The perennial appeal of a self-catering holiday lies in the fact that it offers you all the comforts and facilities of a home base but with the freedom to eat, drink, get up and come back whenever you like. Beyond these basic facts, the range of self-catering accommodation is vast, taking in everything from state of the art contemporary eco-lodges to traditional stone cottages and villas to restored barns, caravans and much, much more - in an equally diverse range of locations from the wild coasts of Scotland, Wales and Ireland to sun-baked Tuscany and untouched rural Sardinia and the lush forests of Bavaria, with our top, eco-friendly selections listed below - all of which you can reach by train or ferry.
Check out some of our expert travel writers recommendations for green self-catered places to stay on our award-winning blog, including Catherine Mack's recommendations for green holidays in Ireland and eco-breaks in England, plus greentraveller founder Richard Hammond's tips on sustainable holidays and places to stay in the Mediterranean.
Find out how to get to self-catered properties across Europe and beyond using our Journey Planner.
From £223 for 2 nights in low season to £814 for 7 nights in high season
Prices per week (Low to Peak Season): 4 en-suite bedroom Cortijo: €1250-€...
from £295 for a winter short break, to £789 for a week in high season
€60-€150 per night for 2 people, each additional person €5 per night. €35...
Prices start from £480 for a 2 night stay in Low season in a 3 bed...
£39.31 to £75.98 per night (plus standing charge of £70.98 to £103.75 per...
Depending of Property for 2 persons £85 - £150 per night. 15% discount for guests arriving for short breaks by train.
Between €280 and €380 Per week. Or stay a minimum of 3 nights between €120 €160.
£98 (village field) £110 (private site) per night. Prices based on 2 people for a 7-night stay in peak season. Short breaks are available.
£450-£950 per week, depending on season. Short breaks available. Reduced prices for small parties (i.e. a couple using only one bedroom)
Weekend €239, week €399 all year round
7 days Low Season range: £450 for 4-6 people, £950 for 8-10 people. High Season range: £1660 for 4-6 people to £2650 for 8-10 people
The price range is £250-£455. Short breaks 2-4 nights £173-£256 depending on season.
Cottage prices vary. Availablility by the night, week, long weekend, mid week. Please see our website for prices.
Price is for house and depends on the number of bedrooms.
Lodge s/b from £ 246, wk from £352 • Pod from £40 pn • Pitch from £10pn
Low season £360 per week, Mid season £520 p week, Peak season £640 p week
Bunk in shared room £12 adult, £8 under 16. Bunk room for 2 £40, for 4 £40, for 6 £60. Entire bunkhouse £140. Summer camping from £5 pp for own tent pitch, to £34 for 3 person yurt incl. bedding.
Cottage costs from £400 per week, Farmhouse costs £650 per week
Weekly rates - High (July and August) 950 euros. Standard (rest of the year) 820 euros
£959-£1395 per week.
Beds from £18.50 per night.
B&B Standard £140, Superior £160, Junior Suite £180, Fairway Suite £200, Lynedoch Suite £220, Lodge House (sleeps 6) £250
From £34pppn. High season 7 nights both Cottage and Barn (sleeping up to 22) £7500. Barn (sleeping 10) £4950. Cottage (sleeping 12) £5940. No weekends in high season.
£39.31 to £75.98 per night (plus standing charge of £70.98 to £103.75 per booking). Minimum 2-night stay.
£4750 per week high season, 2 nights 70%, 3 nights 75%, 4 nights 80% of weekly rate
Weekly prices from £413 - £816 and Short breaks from £302 - £581
£270-£570 per week. Out of main holiday season short breaks from £150
Gallery/Gospel Hall: £1100/£1200pw sleep 6 each, Upcott: £3950pw sleeps 12+2
Weekly prices Barley Store £235-£370 Corn View £336-£528 Rye Barn £382-£600
From £320 Low Season to £495 high season 7 day duration starting Saturdays. Short breaks available Low season
Weekly Rates: Oct-Mar 500-700€, Apr-May 600-800€, June&Sept 700-900€, July&Aug 800-1000€
£1070 peak week, £975 high season week, £835 mid season week, £690 low season week. £595 3 night short break, £645 4 nights
Old Fisherman's Cottage £620 per week (Sleeps 2), Shore Cottage £720 per week (Sleeps 4), Beach Cottage £900 per week (Sleeps 6)
From £599 for low season short break From £1039 for mid season short break From£1909 for peak season short break Prices for Residence 3 Bed in 2016
From £223 for 2 nights in low season to £814 for 7 nights in high season
Hayloft & Woolpack: £250 short break, Wagoner's & Miller's: £550 short break (all year)
The eco barns each sleep a maximum of 4-7 people, and cost between £365 and £1365 per week. Short breaks for up to 4 nights stay are also available, costing from £300.
