Five bolt-holes for bird watchers
Binoculars at the ready, wing your way to these havens for twitchers.
Garden Hideaway, Hampshire
This retreat on the edge of the New Forest National Park combines indulgence (massages and beauty treatments are offered) with escapism. Though it operates as a B&B, the accommodation consists of two whimsical cottages at the end of a garden. Each has its own decked area overlooking a lawn, trout lake and pond – the perfect spot to sit and look for common garden birds, herons, egrets and kingfishers.
Garden Hideaway, Common Farm Cottage, The Common, Damerham, Fordingbridge, Hampshire (01725 518870; hideawaybedandbreakfast.co.uk ). Doubles start at £75, including breakfast.
Parc Yr Hebog, Ceredigion
The two-bedroom Parc yr Hebog cottage ("The Kestrel's Paddock") is on a working smallholding and offers spectacular views of farmland and hills. Birdlife includes pipits, skylarks, red kites, dunnochs and buzzards. There is easy access to Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains for day trips. There is also a sauna on site to warm up in, post-rambling.
Parc Yr Hebog, Dihewyd, Ceredigion, West Wales (01386 701177; ruralretreats.co.uk ). Three nights' rental starts at £381; sleeps four.
The Barn-House, Yorkshire
This five-star B&B is within binocular-throwing distance of Tophill Low Nature Reserve and the RSPB's Bempton Cliffs reserve, known for its colonies of seabirds. Three of the seven guest rooms are in a converted pigeon loft. If also offers a hot tub and beauty treatments.
The Barn House, 18 East End, Walkington, East Yorkshire (01482 880542; barnhousewalkington.co.uk ). Doubles start at £80, including breakfast.
Titchwell Manor, Norfolk
Rooms at this comfortable hotel offer huge beds, power showers (some have free-standing baths) and Wi-Fi. It sits on the edge of an RSPB reserve at Titchwell Marsh, which attracts egrets, ducks, Brent geese and oyster-catchers. The hotel also runs bird-watching breaks.
Titchwell Manor Hotel, Titchwell, near Brancaster, Norfolk (01485 210 221; titchwellmanor.com ). Doubles start at £110, with breakfast.
Goose Nest House, Gloucestershire
Goose Nest House is one of 250 contemporary, environmentally conscious properties on the private Lower Mill Estate, which claims to be Britain's first residential nature reserve. It has five bedrooms, a well-equipped kitchen and a lounge with double-height windows overlooking a lake. With all the houses and a spa clustered in one area, the rest of the 550-acre site is given over to nature, with a range of wildlife and birdlife ripe for spotting.
Goose Nest, Lower Mill Estate, Somerford Keynes, Gloucestershire (01883 730805; goosenest.co.uk ). Four nights' rental starts at £800; sleeps nine.
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