Spotting the wild and wonderful is part of the fun of staying at Seafront Cottages in north east Scotland, from the Aurora Borealis to orca and minke whales. Rare seabirds often share this unique get-away only five metres from the water’s edge.
Seafront Cottages consists of a cosily renovated former fisherman’s abode linked to the rest of the cottage to form one well equipped holiday property in the hamlet of Pitullie, about two miles from the town of Fraserburgh.
It is ideal for couples or indeed people staying solo, including writers or artists anxious to coax their creative muse into the open, but it can easily accommodate two more adults by use of the lounge sofabed.
The pet friendly property neighbours a popular diving area and has its own boat house with direct access to a small harbour.
Large stormproof windows give outstanding views of those coastal sunsets, as does the garden with decking, firepit and seating including ‘a pew with a view’.
Owner Susan Emmison says: “The wildlife is amazing and we get frequent meteor showers. It’s great for golfers and there’s a coastal path to Rosehearty Golf Club. It’s a short drive to Speyside Whisky Trail and there’s lots of history with a strong connection to the Jacobites Pitullie was a very early settlement. Pitullie Castle is within sight of the cottage.”
Ayrshire & Arran
Families and friends can enjoy the Isle of Arran with every comfort they could wish for when they book into Westfield House, your ‘home from home’ self catering accommodation, perfectly placed for sampling all that Arran has to offer.
Westfield House is a spacious, characterful, four bedroomed holiday home, within 100 yards of a sandy beach. The west facing terraced garden overlooks Kilbrannan Sound and the Mull of Kintyre, offering spectacular sunsets and the chance to spot red squirrels, seals, otters and seabirds.
The tastefully renovated property sleeps seven plus a baby and includes a large fan oven, halogen hob and dishwasher in the farmhouse-style kitchen. Relax by a wood burning stove for cosy evenings in while watching the 42 inch TV with cinema sound.
Internet, Wi-Fi, I-Pod docking, DVD’s, books and games are also provided for entertainment.
Owners Simon and Louise Nottage recommend Westfield House whether you just want to relax, explore the island or challenge yourself with adventure sports.
“The accommodation is great, you instantly feel at home.” says Simon. “It’s in a very rural location along with two other houses, but Pirnmill village is only a mile away.
Their guests agree: ‘you have a niche product’… ‘perfect for families and dog-loving people who just want to relax’… ‘a lovely self-catering house’… ‘It feels more like we’re borrowing a home – Highly recommended’
Angus & Dundee
Outstanding contemporary self catering accommodation awaits visitors to Peel Farm, a 4 Star holiday venue superbly placed for a fabulous range of Scotland’s iconic activities including golf, fishing and skiing.
The accommodation sits in picture perfect countryside at the foot of a glen near the village of Lintrathen, Angus. Charming on site facilities include a well stocked farm shop, a children’s farm trail with friendly animals and a coffee shop serving fresh home made food.
Peel Farm guests can be sure of peaceful surroundings and luxurious comfort when they stay in one of two eco-friendly cottages which have been imaginatively converted from 17th century farm buildings. Both properties have high quality furniture and equipment throughout.
The Old Cow Byre has four bedrooms, three king sized and a single, including one en-suite on the ground floor. A separate bathroom has a shower over a bath. The open plan lounge, kitchen and dining area has bi-fold doors opening to stunning views while the outside has its own courtyard with hot tub.
Smaller but similarly well appointed, The Old Bothy has two bedrooms which can be made king size or twin as desired and an open plan kitchen and living area. It is open to two well behaved dogs.
Four luxury glamping pods with hot tubs are being added soon, overlooking a river gorge.
Rothbury Holiday Cottages offer delightful self catering accommodation right in the heart of Northumberland, and the owners who live locally look after them so well that visitors often return again and again.
The three stone built cottages owned by Graham and Dorothy are all in the pretty village of Rothbury and are rated 4 Star by Enjoy England. Kept in impeccable condition two, Dragonfly and Ethie Lodge, are right in the heart of the village known as the ‘Capital of Coquetdale’, well placed for amenities which include around 50 shops, pubs and tea rooms as well as the River Coquet. The other, Cairn Rigg, is in a quiet country lane about 10 minutes’ walk from the village centre and guests can take their well behaved dogs by arrangement.