Short breaks: 2 nights £800, 3 nights £935, 4 nights £1,030. Weeks: low season £1,200, high season £1,600
The Doubles & Twins are... £215 - £285, and the Suites & Cottage are £375 - £450. B/B full breakfast & VAT per room per night.
Weekly £375 to £575
£480 - £615 for 4 nights, £790 - £1025 for 7 nights B&B; £700 - £1650 7 nights self-catering, special breaks also available
3 nights in peak season £312, low season 4 nights £252
For 7 nights Stables costs between £281 to £442 and Loft costs between £306 to £480. Short breaks from £242 to £284.
Yurts, tipi & shepherds hut £158, bell tents £113 in high season per night, min 2 nights week time, min 3 nights weekends.
High Season - £500 p/w Low Season - £350 p/w Short Breaks - from £80 per night
Couble (apartment): 840€ - 1330€ per week, suite (cottage): 1260€ - 1960€ per week
£80 per night (based on 2 people sharing)
From £319.00 to: £649.00 (based on two staying)
The Granite Barn (sleeps 6) £1170- £450. weekends available out of season. The Old Farm Cottage (sleeps 4) £842- £322. Weekends also available.
From £38 per night
£650 per week, Short Breaks £422.50 for the first 3 nights and then £91.00 per night.
One bedroom cottage in high season for a couple is 350 euro, Two bedroom cottage for a family in high season is 500 euro.
: Cottages for 4, prices £440-£1845, cottages for 12 £1180-£3800 and everything in between.
Weekend £275, Midweek £295, Week £525 based on 2 sharing. Extra guests £25 per stay
Latest reviewed accommodation
"This is the first castle in Ireland to go green, with Charles then going on to convert the whole estate to meet EU Flower Ecolabel standards and gaining the award in 2009... Belle Isle is indeed a ‘beautiful island’, on the northern tip of Upper Lough Erne. The estate, and working farm, is a designated Area of Special Scientific Interest..."
Set in 29 acres of woodland, Helme Pasture is a picturesque country retreat with Scandinavian-style lodges and self-catering cottages. The newly-designed wooden lodges, which blend perfectly into the surrounding woods, sleep from two to eight people, while the well-equipped stone cottages sleep up to four. The location is perfect for checking out the area’s market towns and villages and natural attractions – and then returning to your own home sweet home.
The father-and-daughter team of Kent Berndtsson and Camilla Hofsten have transformed their property on a small archipelago in the north-west of Bohuslan into a renowned oyster bar and retreat. The site now offers accommodations ranging from a 16th century fisherman's cottage to a newly-built wooden villa, each with spectacular views over the harbour. Between September and June, guests can indulge in champagne and oysters in true style from the wood-fired seawater hot tub at the end of the jetty - the most luxurious option also includes fresh lobster and a liqueur to finish, although be sure to book as part of a group. There's also the chance to learn a little more about the history of oyster farming once you're done shucking.
Offering proper ‘Five Go Wild’ camping in the heart of the national park, Westermill Farm is the epitome of the rural idyll, its four camping meadows rolling down to the River Exe amid tree-lined hills. Hungry? Try the 200-hectare farm’s own free-range beef, lamb or pork, with local bread, milk and eggs also up for grabs. Itching for activities? Splash or fish in the river, or lace up those boots and hike on the central moor. Six Scandinavian-style self-catering cottages are also tucked away on site, where the emphasis on working with nature has garnered a David Bellamy Conservation Award. Adults £6.50 per night for camping.
The closest railway station is Umberleigh, which is 17 miles away. From the station, you can arrange a cab to take you to the site. A list of local firms is available at TrainTaxi. To cycle, follow Route 277 on the National Cycle Network to Simonsbath, which is the next town.
