Inside the UK’s amazing castles and manor houses you can book for holidays
With airport chaos rippling across the UK, a staycation is suddenly quite appealing for quite a lot of holidaymakers.
Whether you’re worried about delays, cancellations or getting stuck in queues for hours the idea of a holiday abroad isn’t so tempting in 2022.
And, while ferries are always an option to cross the channel they’ve been hit by their own controversies following the P&O scandal earlier this year and traffic jams surrounding ports.
While we agree that the Eurostar is still a great choice – and you can get tickets from as low as £39 – many families are likely to choose a staycation once again this summer.
And, we’ve found some of the most spectacular holiday homes in the UK that you might opt for this, or even next summer.
Vrbo, global expert in family holiday rentals, has revealed the first ever Vrbo Holiday Homes of the Year in the UK – and we’re impressed.
The fabulous holiday homes range from the beaches of Cornwall to the quaint country living of Scotland and are ideal places for families and friends to stay together.
All the properties can be booked through the Vrbo website.
They meet a strict selection criteria, including a combination of 5-star ratings, guest reviews, number of bookings, Premier Host status (an invite-only program that recognises owners and managers who consistently deliver great traveller experience), and family-friendly amenities available.
Here’s the list of Vrbo’s UK 2022 Holiday Homes of the Year:
North Norfolk, England
Thursford Castle sums up a Norfolk hideaway to a tee – you really wouldn’t know it was there, unless you were fortunate enough to be in on the secret.
Discretely tucked away between the villages of Thursford and Great Snoring, this property is the result of a magnificent restoration project of a romantic Gothic chapel set in idyllic countryside a 15-minute drive from the coast.
Featured on Grand Designs, here, ancient history sits harmoniously with modern design. A wood burning stove and beautifully manicured grounds make this a place for both indoor and outdoor living. Sleeps 8 (4 bedrooms), from £3,942.57 for 3 nights.**
Hook Norton, Oxfordshire
If you’re looking for a contemporary home with unspoilt views and extensive wrap-around gardens, this is the holiday rental for you.
Scotland End Barn comes with all the amenities for shared time, such as a dedicated games room and bi-fold doors in the living area that open out to the west facing terrace where you can enjoy beautiful sunsets all year round.
The house is flooded by light with floor to ceiling glass windows and it has homely touches everywhere, such as artwork and a bookshelf filled with great novels for lazy days.
The host at Scotland End Barn loves to surprise guests by leaving treats and personal touches around the house so they feel extra special. Sleeps 10 (5 bedrooms), from £1,548.40 for 2 nights.
This glorious Manor House is a grade 2 listed building built circa 1840 with stunning 180-degree sea views towards Caldey Island.
You can enjoy the views from the bedrooms and the three large reception rooms, as well as the outdoor swimming pool and the hot tub.
The beautiful, south-facing orangery with large chandeliers is an ideal place to hold special dinning celebrations and the hosts will help arrange caterers for the occasion.
The property comes with its own bar with a 75’’ flat screen TV and a games area with pool table. Sleeps 25 (14 bedrooms), from £5,324 for 3 nights.
Nothing says unforgettable family holiday like a stay in Carnell, a 500-year-old Scottish castle from the Wallace Clan.
All 10 bedrooms are elegantly appointed with antiques and artwork, as well as fine linens and duvets.
A full household staff looks after guests, providing twice daily housekeeping, all meals and drinks.
Holidaymakers can enjoy a whopping 2,000 acres of gardens, parkland and farms surrounding the house, which include a tennis court, croquet lawn, a pond and a river where guests can go fishing.
Shooting is offered on site and some of the world’s top golf courses are within easy drive. Sleeps 20 (10 bedrooms), from £6,540 for 2 nights.
Stunning sea views isn’t enough when you can also get direct access to Crantock beach!
Cliff House offers that and much more, with its indoor swimming pool, outdoor hot tub, small gym, two living rooms and a large kitchen complete with an aga cooker and wine fridge.
Ideal for family holidays and gatherings, this property spans through 4,500 square feet of space, including parking for 5-6 cars behind electronic gates.
There’ll be no need to pack your cling film or spices: the host at Cliff House thinks of every single detail of your stay so you don’t have to. Sleeps 14 (6 bedrooms), from £2,388.60 for 2 nights.
This quintessential cottage is set in three acres of its own fenced grounds in the middle of a country farming area.
Behind electric gates sits a tranquil escape away from the pressures of day-to-day life, perfect for large families or groups.
The property comes with a large patio with ample seating, a cosy fire pit, a hot tub and a waterfall feature surrounded by manicured gardens, sprawling lawns and woodland area.
Children will love the newly installed trampoline and the playhouse. Sleeps 16 (7 bedrooms), from £2,477.60 for 2 nights.
This is the real deal for big groups or multigenerational families wishing to holiday together but still want to have privacy.
Tucked away in the rural village of Shellingford, Goodlake Barns is made up of five well equipped holiday cottages and an additional enclosed barn – affectionately named ‘The Hub’ – which is catered to be used as a shared space for big meals or to host a celebration.
Each cottage is accessible via a central courtyard and has a fully equipped kitchen, sitting room, smart TVs and Wi-Fi.
One of the barns is equipped for people with accessibility needs. Sleeps 28 (14 bedrooms), from £3,918.76 for 2 nights.
Colwyn Bay, Wales
Cedar Lodge is a newly-renovated country retreat designed to take full advantage of uninterrupted views over open countryside to the Carneddau mountain range.
Here you can enjoy complete peace and quiet, only interrupted by the gentle bleating of lambs in the fields.
There’s plenty to do in the house, though: this holiday home offers a heated outdoor swimming pool with integrated hot tub, a large barbeque grill, large state-of-the-art cinema room, pool table and console games.
It is an ideal base for exploring North Wales and the host is known to offer great recommendations of things to do and see in the area. Sleeps 12 (5 bedrooms), from £1,725.40 for 3 nights.
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