Cosy autumn breaks: our pick of the best UK cottages
Log fires, crisp walks in the countryside - find out which destinations Mumsnetters rate, and take advantage of our Mumsnet cottages discount
Mumsnetters say: "Can't rely on the weather at any time of the year, so October is as good a month as any in Wales, I reckon. We were there at the weekend getting sunburnt (obviously not the DCs!) on the beach on Saturday and in a howling gale on Sunday."
Where to stay: Family friendly Clydey Cottages won a coveted Mumsnet Best Award. Find out why Mumsnetters rate it so highly (clue: superking beds, crisp white linen, fluffy towels and underfloor heating, plus indoor pool and all-weather children's play areas).
Lordship Farmhouse in Wolfscastle, near Haverfordwest on the Pembrokeshire coast, ticks lots of boxes on the 'cosy cottage essentials' list: exposed beams, an Aga and open fires. There are practical extras, too - cots, high-chairs and the all important Wi-Fi. Bring your woollies, waterproofs and walking boots, since you'll be in the heart of the Pembrokeshire countryside. Save 7% on all 2015/16 bookings using your Mumsnet discount.
North West - Lake District
Mumsnetters say: "The Lakes are wonderful in any weather. I prefer it when you get the mist rolling over the hills - more dramatic. Cold is a great excuse for wrapping up in cosy jumpers and hats, making hot chocolate and lingering near real wood fires. Best holiday we ever took in the Lakes was a snowy Easter break. Frozen half to death - but lots of wonderful cosy pub meals, coffee shop trips and real fires."
Where to stay: The Coppermines in Coniston is just the ticket for a cosy base in the Lakes. A real log fire and plentiful hot water - and the cottage is dog-friendly too.
For a more secluded break there's Wood Farm in Winster, near Windermere. Dating back to 1680 and packed with period features, the cottage has great walks on the doorstep, and Bowness, Windermere village and Ambleside are all within easy reach. It sleeps nine in four bedrooms, and we've secured you a special discounted rate.
North East - Yorkshire
Mumsnetters say: "I think North Yorkshire is better than the Lakes for October half-term. Still lots of beautiful countryside and outdoor activities, but you're close to Leeds and York in case it's monsoon weather every day and you want a break from getting wet."
Where to stay: Mumsnetters rate Pickering as a good base for an out-of-season break. It's 30 minutes to Whitby for dry days, and 45 into York for those (possibly inevitable) wet days. There's a good leisure centre, and a steam railway in Pickering itself.
If it's quaintness and proximity to some of Yorkshire's finest tea-rooms, chippies and village pubs you're after, then you can't go wrong with Squirrel Cottage, in the village of Thornton-le-Dale just 3 minutes outside Pickering. With an open fire (natch) and all the practical essentials (washing machine, tumble, dishwasher etc), it's a great base for a family holiday. The village duck pond and play park are close by AND you can save moneybooking via Mumsnet.
South - Isle of Wight
Mumsnetters say: "We've spent a few days there over New Year twice. Amazing deserted beaches, country walks, pubs with log fires, panto at the theatre - lovely."
Where to stay: Mumsnetter fave Nettlecoombe Farm offers accommodation on a real working farm, so you can wrap the kids up and send them out to feed the animals each morning, with strict orders to pick up freshly laid eggs on their return. Resident reindeers add a festive touch, and there are three play areas for them to burn around. Plenty of walks and attractions in the area too - read what other Mumsnetters' say about the farm.
Thatched roof - tick. Low beams and a flagstone floor - tick. Inglenook fireplace and open fire - tick. Roseland Cottage in Calbourne is a lovely cosy base, and usefully close to Yarmouth.
And Mumsnetters get 7% off the published price too #winning.
South West - Dorset
Mumsnetters say: "Sherborne is lovely at Christmas and the Jurassic coast is just as glorious in winter, if not more so!"
Where to stay: Greenwood Grange offers an indoor pool, games room, Wi-Fi throughout, a yurt kitted out with plenty of toys and (kiddie fave) resident chickens for your freshly laid morning eggs. There are several properties to choose from, so it's ideal for larger parties or families and friends travelling together: read Mumsnet reviews for the inside track.
For a quieter retreat, check out Chetnole Mill in Sherborne. Part of an 18th century mill, it's charmingly furnished, with an open fire. And it's just a few minutes walk to the village green and
more importantly the local inn - Mumsnetters get 7% off the published price.
Scotland - Aviemore
Mumsnetters say: "It is usually chilly and frosty in the winter, rather than wet. Go and see the Cairngorm reindeer (20 minutes easy walk with guides up the hill, where you feed a herd of around 50 - they are v v tame and it's just a brilliant experience!). You'll have a fab time (but take waterproofs and lots of jumpers)."
Where to stay: Set in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, in the village of Kincraig, Argyll Stone House is ideal for exploring. An open fire will keep you snug should the weather change, plus it's got Wi-Fi (teens rejoice) and all the usual mod cons. The real draw, though, is the huge array of outdoor pursuits on offer - literally on your doorstep. Choose from three ski centres, numerous golf courses, fishing, water sports, horse riding, cycling, walking, mountain biking, canoeing and climbing. Then collapse in the evenings.
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Last updated: about 1 year ago