Holiday homes with swimming pools sell out fast in peak periods, so get in early this year at some of the best around the country
Isle of Wight
Sitting on the edge of Newtown national nature reserve, Shalfleet Manor Estate is in a top spot for birdwatching, canoeing and walks around the Newtown estuary. The 17th-century Grade-II listed manor and separate outbuilding conversions have been recently renovated, and share the heated outdoor pool (May-September), tennis courts and gardens. The heritage colour palette keeps spaces light, while a large restored oak fireplace in the main house adds a touch of drama. A mooring on the nearby river is also available to guests. No more than a 35-minute drive to anywhere on the Isle of Wight, it makes a good base to explore the many bays and beaches, sea-view eateries and activities from sailing to fossil-hunting.
Cottages sleep 2-14 (+ cots), dog-friendly, from £352 a week, bluechipholidays.co.uk/shalfleet-barn and bluechipholidays.co.uk/shalfleet-manor
The Stables and the Coach House are two modern cottages in the grounds of 17th-century Trewan Hall, with access to a shared heated pool (under a dome in cold weather, usually closed in winter), onsite shop and various entertainment in the barn, including local bands and choirs. The 36-acre woodland estate is a 20-minute drive from Newquay and Padstow, 10 minutes from the sandy beach of Mawgan Porth and five minutes from the village of St Columb Major, which has several pubs, restaurants and a medieval “hurling the silver ball” contest on Shrove Tuesday.
• Each cottage sleeps 4 (+ cot), dog-friendly, seven nights from £347, classic.co.uk