Our favourite country house breaks in 2024

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Cherished for their one-of-a-kind charm and sense of warmth, our 16 characterful UK country houses set the tone for the walking delights that follow. We have cosy Victorian manors, elegant Georgian mansions, lovingly-converted farmhouses, and lakeside hideaways – all with desirable addresses just a skip away from some of the UK’s best-loved national parks and National Landscape.  

Al our houses assure well-appointed guest rooms in up to three categories (Classic, Premium, or Superior), licenced bars, and menus that put focus on dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. You’ll also find comfortable lounges, handy boot and drying rooms, plus Discovery Points complete with easy-to-follow routes, maps, and local information for self-guided walks.  

Find out more about all the country houses featured in this blog here. We have 16 UK country houses where the countryside or coastline takes centre stage. See all our locations here.

Longmynd House, Church Stretton, Shropshire

For all the cinematic charms of the Shropshire Hills, the location of Longmynd House is hard to top. Set in a wooded hillside just a short stroll from the market town of Church Stretton (nicknamed Little Switzerland by the Victorians for its picturesque landscape), you’ll be within easy travelling distance of the Stiperstones, Caer Caradoc, Ironbridge Valley of Invention, and the historic towns of Ludlow and Shrewsbury. The property is currently undergoing a £1.2 million makeover, with the first phase already underway. You’ll notice external design touches that give a nod to the building’s Edwardian past as well as an airy open-plan lounge area complete with a floor-to-ceiling window offering stunning views of the Stretton Hills.

7-night Shropshire Hills Guided walking

Accommodation: Longmynd House, Church Stretton

2024 departures: Mar-Dec, 7 nights

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

Harrington House, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswolds

You get the best of all worlds at Harrington House, our Grade II-listed retreat just a skip away from the heart of Bourton-on-the-Water – the impossibly pretty Cotswolds town with chocolate-box cottages, old-fashioned tearooms, and low-arched stone bridges that span the River Windrush. Not only will you be within walking distance of the Cotswold Motoring Museum, the Model Village, and Birdland Wildlife Park & Gardens, but it’s an easy drive from the two village beauties, Broadway and Bibury. For walkers, there’s no shortage of thrills, especially for those keen to explore the well-trodden trails and paths around the Windrush Valley, Lower and Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire Way, Cotswold Way, and Monarch Way.

3-night Cotswolds Self-guided walking

Accommodation: Harrington House, Bourton-on-the-Water

2024 departures: Jan-Dec, 3 nights

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

Alltshellach, Glen Coe, Scottish Highlands

For mountain views, olde-worlde charm, and somewhere comfortable to sleep, this stately Scottish house in North Ballachulish has an enviable setting right on the shores of Loch Leven. The walking opportunities at Alltshellach are as every bit rugged and romantic as you’d expect, especially around Glen Coe, the Mamores, Kinlochleven, Bidean nam Bian, and Ben Nevis – the 1,345-metre-high peak that towers above glistening lochs and valleys in the north-west Highlands and claims the title of Britain’s tallest mountain. You can also spend time in Fort William and ride the Hogwarts-esque Jacobite steam train as it makes its way through beauty spots such as Loch Eil, Glenfinnan, and Arisaig to the fishing port of Mallaig.

7-night Scottish Highlands Walking with Sightseeing

Accommodation: Alltshellach, Glen Coe 

2024 departures: May-Aug, 7 nights

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

Thorns Hall, Sedbergh, Yorkshire Dales

Delivering on all fronts for countryside lovers, Thorns Hall is a Grade II-listed manor house in Sedbergh – the Cumbrian market town treasured for its cobbled streets, public school, and bookshops (it’s known as England’s official book town for good reason). You’ll also have the Yorkshire Dales National Park on your doorstep as well as the Howgill Fells - the small group of hills adored by legendary fellwalker, illustrator, and guidebook author Alfred Wainwright. The walking opportunities here are outstanding, but if you fancy travelling further afield there’s Kendal (home of the mint cake), Hawes, Wensleydale, Appleby-in-Westmorland, and Lake Windemere all within easy driving distance.