Many visitors take themselves off to the larger town of Alnwick, with its famous castle and gardens, or off for some bracing exercise in the lovely Cheviot Hills or off to the coast, perhaps walking the Pilgrim’s Way to the Holy Island, Lindisfarne.
“We have lived here over 30 years so when local things are happening we can let our guests know about them and can tell them about places of interest,” says Graham. “People like dealing with us directly rather than going through booking agents and quite a few of the guests have become friends, coming back regularly.”
Couples can find their perfect romantic setting in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Derwent View Cottage, a contemporary new self catering holiday cottage where sheep and cattle graze nearby.
A fabulous property rated 4 Star Gold by Visit England, Derwent View Cottage has one beautiful double bedroom. An open plan living area with flat screen TV has patio doors opening out on to a spacious decking area from which to relish the breathtaking views, including the autumn scenes of heather clad Pennine peaks.
Preparing and eating meals is a pleasure in the well equipped kitchen, and there is every convenience from wi-fi to a wood burning stove.
Derwent View Cottage is only a few minutes’ distant from Derwent Reservoir and an ideal spot for writers and artists, wildlife watchers, golfers, anglers and, of course, walkers.
Owner Pat Bell says: “It has lovely views all round and nobody bothers you, yet it is very central for Durham, the Metro Centre and Newcastle. It is situated half a mile from the A68 which provides good road links to Hexham, Alnwick and Hadrian’s Wall.
“There are a lot of National Trust properties within the area and we are less than an hour from the coast with the lovely sandy beaches of Tynemouth and Whitley Bay.”
NESTLED in the charming village of Broomhaugh, in the rural heart of Northumberland, Yew Tree Cottage offers the perfect location to explore the many treasures of the beautiful North East of England.
The delightful, dog-friendly, cottage offers a home-from-home experience, two bedrooms to accommodate three guests, enclosed rear courtyard and front garden and all the outstanding facilities you would expect from a holiday home boasting a Visit England Gold Award.
But the true beauty of Yew Tree Cottage is its central location in the heart of this stunning part of the world.
By car, or by train (just a few hundred yards from the cottage in neighbouring Riding Mill and with direct links in to the bustling city of Newcastle and the famed Metro Centre) the idyllic counties of Northumberland, County Durham and the Scottish borders are all within touching distance.
Visit the historic town of Hexham, or the ‘jewel in the crown of Northumberland’ Corbridge – famed for supplying troops to the nearby Hadrian’s Wall and one of the oldest medieval bridges in the land.
Just a handful of miles north is the remarkable Kielder Observatory – one of the finest observatories in the land where you can gaze at the stunning night skies.
Kielder Water and Forest Park – home to northern Europe’s largest man-made lake and England’s largest forest are also not to be missed.
These are just a small selection of the many wonderful things to enjoy in this remarkable corner of England – not to mention the fabulous offerings for walkers, cyclists, kayakers, golfers and those who just love a good view or a visit to the coast.
All of which make Yew Tree Cottage the perfect place for your next get-away – and a very worthy Editor’s Choice.
Period property lovers will adore St John’s Croft B&B, a Grade II Queen Anne town house situated within a conservation area near the centre of Winchester that possesses many original features including pine panelling, wooden floorboards and flagstones. With stunning views towards the cathedral and five minutes’ walk to the famous King Alfred Statue, the accommodation is a short stroll into Winchester town centre.
Believed to date from the 1720s, owners Dotty and Nick Fraser moved from London to Winchester in 1997 and set about restoring the property to its former glory before opening it as a B&B in 2001. St Johns Croft has a wonderful ambience and a very relaxed atmosphere. The house has been featured in several leading interior magazines thanks to the lovely decoration throughout the house.
Each of the three large comfortable bedrooms are decorated simply, with white cotton sheets on beds. Facilities include wash basins, TVs and radios plus tea and coffee facilities. Once guests have stirred they can tuck into breakfast cooked in the Aga served in the kitchen.
Winchester is home to the largest farmer’s market in the UK, which is held on the second and last Sunday of the month, while an antiques market on the first Sunday and Art & Design market on the third Sunday means the weekends are always busy in the city.
