With October half-term looming and few people feeling like hopping on a plane right now, there has frankly been a bit of a bun fight for UK holiday houses and at a glance, there’s little left to book. So we’ve done a bit of sleuthing and found some pretty luxurious gems that are still available for one or other half term week. Here are nine great options.
Shore House, Southsea, Hampshire
Given this fine Edwardian house can usually accommodate 20 guests in ten bedrooms (all en-suite) spread over four different levels, you will not be short of room at Shore House. It offers multiple great spaces to gather, including a spacious living room, an open plan kitchen-diner and a cinema room.
The house is full of beautiful interior design touches, including contemporary chandeliers, parquet floors and different bold but elegant statement wallpapers. Outside, there’s a large wrap-round terrace with a long dining table for sunny days. Within walking distance of the beach in the south coast resort of Southsea, the house is also just a ten-minute drive of Portsmouth.
Oliver’s Travels is offering a six-night stay at Shore House, from Friday 23 – Thursday 29 October, with a saving of 20%, based on a group of up to six staying, so now costs £5,590 (was £6,987).
Pylewell Park Penthouse, Lymington, Hampshire
This atmospheric, two-bedroom penthouse (sleeping four) sits on the top floor of 19th Century Pylewell Park, just east of the pretty Georgian seaside town of Lymington in the New Forest. It has the most incredible views across the 58-acre estate which stretches right down to the sea and looks across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.
With its own private entrance and staircase leading up to it, the penthouse is the perfect half term hideaway. It’s advertised for four people as there is just one bathroom, but there are actually four bedrooms and it can comfortably sleep six. You’ll also find a stylishly elegant sitting room-dining room with huge bay windows, a loungy L-shaped sofa and a dining table for six.
Elsewhere there’s a bright, fresh kitchen with a breakfast table and a tucked-away roof terrace with bistro table and chairs – the perfect spot for sipping sunset cocktails. Head out and you’ve got the whole estate and its elegantly landscaped parkland to roam in, conveniently criss-crossed by footpaths.
Boutique Retreats is offering Pylewell Park Penthouse, from Friday 16 – Friday 23 October for £3,071.
Pitcombe Barn, Bruton, Somerset
In a beautiful rural setting with panoramic views from every window and great walks straight from the front door, Pitcombe Barn is also just five miles from Bruton, with award-winning restaurants like At the Chapel, its Hauser & Wirth gallery and gardens and interesting shops, making it the perfect half term retreat.
In less restricted times the house can sleep 12 in six bedrooms but it works equally well for six. There’s a large flagstoned kitchen, a lovely dining room with French doors to the outside and the most inviting drawing room with huge velvet Conran Shop sofas and a Bechstein grand piano.
There’s also a galleried hall with a ping pong table and a self-contained barn annex with a cinema and a double bedroom. With an English country garden to the front and a French-style courtyard behind there are multiple outdoor dining options and all are surrounded by lawns on which kids can play.
Scott Williams is offering Pitcombe Barn from Saturday 24 – Saturday 31 October, for £6,600.
Endymion House, Lake District
Journalist and broadcaster Harry Wallop and his wife Victoria bought this 1938 Art Deco home (affectionately known locally as The Poirot House) last year, totally refurbishing it, restoring its Crittall windows and furnishing it with just the right mix of original period and contemporary pieces.
The house now has six bedrooms and five bathrooms and while it feels slick and stylish, it also couldn’t be cosier, with wood-burning stoves in the sitting room and snug, an AGA in the kitchen and lots of comfy sofas. There’s a terrace with the most glorious views of the fells, although you get those from almost every room anyway.
The house sits between the lakes of Bassenthwaite (just over a mile away) and Derwent Water (not much more) and you can walk straight out of the house and up the mighty Skiddaw, England’s sixth highest mountain. Bustling Keswick is two miles away and Michelin-starred restaurant Cottage in the Wood is a ten-minute drive across the valley.
Endymion House is available from Friday 23 – Friday 30 October, with a saving of 20%, based on up to six staying, so now costs £2,900 (was £3,595).
Colleton Hall, Rackenford, Devon
This lovely Grade-II listed house dates back to Elizabethan times but was given its most significant upgrading by Sir James Roupell Colleton who bought it in 1833 and added its Georgian features. Its current owners have beautifully restored it once again, while adding contemporary touches that make it a supremely comfortable, relaxing space in which to spend time.
