Looking to break away from the office? To get far from the city? That's where country cottages come in. Ranging from Highland farms on the Scottish fells to cute boltholes on the Welsh coast, these sorts of stays are a ticket to the wilder side of life. To help you swap the smartphone for the sheep fields, we've put together this guide to all things cottage booking.
Different types of country cottages
From stone-faced farm conversions to salt-lashed fishing shacks by the sea, there's a real kaleidoscope of different lettings to pick from. The ones people always look for include:
Dog-friendly cottages for animal lovers
Heading for a remote holiday cottage doesn't mean leaving your best friend behind at home. That's why oodles of rentals come with pet policies that could see the 4-legged barker make their way to the hinterlands with you. You'll need to let the owners know beforehand though, if only for them to ready a treat or 2 for arrival.
Coastal cottages by the shore
Packing in beaches, high cliffs, wiggling walking routes and jaw-dropping scenery, the UK coast is an obvious destination for those looking to skip out of the city. Being an island, there should always be some sands and salty breezes within reach, with seaside rentals by the bucket load in popular regions like Cornwall, Wales and Devon.
Country cottages to rent in the mountains
Whether it's a poem-fuelled exploration of the Lake District or a mission to conquer Ben Nevis, remote holiday cottages are probably the best accommodation choice for getting up close and personal with Britain's mountains. What's more, you'll enjoy extra creature comforts than in a campsite, with warm beds, self-catering facilities, and even the occasional hot tub or fireplace.
How to bag cheap countryside cottages
Watching the pennies and pounds? There are ways to ensure that escape to the more bucolic reaches of the UK won't cost you heaps. Here are just a few tips to bear in mind when booking.
Search for your country cottages online
There are now more country cottages online than there possibly could be in any travel brochure. That means taking your search to the Internet can widen your selection of rentals, giving more choice and – crucially – more bargains. In addition, web-based portals often let you order homes by price and region, so you can easily see if that half-timbered lodge in the Kent woods will fit your finances.
A country cottage escape in the winter perhaps?
When the mercury drops low and ice cakes the moors and fells of Old Blighty, many people are inclined to hibernate at home until the warm weather swings around again. If you'd prefer to keep the adventure going, then there are loads of great deals to be had on holiday rentals between November and March – bar Christmas and New Year, of course.
Enjoy flexibility in your travels
Employing a little spontaneity when you come to book that country cottage is a great way to chase the bargains. Not only can you score last-minute packages but also scour more off-beat regions and lesser-known towns for your rural jaunt.
Different locations to find country cottages
The UK is prime hunting ground for cottage lovers. From north to south, the bucolic backcountry of Old Blighty hosts all sorts of stays. Centuries-old shanties meet hay-scented barn conversions in some of the most picturesque corners of Wales, England and Scotland. Here are just a few inspiring highlights.
English country cottages
England might just be the home of the country cottage. With riverside rentals by the drifting Norfolk Broads and hidden lean-tos in the Lake District National Park, you won't be short of picks. Most are well-linked to long-distance hiking trails, while others nestle in quaint towns where teacups clink in the cafés.
Settle in cosy Welsh country cottages
Want to wake next to the rolling waves and have salt-washed harbour towns where cockles spill from the mongers? Wales has you covered, down in Pembrokeshire particularly. This western haunch of the country is interlinked by the stunning Pembrokeshire Coast Path, all while boasting colourful towns like Tenby.
Scottish country cottages in wild wildernesses
Pack the hiking boots if you're seeking country cottages to rent in Scotland. This northern cut-out of the nation is host to Aviemore and the Cairngorms National Park. It's a real walker's haven, patching ancient swathes of Caledonian forest against snow-draped ridges.