There’s less than a month to go until the spring bank holiday weekend but there’s still time to book a great break.
Whether you’re looking for a quirky romantic retreat for two or hoping to gather together a crowd of friends and family in grand country pile, the National Trust has nearly 400 holiday cottages acrossEngland,WalesandNorthern Ireland.
Selected for their character or uniqueness, National Trust’s holiday cottages are set in some of the most spectacular locations and dramatic landscapes in the country and with profits reinvested, your holiday will help support the Trust’s work as an independent charity protecting and preserving special places for future generations.
Here’s the national Trust’s pick of some of the best places to spend your May Day break:
For family get-togethers
Choristers' House, Fountains, Yorkshire
A charming Victorian house in the World Heritage Site Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. Situated next to St Marys Church, in the medieval deer park this Burges designed house stands on its own with wonderful views across the park and down to Studley Lake. Built in 1873 the original use was to house a music school along with the organist and music master. The interior reflects the Burges style with all existing original features maintained.
Three nights, £1112 (based on arrival 5th May)
Dyffryn Mymbyr Farmhouse, North Wales
A large restored Victorian farmhouse in an outstanding location in central Snowdonia with stunning mountain views including the Snowdon Horseshoe and Moel Siabod. Built in the early 19th century as part of the Penrhyn Estate, this cottage is located on a working upland farm. One for the eco-conscious it’s heated by an innovative low carbon wood-pellet heating system. The house and farm were also the setting of the iconic book 'I bought a Mountain' - a classic tale of life on an upland Welsh farm between the two world wars by Thomas Firbank. Another famous occupant and the donor of The Farm was Esme Kirby, an environmental campaigner and founder of the watchdog group Snowdonia Society.
Three nights, £599 (based on arrival 5th May)
Grand country homes from home
Butler's Apartment, County Fermanagh
Nestling at the foot of Benaughlin, and surrounded by the forests and hills of west Fermanagh, Palladian Florence Court is the epitome of the great Irish house. Situated in the laundry yard in the south wing, Butler’s Apartment served as living quarters for the male servants at Florence Court. This unique and atmospheric apartment is located on the first floor and overlooks the 18th-century laundry courtyard, and the adjoining woodland garden.
Three Nights, £323 (based on 5th May)
North Wing, Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire
Play at being lord and lady of the manor in an elegant William and Mary style apartment on the second floor of this red-brick country manor. White washed Walls, exposed beams and far reaching views of the beautiful parkland make this a dreamy retreat. Guests will also get the grounds to Hanbury themselves after the gates are closed to the public.
Three nights, £300 (based on arrival 5th May)
Postcard-pretty country garden cottages
Bog Cottage, Upton House and Gardens, Warwickshire
Originally a banqueting house in the 18th century, this warm red brick building was converted to a cottage by Viscount Bearsted in the 1930's. It overlooks the pretty bog garden created in the 1930s with lush green plants and streams running through it. With the views from the large windows and its lofty interior it gives a garden party feel.
Three nights, £560 (based on arrival 5th May)
Garden Cottage, Cragside, Northumberland
Built by the Victorian inventor Lord Armstrong next to the formal gardens at Cragside for his agent, Garden Cottage has splendid views across the Italian Terrace and over the historic parkland to the Coquet Valley and Simonside Hills beyond, the building attracts the sun and faces to the east and south.
Three nights, £460 (based on arrival 5th May)
Darfar and Redhurst, Derbyshire
These pretty cottages sit on the North Bank of the River Manifold and are in a truly get-away-from-it-all location. Ideally placed for couples or families who like the outdoor life, outstanding walks and a hard surface cycle way close at hand, together with abundant wildlife and freshwater fishing. The buildings have great character and have been sympathetically converted into comfortable holiday homes using traditional building methods.
Both cottages sleep four.
Three nights, £366 (based on arrival 5th May)
Wasdale Hall Lodge, Cumbria
Standing behind a former artist's studio at the south-western end of Wastwater,England's deepest lake, this cottage makes the perfect base for walkers or visitors wanting to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the western edge of the Lake District National Park.
Three nights, £366 (based on arrival 5th May)
Something out of the ordinary
Birdcage, Port Isaac, Cornwall
Rising up out of the higgledy-piggledy of old Port Isaac, the Grade II-listed Birdcage sleeps two and is a remarkably charismatic building. Two centuries old, pentagonal, three-storey, and with a terrace reached through the bathroom, this former cobblers shop has tiny rooms and a staircase that slims down to just over a foot wide in places. Small and compact this cottage is not for the tall and long legged, but it is one of the most unusual in the national Trust’s collection.
Three nights, £345 (based on arrival 5th May)
Chert, St Lawrence, Isle of Wight
This unique mirror image 70s house, situated within the quiet residential area of St Lawrence, is tucked against a wooded cliff with wonderful sea views from the expansive first floor windows and large balcony. A central spiral staircase leads up to the first floor where two identical wings meet in a central hall way. The largely monochrome interior has a bright Orange bathroom and detailed mosaic features and the furniture is very much in 70's style.
Three nights, £422 (based on arrival 5th May)