UK Staycations: Best Holiday Cottages Revealed

The travel restrictions that have prevented international travel over the majority of the last year have provided an opportunity for Brits to explore more of what’s on offer in the UK.

It’s seeming increasingly likely that we won’t be able to hop on a flight for our fortnight in the sun this summer, so we’ve been looking at UK alternatives. This week we’ve been discovering some of the finest country cottages available for a summer staycation.

We all deserve a holiday to look forward to this summer – so read on for our top holiday cottage recommendations:

Snowdonia National Park

A weekend in a windmill!

If you’re looking for a holiday destination that has the ‘wow’ factor, why not choose this grade two listed windmill, which dates back to 1780.  Union Windmill in Anglesey was featured in Grand Designs magazine and offers a blend of modern and traditional features for an unforgettable UK holiday.

The quirky interior covers four floors with living quarters and three bedrooms. The top floor has been converted into a magnificent 360° viewing room where you can enjoy views of the whole island of Anglesey to Snowdonia mountain on the mainland.

Union Windmill is located in the quaint village of Gaerwen and is within easy reach of the glorious sandy beaches Anglesey has to offer.

Anglesey island is also ideal for lovers of the outdoors with wonderful walking routes and bird watching opportunities. For the more adventurous holiday-maker there are plenty of outdoor pursuits to discover in the nearby Snowdonia National Park and RIB boat rides which will give you a great view of the island’s coastline – and an exciting adrenaline rush!

A cottage catch-up with friends

If lockdown has left you craving time with friends, then the award-winning  Bainbridge Ings cottage on the outskirts of Hawes, Yorkshire is the ideal place for a much-needed reunion as soon as parties can meet up again.

This pretty cottage sleeps 6 people and has an outside courtyard where you and your pals can catch-up on the gossip with a glass of fizz while relaxing in the accommodations private hot-tub.

The market town of Hawes is a 10-minute stroll away, where holidaymakers can explore the buzzing cafes, shops and restaurants. We recommend a bite to eat at The Crown country pub where you can indulge in roasted belly pork with black pudding and mustard cream, or a selection of legendary burgers.

The famous Wensleydale Creamery is also close by, where you can while away an afternoon at their Visitor Centre and try a range of delicious cheeses in the on-site coffee shop.

Scarborough Castle

A cottage with a sea view

Scalby Lodge Farm in Scarborough is a spacious property designed for families, which has spectacular views of the Yorkshire coastline.

The house sleeps up to eight people across four bedrooms – three of which have Freeview TVs.  Not that there will be much time for TV as there is also a games room with a pool table, toys, books and DVDs to keep the whole family entertained, plus a children’s outdoor playground, shared with other cottages on the site.

Scarborough is home to an eclectic selection of shops, bars and restaurants, including the family-friendly Tunny Catch with kids play area, board games and an extensive pick-n-mix children’s menu with main courses from £4.55.

No holiday to Scarborough is complete without a trip to the castle, where 3,000 years of history is brought to life with an exhibition of tools and pottery from prehistoric times and an audio tour that takes you on a journey back to the castle’s heyday in the 12th century.

A coastal cottage for a family holiday

Lavender Cottage, located in Winterton-On-Sea, just outside Great Yarmouth, is the ideal base for families seeking sea, sand and fun this summer.

The detached property has an enclosed garden and benefits from a private swimming pool, perfect for cooling off after a busy day exploring the sandy beaches which are accessible from the cottage, or for hiring a day-boat and setting sail for a trip on the beautiful Norfolk Broads.

There is also a barbeque on-site as well as parking for three cars.  The cottage sleeps six people with a king-size bedroom and two further twin bedrooms.

Youngsters (and the young at heart) will love a visit to Great Yarmouth, with the famous Pleasure Beach theme park and the nearby Joyland with rides designed for toddlers.

If the weather is unkind, you can spend the day indoors at the Sealife Centre and come face to face with sharks in an underwater tunnel, or enjoy a stroll around the Time and Tide Museum showcasing the maritime history of this popular seaside town.

The Cotswolds

A couple’s cottage in the Cotswolds

For a romantic getaway in the heart of the Cotswolds, The Cider Shed ticks all the boxes.  The accommodation sleeps 2 and has an impressive 10-metre long bi-fold window offering stunning views of the Cotswolds valley.

The cottage is tucked away in the pretty village of Slad and offers remote tranquillity for couples who want a peaceful getaway.  The poet Laurie Lee was born in the village, and The Laurie Lee walk passes right by The Cider Shed, making it an ideal base to explore the four nature reserves in the valley.

The accommodation has a sumptuous interior, complete with a rainfall shower big enough for two, polished heated floors and a super king-sized bed. Even though the name of this cottages suggests it was once simply a place to store apples, it is now very much a place of luxury!

Covid-19 advice

All the properties featured can be found online at cottages.com and Covid-safe recommendations have been made to owners, which includes cleaning and sanitisation to government guidelines, and safe key-drop procedures, with social distance measures where appropriate. We recommend checking the latest government guidelines online before booking your holiday.