10 cottages for couples

10 cottages for couples

The National Trust has nearly 400 holiday cottages to choose from – and we’ve picked the most romantic for an escape in the English countryside...

From a renovated shepherd's hut near Padstow with spectacular sea views, to the wing of a country house in Cumbria, if you're planning a romantic break you'll need somewhere extra special to stay. And special places are what the National Trust do best, so here are their pick of some of the best places to whisk your loved one away to. (Main image Mike Henton)

1. Bank Wood, Cumbria

Approached through sweeping parkland which guests can enjoy after hours, Bank Wood offers the chance to stay in your very own country house. Situated in the west wing of Acorn House, a Grade I listed mansion, this beautiful apartment boasts original features and antiques. 

2. Skipper's Cabin, Cornwall

Thankfully there are no shepherding duties when you check into Skipper's Cabin, a renovated traditional stone shepherd's hut in an enviable position at the head of a secluded valley running down to Porth Mear cove. Porthcothan's sandy beach is just a mile away, making this the perfect base from which to enjoy coastal walks on your doorstep.

3. The Chalet at Tan yr Ogof, Gwynedd

With green timbered walls the Chalet is tucked away in woodland within the spectacular scenery of Hafod y Llan. A real get away from it all location but with every comfort you could wish for it's the ultimate cosy retreat for two.

4. South Wing, Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire

Play at being lord and lady of the manor in an elegant William and Mary style apartment on the second floor of this red-brick country manor. White washed walls, exposed beams and far reaching views of the beautiful parkland make this a dreamy retreat. Guests will also get the grounds of Hanbury to themselves after the gates are closed to the public.

5. The Old Coastguard Station, Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire

Perched at the end of the picturesque seventeenth century fishing village of Robin Hood's Bay, right next to the sea, this second floor apartment (above a visitors' centre) is all sloping ceilings and stunning sea views. Perfect for seaside strolls and fish suppers at nearby Whitby.

6. Fishlock's Cottage, Avebury, Wiltshire

Situated within the Neolithic Stone Circle and Henge, this detached eighteenth century cottage is the perfect base for exploring the World Heritage Site. Enjoy breakfast in bed from the comfort of the antique bed which has stunning views from the windows to the Henge and Marlborough Downs.

7. Saxon Cottage, Sussex

This delightful thatched cottage stands in a convenient location just off Steyning's bustling High Street. It has an unusual and intriguing cat-slide thatched roof and inside is full of character with low ceilings and doorways to catch out the unwary.

8. Cromer Lodge, Norfolk

Part of the former Gate Lodge to Felbrigg Hall, Cromer Lodge is a quirky cottage situated in a perfect location. Guests can enjoy park and woodland walks through the estate while the nearby quiet country lanes are ideal for cyclists. What's more the sandy beaches of West Runton and Cromer are fewer than 10 minutes' drive away.

9. Old Mill Cottage, Herefordshire

This intriguing 15th-century stone building (pictured above) lies in the heart of the wooded Herefordshire countryside on the beautiful Brockhampton estate. A chocolate box pretty cottage it's surrounded by a pretty woodland garden and is accessed via a wooden footbridge over a stream.

10. The Water Tower, Trelissick, Cornwall

This is one for those who like their hideaways quirky. Resembling the legendary tower of Rapunzle this topsy-turvy tower has a circular room on each floor linked by a spiral staircase with the kitchen at the top, a sitting room below, and a double bedroom on the first floor. Unusually, the bathroom is on the ground floor and is accessed by a separate outside door.

Income generated from staying in a National Trust holiday cottage supports the charity's work in looking after special places, making it the perfect partner for planning your romantic getaway. Book a cottage on line at www.nationaltrustcottages.co.uk or call 0844 8002070 and get planning a truly memorable holiday.

Looking for more romantic ideas?

The 2013 edition of Unique Honeymoons Magazine is out now - it's the ultimate guide for couples who want to do something a little different, whether that's a romantic getaway or a honeymoon trip-of-a-lifetime!

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