Too often when we daydream about a situation, the reality fails to live up to the experience, but this is never the case with a cabin stay. Every time you visit, it’s the same immersion in nature, the same long, relaxed sighs, and muscle-loosening views. But going to stay in a cabin shouldn’t be a once-a-year event, perhaps not even a once a quarter. We’d practically live in one if we could, but fitting that into a budget can be a tight squeeze. With that in mind, we’ve made a collection of the spaces that feel luxurious, but are still affordable enough that you could check in every season to see the backdrop change.
In a woodland valley, surrounded by nature, and ten minutes down the road from Chapel Porth Beach – when we think of a cabin retreat, it looks pretty much exactly like this. It’s hard to tell what’s more idyllic, swaying in the sun-drenched hammock – drying off from an early morning surf, or tending to the coals of the firepit, backlit by the glow of the fairy lights that encircle the cabin. The Little Black Cabin isn’t just ten minutes from the beach, it’s slap bang in the middle of miles of coastal walks, ruins overlooking the sea and strolls through woodland.
Stuffed to the rafters with character and sure to charm anyone who passes through, The Old Potting Shed hides little curiosities in every nook. Admire the garden from huge picture windows as you cook in a kitchen made from an old water tower. The big wood burner is the star of the living room and there's plenty of room for the whole family with two bedrooms, both en suite. Outside, the large garden is all yours, including a covered dining area for al fresco suppers before a late night soak under the stars in the wood fired hot tub. You'd better just get down there and check them out for yourself.
It’s not one for the low-riding sports car driver, but for anyone who wants a rural escape with a touch of luxury, it’s perfect. You’ll be strolling out onto the deck for breakfast or firing up the BBQ and watching the stars come out in the night skies. It’s the sort of place where you ditch your shoes and stroll around barefoot, unwinding with every step. If you’re looking for adventure then Cornwall’s coast offers surfing and spectacular hiking, while wildlife spotters don’t even need to leave the cabin, with deer, badgers and foxes all living in the woods around you.
Rustic and deeply romantic, this repurposed fisherman’s cabin will make adventurers’ hearts sing. Everything is centred around the River Dart which runs straight past the front door. You can jump on a paddleboard straight after breakfast, spend long and lazy afternoons with just a rod and the kingfishers for company, then wrap up in blankets and huddle around the fire pit at sunset watching the bats swoop and skim the water for their dinner. Off season you’ll feel completely alone; in summer the river will be a hive of activity and you’ll join other wild swimmers from the opposite bank.
Caban Copa, with its high curved roof making a small tin peak on the hillside, is aptly named after the Welsh for summit. It looks down the valley towards the town of Machynlleth five miles away, over terrain crisscrossed with hiking routes and custom-made mountain biking trails that can keep you happily exhausted for days. Coming home to Caban Copa doesn’t end your day outside so much as frame it. There’s a sofa across from the wood-burner, hobs to cook on and the en suite compost loo is hidden in a room behind the kitchen, so you don’t need to leave the cabin for anything.
Pen-y-Fan cabin is named for the mountain visible in the distance as part of the sweeping, spectacular views it commands. While you might sit on the deck with morning coffee, surveying potential adventures all the way to the horizon, you can set off on great locals straight from the door. The walk up Garway hill leads through fields where wild ponies run free, to unmatched 360 views of Herefordshire. There’s a hammock and swing below the raised deck, so you can idle in front of the beautiful landscape and a BBQ area if you want to cook up some of the farm’s own superb produce.