Category Archives: Holiday Inspiration

Self-Catering Escapes for New Year Breaks

Planning a last minute escape this New Year? 2022 has been full of ups and downs, and if you want to end on a high note, then escaping for a New Year break could be a great choice. Raise a toast to 2023 with a glass of bubbly, from the comfort of your chosen holiday home and add a touch of magic to the new year.

Find the Best Holiday Rental for your New Year Break

When it comes to New Year breaks, there is a great choice of holiday accommodation rentals to choose from, from beautiful barns to cosy cabins, family cottages, big group holiday homes and romantic retreats. Ideally choose a holiday home decorated for Christmas, where you can enjoy good times amongst the tinsel and festive decorations.

If you want to spend quality time with friends or family huddled up at your chosen rental, then why not book a cottage with a warming woodburner or an open fire for that all important cosy atmosphere in the winter months?

Festive Cabins and Lodges

Celebrate New Year at a Holiday Lodge

Imagine seeing in the New Year from the comfort of a log cabin, cocooned in the wood-clad walls with that wonderful holiday feeling all around. When it comes to enjoying that special holiday feel, few things compare to lodges and cabins. Many lodges and cabins enjoy a scenic setting too, such as next to a lake or woodlands, which can help to make festive holidays all the more special. Some are on lodge parks where there may be shared leisure facilities such as a games room or even a pool to keep you occupied and happy during holidays.

Remember to pack the party poppers and plenty of Prosecco or champagne (if your budget allows) to ring in the New Year at your chosen holiday lodge.

Cabins and Lodges for New Year Breaks

Large Houses for New Year’s Celebrations

Large Houses for New Year Celebrations

New Year is the time for a big party, so whether you want to gather with friends or family, or both, renting a large house can be a great choice for partying it up at New Year. Country Cottages Online features a great choice of large holiday rentals, ideal for big groups of friends and family. From mansions to big barns and large lodges, the UK is home to a great choice of big holiday rentals. For that real party feel, look out for properties with features like a disco room, a games room or may be even an inviting warm bubbly outdoor hot tub where you can truly feel pampered and relaxed on your break away.

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Escape to a Rural Retreat for a Festive Break

Escape on a rural retreat break for New Years

If you’re dreaming of a peaceful escape for a New Year’s break, then renting a rural retreat could be the ideal choice. There are so many quaint and pretty holiday homes dotted throughout the UK countryside, from secluded retreats to remote cottages where you can truly escape from It all. Whether you want to hide away, far from others, stay in a picture-perfect thatched cottage, or wake up to views of fields and farmlands, there is a choice to suit you on Country Cottages Online. For somewhere truly inspiring, cottages with country views are a joy to wake up to in winter time where you may be lucky enough to see the landscape blanketed in snow, icicles shining in the sunshine and frost glistening in the sun. Choose a holiday home with both a country view and a warming woodburner or open fire, for the ultimate in atmosphere and bring in the New Year in an absolutely charming retreat.

Rural Retreats for New Year Breaks

Romantic Retreats

Escape with the one you love to celebrate New Year

Escape with your partner to a charming cottage where you can relax, unwind and enjoy celebrating the New Year with the one you love. Options include charming historical retreats with exposed beams in pretty counties like Suffolk where you can stay in a holiday home with an olde worlde feel, and log cabins with lake views, for inspiring views on holiday. Or may be you like the idea of renting a coastal cottage in winter where you can wake up to a sea view which can be a truly special and memorable experience, even in winter time. Make the start of 2023 extra special with a break and celebration with the one you love.

Browse Couple’s Cottages for New Year’s Breaks

Best Holiday Homes for Tranquil Holidays in 2021

Relax on a tranquil cottage break

Looking for peace and quiet on a cottage break in 2021?

With 2020 behind us and the coronavirus pandemic stretching on and on with another lockdown in place currently, many of us want to book a tranquil cottage break to look forward to later on this year where you can recharge, unwind and de-stress. Some holidaymakers are booking up cottages for summer already, as the best properties tend to get booked up early and it can be important to have a break to look forward to, whereas other people are preferring to wait until we are out of lockdown before booking a summer holiday.

Tranquil Holiday Ideas 2021

Mill Cottage near Lavenham

Cottages with Views

Who doesn’t love a holiday home with a view? Renting a holiday cottage where you can gaze out to beautiful views can be good for the soul. Whether for you it’s important to look out to fields, farmlands, river, lake or sea, Country Cottages Online features a great selection of holiday homes with views for you to choose from:

Holiday Cottages with Good Views

Lower Hedge Farm, Somerset

Farm Cottages

De-stress and unwind with a farmstay holiday. Enjoy a taste of the good life, when you choose to holiday surrounded by fields and farmlands. Some holiday homes can be found on working farms where there are working animals like sheep and cows, whereas others are on arable farms where crops are grown. At other farm locations, there may be a smallholding with a small collection of animals like chickens, where you may even be able to enjoy a fresh supply of eggs during your stay. Farm holidays can be particularly popular with families, but also with couples who want to escape for a taste of the good life.

