A little luxe, Highlands
It’s hard to beat the location of Eagle Brae, found between Glen Affric and Glen Strathfarrar and surrounded by rugged munros. With three major lochs on the doorstep, as well as the Farrar and Glass rivers, you can head out to catch your dinner before curling up under the red cedar-wood timbers in front of a warm fire or sitting out on the deck to watch for deer. There are 10 cabins to choose from, all offering a little luxury in the wilderness – some even have their own private sauna.
Sleeps two to six; from £1,434 per week (01463 761301; eaglebrae.co.uk).
Beach bolthole, Brackenbank, Cornwall
Watch wild winter waves crash in from this stylish cabin, teetering on the cliffs above Whitsand Bay. The inside has a bright, contemporary-nautical vibe – there are portholes, big sea-view windows and white-blue-grey tones – plus all the mod-cons, from TV and woodburner to Wi-Fi and a coffee machine. Can’t face cooking? Michelin Guide-listed The View (open weekends in winter) is a mile away. Even better, bracing walks along the South West Coast Path beckon from the door.
Sleeps five; from £680 per week (01637 861005; beachretreats.co.uk).
Nordic nooks, Devon
There’s not a neighbour in sight at this hideaway, high above the Taw Valley. Hand-built by the farmer in whose fields it sits (and from whom you can order a meat hamper for the barbie), the cedar-clad Secret Devon Cabin has a cool Scandi vibe: soothing tones, Swedish woodburner, stylish kitchen, fold-back doors. Stay cosy inside, or amble down the meadow to light up the fire pit or jump into the wood-fired hot tub to gaze up at Exmoor’s officially lauded Dark Skies.
Sleeps two to four; from £125 per night (kiphideaways.com).
Stylish hideaway, Gloucestershire
Inhale the smell of fresh-cut cedar in the Nook and the Nest, each sitting in their own meadow in the Forest of Dean. There are no backcountry privations here. Each is decked out with stylish bathrooms and well-equipped kitchens (where you’ll find home-made scones on arrival), as well as snuggly sofas, handcrafted furniture and vintage art. Outside, there are swing seats on the veranda and Japanese soak tubs for warming up chilly nights.
Sleeps two; from £298 for two nights (01594 78177; theroostglamping.co.uk).
Designer den, East Sussex
Just outside Rye, only 65 minutes from London by train, the easy-access Cabin by the River is more Soho House than Davy Crockett. Furnishings are fabulous: a rustic-luxe mix of Moroccan tiles, Matthew Hilton leather sofa, Eames chairs and abundant throws and cushions plus an Emperor-size bed. Start with a coffee on the riverside decking, before pootling around lovely Rye’s antiques shops, galleries and gastropubs, or taking windy walks by the sea.
Sleeps two; from £360 for two nights (07773 789863; cabinsandcastles.co.uk).
Serene soundtrack, West Yorkshire
Drift off to the sound of a babbling stream – though make sure you’ve used the composting lavatory (located on a platform, a few steps away) beforehand… Inspired by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Falling Water creative cabin at Ponden Mill sits, as the name suggests, atop a waterfall, in the Yorkshire Dales. Walk up through the woods to get there, and cuddle up in the bedroom, where wraparound windows let the light flood in. Alternatively, you can pop to the Camra award-winning pub, just a few minutes’ walk away.
Sleeps two; from £120 per night (0117 204 7830; canopyandstars.co.uk).
Bargain bolthole, North Yorkshire
Simple but spectacular, the hilltop Game Larder wood cabin, located on a working farm staring down the Esk valley, was originally built for the local shooting estate, but has spent most of the past century doing nothing at all. Now decked out with woodburner, kitchen and mezzanine-tucked double (and with a shower and loo a short walk away), it’s an ideal adults-only escape, with a private deck to die for and great hiking all around.
Sleeps two; from £50 per night (pitchup.com).
