A joy for couples looking for solid, understated style inside and rolling country walks and cycling from the door – without heading for the wilds. On the fringe of pretty Berkhamsted – with its castle, art-house cinema, tempting shops and cafés – there are glimpses of a sheep-dotted landscape beyond as you take the No Through Road at the top of Castle Hill. Here, the Groves’ handsome brick and timber Stables conversion stands near their magnificent Great Barn. They’ve designed and organised the space so well you could happily live here. Sturdy oak floorboards are heated from below; lighting is elegant and discreet. There’s a good collection of DVDs and cookery books; a slick, well-equipped kitchen with retro country touches; a deep leather sofa and scrubbed dining table; a beautifully turned out bed beneath the beams, and a snug bathroom with plump towels. The odd French and rustic piece – like the water jug, brass candlesticks and Cézanne-style prints – add to the charm of the place. Bird-song peace a 10-minute walk from good eateries, the train station (Euston 35 minutes), and Waitrose!