Above and beyond English country cottages
Enticing English country cottages mingle with Breton longhouses, Irish farm conversions and a whole load more in this medley of guides to all things holiday cottages in the UK and abroad. It's a must read if you're thinking of a staycation or an escape to the continent this year.
Top articles to find cottages in UK and Europe
English country cottages are some of the most iconic homes away from home in the UK. They could be honey-stone terraces in the Cotswolds or wave-bashed shacks on the Cornish coast. Either way, they offer something truly special for that next break.
Derbyshire cottages promise to get you immersed in the green dales of the White Peak, surrounded by the windy ridges of the Dark Peak or near the dank caves and water-spouting springs of charming towns like Buxton. There are both luxurious lettings and places that could prove a bargain.
Scotland reigns as one of the great escapes when it comes to holiday cottages in the UK. Carved by mighty mountains in the Highlands and fragmenting into beautiful islands like Skye, it can really help you forget about the stresses of the Rat Race. There are all sorts of boltholes on offer here, too, from beachside pads to little bothies on the edge of a loch.
Some of the most alluring holiday cottages in the UK await in the Cotswolds. A vast region of sculpted hills and wooded dales, it's steeped in wool-making history. That means oodles of Cotswolds rentals here have a past that goes back to the Middle Ages, while the villages are laced with honey-coloured stone bridges and thatched country pubs.
A cottage stay in Ireland could really help to shorten the bucket list. A drive around the Ring of Kerry means glimpsing soaring rock stacks in the Atlantic and the misty peaks of Carrauntoohil mountain. On the west coast is Dublin, which packs tiny boltholes between its foot-stomping Gaelic pubs. Down south is Cork, where you can unravel tales of Vikings and faeries and more.
Just a short hop across the English Channel and you could soon be whizzing through the farm fields of Normandy, tasting pungent cheeses and salty scallop dishes. Keep going and the Dordogne's high cliffs, ancient cave paintings and romantic chateaux towns reveal themselves, all before the dancing fields of sunflowers and aromatic lavender rows of Languedoc-Roussillon. French cottages offer plenty of charm, that's for sure.
Wax down the walking boots and ready the OS maps, because there are plenty of inspiring destinations in the UK that promise real adventure in the outdoors. From boltholes below Snowdon to hidden homes by the ridges of the Cairngorms, you're bound to find lots of cottage lettings to stoke the wanderlust in Old Blighty.
From Fort William to Aviemore, there are Highland Cottages that carve out their own little cradle between some of the highest peaks in Britain. Primed for adventurers, for romantic couples and for those with the pooch in tow, they can help you put together all sorts of trips – no matter if it's a tramping weekend or a ski jaunt to the Cairngorms.
Tug at the heart strings with a trip to some of England's most handsome country towns by choosing to rent Cotswolds cottages. There's Stow-on-the-Wold, bustling with antiques emporiums and quaint tearooms. There's Bourton-on-the-Water, cut through by slow-drifting canals and leafy walking paths. And that's not even mentioning the stunning agricultural landscapes and little groves of oak and chestnut that dominate between them.
Find out what sort of travellers fit right into English country cottages and be inspired to book your stay this year. There's a kaleidoscope of locations and homes to choose from, whether it's a fishing hut on the rock-ribbed Yorkshire coast or a hearty bolthole with a crackling fire in Romantic country.
The vast county of Northumberland is the stepping stone between the moors of Yorkshire and the Scottish borderlands. It's one of the last remaining real wildernesses in England, with vast tracts of protected landscape in the untamed Northumberland National Park. Throw in striking castles along its shores and the aged remains of Hadrian's Wall and it's easy to see why cottages here are such and enticing prospect.
Feel the weight of history and heritage in authentic Scottish cottages by opting for somewhere with real style and authenticity in the depths of the Highlands. Alternatively, treat the pooch to long walks over the Munros of Loch Lomond, or go for real seclusion with your other half somewhere faraway – perhaps as remote as the Shetland Isles, even.
From the coves of the Welsh coast to the shingle beaches of Dorset and the banks of the monster-inhabited Scottish lochs, you're sure to find all sorts of holiday cottages in the UK. They can suit a mix of different trips, too, no matter if it's just you and your partner, the complete family or a corporate retreat for 20 or more.
Both beaches and green hills converge on the county of Kent. Poking out of the south-east side of England, it's not only blessed with wonders like the White Cliffs of Dover and the bucolic Kent Downs, but also loads of English country cottages that are within easy reach of the hustle and bustle of London.
The Norfolk Broads drift slowly through the flat, green countryside of this stunning quarter of East Anglia, wiggling past handsome wool towns and old English cottages as they go. You could choose to stay in one of those, or head off to the coast, which hosts vibrant resorts like Cromer and Great Yarmouth.
Few corners of the UK can offer the same primeval wilderness as Scotland. That's where the most remote and secluded of Scottish country cottages can whisk you away to, whether you find a pad by the side of the white-sand beaches of Lewis and Harris or deep within the 1,000-metre-high peaks of the Cairngorms National Park.
Coming with weathered thatch roofs and whitewashed exteriors, the traditional look of many a Somerset cottage promises something truly enchanting for that next retreat to the West Country. A few of these can even put the rich history of Bath and Bristol on the doorstep, so you can balance out beach days with Roman spas and amazing suspension bridges.
York has little homes tucked into the half-timbered lanes of the Shambles, each offering a pad that's immersed in one of England's best-preserved medieval old towns. Away from that, you can also find other stays in Yorkshire's stunning backcountry, which boasts beaches and heaths and untamed moors aplenty.
Prepare to taste Wensleydale cheese and sip steaming Yorkshire teas when you settle in the English country cottages in this northern corner of the country. Many can put you just steps from the famous Yorkshire Dales National Park, where endless walking trails and charming villages clad in stone are just waiting to be explored.
There's a real versatility to Yorkshire cottages. Some mean having Viking history to unravel in the narrow lanes of York town itself. Others put the wave-washed beaches of the Yorkshire coast on the doorstep. Others prefer to nestle in the dales, with hot tubs and decks overlooking the green vales that cover the county's heart. Which will you choose?