Thousands of travellers every year opt for independent cottages for their staycations and vacations. These self-catering pads mean comfort, cosiness and just a dash of luxury if you want it. They also put you up-close to nature, whether that's the English dales, the Scottish peaks or the Welsh waves. This guide will take a look at what you can expect from them.

A guide to types of independent cottages

These home rentals cover a wide range of styles. There are cottages old and new, chic and classic. Some are historical, while others are eco-friendly. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Read on to get a feel for the different sorts of stays that are on the menu.

Farm cottages

A whole load of historic farms have been converted into cottage stays for the modern era. Where once there were stables for horses, there are now cosy bedrooms or hearty kitchens. In place of chicken coops, you have garden patios and barbecue spots. Staying in one of these usually means a feeling of connectivity to nature that other pads can't offer, with wide fields and rolling landscapes all around.

Unique and bespoke cottages

One thing that an independent cottage can do offer more of than most other accommodation types is character. There's a real abundance of unique and intriguing stays to choose from. Delve into Italy and you might find yourself staying in ancient Apulian trullo pyramid made from white-stone. Head to France and there are old tobacco threshing barns with shimmering pools outside. Closer to home, Scotland has its hardy bothies and England offers up thatch-topped boltholes surrounded by rose gardens.

Luxurious cottages for a taste of class

The remoteness and country style of cottages don't mean forgoing creature comforts. In fact, thanks to the abundance of grand manor houses, it can even mean experiencing luxury like never before. In the UK, this often means booking a Grade-listed building where dukes and barons and even kings have stayed before. They will have sumptuous dining halls for those feasts, roaring fireplaces and even the occasional swimming pool and hot tub.

Some key features of independent cottages

So, you're taken with the idea of an unforgettable cottage stay? Before pressing ahead with that booking, it's worth getting a feel for the sorts of amenities you can expect from one of these accommodations.

Many independent cottages are dog-friendly

Because so many home rentals in the country provide an exodus from the buzzing city, it can seem wrong to leave the pooch behind. Our ear-flopping friends are sure to love the new experience, new smells and new environments that a cottage stay will let them encounter, no matter if it's the York Moors or Cornwall's coves. Thankfully, a huge amount of places have pet-friendly policies, letting travellers bring their barker for just a little extra fee per stay.

Self-catering is common throughout

The kitchen is the heart of the home in many a traditional cottage. That means you can not only expect large cooking rooms and combined dining spaces in these pads, but also extremely well-equipped ones. It's possible to get places with double stoves and big family fridges, along with others that come with pantries and utility rooms to boot.

Gardens in independent cottages

There's a chance your chosen letting will have its very own garden. Independent cottages often sit alone in the countryside, which is the very reason they can offer such privacy and solitude. Out there, where space isn't at such a premium, it's normal to have large enclosures with patios and decks. That's perfect for any canines that are coming along – just make sure it's enclosed – and for summer nights of eating under the stars.

Where to find independent cottages

The popularity of cottage stays means they now pop up all over the place. Clinging to clifftops and studding sandy beaches, nestling beneath mighty mountains and cosying up in historic towns – there's really no limit to the sorts of environments they call home.

Independent cottages near the beach

A truly popular choice for travellers who want to fill their lungs with soothing sea breezes, a cottage near the beach promises to put the dunes and the waves right outside the window. They are a draw both summer and winter but are surely at their most popular during the warmer months, when there's a chance of sunbathing sessions and sandcastle building.

There are independent cottages in towns

Those who like a little bit of local life can discover independent cottages in towns and villages. Your days could be spent watching folk throw boules between the French boulangeries, clinking cappuccinos on an Italian piazza, or trawling through Cornish fish markets for the freshest catch of the morning.

Rural independent cottages for a real getaway

The most iconic type of cottage is arguably the rural cottage escape. These are the places that get you deep into the countryside, away from it all. It could mean the sloshing Lake District waters are right outside, or the boulder-peppered slopes of Snowdon, or the rolling vineyards of inner Tuscany.