Category Archives: Holidays in England

England’s Best Loved Valleys for Idyllic Holidays

If you love to explore the countryside on holiday, a stay in one of England’s idyllic valleys could be perfect for your next getaway.   Although Wales is renowned for its beautiful valleys, England has its fair share too with over 30 valleys to discover and explore.  Set between hills or mountains which often provide shelter from winds, you can enjoy exploring truly scenic locations when discovering England’s beautiful valleys.

Some of England’s best known and best loved valleys include:

The Eden Valley

Cumbria's Eden Valley

Cumbria’s Eden Valley

Cumbria’s stunning Lake District National Park is no well-kept secret but have you heard of the county’s Eden Valley?  Situated around mid-way between the Pennines and the Lake District Fells and surrounding the River Eden, the Eden Valley appeals to holidaymakers looking for stunning Cumbrian scenery away from the hustle and bustle and crowds that the Lake District draws.

With riverside walks, excellent salmon and trout fishing, as well as pretty sandstone villages and attractive market towns, plus caves and sculptures to discover, the Eden Valley is a great place to enjoy the Cumbrian countryside and as a lesser known area, you’re more likely to be able to experience tranquillity and serenity on your visit too!

Tamar Valley

River Tamar

River Tamar

A stunning area of outstanding natural beauty, Cornwall’s Tamar Valley centres around the River Tamar, as well as the River Tavy and Lynher  and this gorgeous river valley leads down to the unspoilt Cornish coast.  To the east of Tamar Valley lies Dartmoor National Park and to the west Kit Hill.

This beautiful area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and whether you enjoy walking, cycling, boating or wildlife watching, there is plenty to keep visitors entertained.  Also dotted throughout the valley are several heritage mining sites, which offer a fascinating insight in to the industrial history and heritage of this part of Cornwall.


Wye Valley

Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The beauty of the Wye Valley is renowned with the area firmly established as one of the UK favourites and a designated area of outstanding natural beauty to boot!  Covering parts of England, as well as Wales, the lush Wye Valley centres around the River Wye and is well known for the beautiful villages and towns that are dotted around the area.  Whether for wildlife watching, outdoor pursuits like walking or fishing, the Wye Valley should not disappoint.

If you’re looking to discover one of Britain’s valleys where you can discover quaint tea shops, gift shops and superb tourist attractions then the Wye Valley could be the perfect place for your next rural retreat or country cottage holiday.

Lesser known Valleys to Enjoy and Discover on Holiday in England

The Eden Valley, the Tamar Valley and the Wye Valley are three of England’s best known and best loved valleys.  There are also some superb less well known valleys dotted throughout England where you can discover the road less travelled.  These include:

•    the Chew Valley in Somerset

an area of undulating countryside close to the Mendip Hills which centres around the River Chew.

•    the Trough of Bowland in Lancashire.

this scenic valley lies within the greenery of the Forest of Bowland and tends to attract visitors that enjoy walking, cycling or wildlife watching in tranquil appealing surorundings.

•    the Golden Valley in Herefordshire.

an area as beautiful as its name, Herefordshire’s Golden Valley sits between the Black Mountains and the River Dore close to Hay on Wye and with naturally beautiful scenery, whether you want to enjoy outdoor pursuits or visit quaint historic villages and towns, Herefordshire’s lush golden valley could be the ideal place for a rural cottage break.


Which will be your Favourite English Valley?

When it comes to exploring the wonderful English countryside, we all have our own favourites.  Which valley will capture your heart?  Wherever you choose to discover on your next break, we hope you find the perfect valley where you can enjoy a secluded cottage hideaway or rural retreat break.









Discover Cornwall’s Poldark Country

For fans of the BBC TV series Poldark, you may have been inspired not only by the drama unfolding on your screens but also by the stunning scenery and places featured on the programme.  Stunning seascapes, beaches, coves, moors and historical towns all feature in this hit historical romantic drama.  If you’ve been inspired by both the series and the landscape, you may be planning to discover Poldark Country on a self-catering break in 2017 or even before then.

