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Top 12 Holiday Rentals and Cottages of Your Dreams

6 minute read

By Hannah Stephens

Staying in a hotel can be a luxurious experience, but nothing tops a self-catering property for convenience and privacy. Booking a cottage provides the perfect base to come and go as you choose and explore the many beautiful towns and rural areas around the UK.

The UK is home to an incredible range of unique and charming properties, whether you’re planning a getaway for two or a celebration holiday with extended family and friends. Below, you can discover some of the best rural retreats and contemporary rentals for your next holiday.

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1. Coach House

The gorgeously romantic Coach House holiday property sits nestled deep in the Kent countryside, just a short drive from Sevenoaks. The house boasts a beautiful ragstone exterior in keeping with traditional Kentish architecture and a sleek interior with underfloor heating. It sleeps up to four people, and the owners accept well-behaved dogs.

The house is ideally situated for visits to nearby stately homes owned by the National Trust. These include Ightam Mote and Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s family home. There are also several pubs within easy driving distance serving delicious food and craft ales.1

2. Elysium

Elysium is a beautiful 16th-century cottage affording atmospheric views of the Exmoor National Park in Devon, and its interior retains many period features alongside every mod-con. The accommodation includes three luxurious double bedrooms and an additional single bed for a child. The lovingly landscaped gardens are ideal for enjoying an alfresco meal or glass of wine in the summer.

Elysium is the perfect base for a walking tour of the national park, where you can enjoy some of the most breathtaking scenery in the UK. You’ll find plenty of traditional pubs and eateries en-route for a quick refreshment break or leisurely meal.2

3. Rafters

If you prefer a more contemporary holiday rental, Rafters in Wareham, Dorset, might be just what the doctor ordered. This unusual and luxurious property combines modern elegance with traditional design elements, including a thatched roof and stone fireplaces. The accommodation sleeps up to 20 people and includes an extravagant home cinema and swimming pool, making it the ideal choice for a special celebration with friends.

The house sits just a short walk uphill from Lulworth Cove, affording quick and convenient access to the beach. You can also enjoy impressive views of the Jurassic Coast from the comfort of your terrace.3

4. Tyn Y Coed Cottage

Set in the Brecon Beacons in Wales, Tyn Y Coed Cottage is the perfect location for a relaxing family getaway. The stone cottage is over 300 years old and sits in private grounds surrounded by woodlands. It can comfortably accommodate up to six people and retains a wealth of charming period features, including traditional inglenook fireplaces and rustic beams.

The cottage boasts idyllic countryside walks and pubs within easy walking distance, making it the perfect choice for nature-loving holidaymakers. There’s also plenty to keep families occupied in the property’s grounds, including outdoor play equipment and a hot tub.4

5. The Pheasant’s Nest

The Pheasant’s Nest is an intimate property near Malvern in Worcestershire. Built in the style of a traditional wooden lodge, it sleeps up to two people and is perfect for a romantic couple’s getaway. The accommodation includes a luxurious king-size bed, comfortable living room and secluded patio with stunning views across the Malvern Hills.

Just a short walk away, you’ll discover the acclaimed Inn at Welland pub and a vineyard serving high-quality local wines. You can also venture further afield to sample the quirky tearooms and boutiques in nearby Malvern or enjoy a relaxing walk in the Forest of Dean.5

6. Kilbride House

Kilbride House is the perfect luxurious bolthole for discovering the Isle of Arran off the coast of Scotland. This impressive property has an enviable hilltop position, providing stunning panoramic views of the coast. The French windows and expansive patio area allow you to look out over Lamlash Bay as you enjoy a meal or evening drink. The comfortable bedrooms sleep up to 11 people, ideal for a group holiday.

