1. Traditional gite in Brittany
Cross the Channel to northern France and self-catering is cheaper than Cornwall, even with ferry fares. A week’s stay at a simple cottage costs less than £700, including ferry crossings.
2. Climbing in Cumbria
Paradigm House and Barn, near Keswick, are great bases from which to visit nearby Honister, which offers activities such as via ferrata, subterranean climbing and mine tours. £1,000 per week. For more information, visit Discover Paradigm.
3. Estate houses in Derbyshire
The beautiful Chatsworth estate in Derbyshire has a child-friendly farm and play areas. Self-catering options include converted outhouses, barns and cosy cottages. The Barn at Heathy Lea has a private garden and barbecue. Cost from £985.
4. Nature-watching in the Scottish Highlands
Explore unspoilt woodlands and river shores at the Kindrogan Field Studies Centre in Perthshire. A seven-night stay in a family room costs £560, including all meals and one outdoor activity, such as a bat walk or pond dipping, per night stayed.
5. Seaside retreat in Cornwall
Stay within walking distance of the sea at Trenow Cottage, a beautifully converted former cowshed tucked away in the pretty village of Perranuthnoe, near Penzance. It has a woodburning stove for cosy evenings in. £945 per week.
6. A yurt in the Dordogne
Get a taste of the good life by glamping in a roomy yurt in a quiet valley near Bergerac. We like Peaseblossom or Mustardseed. You’ll find fresh eggs and vegetables in the shared kitchen. Dover–Calais ferry crossing from £100. £600 per week.
7. Converted horsebox in Surrey
Go for something a bit different and stay in Ges, a 1970s horse lorry that has been restored and fitted out in retro style. It’s located in a field near Chiddingfold. £945 per week.
8. Wigwams in Northumberland
The family-sized wigwams at the Pot-a-Doodle Do Wigwam Village near Berwick-upon-Tweed are close to the beach and have spectacular views of Holy Island. From £520 per week.
9. Bell tent in West Sussex
Toast marshmallows on the campfire and meet other families over a communal camp stew on Friday night when you stay at Billycan Camping, an eco-site near the town of Arundel and its castle. £400 per week for a 4m bell tent.
10. Farm accommodation on the Isle of Wight
Nettlecombe Farm is nestled in scenic countryside near Whitwell and offers animal-feeding sessions for children. £765 for a week in Robin, a converted grain store.
11. Self-catering in Paris
Thanks to airbnb, you can now find self-catering apartments in central Paris for less than £500 for seven nights, even in peak season.
12. A domaine in the Pyrenees
13. The north Norfolk seaside
Stay in a wooden lodge near the soft-sand beach at Wells-next-the-Sea at Pinewoods Holiday Park, with a playground, miniature railway, trampolining and bike hire. £895.
14. Bunkhouses in Wales
Get away from it all by booking a family room at a five-star self-catering bunkhouse in an area of outstanding natural beauty. It’s an affordable base for exploring the area. £16 per person per night or £450 for the whole house.
15. Stone cottage in Pembrokeshire
Wood Cottage, in the grounds of the Llanunwas Estate in Solva, has spectacular views over St Bride’s Bay. It’s close to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. £978.
16. Houseboat in Amsterdam
17. Mongolian living in the Downs
You’ll find a Mongolian-style yurt to call your own at Meon Springs, near the South Downs Way. Hire bikes, go fishing, watch the cows being milked and light campfires. £875 per week.
18. Apartment in Salcombe
Enjoy leisurely strolls and beautiful beaches in this picture-perfect Devon harbourside town. Helpful Holidays has a range of self-catering cottages. £911 per week.
19. Under canvas in Spain
Take a cheap Dover-Calais crossing (from £100 return) and head to Playa Joyel in Cantabria. From £350 per week. For more information, visit Alan Rogers.
20. Glamping in Essex
Stay in a bow-top gypsy caravan or converted wagon at Bouncers Farm Campsite near Maldon. Walking and cycling is on the doorstep. £420 per week. For more information, visit Opera in the Orchard.