The Big Six: Cosy cottages in Britain

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The Independent Travel

Candlewick Cottage, Cotswolds

An antique-filled, luxury bolthole in a picture-perfect Cotswold village, this former workers' cottage dates back to 1890. Surrounded by bucolic countryside, it is charming and homely inside, with floral and leaf-sprig wallpaper and romantic brass beds. In summer you can relax in the fragrant garden, but in winter this is a perfect hideaway: curl up in front of the roaring log fire with a good book.

Candlewick Cottage, Painswick, Gloucestershire (O1637 881942; uniquehomestays.com). Weekly rental starts at £595. Sleeps four.

Sheep Cottages, Suffolk

Black Sheep and White Sheep are two cottages in the village of Peasenhall. Dating back to 1560, their interiors blend antiques with contemporary design, with oak timbers and floorboards. There's a plentiful supply of books, maps and games – and Wi-Fi if you can't leave the 21st-century behind. White Sheep Cottage has a large inglenook fireplace and double-ended tub. From the cosy bedrooms you can gaze out over the church and village – or out on to the rolling Suffolk countryside.

Sheep Cottages, Peasenhall, Suffolk (020-8692 6069; sheepcottages.co.uk). Weekly rental starts at £390; three-night breaks from £285. White Sheep Cottage sleeps six, Black Sheep four.

Lochanshelloch Cottage, Inverness-shire

Isabella Cawdor was a magazine stylist in London before she married the Thane of Cawdor (remember Macbeth?). After moving to Scotland, she revamped five crofters' and shepherds' bothies on the Highland estate and turned them into contemporary yet cosy holiday cottages. Lochanshelloch Cottage is low-slung, cornflower blue and surrounded by mature woodland. Inside there are brass beds, gingham curtains and log fires.

Lochanshelloch Cottage, Cawdor Estate, Nairn, Inverness-shire, Scotland (01667 402402; cawdor.com). Weekly rental starts at £625; three-night breaks from £375. Sleeps six.

Skipper's, Cornwall

Skipper's is an 18th-century cottage offering the benefits of a hotel plus the privacy of a self-catering property for two. The owners will send up meals cooked by their chef or a spa therapist for treatments. The interiors have a boutique-hotel feel.

Skipper's, Mousehole, Cornwall (01326 231 112; boutique-retreats.co.uk). Weekly rental starts at £585 or £300 for a weekend.

North Range, Carmarthenshire

Owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, North Range is a barn conversion using natural paints, sheep's wool insulation and hemp plaster. It has stone-flagged floors, a large stone fireplace and oak shutters.

North Range, Llwynywermod, Carmarthenshire (01579 346473; duchyofcornwallholidaycottages.co.uk). Weekly rental starts from £650. Sleeps six.

Low Strawberry Gardens, Lake District

This flag-stoned cottage on the shore of Lake Windermere, near Beatrix Potter's home at Near Sawrey, was originally gas lit. It now has electric lights – but no sockets. Two twin bedrooms have beams and old wooden floors. Low Strawberry Gardens, Far Sawrey, Cumbria (0844 800 2070; nationaltrustcottages.co.uk). Weekly rental starts at £309. Sleeps four.

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