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Best family-friendly UK holiday cottages: top properties in Cornwall, Pembrokeshire, Yorkshire and beyond

Home comforts and a personal touch can make family holidays extra relaxing - that’s why Mumsnetters love a good cottage for their UK getaways. Here's MNHQ's pick of the best properties on Cottages.com for your next family escape. 

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Aug 31, 2022

Montreal Cottage Cirencester

Fancy hotels are all very well, but when you’ve got kids, having a proper-sized fridge, a washing machine and a private garden can make the difference between a chilled week away and a stressful one. Renting a holiday cottage for a family holiday in the UK is a smart choice for all sorts of reasons - they usually work out cheaper than a hotel, you can bring your own food, and they offer all the comforts of a home-away-from-home.

With sites like Cottages.com offering homes across the UK, you can get off the beaten track and stay in some of the country’s most beautiful and unspoiled locations. Mumsnetters get an exclusive 7% discount on Cottages.com bookings, so we’ve gathered together MNHQ’s pick of the best holiday cottages in Mumsnetters’ favourite UK holiday destinations. Note: you must be logged in to your Mumsnet account to access this brilliant deal.

Here are our favourite family-friendly properties on Cottages.com.

1. Le Jardin, Cirencester, Cotswolds

a cottage with lots of flowers in the front garden

Sleeps: 4 | Bedrooms: 2 | Pet friendly: Yes | Check availability

In the heart of the Cotswold Hills, Manor Farm Barns cottages are located near Cirencester and over stunning views of the rolling countryside. Le Jardin sleeps four in two comfortable bedrooms, with a travel cot available for an extra little one. The house is built from charming Cotswold stone and has a lovely, well-maintained garden full of flowers. There’s a private front garden with a BBQ and space for parking, plus a shared garden with a playground.

Nearest train station: Cirencester (6 miles)

2. Ysgubor, Pembrokeshire, Wales

a stone barn conversion on a sunny day

Sleeps: 5 | Bedrooms: 2 | Pet friendly: Yes | Check availability

On Wales’ beautiful south-west coast, Pembrokeshire is one of Mumsnetters’ most beloved holiday destinations. This barn conversion is set in Snowdonia National Park, with gorgeous views of valleys and the sea - and a big garden to enjoy them in. Ysgubor sleeps five in two bedrooms, and has parking for three cars. Just two miles from the coast, some of Wales’ best beaches are on your doorstep. There’s a shop, a pub and a restaurant a mile and a half away, and nearby you’ll find Portmeirion, Harlech Castle and LLanfair Slate Caverns. 

Nearest train station: Harlech (3 miles)

3. Cloggy Nook, Beadnell, Northumberland

a stone cottage on a sunny day

Sleeps: 4 | Bedrooms: 2 | Pet friendly: Yes | Check availability

Formerly an 18th-century working farm, Tughall Steads has been carefully converted into cosy and unique holiday cottages. The amusingly named Cloggy Nook is our pick of the bunch for a family holiday in Northumberland. Sleeping four in two bedrooms (there's a cot for babies and toddlers), the cottage is comfortable and well-kept. There’s a fenced garden with furniture, a chimenea and a BBQ - plus parking for two cars. Located on the border of Northumberland Coast AONB, it’s the perfect base for a holiday spent exploring sandy beaches, beautiful countryside and picturesque villages. 

Nearest train station: Chathill (4 miles)

4. Una Argentum, St Ives, Cornwall

modern holiday lodges at dusk

Sleeps: 4 | Bedrooms: 2 | Pet friendly: Yes | Check availability

St Ives is a real gem, with an artistic atmosphere and drop-dead gorgeous views, making it one of the most visited places in Cornwall. These modern cottages in the idyllic Una holiday resort are located just outside St Ives town, close to the seaside village of Carbis Bay and the beautiful sandy beach at Hayle. This light and airy lodge sleeps four plus there’s a cot for babies and toddlers. There are also larger properties available on the site if you need more space. The resort has a spa, a heated swimming pool and an on-site pizza restaurant - all the ingredients for a great family trip. 

Nearest train station: Carbis Bay (1 mile)

5. The Old Chapel, Filey, North Yorkshire

a converted chapel with green accents

Sleeps: 4 | Bedrooms: 2 | Pet friendly: Yes | Check availability

One of the best parts of staying in a holiday cottage is the chance to sleep in one-of-a-kind places like this converted chapel in Speeton near Filey in North Yorkshire. Featuring dramatic vaulted beams and original stained glass windows, this property sleeps four in two bedrooms, and is kitted out with a travel cot and a highchair for little ones too. There’s a small garden and space for one car, a woodburner and even a piano to tinkle away on, should the mood take you. Less than a mile away you’ll find Reighton Sands beach, and the cottage makes a perfect base for exploring North Yorkshire. 

