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Places to Stay

The best places for a rural UK holiday

Sarah 25 October 2022

An enticing blend of tranquillity and rejuvenation with fun and frivolity, a luxury rural retreat in the UK is the answer to your high-stress levels and busy schedule – it’s time to adopt a slower pace of life with a little harmony. Apart from anything else, it’s a liberating feeling, breaking away from the crowd and heading into the countryside with your nearest and dearest.

Feel that? It’s freedom. Picture long walks through crisp autumn leaves or visiting beautiful gardens full of spring flowers, delicious pub lunches in charming country inns, cosy evenings in front of roaring log fires and warm bowls of soup after hours of countryside adventures. 

We have highlighted some of the finest countryside places to visit in the UK for a relaxing rural escape with a large group. Whether you're seeking outdoor adventures an thrilling activities or cosy country pubs and gentle river-side rambles, we're confident our ideas below will satisfy your dreams. 


The Scottish Highlands 

The Scottish Highlands

You can’t get much further from the humdrum of city life than deep in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. A country break in Scotland lends itself to a few rounds of golf on the nearest course, outdoor pursuits under the expert eye of a professional or whisky tasting at a world-renowned distillery.

Home to the world’s largest concentration of malt whisky distilleries, and The Malt Whisky Trail, is there a better destination for groups who are partial to a dram or two? A taste of the good stuff and a weekend away in the heart of rural Scotland might be just what you and your friends need to shake off the trials and tribulations of a busy life. See our guide to group activities in Scotland to inspire your country break. 


Yorkshire Dales

Yorkshire Dales

Stay deep in the Yorkshire countryside to find the peace and quiet you have been chasing. The rich rambling scenery of the Yorkshire Dales National Park offers incredible castles and abbeys and the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks of Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent. 

Take long walks along a fantastic network of footpaths, delve into tiny villages with big characters, and cosy up in country pubs with signs that say things like, 'muddy boots and paws welcome'. With plenty of wide-open spaces and away from towns and cities, the Yorkshire Dales is home to some of the darkest skies in the country, having earned recognition as an official Dark Skies Reserve. 


Norfolk

Norfolk

Home to the magnificent Sandringham Estate, the royal residence of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, Norfolk is a gold mine of stately homes resembling the likes of Downton Abbey. Striking buildings rise from within perfectly manicured gardens guarded by ancient forests and beautiful parkland.

Discover their illustrious history against a backdrop of colours, take brisk country walks, dine in cosy country pubs in front of roaring fires and devour delicious local dishes during your rural retreat. Home to the unique landscapes of the Norfolk Broads, you can easily lose yourself among the picturesque waterways and nature reserves. 


The Peak District 

The Peak District

A riot of colour throughout the year, no matter which season you visit the Peak District, you're sure to fall in love, from the warm orange glow of autumn to the lush greens and vibrant flowers of spring and summer. Feast your eyes on the striking countryside scenery, visit stately homes such as Chatsworth House with its opulent interior and stunning gardens, and soak up the beauty of charming towns and villages such as Bakewell, Tissington and Hartington. 

If you’re a keen walker, the long-distance walking trail starts at Edale in the Peak District. Due to its central location in the heart of the UK the Peak District is an excellent countryside place to visit in under two hours from the cities of Manchester, Sheffield, and Leeds. 


Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia National Park

With some of the most spectacular scenery in all of the UK, one of the best countryside places to visit is Snowdonia National Park. Rolling valleys are interrupted by imposing mountain ranges, and secret lakes hide away in wildlife-rich vales. 

Often referred to as the ‘adventure capital of the UK’, Snowdonia is the place for thrill-seekers, making it an epic choice for big groups with a taste for adventure. Whether you need a break from the real world somewhere off-piste or you’re looking to blow off some steam with outdoor pursuits and exciting challenges, Snowdonia is sure to satisfy your dreams. 


The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds

Famed for its honey-coloured villages and glorious rolling landscapes, the Cotswolds is a firm favourite for a holiday in the countryside. The great thing about staying in the Cotswolds is that one minute you could be exploring the Cotswolds Way, and the next indulging in an insta-worthy brunch in the dazzling city of Bath. 

Punctuated with stunning villages full of character, be sure to end countryside strolls by taking tea at the finest teahouse in Stow-on-the-Wold or spend an afternoon delving into the quirky boutique and delectable delis in Bourton-on-the-Water. Awash with stunning stately homes, majestic ruins, pretty gardens, See more excellent group activities in the Cotswolds.


Kent 

Kent

A fascinating history, stately homes, timber-framed houses, pretty villages and delicious food and drink – there’s a lot to fall in love with in the Kent countryside, but if there’s one reason to visit the Garden of England, it’s for its fabulous wine estates. Home to more than 50 vineyards, it’s safe to say that if you’re a wine lover, you’ll feel at home! Don’t miss top names such as Chapel Down, Biddenden and Hush Heath. 

With many vineyards opening their doors for tours and tasting, it’s a great destination if you’re planning a hen do or a big birthday celebration. Less than 2 hours from London, Kent is one of the best countryside places to escape to when you are looking for a short or last-minute break away from the city. 


Northumberland 

Northumberland

Did you know that Northumberland has the lowest population density in England? That means that 97% of the area is classed as rural. If you’re keen to escape the crowds on your next family holiday, Northumberland countryside is the place to visit! With so much of its landscape rural, it goes without saying that visitors will be delighted with the breahtaking scenery, and uninterrupted views.

If you’re captivated by the history and magic of castle ruins, drawn to secret beaches, and inspired to take on epic outdoor adventures, Northumberland is calling your name. Approximately two hours from Edinburgh and less than an hour from Newcastle, your countryside dreams can become a reality. 


Devon

Devon

There is much to uncover in the varied landscapes of beautiful Devon – where lush rolling countryside meets dramatic coastline, and charming villages nestle within quiet wooded valleys. Encompassing not one but two national parks, Exmoor and Dartmoor, are a plethora of rural idyls to hideaway making it one of the best places to stay in the countryside. 

A fantastic rural destination to visit for wildlife lovers, thrill-seekers, families, and young groups, it’s an all-around destination with plenty of countryside places that offer activities, experiences and sights to see that will suit a range of ages. 


Book a large house in the countryside

Inspired to down tools and escape to the countryside? You deserve it! We have a whole host of beautiful large houses across the UK in the fantastic countryside places to visit that we have mentioned. Our impressive collection of large country houses to rent in the UK spans England, Scotland and Wales, and includes magnificent manor houses, fine barn conversions and luxury houses with enjoyable extras such as tennis courts and swimming pools. Some of our countryside escapes make fantastic  party houses for big celebrations, and our excellent  large family houses are ideal for multigenerational groups. View the full collection and find somewhere simply perfect in the UK countryside to host your BIG group getaway. 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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