Discover stunning remote villages for the perfect summer stays
OUR most popular national tourist spots will be packed like record number of vacation home.
So think outside the box and explore the beautiful villages and small towns of Britain.
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Vacation rental search giant HomeToGo has rated secluded spots for heat, pubs, activities and scenery.
Sophie Swietochowski takes a tour of the hidden gems, with some suggestions of places to stay.
EXTENDING in the pretty village of Hathersage is a bit like stepping into a Charlotte Brontë novel.
This is not surprising, as it is the village that inspired the location of its classic, Jane Eyre.
Situated on the edge of the Hope Valley in the Peak District, it has some of the best inns in the country including The Plow Inn which was named Derbyshire Dining Pub of the Year by The Good Pub Guide and is a great place to grab a sandwich at the tasty steak.
And the local lido is one of the most beautiful in the country if you fancy a swim.
WHERE TO STAY: Scotsman’s Pack Country Inn offers double guest rooms from £ 95 per night. See scotsmanspackcountryinn.co.uk.
A stone’s throw from the coast and in Exmoor National Park, lies the medieval village of Dunster.
An old castle watches over rows of half-timbered houses, a working water mill and a yarn market.
Despite the scars of the Civil War, much of the castle remains intact and visitors can explore the rooms and the vast grounds (tickets cost £ 20 on nationaltrust.org.uk).
A short walk to Nutcombe Bottom will take you to England’s tallest tree, a 24-foot Douglas fir.
Take a break for a cup of tea in one of the many Victorian-style tea rooms or head to the Stags Head Inn for cider-poached chicken or ‘chic’ macaroni and cheese.
WHERE TO STAY: The Luttrell Arms offers double guest rooms from £ 135 per night. See luttrellarms.co.uk.
MANY spots along the Cornish coast offer breathtaking views. But with spectacular cliffs and a turquoise sea, Mullion takes the top spot.
West of the Lizard Peninsula, the village is full of seaside cafes, quirky shops and art galleries.
Stroll through the harbor, where local fishermen set out to fish for mackerel and pollock, or ride horseback along the coastal paths at the Newton Equestrian Center (from £ 20).
In the center of the village, The Old Inn makes homemade pies and Scottish eggs.
WHERE TO STAY: Higher Lampra Cottage can accommodate two people, without board, from £ 452 for two nights. See sykescottage.co.uk.
PORLOCK is a nature lover’s dream, where birds flock to the salt marshes backed by woods.
Hike through the moor, past grazing deer and ponies. At 520 meters, Dunkery Hill is a tough climb but you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views across Exmoor to the Bristol Channel.
In the bay, a resurgent oyster peach blooms and you can feast on it at the Porlock Weir Hotel, where they are served cooked in crab butter with pickled cucumber and crème fraîche. For local cider and homemade burgers, head to the nearby Ship Inn.
WHERE TO STAY: Magnolia Cottage sleeps four, from £ 350 for two nights. See thebestofexmoor.co.uk.
Hawes, North Yorkshire
It is the homeland of Wensleydale cheese – Wallace and Gromit’s favorite food. The picturesque market town takes pride of place in the Yorkshire Dales.
Every Tuesday the streets are filled with a bustling market where artisans sell food and other products.
It’s a short walk from the old train station which is now part of the Dales Countryside Museum (£ 4.80 for adults).
Head to the Wensleydale Creamery on Gayle Lane for cheese-making demonstrations or stroll north to Hardraw Force, one of England’s largest waterfalls.
Stroll along the Pennine Way to the White Hart Inn, which offers rooms to rent and cooks a delicious picnic lunch of ham shank terrine, pork pie, pickles and, of course, cheese Wensleydale.
WHERE TO STAY: Check in at the pub, which offers double rooms from £ 120. See whiteharthawes.co.uk.
FERRYs float on the docks as rows of colorful houses overlook the River Dart in the small village of Kingswear.
The best way to see the surrounding countryside is by steam train.
It departs from Kingswear before crossing the English Riviera, crossing the Dart Estuary and winding through the woods to the coastal town of Paignton.
Steps from the train station, the Steam Packet Inn offers stone-baked pizzas dripping with cheese and delicious toppings.
Back in Kingswear, hike along the South West Coast Path to Coleton Fishacre, a 1920s National Trust property with lush gardens and an art deco country house.
WHERE TO STAY: Take the ferry to Dartmouth and check in at 24 Lake Street, a five-person self-catering cottage from £ 497 for two nights. See coastandcountry.co.uk.
THIS tiny fishing port at the north end of Cornwall made headlines in 2004 when flooding swept cars into the sea.
These days, tranquility has returned and it has become a popular place for artists to paint.
Take a boat trip along the coast to spot puffins, razorbills, and seals before heading to the Witchcraft Museum, overlooking the Valency River.
Learn how the spells were cast and browse the Potions books (tickets start at £ 7). Just up the road, The Cobweb Inn offers excellent burgers, pizzas, and fish and chips.
WHERE TO STAY: The Old Parsonage offers double guest rooms for £ 246 for two nights. See old-parsonage.com.
In the heart of the Peak District, Castleton makes an ideal base for hikers.
One of the best routes is the ascent of Mam Tor, which means Mother’s Hill, which offers stunning views from the 517-meter peak.
Rest your weary limbs in the garden of The George pub, tasting local beers and classics such as beef and house ale pie and scampi.
Take time to explore the bizarre underground caves by boat to the Speedwell Cavern (tickets start at £ 25). The tour takes you 200 meters underground to a cathedral-like cave and underground lake known as the Bottomless Pit.
WHERE TO STAY: Ye Olde Nags Head offers double guest rooms from £ 65. See yeoldenagshead.co.uk.
THIS stone village is one of the most charming you will find, not least because of its beautiful location in Snowdonia National Park.
There are lovely walks from the doorstep, but the highlight has to be the riverside ice cream parlor that sells salty caramel bananas and award-winning sorbets.
Stroll to Gelert’s Tomb, a monument which legend says is the resting place of a beloved dog, Gelert, who belonged to Welsh Prince Llywelyn the Great.
Across from the little bridge, a cozy hotel-pub named after the prince serves tasty chicken, steak and vegetable pies.
WHERE TO STAY: Noddfa Cottage sleeps five, from £ 395 for two nights. Learn more at sykescottage.co.uk.
Reeth, North Yorkshire
THE large village square is surrounded by three pubs and a pretty church.
Arrive on a Friday and you’ll find the green overrun by the popular weekly market, where traders sell local artwork and other produce.
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Spend the weekend exploring the nearby countryside on two wheels. Bikes can be hired from £ 30 a day at the Dales Bike Center in nearby Fremington.
The pros should take on the 11 mile climb to The Tan Hill Inn, which sits 1,732 feet in the Yorkshire Dales and is one of the most secluded pubs in the country. You will have deserved his famous grilled lamb chops and his beer.
WHERE TO STAY: The Burgoyne Hotel offers double rooms from £ 138 per night. For more details see theburgoyne.co.uk.