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Do you keep eyeing up the hiking boots? Are you pining to wax those cross-country skis and hit the wilderness? Got your heart set on wild swimming and the smell of alpine peaks? Look no further than a cabin. Immersion in nature doesn't get better than this. These stays are hearty, cosy and steeped in country character. Some dot the lakesides of the Alps, others cling to the craggy ridges of the American Rockies. There are seaside cabins that face the salty swells of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. There are timber-built boltholes in the pine woods of British Columbia or nestled on the flowering meadows of Austria and France. They could just be the escape from the Rat Race you've been searching for.
Cabin stays provide something totally different to a traditional hotel. They promise to get you out and about, surrounded by the natural world, sleeping to the hoots of owls and the chirp of crickets, waking to the smell of fresh pine trees and the sway of the forests. They are often designed with their environment in mind, constructed from real wood and stone, armed with gabled roofs to hold the snowdrifts or wide porches where you can sit and watch life on the prairie roll by. Outdoorsy types are bound to love them. Hiking routes and mountain biking trails might shoot by the front door, while Nordic ski paths or downhill runs could start nearby. That's normal for a cabin stay.
The United States is the traditional home of the cabin. From the Rockies to the Blueridge, there's plenty of raw wilderness in North America for timber-built boltholes in the woods. Take the beautiful pine-studded backcountry of California, where cabins in Big Bear Lake sum up the style of this rustic accommodation type with pine-clad exteriors and cracking fires and more – check out the hearty Oak Knoll Lodge and Cabins for a prime example. Then there are cabins in Gatlinburg, perched on the slopes of the mist-gathering Great Smoky Mountains, between the oak groves and babbling creeks – the White Oak Lodge & Resort even throws in hot tubs and panoramic deck spaces to boot. Or, you could head to cabins in Sevierville, to join the world-famous Appalachian Trail, sip fiery Tennessee whiskey and feel the country vibes of real America.