Terrington Holiday Cottages
Sixty acres of lavender grow on the outskirts of Terrington. With the soporific scent wafting on the breeze, you should sleep well in these three well-maintained holiday cottages right in the centre of the village. The cottages, in stone buildings with red tiled roofs, sleep from two to five. Nearby, there’s a fine Norman church, more pretty stone cottages, surrounding hills for walks, a friendly pub and a village stores-cum-art gallery and café. There are occasional film screenings, cabaret shows and lectures in the village hall. Before long you may feel like a local. From £246 per week.
There are just three comfortable self-catering properties at this working farm, but they can sleep a total of 32, making it a perfect venue for a large get-together. All three have impressive energy-saving and recycling eco-credentials. The Old Winery, a former apple winery and enormous flint barn, sleeps 20, has two kitchens and a dining table that seats 32. Two other properties, one thatched, sleep six each. Unwind in the gardens or poolside and take in gentle views across the valley or trundle off with a wheelbarrow full of provisions and thoughtfully provided picnic ware. From £375 for three nights to £2,000 for a week for 6.
The Old Dairy
The Old Dairy, in the pretty hamlet of Timble, used to be an old milking parlour and as many original features as possible were retained in the restoration – think oak beams, lovely stonework and thoughtful touches like the log burning stove add to the relaxing ambiance. A detached building on one storey, the dairy sleeps two and there’s a private patio and garden with views over the Washburn Valley. If you don’t feel like cooking, you can order an evening meal – all produce comes from local farms and suppliers and menus change seasonally (just give them 24 hours notice!).
In Swinton, two miles from Malton, this modern two-bedroom bungalow in the owner’s garden is a good choice for those with mobility problems. Although there are two small steps at the front of the cottage, once inside, everything is on one level and there are easy grip handles on all doors. Grab rails can be provided. Able-bodied guests will also find it a home from home. The welcome pack includes homemade bread, there’s free wi-fi and you can even bring your dog. There are fields and footpaths to the rear. From £225 per week.
Yew Tree Cottage
This Grade II listed 18th century building in the small village of Westow near Malton is the project of London couple Natasha and Paul. Furnishings are earthy and natural – wood, leather and wool. There are unique artworks and curiosities, such as an old wooden malt shovel hanging on a wall. Wooden floors, leather settees, wood-burning stoves and paintwork in mineral shades are lightened with a very occasional hint of floral fabric; the look lending the house an elemental, no-nonsense, intelligence. Upstairs, the three bedrooms continue the quality and comfort and the monochrome bathroom has a roll-top bath. From £593 per week.
The Green Cornwall, Cornwall, England
Luxury self catering cottages and house where history meets the finest contemporary style slap bang in the middle of Cornwall. A first class year-round holiday destination with its Cornish heart and soul still intact. Price: One Bedroom low £384 high £778. The House low £1246 high £2333.
The nearest railway station is Liskeard, from where you can take the 236 bus to Upton Cross. A short walk will then bring you to the cottage. Alternatively, the owners can arrange to pick you up from the station.
If you’ve ever passed a tumbledown former railway station and fantasised about breathing life back into it, let these three cottages be your inspiration. Formed out of what was once a stop on a Victorian branch line, the cottages overlook the south Wight downs. Primrose cottage sleeps four in what were once the station master’s office, ticket hall and waiting room. Bluebell cottage sleeps four, in what were the Ladies waiting room, parcel office and gentleman’s toilet. And Whistle Stop, which has its own balcony and enclosed garden, sleeps five in what was the engine shed. Primrose and Bluebell from £290, Whistle Stop from £350 per week.
Recently converted to the highest of standards, this fully equipped self-catering accommodation is surrounded by a family-run working Upland stock farm with Swaledale sheep and Belted Galloway cattle, with land managed in an environmentally sensitive way. The house itself combines traditional features wit modern furnishings to create a wonderfully cosy country atmosphere. Feel free to relax in the garden and patio area, and tuck in to some of the farm's own sausage, bacon, eggs and honey.
Egyptian cotton sheets, down duvets, brass beds, oak floorboards, wood-burning stoves, squidgy sofas and details fit for interiors’ photo-shoots, make these two 18th century cottages a cut above the rest. Rosedene cottage, with its country kitchen and Aga, sleeps four, while neighbouring Strawberry cottage, a converted stables with vaulted ceilings and beams, sleeps two. They are connected by a large garden with tables and chairs. The peaceful hamlet of Nunnington is surrounded by many good walks in the Howardian Hills but you may find it hard to drag yourselves away from the luxurious comfort of your holiday cottage. From £395 per week.
