Here are a few of our favourite cottages for winter walks in the Westcountry, from the Mendip Hills in Somerset to the Cornish Riviera.
This converted barn has a large entrance hall where you can store your coats and muddy boots after a day exploring Dartmoor National Park. A lovely footpath starts in Moretonhampstead and climbs through lush countryside to the Iron Age hill fort of Cranbrook Castle. Stop for a picnic and enjoy the views across Dartmoor before making your descent back to the village.
Hill House Farm Cottage has open fires and a secure garden where you can leave your dog without worrying about an escape. We highly recommend the Cheddar Gorge Walk, a four-mile footpath along the weathered crags and pinnacles of one of England’s most remarkable natural sights. This well-signposted route begins at the National Trust information centre and takes roughly an hour and 40 minutes to complete.
This luxury holiday cottage is set amid some of Exmoor’s most idyllic countryside. Don’t miss the four-mile route that starts in Withypool and follows the banks of the River Barle to Landacre Bridge before returning to the village along a rugged hillside. Foxwitchen is a wonderful place to unwind after a day of walking, with open fireplaces, underfloor heating and beautifully furnished living areas.
White Willow is a stone cottage with a log-burner and a jacuzzi where you can unwind after a day of walking. Follow the South West Coast Path over windswept cliffs towards Polperro or Polkerris, or take the National Trust’s Hall Walk, a circular route which includes two ferry rides: Fowey to Polruan and Fowey to Bodinnick.
This dog-friendly cottage is located on a small Somerset estate in the Avill Valley, surrounded by the ancient woods, rolling hills and high, open moorland of Exmoor National Park. Take a tour of the village, stopping at the old butter cross in St George’s Churchyard and the restored dovecote, before ascending to medieval Dunster Castle. Reserve another day for a walk on the South West Coast Path. Start in Minehead and make your way over the clifftops towards Porlock Weir, enjoying views across the Bristol Channel towards Wales.
4 Coastguards has a large storage area for your hiking gear, and a handy outside shower for washing off at the end of the day. The South West Coast Path runs right past the doorstep, heading west towards Challaborough and Mothecombe, and east towards Bantham and Hope Cove, passing sweeping river estuaries and secret beaches along the way.
Kara Mor is perfectly located for exploring the beautiful stretch of the South West Coast Path along the St Austell Bay. Spend one day walking east, past the Georgian harbour at Charlestown, to the sandy beach at Polkerris, and another day heading west along the Roseland Heritage Coast, to the fishing port of Mevagissey.