As the summer draws to a close, it’s time to put away the shorts and sunnies and dream of cooler climes. We found six of the best lakeside holiday homes and riverside cabins to watch the leaves change, from eco-friendly lodge houses in the Netherlands to rustic huts that fully embrace hygge.
Lake island cabin, Rotterdam, Netherlands
You’ll need a boat to get to this wooden hut, which sits on its own island in Rotterdam. Its designers have made the most of the lakeside location with a huge outdoor terrace that includes picnic benches and a hammock for lounging. Inside, the wood panelling and blue walls give it a classic country cabin feel, but with a minimal Scandi twist.
From €135 per night
Recharge House, Agger, Denmark
This wood-shingled home is designed by Danish architect Søren Sarup to make the most of the surrounding lake views. Full-length windows bookend the house, as well as outdoor terraces for relaxing in the winter sun. There’s an outdoor shower to brave on the more bracing days, as well as a sauna which overlooks the scenery. Watery reflections play across the Danish holiday home’s stripped-back interiors which feature concrete floors, whitewashed walls and steel frame furniture. Nationalpark Tjy is close by, and in the winter there’s mushroom and oyster picking.
From €600 a week during low season
The Lighthouse, Agger, Denmark
High ceilings and full-length windows take advantage of the views at this lakeside home designed by Søren Sarup. Sand dunes and heathland surround the house, which is clad in rustic Douglas fir panels. Its A-frame shape evokes classic country cabins, but Sarup has stripped everything back for the interiors. Guests can watch the sunset over the dunes from the open-plan living space, or enjoy a soak in the tub – which overlooks the nearby Flade Lake.
Price on application
WonderINN cabin, Nordre Øyeren, Norway
Located close to two of Norway’s longest rivers, this mirrored cabin is in a prime position for wildlife spotting. Bird-lovers can spy over 270 different species while safely ensconced behind the cabin’s reflective walls. Furniture is cleverly tucked into the tiny hut, which has a separate second bedroom in its backyard. There’s space for outdoor dining beside the water, as well as deckchairs to bask on warmer days.
From £304 per night
River cabin, Dalsen, Netherlands
This wooden hut on the banks of the Vechte river is the second in a series of experimental prefabs by design studio Getaway Projects. Inside, hygge reigns supreme thanks to inky walls, wood-burning stoves and soft blankets. There are views across the river from the cabin’s sunken living space, and during the warmer months, guests can dive straight into the water from the home’s deck. Overijissel’s forests and meadows are within walking distance, as are a network of bike trails.
From €135 per night
Sinnehúskes, IJlst, Netherlands
Each one of theses lodges comes with its own silent boat, to explore the nearby Frisian lakes and canals. The Dutch holiday homes are located in a former shipyard and are sustainably built as well as energy-neutral – relying on solar panels and a geothermal heat pump. The interiors are as calming as the surroundings, lined with pale wood, dotted with classic design pieces, and punctuated by views over the water.
From €380 for a two-night stay