There is much to cherish about our little island. An incredible diversity of landscapes, a coastline to die for, ancient architecture and eccentricity around every corner. Plus, a holiday in the UK means no airports to contend with and no jet lag – a big deal when you have children. Here are the 10 best UK cottages to rent for families, in the UK’s best family locations. Every single one has extra details that parents will appreciate
10 | Cowslip Cottage, Brook, Kent
Location: Known as ‘The Garden of England’, Kent is a county brimming with quirky cafes, cosy drinking dens, rolling hills and unspoiled beaches. Characterised by its hop gardens from which some of the UK’s most distinctive beer is produced, Kent is a haven for families looking to enjoy some fresh air, seasonal food and cultural immersion. Brook is a leafy village with winding lanes, grassy hills and an 11th-century Norman church. It is also just a short drive from the cathedral city of Canterbury, where families can spend the day punting down the river, devouring cream teas and finding out about the legendary Canterbury Tales.
Cowslip Cottage is a pretty country cottage converted from an original farmer’s barn with a traditional, almost Nordic, theme. It is situated on a working cattle farm and directly on the famous footpath of The Pilgrims Way. It is within striking distance of the picturesque village of Brook where families will find a charming local country pub, agricultural museum and an 11th-century church.
Facilities: Sitting room, sofa and chairs seating four, log burner, flat-screen TV, DVD player. Dining table and six chairs.
Kitchen, electric oven, hob, dishwasher, microwave, washing machine, extractor, fridge/freezer. Family bathroom, bath, with overhead shower
Sleeps: Four across two rooms (one master bedroom, one twin bedroom)
Great for families: Acres of rural surroundings provide the perfect setting for an active family holiday. Table tennis table is great for family games, while the terrace offers the ideal spot for alfresco dining.
Price: Cowslip Cottage costs from £462 per week
9 | The Old Cabbage Patch, Padstow, Cornwall
Location: Cornwall will eternally be a family favourite location. The beaches are world class, as are the cream teas (just remember to put the jam on first). The pretty harbour town of Padstow, in north Cornwall, is a foodie’s delight, hosting Rick Stein’s pub The Cornish Arms along with multiple other amazing independent eateries. The coastline here is rugged, with cliffs hugging stretches of golden sand.
The Old Cabbage Patch is 5-minutes away from Padstow, in the village of Trevone. This modern property has sea views, and Trevone beach is a short walk from the house, perfect for little legs. There’s a farm shop, pub, post office and cafe nearby too. For older kids (and their adults), there’s a surf school on Trevone beach plus regular boat trips and watersports.
Facilities: The property has a kitchen/dining room, utility room, enclosed decked garden, heated outdoor shower and barbecue. A private chef can be hired at extra cost. Private parking for up to five cars is available.
Sleeps: 10 people in four bedrooms.
Great for families: This property is baby and toddler-friendly. A cot, stairgate and highchair are available. The property has a collection of DVDs and Freeview TV.
Price: The Old Cabbage Patch costs from £923 per week
8 | Clearwater, near Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Location: The rural Cotswolds sit in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the region is a lovely escape for a relaxing family holiday. The award-winning Lower Mill Estate is a 450-acre nature reserve located just south of Cirencester, a bustling market town in the heart of the region. Families can enjoy nature trails, watersports and fishing in this peaceful spot.
Clearwater is decorated in tasteful contemporary style and has gorgeous water views over Somerford Lagoon, the largest lake on the Lower Mill Estate. A shop and restaurant can be found on site and the local pub is one mile away.
Facilities: Enjoy a sauna, tennis courts and table tennis (all shared) or go for a barbecue in your own gated decked area. Inside there’s a living/dining room and kitchen. Freeview TV and a selection of DVDs are complementary. Private parking is available for one car, though additional parking can be requested.
Sleeps: Six in three bedrooms.
Great for families: There are 450 acres of shared grounds, play area and a shared outdoor heated swimming pool to let your little ones expend some energy in. For some water fun, there are two kayaks and one canoe to use on the Somerford Lagoon. A travel cot and highchair are included.
Price: Clearwater costs from £675 per week
7 | Dunstan Hall, Craster, Northumberland
Location: Craster in Northumberland is packed full of family-friendly outdoor activities including the otherworldly Dunstanburgh Castle, whose skeletal ruins perch on dramatic Northumberland coastline.
For a multi-generational family holiday or a trip with friends, this stately Grade II listed country hall takes some beating. Some of the property dates back to the 11th century and its history is linked to Dunstanburgh castle. History lesson for kids right there. Embleton beach is a mile away along a bridlepath.
Facilities: As well as the grandeur of the property, there’s a farmhouse-style kitchen with Aga, dining room with 14ft long table, breakfast room, reading room, Private parking is free for up to eight cars. Shops are ¾ mile away and the pub is a 400-yard stumble.
Sleeps: 18 people in 10 bedrooms.
Great for families: There are 1.7 acres of private grounds for your kids to run around in freely plus a huge games room. A travel cot and high chair are available. The property has a collection of DVDs and Freeview TV.
Price: Dunstan Hall costs from £2,009 per week
6 | Squirrel’s Tale Cottage, Highlands, Scotland
Location: The Cairngorms in the Highlands of Scotland is the ultimate destination for adventure-loving families, with breathtaking hiking and biking in the majestic mountain ranges, plus wild swimming or canoeing in one of the region’s ice-cold lochs.
