converted barns Monte Casone Barn in Italy

7 wonderful converted barns

In Nature, Travel Inspiration by Russell Sanchez

converted barns Monte Casone Barn in Italy

The question is not “Why holiday in a converted barn?”. It’s “Why not?” Admittedly, the whole pastoral charm factor is hard to discount. But barns make one-of-a-kind holiday homes for a number of other reasons: they favour unique, open layouts; they have often been remodelled to include cutting-edge amenities; and, of course, they are invariably situated in the middle of some enchanted fairyland meadow. At the very least, the sight of a converted barn, all clustered with flowers, its rustic exterior painstakingly preserved over centuries of use, can’t help but inspire the sort of cooing normally reserved for piles of small baby animals.

The view from Monte Casone

But, wait – there’s more. Besides their aesthetic qualities, barn holiday homes offer refuge from the stress of urban living; all that natural light and bucolic beauty works wonders for frayed nerves. But if you’re still sceptical, read on and explore some of HomeAway’s plushest converted barns. Be warned though: you will see something you love.

Southole Barns, England

Southole Barns, England

Formerly employed as a Victorian-era monastery, Devon’s Southole Barns epitomise the noble architectural race to which they belong. They feature a perfect yin/yang combo of exquisitely weathered exteriors, and clean, modernised interiors incorporating traditional design elements. Their landscaping is storybook perfect (complete with resident ducks) and like the cherry on a cake, the entire property adorns an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Indeed, the scenic and celebrated South West Coastal Path is only a short walk away. Oh, and one more thing: Do you have an anniversary coming up (or would simply like to treat your honey to something special)? The Southoles feature reduced couples’ rates. Yes, you read that right.

Stay at Southole Barns, England

Monte Casone, Italy

Monte Casone, Italy

Looking for all the world like the setting for every romance novel ever, Tuscany’s Monte Casone is an Italophile’s dream. The property includes three rental units, two of which are refurbished barns. The barns boast traditional Mediterranean brick archways, tile floors and floods of light spilling in at every crevice. Appliances throughout are thoroughly modern, but the décor is chicly rustic. Bedrooms – as they ought to be in a barn – are simple but handsome. But Monte Cason’s biggest selling point is its spacious, shaded verandah, which looks out upon the rolling hills of sun-soaked Tuscany.

Stay at Monte Casone, Italy

Barn at Copake Lake, USA

The barn at Copake Lake

American holiday barns are notable for a robustness derived from the ruggedness of the landscape itself. They will especially endear themselves to those who can’t help but sigh at the prospect of endless wood finish, huntsman décor involving copious use of antlers and big wilderness. You’ll find all of these – including the archetypal American red exterior – at The Barn at Copake Lake. Three bedrooms, as many bathrooms, a living room that can be opened onto the back deck and everything furnished in a modern take on arts and crafts-style that will soothe your sophisticated side while tickling your inner woodsman.

Stay at the Barn, Copake Lake

Byron Boutique Barn, Australia

Byron Boutique Barn

Only a holiday barn, I theorise, can be both cosy and spacious; that’s the secret to its charm. The Byron Boutique Barn combines the best elements of each. For example, the loft-style mezzanine bedroom, which descends by spiral staircase into the living room on one side, and looks out onto lush Australian scenery on three others, feels simultaneously intimate and open. Out of  doors, the Byron offers a large swimming pool (you know, for when the ten-minute drive to the bay is too far), and six green acres of attached countryside to explore – which Fido will love roaming, as the property is also pet-friendly.

Stay at Byron Boutique Barn, Australia

Barne les Pommiers, France

Beauval en Caux holiday barn

Ah, la Normandie! This lush, orchard-strewn little corner of France boasts some of the nation’s most gorgeous and distinctive countryside. Not incidentally, it also boasts some absolutely enchanting barn holiday homes. Barne les Pommiers, in Beauval en Caux, is one such delight. With a distinguishing and enormous statement window, light is guaranteed in all seasons. The barn’s interior is roomy and modern, without skimping on the rustic detailing that makes a barn holiday home so cosy. There’s an entire covered game area in the back. Though it sleeps six, don’t expect to spend much time napping with an entire apple orchard to explore, and, not far off, the dramatic Normandy coast.

Beauval en Caux, France

Flor da Ramila, Portugal

Flor da Ramila beautiful holiday barn

Rural Portugal is a natural choice for any traveller seeking the best the Mediterranean has to offer: the sunlit warmth of stone terraces among cork trees; excellent wine and food; and one of the richest and most distinct cultures in Europe. Flor da Ramila, situated in Serra de São Mamede national park, and just minutes from the charming fortified village of Marvão, is small and quaint – but the real story here is the elaborate terracing surrounding the barn, and the stunning pastoral beauty of its setting. A more romantic locale can hardly be imagined, perfect for languid, sunset walks with someone special.

Flora da Ramila, Portugal

Uckermark Barn, Germany

Historic house in Uckermark Barn, Germany

Uckermark barn’s cheery blonde wood interior is dominated not by its tastefully simple décor, but by the bright open spaces of the barn itself. It’s an excellent example of how a barn remodel needn’t end in either sterile modernism or rural kitsch. Particularly inviting is the vaulted ceiling of its upper floor, which includes a skylight to maximise sunlight and lift spirits. Of course, no barn holiday home would be complete without rolling green hills; Uckermark, in the German countryside, has these too in spades. While it only has one designated bedroom, it comfortably sleeps nine – perfect for families and small groups.

Uckermark barn, Germany

Rustic converted barns

Yours for the choosing. Fall in love with these beautiful barns.

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Russell Sanchez



Russell Sanchez7 wonderful converted barns