Incredible Houses with Private Pools you can Rent in the UK
Guests often ask us for a swimming pool with their house rental and I quickly remind them that in Northern Europe pools largely sit unused as our climate is not ideal for swimming. That is unless you are extremely hearty or the pool is very well heated. However, there are some incredible houses in the UK to rent with a pool and I have listed my favorites below. Those owners who do have a pool often enjoy a quick grumble about the heating costs and rue the reckless installation in the first place. In southern Europe you wouldn’t rent a vacation home without a pool as of course they have the heat and endless blue skies. However, a few owners of country houses and stately homes in the UK have built pools and, if the weather is kind, then a lot of fun can be had by guests of all ages taking a wee plunge. Most are not huge as you don’t want to get hypothermia by the time you reach the other end! The best part about the pools belonging to these country mansions is their location. They are always situated in wonderful spots within the private grounds and offer guests a wonderfully secluded and scenic spot in which to take a dip. Swimming pools in the UK are of course a relatively recent addition to grand houses. A few, like the one Andrew Carnegie built at Skibo Castle, were built a century ago now but most date back no later than the early 1970’s. It then became all the rage to install a heated pool until the oil crisis of 1974 made everyone suddenly wish they hadn’t! Today, there are many more homes with private pools in the UK than there were.
1. CORNWELL MANOR, OXFORDSHIRE
I must start with Cornwell Manor, near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, on of the most incredible houses to rent in the UK with a pool. It has the most attractive pool at the top of the garden and next to the huge walled garden. The pool looks towards the village and has lovely Cotswold stone flagstones around it and a charming guest changing room with rather kitsch 1970’s ‘Lily Pulitzer’ style décor. It’s a really delightful pool and quite a decent size. Cornwell Manor is straight out of a Jane Austen novel and sits in a wonderfully private spot, surrounded by 2000 acres of farmland. Just a short drive from Daylesford, Lady Bamford’s food shopping, restaurant, clothing retail and spa treatment emporium where much money can be spent and pleasure derived. There are wonderful products to buy and to rub on yourself before having a delicious lunch there or at one of the pubs she owns like the Wild Rabbit. Cornwell Manor is close to other local highlights like Blenheim Palace and of course Oxford itself which is an easy train ride from Kingham train station. Stow on the Wold is wonderful for shopping and Burford, Tetbury, Chipping Camden and other smaller villages are all incredibly picturesque and fun to visit. The house has wonderful gardens, lakes and rolling lawns where guests can relax and rest after a busy day exploring this special part of England.
2. BALLYFIN, COUNTY LAOIS, IRELAND
Ballyfin in Ireland has the most wonderful private indoor pool, which I have much enjoyed using whilst staying there with guests. Quite a large pool in the basement of the hotel and next to the small spa area. This amazing mansion with an indoor heated pool, just 90 minutes from Dublin on their excellent roads, is without question one of the jewels in our crown and we love this Irish country house. Its restoration is nothing short of amazing and took 8 years to complete. Every room has such attention to detail and the main bedrooms really are sumptuous. It’s an incredible treat to stay there and the grounds are so elegant as well. The staff have been hand picked and the food is delicious. This is real country house luxury and Ireland is very lucky to have such a magnificent property to offer its guests. It’s surely one of the great hotels of Europe, and being privately owned gives the property a very personal feel, on top of the great hospitality that one always gets from the Irish who are natural hosts. There are masses of activities to do within the grounds, or demesne as the Irish call it, and their huge indoor swimming pool is just one of the facilities on offer. There is also a huge walled garden to enjoy, a lake and tower to climb up. Everyone should go to Ballyfin at least once in their lives and experience this wonderful rental with a private indoor pool. It’s a great stop off on your way to the west of Ireland and all the wonderful sightseeing in Galway.
3. SIBTON PARK, SUFFOLK
Sibton Park, which is part of the Wilderness Reserve collection of rental properties in Suffolk, is a glorious 12 bedroom manor house. Close by to the side of the house, the owner has built a very stylish pool, which guests can enjoy during the summer months. Surrounded by high banks for privacy and beautiful parkland for scenic views, this pool offers guests the chance to relax in this beautiful part of East Anglia. Just a few miles from the attractive coastal town of Southwold, with its famous brewery and lovely long beaches which are not too busy. The house is also close to the other coastal town of Aldeburgh, made famous by Benjamin Britten. Over the last 30 years, the estate has had a complete makeover and now boasts a huge range of different rental properties from Hex, a one bedroom thatched cottage with no electricity, to Sibton Park, a grand manor house. In between, guests can rent a myriad of cottages, farm houses or buildings in the converted walled garden. This is a fabulous rental with a private pool and place for a party as so many guests can be accommodated in comfort and the main house has an orangery which can seat 80 guests. This part of Suffolk is still very unspoilt as it is quite a long drive from London, although it’s becoming increasingly popular as people accept longer drives. There are excellent delis, farm shops and pubs in the area.