Find a farm cottage to rent

Remote Ellary Cottages near Lochgilphead

Remote Getaways

If you truly want to escape from it all, renting a remote holiday cottage can make perfect sense. Hideaway and discover a far-off part of the UK, where you can enjoy exploring the local area without hoards of other people to contend with. Few locations are more tranquil than remote getaways where you can truly get away from it all, relax, unwind and escape.

Search for remote cottage getaways

Waterlake Country Cottage near Stonehenge

Rural Retreats

Expected to be in high demand this summer are Britain’s rural retreats. Some rural retreats are nestled deep in the countryside, in national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty or on edge of village locations. Whether you want to rent a country cottage, a barn conversion, a holiday lodge or a farm cottage, the appeal of the countryside and immersing yourself in nature and tranquillity is hard to beat.

Find your perfect rural retreat break

Wherever you are in terms of planning your summer break, holidaymakers can be reassured that last year, despite the start of pandemic being in March, cottage holidays from July to September were possible in many parts of the UK. Although we’re not out of the woods yet, holidaymakers can be reassured by news of the vaccine roll out and government predictions that the UK may be able to return to a more normal way of life hopefully by the summer. These are uncertain times we are living in, and some cottage owners and agencies are offering more flexible booking terms to reflect that. Check with owners and agencies about how flexible their terms are before booking.

If you’re someone planning to book a break in 2021, you may be looking for ideas and inspiration on some of the best places to stay. With all of the stress the pandemic has created, booking a break somewhere tranquil and relaxing could be more important than ever this year. Below are some of our picks of the best types of holiday rentals for tranquil holidays.

We hope we’ve inspired you with our ideas of ideal types of properties for tranquil getaways. If you really want to escape look out for secluded detached properties with their own gardens, for maximum privacy and peace.

Staycation Ideas for 2021

Self-catering staycation holidays are very popular currently, some come with hot tubs and other luxuries

Following the coronavirus pandemic, staycations in the UK have seen a boom in popularity. Holiday cottages have been in very high demand in 2020 and all signs so far are that this pattern will continue in to 2021. With competition for the best properties high, booking early can make a lot of sense to avoid disappointment. What’s more, we all need something to look forward to, so thinking about staycation holiday ideas for 2021 sooner rather than later could be a great idea.

Although England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have seen lockdowns with short notice, and certain areas have had lockdown restrictions, many people have still managed to get away and enjoy a staycation holiday in 2020 and have plans to escape for a much needed break in 2021 too. With the situation with the coronavirus outbreak unpredictable, asking holiday home owners and agencies about booking conditions and cancellation policies prior to booking is strongly recommended, as is taking out appropriate holiday cancellation insurance.

Holiday Homes for Memorable 2021 Holidays

Barn Conversions

Lavender Barn, Somerset

Converted barns can be a popular choice with families and romantic couples. Usually nestled in idyllic rural locations or on the edge of a village, barn conversions, with exposed beams and stone work can add atmosphere and a cosy feel to your cottage holiday.

Pet-friendly barn conversion in particular can be in high demand, as being a nation of pet-lovers, many UK holidaymakers like to take their pooch away on holiday with them. Also popular are barn conversions with log burners or open fires, for that cosy atmospheric feel. For something truly special look out for barns with country views too. Most rural locations benefit from good local walks too, plus ample country pursuits on offer locally, which can be ideal for those who love to spend time in nature.

Browse all Barn Conversions

Country Cottages and Rural Retreats

Escape to the country

The thought of escaping to the country for a chance to relax and unwind can be an attractive thought. There’s something naturally soothing about immersing yourself in green and beautiful surroundings that make country cottage breaks so very appealing.
Escape from everyday worries and concerns in the countryside, where you can immerse yourself in tranquil and soothing nature. For a real taste of rural life, a farm cottage could be the perfect choice or a rural retreat for those that want to hide away from it all.

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Log Cabins and Holiday Lodges

Log cabin holidays are ever popular with families and couples

There’s nothing quite like a log cabin or a wooden holiday lodge to give you that special holiday feel. A break in a log cabin or a wooden holiday lodge can appeal to those with a sense of adventure and those who love to stay in naturally beautiful surroundings. Many cabins enjoy scenic settings, next to lakes or nestled by woodlands. Views and settings vary from cabin to cabin. For those searching for a touch of luxury on holiday, you can even find cabins with hot tubs nowadays.