The town of Lamlash is just a brief walk away, allowing easy access to a range of pubs and restaurants along the beachfront. There are also tennis courts and a golf course within easy reach for guests who prefer a more active holiday.6

7. The Hay Barn

The Hay Barn sits in the picturesque Brackenthwaite hamlet near the historic spa town of Harrogate in Yorkshire. This two-bedroom property sits in 10-acre grounds surrounded by rolling countryside and offers contemporary, open-plan living in rural surroundings. The accommodation is suitable for dogs and boasts four dog-friendly pubs within a two-mile radius.

One of the Hay Barn’s standout features is its luxurious modern interior, providing the finish of a high-end hotel. Spa-style bathrooms accompany plush bedrooms with four-poster beds, and the sitting room boasts a log burner for warm evenings in. There’s also an office area, making it a convenient option if you need to catch up on work while you’re away.7

8. Penda

If you’re looking for a chocolate box cottage in a beautiful rural setting, Penda in Cornwall’s Roseland Peninsula is hard to beat. This idyllic thatched cottage is dog-friendly and can accommodate up to four people in two luxurious bedrooms. The accommodation includes a cosy wood-effect fire burner and a comfortable window seat affording views of the peninsula.

The cottage is within walking distance of a sandy beach and several country pubs. It’s also the perfect base for exploring the castle at St Mawes, and the local ferry service makes regular trips to Falmouth and Truro.8

9. Abbeyholme Stables

The glamorous Abbeyholme Stables provides the charm of cottage accommodation in the centre of Cheltenham. It boasts a luxurious, open-plan living area decorated in a stylish blue colour scheme with exposed brick details. It’s suitable for parties of up to four people and has a gorgeous courtyard garden, complete with a barbecue for outdoor dining.

You’ll find plenty to enjoy within walking distance, including landscaped parks and a range of unique shops and eateries. The Cotswolds countryside is just a short drive away. Abbeyholme Stables is also perfectly situated if you’re planning a day at the races at the nearby Cheltenham Racecourse.9

10. Honey Cottage

If you’re craving a secluded, romantic getaway, Honey Cottage in Warwickshire could be the ideal choice. This charming yet luxurious thatched cottage offers a quiet village location within striking distance of Stratford-upon-Avon, home of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Local attractions include Blenheim Palace and Hidcote Manor, and you can wander along to the village pub for a hearty meal in relaxed surroundings.

Honey Cottage is suitable for two guests and welcomes dogs. Its open-plan living area features a traditional inglenook fireplace with a wood burner, creating a cosy atmosphere on chilly evenings. The accommodation also includes a secluded garden complete with a dining area and parking for one car.10

11. Hare Cottage

Hare Cottage boasts a picturesque position in the grounds of a Grade II-listed country house estate in rural Shropshire. The estate offers plenty of room to explore, and visitors can enjoy a calming walk in 64 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. The cottage itself has a private garden with a dining area and gas barbeque. Inside, you’ll find two comfortable double bedrooms and a homey living room with a log burner.

There’s plenty to discover in the nearby town of Market Drayton. You can sample local beers at Joules Brewery or take a stroll along the banks of the Union Canal. Travel further afield to Shrewsbury to explore the castle or watch a performance at the Theatre Severn.11

12. Thresher’s Cottage

Finally, Thresher’s Cottage is the perfect holiday spot if relaxation and pampering are at the top of your agenda. This contemporary hideaway forms part of a luxury Lake District complex set in three acres of rural grounds. It affords gorgeous views of the nearby meadow and plenty of opportunities for spotting native birds. Inside, there’s luxurious accommodation for up to four guests across two double rooms. The spacious interior is light and airy with charming exposed beams.

You can happily spend a few days relaxing in the on-site swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna, and the complex offers private chef services for a restaurant-style meal in the comfort of your private cottage. You can also book a slot at the spa to enjoy the facilities all to yourself. If you prefer to get out and about, the village of Staveley is just an hour’s walk away. Here, you’ll find rustic pubs and coffee shops to enjoy a drink and a delicious meal.12

Hannah Stephens