There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t envy Cameron Diaz (just me?). This is especially true, however, when she upped and abandoned her life to stay in the middle of nowhere in the British countryside (or Surrey, to be more specific), in the hit Christmas film The Holiday.
The everlasting appeal to switch your phone off and retreat from the outside world is even more tempting after the festive period, when the post-Christmas burnout starts to really take hold, your inbox is full to the brim of things you’d put off over Christmas, and the dark days are making you feel utterly miserable. And whilst we can’t promise that you’ll find your very own Jude Law, we can promise that these cosy cabins and lodges across the UK will provide you with everything you need for a relaxing escape.
The Yan, Lake District
Nestled amongst the stunning Central Fells, The Yan is everything you would look for in a rustic escape. Owned by husband and wife Dave and Sally, the former sheep farm turned boutique hotel is truly a family affair, as is evident by the warm and hospitable service. Comprising five self-catering cottages, two glamping pods and seven en-suite bedrooms, accommodation is simple yet homely (with dog-friendly options available, too). On site, you’ll find the Yan Bistro, with its ever changing menu of Cumbrian classics and hearty British favourites. Off site, you’ll find rolling hills, picturesque views and an abundance of walking routes that are sure to blow away the cobwebs. In the morning, we recommend sitting outside with a cuppa and admiring the surroundings. Come night, switch your mug for a glass of red and get talking to the locals – the stories are fascinating, and they’ll be all too happy to give you recommendations to make the most of your stay. theyan.co.uk, Fully-catered stays start from £212 per person, per night.
Woodhill Cottage, Surrey
Bad news for The Holiday fans – the actual property from the classic flick doesn’t exist in real life. The exteriors were built from scratch, and the interiors were sets. The inspiration for the cottage, however, was very much real. The crew behind the movie discovered Honeysuckle Cottage, located in the commuter town Holmbury St Mary, whilst seeking inspiration for the film, and later went on to recreate the cottage brick for brick as part of the set of the film. The cottage was available to rent via Airbnb for a time, though now has seemingly disappeared off the app. If you’re looking for something closeby, we recommend Woodhill Cottage, available to rent via sykescottages.co.uk, with all of the charm and less of the tourists snapping pictures. Sleeping up to nine guests, interiors are cosy, and you’ll be pretty secluded – all that surrounds the cottage is a farm shop and a pub (though what else could you possibly need?). During the day, we recommend exploring the nearby Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or winding down with a good book in the Garden Room, with french doors directly overlooking the cottage’s green space. sykescottages.co.uk, From £877 for two nights.
Get your fill of hygge at this cosy hut, tucked away in the South Norfolk countryside. Here, you’ll find Danish-inspired interiors (think mid-century furniture, mountains of blankets, freshly picked flowers and abstract ceramics), alongside panoramic views of the adjacent parkland. Perfect for those who truly want to disconnect, you’ll find no WiFi in the cabins, only a freestanding tub, two yoga decks and an outdoor wood-heated bath. If you find yourself going stir-crazy, fear not, as you won’t be truly alone – the neighbouring area is regularly frequented by muntjac, roe deer and hares. settlenorfolk.co.uk, From £280 per night.