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As a vacation destination, England does a few things very well: endless culture, quintessential architecture, storybook small towns and the stunning British countryside. While you might not rush to the UK for beaches or perpetual sunshine, it’s a country that’s renowned for topping lists if you’re looking to get lost in beautiful forests, spend days running through flower-filled meadows or pull on your highest boots and explore the rivers and lakes dotted throughout. You don’t have to travel too far, either, to find some of England’s most incredible countryside views. Head north, south, east, or west and you’ll soon discover verdant landscapes and history-filled cottages with stories dating back centuries. Read on for some of our favorites.
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This boutique cottage might look a little spooky from the outside, but its interiors are filled with cozy, classic designs that are just as comforting as a hot cup of cocoa. An Airbnb that’s practically designed for long evenings spent playing games with your family, it’s suitable for four guests across two bedrooms and surrounded by beautiful countryside views. Check in here for a traditional-meets-modern renovation, with a long burning stove and a larder full of cooking essentials. There’s both a front and a back garden, decked out with chairs and a coffee table and a dining table, respectively.
Turn off the little country road on the outskirts of Alderley village and you’ll stumble across a beautiful country house in the form of Grindstone Mill. Situated in the beautiful Cotswolds, one England’s best places to visit, this cottage is suitable for 12 guests in six bedrooms and looks out to a charming pond. An excellent spot for well and truly getting away from it all, Grindstone Mill’s sky-high ceilings, muted interiors and almost endless number of rooms provides the perfect setting for a family vacation. Décor here is new but favors the past, in a way that steps you back in time with traditional designs and wooden paneling. Step outside and cross the wooden bridge to a footpath leading to the nearest village, if you find yourself with a desire to explore the stunning local countryside.
A six-bedroom cottage in the heart of the Kentmere valley, this newly restored Airbnb is well equipped for everything you need for a long weekend in the mountains. Cozy and comfortable, it’s a place where you’ll immediately feel at home, thanks to the giant double-height living space, punctuated with original sturdy roof beams from when the building existed as a farmhouse. A smart TV, hi-fi system and Yamaha piano all provide entertainment for chilly evenings at home with a large open fire for warming up and drying off after a long walk. Feeling hungry? A fully stocked kitchen with American fridge freezer, three ovens, microwave, induction hob, dishwasher, and Nespresso coffee maker will keep you suitably fed and watered.
A renovated 17th century mill ensures a large dose of history at this Derbyshire cottage. A listed building in an idyllic setting, it’s got space for eight guests across three bedrooms and plenty more room for activities. This is the kind of Airbnb you’ll dream of quitting your job and moving into on a long-term basis, thanks to its deep, velvet sofas, open-plan nature and stylish attention to detail. Bedrooms here also come with a little extra: step into the master suite and you’ll find a freestanding bath alongside exposed stone walls, authentic wooden beams and high ceilings. A log burner and large TV act as the perfect space for a cozy movie night with the gang.
You’ll feel a little like you’ve just walked into a fairy tale or Disney movie when you check into this quaint cottage inside Stanhope Castle. The Vrbo might be for a one bedroom inside the overall castle, but the grounds are more than worth wandering through on your way to your own private mini-castle. This vacation rental comes complete for everything you need for a picturesque stay in the English countryside: a cozy bedroom with a beautiful arched doorway, a fully kitted out kitchen and unique stone interiors making it look like a stylish, over-ground cave.
Little Canwood House is not only a sweeping, spacious four bedroom cottage in the rolling Herefordshire countryside, but also a dog-friendly spot — which means while you’re inside enjoying the games room, super fast Wi-Fi, TV and fireplace, your four-legged friends can be running around the grounds surrounding this place. It might call itself a cottage, but that’s a word that doesn’t do this vacation rental justice with its outdoor patio overlooking nothing but greenery, traditional wooden beams and beautiful décor. Queen-size beds mean you’ll sleep easy after a day of strolling down the tranquil footpaths, or optional catering services and hot tub rental offer a luxe stay without having to leave your temporary home at all.
Cowslip Cottage isn’t a traditional cottage — it’s more of a huge, almost domineering house in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. It’s an Airbnb filled to the brim with quintessential English charm, like the Wedgwood crockery and Royal Doulton crystal glassware in the kitchen, the fireplace with a log burner in the living room and the freestanding bath in the master bedroom. But it’s also a place where technology hasn’t been left behind; a Smart TV, Netflix, Apple iPad and Apple Music are all accessible throughout this home along with super fast fibre broadband. Outside on the glazed balcony, you’ll be able to spend evenings admiring the spectacular nature below you.
