Top 6 places for an English country cottage holiday

So you’ve decided to rent a holiday cottage in England for your Easter or summer break but you’re undecided where to go.

This is no real surprise since you are spoiled for choice, whether it is stunning coastline, beautiful countryside or historical places of interest you want to be close to. England has it all and plenty of wonderful properties available to rent for a holiday which will live in the memory for ever. Here are some locations you might want to consider for your English country cottage holiday:

1.    Cumbria, a Rambler’s Delight

When most of us think of Cumbria and the Lake District, it conjures images of shimmering views across The Lakes at Coniston or Bowness-on-Windermere.

Enjoy boating, cycling or walking by Coniston Water in the Lake District National Park

Enjoy boating, cycling or walking by Coniston Water in the Lake District National Park

There are some delicious holiday homes available in these locations where, of course, there are miles and miles of open countryside just waiting to be explored on foot, with a picnic in the rucksack and a country pub never too far away. But there is much more to Cumbria. Take the tiny village of Cartmel, where you can go horse racing and sample helpings of sticky toffee pudding at the village shop and café where it was first made. Alternatively, explore the former home of Beatrix Potter, close to the lovely town of Ambleside.

2. Go Dotty for Dorset in South West England

If you’ve seen the television drama Broadchurch, with incredible vistas across the cliffs of West Bay and the idyllic vibe of Bridport, Dorset is probably somewhere you’ve vowed to visit.
This southern county is famed for its sand and shingle beaches and its pretty villages.
There is also an abundance of lovely market towns to enjoy, such as Blandford, Dorchester and Sherborne.

Average temperatures are higher than just about anywhere in the UK and if you go self-catering there will be plenty of opportunities for al fresco dining on sultry evenings.

3. Discover English Island Living on the Isle of Wight

Maybe it is an island paradise you are after. In that case, head for the beautiful little community of the Isle of Wight just off the south coast.

The Isle of Wight is perfect for those who prefer outdoor activities other than lying on a beach in the sun. It’s packed full of quiet country lanes which are ideal for cycling along and there are also 200 miles of bridleway and cycle tracks to explore on foot or in the saddle.

Country pubs abound throughout the island and there is a wealth of attractive potential cottages and holiday homes just waiting to be rented.

4. Not to be Missed, Norfolk

In terms of tranquil holiday environments there are few to compare with those in Norfolk, East Anglia. Well-Next-The-Sea has one of the deepest sandy beaches in the country and with its lines of colourful beach huts it’s the archetypal English seaside destination.

Discover a rich history in Norwich, Norfolk

Discover a rich history in Norwich, Norfolk

You might want to take time wandering around the wide selection of shops in the lovely town of Holt and stop for a pub lunch in The Feathers or a cream tea in The Owl Tea Rooms. The city of Norwich with its cathedral, fine historical buildings and ample charm is not to be missed.

If you’re after somewhere a touch livelier then head for Cromer or Great Yarmouth.

5. Moors, Dales and More in Yorkshire, Northern England

The white rose county of Yorkshire boasts an array of wondrous towns and villages where you might consider renting an English country cottage.

If a walking holiday is your heart’s desire you have a choice of the North York Moors or the Yorkshire Dales to base your holiday. Scarborough or Whitby are ideal locations if it’s a coastal break you want, with some of the best fish and chips available on the planet.

Picturesque rurality is dotted all around, such as the cobbled streets of Haworth and the beauty of Settle, one of the places where it is easy to see why Yorkshire is dubbed ‘God’s own country’.

6. Oxfordshire for Quintessentially English Holidays

If you need to spend some of the break close to a major city then it is well worth renting a holiday home in Oxfordshire, with the sumptuous university city of Oxford within easy reach.

Riverside scene along the Thames in Goring, Oxfordshire

Riverside scene along the Thames in Goring, Oxfordshire

There are apartments and cottages available there if you prefer an urban break in a spot with hordes of historical buildings to visit on your doorstep. To the west there is one of England’s best kept secrets, the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and its attractive bustling market towns such as Burford and Chipping Norton.

Henley-on-Thames is another popular destination with long stretches of the river to stroll along and any number of restaurants and pubs to relax in beside the water. A smaller, equally charming place to visit is the riverside village of Goring in South Oxfordshire.


By Nick Rennie

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