Off the beaten track.

As part of our series on places to stay and visit, that may be off the beaten track, Handpicked Cottages guide us through two of the most beautiful yet unexplored parts of the UK.


As part of a series on places to stay and visit that may be off the beaten track, Handpicked Cottages guide us through two of the most beautiful yet unexplored parts of the UK. In these times people are looking to visit places that are not perhaps the first places you may think of when planning a staycation.

The Wye Valley

Why Visit?

Our travels start with a visit to the beautiful Wye Valley. Not sure where it is? The Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) straddles the border between England and Wales. The first thing that grabs your attention as you meander through the gorgeous countryside of undulating hills and valleys is the sheer beauty of this part of the world. Follow the Wye River through a multitude of woodlands, across ancient stone bridges and through picture postcard villages.

See & Do

The scenery here is simply spectacular and once visited it stay with you forever. The Wye Valley and Welsh Borders have over recent times built a stellar reputation for fine dining restaurants and eateries which are dotted across this incredible landscape. It is no surprise that, with the numerous farms in the area, prime beef and lamb dishes featured notably in our gastro break.. Wanting to keep an eye on our waistlines we decided that a proper walk was in order and chose the easternmost range of the Brecon Beacons. This proved an excellent choice as there are a multitude of walks for the casual stroller and the seasoned hiker, all with the stunning beauty of the area as your backdrop. The Wye Valley and surrounding areas are a playground for those who want to get outdoors and be active. A good pair of shoes and waterproofs mean you can enjoy doing as much or as little as you fancy, at any time of the year. The Wye River is one of the jewels in the crown with a wide choice of activities taking place throughout the year. We chose to hire a canoe in Monmouth and spent a wonderful half day exploring the river and stopping for refreshments at the Boat Inn at Penalt.

Places to Stay

For a perfect holiday or special break at any time of the year, choose any one of our luxury holiday cottages in the area. These properties cater for couples, families and larger groups. Stay a week or maybe just three nights and you will feel totally revived and rejuvenated.

Click here to choose from our collection of luxury Wye Valley cottages.


Why Visit?

Exmoor is ideally situated to allow visitors the choice of two beautiful counties to explore. Somerset has the largest share of this glorious expanse of countryside, with Devon occupying about a third. In this part of the South West you can experience one of the finest National Parks to be found anywhere in the UK, with open moorland and the stunning coastal scenery to the north.

See & Do

Your next holiday or break to Exmoor can be as active or as relaxing as you like with attractions and activities for couples, families and groups of friends. Obviously, with the incredible coast and country available to explore, outdoor pursuits such as hiking, walking and mountain biking are extremely popular, plus surfing off the vast North Devon beaches.

For those looking to slow the pace, there is something here for you too with Nature Safari tours. Why not visit the many beautiful towns and villages of the area and enjoy farmers’ markets and a multitude of independent shops.  The people of Exmoor are rightly proud of their local produce and this is clearly evident in the many fine eating establishments in the area. Drop-in to a café or restaurant and you will surely love the foodie experience.

Although parts of Exmoor are quite off the beaten track, at Handpicked Cottages we have a good choice of holiday cottages in and around the area and in both Devon and Somerset

Click here to explore our Exmoor collection.

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