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Luxury Rentals

The Stables, 5 star self-catering in Lincolnshire

If you are one of the lucky few whose finances haven’t been hampered by the pandemic, may be 2021 could be a great year to treat yourself to a luxury cottage break. Renting a luxurious holiday home where you can relax in sumptuous surroundings can really help to make your self-catering holiday truly special. Whether you want the assurance of a 5 star rental or are happy with general luxurious accommodation, there are plenty options on Country Cottages Online. For more choice of luxury holiday rentals, we recommend taking a look at Cottage Gems too, specialists in luxury holiday accommodation.

Search Cottage Gems for Luxury Holiday Rentals


Apple Treehouse in Somerset

Bound to appeal to small kids and big kids alike, renting a holiday treehouse can make for an experience to remember and treasure for all of the family. Holiday treehouses appeal to the inner child in all of us and for those with a sense of adventure and a love of new experiences, renting a holiday treehouse could be a great change from the usual cabin or cottage break.

For those ready to immerse themselves in greenery and a canopy of leaves for a break to remember, browse:

Holiday Treehouses

Unique Holiday Homes

Len’s Hut, Unique Shepherd’s Hut in Somerset

With recent events spurring some people to increasingly believe that the time to enjoy experiences is now, 2021 may be the year to book a unique holiday home. Staying in unique holiday accommodation can really help to make your break super memorable and special. From lighthouses to tree houses, converted chapels and quirky holiday homes, renting a unique holiday home can be a great chance to experience something out of the ordinary.

Find Unique Holiday Houses

We hope you’ve enjoyed our ideas for some great 2021 cottage holidays. Wherever you choose to holiday, we hope you find the best place for you and that you have a fabulous time.

Winter Holiday Inspiration for 2019

Cosy up at a cottage this winter

Cosy up at a cottage this winter

What are you doing this winter? If you don’t have a break booked to look forward to, now could be a great time to think about booking a short break or a week away to recharge and unwind in the run up to Christmas. Winter time is typically low season which means that there are some great deals and offers to be found, and it’s one of the best times of year to snap up a bargain.


Cosy Cottage Breaks by the Fireside

Cosy up by the fireside in winter

Cosy up by the fireside in winter

When it comes to winter breaks, few experiences compare to staying in a holiday cottage where you can enjoy the warmth and glow of being by the fireside. There’s something so comforting about enjoying the warmth of a fire indoors when it’s cold outside.

Wrap up warm and winter can be a magical time to explore the UK, where the morning frost can give the countryside a special sparkle and lights twinkle as the early nights set in.

Whether you opt for a cottage with an open fire or a woodburner where you can watch the logs crackle and glow, Country Cottages Online features a great selection of
cosy cottages to choose from.

Hot Tub Holidays

Bubbly hot tub

Bubbly hot tub

Popular year round, but also very appealing for winter holidays, hot tub holidays offer warmth and comfort. During winter time, renting a holiday home with an indoor hot tub can make a lot of sense, as not everyone wants to brave wandering across a garden in the cold.

In winter time, having use of a warm bubbly indoor hot tub to enjoy could be just what you need for a warming relaxing holiday. After enjoying a day out exploring or enjoying a country walk, few things are more relaxing than a long soak in the soothing waters of a bubbly hot tub.

Browse hot tub cottages and lodges

Christmas and New Year Getaways

Another popular choice when it comes to winter holidays is to escape for Christmas or the New Year.

Christmas tree

Christmas tree

Christmas in a holiday cottage can be a great opportunity to celebrate the festive season with family. Some holiday houses even decorate the property ready for guests’ arrival with tinsel and other seasonal decorations meaning you get to enjoy all of the magic of Christmas without a lot of the stress and hassle.

Remember the best cottages book up early so booking early for Christmas cottage.

Browse Christmas Cottages

Celebrate this festive season

Celebrate this festive season

New Year is a time for celebrating with family and friends and large houses in particular are popular with those looking to party together and see in the start of another year in style. If booking a large party house look out for properties with a large dining room where you can all dine and celebrate altogether.

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Whenever you choose to get away this winter, whether in early December or for a festive break, we hope you’ve found our ideas and suggestions inspiring.

Discovering the UK’s Inspirational Landscapes

Do you love to discover the UK’s landscapes on holiday?  The UK is home to some majestic landscapes; across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.  Particularly renowned are the National Parks, as well as the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

This year, Country Cottages Online has been working with some superb photographers to bring you inspiration on some of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes to visit and discover.

Chris Herring at the UK Landscape

Suffolk Seascape by Chris Herring

Suffolk Seascape by Chris Herring

Chris is a freelance photographer with a portfolio of stunning photographs. Chris has some particularly inspirational images of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, as well as East Anglia and elsewhere in the UK. Chris also runs photography workshops and courses. See some of our Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk pages for more of Chris’ inspirational images.

