The low down: Set in the secluded splendour of 400-acres of deer park and woodland, Armathwaite Hall is the perfect place to get away from it all. The three studio suites offer spectacular views across Lake Bassenthwaite and the dramatic Skiddaw Mountain, while original fireplaces, sumptuous beds and lavish bathrooms are sure to comfort inside. Settle down for a stunning meal in the AA-rosette Lake View Restaurant, which, as the name suggests, offers views good enough for a postcard – before burning it off in their new state-of-the-art gym.
Why we love it: With a spa set over two floors, complete with a 16-metre infinity pool overlooking the beautiful gardens, you won’t have any difficulty finding your zen here.
Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick CA12 4RE
The low down: For those longing for a relaxing country break, look no further. Just a stone’s throw from Hadrian’s Wall lies the Barrasford Arms, a quintessentially British country pub housing a selection of beautifully-appointed rooms each with their own ensuite, complimentary toiletries and unique character – our pick is The Dodds Room which boasts fantastic views over the Northumberland countryside. If you’re feeling peckish, there’s no need to journey far – the restaurant downstairs serves up everything from lovingly home-cooked breakfasts (complete with local sausages and bacon), to proper ‘pub grub’ – best enjoyed in front of the roaring open fire with a pint of ale in hand.
Why we love it: Stay for £35 per person from November to March on their winter break deal, and enjoy all of the above, plus a delightful welcome drink. Don’t mind if we do.
Barrasford, Hexham NE48 4AA
01434 681 237
The low down: A Corner of Eden is a selection of three luxury holiday cottages nestled in the Yorkshire Dales. Relax in your own romantic retreat in the Shepherd’s Cottage, boasting a four-poster super kingsize bed, roll-top bath and outdoor fire pit, or enjoy a full family getaway at The Farmhouse, a lovingly-renovated Georgian home sleeping eight and brimming with period features. Angel Barn sleeps six and marries old with new, with exposed brick walls and a glass-panelled staircase, while outside, you can enjoy a soak under the stars in the wood-fired hot tub. What’s more, they were named the Best Dog-friendly Accommodation of the Year award at the 2019 INewspaper Staycation Awards, so there’s no need to leave your furry friend at home.
Why we love it: A welcome hamper awaits your arrival, jam-packed with local artisinal treats and chilled Heidsieck Champagne. Dig in!
Low Stennerskeugh, Ravenstonedale, Kirkby Stephen CA17 4LL
The low down: If you’re looking for a truly unique staycation, these four hand-crafted shepherds huts in the Cheviot Hills will provide it, and then some. Made from solid reclaimed oak, with hand-forged wheels and sheep’s wool insulation, they offer plenty of home comforts (from a wood burning stove to a welcome pack of tea, coffee, butter and bread), while quirky additions like stargazing windows and outdoor antique baths make for a truly special stay.
Why we love it: The secluded location, which provides the perfect base for exploring the incredible scenery and historic landmarks of Northumberland and the Cheviot Hills.
Prendwick Farm, Whittingham, Alnwick NE66 4UZ
The low down: Overlooking one of Edinburgh’s prettiest private squares, Kimpton Charlotte Square is a group of seven interconnected Georgian townhouses. Inside, newly-renovated bedrooms showcase tradition with a contemporary twist, with velvet curtains and tartan rugs adding a touch of 18th-century luxe, while USB charging points and flat-screen TVs fulfill all the needs of a modern traveller. The dining is the real star of the show, though – settle into the elegant conservatory-style bistro, The Garden, for a delicious breakfast, before indulging in Middle Eastern cuisine (like smoky hummus with freshly-baked pitta bread) at the BABA restaurant.
Why we love it: With Edinburgh’s main shopping thoroughfare, Princes Street, just around the corner, you’re perfectly placed for a spending splurge here.
38 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh EH2 4HQ
0131 240 5500
The low down: Teaming classic elegance with beautiful contemporary twists, the Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa offers a stunning setting for a memorable breakaway. Set on the fringe of Derwentwater, the hotel boasts spellbinding views from every angle – be it from the comfort of your own bed in a luxurious Lodore suite looking out of an apex window, or while you dine in the award-winning Lake View restaurant. If you manage to tear yourself away from the scenery, the 87 luxurious suites and bedrooms, each individually-designed offer a real home-from-home feel, tempting to you stay a little longer.
Why we love it: The Falls Spa has 12 difference thermal experiences which include a glass-fronted Finnish sauna and a 16-metre outdoor hydropool overlooking Catbells.
Borrowdale Valley, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5UX
The low down: This stately country house hotel in Northumberland is the perfect place to escape it all. From strolling down the carpet-like fairways of the 27-hole golf course (among 300 acres of rolling parkland), to settling into a steaming UV-filtrated jacuzzi in the tranquil surroundings of their Aqua Vitae spa, you’ll never be far from utter relaxation. Their bedrooms are each individually designed with plush beds, traditional furnishings and elegant bathrooms and, if you choose a Premier Room, enjoy views over the meticulously-kept gardens.
Why we love it: From hearty pub grub in the the Keepers Lodge and light lunches in The Conservatory (overlooking the golf course), to fine dining in the two-AA Rosette Library Restaurant, Matfen will delight foodie fanatics.