Where is Poldark Country?

So let’s begin by explaining just where Poldark Country is.  Set in Cornwall, Poldark features many picturesque areas of both coast and countryside in this part of the West Country.
Coastal areas featured in the Poldark series include seaside parts of the unspoilt Lizard Peninsula, as well as Porthgwarra Beach near Lands End and Porthcothan Bay near Padstow.
A number of inland scenes centre around the brooding scenery of Bodmin Moor.

Bodmin Moor in Poldark Country

Cornwall’s Bodmin Moor features in Poldark











The National Trust’s Botallack Mine is the cliff-side mine so often featured in Poldark.  This mine is part of Cornwall’s Mining World Heritage Site and is an absolutely stunning place to visit whilst on a self-catering break.

When it comes to many of the scenes of Truro, the town of Charlestown near St Austell was used for much of the filming.


Charlestown in Cornwall

Charlestown in coastal Cornwall is Truro in Poldark

Places to Stay in and Near Poldark Country

Featuring locations across Cornwall, for those keen to discover Poldark country, a central base may make the most sense, from which to drive out and discover some of the varied locations featured in the TV series.

For those in search of a relaxing country break, a stay in or close to Bodmin Moor could make a lot of sense.

Whereas if you’d like to see some of the stunning coastal scenery featured in Poldark, do bear in mind that there is considerable distance between Lands End where some of the filming took place and places near like the Lizard Peninsula (around 34 miles from Lands End).

If you choose to holiday around Lands End, Botallack Mine is close by, as is Porthgwarra Beach whereas Porthcothan Bay and Charlestown are closer to Bodmin Moor.

Whichever part of Poldark Country you decide to explore on a cottage break, don’t forget to take your camera with you to capture some of the magical and inspirational scenery found in this part of Cornwall.









Ideas for October Half Term Holidays

If you have kids, your little ones may be counting down to the October Half Term Holidays.  Lots of parents take time off too, whether staying at home or planning a break away, so they can spend time with their children during the Autumn holidays.  Exact holiday dates may vary but the Autumn half term break is usually in late October.  School holiday dates even in England can vary from region to region and school to school.  One thing in common though for most parents is the need to think about what to do to keep your kids occupied over October Half Term.  Taking the family away for a cottage break can be ideal for those keen to discover a new area and enjoy activities altogether.

Norfolk has Lots to Offer for Holidays with the Kids

Enjoy the great outdoors on holiday with the kids this Autumn

Enjoy the great outdoors on holiday with the kids this Autumn

Open from mid to late October, Bewilderwood near Hoveton in Norfolk with its treehouses, boat rides, woodland walks and children’s play areas offer plenty of family fun in a largely naturally beautiful environment.  Encourage your kids to enjoy spending time in the great outdoors with a trip to this family-friendly Norfolk attraction.

There are also lots of farm parks to take the kids to, to see the animals, dotted around Norfolk, as well as a zoo at Banham.  There are also plenty of soft play centres, indoor play centres, bowling alleys and cinemas, so no matter how old your children are, there should be plenty of options when it comes to places for fun times in Norfolk.

Staffordshire for Theme Parks

Roller coaster

Thrills and Spills on Offer at the UK’s Theme Parks

Staffordshire is home to Alton Towers, one of the UK’s best known theme parks.  With rides and attractions to entertain all ages, from rollercoasters that will thrill teenagers to gentler rides and CBeebies land for toddlers, a holiday in Staffordshire close to Alton Towers could be a real hit with the kids.Also within an hour’s drive of Alton Towers is Drayton Manor Theme Park and zoo, where there is a Thomas the Tank Engine Land, lots of different rides, an indoor play area, shows and a Dinosaur trail.

Discover Dinosaur Related Attractions along the Jurassic Coast.


