Thought I was being really organised by looking for a cottage for a large group (8-10 adults plus toddlers and babies) over new year. However, everything seems very expensive as they want you to book for a whole week when we only really want a couple of nights. I am beginning to wonder if there is another way to do this eg. hotel that has large annex or something. Any ideas?? We don't want a normal hotel set-up as not keen to leave children alone in their rooms.
What about renting a Youth Hostel? For the last couple of years, my mum has given me and my brothers this as part of our Christmas present. We all go for a long weekend with our families plus my mum. This year there were 9 adults and 9 kids aged 3 to 11. It was great fun and there was even a pub across the road
If I were you I'd contact the company and try to negotiate a cheaper deal based on just a few days, but you wouldn't get one till the last minute (ie 2 or 3 weeks before NY, because if you approached them now they'd probably refuse, hoping that someone else would come along and hire it for the full week.
If you're thinking about the West Country I can highly recommend Helpful Holidays who have some really lovely large houses, including a keep/tower with a hot tub on the roof . Will try & remember what it was called...it was in Somerset anyway.
I've found exactly the same when I organised for my group of friends to go - I didn't realise that Christmas and New Year are considered high season. The first year we did it really late and I was lucky to find somewhere that let us have 4 nights, but it was only a couple of weeks before we went.
I've been here a few times and it's great for a large party. You can self-cater or they'll cater for you. I'm not sure whether they would do less than a week at New Year though.