Best cottages for a cultural getaway

With holiday cottages in the grounds of historic houses and grand estates, a stone’s throw from World Heritage Sites and in the heart of countryside that's inspired artists and writers, we’ve got places to stay that are just perfect for a cultural break.

We’ve picked some of our favourites, from cosy cottages to spacious farmhouses and stylish apartments to elegant gate lodges. What's more, every booking helps support our work looking after special places, for ever, for everyone.

Chaplains Lodge - Exterior

Chaplain's Lodge, Tyntesfield, Somerset 

Sleeps 5

Chaplain’s Lodge, a beautifully restored mid-Victorian gate lodge, is the ideal country retreat for those with a passion for landscape gardening and architecture. Set on the 500-acre Tyntesfield estate, there are Italianate terraces, a rose garden, a working walled kitchen garden and an arboretum to explore alongside the spectacular Victorian Gothic Revival house with its spiralling turrets and ornate stone carvings.

Guests have free entry to Tyntesfield house, gardens and estate and access to the grounds out of hours. Please note: Chaplain’s Lodge has an interconnecting door with Chaplain’s House enabling large parties (up to 11) to holiday together. This remains locked unless requested.

The interior of Cwmmau Farmhouse

Cwmmau Farmhouse, Herefordshire 

Sleeps 10

Cwmmau Farmhouse is a grand 17th-century timbered farmhouse with many original features. It’s ideally located for visiting Hay-on-Wye, home to the famous literary and arts festival and a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year. Nearby are the centuries-old Croft Castle and Berrington Hall, one of the few masterpieces designed by Henry Holland to survive intact, set within one of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s final landscapes.

View of the gardens and the back of the Rotunda

Gardens House, Ickworth, Suffolk 

Sleeps 6

Once the head gardener's residence, Gardens House is in an idyllic setting alongside the walled garden and overlooking the lake at the heart of the 1,800-acre Ickworth estate. Among the parkland, pleasure grounds and gardens, Ickworth’s impressive Rotunda is a must-see. Designed as a treasure house, it has an extensive collection of portraits, furniture, silverware and Doccia porcelain acquired by generations of the Hervey family.

Guests have free entry to Ickworth house, gardens and estate during opening hours. Guests also have free entry during opening hours to Blickling Estate, Felbrigg Hall, Gardens and Estate, Sheringham Park, Horsey Windpump, Oxburgh Hall, Peckover House and Garden and Sutton Hoo.

Entrance to Mottistone Manor Farmhouse holiday cottage, isle of Wight

Mottistone Manor Farmhouse, Isle of Wight 

Sleeps 14

Ideal for large gatherings, Mottistone Manor Farmhouse is surrounded by large, secluded gardens with views over the fields to the English Channel. Located close to Mottistone Gardens and the adjoining Mottistone Estate, the farmhouse is an ideal base for garden and nature lovers. Further along the coast The Needles Old Battery and New Battery offer insights into wartime coastal defences and Britain’s role in the race for space.

Guests have free access to Mottistone Gardens during opening hours.

The Picture shows cows walking along the shoreline White park Bay

Portbraddan Cottage, White Park Bay, Country Antrim 

A semi-detached cottage nestled in the old fishing hamlet of Portbraddan, Portbraddan Cottage has views of the beach and dunes at White Park Bay and Rathlin Island. Built by salmon fishermen 350 years ago, Portbraddan is perfectly located for exploring the Antrim coast between the world-famous basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site, and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

Guests have free entry to the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Portstewart Strand and Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House during opening hours.

The reception at Proctor, Fountain's Hall, Yorkshire

Proctor and Vyner, Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire 

Each sleeps 3

Proctor and Vyner are stylish apartments within the Elizabethan Fountains Hall featuring furnishings inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Edwin Lutyens and fine views over the Yorkshire countryside. Both are ideal for exploring Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, a World Heritage Site incorporating 12th-century Cistercian abbey ruins, a monastic watermill, a Georgian water garden and deer park.

Guests have free entry to the abbey ruins, water garden and Studley Royal estate during opening hours and access to the Fountains Hall walled gardens out of hours.

St Oswalds cottage on Holy Island near Lindisfarne Castle

St Oswald's Cottage, Holy Island, Northumberland 

Sleeps 5

St Oswald’s Cottage was designed by Edwin Lutyens for Edward Hudson, the then owner of Lindisfarne Castle, which Lutyens renovated. The Grade II listed cottage is the last dwelling on the road towards the castle on Holy Island. As well as the castle itself, a highlight of any visit to the island is a stroll in Gertrude Jekyll’s walled garden, which lies on the site of a vegetable patch once used to feed soldiers in the castle.

Kayaking on Windermere

Tanner Brow, Windermere, Lake District 

Sleeps 4

Set slightly back from the shores of Lake Windermere, Tanner Brow occupies the first floor of a rugged semi-detached stone cottage. It offers good views across Windermere, particularly from the sitting-room window seat. The Lake District has inspired writers and artists for centuries, including Beatrix Potter, who wrote many of her famous tales at Hill Top, and William Wordsworth, whose birthplace and childhood home was in the Lakes.

Visitors looking at Whistler's mural at Plas Newydd

Tywyn Cottage, Cemaes Bay, Anglesey 

Sleeps 4

This traditional seaside cottage is in the picturesque harbour village of Cemaes Bay on the north coast of Anglesey. It’s only a short walk to the sandy beach and five minutes to the harbour and village centre. A short distance away, Plas Newydd House and Gardens is home to Rex Whistler’s largest ever painting – the Dining Room mural – and a military museum exploring the 1st Marquess' exploits at the Battle of Waterloo and the Charge of the Light Brigade.