When the winter blues set in, rather than wallow in the gloom, some choose to book a cottage holiday in the UK or Ireland to revive their spirits. There are many on offer, whether holidaymakers need a weekend respite or a longer break. Holiday cottages are perfect for both short and long stays, and have modernised over the years so that they are poles apart from the drab grey carpets of yesteryear. Increasing interest in self-catering holidays and competition amongst agents and private owners has seen numerous improvements.
There is a range of accommodation available, with modern cottages retaining the same cosy charm and warmth that traditional cottages offer. Aside from the Christmas break, many holiday cottages are free over the winter, which means that there is an opportunity to find bargain deals. There are many different locations in the UK and Ireland to enjoy a winter cottage holiday. Holidaymakers can visit the snowy countryside, a rugged beach, or stay warm by a romantic log fire. When booking a cottage holiday to take in the winter, visit eBay to find the best breaks and great value for money.
Many book cottages holidays in the winter to take advantage of the fantastic offers during this season. There are several festivals that take place at this time of year, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, and New Year's Eve, that may see an increase in interest in accommodation, but outside of these periods it should be relatively easy to book a holiday cottage.
In the winter, more than any other time of year, holidaymakers are looking for comfort, rest, and relaxation in a private setting. A cottage holiday offers this, with the addition of breathtaking surroundings. Large extended families and groups of friends can share a cottage, and there are no set times for meals, no dress code for dinner, and no neighbours to be concerned about if excited young children are around. Many cottages are also pet friendly, but this should be confirmed before making a booking.
Before selecting a location, holidaymakers should consider a few factors that may influence their final choice. These factors are the budget, the number of rooms, and the amenities on offer nearby.
Having a reasonable budget means that holidaymakers can choose a cottage that is within their means. Features that influence the rate for the cottage include the size, level of comfort, and amenities. A small cottage with basic facilities may suit a couple on a small budget, but would be uncomfortable for a larger family. Many cottages can be booked on a daily rate, so consider the length of the stay when calculating the budget. The budget should also cover other expenditures like food and drink, whether for self-catering or eating out, and transport to and from the cottage. Electricity, gas, and water are usually included in the rate, but check this before making a booking.
Consider the number of people staying at the cottage and try to find one with the appropriate number of rooms. Many cottages can accommodate eight or more people and some may have sofa beds in the lounge area to convert it to a bedroom at night. It may be acceptable to have people sharing rooms for large groups, but given that it is winter and much of the time may be spent indoors, it is worth having sufficient space so that everyone can relax and feel comfortable. Discuss the sleeping arrangements with the cottage owner or agent before making a booking to ensure that there is sufficient space.
As well as considering the number of rooms, make sure that there is sufficient crockery, pots and pans, towels, and spare bed linen. In most cases this is supplied by the owner or agent.
Some holiday cottages are in remote areas, whereas others are located near to amenities, such as pubs, local markets, and restaurants. Consider the needs of the people on the holiday when deciding on the location. For a long self-catering holiday, consider the proximity of shops for groceries.
Traditional English cottages are abundant in the English countryside. Locations like Yorkshire have nippy winter air that is perfect for long walks on the heather moorlands and dales, while Dartmoor in Devon has a chilly wild beauty. The Northern Peak District has extensive open grasslands for walking or riding, as well as exploring. Further afield in County Wicklow, Ireland, offers farms and villages that give groups the opportunity to experience local culture and buy fresh produce. Winter in the Brecon Beacons in Wales offers sublime landscapes.
In the winter, the hills are alive with the sound of trekkers trudging through the snow. Holidaymakers that love the outdoors may enjoy a hike up and down the Ballyhoura and Mourne Mountains in Ireland. After a day of activity, return to the cottage for a hearty meal. Rolling hillsides dot England, particularly in the Cotswolds, and the Lake District,, which offers water activities. The Scottish Highlands and their glens are excellent for biking, skiing, and pony trekking, while cottages near the mountainous Snowdonia National Park in Wales offer the perfect walking and climbing winter holidays.
A winter break by the sea is for those that love the rugged coastline of the UK. The sandy beaches are often deserted at this time of year, so there are many opportunities for an affordable cottage with a sea view. There is plenty of inspiration for the winter, from the Cornish coast and its idyllic Isles of Scilly to the tall cliffs of Dorset.. Holidaymakers can brave Southwold's beaches in Suffolk to take in the sea air along with centuries of history in Cumbria. Stop at one of the many fine dining restaurants near the coastline for fresh fish and chips, served piping hot.
Comfort and style go hand in hand in lavish cottage holidays, which offer the highest standards of accommodation. Many of the cottages are larger than traditional accommodation with bigger rooms, luxurious furnishings and interiors designed by professionals, and state of the art entertainment, like high-speed Internet and satellite TV. Many high-end holiday cottages are set in extensive grounds that offer privacy and security, and some have spa baths and indoor heated swimming pools. Premium accommodation has a fitting premium rate, but for those willing to invest in a superior level of comfort, five-star luxury cottages are available across the UK and Ireland.
Holidaymakers who wish to enjoy a fireside cuddle can choose a romantic winter cottage holiday. Newlyweds, those renewing their vows or celebrating anniversaries, or anyone who wants to spend time with a loved one can find romance in cottages set in beautiful and tranquil surroundings. There are cottages available that include open log fires, outdoor hot tubs, and four-poster beds, with the most picturesque topped by a thatched roof and located near babbling brooks and snowy landscapes. There is as much romance to be found in the Welsh Ty Mawr countryside and Warkworth, Northumbria. For couples seeking a remote destination, look no further than Caithness on the Scottish Highlands..
For a delightful winter holiday, there are many of cottages to choose from on eBay,, from the modern to the rustic, for both short and long breaks. Use a keyword search for " cottage holidays&". If you haven't decided on your destination, browse through the list and filter by price to display only the listings that fall within your budget. Read through the listings, checking the availability, number of rooms, and amenities and check the photos, which might even get you into the holiday spirit.
Read the feedback and comments from previous guests to get a feel about the place. Ask the seller questions for clarification on anything from the firewood to the best place to buy fresh eggs. The best cottage owners and agents answer questions happily because they want you to have a relaxed, and comfortable stay.
Once you have settled on your choice, always book weeks in advance, if possible, to avoid last minute disappointment. This also gives you time to arrange any transport to the cottage and any items that need to be packed for the trip.
Cottage holidays in the winter are popular alternatives to travelling to expensive spots in the sun for those that look forward to a relaxing break with short days and extended evenings. Cottages offer a pleasant and cost-effective way to escape the towns and cities. The winter has its own magic in the remarkable snow covered landscapes. Take brisk, invigorating walks or go skiing. Alternatively, stay indoors by a roaring fire, enjoying comfort food and the company of loved ones.
The UK and Ireland offer a vast array of locations and types of cottage holidays from the picturesque countryside to the rugged coast. Many cottages cater for a range of needs, tastes, and budgets. Some allow pets, but check this before making a booking. Cottage holidays are typically self-catering, but less remote locations may have nearby pubs and restaurants. eBay sellers list a range of cottage holidays all year round, so start planning your next holiday and find the perfect spot to enjoy the winter.