Get lost in the little squares of these bucolic and beautiful Insta accounts, despatched from rural idylls across the world.

Despite having been coined in 2018, over the past year the word ‘cottagecore’ has gradually seeped into our collective consciousness. But what exactly does it mean? Having started out as a fashion movement that embraced an idealised form of pastoral life, it has since expanded into interiors, gardening, food and beyond, surely as a response to our fast-paced culture of industry and the religion of extreme business that has prevailed in western societies from the 1980s onward. And we say, hallelujah.

We will never not be here for scenes of bucolic nostalgia, whether they find expression in the appreciation of home grown or foraged-for food; in slow cooking; or in traditional artisanal skills. It is, at its heart, an embrace of a simpler, more sustainable way of life, that just so happens to be picture-perfect. And whilst it is not exactly new – farmers’ markets and an onus on local craftsmanship has been building momentum for years now – it is little surprise that, over a year in which we were all forced to halt, we should have taken the idea up with such alacrity. It is, after all, a reaction against throwaway capitalist culture in favour of being inspired by skills and lifestyles that have their roots in nature and that hark back to lives our grandparents might have recognised – all while engendering a sense of community, whether Instagram-based or IRL. There are plenty of folk doing cottagecore especially beautifully on Instagram. These are a clutch of our favourites.

@ just_belle




Belle Daughtry is a photographer and stylist living in the breathtakingly lovely Suffolk countryside. Her clients – Cabbages & Roses, David Austin Roses, Rachel Ashwell – give some clue as to her predilection for pretty simplicity and a life of bucolic rusticity.


One watch of her wandering through country lanes with bundles of cow parsley in her arms is enough to make us feel less stressed instantly. Follow her here.


@foundandfavour




Clara, whose beautiful life is documented on this lovely feed, is one of the women behind The Country Brocante. That same perfectly undone rural style is similarly exuded through her little squares.


Anyone who doesn’t exclaim with joy the sight of her perfect English country garden – complete with the prettiest rose arches – must be missing a soul. Follow her here.


@fordeabbey




The cottagecore movement is, at heart, centred around nature and grounded in reverence for the seasonal. This Instagram account is dedicated to exactly that; each square is filled with misty views of the exquisite gardens at this former Cistercian monastery in Dorset.


Tranquil, sublime and completely transporting, it is a wonderful way to watch nature unfold in this lovely corner of the country. Follow the abbey here.


@alysonsimplygrows




In her bio, Alyson Morgan describes herself as a writer, a folk herbalist and as a mother of two who is consciously ‘rekindling kinship with earth.’ We like the simple lessons she learns from her garden, and the attitude of grace with which she embraces the earthy minimalism of her rural Californian existence.

Follow her here.


@thedahliagirl




We adore Vicki’s Instagram feed. Based in a beautiful stone cottage in Oxfordshire, she documents her walks, her much-adored cat, her garden, the things she is grateful for and a slow way of life, reassuring us often that ‘it’s ok to be happy with a calm life.’


The dahlias that she grows are in memory of her son, Noah; a grounding reminder of both the sadness and the beauty of life. Follow her here.


@cottagecoreblackfolks




The founder of this feed, Noemie Serieux, calls herself ‘the original cottagecore New Yorker’. As well as her own feed, she established @cottagecoreblackfolks to connect creatives whose roots are similarly in the seasonal and slow movements.


Follow the feed here.


@aclotheshorse




Rebecca is a photographer based in Ireland whose interests can be defined in two words: fashion and folklore. Many of her images, chiefly of her wafting through woodlands and meadows, look like they could have wandered straight out of a Dante Gabriel Rossetti painting, while others are dead ringers for Millais’ Ophelia.


A beautiful and curious world to get lost in. Follow her here.


@liskin_dol




Designer, crafter and woodland creature. Those are Ellen Tyn’s words to describe her dreamy Instagram feed. Every single square is ethereal and timeless and we could just gaze all day.


Follow her here.


@aslowgathering




Sarah Hemsley is a photographer, a stylist and a content creator. This accounts in part for the beauty of her Instagram feed. But since our work defines only one aspect of our lives, it is her leisure time that informs the rest of @aslowgathering’s feed. Sarah’s life as a home cook and a potion maker who is guided by the seasons comes to vivid life here.


As she writes, ‘A Slow Gathering is the quiet, considered corner amid the clatter and vivid light of real family life – which, although generally just out of frame, is ever the inspiration to the visual tales I wish to tell.’ Follow her here.


@Christina_Strutt




Christina Strutt, founder of Cabbages & Roses, was doing cottagecore long before it was a thing. Nature, slow fashion and an adherence to a considered pastoral life that chimes with the seasons and eschews waste are the tenets upon which she founded her business two decades ago.


We love her missives from Brook Cottage in Somerset, which never looks anything less than invitingly sublime. Follow her here.


@hillhousevintage




When Paula Sutton swapped her high-octane life at a London modelling agency for a quieter existence in rural Norfolk, she could hardly have known that it was a move that would inspire some 474k people to follow her every move. But then, how could they not?


The joy with which she celebrates the simple life in her Georgian home and garden is completely infectious. We couldn’t adore her more. Follow her here.


@kittehinfurs




Ragini, a plus-size photographer and creator, is living proof that you don’t need to be in possession of willowy frame to do cottagecore (which really ought to go without saying).


Her she documents and shares her very photogenic life frolicking in meadows with her little daughter in the north-east of England. Follow her here for pictures of a beautiful life.


@twiggstudios




Aimeee Twigger is a visual storyteller, a photographer and a writer of recipes. Her images are exquisite and – no higher praise – look like they are strays from a Dutch Old Masters gallery. We could gaze at it all – and especially the images in her kitchen – all day.


Vermeer, eat your heart out. Follow her here.


@little.reveries




Lorena is the lady behind this visual feast of a feed, as she documents her life in bucolic Romania.


We love the hazy golden light that seems to follow her everywhere she goes. Follow her here.

By Nancy Alsop
June 2021

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Paula Sutton of Hill House Vintage
Sarah Raven
Christina Strutt

Nancy Alsop

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