British Isles Slow Travel

The best self-catering in Cambridgeshire

From modern barn conversions to rustic country cottages.

The Old Chapel

 Pierce Ln, Fulbourn

Restored 19th-century chapel, with the village’s original damson trees in the adjacent woodland. Furnished with a fresh, country feel, it sleeps up to five in two bedrooms (a double, a single and a sofa bed). Guests have shared use of the large garden and access to the wood. 

The Warren House


A striking folly in the grounds of Kimbolton Castle, this unusual two-person house was originally a 17th-century warren lodge for the estate’s warrener. It has a cosy bedroom on the ground floor, plus a kitchen and lounge on the first floor with sweeping views across the Kimbolton estate and local countryside.

The Arc Cabin

Duck St, Elton

Luxurious yet rustic timber cabin, nestled by a riverside woodland in the grounds of Island House, where Kenneth Grahame is said to have drawn inspiration for The Wind in the Willows. Expect handmade and reclaimed furniture, original art and local wildflowers, plus a roll-top bath, fairy-lit veranda and antique French bed. You’ll also find books to read, knitting equipment, sketchbooks and a well-equipped kitchen, complete with herbs, spices and homemade treats. Walking distance from the pubs in Elton.

Lynch Lodge


This unique, one-bed landmark property is a salvaged porch from a house in Chesterton that was owned by the writer John Dryden. Restored to its original form, it has a small bedroom upstairs, plus a lounge, kitchen, fireplace and bathroom downstairs. It sits in the prettiest part of Alwalton village, just a few steps from the river, pub and village shop/tea room.

Pea Cottage

Grange Farm, Main St, Southorpe

One-bedroom cottage with a wood-burning stove and contemporary country kitchen, along with unique features that include a cast-iron bathtub and a headboard made from a reclaimed chapel door. Guests have use of the owner’s tandem bike. Great for country walks, with Burghley House, Peterborough Cathedral and John Clare country on the doorstep.

River Nene Cottages

1 Mill Ln, Water Newton

On the banks of the river in the quiet hamlet of Water Newton, these three holiday cottages occupy a Grade II listed barn that was part of the neighbouring mill house. Sleeping two to four people, they all have contemporary bathrooms and traditional features, like old beams and open fires. Guests have access to the stunning gardens, heated outdoor pool (Apr–Sep) and riverside walks on the doorstep. Four-night minimum stay.

Coach House Loft

14 North Brink, Wisbech

Part of a converted coach house, this first-floor apartment sits next to Peckover House (NT) and sleeps four, with a double bedroom and an open plan kitchen/lounge with a sofa bed in the eaves. There’s also a utility area on the ground floor. Exposed beams add to the cottage charm, and there’s a sunny courtyard with a south-facing seating area. It sits behind Wainman House – another NT self-catering property that sleeps 12. Guests at both properties have free access to Peckover House (NT) and are given a key to the gardens, which you can explore out of hours.


Hammonds Eau Farm, Sutton, Ely

Truly unique, this off-grid, converted 1945 boat and adjoining shack sit in a private patch of forest, overlooking the Fens. The stunning interior has oak beams and larch planks, with a double bedroom (king size or twins), industrial-style kitchen and shower room. Outside is a roll-top bathtub and reclaimed timber deck for fantastic fenland sunsets. The high price tag reflects what a very special place this is.

The Coach House at Cathedral House

17 St Mary’s St, Ely

A stone’s throw from Ely Cathedral, this restored Grade II listed coach house sits in the walled garden of Cathedral House. It sleeps up to four in two bedrooms and is brimming with memorabilia, books, antiques and original features, like latch doors, exposed beams, saddle hooks, hanging bridles and the original stove that was used to heat the bran. 

Horsely Hale Farm

Horsely Hale, Littleport

This family business has a choice of yurts, bell tents and safari lodges that sleep 2–11, some in super-king beds or four posters. During your stay, you can help to feed the site’s alpacas and chickens, go wild swimming, take a pedalo across the lake, or follow the fairy door trail around the farm. Art classes can be arranged with the resident artist, or you could learn to make dry felt art using wool from the alpacas.

Stoker’s Cottage

Green End, Stretham

Set beside the Old West River, this tranquil two-person cottage was built next to a 19th-century fenland pumping station that is now a living museum – Stretham Old Engine opens once a month (Apr–Sep) but cottage guests can gain access at other times. Inside, the cottage is simple but charming, with brick-tiled floors, an open fireplace, Aga and distinctive green paintwork. Featured in England’s Thousand Best Houses (2004) by Simon Jenkins.

Happenoak Treehouse

Stocking Toft, West Wickham Rd, Balsham

Hidden in a woodland, this octagonal two-person treehouse has huge windows framing the views across open countryside, where you can watch for owls, woodpeckers and muntjac deer. There’s a well-equipped kitchen and bathroom, plus an outside bathtub on the deck. The pubs and café in Balsham are half a mile away. It’s pricey but truly special.

More information

For more information on Cambridgeshire, check out Lucy Grewcock’s guide: