Whether you take your mate, mother or other half, here are five of the UK’s most charming getaways – designed just for two
1. Hill Cottage at Croft 103
Loch Eriboll, Scottish Highlands
Fancy an outdoor bath without anyone spying on you? Then check in to Hill Cottage in the northwest of the Scottish highlands. This luxury wood-and-stone eco-cottage (it’s powered by a windmill) on the shore of Loch Eriboll is private; so private, in fact, that you’ll never feel like drawing the curtains on the floor-to-ceiling windows that frame views of both loch and mountain.
The decor is minimalist, with a handmade super-comfy 7ft bed, log fire and a modern kitchen where you can cook fresh scallops, skate and lemon sole bought by the owners from local fishermen.
Walks by cliffs, through heather scrub and along the beaches around Durness are must-dos, but no-one’s going to judge you if you turn off your mobile (there’s only satellite-based Wi-Fi anyway), slip on your Uggs and do nothing.
From £220 per night (three-night minimum stay); Croft 103, Port-Na-Con, Durness, IV27; sawdays.co.uk
2. Hex Cottage
There’s getting away from it all, and then there’s getting away from it all, bolting the door and cutting off the power. Hex Cottage, hidden away on the 4,500-acre Wilderness Reserve in Suffolk, has no electricity.
Popular with newlyweds, this thatched cottage looks like something out of a Grimm fairytale. Throw a log on the open fire, light the candles and settle in for a night of isolated bliss, or take a seat on your private terrace with views over the meadow and see if you can spot one of the estate’s resident red deer. When bedtime calls, there’s a canopy over the bed to totally shut out the world.
After a breakfast of fresh bread, fruit and cheese served on vintage crockery, there are miles of woodland to explore (and a hidden lake to hunt down), or take in the sea air while trawling the boutiques in nearby Aldeburgh, before heading back for a soak in the rolltop tub.
From £250 a night (two-night minimum stay applies at weekends); Wilderness Reserve, Yoxford Road, Sibton, IP17; wildernessreserve.com
3. Dimpsey Shepherd’s Hut
Combe St Nicholas, Somerset
If you’ve always wanted to go glamping, but worried about the weather, then try Dimpsey’s Shepherd Hut. It’s tiny – the size of a shed – but ingeniously designed, with luxurious products made in the UK. So the cosy double bed folds down from a wall; cushions and sheepskin rugs are concealed in the chairs; and the kitchen sink is covered by a wooden board, leaving more room to cook. A Roberts radio is hidden in a cubbyhole, and there’s a telescope in the bench seat for stargazing. With everything in its place, there’s room for two people to shimmy past each other without starting a row.
Set in the grounds of working Beetham Farm in the Blackdown Hills, you’ll arrive to the warmest of welcomes. Not just from the wood-burning stove smouldering away, but also from charming owner Emma who will drop by with homemade cakes and breakfast.
The hut is the perfect base for a long country walk. There are also plenty of local pubs (Candlelight Inn in nearby Bishopswood has a vast range of West Country beers), and the Jurassic Coast is 30-minute drive away. The hut is so nice, though, you may just decide to stay in all day.
£125 per night for two adults including the first morning’s breakfast; Beetham Farm, Combe St Nicholas, TA20; dimpsey.co.uk
4. The North Star Club
Sancton, Yorkshire Wolds
This is the place to take that person in your life who you haven’t seen for absolutely ages, so you can hunker down and catch up without distractions. Based in Sancton in the Yorkshire Wolds, The North Star Club is glamping without the camping. There are eight beautifully decorated cabins – think Farrow and Ball hues and exposed wooden floors – set in 500 acres of woodland. With the luxurious four poster bed and copper bath, it’s like staying in a chic hotel set in the forest, plus there’s a box bedroom too if you prefer separate rooms. You can even request a therapist to give you a massage in your room.
This isn’t self catering, apart from a barbecue, so eating out or ordering in is essential, but there is an award-winning pub, The Star at Sancton, just 10 minutes’ drive away, which offers seasonal fare and food hamper delivery.
From £595 for two nights; Sancton, North Yorkshire, YO43; northstarclub.co.uk
5. The 76er
For a taste of Americana a little closer to home you can’t go wrong with this restored vintage Airstream for two. Set in its own private dell in the westernmost corner of the Brecon Beacons National Park, it has everything you need for a peaceful weekend away: cosy double bed, small kitchen, dining area, sofa and hot water.
More than 4,000 miles from its US birthplace, you’d be forgiven for thinking the silver bullet-like caravan came from outer space, yet rest assured it is more than at home in the lush Carmarthen countryside. Most importantly, whether you’re inside (with its cosy elegant decor) or out (on the decking flanked by rolling Welsh hills and the neighbouring woodland nature reserve), you feel a world away from home. There’s plenty to see nearby too: stock up on essentials in the vibrant market town of Llandeilo, a 20-minute stroll away; walk or cycle along the beautiful Beacons Way; or take the 20-minute drive to The National Botanic Gardens of Wales, which houses exotic horticulture from around the world.
Or, of course, you could simply relax and deer-spot from the comfort of your Airstream while making idle plans to restore a vintage trailer of your own at the bottom of the garden when you get home.
From £63 per night; Ty Cefn Tregib, SA19; canopyandstars.co.uk
Words: Lucy Frith, Jenny Tregoning, Michelle Margherita, Shannon Peter, Mariam Ahmed