Squirrel’s Tale Cottage sits in the middle of the Cairngorms, in a stunning, elevated position with sweeping views over the striking Scottish landscape. The stone cottage is accessed via a forest drive, among 25 acres of private woodland. Expect to see the red squirrel make an appearance here plus sightings of golden eagles and ospreys.
Facilities: The bright, airy and uncluttered period cottage comes complete with countryside-inspired fabrics in muted tones. The open-plan living/dining area has a wood-burning stove. Outside is a well-maintained cottage garden. Parking for three cars is available. A shop, pub and restaurant are one and a half miles away.
Sleeps: Five in three bedrooms.
Great for families: This cottage’s location is its winning factor.
Price: Squirrel’s Tale Cottage costs from £809 per week
5 | High Lowscales Farm, Millom, Cumbria
Location: The Lake District is the watery jewel in the UK’s crown. The south-western region of the Lake District is a lesser-known area and is remote and unspoilt, yet the popular Coniston Water and Windermere are easily accessible for a day trip.
High Lowscales Farmhouse is a massive farmhouse perfect for a big family get together. Inside you can expect slate floors, high-quality brown leather sofas, marbles worktops and butler sinks. But it’s the outside that has the real wow factor; a dining area with unparalleled views over the Duddon Valley and Irish Sea. There’s even an outdoor hot tub to lounge in and admire the views from.
Facilities: The property has a living room with wood burner, kitchen, dining room and utility room. Guests can order drop-off suppers and beauty treatments. The beach, shops and pub are a short drive away.
Sleeps: 11 in four bedrooms.
Great for families: Kids have 17 acres (shared) to run around in. There’s also a cosy snug filled with Freesat TV and Playstation. Best suited to those with non-crawling babies or older children as there are 13 steps between the patio and upper decked area.
Price: High Lowscales Farm costs from £1,375 per week
4 | The Coach House, Wootton, Isle of Wight
Location: A holiday on the Isle of Wight is like going back in time to a less frenetic world. It’s a beautiful under-the-radar spot only a short drive from London. Wootton is close to the seaside town of Ryde on the northeast coast, which has plenty to occupy families including Carisbrooke Castle, Amazon World and the Robin Hill Adventure Park.
The Coach House is hidden down a private road in Wootton, and best of all, it has a dream private access beach from the grounds of the property. There’s even a sheltered outdoor hot tub to relax in once the kids have gone to bed. Bliss. Shops and a pub are one and a half miles away.
Facilities: The property boasts a living room and kitchen/dining room as well as lawned garden with patio, barbecue and private parking for three cars.
Sleeps: Six people in three bedrooms.
Great for families: The Coach House has been purposely built with families in mind. A travel cot, highchair and stairgate are available on request. There’s a Freeview TV with Netflix and Playstation 4 Pro for rainy days.
Price: The Coach House costs from £935 per week
3 | Caldey Island View, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Location: Pembrokeshire coastline is downright gorgeous, and often much quieter than other seaside hotspots in the UK. Pembrokeshire’s capital, Tenby, is packed full of charm, with 13th-century town walls, cobbled streets and castle ruins and sunny beaches flanked by colourful Victorian houses.
Caldey Island View lies close to Tenby in the coastal village of Penally. The Pembrokeshire coastal path is just outside the door, for lung-busting sea walks. The pretty period cottage is decorated in neutral, natural tones, and has grand views over the sea and towards Caldey Island.
Facilities: Inside there is a spacious open plan living/dining/kitchen area with wood burner and utility room. Outside is a raised decked area with barbecue for alfresco dining, and large shared enclosed lawned garden. There is space for one car.
Sleeps: Four in two bedrooms.
Great for families: It’s a ground floor apartment, so not worries about tumbling down stairs. A travel cot and high chair are available.
Price: Caldey Island View costs from £385 per week
2 | Manton Cottage, near Uppingham, Rutland
Location: Rutland may be the smallest county in the UK, but it has bags of character. Many come here for the watersports, cycling and hiking on Rutland Water, but it’s worth exploring further as the region has some of the prettiest countryside in the UK.
Manton Cottage sits on the banks of the southern shore of Rutland Water. This cosy traditional stone cottage is beautifully decorated with a wood-burning stove and William Morris fabrics. A pub and restaurant are a hop and skip away.
Facilities: Manton Cottage has a living room with Freeview TV and DVDs, kitchen/diner, enclosed courtyard with terraced patio, barbecue and bike store. Parking is on the road.
Sleeps: Six in three bedrooms.
Great for families: Best suited to families with older children as the property has steps to the garden.
Price: Manton Cottage costs from £665 per week
1 | The Wood Shed, Dunwich, Suffolk
Location: The sleepy fishing village of Dunwich is packed full of history and charm, and, of course, a stretch of peaceful coastline that Suffolk is so renowned for. There’s much for families to do in the region including wildlife-filled Dunwich Heath and Forest, RSPB Minsmere plus the arty seaside towns of Southwold and Aldeburgh.
The beamed Wood Shed cottage boasts open views over woodland and fields. This pretty property has a relaxed, rustic feel, with wooden furniture and floors. Golf, fishing and archery plus a shop can be found one mile away.
Facilities: The cottage is equipped with living/dining room with wood burner, shared laundry room, patio and shared garden.
Sleeps: Four in two bedrooms, both en-suite.
Great for families: The cottage comes with a games room with air hockey, table football, table tennis, pool table and board games. Cot and high chair are included.
Price: The Wood Shed costs from £375 per week