Gourmets will be spoilt for choice by the diverse range of restaurants on offer in Winchester: Rick Stein has a restaurant here, while just down the road there’s the Chesil Rectory. Located in a grade II listed Medieval house, this romantic spot serves up modern British food, with oven roasted pheasant, Goosnargh duck breast and braised blade of beef on the menu.
Set in the picturesque countryside of County Durham, this newly renovated single storey cottage was converted from a barn and provides the perfect place to relax after exploring the nearby Durham Dales.
The cottage has two bedrooms including a master with an ensuite, and both are decked with super king size beds. It’s a charming mix of old and new, with original vaulted ceilings complemented by modern luxuries like under-floor heating to keep you cosy in the winter months. A spacious open plan living area with vaulted ceiling and wood burning stove leads to a fully equipped kitchen and dining area with table and four chairs. The cottage is self-contained with its own private driveway and car park plus a secured shed for storage and bikes. The garden is known to be something of a sun trap and is equipped with patio furniture and a barbecue. This secure private garden is ideal for your canine companions.
Nearby Hunwick boasts two pubs with restaurants that are within walking distance of this self-catered accommodation. Other nearby attractions include Auckland Castle, the Bowes Museum and Binchester Roman Fort. The cottage is also well-placed to visit Bishop Auckland, where guests can book tickets to watch spectacular outdoor nightshow Kynren, an epic tale of England. Meanwhile, the beautiful historic city of Durham is only nine miles away for those looking for more eating and drinking options, or a spot of shopping.
Retreats don’t come much more rural than at Gamrie Palace Cottage, a newly renovated self catering venue situated on farmland and surrounded by some of Scotland’s most idyllic countryside.
The two-bedroomed cottage can comfortably accommodate four guests and one well behaved dog and while it offers perfect peace and privacy it is only two miles from the sea an the fishing village of Gardenstown, where guests can shop for essentials and socialise. A little further afield are the towns of Macduff, Banff and Fraserburgh, all rich in heritage, history and things to do.
Gamrie Palace Cottage has a lounge, kitchen/diner and a wetroom shower with central heating and unbroken views over that gorgeous countryside. The master bedroom of has a super king sized bed which can be split into two singles if preferred. The second bedroom has a double bed.
There are two 40 inch wall mounted TVs and the furniture and appliances are all of high quality and good taste. Wi-fi is free and unlimited.
Owner Robert Duncan, who lives nearby, says: “There are loads of lovely walks and cycle rides in the area, lots of golf courses, castles to go and see and of course there’s the Whisky Trail. We are only an hour from Aberdeen and two hours from Inverness. Some people stay local, others take off to explore the islands.”
Dumfries & Galloway
Amazing views stretch out in every direction from Ross Bay Retreat, three self-catering cottages fronting the shores of an unspoiled corner of south west Scotland.
The sweeping scenes from these exquisitely coastal cottages may indeed be interrupted, but only by welcome intruders like the cattle and sheep which roam the pastureland of the 500 acre working farm and wilder local residents like red kites, little egrets, cormorants and deer, to name a few.
From Ross Bay Retreat, visitors can see clear to the Lake District and Isle of Man, while close up they can enjoy the beauty of Ross Bay, perhaps beach combing and rockpooling nearby or walking six miles or so into the foodie town of Kircudbright.
Great care and attention are lavished on the pet friendly properties by farming couple Sue and David Dale-Sunley and their children Stephen (13) and Philippa (10), to ensure guests have the best possible break. Creel Cottage, The Old Cheeseloft and Dairy House are two and three bedroomed properties, all fully centrally heated and equipped with modern multi-fuel burning stoves, comfortable furniture and good quality modern appliances including flat screen TV, dishwashers and microwaves.
Guests leave pleasant remarks, frequently praising the attention to detail and homely touches like home made cakes on arrival and complimentary toiletries.
“We want all our guests to feel totally relaxed,” says Sue.
Book lovers, star gazers, walkers and cyclists will all be thrilled to alight on the self catering holiday cottages of Borrowmoss Farm, splendidly placed within a mile of Wigtown on the beautiful Scottish sea coast of the Solway Firth.
The three Borrowmoss cottages have been creatively converted from a byre into delightful single storey cottages which each sleep up to four people in a double and twin bedroom or can be hired together to suit a party of 12.
