How to find value in your cottage holiday

If you have a choice between two items, and one costs twice as much as the other, it’s a fair bet that the more expensive one will be better / nicer / trendier.

The world of cottage rental, as usual, has different rules.

It is perfectly feasible to walk into a cottage for which you have paid say £400 for a week and go “Wow, Fabulous!” and spend 5 minutes in a cottage costing twice as much and wonder about going home. So how do you get the best value from a holiday cottage.

The three key factors in understanding the price of a cottage are location, size and date

These things come way ahead of quality of furnishings. To take an extreme example, a 5 bedroom cottage on a Cornish beach in August could probably sell out 30 times over. So how concerned will the owners be about making sure evreything is perfect? They might, but they don’t really need to in order to get more bookings.

There are 13 weeks of school holidays a year, compared to 39 weeks which are not school holidays. If you are tied to school holidays for your cottage you already know you will be paying a price premium. Many people believe this is unjust, but it is just market reality – lots more people want those few weeks, so the price goes up. The best value is often Whit week, at the end of May / beginning of June. Days are long, prices are lower than high season, and the weather can be lovely.

Cottage size matters!

Size of property is tricky to change as it is probably determined by Bigger properties tend to drop the most in price outside school holidays, your party. as families can’t travel then. So three couples splitting the cost of a large cottage can get a real bargain.

Gorgeous Cottages have a range of large luxury holiday homes that are perfect for a special celebration.  Brass Castle – prices start at £2450 or a short break at this wow-factor 6 bedroom property which has a hot tub, games room and even a tennis court. Skylark – A 6-bedroom property that’s right in the centre of the North York Moors. It’s elevated position means stunning views and the interiors are just as good. Prices start at £1650 Gilling Lodge – This stunning Georgian Manor House has grand interiors (including a sweeping cantilever staircase), gorgeous grounds and sleeps up to 16 people. Prices start at £1490

What’s the most effective way of saving money on your cottage holiday?

Go where fewer people want to go – not because these places are unattractive, but because people have not heard of them. By and large people don’t take a lot of holidays, so they aren’t familiar with all of the options available to them. Most people have heard of Newquay, but how many have heard of Embleton? (It’s in Northumberland, and features as the backdrop to ITV’s “Vera” detective series). Snowdonia is rightly famous, but the Malvern Hills rise spectacularly out of a flat plain, and provide wonderful views on both sides while walking along the ridge. By definition, fewer people visit less-known places, so cottage owners generally try hard to bring them back by keeping standards very high.

So our advice is, start from what you like in a holiday cottage, whether is wifi or an open fire (or both) and put those into the CottageWorld search Don’t go through the results to find a polace you have heard of – look at all of them. Lower Slaughter might be just the place for you, despite the off-putting name (it’s a gorgeous village in the Cotswolds). And it’s the places people haven’t heard of where the real bargains lie.

Happy hunting!


Winter Half Term is fast approaching – make it truly special with a Cottage Holiday

Cottage Holidays are the perfect breaks for families, offering space, privacy and freedom, and sometimes extra-special features like games rooms, swimming pools and even tennis courts!  Many also welcome the family petThink family walks through beautiful countryside or cosy nights by a roaring fire…

Sykes have reduced thousands of prices for February half term, giving you the perfect chance to spend some quality time with your family.

The National Trust have over 400 holiday cottages across England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Looking for holiday ideas? From cosy boltholes for two, large family get togethers, to wild outdoor escapes, the National Trust have holiday cottage accommodation in some of the most beautiful and iconic locations in Britain. See their lastest offers here…

Mulberry Cottages also have offers for February Half Term and Easter 2018

£50 OFF voucher code for any 2018 arrival at any of our new holiday houses.  This offer is running until midnight on the 11th February 2018.


Coast & Country Cottages are offering discounts of up to £300 OFF* 2018 summer holidays.

See all Coast & Country Cottages summer special offers here: 

Other 2018 Offers below:

Sykes Cottages – £25 low deposit offer FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY! Secure your 2018 and 2019 Cottage today.

Blue Chip – January Sale – ‘Save up to 20% on 2018 Holidays’.

Hoseasons Summer Sale – Save up to £200*

*Up to £200 off 7 night stays and up to £100 off 3 or 4 night stays. New bookings only for departures between 20/07/18 and 01/09/18, book by 28/02/18. Offer applies to selected locations and accommodation types. All bookings are subject to availability.

Coast & Country Cottages…

Hillfield Farmhouse, Dartmouth, sleeps 10 – up to £250 off summer weeks Hillfield Farmhouse is a spacious and immaculately presented luxury property, fully renovated and available for special holidays and family celebrations. Sleeping up to ten, the accommodation is presented over three floors with five good sized bedrooms, three with large en suite bath or shower rooms. The house also benefits from the use of the facilities at neighbouring Hillfield Village, including an all-weather tennis court, outdoor pool and children’s play area.

