Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Romantic walks and cottages to match…

Relaxing walks with spectacular views and cosy cottages go hand-in-hand in the West Country, making it the ideal place for a last minute Valentine's treat or a romantic break at any time of the year.

This walk in Porlock Weir, Somerset, has an air of mystery about it, taking in Culbone Church - England's smallest complete church - and the nearby Fairytale Tunnels. Trek past Ash Farm, where Samuel Taylor Coleridge was said to be staying when he wrote Kubla Khan. Nearing the end of the walk, in the hillside above, are the ruins of Lady Lovelace's elaborate fairytale mansion. What better namesake could prepare you for your trip back to Milbanke and its lovely sea views? The coastal footpath hidden behind the cottage leads through woodlands, past former garden terraces and under old tunnels once connected to the main house. An ideal location for walkers, nature lovers and silence seekers.

walk along the secluded coves and beaches of Lansallos, Cornwall, will take you in the footsteps of smugglers. The cart tracks where contraband was brought inland and the coastline itself are evocative scenes, while Lansalllos waterfall adds a dramatic twist. Venture back inland to Hobb Cottage on the side of a deep valley full of wildlife and flora. Perfectly private and picturesque.

The Tarka Trail cuts through the unspoilt Devon countryside by tracking old railways. It was described by Henry Williamson in his classic novel ‘Tarka the Otter’ first published in 1927. With over 30 miles of walks, you will appreciate coming home to Monks: a delightful, 300-year-old, detached, thatched cottage in Petrockstowe.

How about making your loved one feel like absolute royalty by popping the question at Castle Drogo? A walk on Dartmoor from Fingle Bridge to the castle will build a sense of occasion as the romantic scene unfolds before you. Retreat to this picture-postcard cottage in Drewsteignton and celebrate with a glass of champagne in front of the open fire.

Take a look through our cottages still available over Valentine’s to find a special place for a romantic break.