One of three cottages at Steephill Cove managed by the same owners, the Lighthouse, as the name suggests has wonderful coastal views, especially from its octagonal kitchen-diner and wide decked terrace. Sleeping six, inside are three bedrooms, one with panoramic views of the surrounding headland and two with French doors leading onto the terrace. The attention to detail stretches to an outdoor shower for rinsing off sandy toes at the end of the day. From £900 per week.
Callestock Courtyard Cottages
Cornish pasties straight from Liz’s oven every Tuesday, breakfast hampers bursting with local goodies and irresistible cream teas (aga-baked scones) on arrival: the food alone is reason enough to stay here. The six lovely barns and cottages have sleek, contemporary interiors (leather sofas, wood-burners, oak furniture) and there’s plenty to do without the car – a bumper pack of ideas awaits you in the cottages. Liz and Nick are super green, too: they have even installed photovoltaic panels and a wind turbine. From £320 per week.
From Newquay Railway Station, catch the 586 bus to Zelah, Two Barrows Hill. Take the first right and then the first left until you see the cottages. Route 32 and the Cornish Way on the National Cycle Network pass through Zelah.
Pollaughan Farm, Cornwall
Pollaughan Cottages, a home from home, has been lovingly restored with both children and the environment in mind. The relaxing little farmstead, near sandy beaches, provides guests with round the clock interaction with nature and wildlife. Price:£ 1450 for one week high season in smallest cottage which sleeps 4
The nearest railway station is Truro. From there, take the 550 bus to Trewithian, then turn left. Follow the road and take the first right down a short road where you will find the cottages. Truro also lies on Route 3 and the Cornish Way on the National Cycle Network.
Church Farm Country Cottages
Formerly old cow byres, these 4* cottages have been tastefully converted leaving vaulted ceilings and the beams exposed: there’s also a large, 4* Gold, converted barn with five bedrooms. Ideal for visiting Bath, Wiltshire and the Cotswolds; the cottages are close to the city but surrounded by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 8 cootages available from £345 oer week
Secret Cloud House Holidays
Luxurious yet sustainable yurt holidays in the beautiful Derbyshire Dales. There are only three yurts on site so peace and quiet is guaranteed. Inside find handmade wooden beds, featherdown bedding, a local breakfast hamper on arrival, fluffy towels... Every aspect has been carefully thought through to minimise the environmental impact of the business - showers are solar-powered, as are the lights; there's even a wood-fired hot tub! If you can tear yourself away, you're spoilt for choice with things to do in the area, from hiking and biking, to visiting local historic towns or relaxing in a spa.
Calbourne Watermill Cottages
The only working water mill on the Isle of Wight, Calbourne has plenty of history. Dating back to the Domesday Book and surrounded by oak woodland, with its café, shop, mill tours and pottery it’s a popular spot for many of the island’s daytripppers. Book into one of its three modern eco lodges or three traditional stone cottages, however, and you can stay overnight and enjoy the calm of the mill ponds when (almost) all other guests have gone. The site is a member of the Green Tourism Business Scheme but there’s camping, too, if you’d rather a really low-impact bed for the night. Traditional cottages from £305 per week for four, eco lodges from £375 per week for seven, camping from £6 per night for four.
Get there by bus: Bus route 7. Nearest stop: Calbourne Cross.
Whitehouse Barn Holiday Cottages
The perfect place to come back to after a day's exploration…These eco-chic cottages - Hen Cottage and Cloud Loft -were furnished and are maintained according to strict eco principles - hot water and heating comes from a wood-fired boiler, the paints are eco, and the welcome pack has free range eggs (from their own hens) and homemade bread. Major attractions such as Chatsworth House are within easy reach, and walking starts from your back door.
Platform 1, Castle Howard Station
It’s not only train buffs who will enjoy staying in this beautifully restored and rather grand train station, that once welcomed Queen Victoria when she visited nearby Castle Howard, but anyone who appreciates fine architecture, tasteful interiors and a touch of quirkiness. Twice a day in summer, a steam train whistles and chuffs its way past. Stay here and you have a privileged position from which to wave. There’s outdoor space on the platform and a wildlife garden for your exclusive use. Well-behaved dogs are welcome. It all makes for a first-class self-catering holiday. Sleeps 2-4. From £495 per week.