Technically in neighboring Wales rather than mainland England, this wooden farmhouse and barn conversion is the perfect base for up to six adults. The heart of this Airbnb is its kitchen: a huge, sweeping room with high-rise beams and windows bringing in plenty of natural light. Its three bedrooms come with charming character, accessible via one of two staircases. Downstairs, you’ll find a welcoming living room, with a large TV, Wii console and more. The serene and secluded setting means opening the back doors here paves the way for endless countryside walks.
This detached gatehouse in the northwest of England somehow perfectly bridges the gap between being countryside based while still being easily accessible from further afield. Nestled between the Lake District & Yorkshire Dales National Park, it’s still only a few moments away from the main road. It’s set on its own private grounds, with perfectly manicured lawns and a pond with footpaths leading toward the local villages. Inside, you’ll find a kitchen with super comfortable dining chairs and views overlooking the gardens, sleek, grey interiors throughout and three large bedrooms with double beds. The cozy living space on the first floor comes with a log burning fire and more of those huge, deep sofas.
This converted chapel sits on the edge of a private lake, tucked away in the Western Lake District with picturesque views in every direction. A cute hideaway that’s perfect for a couple, this previously derelict chapel is now fully kitted out with high ceilings and oak trusses as well as wonderful views down to the lake. Underfloor heating means you’ll always have toasty toes when you’re home from a day of wandering around the British countryside. This romantic retreat is also home to a smart TV, king-size bed and breakfast bar with space for six. But the best part of this Airbnb is the stunning views: unspoilt landscapes of the Torver Common and Coniston Old Man to enjoy with a morning coffee on the outside terrace.
Modern and verging on futuristic, this spacious three-bedroom Airbnb is one of a handful of sustainably designed retreats in the Yorkshire Dales. Open plan and state-of-the-art, it’s a perfect escape for families looking to get away from it all. Filled with beautiful furnishings and natural light, early mornings become something to look forward to when they start by waking up on these super cozy king-size beds. Relaxation is the name of the game here, with Egyptian cotton bed-linen and towels, complimentary White Company toiletries and a wood-burning stone fireplace, ideal for a quick nap after long days spent exploring the blissful Yorkshire countryside. Of course, it’s also home to all of the essentials for cooking, dining and eating on the terrace.
You’ll notice the dramatic exteriors of this incredible Vrbo long before you’re close enough to walk up the stone steps to this large country hall. Known locally as The General’s Quarters, it’s a vast, fancy rental home with seven bedrooms and room for 14 guests. Tucked away in Shrewsbury, this Vrbo sits hidden inside the west-wing area of the magnificent Pitchford Hall with all the amenities you could need for a relaxing stay. Four-poster super-king size beds offer a fairy-tale escape every morning, and traditional décor throughout takes you back in time in the best way possible. The living room, reminiscent of an old-fashioned drawing room, is home to a pool table, open fireplace and huge dining table. Outside, there’s a private enclosed garden with lawn and sheltered patio with furniture and a barbecue.
Its champagne shimmering worktops and spacious hot tub make this Airbnb, located on the edge of the quiet village of Copley, feel far more expensive than its price tag suggests. Featuring three bedrooms suitable for up to six guests, it’s the sort of Airbnb you’ll check into and almost forget about the wonderful countryside surrounding you. The modern and understated kitchen comes with everything you need to cook up a storm, while a large enclosed lawn is just as suitable for sunbathing during the warmer months as it is for pulling on your warmest clothes and sitting around with a warming drink in one hand and a card game in the other.
Stretton House dates back to the 17th century and is a large, imposing Gentleman’s Residence that’s perfect for large groups or families. A Vrbo that you’ll almost definitely spend a large amount of time simply wandering around and exploring, it’s beautiful in the winter with its snow tipped gardens and even prettier in the summer months, when its surrounding greenery lights up the grounds. Inside, it’s like something out of a palace, with authentic Victorian interiors, artwork on the walls and even its own piano. Rooms here vary from modern and fully kitted out to traditional and storybook-esque. Staying here comes with the internal debate of what to do first: play a game of pool, host a dinner party, play in the games annex or read a book in the library?
River Barn is known as one of the most iconic properties in the Winster Valley and is worth its price tag for the stunning views alone. A wonderful spot for a romantic break, this home fuses modern and classical touches in every room. Its Scandinavian style open-plan living area — taking the very notion of “cottage retreat” to a whole new level — is one of the main attractions along with its floor-to-ceiling windows that provide the perfect backdrop for enjoying breakfast while overlooking the stunning gardens and river views. Contrasting white walls and monochrome décor make the outside greenery even more verdant; best enjoyed on the outdoor terrace. Staying here, you’ll also find an abundance of The Lake District’s finest walks and pubs right on your doorstep.