So, you're looking for a country cottage? Rustic, characterful, cute, and cozy, there's really nothing quite like it. This guide can help you narrow down some of the most enchanting destinations to find this style of accommodation. It'll take you on a journey from the misty fields of long-lost Scotland to the rolling vineyards and hills of central France.
Scottish country cottages
If you're eager to make that trip to a country cottage all about experiencing wild nature, Scotland is surely the corner of the UK for you. Yes, there are mountain peaks in England and Wales, but the ones here are higher and more remote. There are waves and beaches along the English Channel, but Scotland's are less-trodden and more likely to get the jaw dropping with awe.
Isle of Skye holiday cottages
There are plenty of reasons why country cottage rentals on the Isle of Skye are among the most sought-after in the United Kingdom. They're a ticket to a stunning landscape that's spiked with needle-like mountains and ringed by high cliffs and coastal lakes. Expect to find traditional stays in the form of old tenant cottages and whitewashed farmhouses.
Cairngorms country cottages
The Cairngorms National Park is one of the top draws for outdoorsy types looking for adventure in Scotland. The region boasts loads of mountains that soar over 3,000 feet, not to mention the best ski fields in the UK as a whole. The town of Aviemore – with its lively pubs and sports equipment shops – is the place to start your search.
Your country cottage near Fort William
Fort William is nestled at one end of the Great Glen. It's the gateway to some of the most eye-watering vistas in the Highlands region, not least of all the elusive summit of Ben Nevis, the highest in the country. If you're packing your climbing gear for that, you can look for country cottages in Glen Nevis right at the peak's base or choose to stay near the famous whisky houses of Glencoe.
English country cottages
In many ways, England is the home of the country cottage. It's got some of the oldest examples of these rustic retreats, which you'll find scattered along its highlands and braving the gusts of the country's shoreline. Some places that are bound to wow are listed below.
Country cottages down in Devon and Cornwall
If you want to see the fabled coastline of England, there's hardly a better two counties than Devon and Cornwall. For starters, they run the gamut from wild surf beaches like Polzeath to beautiful bays worthy of the Mediterranean. But they also have oodles of country cottages to pick from, both nestled in the moors inland and studding the coast paths closer to the water.
Traditional country cottages in the Lake District
The green and gorgeous Lake District is actually a national park, and one of the most iconic in all of England, having inspired poets like William Blake and William Wordsworth. That's the reason they call this Romantic country, and boy does it live up to its name. Mist-topped mountains drop down to cobalt lakes, there are giant fields and barren lands to wander, not to mention cute villages with thatched pubs and cobbled sidewalks.
A countryside cottage in the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds might just be the England you've been dreaming of. A long dash of the countryside that runs from Bath to the outskirts of well-to-do Oxford, it's a region awash with stone-built villages made rich on the medieval wool trade, and undulating farmlands speckled with cows. Cottages here tend to be historic, with centuries-old architecture and even protected status.
French country cottages
France is a land ready to enchant. From north to south, it's laced with country cottages and remote escapes. They pop up on the salt-caked coast of the English Channel but also hide between the woods of Périgord and the sunny isles of the Mediterranean.
Coastal escapes in Brittany
The cottages of Brittany have their own unique style and history. Many were built 100s of years ago in the traditional Breton longhouse style, while others are converted barns bordered by rolling cornfields. Things get really lovely as you head for the coast, where you'll be able to hike out from your little abode to see rock-bound cliffs at the Cap Fréhel or mosey down to the historic pirate citadel of Saint-Malo.
A Loire Valley country cottage
The Loire Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Made famous by the countless chateaux and castles that top its rolling hills, it really is quintessential France. Everywhere you look there's a vineyard or a medieval village with stony plazas and wine bars. Around Saumur and La Ménitré is a great area to look in if that's sounds like your sort of thing.
Some sun in Southern France
Country cottages in Southern France are a ticket to the warmest region on the mainland. That means they benefit from having the glowing pebble coves of Porquerolles and the scented lavender fields of Provence outside. Given the added heat, it might be worth holding out for a rental with its own private pool in these parts.