We trust that some of Chris’ photos will inspire you to visit the landscapes of Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk and perhaps the coastlines too.


Steve (Sam Jackson) Yorkshire photographer

Yorkshire Landscape by Sam Jackson

Yorkshire Landscape by Sam Jackson

Steve is a self-taught photographer who has a huge portfolio of North Yorkshire images. Steve likes to take landscape images mostly and especially enjoys taking photos that capture sunrises and sunsets. See some of our Yorkshire pages for some of Steve’s inspirational images.

With some stunning images of the Yorkshire Dales, as well as inspiring sunset and sunrise shots of the Yorkshire coast, Sam Jackson really highlights the glory and beauty of this part of England.

Members of Country Cottages Online’s own team also enjoy discovering the UK’s landscapes on short breaks and holidays and taking photographs along the way.

If you’re searching for inspiration on which of the UK’s landscapes to discover on your next holiday, why not take a look at our area guides for ideas and inspiration? Particularly popular for their stunning landscapes are the UK’s National Parks and Britain’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Wherever you decide to discover this year or next, we hope we’ve helped to inspire you on some great places to visit as Britain truly is beautiful.

Wow Factor Holiday Rentals for 2019

Wow Factor Holiday Cottage

Wow Factor Holiday Cottage

Looking to stay somewhere that truly stands out for your 2019 holiday? Country Cottages Online features a great selection of wow factor holiday rentals which should grab your attention for all of the right reasons. Whether it’s sleek interiors you’re after, ample stylish appeal or an awe inspiring location, there are some real gems to discover on Country Cottages Online.

Holiday Houses with Fabulous Views

Lovely balcony

Lovely balcony

When it comes to finding a great place to stay, not much compares with renting a holiday home with a stunning view. Waking up to a great view can be a wonderful feeling. Whether you want to gaze out to fields and pastures, or look out to the ocean, renting a holiday home where you can enjoy inspiring views, day after day, offers that sought after, feel good factor.

Browse Holiday Homes with Good Views

Holiday Homes with Home Cinemas

Cottage with wow factor home cinema

Cottage with wow factor home cinema

When it comes to state-of-the-art facilities, holiday rentals with a home cinema are at the top of the list. Very often, holiday homes with a home cinema are stylish and likely to get you saying wow in no time at all. Whether you like to spend an evening unwinding watching a movie or enjoy making a day of it, feast your eyes on these holiday homes for movie buffs.

Browse Holiday Rentals with a Home Cinema

Holiday Rentals with a Balcony

Holiday house with impressive balcony

Holiday house with impressive balcony

For summer holidays in the UK, renting a holiday house with a balcony can be a real treat. The UK sometimes gets great weather in the summer months and renting a holiday home where you can sit out and soak up the sunshine and setting, dine alfresco or do a spot of sunbathing can really help to make for a great vacation. Balconies are definitely not just for breaks abroad!

Find a Holiday Home with a Balcony

Finding the Best Wow Factor Holiday Rental for you

What makes for the ideal wow factor holiday home for you will depend on your own ideas and preferences. For some people a wow factor holiday house is one which offers stunning views, for others it’s a sleek stylish state of the art interior whereas for others it’s a holiday home with a home cinema and state of the art facilities. For some people a 5 star rating is essential too and others like to book only award winning accommodation.

Whatever floats your boat, we hope you find the perfect wow factor holiday rental for you on Country Cottages Online.

Browse all Wow Factor Properties

Top 5 Ideas for Inspirational Cottage Holidays in 2019

Hot tub cottage with country views

Hot tub cottage with country views

Looking for holiday ideas and inspiration for your 2019 cottage holiday? Whether you want to take it easy in the countryside and soak up rural views or splash around in a cottage with a pool, Country Cottages Online features a great choice of holiday rentals. If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration, let us inspire you on some of the best ideas for your 2019 cottage getaway.


Rent a Holiday Home with a Pool

Few things compare to the enjoyment that a holiday rental with a swimming pool offers. Whether you’ve a big budget and are looking to rent a holiday house with a private pool where you and your family or friends can splash around to your heart’s content or are looking to rent a property with a shared pool, being able to swim on holiday can help you relax and unwind and can help your self-catering holiday feel that bit more special.

Cottage with refreshing outdoor pool

Cottage with refreshing outdoor pool

Choose an outdoor swimming pool for a refreshing dip in the summer or rent a holiday let with an indoor pool for fun all year round. In the summer months, relaxing by the poolside in the UK and Ireland can feel every bit as refreshing as a holiday abroad.

