Cosy Winter Boltholes

Christmas and New Year Cottage Breaks With The National Trust

If you’re looking for a short Christmas break in a simple farmhouse, a New Year getaway in a cabin, or want to experience life in a medieval house for a week or two, you can find your perfect winter escape with our friends at the National Trust. Pack your winter walking gear, favourite book, cosiest jumper and thickest socks, and enjoy bracing walks in the crisp winter air, before snuggling up on the sofa with a hot drink by a roaring fire. 


Whether you want to get away with friends or enjoy time with the family, we’ve picked out some of our favourite cottage locations to bring everyone together this winter. What’s more, when you book a cottage break with the National Trust, you're helping to care for the nature, beauty and history of these places for future generations too.

Images: Bird How, National Trust / Chris Lacey

Bird How

Holmrock, Cumbria

If you’re looking for a stay that's truly off the beaten track, you’ll find it in this remote cottage in the Eskdale valley. This dolls-house-like cottage is nestled on a fellside via a rough farm track, and whilst its remoteness may not be for everyone, if you’re in need of a week away from everyday distractions, Bird How is hard to beat. This peaceful retreat in the heart of the Lake District has no phone or TV signal, so you’ll be able to truly disconnect and appreciate the beautiful simplicity of this former cow barn. Still not convinced? You will be once you’ve snuggled around its roaring open fire after a quality day out walking in the hills. 


An ideal base for experienced walkers, there are loads of challenging routes located nearby. You can start the morning with a walk up the steepest road in England, Hardknott Pass, and explore the Roman Fort close to the top. Or if Scafell Pike is on your bucket-list, you'll be able to walk a lesser-known route to the summit directly from your door.

Image: Blacksmith's Cottage, National Trust / Spike Mailin

Blacksmith’s Cottage

Blickling, Norfolk

This cosy cottage - one of the few remaining traditional thatched dwellings on the Blickling Estate - was once the home of an estate worker and retains a very traditional feel both inside and out. Light, airy, and spacious, a stay at this fascinating property means you’ll also be able to make the make the most of its spectacular location near to Blickling Hall and the surrounding parkland.


Stop for a coffee at the estate's Muddy Boots café or head to the local pub for lunch, before discovering the sandy beaches and cliff top paths of the glorious Norfolk coast, just a 20 minute drive from the cottage. A little further afield, Blakeney National Nature Reserve, with its stunning sand and salt marshes, is just a 20 mile drive away. 

Images: Cockayne Cottage, National Trust / Mike Henton

Cockayne Cottage

York, North Yorkshire

Air doesn’t get much fresher than at this rustic, rural farmhouse, nestled in a deep green dale of the North York Moors National Park. With sweeping views over the valley to the bleak moors beyond, and located in an historic, secluded hamlet, Cockayne cottage is a wonderful winter escape to refresh, explore, and revitalise.


Located on a quiet lane with no through access, the whole area around this special place is a haven for wildlife, and likewise, walkers, cyclists, and nature lovers. Many routes crisscross the dale, including the Cleveland Way trail that picks up the northern end of Cockayne Ridge. For those who prefer exploring on two wheels, the Bransdale Loop is a highlight of any stay here. Nearby market town Kirkbymoorside, provides shops, cafés, an art gallery, as well as several pubs. Or you can venture a little further afield to Scarborough or Whitby for dog-friendly beaches and fish and chip dinners. Then once you’ve explored all the Yorkshire Moors has to offer, York itself is just over an hour’s drive from the cottage. 


Image: Diston's Cottage, National Trust / Vicki Satterley

Diston’s Cottage

Broadway, Gloucestershire

This cosy cottage is perfect for an idyllic Cotswold country break. Diston’s Cottage was the home of the Diston family for three generations and its pretty, end-of-terrace stone location also boasts a wood burning stove, enclosed terraced garden and old fashioned stable doors. 


You can enjoy a tipple in the traditional pub located just moments away or head out for a walk in the glorious surrounding countryside. Numberous fabulous trails adorn your doorstep, some of which can be found in the grounds of Snowshill Manor and Garden just opposite the cottage. As a guest, you’ll have free access to the estate when it's open. Further afield, a visit to the regency spa town of Cheltenham is just 18 miles away, where you can spend you day exploring the town before sitting down to lunch in one of its many quality restaurants and cafes. 

Images: Foel Gopyn, National Trust /  Chris Lacey

Foel Gopyn

Betws-y-coed, Conwy

For a true getaway, off the beaten track, look no further than Foel Gopyn in the heart of Snowdonia. Sitting alone in the landscape, 450ft above the nearest village situated a mile away, you can disconnect from urban life in this remote location and take in spectacular views for miles.


A lot of care has been taken to preserve the cottage's historic charm and with its traditional interiors, complete with a cosy log burner, Foel Gopyn is the perfect place to spend a week far away amongst the wilderness. Nearby you can, head into the bucolic village of Ysbyty Ifan, where you’ll find a traditional way of life and a close-knit close local community, as well as the authentic sounds of the Welsh language. Further afield, the popular town of Betws y Coed, is just eight miles from the cottage as is the nearby Conwy Falls. Or if winter walking is what draws you here, Snowdon and the glorious array of hiking trails in its vicinity are just a 30 minute drive away. 

For more National Trust cottages, visit:


Produced in partnership with the National Trust.



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