Matfen Village, Newcastle NE20 ORH
The low down: For a staycation with a difference, look no further than North Shire. This group of self-catering accommodation in the North York Moors comprises of cosy cottages, shepherd huts and unique houses inspired by famous fairytales – book a stay in the new Grounds Keeper’s Cottage which mirrors Hagrid’s Hut from the Harry Potter films, with medieval-looking turrets and three interlocking circular rooms, or opt for the Shire House, a Lord of the Rings-inspired hobbit house.
Why we love it: Positioned in six-acres of beautiful countryside, and with local attractions nearby, this family-run site is the perfect place for a unique short trip away with loved ones.
Liverton, Saltburn-by-the-Sea TS13 4TJ
The low down: Whether you’re after a romantic weekend away or an adventurous family excursion, these two five-star holiday parks in the Derbyshire Peak District cater for all staycation needs. Cycle around the 47-acres of stunning woodland at Darwin Forest, before refuelling with a hearty meal (and a pint) in the onsite Foresters bar and restaurant, or enjoy a delightful woodland walk in the meandering bluebell forest at Sandybrook – the smaller of the two parks, with a peaceful hillside location. Their lodges sleep from two to eight people, containing open-plan living spaces, comfortable bedrooms and fully-equipped kitchens, and are each surrounded by beautiful woodland.
Why we love it: You’ll never be twiddling your thumbs here – from archery and body zorbing to fencing and snorkelling – their Go Active! Activities will keep everyone entertained.
Sandybrook Country Park, Buxton Road, Ashbourne DE6 2AQ
Landal Darwin Forest, Darley Moor, Two Dales, Matlock DE4 5PL
The low down: Raithwaite Estate is a grand retreat nestled in the North York Moors. There are two hotels on the Estate: the Hall, home to 45 immaculate rooms and a state-of-the-art spa, and the Keep, offering 28 light and spacious rooms with a woodland backdrop. Looking for a bit more privacy? The Courtyard is a stand alone building at the front of the Hall, with a variety of duplex rooms over two floors fitted with walk-in showers, spacious living areas and plenty of little luxuries. Their bar and restaurant offering is stellar too – head to The Brasserie for French classics with a Yorkshire twist, or Poachers Bar for a laid-back lunch overlooking the gardens.
Why we love it: You can venture out into the 100-acre surrounding estate for a spot of clay shooting or archery, or take the short trip to the award-winning Sandsend beach for a seaside stroll.
Sandsend Road, Whitby, YO21 3ST
The low down: Offering peace and tranquility in spades, these holiday cottages in the Lake District are the perfect place to get away from it all. Sleeping from two to eight people, each property is surrounded by the beautiful South Cumbrian countryside, and has been designed with comfort in mind, with top-quality furnishings and spacious rooms making for an utterly relaxing stay.
Why we love it: The newly renovated Lakenhow, perched on top of a hilltop near Broughton in Furness, can accommodate all the family with a spacious lounge, kitchen and four luxurious bedrooms, while the light-drenched conservatory is an ideal spot to curl up and enjoy the countryside views.
Millom, Cumbria LA18 4JF
The low down: Swinton Estate is the perfect place for a restorative breakaway. The Grade II-listed castle is home to 32 beautifully-appointed rooms, each individually furnished and with ensuite bathrooms, dressing facilities and lounges, as well as an award-winning spa with a thermal suite, gym, terrace bar and outdoor spa garden (featuring a 10-metre bio-filtered pool). Samuel’s Restaurant offers delectable seasonal dishes made using fruit, vegetables and herbs grown in the hotel’s four-acre Walled Garden (the largest hotel kitchen garden in the UK), not to mention sweeping views over the gardens and lake.
Why we love it: It’s not all lazy lounging and fine dining – you can take on a variety of country pursuits on the estate, from falconry to bike riding and fishing.
Masham, Ripon HG4 4JH
The low down: This comfortable family-run guest house is perfect if you’re seeking true rural relaxation. Enjoying a peaceful location in the Durham Dales, Thomas Wright House offers a hard-to-come-by sense of serenity, best enjoyed in The Aquila Room, with its own private terrace and outdoor hot tub. Whichever of the eight beautifully-designed rooms you choose here, you’ll be guaranteed the utmost luxury, with comfy beds and fine furnishings practically beckoning you to unwind. Enjoy home-cooked breakfasts, light lunches and evening meals in the Garden Room, with a cosy log-burning stove, or the first-floor Dorado lounge, where panoramic countryside views await.
Why we love it: Located in the quaint village of Byers Green, you’re just a hop skip and jump from the rolling hills of the Durham Dales, where you’ll discover bracing country walks and wondrous wildlife.
High Street, Byers Green DL16 7PF
01388 664 716
The low down: Built in 1881 as a private home for a local family, Wrea Head Hall is now a much-loved hotel brimming with charm and character. Relax in the quiet (there are no kids allowed) as you take in the stunning surroundings with huge stained glass windows and Gothic furnishings greeting you upon entry, while the bedrooms, each flawlessly designed, provide the perfect spot to unwind. You’ll find a plush kingsize bed, roll-top bath and large bay window overlooking the front lawn in the Luxury room, which certainly lives up to its name. Dine on fresh, seasonal dishes under candlelight in the romantic three AA-Rosette restaurant, or experience some privacy in the Library, with its open fire and crystal chandeliers.
Why we love it: Wrea Head Hall is surrounded by endless scenery that’s more than worth exploring – from the heather-filled moors and scenic dales to the incredible Yorkshire heritage coastline.
Barmoor Lane, Scalby, Scarborough YO13 0PB