Olive Magazine
White cottage in the countryside surrounded by trees with a stone wall in front

Unique UK holiday cottages

Published: July 10, 2020 at 2:42 pm

Stock up on local produce from farm shops, food boxes and artisan delis and make the most of fully equipped country kitchens. Cuddle up by the fire in Pembrokeshire, go foraging in Monmouthshire or hide out in a fishing village in Cornwall

Looking for holiday cottages by the sea in Cornwall? Want to hide away in a farm cottage in Wales? Check out our pick of self-catering accommodation for a UK staycation, complete with local recommendations for artisan food hampers, farm produce delivery boxes and nearby takeaways and delis.


Pretend that one of these beautiful cottages are your own for the weekend. Cook a feast in the self-catered kitchens, go for long walks to get to know the local countryside and neighbours, or cuddle up by the fire and hide out in your very own foodie holiday cottage.

Check out availability for hundreds more holiday cottages here.

Foodie holiday cottages in the UK

The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst, West Sussex – woodland cottages for two to four people

This rural retreat in the Sussex countryside has recently revamped its two cottages – The Brewhouse and The Milkhouse – which form part of the rustic 16th-century farmhouse. Complete with outdoor swimming pool, the cottages are enveloped in five acres of woodland and gardens, home to all kinds of wildlife from woodpeckers to rabbits and wild deer, making them ideal for peaceful, relaxing escapes.

When it comes to mealtimes, guests can make use of the bounties from the herb and vegetable patch and fruit trees, and are welcome to collect eggs from the chickens. If you fancy cooking alfresco, there is a barbecue in each of the cottages’ gardens, too.

All sorts of lovely homemade bakes will be waiting for you here in a generous welcome hamper, and there are discounts for guests on the baking courses that are held on-site. Learn how to bake bread, make pastries and master sourdough or, if you have a sweeter tooth, check out the chocolate workshops.

If your idea of a holiday is more about kicking back while someone else rustles up your meal, head to the fully licensed Bakehouse (open seasonally) and tuck into homemade lunches and afternoon teas featuring locally grown ingredients.

Each cottage sleeps up to four, circa £325 for two nights, £875 for a week; theartisanbakehouse.com

The Fish Store, Mousehole, Cornwall – coastal cottage for ten people

The Fish Store, by the harbour at the tiny Cornish fishing village of Mousehole, was once a pilchard-packing factory. These days – in fact for the last century – it has been the characterful holiday home of the same family – one of whom is food writer Lindsey Bareham.

For the ultimate holiday cottage cookbook, turn to Bareham’s book, also called The Fish Store, which features recipes relating to the house and harbour. Unsurprisingly, this coastal retreat, with its seaside-chic vibe, has shelves crammed with cookery books, a sprawling open-plan kitchen and a barbecue outside perfect for a seafood grill.

The house is a short stroll down to the harbour where you can pick up crab fresh off the boats. Guests also receive a gourmet welcome hamper on arrival and there’s no shortage of places to eat out in this foodie corner of west Cornwall. One of the owners' tips in the village is The Ship Inn – which has a simplified menu at the moment but you can still tuck into Tribute Ale battered cod and chunky chips. In Mousehole there’s also The Old Coastguard Hotel, while in Newlyn, just round the coast, you’ve got Ben Tunnicliffe’s gastropub, the Tolcarne Inn.

Sleeps 10, from £1,250 for a three-night short break or from £1,895 per week; thefishstore.uniquehomestays.com

The Fish Store Cornwall Holiday Cottage

Pineapple Spa, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cotswolds – holiday cottage for four people

Pineapple Spa in Lower Swell just outside Stow-on-the-Wold is a Grade II-listed, 200-year-old Cotswolds spa. Indian carvings mark its buttery stone exterior, and a pineapple motif sits above its arched doorway; there’s also a golden fir-cone on top of each upstairs window. Inside the interiors are just as quirky. There's a trap door in the living room (covered by a glass partition) which leads to a stone cellar and the spring that makes this the smallest spa in England. There’s also a pineapple-shaped stone font by the stairs (to which the water is pumped) and, continuing the fruity theme, pineapple tea cups, candle holders, key rings and cushions throughout.

The kitchen is hand-crafted and sleek and owner, Rachel, leaves a pampering array of treats (croissants, cookies, coffee and red wine among them) to tempt you. If you don't want to venture out Daylesford Farm Shop is close by and offers free delivery within a 10-mile radius of their Kingham location, so you can stock up on organic cheeses, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, artisan breads and pastries along with their award-winning 'real meals', freshly made soups and hearty stews.

If you do want to explore, there are plenty of local food highlights nearby. In Bourton-on-the-Water don't miss the syrupy ‘petal’ cake from the Bakery on the Water (open for takeaways) while in Stow-on-the-Wold you can try 10 different flavours of still-warm fudge from Roly’s Fudge Pantry. Pubs serving good food include The Porch House (read our review of it here and visit their website for updates on reopening) Another little gem is Locojo’s pizzeria in Moreton, which offers takeaway and delivery and a veggie feast pizza topped with fresh figs and goats cheese.

