Up on the windswept Needles Headland on the Isle of Wight above the iconic Needles rock formation are a group of coastguard cottages let by the National Trust. Plain and functional, they are situated in an atmospheric location with spectacular views. The three cottages are named after ships wrecked on the Needles – Irex and Pomone, and Varvassi, which was the last big ship to founder on this treacherous coast, back in 1947. Much of its cargo of Mediterranean wine was washed up on local beaches. The cottages are part of a 370-acre site of open downland owned by the National Trust.
Hidden in a corner of Soulton Wood, with views on open countryside, Keeper’s Cottage provides a peaceful retreat for up to 6 people. The woods turn particularly magical between April and May, when the bluebells spread among the trees like blue mist. Soulton Wood is located about 10 miles north of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, and 2 miles from Wem railway station. More info
The Guardian has put together this interesting article on some of the best hotels for walkers and hikers in Britain. Lots of cosy old converted farmhouses to warm you after a long day on the fells… More here
Working dairy farm and our accommodation offers two secluded 4 star self-catering log cabins. Near Dovedale, Chatsworth and Carsington Water, this is an idyllic base for outdoor pursuits and sightseeing. The owners “try to be eco friendly and our cabins are run as sustainably as possible”
“This area boasts 35 acres of unspoilt countryside, offering the opportunity to stay on board a unique houseboat. Each widebeam barge is permanently moored on her own private jetty and sleeps 4 to 6 in ensuite cabins. Watch the busy wildlife right outside the galley window. Land organic rainbow trout for dinner. Be awed by the silent swoop of the barn owl. And in the evening as you watch the sun setting from the aft deck know that it has given its solar energy to power your lighting for the night ahead.”
Situated by grazing marsh and long stretches of sand dunes on the north Norfolk coast, the National Trust’s Horsey Barns are an ideal place to escape the madding crowds. Wide-open horizons and bracing sea air clear the head, with somewhere cosy to come back to at night and a village pub not far. The famous Horsey Windpump is within walking distance. An added winter attraction is the chance to see Grey Seal pups, born in December and January, on the beach between Horsey and Winterton on Sea. More information
High on the cliffs in the Lizard Peninsula, overlooking Housel Bay and less then a mile to Britain’s most southern point, stands Wireless Cottage. Originally built by Marconi for his radio experiments and now owned by the National Trust, the building is part of radio history and there’s a small wireless museum next door. Wireless Cottage offers comfortable accommodation for two with splendid sea-views from its windows and the coastal path at its door. More information
The Old House is one of the B&Bs singled out by the Guardian in a top-ten compilation of places that offer a touch of luxury yet are under £100 for two. A carefully restored 14th century building tucked away near St Catherine’s Down in the south of the island, it offers simple rustic decoration, Persian rugs, huge antique baths and an open fire place for relaxing by if the evenings are chill. Guests are particularly enthusiastic about the delicious breakfasts made from local organic produce. More information
Otter’s Holt is a riverside cottage on farmland in Devon’s Exe valley. The owners of the smallholding have been awarded for their conservation work and there are plenty of farm animals to enjoy as well as the beautiful countryside. Very close to Exmoor national park, the cottage is located on the Exe Valley Way, a 45-mile walk across Devon between the Exe Estuary and the heights of Exmoor. Information here
Positioned next to the sea, this house has a history to tell, having been used as an inn, coastguard lookout and marine life study centre. Now owned by the National Trust, it provides an opportunity to stay in Robin Hood’s Bay, a small coastal village in Yorkshire, resonant with legends of smugglers, pirates, and heroic shipwreck rescue. This stretch of the green and rugged Yorkshire coast has a fabulous variety of habitats: meadows and woodland reach the coastal heath and grassland, ensuring a diversity of birds and flowers. You can enjoy great cliff-top views walking the Cleveland Trail. More information
The Portland Bird Observatory offers comfortable, hostel-style accommodation with shared facilities for up to 24 guests in the lighthouse and adjacent annexe.
The adjoining self-contained lighthouse-keepers cottage sleeps four and is particularly suitable for a family or small group that require a little more privacy.
The accommodation is primarily aimed at visitors wishing to enjoy the natural environment of Portland and is popular with, for example, birdwatchers, naturalists, walkers/ramblers, artists/stone-carvers, climbers and water sports enthusiasts; we can also accommodate school/college or other groups on residential field-trips and study visits.
These holiday cottages in Devon offer a comfortable and peaceful retreat for anyone with a love of wildlife. Otter Cottage sleeps 4, Beech Lodge sleeps 6-8, Nuthatch and Honeysuckle Lodges sleep 4-6 each. Guests can enjoy own nature reserve designated a SSSI by English Nature.
The farm, including our private but nationally-recognised nature reserve, is home to scarce animals and plants including barn owls, dormice and orchids, as well as swallows, deer, foxes, badgers, occasional otters, and many hedgerow birds. We make our accommodation as sustainable as possible, and manage the farm for wildlife, with help and advice from Natural England and the Devon Wildlife Trust. We gained a Gold approval from the Devon Wildlife Trust for our commitment to wildlife conservation.
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Bed and breakfast accommodation in Gilsland, Cumbria in old farmhouse and beautifully converted byre on a working farm. The land contains a stretch of Hadrian’s Wall, as well as 2 turrets and a Roman Bridge. Home-cooked evening meals, placing a strong emphasis on using good quality and local ingredient. Right on Hadrian’s Wall National Trail.
We are in the process of converting the farm to organic status and are hoping to enter the Higher Level and Organic Entry Level Stewardship schemes, which will commit us to protecting and encouraging wildlife on the farm, preserving the historic features and extending public access around the land.
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600-year-old country house near the Malvern Hills in Herefordshire, where you can relax in the big organic garden or walk in the pastures, orchards and woodland, enjoying the peace and the wildlife.
The whole farm is managed sustainibly for the benefit of wildlife and landscape.
One traveller noted: “We were only on holiday for four days so it would be an exaggeration to rate this as a holiday of a life-time however the accommodation is definitely **** and I have already recommended it to family and friends.”
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Set in the foothills of the Quantocks, this is a 15th century farmhouse with breathtaking views across open organic farmland. The different options are: camping, bed & breakfast or one of 3 self catering cottages which sleep 3-4 persons.Wonderful views and self-directed farm walks leading to natural, spring-fed ponds, through the forestry and to our own stone circle. Activities on the farm and nearby can include walking, cycling, fishing, falconry (1:1 private tuition can be arranged), Wwoofing (Willing Workers on Organic Farms), and a Farm School. We also run courses in bread making, falconry and organic farming, and run art weekends
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