The best Christmas breaks and New Year’s escapes: holiday homes in Cornwall, Italy and more
Do you love your family and friends so much you can’t wait to spend a relaxed festive period with them, enjoying party games and long lunches, catching up on news and making plans for 2020?
Or is it that you love your family and friends but are not sure if you can cope with them all over Christmas while your father-in-law table-thumps on Brexit (again) and your toddler niece sings Peppa Pig’s theme tune on repeat?
Whether you fancy escaping en masse or à deux, here are some beautiful rental homes with availability for Christmas and New Year. Just remember to pack the crackers.
Holiday cottages in Cornwall
Love Nest: Couple’s House, Fowey. Sleeps two, available for £1,200 a week for Christmas or New Year.
Rustic-chic, luxury-eco, this one-bedroom barn with a vast garden is a beauty.
A super-sized sofa and bed and wood-burning fire make it deliciously romantic.
Fowey is an attractive port on the South Cornish coast with 14th-century buildings, small sailing boats berthed on the water and a multitude of tiny art shops.
Enjoy country walks on the coastal footpath and long pub lunches by warming fires in this scenic part of Cornwall.
Party House: Treseren. Sleeps 12 in five bedrooms. Available for New Year for £3,250 a week.
Treseren is a beautiful North Cornish estate that sleeps 10-12 in two houses.
Shepherds House has Georgian elegance and modern interiors with pale grey walls and wooden floors, while one-bedroom Skye Cottage has its own entrance.
Cook a celebratory meal on the double range cooker, gather around the piano to welcome the New Year or challenge the family to table tennis tournaments.
Outside are two acres of grounds and further afield it’s 12 miles to Newquay, eight to Truro and only 10 minutes by car to the wonderful North Cornish coast.
Holiday cottages in the Lake District
Love Nest: Willow Barn sleeps two to three for £915 a week from Dec 20.
Cuddle up high above Ullswater in the Lake District in this delightfully furnished and carefully renovated stone cottage.
The wide choice of walking and cycling routes include the Ullswater Way which passes directly outside the barn, while there’s kayaking and canoeing on Ullswater itself.
Or stroll down to the The Brackenrigg Inn, 10 minutes away, for a good local dinner and to sample the microbrewery.
Cosy, snug, great views and comfortable beds. Christmas sorted.
Party House: Hyning House, Cumbria. Sleeps 12 in six bedrooms for £2,841 for a week over New Year, saving £710 on full price.
Have yourself a merry green Christmas staying in these two linked properties on the Hyning Estate.
Sympathetically restored with local materials to stay remarkable true to their 17th-century origins and with electric charging points for cars, Old Farmhouse and Hall Beck Cottage are two of seven cottages with a strong eco-theme.
£2,841: for a week’s stay at Hyning House, which sleeps 12
Holiday cottages in The Cotswolds
Love Nest: Garsons Cottage, Stow-on-the-Wold. Sleeps two in one bedroom. Available over New Year for £545 for three nights.
Oak beams, tick. Exposed Cotswold stone walls, tick. Wood-burning stove, tick. Cotswolds honey cottage, tick.
Garson’s Cottage is a dream love nest, close to lovely Stow-on-the-Wold yet delightfully peaceful and within four miles of Burford and Chipping Norton.
And when you need a blast of London life, Daylesford Organic Farm is a 10-minute drive.
Party House: Cotswolds View Manor sleeps 16-18 in six bedrooms. Available from December 27-29 for £15,000 for three nights.
Already fully committed for Christmas and New Year? Well take a weekend break in between at this lush Cotswolds home on its own 400-acre estate.
Cotswolds View Manor comes with a full-time chef and house manager, leaving guests free to test the estate’s spa and swimming pool or take part in local sports including clay pigeon shooting, golf and archery.
£15,000 for three nights: Cotswolds View Manor is a 400-acre estate near Chipping Campden
Holiday rentals in France
Love Nest: Castillon, Paris. Sleeps two in one bedroom from December 22-27 for £4,593.
Paris is a good idea at any time of the year. Romantic one-bedroom Castillon has an iconic address on the Île de la Cité, one of the two small islands at the heart of the French capital.
Compellingly Parisian, chic and stylish, blissfully quiet yet minutes from the main city sights, Castillon is a beautifully renovated apartment overlooking the Place Dauphine and a much-praised favourite with Airbnb Plus guests.
Party House: Villa Bellvue, Grasse. Sleeps 10 in five bedrooms. Available for Christmas week for £7,500.
Enjoy Christmas week on the Côte d’Azur where the average daily temperature in December is 14C.
Villa Bellvue’s location is A-grade, within seven miles of Nice airport, less than two miles from local shops and restaurants and 10 minutes from the nearest beaches.
The fully serviced house is a traditional 18th-century mas, set in grounds filled with olives trees and lavender.
Holiday rentals in The Alps
Love Nest: Chalet Levissima 3000, Bormio, Italy. Sleeps two from Dec 30 to Jan 2 for £3,982.
Take the cable car 3,000 metres above the town of Bormio in the Italian Alps to your own private mountain refuge.
Truly remote, Chalet Levissima 3000 is a cosy but spacious wood-panelled cabin with a superking bed, a beautiful bathtub and remarkable views across the snowy peaks.
Guests can walk to Heaven 3000 refuge for meals and drinks but will also be served breakfast and dinner in the chalet.
- Available to rent through Airbnb
Ideal for couples: Chalet Levissima 3000 sleeps two from Dec 30 to Jan 2 for £3,982
Holiday apartments in Italy
Love Nest: Palm Suites, Rome. One-bedroom suite sleeps two, available December 28 to January 2, from £450 a night including breakfast. Minimum stay is three nights.
Start the New Year in the ancient city of Rome. Palm Suites are 11 beautifully renovated apartments in an 18th-century palazzo just steps from the Colosseum and the Forum.
Elegant design mixing exotic prints and vintage furniture, wonderful views over the Eternal City and a winning location make this a wondrous mix of ancient beauty and contemporary luxury, all with a concierge on hand to help you plan the ideal break.
Party House: Trullo Rosmarino, Puglia. Sleeps 10 in five bedrooms. Available over Christmas for £4,971 for a week.
Perfect the Italian art of il dolce far niente or “sweet idleness” in this lovingly restored trullo, one of the original stone buildings of Puglia in southern Italy.
History seeps through the walls but Rosmarino has all the mod cons, too, with underfloor heating, swimming pool, well-equipped kitchen and Sky on the television.
Pick dinner from the in-house vegetable garden or walk to the local pizzeria, relax in the three-acre gardens or explore the local area.
Rosmarino is between Bari and Brindisi close to the Adriatic coast and local highlights include the wonderful towns of Alberobello and Ostuni.
Bust-the-budget Christmas rental: Castello di Reschio, Italy. Sleeps 10-14 from £25,300 for a week.
Stars have stayed in this beautifully renovated 500-year old farmhouse on the 3,000-acre Castello di Reschio estate on the Tuscan-Umbrian border.
Let the concierge do it all, from booking flights to stocking the fridge.
Enjoy horse riding, fishing, cooking lessons and the two restaurants — or book a chef to cook for you in-house.
Bust the budget in Italy: privacy and luxury can be yours at Castello di Reschio, on the border of Tuscany and Umbria, sleeping 10-14 for Christmas week