Whether you’re after a roaring fire that you can drink hot chocolate around or loads of outdoor space for little ones to run around in, the UK is awash with fantastic cottages and rental homes ideal for families. If you love the convenience of self-catering but still want fantastic facilities to make your break as easy (and as fun!) as possible, one of these cottages could be just what you need…
Chisel Barn Whites Ground, Dorset – Blue Chip Holidays
This gorgeously-decorated barn conversion in Blandford Forum in Dorset is ideal if you have a little tot or two. Along with all of the properties that are part of the Baby Blue Chip collection, this place has a staggering amount of baby-friendly kit waiting for you when you arrive. Stair gates, a non-slip bath mat, bed guards, a cot with linen, baby monitor, blackout blinds, night light, books, toys, DVDs, high chair, booster seat, kids’ cutlery, blender, microwave, changing mat, a potty and a steriliser can all be found here. Which means you can pack light(er than you might have done) or fill the car with other essentials – like wine.
The views from Chisel Barn Whites Ground are epic – from the cottage you can look across the River Stour valley, the dairy pastures of the Blackmore Vale, the churches of Shillingstone and Child Okeford to the south and west, and the Iron Age forts of Hambledon Hill to the north and Hod Hill to the east.
The living area has exposed beams, limewood (heated) flooring and a log-burning stove. Surely everything you need for a relaxing, cosy break?
Clydey Cottages, Pembrokeshire
This place is basically heaven for the under 5s. With its own indoor soft play centre (with sofas, magazines and hot choc for you), an indoor heated pool with toys-aplenty and outdoor play areas with slides, play huts and Little Tykes cars, your little ones won’t want to leave the place. Clydey Cottages is on a farm, with lots of animals for the kids to meet. Every morning, they can go with Farmer Malcolm to feed the animals, collect eggs from the hens and stomp through the mud (wellies are a must!).
The cottages are super cosy, with log fires and wooden beams. You can buy frozen Cook meals on-site as well as freshly laid eggs and basics like bread and milk.
A short drive away is Cardigan Bay and the Pembrokeshire coast where you can wrap up warm on colder days and collect shells, before eating fish and chips from one of the many cafes!
FOR THRILL SEEKERS
The beauty of The Old Temperance Hall is its location – just 8 miles from Alton Towers in Staffordshire. So for families looking for somewhere to stay while visiting the theme park, this is perfect. But it’s not just a base – you’ll want to spend some quality time here because this place is seriously impressive. Once a temperance hall, it has been converted into a five bedroom home with a huge open plan living space and kitchen. It’s quirky and bright, but at the same time, it’s cosy.
There are board games and DVDs to keep you entertained at night (a handy wine fridge too) and even though it’s on a main road, it’s a quiet location so children should (we said should!) sleep soundly.
Perfect for a large family, or a multi-generational holiday, The Old Temperance Hall has three bathrooms, including one with a gorgeous free-standing bath which is just asking for posh bubble bath and a relaxing soak!
FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT
Spruce Treehouse, East Lothian
If you love camping and you’re looking to stay somewhere unusual, then you’ll love Spruce Treehouse in East Lothian. Found between Dunbar and North Berwick, the treehouse has an amazing location. Just by a sandy beach, and with a forest behind you, you’ll have breathtaking views of Bass Rock – an extinct volcano described by Sir David Attenborough as “one of the wildlife wonders of the world” because of its rock gannet colony.
The treehouse, which you can book through Canopy & Stars, is equipped with a kitchen with running water and a wood burning stove. There’s even a gas-powered power shower, two double beds and a single bunk. Luxurious camping, or what!
You can hire bikes from the farm, go pony trekking at the next door trekking centre and while away hours on the beach. Nearby, there’s a Go Ape! and Edinburgh isn’t too far away either, if you fancy a slice of the city.
If you’ve stayed in a brilliant UK family cottage, tell us about it in the comments box below!