Best Holiday Cottage Agencies
As Of September 2021
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Enjoy a Staycation in the UK By Booking a Charming Cottage!
Sometimes going abroad on holiday seems like too much work. You have so many things to do before your trip, like making sure your passport is up to date, checking visa requirements abroad and packing large suitcases. But, there are times when you just need to run off for a short break, even a weekend getaway. In those cases, a rustic cottage in the countryside sounds like an idyllic setting for you to focus on yourself and create your zen space.
Now, the most important question is, where will you be staying? Are you more of a hotel person, or do you enjoy alternative accommodations too? Have you ever thought of booking a cottage for your next trip? Doesn’t that sound like a picture-perfect British holiday out in nature off the beaten path?
Whether it’s The Cotswolds, Dorset or Isle of Wight, there’s a pick for any interest. With options ranging from city vibes to isolated farm life, you can find a match to your personal preference. And, with a holiday cottage agency, you don’t have to worry about a thing! They will get everything ready for you, and you’ll be living in your own little cottage for a few days before you get back to reality.
What are Holiday Cottage Agencies?
Holiday cottage agencies are agencies that provide guest accommodations in cottages that other people let. They are somewhat similar to Airbnb, but their biggest difference is that agencies offer full property rentals. Airbnb could offer room-only accommodations, but you get the whole property to yourself and your loved ones with an agency. Many such agencies across the UK cater to any taste from Sussex to Northumberland and even the Lake District.
There are many different accommodation options, from self-catering cottages where you have to take care of your meals and cooking to luxurious cottage stays with swimming pools, hot tubs and games rooms. There’s a match for any client.
How Do They Work?
Booking your holiday through an agency is very straightforward as the site has a very user-friendly design. The first step you need to take is to decide where you want to have a staycation. Looking to travel to South West England? Want to hide away in Northern Ireland? The first thing you have to do is check whether that’s offered with that agency.
After you’ve picked the place, you can scroll through the drop-down list or type out the location you want to visit. Once you've selected that, you can put the arrival and departure dates, the number of guests and whether you’ll bring dogs to the trip. That’s important to note because not all properties are dog-friendly. So, the site will filter out the ones that are not dog-friendly cottages. After that, you will get a full list of the rental properties within that area that have availabilities on specific dates.
The sidebars give you further customisation, and you can narrow down your search even further by adding filters such as WiFi, swimming pool, garden area, close attractions and more. You can even sort by price range so that the lowest prices show up first if you’re tight on a budget but still want to enjoy a weekend getaway.
7 Things to Look For When Picking The Best Holiday Cottage Agency
Picking the right cottage for you depends on your wants and budget. We’d like to share a few tips with you so that you can select the right choice. Take a look at these and review the options available to reach a decision that makes sense for you.
Destination is the #1 most important thing to consider when picking a holiday destination. It’s essential to check the agency’s FAQs and About Us section to identify if the agency has UK-wide holiday rental properties. It’s not a given that all agencies cater to the entire UK. Some agencies are area or county-specific. That means that you might only find cottages available in The Cotswolds or other agencies that offer choices in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
So, when picking an agency, always do your research initially to check if it offers accommodation in the location you have in mind. Otherwise, you might have to either adjust your location or find another one instead.
2. Accommodation Type
There are endless options for lodging that match any personal preference and taste. Whether you want a secluded location to bring you inner peace and relaxation or a bustling city ambience, there’s a holiday home for you.
There are many different cottage types available, and the location will also make a huge difference in the accommodation. For example, a coastal cottage will have a more rustic look and feel. Other areas have a barn-like cottage. It all depends on the activities you want to take on when you’re on holiday. Are you into fishing? Go for a fishing hut at the beach. Do you want the most luxurious and out of the ordinary experience? Book an extravagant accommodation with swimming pools, hot tubs, tennis courts. You name it!
3. Party Size
Picking an agency that can cater to your group size is very critical. You can combine this along with the location criteria. In larger metropolitan areas, it’s not going to be such an issue to find a holiday home to fit any group size. But, in small non-metropolitan areas or English countryside villages, the party size might matter.
You don’t want to book accommodation only to find out later that the agency can’t provide good quality services. If the group size is small, like a couple or perhaps a family of 4, it’s probably not going to be that big of an issue to find accommodations. But, if you want to plan a holiday for a large group of, say, 6-10 people, then you should consider the agency’s options.
This consideration might not matter to everyone, but pet owners can agree that there is no bigger frustration than your hotel or holiday home not letting pets on the property. Unless you have someone to take care of your pets while you’re away on holiday, the most likely solution will be to bring them with you. So, ensure that the agency you pick will have some pet-friendly accommodations on their site.
Not everyone is a fan of pets, and some homeowners don’t want the added hassle of a furry friend on their property. To have peace of mind, always check the listing to confirm that pets are welcome.
