A beautiful mellow stone house bordered by a murmuring stream, next to the green of a little Cotswolds’ village… weekend breaks don’t come more relaxing than this. Stay all week, lazing with a book in the hammock, catching trout in the lake, cosying up with games by the log fire – of which there are three. Recent refurbishments are sympathetic to the history of this listed mid 17th-century house (originally a school, with a wheelwright’s in the stables). Now you find the ground floor opened up to create a comfortable drawing room at one end, a dining room and breakfast room at the other and a superb state-of-the-art kitchen in between. Oak floors are heated underfoot, there’s a catering-size oven and an Aga, and a grand piano for playing. Bedrooms above come in comfortable family style, with soft carpeting and muted colours, books, flowers and views of the wonderful garden. Bathrooms gleam. Pull on the hiking boots, spin off on the bikes, visit Cirencester, Burford and Stow-on-the-Wold. Come home to lovely lawns sloping down to the lake, and celebratory drinks on the big barbecue terrace.