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Great getaways for those who are bored of London

DOCTOR Johnson was of the opinion that those who are tired of London are tired of life. But he didn’t have to deal with packed commuter trains, paying four quid for a pint of lager or being mown down by cycle couriers every time he crossed Fleet Street. For many modern inhabitants of the capital, the only way that they can deal with working here is by getting away at weekends.

The Cotswolds has long been a favourite location for Londoners’ second homes, but a shortage of supply in those picturesque villages means that you don’t get a lot for your money, and anyway, 400-year-old cottages come with their own problems. All of which makes a new Cotswolds development calledThe Lakes by Yoo (from a property investment company co-founded by property investor John Hitchcox and French designer Philippe Starck), all the more attractive. Dotted around six lakes over 650 acres, the cool-looking glass-fronted homes are clad in sustainable wood, and the car-parking spaces are designed so that motors are obscured by foliage.

Each of the houses is set on the lake, which of course gives you views of the water, and there are even landing stages for boats. The idea is to give families the chance to lead an outdoorsy life, and all that space means that fishing, riding, canoeing, camping and other healthy activities are possible. An “ecology manager” ought to ensure that the unspoilt surroundings remain that way.

CLUBHOUSE
There is also a central clubhouse with tennis courts, a spa and gym, and a concierge service. At the moment there are 48 homes for sale, with a choice of four, five or six-bedroom houses.

Another favourite location for bolt-holes for Londoners is Cornwall. The distance might mean that it’s harder to get to and so you will spend less time there. A good solution is the “stay and let” scheme at the Cornwall Hotel Spa and Estate. Buyers can negotiate to use the home for an amount of time each year, and for the rest of the time a managed rental scheme will let it out.

The development is located in Tregorrick, near to the Eden Project. For those who can’t face the long drive or train journey down to the south east, Air South West flies daily from both London Gatwick and London City Airport to Newquay, which is just 25 km away. The estate, which also includes a hotel and a spa, opens in early 2010, but the 22 “woodland homes” are on the market now. With all that peace and quiet, Doctor Johnson would have hated it.

THE CORNWALL
Price: From £318,500
These cosy woodland homes in Tregorrick, Cornwall, can be rented out when you are not staying in them.
Contact: 01726 874 545, see: www.thecornwall.com

THE LAKES BY YOO
Price: £775,000–£2.2m
For those who value their fresh air, these lakeside houses are in 650 acres of carefully managed countryside.
Contact: 01367 250 066, www.thelakesbyyoo.com