Wilderness Reserve, in Suffolk, gives lie to the idea that a countryside escape necessarily requires involve a lot of chintz or doilies. Comprising of a series of separate lodgings centred around the 5,000 acre estate of Sibton Park’s Georgian manor house, the fully serviced rentals recently added two properties to the collection.
Set within a restored Victorian walled garden, both buildings were originally bothies – small dwellings that, traditionally, provided living accommodation for single gardeners or other workers on the estate. They have since been restored and expanded by the Reserve’s in-house designers to form bucolic retreats for weekend strikes or longer getaways.
The main Walled Garden residence – dressed in broad planked timber floors, plush bedding and reassuringly hefty stone – contains eight en-suite bedrooms and is anchored by a literal kitchen garden, alongside three glass glasshouses, which comprise kitchen, and cinema and games rooms. The adjacent red-bricked Victorian-era Garden Cottage adds four bedrooms, which are also dressed with a similarly mod-country bent.
In winter, a thatched cottage on the grounds containing sauna and hot tub keeps guests suitably toasty, and in summer, there’s something to be said for a few languid laps in the pool, or a gentle whack on the tennis court.