Best of three weekend retreats

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Keeper's Cottage is buried in a deep, wooded valley in the Cotswolds, at the end of a long and unmade track. It was built as a gamekeeper's cottage to Lypiatt Park, near Eastcombe, Gloucestershire. The three-bedroom stone cottage stands in half-an-acre of grounds. A stream runs through the garden where there are apple, plum, walnut and damson trees. In spring, there are masses of daffodils and snowdrops. The house has been recently extended to include a conservatory. There are other properties within sight, but at some distance away. pounds 180,000 through Hamptons (01285 654535).

Close to the water's edge, between Beaulieu and Bucklers Hard, lies 2 Yachtsmans Cabin. It's reached via a gravel track and is hidden by trees. The house is upside down, to take advantage of the view: the two bedrooms are downstairs; the sitting room upstairs. Sliding doors lead from the sitting room to a large sun deck, providing views of the Beaulieu river and woodland. Outside there's a large sail store and parking for three cars. Security shutters are fitted to every outside door and window, making it ideal to lock up and leave. pounds 185,000 through Paul Jackson (01590 674411).

The Old Forge at Easton Royal, in Wiltshire, has gardens backing on to open farmland. The house is grade II listed, with recently replaced thatch, central heating and kitchen, and is close to the Savernake Forest. There are three bedrooms but one is tiny - 7ft 9in square - so would repel hordes of envious, would-be weekend guests. The sitting room has a wood- burning stove, wooden floorboards and beamed ceiling. Three miles from Pewsey, where the high-speed train to Paddington takes 70 minutes. pounds 155,000 through Knight Frank (01488 682726).