5 distinctive UK vacation leases to e-book for 2021

Home holidays have never been more popular and from eco-building in Mawgan Porth in Cornwall to cozy cottages in Wales there are plenty of places to choose from. Rosie Paterson summarizes some of her favorites

For more inspiration, be sure to check out the December 30th issue of Country Life – it’s our annual travel special that has many more ideas for adventures near and far.

Prennek House, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall

Sure, there are bigger, shinier houses out there, but Prennek House reminds me of all of my favorite childhood vacations on the surf beaches of the north Cornwall coast. And who wants to come home to an overly stylized pad after a long day outdoors, worrying about sand spreading all over the place?

That’s not to say that Prenneck House isn’t well-designed – it just doesn’t allow the design to compromise on practicality. It’s a new, eco-friendly building using recycled and local materials (it’s clad in local Cornish larch), with large common areas on the ground floor (including a separate utility room) that are flooded with natural light and four bedrooms, all of which can easily be converted from doubles to twins. A wraparound garden terrace and a practical outdoor shower overlook Mawgan Porth Beach. Upstairs is a separate, sunny roof that you want to keep all to yourself. After all, it’s dog-friendly – always a big plus in our book.

Unlike so many other coastal properties, Prenneck didn’t cover the entire sea route (a very good thing). There is an odd nod here and there – the blue kitchen counters and coastal maps are hanging on the walls – but it doesn’t feel, as it often does, twee and presumptuous. And despite the clear lines and contemporary style, there are plenty of cozy corners to hide in: from the window seats in the kitchen and two bedrooms to the deep living room sofa made of velvet.

Mawgan Porth itself is often overlooked for the busier Polzeath, but the surf is just as good and the dramatic Bedruthan Steps are an easy and exciting walk away. The small village has an excellent store for supplies (as well as several farm shops in the area) and the nearby St. Eval candle factory is well worth a visit.

Available at Perfect Stays

Castle on Well, Exmoor, Devon

New to Unique Homestays’ portfolio for 2021 – once a chapel reputedly built by St. Petroc (a 6th century British prince and saint).

The building that now stands in its place is a modern style castle with double-leaf windows, sandstone walls and a castle roof on the outside and stylized interiors on the inside. Six people can be accommodated in three bedrooms – one with a velvet headboard inspired by the antler shape.

Outside there is a fire pit and an acre of gardens to explore as well as the neighboring north Devon coast.

Available at Unique Homestays

Semaphore Tower, Surrey

The Semaphore Tower is located in the heart of the Chatley Heath Nature Reserve and was built after the Battle of Waterloo. It was once an important link in the signal chain between Whitehall, London and Portsmouth Docks.

After extensive restoration work, it can be rented for the first time through The Landmark Trust in 2021 and will comprise four floors over five. It is the perfect accommodation for a small family or two couples from London or the Home Counties. The best piece? From the roof terrace you can enjoy a 360-degree view over the treetops.

Available from The Landmark Trust

Millbrook, Llanvihangel Crucorney, Wales

Millbrook is a Grade II listed traditional style cottage that is well suited for avid walkers looking to explore the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains.

For the non-hiker, the market town of Abergavenny is just five miles away, as are the 13th-century ruins of Llanthony Priory.

Thanks to Millbrook’s warm and charming interior, you might never want to go outside – think low oak beam ceilings, stone fireplaces and a wood burner (with a board game curled up next to one), aga and roll-top bath. And don’t forget the Turkish carpets that are scattered all over the place.

Available from Sheepskin

Cloister, Melrose, Scottish Borders

The best choice for history buffs as Cloister House is in the shadow of Melrose Abbey (and the three peaks of the Eildon Hills).

The Cloister House was originally built by John Smith for the Minister of Melrose Church – the same architect in charge of Sir Water Scott’s nearby home. It has been restored by Historic Environment Scotland and sleeps eight people in four bedrooms.

The Edwardian-inspired interior is sleek (especially the curved mahogany rail staircase) and an enclosed courtyard ideal for kids and dogs (up to two are allowed).

Available from Crabtree & Crabtree

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