All of the accommodation on this list had some availability between 27 December and 3 January at the time of publication
Sherborne West Lodge, Cotswolds
Pack walking boots and comfy slippers for a stay at this lovely semi-detached cottage, which forms half of the lodge house on the Sherborne Estate. Period touches – original fireplaces and traditional dark-wood furniture – give a classic, cosy feel, while outside the estate stretches for more than 115 hectares, with walks from the door. It’s a lovely, secluded base for two, with several of the Cotswolds’ most beautiful villages within a few miles, and a great pub, the Fox Inn, under 10 minutes’ drive.
A week from 29 Dec costs £899, four-nights from £622, sleeps 2, nationaltrust.org.uk
The Old Army Cinema, east Kent
Gather up a group of friends for a unique stay in this cleverly converted former Church Hall in the small village of Ruckinge, overlooking the Romney Marsh. The huge, open-plan living space is ideal for a New Year’s Eve celebration, with a large, wooden kitchen island, dining table and lounge area – meaning that no one spends the evening slaving away in the kitchen on their own. Walk off any thick heads with the lovely one-mile amble to the White Horse in Bilsington, or a stroll along the Royal Military Canal, which passes just south of the village and extends from Hythe on the coast, past Rye in East Sussex to Cliff End. Port Lympne safari park is on the doorstep, too.
A week from 29 Dec costs £3,110, three-nights from 29 Dec costs £2,492, sleeps nine, bramleyandteal.co.uk
Kale Pot Cottage, North York Moors
Walkers, nature-lovers or those craving a little post-Christmas quiet will enjoy this delightful converted barn, surrounded by miles of unspoilt countryside in the North York Moors national park. Sleeping up to five in two bedrooms, it has walking and cycling trails from the front door, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway runs nearby (Newtondale Halt is a mile away), while the ancient market town of Pickering is about 10 miles to the south and Whitby 18 miles to the north. Pick up supplies on the way in and hole up for the week; with no mobile signal, Kale Pot offers the perfect opportunity to really get away from it all.
A week from 29 Dec costs £700, sleeps five, northyorkmoorscottage.co.uk
Bwthyn Stabal, Llŷn Peninsula, Gwynedd
Set in the grounds of an 18th-century manor house, this three-bedroom cottage has a cosy, home-from-home feel, with lovely views towards the sea (the beach is a five-minute walk away). A third, single bedroom makes it ideal for a family travelling with a grandparent – or a teenager who wants their own space. Snowdonia is on the doorstep and the charming town of Criccieth, overlooked by its ruined castle, is an easy walk from the house, with a clutch of excellent restaurants and its own butcher and fishmonger – perfect for cooking up a NYE feast.
A week from 29 Dec costs from £1,134, sleeps five, quality cottages.co.uk
Argaty Cottage, Stirlingshire
A new year’s break for nature lovers, Argaty Cottage – a 15-minute drive north of Stirling – is on the eponymous estate, famous for its red squirrels and large numbers of red kites. The cottage itself is chic and comfortable, with three bedrooms, a gleaming new kitchen and a logburner in the sitting room. The nearby Deanston Distillery is the place to pick up a tipple or two for New Year’s Eve, and guests at the cottage receive a discount on ranger-led visits to see the kites and squirrels, and on ATV buggy tours of the estate.
A week from 27 Dec costs £750, three nights £375, sleeps six, argatycottage.com
Crow’s Nest, south Dorset
Once you’re through the doors of this – from the outside – slightly unprepossessing house at Owermoigne, you’ll find a fantastic space for an extended family, or two families holidaying together, with a sociable, open-plan downstairs, that combines a kitchen with central island, a long dining table and cosy lounge area with logburner. Teenagers will love the separate snug, with its own TV and PlayStation, and the house’s proximity to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door (six miles) means the New Year’s Day walk is easily sorted.
A week from 29 Dec costs £3,523, four-nights from 29 Dec costs £3,168, sleeps 13, plus three dogs, holidaycottages.co.uk
Stable Cottage at Draycott, Somerset
Take the whole family – including the dog – for a week over the new year deep in the Somerset countryside, at this elegantly converted barn on a working farm. The original beams and woodburning stove make it a perfect winter retreat, and younger children will love exploring the surrounding farm – including the chance to spot barn owls, partridges and pheasants. Nearby Yeovil is perfect for stocking up on provisions for a New Year’s Eve dinner, and local footpaths encompass everything from gentle strolls to hangover-busting hikes.
A week from 30 Dec costs £1,371, four nights £1,253, ruralretreats.co.uk
The Old Presbytery, Devon
Discover the glorious beaches of the north Devon coast – Croyde, Saunton Sands and Westward Ho! – free of summer crowds with a stay at this elegant house perched above the surf-obsessed town of Braunton. This is a real treat of a house, with a state-of-the-art kitchen, long oak dining table and a wooden-floored, firelit lounge that is ideal for chilly winter nights. The additional snug means no squabbling about what to watch on TV, and the large, wraparound garden is ideal for younger members to run off excess energy.
A week from 29 Dec costs £2,706, sleeps 8, classic.co.ukCheltenham Cottage, Cotswolds
A great choice for a family that wants the facilities of a hotel with the independence of a cottage stay, Cheltenham Cottage is one of 12 traditional Cotswold-stone houses on the Bruern Etate, surrounded by a couple of hectares of delightful gardens. The two-bedroom cottage has a large, open-plan drawing room and kitchen, firelit lounge and a four-poster bed in the master bedroom. Beyond the house, there is a huge array of activities, including an adventure playground and two play areas, swimming pool, spa and gym, with bikes to borrow and an award-winning gastropub, the Kingham Plough, a short walk away.
A week from 30 Dec costs £2,020, four nights from £1,861, sleeps four, , bruern-holiday-cottages.co.uk
The Bolthole, Kendal, Lake District
An ideal choice if you want a little buzz on New Year’s Eve but plenty of peaceful country walks on either side of the festivities, this charming cottage has a light and airy open-plan downstairs, with a stylish en suite bedroom above. The market town of Kendal has plenty of pubs and restaurants (including the Rifleman’s Arms, a minute’s walk from the cottage), all of which are easily walkable, and Windermere is a 20-minute drive away.
A week from 30 Dec costs £734, sleeps two, sykescottages.com
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