In foodie Bonchurch, home to a good pub and the renowned Pond Café, this three-bedroom house is part of a large Victorian mansion overlooking the sea. Only 15 minutes’ walk from Ventnor, romantics will love the approach to it, through a rock tunnel, while style hounds will appreciate the mix of cool contemporary furnishings and period details. Outside there’s a first-floor sun terrace and a private path that winds from the huge shared gardens straight down to the beach. From £750 per week.
West Leas Farm
The stone barns on West Leas Farm close to Ripon, have been converted into five lovely cottages. Each has its own character, though all offer everything you need for self-catering in comfort (they sleep from two to five people). The villages of Kirkby Malzeard and Galphay are within walking distance and the location’s great for exploring all Nidderdale has to offer.
Recorded in the Domesday Book, this flourmill is one of the few remaining working watermills in the UK. The River Axe still powers the old Victorian cogs which drive the millstones, producing flour sold throughout Somerset, and supplying various restaurants and bakeries in the region. The mill is open daily for tours (advance bookings only) or for a quiet wander around the museum. Louise and Steve also run B&B in some of the neighbouring buildings.
The nearest railway station is Wells, and the museum is just a half hour walk away from there. Also nearby is Route 3 on the National Cycle Network.
These nine self catering cottages have been converted from traditional farm buildings into comfortable accommodation for between 2-8 people. Lovely original features, such as exposed beams and oak studs, have been combined with brand new luxury bathrooms and modern kitchen and living room spaces with all the mod cons including flat screen TV’s, DVD players and iPod docks. Many of the cottages also have a private patio or terrace, and the one-bed romantic cottage has its own private hot tub. The farm is set in 22 acres of rolling countryside and makes a great base for exploring the area on foot or by bike. The owners have also received a gold award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme for their ecological efforts, and it shows in the smallest of details, such as using energy efficient lighting, and providing fair trade tea and coffee for their guests.
The nearest railway station is Colchester. From there, take the 84 bus to Nayland.Cyclists can use Routes 1 or 13 on the National Cycle Network to access the area.
Managed by the Avon Wildlife Trust, this award-winning, 250-acre nature reserve makes the perfect venue for a magical wedding, an inspiring conference, a fun-filled team-building day or relaxed group accommodation. Avon Wildlife Trust have taken special care of the site, which is located on a medieval deer park, to protect the wildlife and landscape during the construction: buildings were restored using traditional methods, all buildings are heated with biomass boilers, and reed bed systems have been installed. From £50 pppn.
The nearest railway station is Keynsham, which is 6 miles away. Local bus services from Bristol include the 67 bus and the 672 bus. If you wish to cycle, the West Country Way on the National Cycle Network passes close by, as do two well known walking paths, the Monarch's Way and Mendip Way.
Tucked away in the old orchard just a hop from the River Tamar (heaven for twitchers), the delightful dog-friendly pine chalets – all named after old Cornish apple varieties, of course – have airy open plan living and cheerful interiors, offering the perfect family escape. Each chalet has a sundeck, parasol and chairs in fenced gardens. The two white stone cottages – Bramley and Orchard – have beams, log-burners and a cosy cottage feel. Let your little ones run riot in the heathland and woods, and there are activities aplenty – horse riding, cycling, surfing.
The closest railway station is Looe. It is perhaps easiest to book a taxi from the station using TrainTaxi. Looe is also near Route 2 on the Natioknal Cycle Network.
Living Room Treehouse
You are carried – from the woodland floor to the tree canopy – via a sweeping spiral staircase: an architectural wonder in wood. Stripped branches are knotted together to create wonderfully wonky fences, their knobbly imperfections contrasting beautifully against the sleek, modern pods. Inside, the Hobbit-esque tree houses are neatly divided into living and sleeping quarters with portholes and glass doors, wood-burners for cosy evenings, and Scandinavian-inspired beds and chairs. From £339 for two nights.
This pretty holiday cottage adjoins the owner’s farmhouse on Higher Landskill Farm, a 100-acre working sheep and stock rearing farm with spectacular views which has been owned and run by the Kelsall family for over 100 years. The centrally-heated cottage sleeps up to five people, and has its own enclosed garden complete with garden furniture, barbecue, swings, slide and even a trampoline. It’s a great base for wildlife lovers, as the owners work closely with the RSPB to manage the land and encourage breeding birds, whilst keen walkers and cyclists will find several footpaths and cycle paths leaving right from their doorstep.
