Friday, 3 Jul 2020

Best staycation deals for June and July

Our worlds have shrunk since the coronavirus took hold, and they’re getting smaller by the day.

But while all non-essential travel has stopped for now, you might be in need of a break in the British countryside once the lockdown in the UK lifts. Or alternatively, bookmark these cottages for later in the year.


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Hole up in front of a wood-burning stove in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of Exmoor National Park. Pitt Farm Cottage has a galleried bedroom as well as a garden, barbecue and sweeping countryside views. Enjoy the wild spaces of Exmoor as well as the nearby Quantock Hills.

The cottage is available through Classic Cottages, with six nights from 8 June costing £481. Bookings are not being taken for holidays before 4 June, but a week’s stay from 6 June costs £493.


Take advantage of the vast area of the Cairngorms National Park and the Northern Highlands when you stay at Riemore Cottage with Sykes Cottages. Set in the small village of Tomintoul, the three-bedroom cottage has a wood-burner and a garden, and it’s in a handy place for long walks and bike rides in the national park.

Bookings aren’t available until 4 June (subject to change), when you can stay for seven nights from £469.


Get a taste of stately-home life by renting White Lodge on the grounds of Haughton Castle in Northumberland. The two-bedroom cottage has its own garden within the estate, and is convenient for both Northumberland National Park and the North Pennines AONB. Curl up in front of the wood-burning stove, or have a game of tennis in the castle grounds.

Seven nights’ rental with Rural Retreats costs £647 from 13 June, and includes a welcome hamper.


Meander along the waterways of North Wales on board Cape Weaver, a 47ft narrowboat that comfortably sleeps four. Waterways Holidays offers a four-night break along the Llangollen Canal, starting in Wrenbury and taking in the Pontcysyllte aqueduct that soars above the River Dee.

A four-night rental in July costs £900 and includes tuition.


Dogs are especially welcome at Owl’s Retreat, a cute two-bedroom cottage surrounded by the rolling hills of Nidderdale. Along with the Yorkshire Dales, there are 29 acres of woodland to explore.

Canine Cottages specialises in pet-friendly accommodation around the UK, and offers a week at Owl’s Retreat for seven nights in July from £586.

Cyclists in search of a challenge can join a guided weekend bike ride through the mountains of the Lake District with Saddle Skedaddle. It’s one of the toughest on offer, with all of the six passes in the Lakes covered in two days.

The starting price of £355pp includes accommodation, breakfast, lunch, guided riding with vehicle support and railway station transfers. Bike hire is extra.

Mary Novakovich is editor at large at

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