Discover Dinosaur-related attractions in Dorset

Lots of children, including both boys and girls, are fascinated by dinosaurs.  Where better to take them then to feed this interest and help them learn more than Dorset’s Jurassic coast?

Enjoy fossil hunting along the Dorset coast and visit the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre where you can see a range of fascinating fossils.  Seaton Jurassic is particularly family-friendly and aims to tell the story of the Jurassic coastline, taking you back in time.  Also not to be missing is the Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester when your kids can learn more about these fascinating creatures that once walked the earth.
Find Holiday Cottages for October Half Term holidays on Country Cottages Online and look forward to a break away with the kids this Autumn.






10 of the Prettiest English Country Cottages

10 of England's Prettiest Country Cottages

10 of England’s Prettiest Country Cottages

Searching for an idyllic picture-perfect English country cottage?  We feature a great range of chocolate-box pretty countryside cottages in England on Country Cottages Online.  With so many to choose from, it’s not easy to pick the 10 prettiest and the selection below is just to give you an idea of some of the options out there.  We have a huge collection of beautiful country cottages which are each idyllic and attractive but too many to list here.

It’s probably no coincidence that many of the holiday homes we’ve selected are thatched cottages and that a large proportion are from areas renowned for their beautiful buildings such as the Cotswolds and Suffolk.  Also making the list though are cottages in unspoilt Norfolk and the wonderful Forest of Dean.

  • Cocketts, Mendlesham Green.
    Cocketts Picture-Perfect Cottage near Mendlesham Green

    Cocketts Picture-Perfect Cottage near Mendlesham Green

    Painted pink and set in a traditional English garden, Cocketts in Mendlesham Green in Suffolk is one of the prettiest holiday houses we feature.  Sleeping up to 8 people in 4 bedrooms, this pet-friendly holiday home with its log-burning fire and exposed wooden beams is a real gem and an idyllic rural retreat.


Picture-perfect country cottage near Long Melford

Picture-perfect country cottage near Long Melford

This terracotta coloured 3 bedroom holiday cottage is situated within the rural hamlet of Foxearth, next to some other pretty country cottages, close to the historical village of Long Melford.  With a picture-perfect exterior and a history which dates back to the 15th century, this holiday house is wonderful both inside and out and indoors  features lovely exposed wooden beams as well as charming historical features.

  • The Guildhall, near Colchester
    Guildhall Cottage in the Dedham Vale

    Guildhall Cottage in the Dedham Vale

    Thatched and painted cream, the Guildhall is picture-perfect and sits within beautiful gardens in the Dedham Vale.  With 3 bedrooms and a dogs-welcome policy, this holiday house is a family-friendly property with much charm.  The wooden beams and wood burner inside continue the theme at this idyllic Suffolk country cottage.

  • Little Orchard, Chipping Campden
    Honey-coloured Little Orchard Cottage in picturesque Chipping Camden

    Honey-coloured Little Orchard Cottage in picturesque Chipping Camden

    Cottages really don’t come any prettier than Little Orchard in Chipping Campden.  With 2 bedrooms and a thatched roof, this stone-built cottage isn’t just beautiful, it’s also historically significant as it’s the former home of the author Graham Greene.  What’s more, it’s located in the appealing town of Chipping Campden and more beautiful buildings can be found close by.

  • Tythe Barn Cottage, Chipping Campden
    Tythe Barn is a Pretty Thatched Cottage near Chipping Campden

    Tythe Barn is a Pretty Thatched Cottage near Chipping Campden

    If you’re looking for a chocolate-box pretty cottage to rent for your cottage holiday then Tythe Barn Cottage could be just what you’ve been searching for.  Dating back to the 17th century, this stone-built holiday house with its thatched roof sleeps a family of up to 4 and enjoys an excellent location close to the picturesque town of Chipping Campden.


