Cozy Up in Historical Gems

National Trust Holiday CottagesNational Trust Cottages
Experience stunning views of the rocky coastline of Southwest England from Doyden Castle, one of the National Trust spectacular Holiday Cottages.

Looking to enjoy a dramatic coastline or to be mesmerized by the historic beauty that once inspired Romantic poets, including William Wordsworth? Look no further than the historic cottages sprinkled throughout the British Isles.

The National Trust, a charity focused on protecting and preserving the historic buildings, vast countryside and impressive coastline of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, offers an alternative to hotel vacationing in one of their wonderfully maintained historic cottages. There are over 360 cottages throughout the British Isles to choose from, offering many different experiences.

Visitors enjoy the stunning views of the southwest coast of England, the golden sands of Southern Wales, or the plush natural beauty of Northern Ireland in one of the charity's self-catering vacation cottages. Here are six historic cottages with six different experiences to be had.

1. Doyden Castle: Port Quin, Cornwall, England

Doyden Castle, one of Britain's smallest castles, is situated on the cliff edge with stunning views overlooking Lundy Bay and the Cornish hollow of Port Quin, a nearly abandoned fishing village. The miniature castle on the southwest coast of England was built around 1830 by Samuel Symons as his personal retreat for feasting, drinking and gambling. Now, lucky visitors of the castle can enjoy the privacy of this dramatic bit of coast.

The castle has three floors. The entrance is through a tunnel on the cellar floor. The cellar floor contains a small kitchen, wine store, and small bathroom. The ground level is cozy with a small living room, dining nook and large fireplace. A steep staircase takes you to the top floor where there is a large bedroom with gorgeous views of the sea crashing against the rocks.

The castle, perfect for two, is available for your enjoyment year-round. Prices range from around £300-£1000 (roughly $500-$1,600) a week, depending on the time of year.

For a memorable experience on rugged Cornish coastline, Doyden Castle is a perfect fit.

2. Millbeck Towers: Lake District, Keswick, England

Those with a large family will find pleasure at Millbeck Towers in the Lake District, where you and your loved ones can experience some of the most breathtaking landscapes England has to offer. With the beauty of the Lake District at your finger tips, you may be inspired like many of England's Romantic poets were years ago. English Romantic poet William Wordsworth's most influential poem, "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," paid homage to his experience in the Lake District.

Millbeck Towers sits on extensive property, formerly a Carding Mill, in the heart of the Lake District. The grounds of Millbeck Towers include a lush garden, fenced pond, former tennis court and direct access to the Skiddaw Range, which is an easy climb for the inexperienced hiker.

Millbeck Towers has beautiful, spacious rooms most with breathtaking views of the surrounding area. The three-story home includes a dining room with an open fireplace, breakfast room, kitchen and living room also with an open fireplace. The home can comfortably accommodate 12 individuals in its six bedrooms.

The property is available for your family year-round, and prices range from £700-£2600 ($1,160-$4,300) a week, depending on the season.

Millbeck Towers is an ideal vacation spot, giving your family the opportunity to spread out and enjoy the region in uncramped quarters.

3. Mustard Pot Cottage: Felbrigg, Norfolk, England

Mustard Pot Cottage is a unique gem situated in its own large fenced garden on the edge of the Felbrigg Estate in Norfolk, a county located on the east coast of England, famous for its grand estates, genuine coastline and picturesque scenery.

The two-story cottage is noted for its octagonal-shaped sitting room with an open fireplace and master bedroom above reached by a winding staircase. The cottage also has a conservatory, kitchen, dining room and downstairs bedroom. The price for a week in Mustard Pot Cottage is £300-£900 ($500-$1,500), depending on the season.

For those looking to benefit from a holiday in a charming cottage filled with character in a magnificent and popular location, Mustard Cottage is a wonderful option.

4. Laundry Cottage: Ightham Mote, Sevenoaks, England

Laundry Cottage is part of a converted 15th century stableblock within the grounds of Ightham Mote, one of the oldest medieval manor houses to survive in England. Laundry Cottage was honored by The Observer as the second-best holiday cottage in the U.K. in June 2009. It is perfect for small families looking to nestle into the countryside for the holiday.

The historically-rich cottage has picturesque views of the 14th century moated manor's lawns and its own small, private garden. Laundry Cottage is two stories and includes a kitchen, sitting room, and two bedrooms. A week at this cozy cottage in southeast England is £400-£1500 ($650-$2,500) a week, depending on the season.

Laundry Cottage is an idyllic location for a holiday in a historic and hidden corner of England.

5. 1 Coastguard Cottage: Rhossili, Wales

Coastguard Cottage at Rhossili in Southern Wales is an absolute gem. It boasts views of both the rocky coves and golden sands of South Gower and the Worms Head. The unique location of the cottage, the last house before the Worms Head, sets it apart from its neighbors because when the tide comes in, the Worms Head becomes an island and Coastguard Cottage has the full view.

Visitors to Coastguard Cottage can enjoy the picturesque villages and internationally renowned beaches of the Gower peninsula. In West Gower, cottage visitors can join surfers and parasailers, who frequent the expanses of Rhossili beaches. Visitors can also revel in the beauty of the enclosed garden to the rear of the cottage.

Built in 1928, Coastguard Cottage comfortably sleeps six in its three large bedrooms and has two bathrooms. The two-story cottage's cozy interior is complete with a kitchen, dining room, and a warm sitting room with stunning and dramatic views of the unspoiled coast. A week in this magnificent beach-side cottage costs £500-£1300 ($830-$2,100), depending on the season.

6. Alder Cottage: Crom, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

Quiet and quaint, Alder Cottage is ideal for a romantic getaway. Located on the Crom Demesne, one of Northern Ireland's most impressive nature reserves, Alder Cottage is an excellent location for relaxing in the natural beauty of the region or exploring historical buildings in the surrounding area.

The two-story cottage was honored by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board in 2006 with the Self-Catering Establishment of the Year Award. Alder cottage has one large sunlit bedroom and a cozy sitting room with a log fireplace. Although the cottage boasts a remote setting, the town of Enniskillen, with its good selection of restaurants and bars, is only a short distance away and perfect for visitors not interested in cooking for themselves. A romantic retreat at Alder cottage will cost £200-£600 ($330-$1,000) a week.