Townson Ground House
The house: A traditionally-stylish 16th-century cottage on the north east shores of Coniston Water. The welcoming lounge of Townson Ground House offers plenty of space for your guests to relax beside the open fire, or wood-burning stove, while the seven bedrooms all boast en-suite or shower facilities.
Our highlight: We’d bag the master double bedroom and roll out of bed to make the most of the giant free-standing copper bath.
Party-perk: You’ll be sure to fit all your guests around the candle-lit, banquetting-style dining table for a dinner party to remember.
Coniston LA21 8AA
01237 459888 www.holidaycottages.co.uk
The house: An exquisite, nine bedroom, converted Victorian farmhouse on the outskirts of Richmond complete with elegant and original-period features.This former home to Earl and Countess of Ronaldshay exudes country charm – you’ll find antique furniture, flagstone flooring and impressive artwork at the turn of every corner. Though you’ll find plenty of modern luxuries too, escape to the games room to discover the latest sound systems, and gadgets.
Our highlight: At the heart of the home you’ll find the Drawing Room, the perfect spot to enjoy a night-cap – but be warned, once you’ve settled by the large open fire you’ll struggle to be drawn away.
Party-perk: The elusive mix of period style and contemporary comfort is the perfect backdrop to a lavish family gathering.
Richmond DL10 5HX
The Barn and The Cowshed
The house: A seven bedroom, beautifully-restored and converted barn tucked away in the North Pennines. Accomodating up to 14 guests in seven en-suite bedrooms, across two interconnecting units, it’s the perfect open plan spot for a social gathering, whether you’re unwinding by the wood-burning stove or admiring the uninterrupted views across the fell side from the south-facing terrace.
Our highlight: The 1000 acres of rolling countryside in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty right on your doorstep.
Party-perk: Entertaining at The Barn and The Cowshed is no problem, their 14 seat dining table with sliding French doors onto the terrace was simply made for dinner parties.
Brampton CA8 7NL
The Lake House
The house: A bold and impressive, six bedroom, Lake House on the impressive Raithwaite Estate. Perfectly suited to the more intimate of gatherings, embrace the tranquility of Raithwaite Estate’s Lake House as it sits on the fringes of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. And, with uninterrupted views of the surrounding countryside, there’s no need to worry about disturbing your non-existent neighbours.
Our highlight: If the thought of kicking back into a super-king master suite doesn’t quite do it for you, then perhaps the French doors that open out onto the balcony off your suite and overlook the lake, might.
Party-perk: We’re just imagining the breakfast-feast you could cook up in the Lake House’s giant farm-house style kitchen, complete with a four-oven Aga.
Whitby YO21 3ST
The house: A Grade-I listed mansion house, in Edinburgh’s suburbs. From hidden corners to sweeping staircases, it’s a spot that lends itself to all occasions. And, with just a short taxi ride into Edinburgh’s city centre, there’s no need to choose between a city
break or city escape.
Our highlight: Driving up to Drylaw House you’ll be blown away, not only by the scale of the building, but the miles of countryside surrounding it too.
Party-perk: If for you, no party is complete without a feast that won’t be a problem here, simply have the house-recommended chef whip up some delights for dinner.
Edinburgh EH4 2UE
The house: A quintessentially British, 10 bedroom, Georgian house with all the extras you could possibly need. Experience gracious living both inside and out, from the farm-house kitchen and multiple reception rooms, to the on-site tennis courts, and croquet lawn. If relaxing is more your forte there’s always the hot tub, where you can soak beneath the twinkling stars.
Our highlight: The plentiful 17-acres of grounds come complete with wild meadows, a small lake and formal gardens – which might just be our favourite spot.
Party-perk: Take your guests and supplies off to the games room, where you’ll no doubt spend all evening chinwagging over the clattering of snooker balls.
Horsington BA8 0EF
Barford Beach House
The house: A modern and eclectic house, with spectacular views of the Cornish coast. Perch on the sofa and enjoy the view through the floor-to-ceiling windows, head out into the wood-fired hot tub, or hide away upstairs in one of the six ensuite bedrooms – just be sure to choose one of the five with their own private terrace.
Our highlight: The rustic-meets-contemporary feel is created by the owner’s love for salvaging, think upcycled bauble lights from the boulevards of Paris, and salvaged copper-brass baths – it’s like nothing you’ve seen before.
Party-perk: Head through a hidden passage and emerge into the ‘Pleasureland’ a fantasy arcade-cocktail bar – surely the pool table, sound system and pinball machine are enough for a good time?
Bude EX23 0DF
0117 946 7072
The house: A luxurious coast-meets-country, five bedroom (and dog friendly), stone-built holiday cottage affording spectacular views out to Budle Bay. The grand yet eclectic old stone-built Shepherd’s Cottage is accessed from its own private drive, and certainly isn’t short of little luxuries, from a welcome hamper to White Company toiletries. It’s the perfect base for a family gathering or special get together with friends, offering peace and tranquility just short of the Scottish Border.
Our highlight: Boasting a secluded location, it’s no surprise that Shepherd’s Cottage affords spectacular views, and waking up to the sight of a distant Budle Bay through the floor-to-ceiling windows in the master suite will have you longing to stay.
Party-perk: The feathered bedding and plump pillows that make up Shepherd’s Cottage king-size beds are the perfect spot to rest your head after partying into the early hours.
Adderstone NE70 7HS
01665 710 700
Lulworth Cove House
The house: A giant, thatched cottage boasting stunning sea views, nestled into the Lulworth Cove World Heritage Site. Lulworth Cove House not only benefits from 10 en suite bedrooms, several open plan living areas (and open log-fires), an indoor heated swimming pool, cinema and games room, it stands just a stone’s throw from the beach too.
Our highlight: Whether you’re cooking up a storm, or getting cosy by the fire, the integrated SONOS music system fitted throughout the Lulworth Cove House reception rooms, allows you to decide what’s playing.
Party-perk: You won’t be a cocktail short of a party when you discover the private bar at Lulworth Cove House – it’s bound to cause a stir.
Lulworth BH20 5RL
01242 220 006
The house: A modern, five bedroom, detached home offering a touch of luxury, just a short walk from the secluded, sandy beaches of Alnmouth. A stay at The Lookout is the perfect opportunity to escape with your family or friends and explore the pretty village by day, before gathering around the log burner to warm up in the evening.
Our highlight: The panoramic views of the Northumberland countryside from The Lookout’s many floor-to-ceiling windows that inspire its name.
Party-perk: The full-size Jacuzzi in the main courtyard is a hot-spot for kicking back to enjoy a glass of fizz (or two).
Alnmouth NE66 3BD