  • The Watermill, Bury St Edmunds
    Historical watermill with an idyllic setting near Bury St Edmunds

    Historical watermill with an idyllic setting near Bury St Edmunds

    There are few holiday houses with quite a magical setting as the Watermill near Bury St Edmunds.  Originally a watermill, this Grade II listed property is situated on its own private island and is incredibly idyllic.  Enjoy the beauty and sounds of nature with a stay at this superb 5 bedroom holiday house and escape to your own watery wonderland in Suffolk.

  • Bluebell Studio at Thatched Farm
    Idyllic Suffolk Rural Retreat

    Idyllic Suffolk Rural Retreat

    When it comes to rural retreats, Bluebell Studio at Thatched Farm has to be one of the most idyllic.  Set by trees and beautiful gardens, you can really enjoy a slice of country life with a stay at this pet-friendly cottage.  Sleeping 2, this couple’s cottage is ideal for a romantic couple looking to escape from it all on a break close to Woodbridge in Suffolk.


  • The Old Monkey Cottage, Hadleigh
    Picture-perfect Suffolk Holiday Cottage

    Picture-perfect Suffolk Holiday Cottage

    Painted terracotta and nestled by trees is this gorgeous one bedroom country cottage.  Sleeping 2, this is a romantic retreat, nestled close to the unspoilt Suffolk countryside.  With exposed wooden beams, a warming open fire and plenty of historical charm, this is a very attractive couple’s cottage.


  • Secluded Brambles, Littledean
    Beautiful Secluded Brambles Cottage near the Forest of Dean

    Beautiful Secluded Brambles Cottage near the Forest of Dean

    Set by fields and farmlands where there are open country views where you can see for miles and miles, this cosy one bedroom holiday house with its wonderful setting and stone-built structure is one of the most appealing holiday houses that we feature and what’ s more it’s close to the wonderful Forest of Dean.  Pet-friendly, this is a wonderful rural retreat for a couple plus a dog and inside the accommodation is modern and stylish.

  • Hoste Barn, Norfolk
    Idyllic RustIc Barn Conversion in Norfolk

    Idyllic RustIc Barn Conversion in Norfolk

    Hoste Barn offers plenty of county charm.  This rural retreat sits within the grounds of a farmhouse, next to woodlands and close to Swanton Abbott.  From the outside this is a very pretty rustic barn conversion whilst inside it’s a modern, stylish well equipped holiday home.

For more choice, we recommend that you take a look at our collection of  holiday cottages in England.  There are so many beautiful and idyllic options to choose from, it’s impossible to list them all.

Forest Holidays in England

If you love greenery and trees, then a cottage holiday in one of England’s forests could be a perfect choice for you.  Whether you long to stay in a rural retreat nestled by the trees or in a log cabin set within or by a forest, there is a surprising choice of accommodation in a woodland wonderland setting in England.

England’s Forests for Cottage Holidays

Cylists on holiday in the New Forest

Cyclists enjoying the scenery of the New Forest on holiday

Thinking of taking a cottage holiday in or near a forest?  If so, here’s our top choice of England’s best forested areas for holidays.  Some of England’s best known and best loved forests have to include the New Forest in Hampshire, the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire and Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.

The New Forest is a great place to marvel at the heights reached by the Californian Redwoods and walk, cycle and wildlife watch.  There is a great choice of cottages available in the New Forest National Park.

The Forest of Dean is a great area to soak up the wonderful greenery, enjoy being under the canopy of trees and enjoy a host of outdoor activities from walking and cycling to horse riding.  Staying in a holiday cottage in the Forest of Dean can be a great choice for those looking for a home to home feel whilst on holiday.