Chambercombe Manor has a rich and intrigue-filled history stretching back to the 11th century. It is reputedly the site of many paranormal happenings; it even starred on Living TV's Most Haunted series recently. Spooky stories abound, such as the tale of a young woman's skeleton found sealed into a chamber. For an unusual day out, attend one of the regular paranormal events with mediums present. Regain your strength with a light lunch or cream tea in the charming buttery, or a peaceful stroll around the gardens.
Chambercombe Manor is near Ilfracombe, which is a National Express destination. It can also be reached by catching the train to Barnstaple via Exeter, and taking a bus or taxi from there.
Surprise View Cottages
Amidst wild daffodils and scattered woodland, these three luxury cottages offer home-away-from-home comfort and breathtaking views over the rich purple heather coated moorlands that stretch away around them. These historic properties were beautifully renovated with the help of local craftsmen to ensure that they are energy efficient all year round: coming full circle, they even put back in a waterwheel to generate their own electricity. The best of the past and the future collide in this peaceful getaway. From £290 per week
Whether you’re looking for a country cottage in Southwold, a seaside retreat in Aldeburgh or a traditional beach hut, Suffolk Secrets has some absolute gems in its collection. Winners of the 2011 Green Small Business of the Year Award, this independent and family owned holiday lettings agency believes that helping to preserve the ‘raw material’ of their beautiful natural surroundings is the secret to their success and have a wide range of beautiful historic buildings in their portfolio. You’ll discover wonderful properties like the architect designed ‘Sun Deck’ nestled on Aldeburgh’s famous high street and a wonderful barn conversion in the grounds of a Grade II listed Old Rectory near Lavenham with its own swimming pool and tennis court.
Elmfield Farm Cottages
What a haven. Rent a cottage on this small, charming farm about seven miles from Canterbury and you’ll be among sheep, alpacas, ducks, pigs and hens. Owners Andrew and Harriet Wishart welcome guests with a homemade cake and are more than happy to have children in the properties - kids have their own garden to play in and may help feed the animals. One of the four cottages here has wheelchair access, another two have been made from bales of locally grown straw. Rooms: two cottages sleeping four; two cottages sleeping six Prices: two-bedroom cottages from £183 (to £667 high season) for a short break; three-bedroom cottage from £253 (to £972 high season) for a short break
Ashfield Cottages & Caravan Park
Everything about these charming stone cottages says ‘country’, from pine dressers and Rayburn cookers to the subtly floral style and the light flooding in from the lush gardens. Three units offer accommodation for between three and eight people, with well-equipped kitchens and DVD players for damp days and cosy evenings in. Best, though, is what’s on the doorstep: the steam-powered North Yorkshire Moor Railway chuffing from nearby Pickering, diverse cycling trails spidering through Dalby Forest, and the array of walks from the front gate into the southern moors. The nearby caravan site is simple but sunny and peaceful. Cottages sleeping 3-4/7-8 from £300/£560 per week. Caravan site from £10 per night.
The Blue House
A modernised timber building, with a fabulous cedar and glass extension, the Blue House sleeps eight in style. Perched on a wooded cliff above Gurnard Bay (part of the beach below is privately owned by the house), the house is decorated wonderfully eclectically, with an antique piano slotted in alongside a plump, contemporary, L-shaped sofa. A stay here is as much about the setting as the house, though. Several of the rooms have large French windows opening onto a wraparound terrace and the large garden comes with views of the Solent. From £1,450 per week.
Get there by bus: Bus route 32. Nearest stop: Solent View Road.
Two pretty stone holiday cottages – Helygen and Eithinog – sit side by side with fabulous views over the Cambrian Mountains; perfectly placed for walkers and those wishing to visit Dyfi's nature reserves and coast. Inside, you'll find gleaming wooden floors and spacious open-plan living areas with cosy wood-burning stoves; generous bedrooms have chunky wooden beds and rolling green views. You're spoilt for choice for things to do in the area: explore the surrounding countryside on foot, head to the coast or, if you can't tear yourself away, sit back and soak up those views from the comfort of your cottage.
There can’t be too many places to stay in this world where you can arrive by steam train; this 250-acre farm has it’s own stop on the Talyllyn Narrow Gauge Railway! Hendy Farm is a family-run sheep and cattle farm on the edge of the Dyfi Biosphere and guests are free to roam the farmland and meet the animals. Three comfortable and homely bedrooms are decked out in floral bedspreads and pale yellow walls, and there’s a separate sitting room should guests want to stick their feet up. The seaside town of Tywyn is a short walk away and there’s plenty of walking opportunities from the door.
