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Cottages to Rent for a UK Christmas Break
By Rachel Dixon
Settle in for the festive season ... Micklegate in Norfolk
Couples can cosy up, roast chestnuts on an open fire and put their presents under a pre-decorated Christmas tree at Trehannah, a two-bedroom cottage in the seaside village of St Agnes, north Cornwall, available with Cornish Cottages in December. St Agnes has several pubs, restaurants and independent shops. The nearest sandy beach is less than a mile's walk and Perranporth is a short drive away.
• £550 for a week from 22 or 29 December, sleeps four,cornishcottagesonline.com
Looe & Polperro Holidays still has plenty of availability for Christmas, including Cel Mawr, a characterful cottage up a hill in Shutta, East Looe, with fantastic views over the estuary. There is a pub, the Globe Inn, a one-minute walk away, and East Looe's shops, restaurants, harbour and beach are a further 10-minute walk.
• £900 for a week from 21 or 28 December, sleeps six,looeandpolperroholidays.co.uk
Helpful Holidays specialises in cottages in the West Country. The company currently has some special offers available over Christmas, such as 20% off Blacksmith's Cottage in Washbourne, south Devon. The three-bedroom granite cottage on a quiet country lane has a woodburner, exposed beams, and a children's den with a rocking horse. Washbourne is a sleepy hamlet a few miles from Totnes, Dartmouth and the sea.
• Currently £641 for a week from 21 December, sleeps five, pets welcome, helpfulholidays.com
Suffolk Secrets is offering a Christmas or New Year break at The Nutshell, a two-bedroom home on Aldeburgh's Georgian high street. The cottage features a beamed sitting room with a fire, along with a conservatory and courtyard garden. Situated on the town's main street, there are pubs and shops just a few metres away, as well as the shingle beach where fisherman still sell their catch direct from their boats.
• £700 for a week from 21 or 28 December, sleeps four, suffolk-secrets.co.uk
Kett Country Cottages has more than 100 properties in Norfolk. Those available for Christmas and New Year include Sea Marge, a townhouse set on the cliff top in Sheringham, and Manor Cottage, a 17th-century bungalow in Stiffkey. The steam train from Sheringham runs a Santa service up to and including Christmas Eve, serving sherry and mince pies to adult passengers and taking children to Santaland at Weybourne Station (nnrailway.co.uk).
• Sea Marge is £1,195 for a week from 21 December, sleeps nine; Manor Cottage is £995 for a week from 22 or 29 December, sleeps five, pets welcome, kettcountrycottages.co.uk
Norfolk Country Cottages has a few cottages left sleeping eight or more, such as Micklegate, an 18th-century barn conversion in the quiet village of Bracon Ash just south of Norwich. The French-style interior has pale-wood vaulted ceilings, flagstone floors with patterned rugs, and a games room with a dartboard and table football. If Christmas bickering develops, there's a shop and pub within walking distance.
• £1,025 for three nights over Christmas or £1,620 for seven,norfolkcottages.co.uk
Sykes has cottages all over the UK and Ireland. In Yorkshire, Christmas availability includes Ivy Cottage, a redbrick semi-detached cottage in Flaxton, eight miles north of York. It has beams, boarded doors and original wood panelling. Over Christmas there will be decorations, a tree and a festive hamper. Also in Yorkshire, Usherwood Barns is a luxury barn conversion in the hamlet of Tatham, not far from Settle. It has exposed brickwork, underfloor heating, a large range cooker and views of the three peaks. Yule extras include a stylish tree, poinsettias and Christmas biscuits.
• Ivy Cottage is £530 for a week from 22 or 29 December, sleeps four; Usherwood Barns is £1,384 for a week from 22 December, sleeps six; one pet welcome at each property, sykescottages.co.uk
Cumbrian Cottages has plenty of places left to rent over Christmas, though just a handful for New Year. For a big family Christmas, Udford is a beautifully restored Georgian building once used by drovers crossing the ford over the river Eamont. It has large rooms with high ceilings and sash windows, an open fire in the living room and a woodburner in the kitchen/diner. The house is surrounded by river, wood and fields - the nearest pub is a two-mile walk, Penrith is four miles away and Ullswater four miles further. The owner can arrange country pursuits, such as clay pigeon shooting, on request.
• Sleeps 12 for £2,300 (£192pp) for a week from 20 December, pets welcome, cumbrian-cottages.co.uk
Few places better Pembrokeshire for wonderful winter walks, and cottages sleeping two-12 are still up for grabs for the festive period with Coastal Cottages of Pembrokeshire. For couples, Tucking Cottage is set in 18 acres of woodland and fields in Spittal, between Haverfordwest and Fishguard. It has vaulted ceilings, a woodburning stove and French doors with views over the woods. Or for a group of six looking for an old-fashioned Christmas, Penrhyn is a stone cottage on Strumble Head, right on the Pembrokeshire coastal path with no electricity but plenty of oil lamps and candles, an open fire, a woodburner and an oil Rayburn. For a family of 10, The Old Vicarage in Llechryd has Victorian features and is a five-minute drive from the market town of Cardigan.
• £453, £659, £1,368 respectively for a week from 21 December, £517, £861, £1,666 for a week from 28 December, coastalcottages.co.uk
Under the Thatch has some quirky holiday homes available to rent over Christmas, including an historic longhouse in the Teifi valley, west Wales. The Grade II-listed house has a thatch and tin roof, a four-poster bed, a garden with a millpond and an orchard. There are no roads in sight and guests have free access to 180 acres of pasture.
• £945 for a week from 22 December, sleeps six, underthethatch.co.uk
Unique Cottages has the Bothy at Troston, a converted old stone building on a hill near Dumfries sleeping two. For six, Achduart Cottage, four miles from Achiltibuie in Wester Ross, is a secluded building at the end of single track road, 50 yards from the sea. It has recently been extensively renovated and has a sun room with sea views. For eight, The Old Schoolhouse is a Victorian property above Rosemarkie, just north of Inverness. It is less isolated than the others, being just two minutes' walk from the village centre.
• £435, £850, £1,295 respectively for a week from 22 or 29 December,unique-cottages.co.uk
Source: The Guardian
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