Thorpeness is a one-off, the perfect antidote to the 21st century. The village was brainchild of G S Ogilvie, who set out to create a holiday resort for children, free of piers and promenades, with safety assured. His master stroke is the Meare – a 64-acre lake, never more than three feet deep, which was inspired by his friend, J M Barrie, creator of Peter Pan. Children can row, canoe or sail up creeks and discover islands that may have a lurking (wooden) crocodile round the corner. The Dolphin – bang in the middle of the village – is a great little inn with three cute bedrooms that come in smart cottage style; expect old pine furniture, soft colours and spotless bathrooms. Downstairs, two lively bars come with open fires and wooden floors, while doors open onto a vast garden for barbecues, hog roasts and al fresco dinners (the pub heaves in summer). No-nonsense food hits the spot, perhaps grilled sardines with basil pesto, chargrilled steak with chunky chips, a plate of local cheeses. There’s a great golf course, an unspoilt beach, and the birdwatching centre at Minsmere is close.