Au­tumn in the UK is all about coun­try week­ends: long walks, roar­ing fires and good food

ELLE (UK) - - Contents -

Es­cape the ev­ery­day at one of these ru­ral re­treats



Tucked away in the tiny vil­lage of Clear­well (it has just 25O in­hab­i­tants), known for its caves and cas­tle, Tu­dor Farm­house is a work­ing farm and gourmet bou­tique ho­tel.

The 2O beau­ti­fully de­signed rooms (feather du­vets, del­uge show­ers, roll-top baths, a pal­ette of white and soft grey) are spread across the farm­house, the old stone cider house and hay

barn, with orig­i­nal fea­tures such as vaulted ceil­ings, an­cient oak beams and ex­posed stone walls on show. Out­doorsy types will love the wild­flower mead­ows, 14 acres of grounds, the River Wye (per­fect for ca­noe­ing) and long coun­try walks in the For­est of Dean. Oth­er­wise, in­doors you’ll find roar­ing fires, in-room mas­sages and head chef Rob Cox’s di­vine 2O-mile menu:

think Isle of Wight gaz­pa­cho, River Sev­ern smoked eel and slowroasted Glouces­ter Old Spot pork belly, call­ing for epic lev­els of glut­tony. Clear­well, Glouces­ter­shire; tu­dor­farm­house­ho­ Dou­bles from £13O, B&B



In the teeny, sleepy vil­lage of Brill, just an hour from cen­tral Lon­don (and eight miles from Bices­ter Vil­lage), The Pointer looks ex­actly how you want an English coun­try pub to look: an 18th-cen­tury

red-brick inn, with ex­posed beams, roar­ing

log fires and laven­der spring­ing from its win­dow boxes. There’s a pretty walled beer gar­den, an on-site butcher and, on the

Satur­day morn­ing we were in res­i­dence, a lo­cal

pro­duc­ers/farm­ers’ mar­ket in the car park. It’s been a hit since its launch thanks to its rus­tic, pub-style menu, sourced mostly from the own­ers’

(Fiona and David How­den) farm and es­tate nearby, and served in a con­verted barn. Last sum­mer, they opened four B&B rooms in the 19th-cen­tury Vic­to­rian ter­raced house op­po­site, with oak beams and lime­stone-floored bath­rooms, roll-top baths and but­ler sinks, so that out-of-town­ers can en­joy the cosy-but-cool

vibe, too.

Brill, Buck­ing­hamshire; the­p­oint­er­ Dou­bles

from £13O, B&B


St Ives in au­tumn is heaven:

no traf­fic and few tourists – we took ad­van­tage of this and drove there in a Ford Mon­deo five-door ST-Line X se­ries Pow­er­shift au­to­matic

( While the beaches are empty, there’s still the same blue sea and cool gal­leries (don’t miss the Bar­bara Hep­worth mu­seum and the ex­tended

Tate St Ives), and those windswept clifftop walks to

beau­ti­ful Zen­nor beach. Our new favourite place for

a self-cater­ing stay is Porthminster Town­house, a Ge­or­gian home done

in Scandi-chic style (lots of white, grey and

mint green), with five bed­rooms, large win­dows for sea-view­ing and a cin­ema room for cosy nights in. The gar­den pool is heated (un­til the end of Oc­to­ber), and you’ll be set up with bath robes and a wel­come ham­per of Cor­nish gourmet good­ies

(ar­ti­san bread, lo­cal scones, clot­ted cream and jam). Best of all, you can

even bring your dog. St Ives, Corn­wall; O1872 241241; cor­ Three nights from £1,719,

self-cater­ing; sleeps 1O




If you’re feel­ing a lit­tle hemmed in by ur­ban life, the big skies and sprawl­ing, wild beaches of ru­ral north Nor­folk will pro­vide a calm­ing an­ti­dote. Wells-next-theSea is a bustling lit­tle sea­side town with end­less

miles of un­man­i­cured sands, while five min­utes down the road you will find Holkham Hall, a vast coun­try es­tate, na­ture re­serve and beach. The Vic­to­ria is a 19th-cen­tury coach­ing inn that stands guard on the perime­ter of the Holkham es­tate. Its bar/ restau­rant does a roar­ing

trade in hearty, lo­cally sourced din­ners, with meat from the es­tate’s herds, veg­eta­bles from its walled gar­den and fish

fresh off the boat. It has a cosy feel, with dark wooden floors, open fires and flick­er­ing can­dles; the 2O bed­rooms are tra­di­tional with­out be­ing

stuffy, with vel­vet arm­chairs to curl up in; and the qui­eter An­cient House is just a 3O-sec­ond stroll from the main build­ing. Ba­si­cally: eat, beach, re­peat – un­til they make you leave.

Holkham, Nor­folk; Dou­bles

from £155, B&B


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