In an age of mass tourism, renting a holiday cottage is often a nice alternative. Although many of the luxury cottages seem expensive (they are!), they are by property. So if you have a big family or a group of friends, they work out often more affordable (though not for people travel in small parties).
Most holiday cottage sites offer good filters, so you can easily see which ones are pet-friendly, disabled-friendly, child-friendly etc. And you can usually choose to find properties with gardens, outdoor space, parking, near the beach etc. Note that often rules apply (for instance, dogs may not be able to be left alone, or usually can’t sleep on beds, so take their dog beds!) If renting with the intention to take dogs with you, learn safety tips for dog walks (to keep both dogs and livestock safe).
Most holiday cottages are privately owned, and the owners simply rent them out via agencies, or for more affordable options, direct. If you have a spare cottage or annexe, it may be worth doing it up and getting it legally ready (especially if you live in a nice earner) to provide a nice passive income. You will obviously then need to ensure it has up-to-date regulations like for smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, boiler checks etc.
What’s nice also about renting a holiday cottage, is that rather than giving your money to big corporate travel companies, you are helping to support independent families and people who own cottages.
So whether you fancy renting a little shepherd’s hut in the country, an old lighthouse by the sea or discovering a beautiful rural retreat, here are a few places to find them. Look out also for discounts and bargains, there are lots to be had, if you look!
Cornwall Hideaways offers holiday cottages in one of the most beautiful areas of England with coves, harbour villages and tea shops. Each property is looked after by a dedicated team with local kowledge, and is owned by a company with 35 years experience in the holiday business.
Cotswolds Hideaways offers an extensive portfolio of character cottages and quaint hideaways, in the area where burned out rock stars go to retire. Each property is chosen for its home comforts, restored interiors and stunning locations.
Norfolk Hideaways lets you discover over 550 holiday homes to charm and delight. From cosy cottages and larger properties for big families or luxury retreats, there is something for ayone on any budget.
Suffolk Hideaways offers over 100 holiday homes, just south but also packed with beautiful country retreats and gorgeous seaside homes.
Rural Retreats offers cottage holidays nationwide (and in other areas of the UK). Look out for low-occupancy accommodation offers and seasonal free ferry offers.
Sykes Holiday Cottages has nationwide offers with up to 10% off on their special discount page. As well as the usual filters (pet-friendly, coastal etc), there are also cottages located near pubs and with open fires.
Where to Find More Affordable Cottage Holidays
- Vrbo is a well-designed site, just enter your details and it brings up lots of holiday cottages, rented out direct by owners. It’s a bit like Airbnb, but easier to use and often cheaper too.
- Farmstay offers cottages rented out by farmers (good for you and also good to provide alternative income for farmers, in a world going plant-based. Obviously check before travel, as certain pets may not be allowed near livestock. From self-catering to bed-and-breakfast to a spot of glamping (glamourous camping!)
- Holiday Cottage Compare lets you find cottages nationwide, with prices set by owners, which are what you see on the site. The site lists cottages that cost £300 for seven days or less.