Two of the cottages, Teal and Greylag, are pet friendly with insulated kennels and dog runs provided free of charge. All are non-smoking throughout, comfortably furnished and fully equipped, with shared use of a laundry and drying area and of a large, secure garden which is safe for children.
Close by are spectacular attractions including Galloway Forest, a designated Dark Sky Park offering perfect views of the night sky, hilly terrain which makes superb walking, cycling and horse riding territory, excellent salmon and trout fishing on the rivers Cree and Bladnoch and within a mile, Scotland’s designated National Book Town, Wigtown. The district is full of wildlife and the cottages are ideally placed for exploring.
“The cottages have the double aspect of the hills and the coast,” says owner John Jackson. “The locals are friendly and there are lots of activities to enjoy.”
Norfolk & Suffolk
Exquisite taste and comfort await guests booking into Blakeney House, a family run boutique bed & breakfast on the unspoiled North Norfolk coast famous for wildlife and wide open vistas.
Children are always welcome in this pleasant venue which has nine beautifully decorated, fresh and spacious guest bedrooms sleeping two to four people. Cots and children’s beds can be added on request and there is no shortage of activities in this district of long sandy beaches, adventure parks and family attractions.
Close to Blakeney Quay, Blakeney House earned a 2016 Certificate of Excellence from the travel website TripAdvisor, with guests praising the décor, immaculate surroundings and great care taken by owners Paul and Louise Delamain in looking after them.
Paul and Louise fell in love with Blakeney after taking their own holidays there and bought the Victorian property because of its fabulous qualities including a large private garden, a guests’ dining room and sitting room and ample parking. The location is perfect location for sailors, walkers, cyclists and wildlife watchers.
The premises are fully licensed and offer not only delicious, high quality breakfasts but also lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. Welcoming refreshments are provided on arrival.
“We are very hands on,” says Paul. “Nothing is too much trouble. Most people when they are here say it is a home from home.”
If you’d like to get away from it all in scenic Scotland but still have easy access to city shops, eateries and entertainment, self catering in Newhall Estate Cottages could well be your idyllic match.
Newhall Estate Cottages are holiday accommodation linked to an historic mansion covering a whopping 1,100 acres of picturesque landscape of Pentland Hills in the Scottish Borders. This is somewhere you can walk uninterrupted for hours yet still enjoy the numerous attractions of Edinburgh only 12 miles away.
The four cottages at Newhall and the nearby Spittal Farm range from a cosy one bedroomed property to suit couples up to a three bedroomed house sleeping up to six people, all gloriously placed in the countryside of a working sheep farm and available for week or longer lets.
The accommodation is owned by John and Tricia Kennedy, who live with their family in the manor house on the estate, which was built in 1703. They look after the properties to ensure the highest standards of comfort, cleanliness and amenity.
The cottages have all been converted from farm buildings to retain their period charm and olde worlde features while at the same time fulfilling modern expectations with equipment including satellite TV, DVD, hot water and central heating provided by eco-friendly biomass boilers and kitchen equipment including fridge freezers, dishwashers, microwave ovens and washer driers.
Guests of Newhall Estate Cottages invariably love the many lovely walks around the estate and some take advantage of the chance to fish for brown trout on the North Esk Reservoir.
For people planning special events, Newhall Estate could double as both a celebration and a holiday location. The spectacular gardens are ideal for photographs and the venue makes an exceptional location for weddings and receptions, with couples having exclusive use throughout their weekend.
Shropshire & Welsh Borders
Darky Dale Forest Stables has hand picked horses from 10 hands to 17 hands high catering for complete beginners to experienced riders of all ages, guided by Gina’s professional team.
Experiences available include supervised scenic treks of four to seven hours broken by amicable stops at a cosy pub and a paddle in the local rivers. There are discounts for group and corporate bookings.
People can book rides or lessons of anything duration from half an hour upwards and Darky Dale’s bespoke pony parties are always great fun and a huge hit with children.
People can even take part in the care of a horse, perhaps as preparation for owning their own.
A six berth static caravan is available to rent, with 20% discounts off riding activities. Hirers can bring their own horses and dogs to enjoy off road forest treks or gain direct access to professionally built mountain biking trails.