Sleeps four from £612 for three nights and from £721 for seven nights; holidaycottages.co.uk

Garden furniture on a wooden terrace at Pineapple Spa Cotswolds Holiday Cottage

Brownber Hall, Yorkshire Dales – guesthouses for eight or fifteen people

The sourdough pizza nights had quite a following at award-winning, eclectic-chic Grade II-listed guesthouse Brownber Hall in the Yorkshire Dales. The current Covid crisis has caused owners, Peter and Amanda Jaques-Walker, to rethink the business, however, and they've decided to re-launch the house as a luxury eight-bedroom self-catering let for now (opens 1 August).

They have also been busy renovating a second property on the estate, Brownber House, a four-bedroom Victorian farmhouse. Amanda's sister, Georgina Rose, (the designer for Soho House), has curated the interiors. Think Vanessa Arbuthnot fabrics, vintage furniture finds, a reconstituted stone bath in the master bedroom and sweeping views over the Howgill fells.

There will be a virtual concierge service, contactless check in and welcome hampers packed with homemade treats such as freshly baked sourdough bread, marmalade, cakes and cookies. They can also arrange for the fridge to be stocked with local supplies from companies such as the Appleby Creamery and Eden River Brew Co and they'll prepare a picnic for you for a hike up onto the fells. What's more, if you don't feel like cooking you can still tuck into their sourdough pizzas – delivered to the door or left chilled to be cooked later along with home-cooked meals such as local longhorn beef bourguignon with dauphinoise potatoes, seasonal greens and a bottle of burgundy.

Brownber Hall sleeps 15, from £1,600 for a three-night short break and from £2,800 per week. Brownber House sleeps eight, from £,1000 for a three-night short break and from £1,800 per week; brownberhall.co.uk

A table set up on the terrace outside Brownber Hall

Yew Tree Farm, Coniston, Cumbria – farmhouse for six people

In the craggy Lakeland fells above Coniston you can bed down in Beatrix Potter’s old home, Yew Tree Farm, and eat at her original dining table. The cosy 17th-century, Grade II listed farmhouse has bags of character and is still decked out with some of her furniture – think dark oak panelling, roaring fires and a traditional kitchen – as well as more contemporary additions, including a barbecue and hot tub.

You might recognise the farmhouse from Miss Potter, the 2006 film adaptation of the author’s life, starring Rene Zellweger and Ewan McGregor (Yew Tree Farm was used as one of the set locations). Today it is still a working farm and Herdwick sheep and Belted Galloway cattle graze the meadows and fells outside its door.

Stay over and you can collect eggs for breakfast from the farm’s hens – and put in your order for dinner from Heritage Meats, which is based on the farm and specialises in Herdwick hogget and mutton and Belted Galloway beef. Or head into Coniston to the family's café Herdwicks where you can sample dishes created from the farm's beef and Herdwick lamb – now open again with social distancing measures in place.

Sleeps six, from £683 per week; heartofthelakes.co.uk

White cottage in the countryside surrounded by trees with a stone wall in front

The Piggery, Monmouthshire, Wales – farmyard cottage for four people

A cosy, two-bedroom traditional farmyard cottage with its own hens (that’s breakfast sorted), welcome hamper (with local cider), a wood-burning stove, barbecue and an orchard outside the door, The Piggery is one of three self-catering options on TV presenter Kate Humble’s farm in rural Monmouthshire – other choices are the converted Hayloft and the Humble Hideaway, an off-grid shepherd’s hut; both sleep two.

If solitude is what you’re seeking there’s no obligation to muck in but if you want to learn a few new kitchen or animal husbandry skills while you’re there Humble’s smallholding and cookery courses are set to start up again in September. These are held on the farm and range from hedgerow foraging to sausage-making and cooking on a wood-fired oven. As an added bonus, guests staying in the cottages get a 10 per cent discount on the courses.

The Pig & Apple café in the farmyard is open but only for take-out, Thursday to Saturday – and you need to pre-book your collection slot. Tuck into gourmet burgers such as Pig & Apple (beef, bacon, cheese, apple chutney, lettuce and onion), Clucking (hand-coated buttermilk chicken with chipotle mayo) or vegetarian options such as the mushroom burger (mushroom and chickpea pattie, fig relish, goat’s cheese and rocket).

Sleeps four, from £291 for a three-night short break or from £485 per week; humblebynature.com

Foraged herbs and flowers on a piece of tree trunk

Garden Cottage, Peak District, Derbyshire – cottage for six people

There are roses around the doorway of this bucolic, three-bedroom stone cottage in the grounds of the Wootton Hall Estate on the edge of the Peak District National Park. Garden Cottage was originally the estate's old pump house but now boasts contemporary country chic interiors with a large farmhouse kitchen, roaring log fire and board games in the sitting room, a barbecue in the garden and far-reaching views of the rolling countryside. It also has stellar food credentials: it's the sister property of the nearby Duncombe Arms, a stylishly rustic 19th-century inn which was awarded a Bib Gourmand at the end of 2019. Open once more after the easing of the lockdown, booking is essential. There is a table service for drinks in the garden, a limited bar service and one-way system in the pub in line with government guidelines.

