If you're pining for something out of the ordinary this year, a unique cottage could be just what's needed. These are the country stays that have intriguing character and style, or a little nuance to set that trip apart from the crowd. This guide ranges from the bothies of Scotland to the Grade-listed manors of the Cotswolds, all in search of some enticing destinations for quirky holiday cottages that might just stoke the wanderlust.
Unique holiday cottages in Scotland
From earthy conversions on cattle farms to snow-doused homes in the midst of the Highlands, there's a whole range of unusual cottages to get stuck into in Scotland.
Working farm stays in Aberdeenshire
Visiting the cottages in the region of Aberdeenshire could be your chance to see, first-hand, the workings of a real cattle farm. Many are located right next to fields where cows graze and farmers go about their day-to-day business, which is great if you're searching for a bona fide taste of agricultural life.
Your ski chalet in the Cairngorms
Scotland's Cairngorms National Park is home to 2 of the UK's most acclaimed ski resorts. There's the Glenshee Ski Centre and the CairnGorm Mountain, which together clock up over 70 runs and offer unique riding experiences down snow-plumed ridges to hearty pubs below. The upshot is that the cottages in the area double as a sort of Scottish ski chalet between December and March, giving a unique British twist on Alpine life, with crackling log fires and stone-built exteriors.
Unique cottages on the Isle of Skye
A holiday rental on the Isle of Skye is your chance to feel the allure of Hebridean homes. There's a truly particular style in these reaches, with whitewashed walls and small, porthole windows opening to visions of the great Cuillin peaks and the sloshing seas where minke whales can sometimes be spotted.
Unusual holiday cottages in Wales
Wales certainly has its fair share of unusual holiday cottages. Whether that means an ice cream-coloured fisher's home on the high cliffs of Tenby or a long-forgotten bolthole between the mysterious castles of Snowdonia, you can be sure they promise a stay to remember.
Tenby cottages can have plenty of history
Tenby isn't just a bustling summertime escape for beach-loving folk, it's also steeped in rich history. A great Norman castle looms over the old centre, which is where you'll find rows of pint-sized Welsh cottages with their own enthralling style. Hop over the medieval fortifications and you can also catch Georgian mansions in the newer part of the town.
Old homes in Beddgelert
The hardy village of Beddglert has cradled in the valley bottom beneath the crags of Moel Hebog for centuries. That imbues the cottages here with a real Celtic charm. Many are cosy little terraces enfolded by babbling streams and woodlands, while others are encased in shells of mountain stone and creeping ivy.
A view of England in the Wye Valley
There aren't many spots in the UK where you can bag a cottage with a view from one country to another. The Wye Valley is one of them, though. A Welsh home on the green hills that unfold north of Newport could cast its gaze across to England. Walks from the doorstep could mean crossing to pubs where the loyalties of rugby fans are divided and West Country ciders replace Celtic ales on tap.
Find unique cottages in England
The sheer abundance of cottages across Old Blighty means that England also has its own clutch of off-beat options. Check out the places listed below if you're keen to bag somewhere to write home about this year.
Unique holiday cottages, Cornwall style
You can channel your inner fisherperson by settling in the stone-hut homes of Cornwall. Ranging from squat longhouses on the high cliffs to converted barns with views of the ancient slate quarries, there's all sorts in these parts. The swisher, more edgy rentals in chic resorts like Rock could also come with a lacing of local art and sculpture.
Quirky holiday cottages in the Lake District
A lonely escape deep in the northern fells of the Lake District National Park is a chance to feel truly lost in one of England's most breathtaking landscapes. There are a number of these sorts of character cottages away from the much-trodden banks of Lake Windermere, giving jaw-dropping views of peaks like Skiddaw from every window.
Something to remember in the Cotswolds
There's no escaping the quaint charms of the Cotswolds as you trundle over the dales of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. In some of the honey-hued villages that gift the region its reputation for Ye Olde World looks, you could even find Grade-listed homes or manors where dukes, lords, ladies and even kings have stayed before.