Off-grid gem, Cumbria
The eco-friendly Shank Wood Log Cabin, made Canadian-style from whole tree trunks, sits so happily amid the Cumbrian cliffs and woodland that it looks more like it’s been grown rather than built. The only electricity here is a little boost for your phone. Otherwise it’s solar-powered lighting and heating; there’s no TV, no Wi-Fi, and no distractions from the otters, deer and birds. Fishing rights are included, so bring a rod to try catching your own barbecue supper.
Sleeps four; from £150 per night (fishinghideaway.co.uk).
Writer’s retreat, Brecon Beacons
Need a place to get that novel finished? Head for the Wood Shack. Originally a writer’s cabin (owner Rob penned The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees here), the Wood Shack sits in private woodland near Abergavenny, serenaded by birds and a gurgling stream. If it’s warm enough, seek inspiration while swaying in the hammock. Or fire up the log burner and coffee pot and set to work inside, trying not to be distracted by the books, games and big-window views.
Sleeps two; from £307 for two nights (01237 459888; holidaycottages.co.uk).
Cosy living, Carmarthenshire
The Welsh word cwtch means both cubbyhole and cuddle – which pretty much sums up the supremely snug pair of Hafan and Derwen in the Carmarthenshire countryside. Handmade and meadow-tucked, both have cosy sofas with mezzanine beds, little camp kitchens and adjacent huts containing composting loos (more facilities can be found in the farmhouse nearby). Entertainment runs from board games, books, boules and guitars to the local pub (a 20-minute walk) and nights on the deck, watching the stars.
Sleeps two; from £80 per night (01550 777499; understarryskies.co.uk).
Lake life, Powys
Arguably the perfect picture of what a cabin should be, Gwalia (an ancient word for Wales) Farm is a log-built, grass roofed hideaway on its own lake, tucked into a thicket of trees. It’s basic, but comfy: the cosy bed comes with hot water bottles and alpaca-wool blankets, the camp kitchen is outside (but covered), and dining is on the lake-top veranda. There’s a wood-fired hot tub to soak in; if you’re feeling tough, leap into the icy waters for an extreme-rejuvenation dip.
Sleeps two; from £395 for three nights (07980 861640; gwaliafarm.co.uk).
Island style, Isle of Skye
Hole up for Hogmanay or simply to watch winter unfold outside the huge windows of the Black Shed. Set on a working farm, overlooking Loch Dunvegan, this architecture-award-winning cabin is well-placed for exploring Skye, though you might not want to leave. Light the fire, pick a book from the wee library and cosy up under sheepskins, shorn from the flock outside. Indeed, there’s a real emphasis on “local”, with everything from the artwork to soap and blankets to a whisky barrel bench sourced from the island.
Sleeps two; from £700 per week (blackshed.co.uk).
Wildlife retreat, Sutherland
Waders and wildfowl, Scottish crossbills, skeins of geese, seals and otters might all be seen around Loch Fleet this season, and the remote Birdwatchers’ Cabin is just the place to spot them. With panoramic views over water and mountains, this smart-but-simple bolthole has everything you need and access you can’t beat. Sleeps two.
Back to basics, Cairngorms
The off-grid Woodman’s Hut, hunkered down amid wildlife-busy forest, is open in all seasons. Gaze at frosty mountains from the veranda, red squirrels nibbling at the feeding table and capercaillie capering in the snow. For warmth, there’s a king-size Scottish box bed (with stargazer window above), Knockando Woolmill blankets and a hearty woodburner; outside there’s a chiminea for toasting marshmallows and a heated rainwater shower with invigorating views.
Sleeps two; from £375 for three nights (0784 629 1154; lazyduck.co.uk).
Super-sized shack, Highlands
Think Canadian cabin turned up to 11. The mountain-hugged, chunky-log hideaway Caledonian Escape sits by the shores of Loch Garry and is strung with fairy lights, looking like something out of a Christmas film. The woodburner, furry throws and eco-innovations – including air-source pump to power the underfloor heating – keep it toasty year-round. Walking trails and canoe paddles from the doorstep will warm you, too. Alternatively, huddle around the fire pit or take a dip in the loch-view hot tub. Sleeps six.