Three idyllic countryside retreats

We could all do with a chance to stretch our legs. Chris Carter suggests a spell at a farm

“We’ve been cooped up for so long that the chance to go free range in Britain once lockdown eases will make this spring really special,” says Jane Knight in The Mail on Sunday. And it doesn’t get much more bucolic than at Scrogg House Farm, a smallholding in the Yorkshire Dales’ idyllic Rawthey Valley. 

There are two converted cottages for guests. One is a one-bedroom former threshing barn and the other a two-bedroom former smithy, both of which come with fishing rights to the River Rawthey, which meanders by outside, with a deep pool for swimming where it meets the River Clough. 

If you follow the river, you will come to one of England’s highest waterfalls, Cautley Spout in the Howgill Fells. “Back at base there’s a dog shower and plenty of human comforts, mixing modern technology, such as underfloor heating and a hot tub, with traditional features including exposed beams and stonework.” From £206 for two nights, scrogghouse.farm.

Embracing wabi-sabi

“It’s not often you find wabi-sabi principles laid out deep in the heart of the Allgäu in Bavaria, amid the meadows, hills and cow-filled pastures,” says Condé Nast Traveller. But that ancient Japanese tradition of embracing transience and imperfection has informed the renovation of Rosso farm and its barns and stables. The floorboards are sloping, the beams wonky and the steps creaky. “But the honesty of the style fits neatly, symbiotically with the rustic setting. Owners Christian Müller and Lisa Rühwald have elevated it with their eclectic, elegant design.” 

The three apartments, with their galleried platforms for the beds, bunk beds in alcoves for the children and free-standing copper bathtubs in bathrooms finished with warm tadelakt plaster, sport vintage furniture and flea-market curiosities. Cheerily big kitchens allow guests to cook up the regional ingredients they find in the farm shop, while guests can warm themselves up in the sauna after a long hike. In spring, “the gardens come alive, with chickens pecking around in the courtyard, the barbecue area on the terrace ready for sunny lunches and the fruit trees in flower”. From about £180, dasrosso.com.

A taste of working farm life

Whether it’s learning the art of beekeeping or spinning wool at a working sheep farm, guests are encouraged to get their hands dirty at farm stays dotted around Greece, ranging from the Peloponnese to the Central Macedonian region, says Helen Iatrou for National Geographic. One of the best is Eumelia, situated in Laconia, in the southern Peloponnese region. An agritourism and wellness retreat, it offers guests the chance to experience life on its working farm through harvesting olives and grapes and putting the farm-to-table philosophy into practice at one of its chef-led cooking classes. Doubles from €160, eumelia.com.

Recommended

UK inflation is at a 30-year high and it hasn’t peaked yet
Inflation

UK inflation is at a 30-year high and it hasn’t peaked yet

UK inflation has hit 5.4% - its highest in 30 years. And it could be heading higher. John Stepek explains what it means for you and your money.
19 Jan 2022
Index fund
Funds

Index fund

Index funds (also known as passive funds or "trackers") aim to track the performance of a particular index, such as the FTSE 100 or S&P 500.
18 Jan 2022
Model Y: Tesla has nailed it once again
Cars

Model Y: Tesla has nailed it once again

The electric carmaker’s new SUV crossover, the Model Y, sets the benchmark in the sector.
18 Jan 2022
The UK jobs market is booming – but wages are struggling to keep up with prices
UK Economy

The UK jobs market is booming – but wages are struggling to keep up with prices

Britain’s jobs market is booming, with wages rising and plenty of of vacancies. But inflation is rising faster than wages can keep up. John Stepek loo…
18 Jan 2022

Most Popular

Five unexpected events that could shock the markets in 2022
Stockmarkets

Five unexpected events that could shock the markets in 2022

Forget Covid-19 – it’s the unexpected twists that will rattle markets in 2022, says Matthew Lynn. Here are five possibilities
31 Dec 2021
US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?
Inflation

US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?

US inflation is at 7% – the last time it was this high interest rates were at 14%. But instead of panicking, markets just shrugged. John Stepek explai…
13 Jan 2022
Tech stocks teeter as US Treasury bond yields rise
Tech stocks

Tech stocks teeter as US Treasury bond yields rise

The realisation that central banks are about to tighten their monetary policies caused a sell-off in the tech-heavy Nasdaq stock index and the biggest…
14 Jan 2022