There's an organisation in the UK (I think they have branches in a few other countries, too) called The Landmark Trust, which restores old properties and makes them available for hire by private individuals and parties. Last week, we stayed in one of their largest properties, Wortham Manor in west Devon.
(naturally, there are more photos over on Flickr)
February is a slightly cold, wet and windy time to be going on this kind of holiday, but we had a great time along with a group of 13 friends. The walking and the photography opportunities were good; the food was fantastic. It didn't rain all the time, either. A shame to have to come back. We're looking at alternative Landmark Trust venues for our next trip – highly recommended.
Anyway, that explains the slight interruption in normal blogging service. More soon, once I've got through the email backlog.