On the borders of Somerset and Dorset, where you need a magnifying glass to read the tiny village names on the map, the lanes are narrow and the song of the skylark seems huge across the meadows. In a dip in the hills sits The Tythe Barn, a modern oasis of crisp luxury in a setting that’s unchanged for centuries.
Get up to 14 folks together and invade the pristine spaces. Splash your way to a few lengths of the heated pool before breakfast. Fold back the doors and take coffee and croissants on the terrace. Wander the landscaped lawns and meadows before dinner. Light the logs beneath the oak beams and relax with a tipple before bedtime.
After a long day’s sailing, riding, hiking, swimming, or just pottering for England around quaint and medieval Sherborne, you’ll collapse between soft cotton sheets. Inch open the window and drift off with the country air in your lungs and the soft hoot of an owl in your ears.
Britain is an undulating, unending feast of hills and dales, meadows and fields, rugged coastline and towering peaks. History hits you at every turn. As sometimes does the rain. So welcome to the holiday home that’s unblemished by Blighty’s weather.
The 16-metre heated pool is good for a splash or a length or ten at whatever time of day. As a pre-breakfast wakener. For impromptu water polo on a wet Wednesday afternoon. Or at the end of the day to send you up to your cotton sheets with heavy limbs and happy thoughts.
When the sun pops his hat on, there’s a delicious courtyard garden to explore. Lose yourself in the box hedging, lavender and herbs. Walk the paths and work up an appetite. Take croissants and coffee on the terrace by the pool. Dangle your feet in the babbling brook.
At the end of it all is a creaky gate that opens onto another world. Discover where the garden ends and Dorset begins.
The Tythe Barn gives you the time to explore new places and the space to rediscover each other in comfort and style. Living spaces here come wrapped in local honeyed stone, ceilings are vaulted and oak beams abound. Wooden floors, exposed-brick walls and slatted stairs make for textured and tactile living.
Get together in the living room. It’s cool, it’s contemporary but the fire burns warmly on the wall. Set the scene for family fun in front of the flickering fire. Curl up in a C-shape on the L-shaped squishy sofa and break out the books. Load up a family film night on the giant TV.
If the sun’s not playing games, there’s nothing to stop you doing so. Up the pace in the games room, on the pool table or table-tennis table. There’s a big TV here, too, and board games that demand to be accompanied by a homely slice of cake and a steamy mug of tea.
The choice for cooking and dining is in or out. Inside, there’s space for up to 14 around the giant table with the vaulted ceiling. Unleash your inner Gordon Ramsay (but curb your language) in the fully fitted kitchen with induction hob and double oven.
You’ll have worked up an appetite, of course. The sun is out and the choice is clear. Throw back the bi-fold doors, wrap up in a soft-cotton dressing gown and take tea on the terrace. How very civilised.
Need a break? Hire our chef for an hour, for a day, for a special celebration, or for a fully catered holiday. We’ll even magic away the mucky dishes.
Eating out? Prepare for a five-star feast at The King’s Arms in Charleton Horthorne or the Queen’s Arms in Corton Denham. Combine contemporary art with gastronomy at Hauser and Wirth in Bruton, or hunker down over homely fare at The Rose and Crown in Trent.
While you’re making memories at The Tythe Barn, you can enjoy sweet dreams. Sleeping 12 in six bedrooms, this is a big, beautiful and bountiful house that offers oak-beamed, cotton-sheeted luxury disturbed only by the wings of a bat or the hoot of an owl.
The Master bedroom is super king-size; the freestanding bath made to bathe a queen. Backing it up are three other super King Size rooms, one double and two twin-bedded singles, ideal for kids’ clandestine midnight feasts.
With five to share, there’ll be no fighting over bathrooms. As well as two ensuites, The Tythe Barn comes with one wet room, one shower and toilet, one bath and toilet and two WCs.