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Bubble Away your cares in a Hot Tub Cottage

One of the most popular choices for holidaymakers is renting a holiday home with a hot tub. Particularly for active breaks where you plan to do a lot of walking and exploring on holiday, returning to a self-catering house after a day out, where there is an inviting warm bubbly hot tub waiting for you, can be a perfect choice. Hot tubs are ideal for helping you to relax and unwind on holiday; it can be one of the very best feelings to lie back in warm bubbly waters and let the jets massage you.

Chilterns View Lodges with Hot tubs

Remember at some cottages the facilities are shared whereas at others the facilities are private. Some properties feature outdoor hot tubs where you can lie back, relax and enjoy soaking up views whereas others have indoor hot tubs (for enjoyment whatever the weather). Choose the type of hot tub cottage that best suits you.


Soak up that Special Holiday Feel in a Log Cabin

Log Cabins have become increasingly popular over recent years. Whether it’s the smell of pine or the comfort of staying in a wooden cabin, renting a wooden lodge is ideal for enjoying that true holiday feel on a break away. Whether you’re planning a break with family, a getaway with friends or a loved up break away, nothing says holiday quite so much as a log cabin. Many cabins enjoy excellent locations too; typically cabins are found on holiday parks or small developments in scenic settings, next to lakes or nestled by a forest.

Beaver Den Wooden Holiday Lodge

Beaver Den Wooden Holiday Lodge


Unwind in the Countryside

When it comes to feeling relaxed and unwinding on a self-catering holiday, renting a country cottage could be the perfect choice. Escaping to the country can be good for the soul. Relaxing in a home from home atmosphere with tranquillity and nature all around can be truly soothing. Look out for properties with private gardens where you can sit out and enjoy soaking up a glorious rural atmosphere on holiday.

Enjoy country views on holiday

Enjoy country views on holiday

At some rural holiday homes you might be able to spot fascinating local wildlife like deer or even owls. Enjoying the simple pleasures in life of immersing yourself in nature can be truly good for the soul. For that true feel good factor, rent a rural retreat with country views and wake up to vistas of fields or meadows on holiday.


Fun and Games with a Games Room Cottage

Particularly popular with families and groups of friends, renting a holiday house with a games room can make for a fun-packed self-catering holiday. Properties with games rooms tend to be larger (it is common for large country houses to feature games rooms) and cottage complexes very often offer shared games room facilities.

Games room for fun holidays

Games room for fun holidays

Whether you want to rent a property with a pool table, table football or a pinball machine, having a games room can really help give your group or family something to enjoy on rainy days and can foster healthy competitive spirit on fun-filled evenings. Who doesn’t want to have fun on a break away?

The above are our top 5 choices for inspirational cottage holidays for 2019. We’re all looking for different things with holidays so if you have a different type of holiday experience in mind why not give our search assistant a try and find a holiday rental to best suit you.

10 of Britain’s Natural Wonders to Discover on Holiday

The Giant's Causeway at Sunset

The Giant’s Causeway at Sunset

The UK is home to some amazing natural wonders, which inspire and amaze visitors.  Which will you discover on your next break away?  Forget having to go half way across the world to see some awe inspiring naturally stunning scenery, there is plenty to see right here at home in Britain.  And one of the best parts, depending on where you live in the UK, you may not even need to catch a plane to get to some of these natural wonders, for many you may be able to just pack your stuff, jump in the car and go!

1.  The Limestone Pavement, Malham, Yorkshire Dales

A landscape so unique and stunning it featured in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Harrows, the Limestone Pavement at the top of Malham Cove is an absolute wonder.  Visit and you can walk over the  strange craggy rocks of this limestone formation as well as look out over amazing views over the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Malham' Coves Amazing Limestone Pavement

Malham’ Coves Amazing Limestone Pavement












Getting to the top of Malham Cove though where the ‘pavement’ lies is quite a feat, as it’s a steep hike up (there are steps) so walking boots are a must and being physically fit is essential too.  Beware of the drops from the limestone pavement, there is a sheer drop in to Malham Cove with no barriers.

Places to Stay near the Limestone Pavement:

Malham lies in a tranquil rural location in the Yorkshire Dales, choose to stay in a country cottage in the Yorkshire Dales, and select accommodation not too far from Settle, Grassington and Skipton which are relatively close to Malham.


2.  Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge Somerset

Uniquely beautiful Cheddar Gorge

One of England’s most stunning natural wonders, Cheddar Gorge is an imposing inland limestone gorge with high cliffs that runs for 3 miles within the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to the town of Cheddar.  Created during the Ice age, not only can you visit and see the amazing gorge, there are fascinating caves to see here too!  Discover Gough’s Cave which was inhabited in prehistoric times.

