country living

January 30th, 2009

With the dollar faring better against the pound than it has in years, 2009 is the time to visit the U.K.  Through the Royal Oak Foundation, the American affiliate of the National Trust of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, American visitors can further maximize savings by staying at one of the Trust’s affordable Holiday Cottages in an authentically Anglo setting and become part of country life (i.e., having a jolly time at the village pub).  One may choose from over 360 cottages from the Cornish coast to the Yorkshire dales, including ten new homes.  Adding to the experience, many of the cottages had previous lives as former sporting grandstands, water towers, and lighthouse cottages.

The Trust’s 2009 Holiday Cottages, a 201-page, fully-illustrated book describing in detail each residence and its special qualities and surrounding locale, is available in the U.S. exclusively from the Royal Oak Foundation.  The cost is $12 with shipping but, while supplies last, is FREE upon request with new membership (mention code cottages09 to redeem when signing up) in the Foundation – just $55! – which in itself grants complimentary access to all National Trust properties (that’s over 300 historic houses and gardens, 700 miles of coastline, and over 620,000 acres of open countryside).  Plus, staying in these cottages directly supports the continuing conservation of the Trust’s properties – truly a feel-good vacation! 

Call (212) 480-2889 the Royal Oak Foundation to become a member and secure a free catalogue or visit their website:

Cottages can begin anywhere from $352 (£238) for one week in low season.

Here’s a selection of this year’s new additions as well as other cottages to note:

  • Compton Farm Cottages, Compton Bay, Isle of Wight: a pair of 19th century, semi-detached farm workers’ cottages that are situated within easy walking distance from the sea and Compton Bay, ideal for a seaside holiday. New!
  • Emley Farmhouse, Bowlhead Green, Surrey: a Grade II listed substantial farmstead in an idyllic rural setting. Retains many original features, such as the internal wall and large fireplaces. Sleeps ten, perfect for families! New!
  • 1 Home Farm Drive, Upton House, Warwickshire: get into the spirit of the Jazz Era in this cottage with the look and feel of the 1930s, with all the comfort of modern living. This cottage was converted to holiday home by the 2nd Viscount Bearsted in the 1930s. New!
  • The Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottage, Devon: dramatically situated at the cliff’s edge, with unsurpassed views over the Bristol Chanel. This unique building offers a simpler style of accommodation ideally situated to walkers. Not to worry: the foghorn is no longer in use.
  • The Birdcage, Port Isaac, Cornwall: nestling amongst the higgledy-piggedly arrangement of old cottages in Port Isaac’s tiny streets. This 200-year-old building, pentagonal and three stories high, is believed to have been a cobbler’s shop. With its tiny rooms and a staircase only a little over a foot wide, it’s the ideal love nest (pun intended!).

Leave a Reply



« »