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Discover our longings for exploration and discovery via this eclectic luxury travel blog, crafted to inspire the most seasoned of travellers.

A pool of one´s ownA pool of one´s own

Inspired by Virginia Woolf's essay on liberty, we’re uncovering a world where the pursuit of personal space goes beyond four walls – not a room of one’s own, but a pool of one’s own. You’ll find them within the grounds of country estates, behind the stone walls of village manors, and high on the Jurassic Coast. But as unalike as they are, they do have one thing in common; each becomes an aquatic wonderland at this time of year, primed for Gatsby-esque pool parties, meditative morning laps, and all that’s in between. So come on in, the water’s fine.

 

The Secret Garden Pools


Anti-clockwise from top: Rhapsody, Wool Merchant’s House, Roserai, Castle India

Go past the tea rooms and boho boutiques of Frome, and enter the gentle hubbub of Beckington village to find Wool Merchant’s House, a Somerset country pile that employs towering brick walls to keep the world at bay. Its heated pool is the envy of the hamlet come spring and summer. Meanwhile, at East Sussex oast house Roserai, there’s a long lawn pool, a private lake, and grounds that are part prim landscape, part secret gardens.

Those seeking a backdrop that is more Madhya Pradesh than Cornwall will find suitable transportation at Castle India among chai tea spritzers and wedges of sweet guava; think Mother Earth meets easy pool day, where swimmers sun-dry on wild lawns and the rest dangle their feet in the water with gin and tonics in hand. And for a temperate day in Surrey, full of frozen margaritas, webbed fingers, and harissa-spiked tagines wafting from the Moroccan pool house, head to Rhapsody to live a life of palatial proportions among statues and cypress trees.

 

The coastal pools

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Anti-clockwise from top: Pomona, Sugar Ray, Talisman

Perhaps just a pool isn’t enough? Try Sugar Ray, the Dorset beach house that feels every inch the Caribbean retreat. Not far from the muscovado sands of the Jurassic Coast, it calls to budding palaeontologists and hilltop hedonists alike. Cradled by lavender borders, reams of Mediterranean plant life, and a summer house, its south-facing heated pool is the place to make like mermaids of some private paradise.

On an isolated clifftop in Coverack, Pomona is a honeypot home, thick with saccharine bursts of colour that juxtapose a canvas of white. And what else would you expect of a sculptor’s workshop turned artsy retreat? In the garden hides a retro kidney-shaped pool, and beyond the trees you'll find Terence Coventry's steel creatures holding sentry. For sundowners of A-list proportions, and a pool that makes you feel like the patrons of a health club, try Talisman in Mawgan Porth; proof that you needn’t travel past Britain's to lounge by the waters’ edge. 

 

 

The Cotswolds pools


Anti-clockwise from top: The Palladian, The Aviary, Gulliver’s Hall, Evania

Despite its evergreen stature, the Cotswolds is a region of watery oases for those who know where to look. In private estates like The Marlings and Gulliver’s Hall, young ones splash about playing Atomic Whirlpool and grown-ups sip Aperol, patting themselves on the back for having the wherewithal to book a pad with a pool. At farmhouses like The Aviary, there’s a glass pool house that could have been poached from California’s OC, whilst luxe barns like Evania have a hint of the Mediterranean between their ancient olive trees and waterfalls.

A palatial manor that’s one of the best-kept secrets on Gloucestershire's pool scene, The Palladian could be a handful of homes rolled in to one. Out front, it’s like a scene from Austen’s pages; the home of a certain Mr. Bingley, perhaps. Out back, there’s hints of cottagecore; think smoking chimneys, higgle-piggle brickwork, and the kind of country courtyard for which only a heated pool will do.

 

The spa pools


Anti-clockwise from top: Ariabelle, Huntlington House, Scarlet Hall

If you’re seeking a private spa this summer, look no further than Ariabelle, where there are more sinking tubs, fragrant garden spots, and wellness spaces than you can shake an incense stick at. Think of it as a highfalutin Hamptons retreat, where the days’ activities are picked from a mindfulness menu: a morning walk through wild meadows, a tennis tournament to grease the knees, laps of the glamorous indoor pool, and a sauna session before meeting at the bar. This Maximalist country manor is arguably the most meditative home in West Sussex.

Could-be private health club Scarlet Hall – the Cheshire estate that The Times mentioned in their piece on the biohacking clout of infrared saunas – is just the place for seekers of rejuvenation. And if you’re a “nobody gets left behind” group with children and dogs to boot, looking for a slither of new-wave well-being, Huntlington House is the icon of the Worcestershire architecture scene: think oodles of rural charm, a heated pool, sauna, steam room, hot tub, gym, tennis court, and a topiary maze to add a splash of Saltburn appeal.

 

The woodland pools


Anti-clockwise from top: Forestkeepers, Morwell, Fawn Wood, The Art House

Why not make a splash in the great outdoors? In the real Hundred Acre Wood (of Pooh and Piglet fame), Fawn Wood is the Sussex spot made for stately swims. And anyone who has flitted through the pages of Marryat's The Children of the New Forest will find themselves quite at home in Forestkeepers, a homely residence set deep in Hampshire’s woodlands with a treehouse, zipwire, and garden pool bordering the National Park.

In Cornwall, Morwell has the kind of natural pool that speaks to wildlings: chemical-free, closer to nature, and prone to double as a watering hole for the fallow deer and kingfishers who call the Tamar Valley home. Come here for scrumptious summers of buttered sweetcorn, cannonballs, and the chance to tot up lengths under moonlight. In the east, in a landscape characterised by chalk grasslands, The Art House awaits those who appreciate the luxury of choice: namely, will it be the 17-metre lap pool, or the 50-metre swimming lake?

 

Feeling inspired? Read about the Saltburn-inspired estates for hire, discover what to eat at the poolside, or browse the full collection of luxury homes in the UK and Ireland.

Properties featured in this article: Morwell, Wool Merchant´s House, Scarlet Hall, Sugar Ray, Roserai, The Palladian, Evania, The Aviary, Fawn Wood, Rhapsody, Ariabelle, Castle India, Forestkeepers, Gulliver´s Hall, The Art House, Pomona, Huntlington House, The Marlings, Talisman

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