Countryside Holidays in the UK - HomeToGo base64Hash Countryside Holidays in the UK - HomeToGo

Countryside Holidays in the UK

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Countryside Holidays in the UK

Whether it's a romantic getaway, a family hiking trip, or a solo break, the UK has what you're looking for.

Rural weekend breaks in the United Kingdom: Top Holiday Lettings

Cottage Moffat and District
11 Jan - 18 Jan
-61%
£208
£82 per night
Cottage ∙ 5 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms

Delightful Cottage in Moffat And District with Garden + Sublime Views

Moffat and District, Dumfries and Galloway, United Kingdom
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Cottage Moffat
4 May - 11 May
-32%
£73
£50 per night
Cottage ∙ 4 guests ∙ 1 bedroom

Cosy Cottage in Moffat with Private Parking

4.7
Excellent (22 ratings)
Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway, United Kingdom
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Cabin Beattock
30 Sept - 7 Oct
-18%
£251
£205 per night
Cabin ∙ 9 guests ∙ 4 bedrooms

Cabin in Beattock with Hot Tub, Garden & Barbecue

4.5
Excellent (31 ratings)
Beattock, Dumfries and Galloway, United Kingdom
Free cancellation
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The Top 5 Most Beautiful Countryside Towns In The UK

The Top 5 Most Beautiful Countryside Towns In The UK

A nature-filled holiday doesn't necessarily mean staying in the middle of nowhere. There are plenty of beautiful towns nestled within rural areas that serve as a great base for exploring the surrounding countryside.

  1. Keswick

    This bustling market town lies at the heart of the Lake District. Museums, galleries, and a weekly market are found amongst the Georgian buildings and cobbled streets of the town centre. It's a short drive (or hike!) to some of the National Park's most breath-taking lakes and peaks, including Derwentwater, Bassenwaithe Lake and Skiddaw.

  2. Cirencester

    The capital of the Cotswolds, Cirencester is a handsome market town and the ideal base for exploring the quintessential countryside of the Wolds. With a history that goes back to Roman times, the town comprises historic sandstone buildings and green spaces, excellent shopping, bars and restaurants. It's the perfect destination for a romantic holiday.

  3. Salisbury

    Salisbury is actually a city but is far more compact than many of the UK's sprawling towns. That's largely because the surrounding area is protected, including Cranbourne Chase AONB and Salisbury Plain, home of the famous Stonehenge.

  4. Kirkby Lonsdale

    The gateway to the unspoilt Yorkshire Dales, Kirkby Lonsdale is a picturesque town comprising traditional stone cottages and cobbled streets. There's easy access to the Forest of Bowland and the Lake District: a hiker's delight!

  5. Buxton

    Derbyshire's famous spa town has the highest elevation of any UK market town. As the heart of the Peak District, it's the perfect base for an activity holiday in the Peaks.

Best Places to Stay for Rural weekend breaks in the United Kingdom

Cottage Moffat
4 Jan - 11 Jan
-37%
£75
£47 per night
Cottage ∙ 2 guests ∙ 1 bedroom

Cottage in Moffat with Private Parking

5.0
Outstanding (4 ratings)
Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway, United Kingdom
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Cottage Moffat
1 Mar - 8 Mar
-66%
£256
£89 per night
Cottage ∙ 4 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms

Cottage in Moffat

Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway, United Kingdom
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Cottage Tinwald Parish
1 Nov - 8 Nov
-43%
£157
£90 per night
Cottage ∙ 6 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms

Wonderful Cottage in Tinwald Parish with Private Parking + Countryside View

5.0
Outstanding (2 ratings)
Tinwald Parish, Dumfries and Galloway, United Kingdom
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The Best Areas for Nature Lovers in the UK

The Best Areas for Nature Lovers in the UK

There's nothing quite like countryside holidays in the UK for nature lovers to unwind, relax and recharge the batteries.

  • 1. Norfolk Broads

    One of the UK's 15 national parks and its largest protected wetland, this is a popular destination for birdwatchers. Celebrated for its biodiversity, it is home to a quarter of the UK's rarest creatures including the Swallowtail Butterfly, Bittern and Marsh Harrier. Rent a thatched cottage on the banks of the water and explore the seven rivers and 65 broads by boat.

  • 2. Cairngorms National Park

    Making up part of the Scottish Highlands, the Cairngorms is home to a broad range of wildlife that you are unlikely to encounter elsewhere in the UK, including mountain hare, reindeer, pine marten, and wildcats. The Angus Glens and the Cairngorms Mountains themselves form breathtaking scenery

  • 3. Pembrokeshire Coast

    The UK's only completely coastal National Park, this Southwest Wales destination is perfect for a walking holiday. Expect to see seals, otters and puffins.

