Travel writer and co-founder of Kip Hideaways, Liz Simpson, picks her top spots for a great British break
It’s finally here. The end of lockdown. As of 4th July, people are free to holiday in England* – and with 3 months' worth of cabin fever built up, we're all after an incredible holiday. Happily, self-catering accommodation in the UK can be amazing... if you know where to look. Begone, gingham curtains: we're talking boutique-beautiful or rustic-chic interior. DeVol-style kitchens. A hot tub with knockout views. Or a skylight above your bed for stargazing (easier before wine). Here are five gloriously secluded hideaways to escape to over the next few months.
Author's Escape, Devon
With sea views through Monterrey pines and a meadow-like garden, this gorgeous cabin is perfect for friends or a family. You're 4km from golden beaches (Croyde, Saunton Sands), yet totally hidden on top of a hill. Most incredibly, there's a tiny hut that was once a famous author's writing den; swivel in his leather chair and play '78s on his gramophone. Back in the real world, pop to farm shops for produce to barbecue, then pull down the projector screen to watch a movie. Or quickly pen that novel you’ve been meaning to write…
£150-300/night, sleeps 4. Book via Kip Hideaways
El Ray, Kent
On the very edge of Kent, magical Dungeness is wild, stark and utterly beautiful. Britain's only desert, it’s home to masses of rare birdlife. But El Ray is a reason to come in itself. This cuboid house blends old and new in an achingly hip way. Eames dining chairs sit beside a reclaimed Victorian carriage, which is home to a minimalist kitchen. With 2 bedrooms you could bring the kids, but to us, this is an utterly grown-up escape; unforgettable (and a goldmine for Insta).
Weekly price from £1,165. Sleeps 2-4. Book via Hoseasons
The Wilderness Cabins, Scotland
Fifteen minutes from Oban lies a wilderness paradise free from any tourists: simply acres of ancient beech and oak trees, cut through by the serene Loch Nell. You’re boated to your gleaming corten cabin which is hidden amongst trees on the shoreline. There are two to choose from, each ridiculously romantic, with stunning pared-back interiors and a firepit for after dark. Explore the loch by kayak or SUP; fish, wild swim, rejuvenate. For an adventure or a honeymoon, this is the one.
£200/night, sleeps 2. Book via Kip Hideaways
Hidden away in a Herefordshire woodland, this fabulous barn was handbuilt from 100 ancient oaks. (Shame there’s no Ikea flatpack equivalent.) Inside, it's just as beautiful: with a rolltop bath, dangling pendant lights, copper pipework, sheepskins and cowhide rugs, it's bang on-trend. Plus, it sleeps four to five, so friends and families will all be happy. Utterly private with views stretch for miles, but also only a 10 minute walk to the local pub or a quick drive to foodie restaurant-filled Ludlow.
Short breaks from £545 (3/4 nights) Sleeps 4/5. Book via Cruckbarn
Up^, Wye Valley
This breathtaking cabin in the Wye Valley will steal your heart. The candlelit outdoor bath. The hideaway location and romantic walks on your doorstep. The pared-back interiors and the dazzling night sky you can admire through a telescope. There's even a baby grand piano – the ultimate quirky indulgence. Serenade your loved one (or just bash out Chopsticks after a Negroni or two).
Short breaks £400 year round (3/4 nights). Sleeps 2. Book via Wyelets
* 15th July in Scotland, 13th July in Wales; all still subject to change