Stay Cool In These Cottages With Pools
Discover the beauty of Britain with our guide to the best places to spend the summer months...swimming pool and all.
‘Cottages with pools,’ we hear you loudly search with an anticipation palpable from the tappy-tap-tap of your fingers. Ambitious for a summer holiday in the British Isles? A little, yes. But they do have nice, warm and sunny summers, while the rustic countryside is unrivalled in rusticity, pastorality and bucolicism. And if you’re concerned that none of those are real words, then you’re forgetting the bigger picture: your search for cottages with pools.
While we must insist we take no responsibility if the summer’s a washout and Wimbledon tennis is cancelled, we think you can have a great holiday in luxurious Plum Guide lodgings spread across these little ‘isles’ (P.S. something you’ve always wanted to know, but never remembered to look up: a quick Google search reveals isle has the same meaning as island; it’s just the archaic form.)
So, pack your swimming costume or plan to swim in the nude, throw the sun cream and ‘tan enhancer’ (fake tan) in the mix and read on for some of the best places for your vacation. But before you embark on this holiday, ask yourself just one question: ‘Do I know how to swim?’
Ach, so Scotland may not have been high on your list of dependable sunny summer destinations. But, you’ll find plenty of cottages with pools and hot tubs, to keep you in the water until you’re a squidgy slug. Like anywhere, Edinburgh can have its heatwaves. You’ll know when you’re in one, because it’ll hit 15 degrees and the locals will be out parading half-naked down the Royal Mile. In August, you’ll get the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with all sorts of comedy acts and live performances that’ll lure you from your squidgy slug state in the water.
One of the warmest and sunniest parts of the British Isles, Cornwall makes for a perfect place to find cottages with pools. Let’s face it, for all the walking along the Cornish Coastal Path and sunbathing on the beaches of Newquay, St Ives and Charlestown, the sea can be a little cold and salty and wavy. Plenty of Plum Guide lodgings in the region have pools and nice views of the undulating green countryside of Cornwall. If you can bring yourself to get out of the water, visit the Eden Project and saunter along the coastal trails to the Land’s End.
If you're staying in Cornwall with the family, teach your kids to surf on the choppy waves and how to fall and cry and never get back up again. That’s the way to do it. Try fish and chips or consider something more romantic at such upscale eateries as the Scarlet Restaurant, the Restaurant Four and the Samphire Restaurant.
It may be a metropolis, but London is prime cottages with pools territory. You’ll want to head to some of the suburbs, like Wimbledon or Hampstead, for a great variety of lodgings. There are also plenty of options skirting the circumference of Hyde Park and flanking the banks of the canals in Little Venice.
Here’s some top-secret knowledge that only the upper crusts of London society know about (hence why we’re au fait): just follow the river. If you head out west along the Thames, first you’ll reach Kingston upon Thames, where you can see the Hampton Court Palace and visit Richmond Park, one of the greatest parks in London. As you continue west, you’ll see the ultra-posh Eton College and Windsor Castle, before reaching Marlow, which is basically property pornography for people who love charming Tudor cottages.
East of England
The rump of the United Kingdom, the East of England juts out into the North Sea. The vast region does what it says on the tin, in that it is the eastern part of England: so, no refunds. It’s full of shires, whatever that might be, so look for cottages with pools in the leafy regions of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. Stop and get burnt work on your tan at a beach by Great Yarmouth or check out the enchanting accommodation in Norwich, Ipswich and even Cambridge, where a little-known university is the talk of the town.
This is bucolic England at its finest, comprising a forested topography replete with old-world cottages. Visit the various hamlets and pretend you’re in a fairytale in this rustic wonderland, where you’ll spend half the time trying to figure out what a wold is. Ok, apparently, it’s a high, open uncultivated land or moor. And Cots means commercial off-the-shelf. Wait, that can’t be right. In any case, you’ll fall in love with the likes of Bibury, Bourton-on-the-water and Stow-on-the-Wold, some of the most charming villages in the…wold. It's one of our favourite places to visit with the whole family, with some delightful areas to stay with the children.
The city centre of Dublin has a fun and exciting atmosphere, but you’ll probably want to head southeast to the coastal suburb of Dalkey, where you’ll find some great cottages with pools. Just give it some time before returning to the water after the free samples on your Guinness Storehouse Brewery Tour.