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Looking for a holiday let big enough for several families (but still totally dreamy?)

Red (UK) logo Red (UK) 22/05/2019 Sarah Tomczak
a room filled with furniture and vase of flowers on a table © Provided by Hearst Magazine Media, Inc.

It's hard to find a place big enough to host a few families, and cosy enough to create a homely, kick-off-your-shoes-and-light-the-fire feel. Orchard Farmhouse in Alcester manages to do both. I think part of it's charm comes from the myriad rooms - while none of them are colossal, they do manage to comfortably accommodate everyone.

a living room filled with furniture and a fire place: Orchard Farmhouse is a dreamy, family escape Orchard Farmhouse is a dreamy, family escape

A low-beamed dining room, with a log fire and a long wooden dining table seats 14, there's a games room with table football and pool, two different sitting rooms, once with a large TV, the other filled with books and games.

a room filled with furniture and a counter in a kitchen: Orchard Farmhouse is a dreamy, family escape Orchard Farmhouse is a dreamy, family escape

The kitchen has an Aga and a second oven - more importantly, the garden has a hot tub (plus a kid's climbing frame, and Wendy house). So there's lots of space - and lots to do - for as many people as you can muster.

a room filled with lots of furniture: Orchard Farmhouse is a dreamy, family escape Orchard Farmhouse is a dreamy, family escape

The rooms are charming but not stuffy. Lots more low beams, big beds with muted tartan blankets, little lounge chairs and roll tops baths. There are seven in total - most of them en suite.

a bedroom with a bed and a chair in a room: Orchard Farmhouse is a dreamy, family escape Orchard Farmhouse is a dreamy, family escape

One rather brilliantly, has a kids' twin room accessed through a bigger room with a kingsize bed (perfect for families with small kids who you'd prefer not to roam the corridors in the wee hours). Savvy sleepers will bagsy the bedroom on the ground floor, which is tucked beyond the games room and remarkably tranquil.

a bedroom with a large bed in a hotel room: Orchard Farmhouse is a dreamy, family escape Orchard Farmhouse is a dreamy, family escape

You can arrive at Alcester with a car groaning with groceries, or hire a private chef through the holiday rental company, Kate & Toms, (they'll even prepare meals and drop them off for you). Equally Alcester and nearby Straford-Upon-Avon have heaps of great pubs (we loved The Moat House Inn for its wood-fired pizzas).

a dining room table in front of a brick building: Orchard Farmhouse is a dreamy, family escape Orchard Farmhouse is a dreamy, family escape

An spa-delivery service is available via Glo Pamper, and there are stables nearby, but we decided just to opt for rambling walks in the 2.5 acres of meadowland, followed by so many hours in the hot tub that our kids permanently looked like prunes.

an old brick house: Orchard Farmhouse is a dreamy, family escape Orchard Farmhouse is a dreamy, family escape

Orchard House is such that you can peel potatoes for a clan whilst watching them tear around the garden (radio on, wine poured), or find a quiet corner to read a book, or start a table football tournament, or mooch in the meadow, or, potentially, have a lie-in (wishful thinking?), pretty much undisturbed. And how often can you say that when there are 13 other guests?

Gallery: Is your holiday destination female-friendly? Choose wisely. (EasyVoyage)


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