This year it’s fingers crossed for a Christmas with no last-minute government interruptions. Roaring fires, good food, long walks with all the family.
But how to gather together in one place if no one’s house is big enough? Booking a roomy cottage in the country could be just the answer. Here we round up some of the best with availability this Christmas…
Guests at the picturesque Dove Farmhouse in the Cotswolds, pictured above, can explore the property’s ten private acres
With five bedrooms there is plenty of space at Dove Farmhouse, which costs from £6,600 for an eight-night stay
The home is cosy with a large inglenook fireplace in the sitting room, pictured, and an oil-fired Aga
Dove Farmhouse in the Cotswolds has ten private acres. The 17th-century property is built from honey- coloured stone, has exposed beams and flagstone floors.
With five bedrooms there is plenty of space and the home is cosy with a large inglenook fireplace in the sitting room and an oil-fired Aga.
DON’T MISS: A trip to the market town of Cirencester, 15 minutes away.
DETAILS: Eight nights at Dove Farmhouse from £6,600, sleeping nine (oliverstravels.com).
WALKING IN WALES
Online rental company the Plum Guide is known for its rigorous, high-quality vetting process for properties.
The Hiker’s Haven is a gorgeous four-bedroom cottage in the heart of the village of Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire.
There are plenty of beaches to explore and coastal hikes to enjoy. And when you get back after a long day there’s a hot tub too.
DON’T MISS: Carew Castle, a Norman and Tudor fortress by a 23-acre millpond (pembrokeshire coast.wales/carew-castle).
DETAILS: Seven nights at the Hiker’s Haven from £2,447, sleeping six (plumguide.com).
Three acres of gardens surround Ardullie Farmhouse, pictured, which is based near Evanton in the Highlands
The traditional grand Scottish house is blessed with views of the spectacular Cromarty Firth. Pictured is one of the bedrooms in the property
Three acres of gardens surround Ardullie Farmhouse near Evanton in the Highlands. It is great for large groups, has no neighbours, and is blessed with views of the spectacular Cromarty Firth.
This is a traditional, grand Scottish house but there are modern touches too: huge televisions, good wifi and a warming biomass heating system. Historic attractions nearby include the Fyrish Monument and Dingwall Museum.
DON’T MISS: Foulis Castle, seat of Clan Munro since the 14th century (clanmunro.org.co.uk).
DETAILS: Four nights at Ardullie Farmhouse from £3,360, sleeping 12 (airbnb.co.uk).
Spend the festive season at The Old Farmhouse, pictured, a three-bedroom cottage with views of the Cumbrian countryside
Expect plenty of space in The Old Farmhouse on the Hyning Estate near the Lake District and the town of Kendal.
This three-bedroom cottage is surrounded by beautiful gardens and has views of the Cumbrian countryside.
There is good walking starting along trails close by — perfect for burning off any festive excesses (and clearing heads).
DON’T MISS: Lake Windermere is a half-hour drive away.
DETAILS: Four nights at The Old Farmhouse from £1,875, sleeping six (premiercottages.co.uk).
Four-bedroom Elmar is nestled in the village of Cubert near Holywell Bay. Pictured is the lane leading up to the cottage, which is to the right
Many people will tell you that the best time to visit Italy is in the quieter off-season. After a summer of staycations, the same is now true of Cornwall.
There is plenty of winter availability in the county and having the pick of beaches, car parks and restaurants will more than make up for any turbulent weather.
Four-bedroom Elmar is a cosy cottage in the village of Cubert near Holywell Bay and is perfect for a peaceful break.
DON’T MISS: The village’s excellent pub: The Smugglers Den Inn (thesmugglersden.co.uk).
DETAILS: Five nights at Elmar from £1,660, sleeping four (independentcottages.co.uk).
Pictured is the living room in Amory House. The Suffolk property makes for an ideal base for those with a large family
Amory House has five bedrooms and can sleep ten, making it a great choice for those with a large family.
It’s in the centre of the popular seaside town of Southwold in Suffolk, close to the beach.
There’s a decent-sized garden surrounded by trees and with a large dining terrace (although it will be too cold for that).
DON’T MISS: A trip to the historic sites of Sutton Hoo (nationaltrust.org.uk) and Framlingham Castle (english-heritage.org.uk), both 30 minutes away.
DETAILS: Seven nights at Amory House from £3,055, sleeping ten (originalcottages.co.uk).
Gaze across the calming waters of the Kintyre coast each morning at Ballygroggan Farmhouse, a charming retreat with six bedrooms.
The house is on a working sheep farm and within walking distance of The Gauldrons, where a stony beach hosts seal colonies. On a good day, Islay, Jura and Gigha can all be seen too.
DON’T MISS: A wander through nearby Campbeltown with its whisky shops.
DETAILS: Seven nights at Ballygroggan from £2,085, sleeping 12 (hoseasons.co.uk).
Three-bedroom Sunnyside – Camber, pictured, is a comfortable beach house near Camber Sands and Dungeness Nature Reserve
The fine medieval town of Rye in East Sussex could be the ideal spot for a Christmas break. Cobbled streets, independent shops, half-timbered houses and small pubs are sure to add to the festive cheer.
Three-bedroom Sunnyside – Camber, a short drive from Rye, might be just the ticket — a comfortable beach house near Camber Sands and Dungeness Nature Reserve.
DON’T MISS: A bracing walk along the sands.
DETAILS: Seven nights at Sunnyside – Camber from £2,599, sleeping six (holidaycottages.co.uk).
For many, it might be that a relaxed Christmas is in order. And the Peak District has always been the place to get some much-needed peace and quiet. Barlow Brook Cottage is on the banks of a small river with good access to fishing, walking and cycling. There are two acres of shared grounds and the cottage is pet-friendly.
DON’T MISS: A trip to Bakewell — the classic Peak District town.
DETAILS: Seven nights at Barlow Brook Cottage from £844, sleeping two (peakcottages.com).
Butlers Cottage, pictured, sleeps four and has a wood-fired hot tub with a view – it’s a great spot to stargaze
Mayen is a historic estate in the Deveron Valley, on the border of Moray and Aberdeenshire overlooking a spectacular stretch of the river.
There are five cottages to rent here. Butlers Cottage sleeps four and has a wood-fired hot tub — a great spot to stargaze.
DON’T MISS: This is castle country. Strike out to one of the 263 in Aberdeenshire.
DETAILS: Seven nights at Butlers Cottage from £1,512, sleeping four (mayenestate.com).