Hidden homes in the countryside

Unwind in tranquil seclusion

 

Ronnie McCluskey

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert



A hidden home!

When we hear the word ‘countryside’, we each of us conjure images in our minds that fit our own special interpretation of what the countryside means. Whether it’s rolling fields, grazing cows or thatched cottages in quaint villages, we tend to associate the countryside with a kind of old world tranquillity; if city life is a rush, with commitments, attractions and images taking a frantic toll on the senses, we venture to the countryside to disappear - to reinvigorate our deeper selves, and enjoy the wonders of the great outdoors.

The Earth is swathed in countryside. While us Brits think of the Cotswolds and Cumbria, there are villages criss-crossing the globe with the kind of rural charm we look for when it’s time to get away from it all. Whatever corner of the world you choose to visit, you can be sure to find accommodation to suit your requirements at HomeAway. We lease an array of properties from the mountains of Colorado to the lowlands of Dordogne. Escaping to your own idyllic getaway has never been easier! But if you’re searching for a hidden home in the countryside, you first must settle on a region. Read on for our top five destinations for countryside retreats.

 


 

Top five destinations for holidays in the countryside


   

France France

 

It stands to reason that France, famous for its range of climates and terrains, would boast some alluring countryside, and it doesn’t disappoint. Journey to Alsace, with its picturesque scenery and medieval fortifications - not to mention its storied, 106-mile wine route - or marvel at the wild country landscape of Provence, in the southeast. Provence’s valleys are flecked with fruit orchards, and there’s no end of ancient villages to explore. Elsewhere, Loire and Normandy make for tranquil destinations, bolstered by the added bonus of a fascinating history, while Britanny, with its dramatic cliffs, small ports and attractive coves, is yet another top choice.

 

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England England

 

Ah, what is there to say about the English countryside? This is the landscape that inspired the likes of DH Lawrence and Jane Austen, a fertile and fragrant collection of hills, valleys and groves, and a charming, winding country lanes leading to cobbled houses and cosy pubs. So, where’s best to go? Windermere and Coniston in Cumbria are safe bets, with their lakes and fells, while the bustling farmers’ markets and food festivals in rural Lancashire give you the scenic landscape without getting too quiet. Shropshire is similarly bewitching, and the view from Brown Clee, over the outlying counties, simply must be experienced.

 

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Italy Italy

 

From the hills of Tuscany to the battlements of Umbria, Italy has truly impressive countryside. Of course, a holiday is always made better when you’re snacking on truffles and quenching your thirst with a glass of Arneis, a popular Italian white wine that's been in vogue since the 15th century! Take in the grace of the Piedmont region, where you can gaze over several peaks of the Alps, France and Switzerland, as well visit some of the planet’s most renowned vineyards. Veneto, meanwhile, comprises the area from Lake Garda to Venice and is replete with stately villas and castles, while the Dolomite Mountains, famed for ski slopes, spread out to the north.

 

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Germany Germany

Authentic rural life is not hard to come by in Germany. Much of its countryside is home to tumbledown cottages in charming market towns, and there’s no shortage of mountains, valleys and waterways. Drive along the Romantic Road, bisecting idyllic countryside, and stop off to see the Neuschwanstein castle at Hohenschwangau, before dropping in on the medieval walled town of Rothenburg. Excellent for trinket shopping and famed for its food, Rothenburg is a haven for first-time visitors. Of course, no trip to the German countryside is complete without visiting the Black Forest, a photogenic mountain range in the southwest, or Bavaria, its Alps perfect for outdoor activities.

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Scotland Scotland

It's no exaggeration to say that Scotland boasts some of the most sublime countryside in the world. From the distinct wilderness of the Highlands to the natural beauty of its lochs and villages; from the mystical majesty of Loch Lomond to the rugged Trossachs and Cairngorms - Scotland has something to offer everyone. Sample delicious produce, meander along 11,000km of coastline, and take a trip to one of many hundreds of islands dotting its shores. The wildlife is something to behold too, whether you’re spotting bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth or rutting red deer in Dumfries & Galloway.

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