A special area of conservation, there is a cliff top walk you can take along the top of the gorge.  Walking boots are recommended and stay away from the edge where there are steep drops.  There are shops and a cafe on the edge of the gorge serving visitors.

Amazing Cheddar Gorge Cave

The amazing underground world at Cheddar Gorge

Where to Stay near Cheddar Gorge:

The town of Cheddar is extremely well located for visiting the nearby caves.  The Mendip Hills are another good choice for visiting the gorge on a day trip.


3.  Durdle Door along Dorset’s Jurassic Coast

One of the Jurassic Coast’s most photographed places, Durdle Door along the Dorset coast truly has to be seen to be believed.  Depending on your vantage point, this limestone cliff structure can look like a dinosaur dipping its head in the sea or as a gateway to the ocean.  Visit to see what it conjures up in your imagination!

Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast

Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast











The nearby sand and shingle beach is a great spot to sit and take in the views.
There is a nearby car park but take a picnic as there are no cafes at Durdle Door.  Just along the coast is another fascinating place to visit; Lulworth Cove where there are a couple of cafes.

Places to Stay near Durdle Door:

Durdle Door is located around mid-way between Weymouth and Swanage and is just a drive away from many parts of the Jurassic coast.

4.  Winnats Pass, Peak District

Winnats Pass in Derbyshire’s Hope Valley close to Mam Tor is a truly majestic place to visit.  Not only is this grass covered limestone gorge amazing, but there are also a number of fascinating caves to discover in the nearby area including Blue John Cavern, Treak Cliff Cavern, Peak Cavern and Speedwell Cavern.

The Peak District's Winnats Pass

The Peak District’s Winnats Pass

Some would argue that the underground world around this part of England is in fact even more amazing than the gorge above ground.  Visit the caves and see glittering stalagmites, waterfalls and fossilised sea creatures from long ago.  This part of the Peak District really is a true wonder.

Where to Stay near WInnats Pass:

The nearest town is Castleton and the Hope Valley is also close by.


5.  The Stacks of Duncansby, Caithness

Located on Scotland’s most northerly coast close to John o’ Groats is the Duncansby Head coastal area.  Here you’ll be greeted with high cliffs with sheer drops, as well as the awe inspiring rock formations that are the Stacks of Duncansby.  These amazing jagged rock formations with their sharp pointed tops that look almost like castles rising from the sea are a real sight to behold and a superb natural wonder.

The simply unique Stacks of Duncansby, Caithness

The simply unique Stacks of Duncansby, Caithness

Remember to wear good walking boots and stay clear of the cliff edges, there are sheer drops with no barriers.

Head to nearby Bay of Sannick whilst in this part of Scotland and you may be lucky enough to see the local resident population of seals too!

Where to Stay Near The Stacks of Duncansby:

The town of John o’Groats is close by and Thurso is just 21 miles away.


6.  Isle of Staffa and Fingal’s Cave

Lying off the coast, close to the Isle of Mull in Scotland, the uninhabited Isle of Staffa is an absolute wonder.  Reached by boat, this small island with its unusual tall basalt columns is a sight to behold.  The distinctive geological formations on this island give it a truly other worldly feel.

The Amazing Isle of Staffa

The Amazing Isle of Staffa

Weather permitting you may be able to explore Fingal’s cave too, a sea cave explored by boat where you can see more of the amazing basalt columns up close.
Where to Stay to Visit the Isle of Staffa on Holiday:

As an uninhabited island, it’s impossible to stay on the small island of Staffa.  Boat trips run from the island of Iona and mainly from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull.

7.  Fairy Pools Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye in Scotland is home to more than its fair share of natural wonders  as well as an interesting kind of light which has inspired artists for generations.  One of the Isle’s most inspiring natural wonders are the Fairy Pools at the foot of the Black Cuillin hills which spectacular waterfalls pool in to.  With turquoise coloured waters, these pools and waterfalls certainly seem to exude a certain kind of magic.

Experience a kind of magic with Skye's Fairy Pools

Experience a kind of magic with Skye’s Fairy Pools











As with many of the UK’s natural wonders, wearing good walking boots is essential.  The closest village on Skye is Carbost.

Places to Stay Near the Fairy Pools on Skye:

The town of Portree is a popular place to stay on the Isle of Skye and is around half an hour’s drive from the Fairy Pools.


8.  Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Follow in giant footsteps at the Giant's Causeway, Ireland

Follow in giant footsteps at the Giant’s Causeway, Ireland ?

Perhaps one of Britain’s best known natural wonders and definitely one for the bucket list is the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.  This place is so unique and special, it’s no wonder it’s steeped in legend and myth.  Visit and be filled by wonder and amazement when you see these amazing basalt columns in person.  The result of volcanic activity dating back millions of years, prepare for this amazing coastal geological wonder to inspire and amaze you.
As a major tourist attraction, there is a Visitor Centre close to the Giant’s Causeway with extensive parking, coffee shop and loos.

