Charming New England Farmhouse Inns

Fall brings our nesting, comfort-dining instincts to the fore—which is why the friendly farmhouse inns of New England have such a magnetic effect. From the 5-diamond comforts of Relais & Châteaux to a homespun cottage on a working farm, these properties promise a warm welcome complete with fresh-baked cookies by the fire.

Click through the next few pages to see 11 more perfectly charming New England farmhouse inns.

Shamrock Farm Inn, Portsmouth, R.I.

This countryside charmer on the grounds of a working flower farm is run by a father and daughter team. It offers "One Hundred Thousand Welcomes" in the Celtic hospitality tradition that proprietor William Conheeny learned from his Galway, Ireland forebears.

Blue Horse Inn, Woodstock, Vt.

Pets and people alike get the run of the house at Blue Horse Inn, and it's always "wine hour" or time for an impromptu music performance somewhere around the property. In the summer and fall, the sloping back yard, with flower beds and a pool overlooking the river, is everyone's unofficial chill spot.

Mayflower Inn, Washington, Conn.

Billing itself as a "country house hotel," this Relais & Châteaux property represents the most luxurious of New England inn lodgings—more manor than farmhouse, but still blissfully bucolic. With oversized soaking tubs and romantic canopied four-poster beds, the rooms are perfect for cozying up a deux during a winter storm.

Apple Hill Inn, Taftsville, Vt.

With a gamboling Goldendoodle greeting guests in the drive and acres of green pastures and orchards rolling in every direction, this property makes guests long to quit their city jobs and move to the most rural reaches of Vermont. The proprietress did so herself, and will share her story as she bakes batches of muffins or whisks around the sunny antique-furnished atrium. The large, empty but pristine old barn in back is a popular wedding site in warm months.

Christmas Farm Inn,Jackson, N.H.

The name makes you wonder if this might be Santa's own holiday getaway. And maybe--if Santa were rather sophisticated and enjoyed spa days and evenings drinking wine by the fire pit—it could be. A former working Colonial-era farmhouse, later doing turns as a church and a jail, the property first became an inn in the late 1800s. Since then, it's gone through various ownership changes and has been added onto and been upgraded many times, most recently in 2010.

Warfield House Inn, Charlemont, Mass.

Farm stays are a popular way to experience rural Massachusetts. At this Berkshires property, guests can go on llama treks or horseback trail rides, in addition to "working" in the old-fashioned barnyard and/or the garden. Seasonal activities include maple syruping, cross-country skiing and leaf-peeping. Guests lodge in the main house or the "Bungalow," which has less expensive rooms including three that are shared-bath.

Hartman's Herb Farm, Barre, Mass.

There are as many greenhouses as guest rooms at this Massachusetts garden farm. Although the five guest rooms are quite modest, the beautiful display garden, 150-person dining room and formal gardens make this a popular wedding spot. The property also hosts popular holiday brunches and weekend open houses in May.

Inn at Valley Farm, Walpole, N.H.

Going "back to the land" doesn't get more idyllic than at sustainable, family-run Walpole Valley Farm. Lodging choices include guest rooms in the "Inn", the family-friendly cottages or the farmhouse (rented as one unit, by the week). With free-range chickens feeding freely and sheep and cows grazing in their pastures, the 105-acre farm is a tourist-friendly model of modern homesteading. Go on a farm tour to see just how much work it takes to keep everything looking so picture-perfect.

Cabot Cove Cottages, Kennebunkport, Maine

Admittedly, this property's coastal, not country. However, the collection of adorable little free-standing cottages, all gentle pastels and country-chic interiors, sums up everything an outsider wants from a New England getaway. The fall foliage right outside is spectacular, the nearby village is great for antiquing, and every guest cottage has its own private porch with Adirondack chairs.

PHOTO: Hot Cocoa service at the Blantyre in Lenox, Mass.
Courtesy Blantyre, Relais & Châteaux
Blantyre, Lenox, Mass.

This classic New England country mansion was originally built as a great estate of the Gilded Age. The first owner modeled it after his ancestral home in Scotland—thus, the name and the turreted main house not pictured. Other much-beloved features, such as the "Snow Barbeques," the specialty hot chocolate menu (pictured), the "mud baths" and the small spa housed in the former potting shed, have evolved during the Blantyre's latest incarnation as a genteel country inn—now in its third decade, and going strong.

Sachem Farmhouse Inn, Litchfield, Conn.

Copyright: Sachem Farmhouse Inn Jennifer and Jason King restored their four-room farmhouse inn in 2007 so as to be able to welcome guests to the working farm that's been in their family since the late 1700s. Of all the country charms that nearby New Yorkers and New Jersey refugees crave – the farm fresh breakfasts, the lakeside picnics, the peaceful gardens – the most popular feature might be the adorably woolly sheep. Pictured: mama Celeste with twin lambs Alabama and Alaska.

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