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Five hideouts to make the most of stormy weather

There’s something magical about being in the forest during a storm. The noise of raindrops splattering on the windows, the smell of damp pine trees, and the feeling of heaviness in the air.

Holidaying in northern Europe means the weather is often unpredictable. The app on my phone had confidentially told me it would be 33 degrees and sunny for the week, and yet here I was, curled up with a book as droplets raced down the pane of glass, merging with each other and gain speed.

In the background, the fire crackled and the wooden logs shifted as they burnt. I took a sip of Dornfeld, a German red wine (holiday calls for local produce, right?!), and exhaled a sigh of relief. Why? Because it was raining, I didn’t feel obligated to go outside and do.

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So often, on holiday, we have this sense of obligation to explore the city, take walks, go swimming, discover something new, make the most of the good weather... and we come back feeling like we need to take a break. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing this stuff, too. But every so often, it’s so wonderful to just. do. nothing. (plus, of course, snack!)

It got me thinking, let’s embrace the weather’s uncertainty, and hope for rain and windy walks on the beach. So let’s start planning more mid-winter escapes so we can switch off and recharge.

With this in mind, here are a handful of hideouts I’m dreaming of getting away to later this year:

Mosel Chalets

Three oh-so-romantic, minimalist cabins with huge glass windows, on the ridge of a valley, overlooking vineyards down to the river.

The Elbe Treehouses

Sleek, secluded treehouse hideouts overlooking the river Elbe, with wood-burning fires and a hot tub, made for total escapism.

The Old Vicarage

Beautiful, “back-to-basics” escape with an enticing mix of cabins and loft-apartments, a stone’s throw from the Uckermark.

The Fortress Manor

Atmospheric apartments spread over two buildings, with bold colours, eccentric furnishings and cosy fireplaces.

The Snug

Red-brick house on the island of Föhr that is the epitome of hygge, featuring Danish design and a private sauna.

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