While it looks like holidays abroad are on the back burner for now, staycations have naturally become the trend du jour. Instead of panic booking and trying to rely on the government's traffic light system, many Brits are turning to their home turf to plan a summer break.
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The Georgian city of Bath has always been a popular destination for domestic and international tourists thanks to its quaint city centre, honey-coloured houses and Jane Austen vibes. But if you want the best of both worlds – to experience both city and countryside – a stay at Wick Farm ticks all the boxes.
Wick Farm boasts a heated pool
Located just seven miles from Bath in the village of Farleigh Hungerford, the sumptuous farmhouse is one of various properties that comprise the country estate. Wick Farm actually doubles up as a wedding venue, with the farmhouse ideal for the bride and her bridal party to stay in. But it is also open to holidaymakers and no doubt this summer will see many friends and families check in.
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Enjoy a morning coffee overlooking perfectly manicured lawns
The Grade II-listed house is set within 37 acres of land in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, making it the perfect rural escape. But it's also just a 20-minute drive into Bath, which means you can combine your days lounging around the pool and breathing in the fresh country air with a spot of sightseeing and shopping in the World Heritage city.
The medieval farmhouse sleeps eleven guests in six bedrooms, with three and a half bathrooms. So if you're looking for somewhere for a group of friends or to base a family reunion, then this is the place. It's incredibly spacious and is perfect for entertaining, set up with a formal dining room as well as the choice of two outdoor eating areas. Plus, it has an abundance of activities on offer suitable for all ages.
There's plenty of activities on offer like table tennis, croquet and Boules
The USP of the property is by far the outdoor (and did we mention, heated) pool, a rarity for UK accommodation and where we spent most of our days. It's accessible to guests from April to October and is very chicly designed with charcoal-coloured pavestones.
On a hot summer's day, you'll find it hard to drag yourself away from the comfy deck chairs, but have a rummage around the shed and you'll find inflatables and balls to throw around in the pool. The water is so inviting once you know it's heated.
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There's an electric barbecue and a large picnic table off to one side, so if you envision warm days soaking up the sunshine with a burger and beer in hand, dressed in your swimwear, you can guarantee Wick Farm will deliver. There's also a cosy fire pit which you can barbeque on, or simply light when the last of the sun's rays have gone down and you still want to enjoy the balmy weather outside.
Gather around the fire pit in the evenings
The farmhouse and pool overlook pristinely manicured lawns and fields further in the distance. The outdoor seating area is an idyllic spot to enjoy a tranquil morning coffee before commencing your day of activities, and entertainment is something Wick Farm is not short of. There's ample space for the kids to run around and play, and if you haven't brought your own organised fun, there's a range of options.
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As well as swimming, guests can make use of the tennis courts, play croquet, tennis table or enjoy Boules in the garden. Clay pigeon shooting can also be arranged at an additional cost. As for indoor entertainment, the games room boasts a full-sized American pool table, board games aplenty as well as books and DVDs.
The country chic living room features a grand fireplace
The country chic living room, which features a piano, a TV and a majestic fireplace, is the perfect spot to congregate when night draws in. Lounge back on the leather sofas and play a game of cards or enjoy a nightcap as the logs roar and burn.
If home-cooked meals are a big part of your staycation, you'll be impressed by the farmhouse's kitchen, which is fully equipped with the main feature being the Aga – perhaps a novelty for those travelling from cities.
There's also a Nespresso coffee machine and a sophisticated wine fridge built into the kitchen island, as well as a pantry filled with cupboard staples left over from previous guests. While you may expect the basics like oil, salt and pepper in other self-catered accommodation, you'll be pleasantly surprised to see pasta, rice, tinned goods, all sorts of condiments and more stacked in the larder.
There's an Aga and a wine fridge in the fully equipped kitchen
Apart from the aforementioned outdoor eating areas, there's also a dining table in the kitchen as well as a more magnificent formal dining room, which is the perfect setting for a special occasion or a fun games night. Murder mystery, anyone?
The décor throughout the farmhouse is as charming and quaint as you'd expect of a medieval property. Wooden beams, whitewashed walls and family portraits adorn the walls, while a doll's house and rocking horses are dotted along the hallways.
The master bedroom is located in the heart of the house
The six bedrooms are a decent size, particularly the large grand master bedroom on the first floor in the heart of the house. The en-suite bathroom is a masterpiece in itself, complete with fluffy white rugs, a rainfall shower and ample space to get ready in.
In contrast, one of the rooms at the top of the house is perfect for any young adults in the group. A teenager's dream, it's decked out with a drum kit, projector, pull-down screen, and surround sound system.
There's plenty of indoor entertainment too
Given the expansive size of the house, the beautiful sprawling grounds, the heated pool, the abundance of entertainment and its proximity to Bath, Wick Farm really does deliver the staycation of dreams. It's perfect for groups and families and will make you wish you'd checked in for longer.
Relaxing on a deck chair with the sun on your face and a glass of rosé in hand amid a British heatwave, you might almost feel like you're sunning it up on the continent.
It feels like you could be on holiday abroad
To book a stay at Wick Farm, visit Airbnb.co.uk
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