Recommended Holiday Lettings for Rural weekend breaks in the United Kingdom

Cottage Parkgate
22 Nov - 29 Nov
-71%
£191
£56 per night
Cottage ∙ 4 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms

Cottage in Parkgate with Garden

5.0
Outstanding (4 ratings)
Parkgate, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
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Cottage Moffat
2 Nov - 9 Nov
-66%
£209
£71 per night
Cottage ∙ 5 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms

Cottage in Moffat

Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
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Cottage Johnstonebridge
28 Sept - 5 Oct
-42%
£170
£100 per night
Cottage ∙ 6 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms

Cottage in Johnstonebridge with Private Parking

5.0
Outstanding (6 ratings)
Johnstonebridge, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
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Wisteria in full bloom surrounds front of Cotswold stone cottage in Moreton-in Marsh, England.
Finding fresh inspiration for serene and scenic staycations

The 2023 HomeToGo Hidden Gem Index

© HomeToGo / Getty Images

Looking to help travellers find first-class, lesser-searched spots for their summer getaways, HomeToGo has released the 2023 edition of its annual guide to the UK's most stunning under-the-radar holiday destinations: the Hidden Gem Index.

Using exclusive search and inventory data, alongside insights as to summer weather, pubs, local activities, and photo-friendliness, HomeToGo has revealed and ranked the 50 most picturesque, well-appointed, and, most importantly, lesser-known destinations in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty across the United Kingdom.

While all of these small towns and villages are situated in highly sought-after settings, none appear on the list of the 1,000 most-searched destinations for summer via hometogo.co.uk, meaning that travellers need not turn their backs on beloved locales to find fresh inspiration for trips. Of the locations that feature, twelve are in the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, four in the Peak District National Park, and four in the Norfolk Coast AONB, with many more across the Snowdonia, Cairngorms, Yorkshire Dales, Lake District, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, Brecon Beacons, and Pembrokeshire Coast National Parks, as well as the South Devon, Causeway Coast, Cotswolds, East Devon, Arnside & Silverdale, Gower, Anglesey, Mourne, and Antrim Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Whether you're searching for new destination inspiration or aiming to avoid the staycation crowds, it's time to grab your suitcases and get ready to journey into the 2023 edition of the HomeToGo Hidden Gem Index!

HomeToGo's 2023 Ranking of the UK's Loveliest Hidden Gems

Destination
National Park / AONB
Under the radar score
Weather score
Pubs score
Things to do score
Scenic score
Total score
#1
Chipping Campden
Cotswolds AONB
8.63
9.53
9.00
8.70
8.90
44.77
#2
Hathersage
Peak District National Park
9.43
8.87
10.00
8.10
6.70
43.10
#3
Bala
Snowdonia National Park
7.93
7.37
8.50
6.95
10.00
40.75
#4
Bushmills
Causeway Coast AONB
8.30
7.57
5.00
7.25
9.80
37.92
#5
Edale
Peak District National Park
8.50
7.63
6.00
7.55
7.60
37.28
#6
Tideswell
Peak District National Park
9.97
7.63
7.00
6.65
5.80
37.05
#7
Boscastle
Cornwall AONB
7.77
8.90
6.50
6.70
7.10
36.97
#8
Braemar
Cairngorms National Park
6.20
7.43
6.50
7.00
9.80
36.93
#9
Kingussie
Cairngorms National Park
7.93
7.40
6.00
6.35
9.20
36.88
#10
Aberdyfi
Snowdonia National Park
8.63
8.07
7.50
6.05
6.60
36.85

Mapped: 2023's Top Hidden Gem Destinations

Learn more about the UK's loveliest hidden gems

An autumn countryside scene in Chipping Camden

1. Chipping Campden, Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Situated at the start of the Cotswold Way, this chocolate box market town of honey-toned limestone buildings is nothing short of picture perfect. Enjoy strolls along its spanning high street, which is lined with more than a hundred listed structures, before popping into one of its quaint shops or cute cafes, such as the Bantam Tea Rooms, for a bite to eat.

Fun fact: Dover's Hill, a natural amphitheatre and the site of the quirky annual Cotswold Olimpicks, is less than 30 minutes from the town on foot.

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Higger Tor near Hathersage in Derbyshire

2. Hathersage, Peak District National Park

Hathersage, which appeared in first place in the 2021 HomeToGo Hidden Gem Index, makes a triumphant return to the ranking this year. From its idyllic setting surrounded by natural points of interest like Stanage Edge, to its first-rate amenities and attractions, including a heated outdoor pool and a handful of highly praised pubs, it’s easy to see how this Hope Valley village has earned a top spot once again.

Fun fact: It's said that Little John, one of Robin Hood's Merry Men, is buried in Hathersage's churchyard.

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Lake Bala, looking across the water and onto mountains

3. Bala, Snowdonia National Park

Surrounded by mountains and sitting on the shore of Llyn Tegid (the largest natural lake in Wales), Bala is blessed with both incredible scenery and plenty of options for outdoor adventures. It’s close to the National White Water Centre, with guides and coaches on hand for rafting safaris and canyoning excursions. Fans of a holiday barbecue will also be pleased to know that there are two award-winning butchers in the town.

Fun fact: Legend has it that Wales' own lake monster, named Teggie, lives in the depths of Llyn Tegid.

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A river runs by an old house in Bushmills, Northern Ireland

4. Bushmills, Causeway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

This pretty conservation village on the coast of County Antrim may be a hidden gem, but it’s surrounded by some of the UK’s most iconic attractions. The otherworldly Giant’s Causeway is close by, and sitting within its bounds is the Old Bushmills Distillery: the oldest licensed working distillery in the world. Head to Tartine at the Distillers Arms after a day of taking in the sights for elevated dining in a cosy setting. 