4-night Western Yorkshire Dales Tread Lightly

Accommodation: Thorns Hall, Sedbergh

2024 departures: May-Oct, 4 nights

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

Nythfa House, Brecon, Brecon Beacons

Not many places in the UK outshine Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog) National Park when it comes to wide open spaces and soul-stirring views. So it’s easy to see the appeal of Nythfa House for those seeking respite in the Welsh market town of Brecon. You’ll be close by some of the area’s show-stealing spots, including the Black Mountains, the Mellte Valley, and Pen y Fan - the highest point in the national park at 886 metres. Equally visit-worthy is the Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenavon, the National Showcaves Centre for Wales in Abercrave, and the bibliophile’s paradise that is Hay-on-Wye. Should time allow, Hereford and Cardiff are both an hour’s drive away.

3-night Brecon Beacons Discovery Tour

Accommodation: Nythfa House, Brecon

2024 departures: Jun-Jul, 3 nights

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

Freshwater Bay House, Isle of Wight

Chalk-white cliffs and eyebrow-arching sea views characterise Freshwater Bay House on the Isle of Wight - Queen Victoria's favourite holiday spot. The location of the house is as gorgeous as it gets; it sits just a stroll away from the village of Freshwater, within pebble-throwing distance of its namesake bay, and just a skip from Tennyson Down. You’ll also be within easy reach of the area’s showstoppers, including the Stag and Mermaid rocks, the multi-coloured sands of Alum Bay, the remarkable Ventnor Botanic Gardens, and the 125-million-year-old dinosaur footprints at Compton Bay. And then, of course, there’s the Needles Old Battery for the best views of chalk sea stacks known as The Needles.

4-night Isle of Wight Self-Guided Walking

Accommodation: Freshwater Bay House, Freshwater

2024 departures: Mar-Nov, 4 nights

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

Derwent Bank, Keswick, Lake District

Adored by poets, painters, and literary giants for centuries, the Lake District has always had an irresistible pull. It’s no surprise then that Derwent Bank holds such appeal, not least for its setting in lovely grounds that slope down to the shores of Derwentwater. The location couldn’t be more perfect; the charming market town of Keswick is less than two miles away and there’s a wealth of big-name fells within easy travelling distance, including Blencathra, Helvellyn, and Ullswater. It’s also a great base from which to walk sections of the 73-mile-long Cumbria Way or to tackle Scafell Pike – the Lake District's most prominent peak and England's tallest mountain at 978 metres.

7-night Northern Lake District Guided Walking

Accommodation: Derwent Bank, Keswick

2024 departures: Apr-Dec, 7 nights

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

Abingworth Hall, Thakeham, South Downs

Country living just got cosier at this former farmhouse. Abingworth Hall is just a skip away from the village of Thakeham at the foot of the South Downs – a landscape of ancient woodland, hidden valleys, chalky cliffs, and high-backed hills so deserving of its National Park status finally bestowed in 2010. While the views from the doorstep are as lovely as you’d expect, the walking opportunities around Devil’s Dyke, Seven Sisters Country Park, Kingley Vale, Parham House, and the Clayton Windmills (known locally as Jack and Jill) are equally standout. You’ll also be within easy driving distance of several historic towns and cities, most fabulously Arundel, Chichester, and Brighton.

4-night South Downs Self-guided Walking

Accommodation: Abingworth Hall, Abingworth

2024 departures: Feb-Nov, 4 nights

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

Or try something a little further away with these new European departures for 2024

The Best of Lake Garda

Accommodation: Hotel Cristina Limone, Lake Garda

2024 departures: Apr-Oct, 7 nights

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

Walk the West Lycian Way Trail

Accommodation: Various partner hotels

2024 departures: 10 May or 4 Oct, 9 nights

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

Published 31st August 2023