Where to Stay near the Giant’s Causeway:

The Giant’s Causeway is located in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, close to the town of Ballycastle, Coleraine and Armoy.


9.  Dark Hedges, near Armoy Northern Ireland

Having recently featured in the hit TV series Game of Thrones, this avenue of twisted beech trees that run along Bregagh Road near Ballymoney are an amazing place to visit.  With a sinister unusual appearance, these trees conjure up thoughts of magic and special forces, and are so atmospheric and spooky it’s no wonder they featured in the Game of Thrones.

Discover Northern Ireland's Dark Hedges

Discover Northern Ireland’s Dark Hedges

Conveniently, these atmospheric trees are just 25 minutes’ drive from the Giant’s Causeway making it easy to explore both of these natural wonders on the one trip.


Places to Stay near the Dark Hedges:

Nearby towns not too far from the Dark Hedges include Coleraine, Ballymoney and Ballycastle.


10. Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfall

The majestic Pistyll-Rhaeadr waterfall

The majestic Pistyll-Rhaeadr waterfall

This waterfall in is one of Wales’ best natural wonders.   Renowned as being the highest waterfall in the whole of Wales, this dramatic waterfall lies close to the Berwyn Mountains and is only around 21 miles from Snowdonia National Park.  There are many good walks in the surrounding area.

At its base there is a car park and a tea shop which is an ideal spot to stop off at whilst enjoying this wonderful location.

Places to Stay near Pistyll Rhaeadr:

Bala in Snowdonia is around 21 miles away and also close by is Llandrillo.


Stay Safe When Discovering Britain’s Natural Wonders

As naturally occurring landscapes and landmarks, many of the listed natural wonders feature sheer drops and if visiting with children they must be supervised at all times.  Some of the locations are best suited for visiting with children aged 10 and older.

Wow Factor Cottages for 2018 Holidays

Are you searching for somewhere with a real wow factor for your 2018 self-catering holiday?  If so, take a look at some of these awe inspiring holiday homes featured on Country Cottages Online.  We’ve put together our choice of the top 5 wow factor properties we feature.  We’re confident these fabulous holiday homes will inspire you, but be quick if you’re looking to get away in 2018, holiday homes as stylish and jaw-dropping as these are expected to book up fast!

Top 5 Wow Factor Holiday Homes on Country Cottages Online


Devon Holiday Home with a Luxury Holiday Villa Vibe

Foxhill Lodge

With the feel of a luxurious holiday villa, this Devon holiday home exudes a great holiday vibe.  The outdoor pool is ideal for a refreshing dip on a hot summer’s day and the huge balcony where you can laze with a book is an absolute gem.  With 4 bedrooms, Foxhill Lodge  sleeps up to 8 people in style and luxury:


Stylish Waterfront Property in Cornwall


With an exterior and interior that may get you thinking of a scene from a James Bond film, this waterside holiday home was built to impress.  With a stylish sleek modern interior and fabulous waterside views, this property truly has the wow factor inside and out, as well as a wonderful location near Whitsand Bay in Cornwall which sleeps up to 8 people in 4 bedrooms.


Watch the Sunset and Experience Country Views Galore in Dorset

Wans Barton

Wans Barton is a real rural treat, set amongst the stunning Dorset countryside with distant sea views, this property is sleek and stylish throughout.  The double height lounge and huge doors that open out to the fabulous rural setting make this one of the most jaw-dropping properties that we feature.  With 4 bedrooms Wans Barton can accommodate up to 10 people for a holiday to remember.

Beautiful Country House in Devon with Access to a Swimming Pool and Tennis Court

Corffe House

With an exterior that will make you think that you have returned to a bygone age of romance, this beautiful historic house in Devon is a real gem.  Offering a mix of traditional furnishings with sleek modern additions such as a cinema room with a 3.5 metre screen this property is bound to impress.  With 8 bedrooms, Corffe House can sleep up to 20 people and also benefits from access to a swimming pool and a tennis court, for a real feel good holiday with friends or family.


Four Ashes with Waterside Views in Pembrokeshire

Four Ashes

With superb views over the Cleddau estuary, this 8 bedroom holiday house is bound to impress.  Facilities on site include an infinity style swimming pool, a private  beach,  a private quay and a tennis court, all in all this Pembrokeshire holiday home really is the stuff of dreams!




