Travel: three cosy UK rural retreats for the winter

Enjoy spectacular views in comfort this winter at these three luxurious UK rural retreats, says Chris Carter

The Great Barn, Ullswater
The Great Barn sits on 27 acres of private grounds, with half a mile of lake frontage
(Image credit: )

Start the new year with a trip to the Lake District. The Great Barn on Ullswater enjoys stunning views over the lake and surrounding mountains in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Together with the main house, Waternook, The Great Barn sits on 27 acres of private grounds, with half a mile of lake frontage.

The building was converted from a 17th-century barn and retains much of its original character, with glass walls added to make the most of the natural light and landscape from its secluded location.

Inside, there’s a kitchen and lounge area, a minstrels’ gallery, a cosy snug overlooking the lake, and an outdoor terrace. Each of the four bedrooms has an en-suite bathroom, while Waternook can also be rented to sleep up to 20 guests. Self-catering is an option.

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But if that’s too much work after the chaos of Christmas, a chef, waiting staff and housekeeping are on hand so you needn’t so much as lift a finger. You can even arrange to be flown in by helicopter.

From £4,200 a week,

A Sussex sanctuary

House in the snow

This East Sussex home overlooks Bewl Water

Hunker down from the cold in a cosy English country home in East Sussex, on the banks of the 500-acre Bewl Water. A long stately driveway takes you to the main entrance with old oak doors that open onto a spacious hallway of York stone, an elegant staircase and a galleried landing.

Through the French doors you can gaze across the lake from the covered seating area – or, for warmer views, nip back inside to the drawing room, which features an inglenook fireplace with wood burner. There is also a gun room with polished floors, exposed wood-beam ceilings, and a large open fireplace.

The dining room comes with a walnut table and the Travertine-tiled breakfast room has a glass atrium ceiling and leads onto the terrace. The house has eight bedrooms, seven of which have bathrooms.

From £858 a night,

Swiss luxury in Gloucestershire

Fire pit on a balcony overlooking countryside

This Alpine-style lodge in the Cotswolds, located just outside Cheltenham, sits amid mature gardens, trout lakes and sweeping vineyards. The large lounge opens out onto a terrace with spectacular landscape views. From here, you can read your copy of MoneyWeek over your morning cup of coffee, or at night gaze up at the stars from beside the fire pit.

The property comes with a fully equipped kitchen, three bedrooms – two of which have en-suite bathrooms – and a 200-year-old stone annexe, with its own wood-burning fireplace. The luxurious bathroom features a deep bathtub and a large walk-in shower.

From £912 a night,

Chris Carter

Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.

Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.

You can follow Chris on Instagram.