Malkin Tower Farm Holiday Cottages
These two luxury self catering holiday cottages and ‘Piggery’ have been converted from the former Malkin Tower Farm, set in stunning countryside within the Forest of Bowland AONB. Owners Andrew and Rachel Turner have tried to retain as much of its character as possible, preserving the original doorways and windows, along with the original oak beams and window seats. Demdyke Cottage sleeps up to four, and Device Cottage sleeps two plus a cot if required, whilst the one bed ‘Piggery’ is ideal as an extra bedroom for those who want to get away for a few days on their own. The couple’s eco efforts have won them a Gold GTBS Award, and they actively encourage guests to lighten their carbon footprint by recycling and enjoying non-car based activities like walking and cycling during their visit.
Great Field Farm
For years Lewana and Malcolm Castle have run a much acclaimed B&B from their 15-hectare biodiverse farm in lovely countryside within easy reach of Canterbury. So they know a thing or two about providing just what guests want. More recently they have developed three eco barns powered by solar panels and heated through ground source heat pumps. Fittings and furnishings have been stylishly devised and there are big windows to enjoy the rural location. Wildlife thrives here – from woodpeckers to badgers. Rooms: three eco barns sleeping six, five and four; plus B&B offered in a separate cottage Prices: weekly rates: smallest barn from £420 (to £799); barn for five from £520 (to £850); and for six from £550 (to £925). B&B from £40 per person
Walkers Farm Cottages
Keen twitchers and riders would be hard pressed to find a better holiday spot than Walkers Farm Cottages: not only are you slap bang in the Somerset Levels - paradise for birdwatching and horseriding - but you've got four RSPB reserves and four Wildlife Trusts within touching distance. The cottages have fabulous views over the Levels so bring your binoculars for a spot of bird watching on site, or, if you want to strike out into the surrounding wetland and moor, the owners will happily organise a local wildlife guide or arrange horseriding to help you get the best out of the area.
Each of the 4 cottages have 2 bedrooms, The Hackney Stable is situated on the ground floor and has a M2 rating as it is suitable for people in wheel chairs. The Tallet is a M1 rating as it has 4 steps up to the cottage, inside the cottage it is all on 1 level.
Bus or train to Bridgwater then it's a 25-min taxi ride to the farm. For information on taxi services from Bridgwater station, see traintaxi.
Heath Farm Holiday Cottages
Heath Farm has solar panels, a wood pellet boiler, cut flowers and greenery from the grounds for the cottages to minimise buying foreign flowers, a local patisserie business on the premises provides handmade chocolates and local Banbury cakes for the guests' welcome, have a new, safe bike shed, a place to wash bikes and a place to dry wet/dirty clothes and boots and they have 70 acres of grounds for guests to wander. Part of The Green Tourism initiative awarded a 'silver' in Green Tourism. They began a conservation project and focus on supporting diversity for wildlife habitats by planting shrubs and low growing trees around the plantation margins as this is where most animals like to live. The old farm buildings were renovated using local stone (some from the premises and the rest from local quarry and villages). 5 cottages available from £381 per week.
Arreton Manor Yurt
It may have a self-catering cottage and two B&B rooms on offer but it’s a yurt in the grounds that really sets Arreton Manor apart. Available from June to September, this canvas hideaway sleeps two and comes with a wrought-iron bed and sofa. Set, rather magically, by an old stone wall there’s a parterre in front of it and a knot garden beyond. Guests booking in here also get to use a little bunting-strewn, solar-lit log cabin. Inside this is a simple kitchen, wooden dining table and shower space. From £100, B&B.
Get there by bus: Bus route 8. Nearest stop: Arreton Manor.
Sproxton Hall Cottages
On the long-distance Ebor Way footpath, in the hamlet of Sproxton, these four 18th century holiday cottages, sleeping four or five, make a good base for walkers. As well as the 76-mile long distance path, there are easy walks to the market town of Helmsley, just three miles away or a two-mile amble to Oswaldkirk. When you’re not hiking across hills, you could be relaxing at the picnic table with pastoral views or even helping out with bottle-feeding the farm’s lambs. Dogs are welcome in two of the cottages. From £240 per week.
