BOOK IT: Seven nights from December 22 for £949 ( qualitycottages.co.uk). quali
SLIDE S INTO THE T BEACONS
WaTCH W auntie Julie slither down do for breakfast via the slide sli between floors at the Beautiful Be Bunkhouse, a converted ve church i n Wales’s Brecon Br Beacons. Great for outdoorsy ou teens, it feels like a souped-up sou youth hostel, with 12 pod- style bunks (and a large lar bedroom) sleeping 14. CROWD CR PLEASERS: The slide. ThThe ice-cream van at nearby beabeauty spot Hay Bluff. TIER: TIE No tiers in Wales yet BOOK BO IT: Seven nights from December Dec 21 from £2,444 ( holidaycottages.co.uk). ho