Sherwood Forest is a great place to visit and holiday for those with a love for English legend.  Who doesn’t love the story of Robin Hood?  Whether you’re young or old, the idea of this hero who took from the rich and gave to the poor has such appeal that who wouldn’t be fascinated to visit Sherwood Forest, the old haunts of Robin Hood.  The Major Oak in Sherwood Forest is truly a fascinating tree and for many years, visitors could step inside this hollow tree which has a girth of 10 metres.  Said to have sheltered Robin himself, who could resist such a fantastic tale and a visit to such a legendary Forest?  For entertaining both kids and the adults, a cottage holiday in Sherwood Forest could be perfect.

There are of course so many beautiful forests in England that it’s hard to choose the very best ones for self-catering breaks.  Each forest or woodland area has its own unique appeal, and you may well have your own particular favourite.


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

Will you Choose England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland for Your Holiday This Year?

Thinking of ideas of places to discover on your summer holiday this year or for a short break at some point? Many of us like to jet off somewhere where good weather is guaranteed at least once a year but lots of us also like to discover fantastic places during a staycation in the UK. Whether you have just a few days available or a week or more, the UK has plenty of fantastic destinations to choose from.

What Makes Great Britain So Great

Who can blame us for wanting to spend time in our home country? There is so very much that makes Great Britain great and all of the countries that make up the UK have their own unique draws which attract visitors. When the sun is shining on our definitely green and pleasant land there really is no better place. Who can beat sitting out in an English country garden and enjoying an Afternoon Tea with the sun on your back? Or meandering along one of our beautiful beaches with the dog or marvelling in the views once you’ve reached the summit of one our majestic fells or hills? Whether you tend to return to the same part of the UK year after year or are just looking for ideas, we aim to make you think about the possibility of discovering new places in our truly beautiful country.


Seaside in Scotland

Seaside in Scotland

The land of big skies, friendly locals and nature in abundance, Scotland is wonderful for remote holidays and for discovering the magnificence of nature. Whether you want to feast your eyes on mountains, lochs, sea or sky, Scotland will not disappoint. Wonderful wildlife in this fine country include deer, squirrels and even wild cats, and that’s not the mention the resident population of dolphins in the Moray Firth or the whales that can be spotted in the seas around the Scottish Islands.


Chiltern Hills in England

Chiltern Hills in England

With so many beautiful quintessentially English villages and towns with splendid historical buildings, parklands, hills, heaths and areas of outstanding natural beauty, there is much charm to be found in England, plus National Parks and a stunning coastline. Reasonably highly populated, finding remote hideaways in England is still possible and there are plenty of wonderfully rural locations to discover but perhaps without the remoteness to be found in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, which suits those looking to experience a bit of peace and tranquillity with the added benefit of having the hustle and bustle of busier places within reasonably easy reach.


Undoubtedly best known for its National Parks, Mountains and Coastline, Wales promises vast areas of unspoilt countryside along with ample opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. A mecca for outdoors enthusiasts, Wales offers plenty of adrenaline pumping activities as well as more sedate options like walking. Whatever you want to do on holiday, Wales can be wonderful for getting out and exploring the great outdoors.


Ireland is renowned for its magic and with vast unspoilt landscapes and big skies, loughs and rivers it really isn’t surprising. Add to this the Irish sense of humour, great music, fascinating legends and a European feel and Ireland has plenty to recommend it. Just when will you discover Ireland on an Irish cottage break?

Wherever you choose to visit in the UK, you can be assured that there are some great options open to you. Just where will you discover next?

How to Find the Perfect English Country Cottage this Winter

Christmas Lights in the Cotswolds

Christmas Lights in the Cotswolds

Planning on taking a break this winter and want to find a perfect quintessentially English country cottage where you can relax and celebrate the festive season?  Let us help you find the ideal place to stay. December can be a wonderful time of year to get away from it all with Christmas lights shining brightly and adding a touch of magic to those winter nights. Snow can never be guaranteed but when it does snow that can also add a touch of magic to your holiday.

