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Our little black book of enchanting places


English holiday homes with pools by Maggie O'Sullivan

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O' Sullivan

If this gorgeous weather has made you long for a swimming pool, it’s worth remembering that hotels aren’t the only option – a small number of holiday houses in the UK also have outdoor pools. They’re generally large country properties, so perfect for a group of friends or family, but as supply is limited, they do tend to get booked up quickly. Here are five to make a dive for.

Yellowhammer, Plumpton, East Sussex

The coast is only 25 minutes’ drive from Yellowhammer, but who needs the sea when you’ve got a pool with views of the South Downs National Park? The views inside are pretty good, too, as the eight-bedroom house is filled with eye-catching artwork. And there's also a tennis court and a games room. Sleeps 16, from around £3,900 per week in high season.Wilderness Mansion, Suffolk

It’s almost a shame to spoil the stylish lines of this perfect pool by splashing about in it. It belongs to a Grade II-listed Georgian house set on more than 4,500 acre including a landscaped park, lake and woodlands. Dips can be followed by a trip to the movies: Wilderness Mansion has its own private cinema, not to mention a gym, games room and hot tub. Sleeps 30, fully staffed. Price on application. Widcome Grange, Culmhead, Somerset

Widcome is a late Victorian house and cottage set in 23 acres of landscaped grounds with woodlands, lake, orchard and paddocks. The pool area is perfect for catching a few rays, but for days when you’d rather catch a fish than swim like one, Widcome Grange has a two-acre spring fed fishing lake. If you have any energy left, the coach house has recently been turned into a games room with table tennis, snooker and table football. Sleeps 24; from around £7,500 for seven nights in high season. Hartwell, Nr Tavistock, Devon

This sheltered 10m pool with a pretty summer house belongs to a former 19th-century farmhouse. The house is spacious, with five bedrooms and two sitting rooms (each with a wood burner, which hopefully you won’t need), and it's perfectly located just 12 minutes’ drive Tavistock and 15 from Dartmoor. Sleeps 10; from £175 per night in high season. 

Lynden House, Ticehurst, East Sussex

The heated pool isn’t the only attraction for water babies at this seven-bedroom house in the heart of the Sussex countryside. There’s a hot tub in the small courtyard and terraces sweep down towards a large pond. Oh, and for the truly energetic there’s a circular running route. Sleeps 15; from around £4,250 per week in high season

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