The UK's wildest corners are ripe for exploration, and a host of sensitively-designed holiday estates, nestled in amongst our natural landscapes are making it that much easier. Lower Mill Estate, set in the Cotswold Water Park, is one such development, comprising 600 acres, eight lakes, two rivers and award-winning lodging to rent for short stays via Habitat Escapes.
This is a corner of the world for breakfast in bed, a brisk walk to spot birds of all descriptions and a hearty Sunday roast.
Nature and its preservation is at the heart of this Cotswolds landmark – it is built around a large and diverse nature reserve supporting a host of protected species – and it is amongst this nature that guests spend most of their time.
Activities include boating or fishing on the scenic lakes, walking or cycling, and exploring the woodlands. Keen eyes may catch resident beavers and otters, or the house martins, nightingales and warblers that breed at the estate every year.
After a muddy walk, the spa offers a touch of luxury with massages, beauty treatments and an outdoor eco-pool, naturally filtered by water lilies. The on-site restaurant, Balihoo, is a relaxed, pasture-to-plate establishment with an all day menu catering to the large groups that descend upon it of an evening.
Rental properties are architecturally adventurous yet sustainably minded, with completed phases of the estate deemed Excellent by the Building with Nature accreditation scheme. Many homes are perched lakeside, complete with boathouses and glass frontages that offer spectacular views, whilst others sit near private footpaths. Early risers are sure to catch a glimpse of the sun from the balconies that wrap around the first floor of most homes.
The design ethos continues indoors, where rooms are modern but cosy, furnished with classic Scandinavian design and thoughtful finishing touches like wood burners for cosy nights in.
Where is it
Lower Mill Estate is located in Somerford Keynes, Gloucestershire.
How to book
2-6 bedroom holiday accommodation sleeping up to 12 people (and dogs) are available all year round. Book a stay at the Lower Mill Estate via Habitat Escapes.
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