Hints and Tips on How to Find the perfect English Country Cottage:

– Write a Wish-list for your Dream Country Cottage

So you know you want to get away from it all but one of the most important things is deciding what it is you are looking for from a holiday cottage. Speak to family and friends to agree what kind of cottage and holiday destination would be ideal for you and what kind of property you would be happy to compromise with if your dream holiday home is not available. Do you need to find a holiday home with a hot tub or a swimming pool? Holiday cottages with special facilities such as hot tubs or pools can get booked up early and are some of the most popular around so be prepared to compromise if you have left booking to the last minute.

If you’re taking a last minute break consider options such as a holiday home with a lovely warming log fire and good walks available nearby, this kind of property can be just wonderful for winter warming holidays.

Also consider are you flexible with location? The more flexible you are able to be with location, the more options will be available to you.  You may have favourite holiday destinations that you like to return to year after year but discovering somewhere new can also be great fun. When considering new locations it’s essential to bear in mind whether the sorts of things to see and do are those which appeal to you. Destinations like Northumberland can be wonderful for those who love to visit historical castles, coastal towns, experience a more relaxed pace of life and take refreshing walks but are not likely to be a good choice for you if you like to spend time in the city and in a bustling envrionment for example.

– Do your Research on Available English Country Cottages

So you’ve identified destinations that interest you for a cottage break and what you are looking for in a holiday home so now the challenge is on to find your perfect holiday cottage. There are a variety of websites including Country Cottages Online where you can search for English Country Cottages. Some people prefer to opt for tourist board rated cottages where you can be assured of certain standards of accommodation and opt for 5 star or 4 star cottages for more luxurious holidays and 3 star or 2 star properties if they are on more of a budget.

If you are on a budget or looking out for a deal then getting away during wintertime (with the exception of the period of Christmas and New Year), can make a lot of sense as you can frequently find discounts and offers available during November and December. Look out for deals when booking your break and you may be able to make savings on your winter break.

If you value reviews then it can be a good idea to look up whether the holiday cottages you are interested in are mentioned on sites like Trip Advisor whereas others prefer to rely on Tourist Board ratings and their own personal taste as we can all have very different ideas when it comes to what makes for a perfect English Country Cottage.

Once you’ve found and booked your dream cottage remember to make sure that you have appropriate insurance to cover you in the event of something going wrong.  Once sorted, put this completely out of your mind and look forward to a relaxing winter break in what for you is your perfect country cottage.


Top Things to do on Countryside Holidays or Farm-stays in England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland

1.      Wildlife Watching

Pheasant on haystack

Spot wonderful wildlife on a country break

One of the best benefits of staying in a farm or in a countryside location is the wealth of wildlife opportunities available to you from the doorstep.

Whether you love to watch birds or larger animals, keep your eyes peeled and watch out at the right time and your persistence should pay off.

Avid wildlife watchers know that sightings can never be guaranteed but are usually more likely when there is peace and quiet. The early hours of the morning and evening just before sunset offer the best opportunities. From deer to badgers and awe inspiring birds such as owls and pheasants, Britain’s green and tranquil countryside is teeming with fascinating wildlife.

If you are someone who likes to watch animals but wants more of a sure thing or have children who want guaranteed sightings, why not book a stay at a farm where you can feast your eyes on and meet farm animals?

On some farms there are ample opportunities to meet animals. Some places offer opportunities to meet and pet goats or cute friendly animals like ponies, which are sure to bring a smile to yours and your child’s face.

2.      Walking

When holidaying in the country or in a rural location, there is usually ample opportunity to discover walks on site or footpaths that criss-cross across the countryside nearby.
To make walks more interesting why not enjoy some wildlife watching en-route or take snapshots of your favourite scenes?

3.      Photography

Stunning sunset

Some of the best sunsets can be enjoyed in the countryside

When staying in a scenic green place why not capture some scenes to look back on and enjoy fond memories of in the future? Whether you love to take snapshots of family, friends, farm animals, wildlife or sunsets, there are plenty of scenes and fantastic photography opportunities to inspire you in the Great British countryside.