 Oversteps House, Saclombe, sleeps 16 – up to £300 off summer weeks 
Oversteps House is a spacious and luxurious holiday home sleeping up to 16 people, boasting incredible views and in an idyllic location overlooking South Sands beach in Salcombe. Originally constructed in 1901, this imposing holiday property has been extensively refurbished to the very highest of standards, and is now cleverly designed as a spacious and luxurious eight-bedroom house, with seven bathrooms and stylishly presented living, dining and relaxation areas.

Drake House, Hope Cove, sleeps 10 – up to £300 off summer weeks
Drake House is a substantial and immaculately presented seaside holiday home with wonderful sea views, just a few metres walk from Hope Cove’s sandy beaches. With the South West Coast Path almost on the doorstep, two lovely beaches just minutes away, a village shop for croissants and newspapers, plus a local pub and café serving good food, this is the perfect location for a seaside break, this summer. The house has been extended, renovated and stylishly modernised to provide a very high standard of accommodation for families, adult groups or those simply looking for a spacious and luxurious holiday retreat in a sought-after coastal location.

Vantage Point, Hillfield Village, sleeps 8 – up to £200 off summer weeks
Vantage Point is a unique VisitEngland 5-Star Gold awarded property with spectacular views from the ‘wrap around’ deck of the surrounding countryside. This chic and contemporary house overlooks the beautiful gardens and the valley beyond. The perfect base for a family group, the property has two extensive elevated decked areas – ideal for an al fresco meal in the South Devon sunshine – as well as a sauna and large hot tub! Vantage Point is set within the stunning Hillfield Villagedevelopment of properties nestled near historic Dartmouth, in the South Devon countryside. Facilities include acres of landscaped gardens, an outdoor swimming pool, all weather tennis court and children’s play area.

Broad Downs Barn, Nr Salcombe, sleeps 12 – up to £250 off summer weeks
Set within 22 acres of privately owned pasture land, Broad Downs Barn forms part of Broad Downs Farm dating from c1860 and consisting of the original farmhouse, stables, barn and piggery. Approached by its own private lane, the barn has been converted to the highest of standards whilst maintaining its original exterior integrity. Internally it provides spacious, luxury modern family holiday accommodation, contemporary design and technical specification, and is serviced by the latest ‘Green’ technology.  The barn also enjoys shared use of a delightful outdoor heated swimming pool set in an original walled garden.

*See Coast & Country Cottages T&C’s

30% off Dream Lodge Holidays until the end of 2017* See other offers too…

Dream Lodge Holidays – Located in exquisite areas across the UK, their luxury lodges are the perfect base to explore the iconic surrounding areas, where there is always something new and exciting to do. Their parks offer you a unique opportunity to escape the stress of everyday life, and retreat into your own secret bliss, by providing privacy and security for your whole family.

Save 30% until 31st December use code SAVE30

*discount code valid for holidays outside school holiday seasons. 

Sykes Cottages – £25 low deposit offer FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY! Secure your 2018 and 2019 Cottage today.

Blue Chip – January Sale – ‘Save up to 20% on 2018 Holidays’.

Hoseasons Summer Sale – Save up to £200*

*Up to £200 off 7 night stays and up to £100 off 3 or 4 night stays. New bookings only for departures between 20/07/18 and 01/09/18, book by 28/02/18. Offer applies to selected locations and accommodation types. All bookings are subject to availability.

“3 killer questions” to ask before booking your next Cottage Holiday

Here’s taster of our guide…

The first rule of holiday cottages – Price is not a good guide to quality!

The price you pay is mainly about the size of the cottage, where it is, and how popular the time of year is. So a four-bedroomed cottage in Cornwall in August will cost at least three times more than a two-bedroom cottage in Herefordshire in May. But the cheaper cottage may be much nicer inside. The truth is that a cottage in Cornwall will let for the summer holidays regardless of how tired it may be inside, because lots of people are looking for big places for a family holiday.

Quality schemes don’t help much.

I have seen an owner moving furniture out of a holiday cottage with his son. When I asked why, he told me “The tourist board inspector is due round this afternoon, and we always put the furniture out of our house in for him, because it’s much nicer”. A quality inspection is once every year or second year, so don’t rely on it for reassurance.

Pictures only tell part of the story.

Clever use of a long lens can make a beach appear to be right outside the window of your cottage. Only when you get there do you discover the camera angle has shielded the road / rubbish tip / impassable cliff between you and the golden sands. Google Maps on “satellite” view can be very helpful for getting the lie of the land.

Is the price really the price?

Check what is included and what may be extra. This varies with different cottage agencies, with some seeming to make charges for everything. Items to check include booking fees, credit card charges, bed linen, fuel, electricity, and charges for pets.

Like to know more? Download our FREE Cottage Holiday Guide, giving you expert tips on how to find the best holiday cottage for you, and those “3 killer questions” to ask before booking.




Self-catering cottage holidays in the UK and Ireland can still be a green option. You can have the comforts of home and the flexibility to do what you want; when you want - without the hassles of air travel!

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