4. BIRKHILL CASTLE, FIFE, SCOTLAND
Birkhill Castle, the ancestral home of the Earls of Dundee, is another home with a wonderful pool located in the walled garden, a couple of minutes walk from the house. It’s a delightful pool in the top corner of the garden and surrounded by a plethora of fruit cages, wild flowers, green houses filled with yet more fruit confections and some rare trees. I love this space. It’s so peaceful and a very happy place to sit and mull over life. The late and much missed, Siobahn Dundee, spent a lot of time in this area of the gardens, whereas Alexander Dundee preferred to work his chainsaw on the many woodland walks that surround the southern bit of the gardens. There is also a pretty walk down to a private beach which looks across the Forth towards Dundee. Birkhill Castle is close to this old Jute city and also to St Andrews, the home of golf. This northern part of Fife is pretty and more undulating than the flat and more industrial area of southern Fife, whose only saving grace is the pretty fishing villages of East Neuk and the endless links golf courses. Birkhill Castle has been an LTR favorite for over 20 years, and under Harry’s stewardship, a lot of further upgrades are bringing fresh life to this historic old family home. The estate is also close to Newburgh which now has the wonderful Lindores Abbey Distillery, built on the site where whisky was invented by the monks, and now a wonderful visitor attraction. We highly recommend this castle to those who appreciate a home of old school charm, located in the Kingdom of Fife.
5. FRISTON PLACE, SUSSEX
Friston Place has a gorgeous little swimming pool surrounded by William Shawcross and Olga Polizzi’s stunning garden in Sussex. The house backs onto the South Downs and benefits from being in the slightly less chichi area of East Sussex, which is that much further from London and not far from the ‘low key’ Eastbourne. Friston Place is one of the loveliest incredible houses to rent in the UK with a pool and is a wonderful hideaway with the pool offering a sanctuary from city life in the most civilized of surroundings. The garden is beautiful and the interiors a wonderful mix of wood paneling and very ancient features, combined with modern day comfort and the soft elegance that Olga infuses all her hotels with. Her new baby, the Star in Polegate, is proving to be a smash hit and a great sister to Tresanton in Cornwall and Endsleigh in Devon. The house is such a friendly place and is wonderfully secluded, sitting in a bit of a valley and hidden from the busy road above. Woods protect the house from behind and it’s from here, either on foot or astride a horse, that you can access the South Downs. The Tiger Inn in East Dean always looks very enticing and Brighton is not too far off for lovers of Regency architecture and the pavilion, built by the Prince Regent as his seaside folly. It is always a pleasure to be at Friston, which has the feeling of a very happy home and is one. There is also the smartest hen house in Britain! Even the hens are happy and pampered, as indeed any guests will be who are lucky enough to stay at this 14th Century manor house.
6. FARLEIGH WALLOP, HAMPSHIRE
Another LTR country house for rent which has a glorious swimming pool is Farleigh Wallop. A lovely 4000 acre estate which sits above Basingstoke in Hampshire. There is so much to enjoy at this house, which has been very elegantly restored and offers guests 11 very comfortable bedrooms. The house has lovely antiques and treasures, collected over the centuries by its aristocratic owners, and yet its not stuffy at all. A clever mix of old and new. The pool sits to the side of the house and is a real sun trap. There are 3 acres, with a combination of lovely formal gardens and vegetable gardens, with glass houses and a pretty lake close by. This is a wonderful house for a family celebration, within easy reach of London and close to lots of fun places along the south coast like Portsmouth, where you can visit the Marie Rose and Nelson’s HMS Victory. There are great pubs in the area and it’s a fun walk from the house to the nearest village inn. The Duke of Wellington’s country home, Stratfield Saye, is also close by and well worth a visit during your stay. The house also has a croquet lawn, tennis court and a cricket pitch with pavilion. Inside there is a cinema, wine cellar and billiards room, which is typical of this level of LTR home.
7. ASHBY MANOR HOUSE, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE
My last recommendation is another favorite of incredible houses to rent in the UK with a pool, Ashby Manor House, the historic home involved in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Guy Fawkes and his conspirators tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I; the plotting took place in the gatehouse at Ashby Manor. More recently, the house has been hugely restored and included in this is a lovely pool, with a very smart new pool house being built as I write. Images of this will be shared in a few months time. The house has a variety of reception rooms, 10 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. It’s a big hit with fans of Silverstone which is only 25 minutes away. Stratford upon Avon is also only a 45 minute drive for guests who want to attend a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The house has a lot of charm and is very good looking, combined with stylish interiors and rolling Northamptonshire countryside.
We can arrange for you to stay in any of these incredible houses to rent in the UK with a pool, as well as several other rentals with a private pool. If you would like us to organize a fabulous vacation in England or Scotland in a stunning country house with a pool, please get in touch with us on + 44 (0) 1835 824642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.