The best cosy, autumnal holidays with availability in the UK right now

Orchard glamping

Where is more fitting to ease into autumn than an orchard? Book in for a long weekend of hilltop glamping in Suffolk at the Apple Mount Retreat. A cosy pod for two comes with underfloor heating and Wi-Fi, ideal as the September chill creeps in. Alternatively, should your stay coincide with an Indian summer, your personal barbecue will come in useful. Join the on-site yoga and meditation workshops or perhaps head for nearby Lavenham. The village has a well-preserved collection of half-timbered Tudor buildings, which date back to its time as the 14th-richest town in England. 
Apple Mount Retreat costs from £320 for a three-night weekend stay; coolcamping.com.

Cosy up in a cottage

Cobbled pavements,  antique shopping and a multitude of traditional pubs – Rye has all the ingredients for a cosy weekend break. Make Scallop Cottage your home for one night or a few. After a good sleep, take a stroll through the Cinque Port town’s crooked streets, stopping to admire attractions such as the former home of Henry James (now a National Trust property), the particularly picturesque Mermaid Street and its clock tower (one of the oldest functioning church turret clocks in the UK). Round off your day with a film at the independent Kino cinema, housed in restored Victorian school buildings.
Scallop Cottage sleeps three, from £190 per night; sawdays.co.uk





Make Rye’s Scallop Cottage your home for one night or a few

Gloucestershire grandeur

Narrowly survived a fraught school holiday or perhaps your spirits were dampened by the washout summer? Then it’s time for a little indulgence: check in for some grown-up luxury at Ellenborough Park, a five-star hotel in Gloucestershire. Wander around its tranquil 90-acre country estate or venture a few miles by car to the picture-book villages and stately homes of the Cotswolds. After clocking up some steps, indulge in afternoon tea in Ellenborough’s Great Hall. 
Doubles cost from £299 per night, including breakfast; ellenboroughpark.com.

Pair history and whisky

Seek home-grown adventure in the Orkney Islands on a guided round-trip tour from Inverness. Highlights include a trip to the Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae (which predates both Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids), an optional stop at Kirkwall’s Highland Park whisky distillery and a coastal hike to Shapinsay island. The six-mile-long isle attracts cormorants, kittiwakes and seals and has a high point (Ward Hill) from which you can view much of the Orkneys. 
Four nights in guest houses, including some meals and transport, cost from £905 per person. Departures Sept 22 and Oct 6; intrepidtravel.com.

A shepherd’s delight

Delve into Devon’s post-summer charms with a stay in a shepherd’s hut in the Sid Valley. Outside the shelter, which was built by a local craftsman, you will find a firepit – bring some marshmallows to toast as you enjoy an evening of stargazing. Whip up breakfast in the hut’s kitchen, which comes stocked with fresh eggs, honey from the farm’s hives and other local produce. If it takes your fancy, venture out for a hike on the cliffs or a day exploring the nearby villages and market towns. 
A three-night weekend stay in Sept or Oct costs from £300; coolcamping.com

Take a hike

Break in your walking boots on a nine-night self-guided tour that follows the northern path alongside Offa’s Dyke. The 97-mile route takes in the highest of the Clwydian Hills, Moel Famau. A climb up will reward you with views of Snowdonia, the Mersey estuary and Liverpool. There’s much variety on this trip: one day, you could be wandering over heather-strewn peaks, the next crossing the Unesco-listed Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
Nine nights cost from £1,429 per person, including accommodation, some meals, luggage transfers and the help of a local representative. Trips depart every week from Sept 16; exodus.co.uk

Town and country

Commuters may be flocking back to the city, but London is still quieter than usual. Enjoy autumn in the capital as the parks fade to a burnt orange, and before the cold sets in. You can ramp up the glamour with a room at the Biltmore Mayfair. Feeling flush? The hotel is offering chauffeur or self-driven Bentley tours, ideal for pootling through the countryside, champagne picnic in tow. Alternatively, you could try its exclusive walking tour of Regency London. A Blue Badge guide will lead you through Mayfair and Belgravia, sharing titbits of one-time dukes and duchesses, fashion icons and military heroes. 
Rooms cost from £309 on a B&B basis. The Biltmore Bentley tours start at £1,000 for an eight-hour chauffeur trip; a self-drive tour based on a minimum two-day hire at £750 per day is also available. The Biltmore to Belgravia Regency London experience starts at £250; lxrhotels3.hilton.com.





Ramp up the glamour with a room at London’s Biltmore Mayfair


Credit: Niall Clutton/Niall Clutton

Family reunion

Pick Perthshire for a family get-together. Oak Tree Cottage, available through Oliver’s Travels, sleeps up to eight. Its set-up is perfect for long catch-up sessions – in the hot tub, by the barbecue or around the firepit. Meanwhile, the terrace looks out on to the wooded Birnam Hill (which featured in Macbeth), ensuring bucolic views with your breakfast. The property is just five minutes’ drive from the historical cathedral “city” of Dunkeld. Scone Palace and Gleneagles are also winning options for day trips. Check in before the rest of your clan to secure the master bedroom, complete with a super king-sized bed. 
From £3,750 for a one-week stay in Sept or Oct, based on seven sharing; oliverstravels.com.

Sleep like a monarch

Monkey Island estate, in the village of Bray, Berkshire, has a history spanning 800 years. From Edward VII to HG Wells, this private island in the Thames has attracted monarchs, aristocrats and creative types over the centuries. After soaking up its stories, enjoy a pampering session at the estate’s Floating Spa barge. Try a massage or facial, then head over to the hotel for a tipple in the Whisky Snug or a long lunch in the Brasserie.
From £275 per night in a Temple Room; monkeyislandestate.co.uk

Scottish beauties

This guided break in the Cairngorms National Park is ideal for laidback ramblers. Guests of Wilderness Scotland will try out some of the area’s best easy hikes, exploring Strathspey, Royal Deeside and Highland Perthshire. Treks along whisky smuggler trails and into Glen Feshie are accompanied by stops at a 13th-century Highland castle and a wildlife reserve. Red squirrels are among the residents at Abernethy Forest, while around Loch Muick you might spot red deer or golden eagles. 
From £1,565 sharing, including accommodation, some meals and guiding. Departures on Sept 18 and Oct 9; wildernessscotland.com.