Old Barn, Croscombe
From brew house to hay barn to self-catering pad for two, the Old Barn has had a long and fascinating history. The current owners (who have lived next door since the 70s) fell in love with the place, bought it, and have spent the last ten years converting the listed building: leaky roofs and piles of rubble have been consigned to the history books; now you’ll find delightful open-plan living, oak floors and underfloor heating. Croscombe, a sleepy Mendip village, is well placed for walking and cycling in the surrounding hills. From £63 per night; £240-£315 per week.
The nearest railway station is Wells. From there, take the 161 bus to Croscombe. The Old Barn is just around the corner on the left. Route 3 on the National Cycle Network also passes very close by.
High Woods Farm Holiday Cottages
If you long for a rustic rural retreat, where you can harken back to the days of yore in a bucolic countryside setting – without sacrificing modern comforts, of course – then High Woods Farm’s two charming cottages are the perfect place for you. With wood-burning stoves and an abundance of local wildlife, the picture-perfect image is complete: and a huge range of local attractions, from Abbeys to gardens and forests, are all just a hop, skip, and a jump away – should you feel the need to venture out. From £265 per week
The Grove Cottages
A selection of 28 self-catering cottages, huts and barns, each with their own unique character and set in peaceful country surroundings. There’s the two bedroom Orchard Cottage with its inglenook fireplace and low, beamed ceilings, or Borleymere Shepherd’s Hut located in a gorgeous wildflower meadow - perfect for a romantic break. Larger groups can stay at Oakleys, a 15th- century half hall house located in the bustling medieval village of Long Melford and sleeps up to seven people. Family groups may want to book in for a relaxing break at Woodfarm House, a 15th- century thatched farm house which also sleeps up to seven people and is surrounded by open fields, giving the young ones plenty of space to spread out and run around.
Cranberries Luxury Hideaway
With air-source and ground-source heat pumps, wood-burning stoves using logs from their own woodland, a large area of solar PV panels, a 5% discount for those arriving by public transport, bikes for hire (arrange in advance), Cranberries stresses its green credentials. The five properties, Grade II listed stone farm buildings dating from the 18th century, have been sensitively restored with local labour and sleep from 2 to 16. There are 100 acres of private land to explore and views over the Axe valley towards the sea from the postcard perfect hilltop village of Kilmington. Cranberries sets a new trend in self-catering in that they offer stays of just one night and rates are the same all year. From £55 per night for two.
Banham Farm Cottages
The seven stone holiday cottages – many with beams and original features – make the perfect base for exploring the delights of Cornwall. The Eden Project is close by, there are beaches for rock pooling and swimming, and the Camel Trail is a mere stone’s throw. If you want to stay closer to home, the site has a swimming pool and games room – or kick back and soak up the beautiful Tamar Valley countryside. Owners Simon and Clare are committed to protecting their environment and have put in place a whole host of green measures. From £475 per week.
Take the 510 bus from Exeter St Davids to Launceston, the village in which the cottages are located. Launceston is also on Route 327 on the National Cycle Network.
Bear Manor Oast
Complete with an elegant old pub - The Chaser - and a flint-and-stone church that hosts a farmers’ market on Thursday mornings, Shipbourne near Sevenoaks is picture-pretty Kentish village. Here you can rent your own oast house, a round tower-like structure formerly used for drying hops. Bear Manor Oast is a neatly converted, self-contained building with kitchen and dining facilities on the ground floor and a comfortable bedroom above. Breakfast of cereals, bread and fruit is included in the cost Rooms: one bedroom Price: double room with breakfast from £65 per night
Wood House Farm
Feeling strong? You can have a go at shearing a sheep on this working farm at the end of a lane on the southern edge of the Howardian Hills. If shearing seems too energetic, just take the sheepdogs for a walk through nearby woods, carpeted with primroses and bluebells in spring, or collect eggs from the hens. B&B accommodation is in the 200-year old listed farmhouse with fine breakfasts of local produce and an open-fire in the living room or there is a self-catering option, sleeping six, in a converted barn: all quarry tiles, beams and open brickwork. From £70 per night.
The Park, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall
On a sunny, south-facing hillside behind Mawgan Porth beach on the north Cornwall coast, The Park is a collection of eco-friendly self-catering places to stay. This is technically a holiday park but conceptually something else altogether. Price: From £335-£2935 per week.