Six of the best rural retreats in the UK

Jenai Laignel / 18 May 2015 ( 12 April 2016 )

While many Britons opt to travel abroad in search of the sun, many of us will want to settle down in a cosy rural retreat somewhere in the UK. For those of you who have decided to stay home this year, here's a list of the best rural hot spots.

1. The Cotswolds

With old, cobbled streets and Hansel and Gretel houses, the Cotswolds show 'postcard England' at its finest. Wander around the grounds of Blenheim Palace, visit Shakespeare's hometown of Stratford-Upon-Avon, or indulge in a quintessentially-British cream tea.

Where to stay? Situated right in the heart of the Cotwolds, the small market town of Chipping Campden is the perfect base for your holiday.

Stay in the historic 28-bedroom Noel Arms Hotel where Charles II rested after his Scottish Army was defeated by Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester.

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2. Yorkshire

Yorkshire's vast coastal paths and rugged cliffs make for the perfect walking holiday. It also covers a huge number of National Parks; you're guaranteed to fall in love with Yorkshire's stunning landscapes.

Where to stay? Knaresborough is a historic market town set within the gorge of the River Nidd, crossed by a pretty 19th-century viaduct.

Stay at the 15th century Dower House Hotel which is set in one acre of gardens. The 31-bedroom hotel (pictured) has an AA Rosette restaurant which is considered one of the finest in the area.

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3. Cornwall

Cornwall is famous for its miles of sandy shores, making it the perfect destination for those in search of a rural beach break. There is plenty to do here; art lovers should head for the Tate in St Ives, and those with an interest in history should not miss Penzance's ancient castle.

Where to stay? Carbis Bay is a beautiful sandy cove with Blue Flag status in a sheltered position near the pretty seaside town of St Ives.

The award-winning Carbis Bay Hotel and Spa has a stunning setting overlooking the ocean and provides a beautiful base for exploring the spectacular coastline and attractions of West Cornwall.

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4. Devon

Devon's stunning coastlines are perfect for long, refreshing walks. Dartmoor is a particularly good area for cycling and hiking, with marked trails meandering past woodland, moorland, and granite tors.

Where to stay?
The Ilsington Hotel is a charming English country house hotel located within the boundaries of Dartmoor National Park in South Devon and commands panoramic views over the surrounding moorland and tors.

This beautiful hotel is six miles from Newton Abbot and is well placed for exploring South Devon with its wealth of attractions, unspoilt beaches and fascinating coastline.

5. Powys, Wales

Take a stroll along the boulevards to see elegant Victorian and Edwardian buildings or maybe take a hike into the great outdoors. Elan Valley – Wales' answer to the Lake District – is only a 26-minute drive away while the Brecon Beacons are little over an hour away.

Where to stay?
The Victorian spa town of Llandrindod Wells is well worth a visit. In August, the town celebrates the Llandrindod Wells Victorian Festival, where locals dress in Victorian, Edwardian costumes to attend the week-long festivities.

6. Lake District

One of the UK's best-loved destinations, there are plenty of cycling, walking, and nature trails to enjoy. Of course, the Lakes are renowned for sailing, fishing, and – if you're feeling brave – swimming!

Where to stay? Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel is stunning Lake District hotel with a magical setting.

It was once owned by Beatrix Potter and today is one of the highest rated 4-star hotels in the Lake District. The award-winning restaurant at Lindeth Howe Hotel offers an outstanding fine dining experience.