Special places to stay: Cosying up in Devon with Classic Cottages

//Paid partnership with Classic Cottages//

Planning your next escape to the country? Find the perfect rural bolthole for a weekend in the wild with Classic Cottages. Handpicked, carefully checked and not available to book through anyone else, the hideaways chosen by Classic really stand out as special places to stay in Britain. I love their curated collections for easy trip planning – pick properties designed to be more planet-friendly in their Eco Holidays collection. Or how about searching for a dog-friendly cottage (there are no less than 683 of them) or a home with a view of the ocean (368)?

Unlike many cottage booking companies, there are plenty of two-night stays available at many of the Classic Cottages, so you can escape to the country for a quick weekend at the drop of a hat. The biggest problem you’re going to have is deciding whether you fancy escaping to coast or hillside – and which gorgeous cottage you’re going to choose.

A weekend at Western Torrs cottage, Devon

As hidden hideaways go, cottages don’t get better than Western Torrs in Devon. Reaching this cottage is pretty special in itself – when driving or walking here you’ll find yourself on the edge of the small town of Yealmpton, until you suddenly discover a tucked-away woodland track leading you through trees and along the River Yealm to reach this dinky house.

Down its own private track in woodland that is a sea of wild garlic flowers and bluebells in spring you’ll find Western Torrs. The outside is charmingly traditional – you could easily cast this former estate cottage as the woodsman’s home in Red Riding Hood. Inside, by contrast, is all airy minimalism, with an open-plan sitting room where a huge, nap-friendly sofa faces a big wood stove. There’s a well-appointed kitchen and, upstairs, two pleasingly minimalist bedrooms sleeping four in total. If you don’t like kitschy cottages, you’ll love the relaxing, calm decor of this smart bolthole.

That inviting sitting room and wood stove make the cottage a cosy place to curl up in even on the stormiest days, but Western Torrs really comes into its own when the sun shines. Out on the decking you’ll find a big sunken hot tub to soak in – perfect for chilling out while listening to the rushing waters of the River Yealm below. There’s also a wide wooden table we had breakfast at each morning (joined by curious robins checking for crumbs). The pretty garden also boasts picnic tables, a barbeque and a gate leading straight out into the wooded pathways of the surrounding estate, which anyone staying at the cottage has permission to explore during their stay.

It’s hard to tear yourself away from Western Torrs, but there’s plenty to explore nearby – wander around the photogenic harbour village of Noss Mayo, shop for locally-sourced goodies at Ben’s Farm Shop or bring your hiking boots for the wilds of Dartmoor. Swimmers will love it here too – you’re close to Mothecombe Beach, one of my favourites slices of coastline for a dip and a ramble, as well as Plymouth’s beautiful art deco Tinside Lido. A wild swim, a soak and a book by the fire – weekends don’t get more relaxed than that.

Lazy days in Noss Mayo

7 nights at Western Torrs Cottage costs from £914, short breaks also available

Classic Cottages offer beautiful boltholes across Britain, ranging from the Cornish coast to the hills of Snowdonia and sleeping groups from 2-29. Find five more of my favourites below.

Five more special places to stay from Classic Cottages

Court Cottage
If you dreamed up the perfect Cornish holiday bolthole it’d likely look just like Court Cottage – this postcard-pretty hideaway comes complete with blue wooden shutters and a wood burner, and the beach is just around the corner. Walk into the pretty fishing village of Port Isaac and then have a sundowner back in the cottage garden.
7 nights from £462

Syddyn Cowshed, Carmarthenshire
As the name suggests, this cosy cottage was once a farm building. Now it has more of a lodge feel, with a simple, modern interior and a big veranda complete with fire pit outside, perfect for starry summer nights. Tucked into an untouched hillside in Carmarthenshire, the Cowshed is a brilliant base for walkers, with trails right from the door.
7 nights from £425

Muriau Farmhouse, Snowdonia
Planning a bigger family adventure or a hiking weekend in a group? This farmhouse makes a great base for exploring Snowdonia’s rugged landscape, with the walker’s-favourite town of Betws-Y-Coed just around the corner. Come home after a day in the hills to a kitchen made toasty by the Aga, plus five bedrooms, a snug and even a drinks bar in case you fancy sampling some Welsh whisky.
7 nights from £1,400

Oystercatcher Houseboat
All aboard the Oystercatcher – you’ll find this charming floating home moored up in Bembridge Harbour on the Isle of Wight. Inside is surprisingly roomy, sleeping six in three bedrooms and with an airy sitting room complete with stove for chilly winter nights. Outside there’s a big seating area where you can watch the sun set over the water.
7 nights from £1,261

The Orangery
Stay in a regal country home made miniature at The Orangery. This grade II-listed former gatehouse is perfect for two, with a four-poster bed, a wood stove and far-reaching sea views of Plymouth Sound from the decking. Play lord or lady of the manor by exploring the surrounding grounds of Mount Edgecumbe or sitting in the sun with an afternoon tea.
7 nights from £378