5. Holiday Occasions
Depending on the time of year you’re booking, you might find plenty or close to no options available. That’s because the time of year you book matters. If you’re on the lookout for a cottage sometime close to the Christmas season, it’s most likely that you’re going to have a hard time finding available ones. Other similar scenarios include Easter, New Year’s, February or May or October Half Term and Valentine’s Day.
These are all very popular times during the year that most people look forward to getting away. That’s because the kids are out of school, or it’s a special occasion that many people celebrate worldwide. To get the most out of your cottage, we recommend booking on off seasons that most people don’t go on holiday. Also, having date flexibilities is going to offer you huge savings.
6. Booking Fees & Cancellation Fees
An agency naturally has to gain commission off of their listings. So, along with property fees that some might have, there are other fees, including booking fees. To avoid any unexpected fees and surprises, always check the agency’s terms and conditions section. You will get a better understanding of how the agency charges your stay and what their policy is on unforeseen cancellations. Some agencies offer a full 100% refund on cancellations that occur at least 14 days before the holiday.
Whatever the case may be, there are moments when our plans unexpectedly have to be cancelled. Because of conditions that we can’t control, you might have to postpone your holiday. In those cases, it’s best to know what your agency can do for you. We’d want you to get the best solution to any obstacle.
Lastly, your budget will determine which holiday cottage agency is best for you. The competition is large, so all the agencies try to offer the best prices through various sales throughout the year. So, even if you are on a tight budget, you can find great deals if you pay attention to the sales. Many agencies offer special savings deals starting from 10% off up to 50% off. Also, some agencies put low occupancy rates on off-season periods on locations that are not too popular during that time of year.
A great way to keep an eye on prices is to sign up for the agency’s newsletter. That way, you can stay in touch with the latest properties, promotions, discounts and offerings.
How Much Does a Holiday Cottage Accommodation Cost?
A holiday cottage doesn’t have a set price range. That’s because the options are endless, and each listing has its positives that make the price unique. The comparison is very difficult because the cottage types are totally unlike one another. The cost depends on three factors, location, total stays, party size.
Location will determine the cost of your accommodation. For example, some areas, such as Norfolk, are smaller villages where you can find more affordable cottages than in metropolitan areas. The location could also be the reason for a price bump. For example, a rustic boathouse stay in Pentney Lakes could start from as low as £299 for a 3-night stay. A 3-night stay on a 19th-century barn in the Bodney area could cost higher prices like £2800.
During some periods around the year, many locations around the UK have various festivals happening. Those festivals gain popularity and recognition, so the towns and areas surrounding them have increased visitors and tourism. So, keep an eye on local guides about what’s happening all year round.
2. Total Stays
Your total number of stays will also matter when you book a holiday home. The price will be much cheaper if you book for a one-night or two-night stay than booking for a whole week. The same goes for any type of holiday as we see hotels, Airbnbs and hostels sharing the same price hikes according to your total nights of stay.
Some areas could be so popular as weekend getaway locations that the price is more expensive for a two-night stay than a week’s stay. That’s usually not the case in most instances where a couple of nights are a far better budget choice than extended stays. It all depends on the area, what it’s most famous for and how in-season you’re looking for accommodation. For instance, Sham Castle in Shropshire, England can start at a price of £867 with a minimum 3-night stay. But, there can also be more affordable choices in other locations with a minimum 3-night stay starting as low as £300 in Exton Park.
3. Party Size
The party size could see a price bump, too, because the agency will naturally try to find a larger home for you. With a larger property come more expensive maintenance and cleaning costs between stays, so the person who is letting the cottage charges the agency more to use it. Also, the cottages are usually multiple storeys high, whereas when it’s only a few people, the home size can be a single-storey. For instance, a two-person holiday can start from £292 in some locations like Kent or reach higher prices such as £5386 in luxurious farm manor homes for 20+ guests.
There are many ways to get good deals for larger party sizes, but a highly recommended tip we’d like to share is to connect with customer support. The customer service in agencies is exceptional. They can speak directly to your needs and cater to your group size. With multiple customer support options from email, telephone to chatbox, there’s a line of communication for any personal preference. Take advantage of their willingness to help you and find the right deal for you.
Are you ready to take on your next adventure? Do you want to visit areas of the UK that you’ve never had the chance to do so yet? With a holiday cottage agency, you can find the perfect and quaint setting to relax and enjoy some downtime. Find a holiday home next to the waves, go fishing by a coastal cottage, or thrive off the city’s hustle and bustle in a city break home.
From Yorkshire to Suffolk and Devon to Wales, there’s a home out there waiting for you to discover the beauties of the world. Are you looking for a snug and cosy small cottage or a luxurious and premium looking manor house? Whatever your taste is, there’s a place waiting for you!