Fun fact: The Alphabet Angel - a bronze statue in the village - was created to celebrate the unique Ulster-Scots language.

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Edale in a Peak District valley - green meadows and fields dotted with houses

5. Edale, Peak District National Park

An ideal base for hiking holidays, Edale is located at one end of the Pennine Way and near to Kinder Scout, the highest point in the Peak District. Even the travel to this easily accessible gem, which has its own train station, is picturesque. Tracing along the Hope Valley, the rail journeys from the cities of Manchester and Sheffield are recognised as being some of the UK’s most scenic stretches.

Fun fact: The Old Nags Head, one of the village’s snug pubs with a log fire and real ale, dates back to 1577. 

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St John the Baptist church, also known as the Cathedral of the Peak, in the beautiful village of Tideswell in the Peak District.

6. Tideswell, Peak District National Park

Boscastle, looking out over hills to the sea

7. Boscastle, Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Remote house in a Scottish field, surrounded by wildflowers

8. Braemar, Cairngorms National Park

Treescape with autumnal colours near Kingussie in the Scottish Highlands

9. Kingussie, Cairngorms National Park

Gwynedd, overlooking the pretty seaside setting of Aberdyfi (Aberdovey) and Dyfi estuary

10. Aberdyfi, Snowdonia National Park

Birds against sunset in Thornham, Norfolk, England

11. Thornham, Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Looking out across bluebells over to the pretty village of Saint Mawes in Cornwall

12. Saint Mawes, Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

A picturesque village in the Peak District national park. A memorial fountain and seating in the middle of the village.

13. Hartington, Peak District National Park

Holkham, Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

14. Holkham, Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Remote house surrounded by green countryside (meadows, trees, and mountains) near Reeth

15. Reeth, Yorkshire Dales National Park

How HomeToGo produced this guide

Exclusive HomeToGo search data was used to identify villages and small towns located in UK National Parks and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty which do not appear in the top 1,000 most-searched destinations via hometogo.co.uk for summer 2023 and beyond. A shortlist of destinations with substantial accommodation offers, as informed by data from hometogo.co.uk, was compiled. To rank these destinations, HomeToGo researched a number of data points to form five ranking categories, calculating an under-the-radar score, a weather score, a pubs score, a things to do score and a scenic score for each location. After obtaining the raw data, HomeToGo assigned each data point a representative numerical value between 5 and 10, with 5 representing the least positive data point and 10 representing the most positive data point. The hypothetical "perfect score" would therefore be 50 out of 50. The following equation was used to calculate this for every factor:

Score(i) = 5 · (x(i) - xmin ) / (xmax - xmin ) + 5

Under-the-radar score: To determine each destination’s standing as a hidden gem and local secret, exclusive HomeToGo search data was used to find the search volume for each location, as well as the percentage share of searches coming from domestic travellers, and the average distance between search location and travel destination in kilometres. The location with the lowest search volume was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher. The destination with the highest percentage share of searches coming from domestic travellers was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher. The location with the smallest average distance between search location and travel destination was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher. Averages of the three scores were calculated to find each destination’s final and overall under-the-radar rating.

Weather score: HomeToGo used data from each destination's nearest climate station, made available by the Met Office, to record the average temperatures, hours of sunshine, and millimetres of rainfall for the months of July, August, and September in each location. The destination with the highest average temperature across all three months was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher. The destination with the most hours of sunshine across all three months was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher. The destination with the least rainfall across all three months was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher. Averages of the three scores were calculated to find each destination’s final and overall weather rating.

Pubs score: HomeToGo used data provided by The Good Pub Guide to record the number of pubs located in each village. The destination home to the most Good Pub Guide pubs was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher.

Things to do score: HomeToGo collected data from sources such as Komoot, AllTrails, and Tripadvisor to determine the number of outdoors trails and attractions within easy reach of each village or small town. The destination with the most nearby outdoor trails and paths was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher. The destination home to the most attractions was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher. Averages of the two scores were calculated to find each destination’s final and overall things to do rating.

Scenic score: HomeToGo used Flickr to identify the number of photographs featuring each small town or village as the subject. The most-photographed destination was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher.

Information about Countryside Holidays in the UK

🏡 Rural weekend breaks available 95,122 rentals
🌙 Nightly prices from £47
⭐ Popular amenities Kitchen, Internet and TV
🐾 Pet friendly rentals 45,019 properties

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of holiday lettings are available for Countryside Holidays in the UK?

Best types of holiday home for Countryside Holidays in the UK are Cabin and Cottage.

Countryside Holidays in the UK: what's the average price for the holiday rental?

Holiday homes are currently available within the price range of £126 - £235, with discounts up to 10%!

Can I find holiday lettings for Countryside Holidays in the UK that can host a family or large group?

Mostly a Cottage is 123 m² and average capacity is 5 guests - ideal for medium-sized groups and families.

Rural weekend breaks in the United Kingdom: Top Destinations

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