On the new summer menu you'll find starters such as Bob's heritage tomatoes, Duncombe Arms ricotta and wild honey or chilled pea and mint soup, crème fraîche and borage followed by veal chop, potato terrine, wild mushrooms and watercress.

Sleeps six, from £525 for a three-night short break and from £1,000 per week, duncombearms.co.uk/garden-cottage

Duncombe Arms Cottage

Loch an Eilein Cottage, The Cairngorms, Scotland – cottage for two people

A Pinterest-pretty, one-bedroom architect conversion in the Cairngorms National Park, Loch an Eilein Cottage was built in 1813. Today this old stone cottage is light and contemporary inside, with a double-fronted wood-burning stove (that’s back-to-back fires in the bedroom and living room), a quirky pencil point bed, white tongue-and-groove walls and a charming window seat looking out onto the neighbouring loch.

The open-plan kitchen is well kitted-out for cooks and stocked with a welcome hamper from the nearby farm shop, but if you want to eat out, the cottage’s website has a whole section for foodies, listing the local culinary hotspots.

The Old Bridge Inn down by the river is a local favourite. Hunker around an open fire with a plate of beetroot and dill-cured salmon or a steak. Right on your doorstep The Druie in Rothiemurchus, a rustic café (decorated by the same designer as the cottage) is closed for the summer due to Covid but the attached farm shop selling produce from the Rothiemurchus Estate (beef, venison and rainbow trout) is open again. You can order veg, cheese or meat boxes here along with homemade ready meals. The deli counter is perfect for picnics brimming with homemade quiches, salads and mezze (created by chef Ghillie Basan, who also runs cookery workshops). The Hidden Highland Retreats team can organise champagne picnics by the river along with foraging and cooking experiences.

Sleeps two, from £850 for a three-night short break or £1,600 per week; hiddenhighlandretreats.com

Pretty cottage surrounded by grass

Lodge Farm, Freston, Suffolk – farm cottages for two, four and six people

You won’t need to swing by a supermarket on your way to the handful of farm cottages at Lodge Farm. They’re set on the same estate as the award-winning Suffolk Food Hall. The “Champion of Champions” in what have been dubbed the Countryside Alliance’s Rural Oscars, this cattle barn turned farm shop is within walking distance of all three cottages here – The Dairy (sleeps 6), the Parlour (sleeps 4) and the Buttery (sleeps 2).

The shop stocks everything a hungry holidaymaker could want, with an on-site butcher (selling pork from the farm’s pigs and beef from the farm’s Red Poll cattle), baker, deli, fishmonger and chocolatier to choose from. No fewer than 222 local suppliers sell their goods there, among them an old dairy farm down the road that produces Mature Shipcord, a traditionally produced cheese. You can pre-order your groceries using the contactless collection form on the website – there's even an encyclopaedic range of gourmet ready meals to stock up on, from Greek moussaka to Moroccan tagines.

The Food Hall's Cookhouse restaurant is currently closed but the café is open for takeaway toasties and a new Beach Hut is set to open this summer selling ice cream.

From £418 per week for The Buttery, £889 per week for The Parlour, and £1,044 per week for The Dairy; lodgefarmsuffolk.co.uk

Nantwen, Pembrokeshire, Wales – eco-cottage for two people

If the idea of an eco-cottage conjures images of composting toilets and windows slung with dreamcatchers Nantwen will challenge your preconceptions. This one-bedroom converted cowshed, surrounding by wildflower meadows outside the seaside village of Newport, may have solar panels and a biomass boiler but it’s also smart and stylish, with a slate-tiled wet room, restful white walls, goose-down duvets and heated wooden floors.

Owned by a jeweller and a cellist, there’s a creativity about Nantwen that extends to the food. The couple have won awards for their handmade chocolate (their raw cacao-based bars come in five different flavours, including peanut butter, fig and raspberry) and, while a carefully hand-picked welcome pack is still provided (local jam or honey, tea, coffee and fresh bread), guests also now have the chance to pre-order homemade cakes, artisan hot chocolate, local apple juice, granola, eggs, bacon, cheese, milk and more. A sumptuous 'Afternoon tea' can also be requested so that it's waiting for you on arrival (cheese and chutney, ham and mustard and egg and cress sandwiches, chocolate brownies, lemon polenta cake and scones with jam and cream.) The owners also recommend a local chef who can deliver meals to your door.

Sleeps two, from £285 for a three-night short break or from £545 per week; nantwen.co.uk

green grass set in front of a brick barn building

Written by Lucy Gillmore, January 2017, updated July 2020

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