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Spring breaks with style

Whether you fancy Sri Lanka or Loch Lomond, there are plenty of top-notch getaways to enjoy the sunshine.

Whether you fancy Sri Lanka or Loch Lomond, there are plenty of top-notch getaways to enjoy the sunshine.   

HIGHLAND FLING
Stuckgowan House
Loch Lomond, UK

There’s hardly a more beautiful and atmospheric place than Scotland in the spring. And few places in Scotland are more picture-perfect than Loch Lomond, situated on the point where the Scottish Lowlands and Highlands meet. Overlooking the loch with the backdrop of the mountains looming beyond, Stuckgowan House is a great option for outdoor types, with excellent walking, golfing, fishing and boating on its doorstep. If that all sounds too active, you could simply sit and enjoy the view from the outdoor hot tub. There’s also a cinema room and an entertainment area with pool table, dartboard, log-burning stove and bar. The nine-bedroom house is Grade I-listed, which means it’s a building of exceptional interest. 

For more information see www.homeaway.co.uk

MY CUP OF TEA
Ceylon Tea Trails
Castlereagh Lake, Sri Lanka

Located on a working tea estate, this is the ultimate destination for people looking to combine the great outdoors with indoor luxury. Spread across the estate are four colonial-era tea planters’ bungalows, built between 1890 and 1939. Each property has a manager, chef, butler and support staff to meet your every need. Most have swimming pools; some come with tennis courts and libraries. Walkers and bikers shouldn’t miss the pristine mapped trails – of varying difficulties – through immaculate tea gardens, all at an altitude of over 1,500 metres. Relax at the end of the day with a meal made from local produce – followed by a spot of tea, of course. www.teatrails.com

For more information see www.exosphere.com

CREAM OF THE CROP
The House in the Sea
Cornwall, UK

Surrounded by greenery and perched on top of the summit of Towan Island, the House in the Sea is perfect for those who want to stay in a secluded paradise but don’t want to venture too far off the beaten track. The three-bed house is accessed by a 70-foot-high, 100-foot-long suspension bridge, which is gated to maximise privacy – the island is just for you and your guests. But Cornwall’s Newquay, with its great surf, restaurants and coastal walks, is just minutes away. There’s a small garden and terrace to enjoy the spring sunshine – and the spectacular views – plus four-poster beds to retire to after the day’s activities.

For more information see www.uniquehomestays.com

 

BEAN THERE
Fazenda Catuçaba
São Paulo state, Brazil

Bordering a Unesco natural reserve, Fazenda Catuçaba is the perfect place to escape the modern world. At this 450-hectare coffee farm, there is no TV, mobile phone signal or internet access. But there is plenty of good coffee and food – much of it produced on the farm – and miles of countryside packed with tropical flora and fauna to be discovered by foot or on horseback. The farm itself has numerous rivers and lakes, one of which is reserved for activities including canoeing, fishing and swimming. Nearby, the Serra do Mar, which covers more than 315,000 hectares along the Costa Verde, is among the most biodiverse regions in the world. The accommodation is simple yet elegant, with villas or farmhouse suites available. www.catucaba.com

For more information see www.exosphere.com

 

A COUP DE COEUR
Chateau La Garenne
Aquitaine, France

Whether you’re looking for a holiday full of adventure or just a relaxing break, this stunning 800-year-old property in southern France is the perfect location for waving the winter goodbye. The chateau, which has always been owned by the same family, is surrounded by a vast garden with old trees and wide lawns, making it great for those with children. Soak up the sun in the heated swimming pool or take a walk in the adjacent woodland, while the little ones enjoy the play park, which includes a trampoline and a ping-pong table. The estate is also a luxurious base from which to explore the area – take a vineyard tour, visit the vibrant town of Angoulême that’s just a five-minute drive away, or practice some water sports at the nearby lake, Plan d’Eau de la Grande Prairie.

For more information see www.totstotravel.co.uk

 

HIDDEN GEM
Saffire Freycinet
Tasmania, Australia

Located on Tasmania’s wonderful east coast, two and a half hours’ scenic drive away from the island’s capital Hobart, Saffire Freycinet is the perfect destination for those who want to leave their city routine behind them. All suites in this luxurious hotel have private decks with view over the peaceful Great Oyster Bay and come with a number of complementary activities. Put on a pair of waders and taste fresh oysters and local sparkling wine while standing in the oyster farm in the nearby lagoon. Take a walking tour around Wineglass Bay, or explore the Little Swanport estuary and Pelican Bay on a canoe. In the evening, read a book and relax in a hammock before enjoying the locally sourced cuisine of Saffire’s restaurant. www.saffire-freycinet.com.au

For more information see www.exosphere.com

 

SEA SUITE

Lodge at Doonbeg
County Clare, Ireland

With views of the magnificent shores of Doughmore Bay, on the south-west coast of Ireland, the Lodge at Doonbeg is the ultimate luxury resort for those who want to combine outdoor sport with sophisticated comfort. The property’s 400 acres includes 59 suites and cottages with up to four bedrooms. Improve your golf on the 18-hole links course, which stretches along 2.4 kilometres of beach, or take advantage of the nearby Burren’s limestone cliffs and learn how to rock climb. If you want some thrills, Doughmore beach is a haven for surfers and kite-surfers, but you can also scuba dive in the ocean or admire the wonderful view while horse-riding along the coastline. www.doonbeglodge.com

For more information see www.exosphere.com

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