4.      Relax

When enjoying a rural treat break it may sound obvious but a great thing to do is relax whilst on holiday and just enjoy some quiet downtime. Whilst sightseeing and getting out can be great fun, spending time making the most of your countryside location is highly recommended and can often help you feel relaxed.

Whether there is a garden where you can laze around and may be read a book, grounds where you can enjoy a picnic with family or friends or jut an outdoor dining space where you can enjoy eating al-fresco, spending time outdoors in the countryside can really help you reconnect with nature and discover that inner calm.

Outdoor pool set in countryside

Outdoor pool in countryside

Large country houses or complexes of farm cottages also sometimes offer excellent leisure facilities to help you fully relax. Facilities on offer can include swimming pools, hot tubs, games rooms and even tennis courts. With opportunities to relax as good as this, you may not be able to bring yourself to leave your rural idyll at all.

5.      Cycling or Horse Riding

When it comes to exploring the great outdoors, taking to 2 wheels and biking around the farm or country lanes can be great fun. Feel the wind blowing through your hair and enjoy the exhilaration of a bike ride. For those who haven’t cycled for a long time, it really is something that you never forget to do and once on a bike again it won’t be long until you are re-experiencing the long forgotten thrill of riding.

Another great way to discover some of the best of Britain’s countryside is on horseback. Whether you have in mind a gentle pony ride in the local area or a trek around tree-lined bridleways, taking to a horse can help you feel at one with nature again and offer a new perspective on your surroundings.


Find out more about rural retreat breaks and farm-stay holidays on our Countryside Holidays page.

Quintessentially English Holiday Homes

Thatched Essex country cottages

Picture-perfect thatched cottages in Essex

Staying in comfortable accommodation in a nice area is on everyone’s list when thinking about going on a self-catering break in England, but choosing a holiday home filled with charm and character is something quite different and is a simply wonderful way of having a holiday that you will never forget. There are plenty of quintessentially English holiday homes dotted around the country, where you can soak up the old charm and wonderful appeal of these other-worldly dwellings and feel like you are stepping into a time long gone by. If you are visiting England and want to really soak up the traditions of the place, or if you are from here already but wish to stay in special accommodation filled with a quintessentially English personality, then renting one of these holiday homes may be ideal for you.

Many of these holiday homes are cottages that look as though they appear in a different time. Houses with thatched roofs are a great choice as they have a wonderful look about them and are rare these days. Inside, they may have original features such as wooden beams running along the ceilings, stone flooring and wood burning stoves, as well as fantastic country kitchens. These types of accommodation can be found in historical and traditional parts of England, in villages and towns in Suffolk, Kent, Devon or Cumbria.

Suffolk thatched cottage

This idyllic Suffolk thatched cottage is the stuff of dreams

As well as all of the old-fashioned and quintessentially English features, all of these accommodations do of course have a modern touch, so that you can experience the best of both worlds. With flat screen television sets, DVD players and a selection of DVDS, hot tubs and power showers and spacious bedrooms with cosy beds, these English holiday homes may look old-fashioned and traditional but you can keep up to date with the present time when inside!
Exploring the culture and history of a little village in Norfolk or a seaside town in Cornwall is a wonderful way of making your holiday even more quintessentially English. You can step outside your Tudor lodge and visit a castle for a day, or walk down a cobbled lane, home to historical pubs and traditional boutiques. If you love all things English then there are countless places for you to reside in and explore your surroundings, soaking up the scenery or taking part in a festival that has been taking place for hundreds of years.

Quintessentially English holiday homes are fantastic for those looking to do something a little different when taking a self-catering break with friends and family. You will be able to stay in a historical building and wake up to beautiful views of traditional villages that have barely changed in many, many years. If you wish to explore a part of England that you have never heard of before but which is home to traditions which may have died out elsewhere, then you can choose to stay in a house or cottage that is the epitome of English culture, for a holiday like no other.