The British countryside comes into its own in spring, with brighter days, fresh air and everything in bloom. So if you're thinking about booking a staycation during the blossom season we've handpicked s idyllic cottages near some of the UK's top rated .
All of the cottages selected are near an AONB which scored at least four stars for scenery and accommodation so you're guaranteed a room with a stunning view. Each property is listed with a holiday provider that treated its customers well during the pandemic so you can feel confident making a booking.
From a family beach holiday along the rugged Causeway Coast, to a cosy couple's getaway in the Yorkshire Dales, see where you could retreat to for some much-needed rest and relaxation this spring.
Home to 12 AONBs in total, Cornwall isn't short of scenic spots. Which? readers particularly like the east of the county, rating it five stars for accommodation and four stars for scenery.
Orangery Lodge near Torpoint offers couples a romantic getaway near some of east Cornwall's AONBs. This homey cottage is a Grade II listed building which overlooks Plymouth Sound. And it's listed with Which? recommended provider.
It comes with a fully equipped kitchen and dining area, so you can enjoy a home cooked meal next to the wood burning fire. There's a lounge to sit back and admire the views.. Upstairs, the one and only bedroom features a four-poster double bed, dressing room, and fireplace (for those chillier evenings). You'll find the bathroom downstairs, which has a contemporary step-in shower.
Orangery Lodge is located just outside of Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, where there are hundreds of acres of rolling fields, woodland, beaches, and listed gardens to explore. And within a 15 minute drive down the coast, you could be discovering Rame Head AONB, which is known for the medieval chapel at the edge of the cliff. A little further away, you'll find Tamar Valley AONB.
This property has limited availability in March and April. Pets are welcome.
South Devon AONB was rated five stars for accommodation and four stars for scenery by Which? readers. The AONB covers nearly 400u33a2 of stunning coastline and Apple Barn from Which? recommended provider is right at the heart of it.
This beautiful barn conversion comes with a fully equipped kitchen and dining table, cosy lounge featuring a wood burning fireplace, and a south facing terraced garden with barbeque for some scenic al fresco dining.
The property sleeps four comfortably, but it can sleep up to six with additional futon beds. The master double bedroom is on the ground floor and the twin bedroom can also be made into a double.. Additionally, the loft space can sleep two more guests on futon beds. The main bathroom, with a power shower and bath, is on the ground floor and there's an additional WC upstairs.
Apple Barn is ideal for walkers. It's just a 15-minute walk away from several beautiful beaches and you can also join the South West Coast Path. Salcombe estuary and Mill Bay are also reachable by a short walk. From here, you can hop on a ferry across to Salcombe and rent a boat, do some shopping or enjoy some fish and chips on the seaside. There's also three golf courses within a 40 minute drive from the house.
Got a furry friend who loves paddling in the sea? Dogs are welcome to stay at Apple Barn with a small additional fee.
The Antrim Coast and Glens in Northern Ireland made it into the top ten AONBs in our survey. Readers awarded this alluring region five out of five stars for scenery and accomodation. And we've found just the place to stay and take it all in.
is a secluded country cottage sat right on Cushendun Beach. Step out of its bold red door and immediately feel the sand between your toes, or soak in those sea views from the comfort of your bed. Game of Thrones fans might recognise the dramatic landscape surrounding Strand House from the hit series.
The property sleeps up to five, with one master double bedroom, a twin room, and a small single room. There's also a cot and highchair if you're bringing little ones. With a well equipped kitchen, dining table, washing machine and tumble dryer, you can be completely self-sufficient. On warmer days, you might like to eat al fresco at the picnic table in the garden. The living room features a wood burning fireplace and a TV, for cosy evenings in. And the contemporary bathroom comes with a shower and bath.
Strand House is perfectly placed to explore the Antrim Coast and Glens either on foot or by car. Just south of the cottage is the National Trust village of Cushendun, built in 1912. Here, you can potter around the shops or sit and admire the historic surroundings.There's also Ballycastle just a 30 minute drive away.
There are only a few dates left in March and April and the property is fully booked throughout May.
The Forest of Bowland in Lancashire is another top-scoring destination for accommodation and scenery, with five and four stars in those categories. If you're a couple wanting to get away from it all, The Shippon could be just what you're looking for.
This freshly refurbished barn conversion is a home from home with its contemporary, open plan design and all of the creature comforts one desires. And yet a glance out of the floor to ceiling windows will remind you that you are indeed on holiday, with spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
The property is accessible for disabled guests as it's all on one level and has an entrance ramp. It has a fully equipped kitchen, dining table, and a stylish living area. The bedroom features a double bed, flat screen TV and more stunning views of the surrounding area. The bathroom has a walk-in shower cubicle. Outside, there's an enclosed patio area with a table and chairs.
Located in the village of Arkholme, The Shippon is just far enough away to get some peace and quiet while still being conveniently near the motorway to head out and explore further afield. The Forest of Bowland, the Yorkshire Dales, South Lake District and Lancashire are all within reach by car while Kirkby Lonsdale is the nearest town to nip to for shopping, eating and walking.
Sandwiched between two AONBs (Nidderdale and the Yorkshire Dales), the Blue Plain Dairy offers the ultimate rural retreat for up to four guests. Which? readers awarded Nidderdale five stars for accommodation, which, if this property is anything to go by, is no surprise.
This barn conversion is finished with a relaxing, contemporary colour scheme and features all of the mod cons for a restful stay. It has one king size bedroom with an en-suite and one twin room (which can also be made up as a super king-size), making it ideal for families or couples. Each bedroom comes with a TV and, of course, views of the surrounding countryside. The en-suite comes with a walk-in shower cubicle while the second bathroom comes with a freestanding bath tub with shower head.
The kitchen is fully equipped and in addition to a dining room, there's also a breakfast bar and living area. Outside, there's a private hot tub, patio, barbeque and hand built stone fireplace ready for some al fresco dining on those warm spring evenings.
Just a short stroll away is Pateley Bridge village, home to England's oldest sweet shop. And with two AONBs on your doorstep, there are plenty of walks and other outdoor activities to choose from. The Victorian spa town of Harrogate isn't too far either, if you fancy a bit of retail therapy.
Snuggle up next to the wood burning fireplace with your partner and gaze out over the Shropshire Hills from Bramley Barn, which sits on the grounds of a listed manor house. Guests can expect an open plan kitchen and living area and upstairs, a bathroom with a walk-in shower and spacious double bedroom.
Step straight onto one of the many walking or cycling trails from the house or just a 20 minute drive away is Ludlow, a charming medieval town which was voted one of the to visit by Which? readers. There's also the Unesco world heritage Ironbridge 45 minutes away.
Can't get the dates you want at Bramley Barn? It's also worth checking out the newly built on the same site, which again sleeps two. However, furry family members can't come and stay in either property.