A self-catering cottage offers the perfect home away from home. You'll find them all over the United Kingdom and even abroad, channelling the vernacular styles of their location and oozing a truly unique charm. They come by the beaches, in the mountains and close to cities, ranging from budget-friendly boltholes to luxurious pads. This guide details some handy ins and outs for anyone thinking of cottage rentals for their next trip.

Features of luxury cottage rentals

Visions of rustic lean-tos and hermit shacks aside, cottages can edge towards the sleek end of the scale. If you're searching for a bout of real R&R on your next escape, it might be worth considering one of these sumptuous stays. Just look what they have to offer:

Self-catering on a new level

Dab hands in the kitchen are sure to find loads to love about self-catering homes. Luxury stays will often come with sprawling country-style cooking facilities. That means walk-in pantries could be on the list, or double stoves and bread ovens. They beckon foodies with a penchant for cooking up smorgasbords of local produce fresh from the markets.

Cottage rentals with a pool

Who doesn't enjoy waking up with a swim in a private pool, or capping off a day's beach strolling with a dip? That's precisely what's on offer from some of the most luxurious cottages for rent. Of course, you'll need to crank up the budget if you're keen on bagging these stays.

Coveted cottage rentals with a hot tub

Steam away all your stress by treating yourself to a rental house with a hot tub. There's really nothing like clinking a glass of wine as the sun sets over the Scottish islands and the water bubbles all around you.

How to bag cheap cottages to rent

Breaks to traditional cottages aren't just for those with plenty of cash. In fact, with so many wallet-friendly rentals peppering everywhere from Wales to Ireland to the Scottish Highlands, you're bound to find somewhere that'll keep the budget intact. Follow these top tips to save even more…

Get in early for cottages to rent during the summer

If you're limited to holidaying during the warmer months, then it's wise to bag your cottage rentals as early as you can. Wrapping up a booking before Christmas will mean you not only get the pick of the deals, but can start looking forward to that summertime getaway when the tinsel is still shining.

Flexibility is key

Feeling spontaneous? You could make it work your way when it comes to booking bargain cottage rentals. That's because last-minute deals offer some seriously reduced rates, while there are usually lower price tags for anyone willing to venture away from the most popular areas of the UK – Kent, Cornwall, Devon.

Skip the luxury cottage extras

If your heart is set on getting out and about on the Welsh coast or waxing down the surfboard on the Cornish shores, you might not need the extras of a luxury cottage. Forgoing the bubbling Jacuzzi and crackling fireplace will often help bring costs down.

Consider the location of your cottage rental

You know what they say – location, location, location. That's certainly true when it comes to cottage rentals, because where you stay is perhaps just as important as what you stay in. This consideration can make all the difference between a solitary country escape and a fun-loving city jaunt. Here are 3 of the main places to think about…

Coastal cottages to rent

There are plenty of reasons why coastal cottages reign as some of the most popular. Breathtaking views from your bedroom window are only bolstered by nearby surf spots, wiggling clifftop hiking trails and sandy beaches. Great regions to look at if the ocean's your pick are Cornwall, Wales and Devonshire.

Cottages in the mountains

It's hardly a wonder that so many dog-friendly cottages make their home in the mountains. From the Lake District to the carved summits of Snowdonia to the snow-plumed pistes of the Cairngorms National Park, pads between British peaks are often tailor-made for hikers and adventurers with their pooches in tow.

A cottage rental in the city

While the urban jungle might seem like a strange place to seek out cottage rentals, you could just be surprised by how many of these properties sit near bustling centers. Thatched English abodes reside on the outskirts of London, so you can hike the Chiltern Hills and check off the British Museum in the very same trip. Others dot Dublin, where treks in the Wicklow ranges can be backed up by stouts in Temple Bar.