Nearest train station: Hunmanby (4 miles)

6. The Barracks, East Neuk, near St Andrews, Scotland

a grand house with a lawned garden

Sleeps: 8 | Bedrooms: 4 | Pet friendly: Yes | Check availability

Dating to 1750 and set in 10 acres of gardens and woodland, The Barracks at East Neuk is a grand setting for your family trip to Scotland. Sleeping eight in four luxurious bedrooms, there’s a pretty enclosed garden, a generous kitchen diner and a cosy open fire in the sitting room. The local area is filled with wildlife, and the Fife Coastal Path is a great way to explore, taking in fishing villages, coves and sandy beaches.  

Nearest train station: Cupar (14 miles)

7. The Garden Cottage, Boode, Devon

a cosy kitchen

Sleeps: 5 | Bedrooms: 3 | Pet friendly: Yes | Check availability

In a quiet wing of a larger country house, the Garden Cottage in Boode, Devon is an idyllic rural retreat. Located in the heart of North Devon, it’s well paced for country walks as well as days at the seaside. Mumsnetters love nearby Woolacmobe and Ilfracombe for a day’s crabbing and a fish and chip supper. The cottage sleeps five, with a master bedroom, another with bunk beds and an adjoining room with a single bed. There’s a large garden with stunning views across the rolling Devon countryside - the perfect spot for unwinding. 

Nearest train station: Barnstaple (7 miles)

8. Orchard House, Holt, Norfolk

a swimming pool on a sunny day

Sleeps: 6 | Bedrooms: 4 | Pet friendly: Yes | Check availability

Set on the Hole Farm estate, Orchard House is a comfortable and cosily decorated cottage near Holt on the North Norfolk coast. A short 15-minute drive from some of Mumsnet’s favourite Norfolk beaches at Cromer and Wells, you’ll also have access to a swimming pool shared with one other property in the mornings during your stay. Pets stay free of charge, and the cottage sleeps six in four bedrooms. 

Nearest train station: Sheringham (6 miles)

9. The Photographer’s House, Southwold, Suffolk

a roof terrace on a sunny day

Sleeps: 4 | Bedrooms: 2 | Pet friendly: Yes | Check availability

This quirky maisonette is right on the high street of Mumsnet favourite Southwold in Suffolk. Just a few metres from the town’s sandy Denes beach, the property has two bedrooms and a roof terrace leading off the kitchen. Don’t miss Southwold’s pier and lighthouse, and nature-lovers can drive inland to nearby RPSB Minsmere for plenty of family-friendly outdoor activities. 

Nearest train station: Halesworth (9 miles)

10. Henry Oscar House, Rye, East Sussex

a modern home with a paved driveway

Sleeps: 8 | Bedrooms: 4 | Pet friendly: Yes | Check availability

With views across the sheep-filled fields of Brede Levels, this modern, eco-friendly house is a beautiful place to stay for a family group of up to eight. There’s a private hot tub, a large balcony and a lawned garden, plus parking for up to four cars. The house is decorated with wooden beams and cosy details, and is a great base to explore this area of East Sussex. Pretty Winchelsea beach is just two miles away, or head to Camber Sands for a day at the beach. The medieval town of Rye is just up the road, with Hastings and Dungeness along the coast in either direction. 

Nearest train station: Winchelsea (1 mile)

Are cottages good for family holidays?

Cottages are brilliant for family holidays, because you can set your own timetable and cook your own meals - plus there’s more privacy and space than a hotel can offer. They’re great value for money and you’ll find holiday cottages to rent in most locations across the UK, so there’s great flexibility for where to stay. 

What family-friendly features are best to look for in a cottage?

A fully functioning kitchen and a garden are Mumsnetters’ top things to look for in a family-friendly holiday cottage. It’s also a great idea to check the property has things like a highchair and stairgates if you have little ones, and suss out the parking situation in advance to avoid stressful arrivals. All the cottages in our round-up are dog-friendly, but not all are so do check first if you’re bringing a four legged friend. Cottages.com lets you filter for dog friendly properties when you search. 

What’s the best family-friendly cottage in the UK?

As Kirsty and Phil say: location, location, location. A holiday cottage is only as good as its local area, as you’ll want to venture out and explore while you’re away. That said, we're really impressed with The Barracks, East Neuk and Henry Oscar House, Winchelsea for their luxury, comfort and reasonable price tags. 

How we chose our recommendations 

Because we know that there's nothing like a real recommendation from a fellow parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which UK holiday destinations were being recommended for families. 

We then did some research across Cottages.com, looking at which holiday cottages had won customers’ choice awards, and what holidaymakers’ reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best UK holiday cottages for families.

Why you should trust us 

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

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