The house has six bedrooms and four grand but inviting reception rooms, including a Gothic reception hall, all of which have doors that open up onto south-facing terraces. It also has a well-equipped kitchen.
Set within 38 acres of private woodland and parkland between Exmoor and Dartmoor, Colleton Hall is the perfect base from which to explore both and the north Devon coast is just a short drive away. You’ll also find red deer in the grounds, a pretty lake and a stream that flows to the Little Dart River.
Oliver’s Travels is offering a three-night stay at Colleton Hall, from Friday 23 – Monday 26 October, with a saving of 20%, based on up to six people staying, so now costs £2,322 (was £2,903).
Nanceglos House, Cornwall
Tucked away in a wooded clearing on the Trengwainton estate a fifteen-minute drive north of Mousehole, this well-equipped pretty stone cottage, which normally sleeps nine in five bedrooms, make a relaxing family retreat.
With high ceilings and tall windows in a section of the upper floor, the light floods into the main living room, whatever the weather. Lamp-lit bedrooms, on the other hand, are more cosy and cottagey feeling.
There is outdoor seating for sunny days and you can stroll through the exotic Trengwainton garden and follow winding paths through woods and open meadows towards the sea.
National Trust is offering a six-night stay at Nanceglos House, from Friday 23 – Thursday 29, with a saving of 10%, based on up to six staying, so now costs £1,799 (was £1,999).
Brunton House, Embleton, Northumberland
This light-filled eight-bedroom traditional stone house on the Northumberland coast between Alnwick and Bamburgh sits on an organic farm in the middle of the 2,500 acre Fallodon Estate.
Interior design is elegant classic contemporary, mixing antiques with bold, fresh fabrics, interesting art work and lots of books. It’s a great space for gathering and entertaining with a dining room for 16 (next time, eh), an elegant drawing room, an atmospheric hall with a log burner and seating for pre-dinner drinks and a games room with a pool table.
Outside, there is the estate to explore with its beautifully maintained gardens and a secluded children’s play area and it’s just a two-mile walk across fields to the beach. There are good pubs and restaurants close by, including the hugely popular Ship Inn at Low Newton for seafood lunches and ale from its microbrewery.
Crabtree & Crabtree is offering Brunton House, from both Friday 16 – Friday 23 and Friday 23 - Friday 30 October, with a saving of 50%, based on up to six staying, so now costs £1,917.50 (was £3,835).
Dalmore House, Blairgowrie, Scotland
You can have great fun entertaining in this 1809 Gothic Revival baronial highland retreat, which sleeps 12 in six bedrooms in ordinary times and manages to feel at once stately and informal and relaxed.
For communal gatherings, there’s the dining room and the wood panelled Great Hall and the bedrooms, all on the first floor off a gallery landing, look down on the action below. There's also a formal drawing room with views over the grounds, a less formal TV room and a games room with a full-sized pool table and an open fire. While casual breakfast can be taken at a table in the kitchen, there is also a traditional dining room which opens out onto a patio, providing another entertaining space when the weather allows.
The house faces north east and has views across open fields but the drawing room and dining room and two main bedrooms look south east towards the Cromarty Firth.
Scotts Castles is offering Dalmore House from Saturday 24 – Friday 30 October, with a saving of 35% , based on six staying, for £1,071 (was £1,649).
Leuchie Walled Garden, North Berwick, Scotland
This wonderfully unusual low-rise house is two extraordinary homes blended together – a 200-year-old gardener’s cottage and an avant-garde mid-century modern addition. While it sleeps 12 in six bedrooms, the owners are offering a 35% low occupancy saving for parties of six or less, until 1 December.
The home, built in 1960, sits within the walled gardens of Grade-A listed Leuchie House, which has been in the Dalrymple family since 1698. It has a large kitchen and breakfast room, a dining room and a spacious drawing room with a grand piano and an open fire.
Sliding doors lead out onto a terrace and the magical walled garden: manicured lawns, ancient yew trees and vibrant herbaceous borders. There’s also a working kitchen garden to dip into.
Crabtree & Crabtree is offering Leuchie Walled Garden from both Friday 16 – Friday 23 and Friday 23 - Friday 30 October, with a saving of 35%, based on up to six people staying in up to six bedrooms, so now costs £5,525 (was £8,500).
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