Discover More Wow Factor Properties

The above is just our top 5 wow factor holiday homes for 2018, for more inspirational holiday ideas take a look at:

Why Staycations can be the Best Holiday Choice

Cotswolds ideal for a staycationBritain is beautiful all year round with the scenery changing with the seasons and increasing numbers of Brits are deciding there really is no better place to holiday than right here at home in the UK; recent research shows increasing numbers of people choosing staycations nowadays, particularly for short breaks.  Ok, specialising in self-catering holidays in the UK and Ireland at Country Cottages Online we may be a teeny bit biased when it comes to what the UK has to offer but we’re not alone in having a penchant for the Great British getaway.


Reasons for Enjoying a Staycation in the UK

Avoid the Dreaded Airport Queues and Faff of Going Overseas

Reasons for choosing to take a stay-cation holiday are varied and plentiful; from saving the faff of dealing with currency exchanges and the stress of getting less for the pound (with our falling currency post-Brexit) to avoiding the inevitable airport queues and the experience of feeling like a squashed sardine on the increasingly shrinking seat spaces on numerous airlines nowadays.  Consider the hassle of going overseas and it’s easy to see why some people just choose to give all that stress and aggravation a miss.  What could be simpler than just getting in your car and driving to your UK holiday destination?   It’s all so carefree, flexible and appealing.

Ok, yes brilliant weather is never guaranteed in Britain but with so much to see and do and so many reasons to stay, holidaying at home in the UK still has plenty to offer and if your budget allows it there are options like holiday homes with games rooms and indoor pools so there’s plenty to enjoy come rain or shine!

Take the Pet Pooch Away Too!

Happy pets on holidayAnd if you have pets you love and see as part of your family the reasons for holidaying at home in the UK can be even stronger.   Lots of holiday homes are dog-friendly nowadays and some even welcome cats too!  So not only can you avoid the costs of kennels whilst on holiday, but you can also enjoy having your beloved pooch by your side to enjoy a break with you without them missing you and vice versa.

Britain is Indeed a Green and Beautiful Place with a Stunning Coastline

Britain's stunning coastOur little island is a real gem, not only do we have stunning countryside, tranquil unspoilt National Parks, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, forests, fields and farmlands, ideal for rural retreat breaks, Britain is also home to a superb coastline where you can discover sandy beaches, hidden coves and impressive cliffs.

What’s more, each part of Britain has her own unique character and individual appeal and there is so very much to explore.  Learn to surf or bodyboard in Cornwall, enjoy walking and hiking in Wales, wildlife watch in Scotland or explore the Emerald Isle (you may have to brave a flight though), the choice is yours!

Feel Understood on Holiday in Britain

We love to experience new cultures and discover something new but sometimes there is no place like home.  We Brits have our own quirks and culture and by and large we understand each other.  This feeling of being easily understood is part of what makes a holiday on old Blighty quite so appealing.

Indulge in Culinary Delights like Fish and Chips, a Cream Tea or Afternoon Tea on Holiday

British Afternoon TeaOk, so fish and chips may not be the most impressive culinary delight but hey most of us enjoy an excuse to have fish ‘n’ chips on holiday, it’s all part of the fun of a holiday in Britain.  And let’s not forget English Breakfasts (or Scottish, Irish or Welsh Breakfasts) depending on where you’re headed.  Whether we’re eating out or in, most of us just love a good fry up; we know it’s unhealthy, but we’re on holiday, and we want to enjoy it!  Then there’s the Great British Afternoon Tea and if you’re holidaying in the West Country the fun of the debate on whether you put the cream or the jam on the scones first.  Who cares as long as we like it and spoil ourselves a bit?

Enjoy your Favourite Foods on Holiday

Another big bonus of holidaying in the UK is that usually you can take your own favourite foods with you, whether you must have a Twinings Tea or PG Tips every morning or absolutely can’t live without Heinz Baked Beans, take a break in Britain and you can usually either pack your favourites or pick them up at the local supermarket.  It’s so wonderful to have those home comforts!

Don’t Miss your Favourite TV Shows Whilst Away

Popcorn by the fireOk, we expect you’ll want to do more than sit in front of the box on holiday but although it’s fun to get out and explore and enjoy meals and nights out, sometimes all we want is a night in where we can put our feet up, heat up a readymeal and watch our favourite shows.  There are plenty of UK holiday homes where you can watch Sky TV and of course pick up the usual domestic TV channels; heaven for soap-opera addicts and those who really don’t want to go without their weekly TV fix.


Find the Best Accommodation for your Staycation

Whether you want to holiday in England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland and are looking for a family holiday house or a romantic retreat, Country Cottages Online features a great selection of UK accommodation, from country cottages to coastal retreats.  Whether you’re planning a short break away or your main holiday this year is going to be a staycation, Country Cottages Online can help you find a cottage that best suits you.

Search for Staycations and get planning your next UK getaway.