The Best British Boltholes for a Romantic Escape
Who says romance is reserved for Paris? For those seeking an escape for two, the UK has much to offer. Tucked away on sprawling farmland, in the corners of country estates and nature reserves, these bucolic boltholes offer a secluded retreat in striking surroundings, with cosy interiors, state-of-the-art wellness facilities and good food to boot. Leave your worries – and your passport – at home.
There are shepherd’s huts, and then there are the two shepherd’s huts designed by former fashion PR Cat Earp and her husband Ant on his family farm in Dorset. Set in a magical location overlooking a lake (cool dips encouraged) in idyllic countryside, the huts come with seductive outdoor baths, cosy fire pits and breakfast hampers filled with locally sourced food, as well as thoughtful interiors, packed with details such as handmade glassware. For a dinner with a difference, book local catering company Flames and Feasts, who will cook up a storm on the fire pit for you.
Discover more about Aller Dorset here.
Grainstore at Coombeshead Farm
Set within 66 acres of meadow, woodland and oak-lined streams, Cornwall’s Coombeshead is both a working farm and a guesthouse. Its old Grain Store has recently been transformed into four guest bedrooms, which have been thoughtfully decorated with roll-top baths, velvet upholstery and sheepskin rugs. They are just the ticket for sauntering to, via the courtyard, after a sublime five-course dinner at the intimate resident restaurant, where dishes are made using produce from the farm.
Discover more about Grain Store at Coombeshead Farm here.
Hayjack at Wilderness Reserve
A 5,000-acre estate with a symphony of lakes, wetland and ancient woodland, Wilderness Reserve in Suffolk is less wild than its name suggests, thanks to its carefully landscaped grounds which were based upon an unexecuted plan by Capability Brown. The newest addition to its large portfolio of historic and traditional properties is Hayjack, a thatched lakeside hideaway for two with eclectic interiors and parkland views. Guests here are privy to their own spa – complete with sauna and steam rooms – as well as a hot tub, private jetty, row boat and paddleboard.
Discover more about Hayjack at Wilderness Reserve here.
The Bradley Hare
A village pub with rooms, located on the Duke of Somerset’s Wiltshire estate, The Bradley Hare punches well above its weight – largely thanks to having ex-Soho House designer James Thurstan Waterworth at the interiors helm. Beautiful antiques and freestanding baths, plus excellent food, wine and local beers, make it a winner for weekends away – even more so with five-star country house The Newt, trendy art gallery Hauser and Wirth and the historic towns of Bruton, Bath and Frome all within striking distance.
Discover more about The Bradley Hare here.
Hillside Treehouse at The Tawny
A so-called “deconstructed” luxury hotel, The Tawny in Staffordshire has taken the best bits of a country house escape and scattered them across Consall Hall Gardens’ 70-acre estate, which dates back to 1246. Among the historic garden follies and five lakes, you’ll find 55 low-impact cabins, a heated outdoor pool, wellness centre and sustainable-first restaurant focused on local produce. Check in at one of two Hillside Treehouses for views across the Laund Pool lake, jewel-toned interiors and a private outdoor bath.
Discover more about Hillside Treehouse at The Tawny here.
Words by Kate Lough and Ellen Millard