HomeAway travel expert
There’s never a bad time to book a holiday cottage in Britain, but May is a particularly good time. Why? Well, there’s the prospect of two bank holiday weekends to look forward to, neatly bookending the month. Schedule a long weekend away for the early May bank holiday, or take time off and enjoy a week’s break over the Spring bank holiday – do both, if you want to.
To help you decide where to stay, we’ve rounded up a selection of cottages that stand out on account of their idyllic location, luxuries, quirkiness or just all-round awesomeness. There are cosy cottages that will sleep two and spacious abodes that will accommodate the whole family (plus assorted friends and hangers on). This May, you certainly won’t be short of options.
Colourful cottages for holidays in May
May holiday cottages in Surrey
England's wealthiest county? Uh huh. Home to the chalk hills of the North Downs? Yup. With its attractive countryside and gurgling rivers, Surrey's leafy towns are as good as any for a sunny May break. Lynchets is a quaint thatched cottage that's set just outside of London, and – for the keen walkers among you – sits close to the Pilgrim’s Way. It’s full of character and full of room, with space to sleep 12. Need somewhere a little smaller? The Old Cottage at Dicks Hill Farmhouse should do the trick. Dating back to the 16th century, its timber frames and inglenook fireplace are the embodiment of the words 'rustic charm'.
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May holiday cottages in Northamptonshire
If you’re looking for a May holiday in a pretty part of the country, Northamptonshire should do nicely. It's home to plenty of leafy towns, but has no cities to speak of – so escaping the daily grind's pretty much the order of the day. Primed for relaxation, Millstone Cottage is set in a converted watermill on the outskirts of Ringstead. A beautifully weathered building, it's traditional on the outside, modern on the inside, with a shared balcony and gardens to complete its one-of-a-kind charm. Bringing a few friends? Brampton Grange is a stunning 18th-century manor that sleeps 21 – spread out all you like.
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May holiday cottages in North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is full of cottages, but not just any cottages; their history is as enchanting as that of the market towns they sit in. And clinging to the area's hills and dales, they'll provide the perfect spot for a chilled-out May getaway. Fountains Abbey Cottage is a 300-year-old building, where – because pets are welcome – Fido can stretch out on the floor of the country kitchen. Equipped with a traditional stove and grand farmhouse table, stone fireplace and wood burner for the evenings, it should prove pretty cosy. Take a stroll outside and at the end of the line you’ll find Fountains Abbey – it dates back to the 12th century.
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May holiday cottages in Perthshire
North to Perthshire, and Oak Cottage. Ok, so it's technically a log cabin, but why worry over semantics when there are far more pressing concerns – to jump straight into the hot tub on your arrival or take a walk around Loch Tay? Cosy and compact, with space to sleep four, this modern cottage sits in spectacular surroundings, and delivers luxury in spades. More of a rough-and-ready type? Head out on a fishing trip, but don't sacrifice comfort for your penchant for outdoor pursuits: check out Inchtuthill Coach House instead. Recently converted to a meticulously high standard, it sits close to the bubbling River Tay.
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May holiday cottages in County Kilkenny
Kilkenny, in southeast Ireland, is the perfect setting for a quiet holiday away from the people, traffic and urban sprawl endemic to everyday life. But don't think you're in for a stone cabin just because you’re in the middle of nowhere. Book a weekend in Mount Coggill and the odds are your standard of living will actually leap several notches. Fancy a small library, wet room with two showers and four bedrooms? We thought so. This exquisite holiday-cottage-cum-country-house has an open-plan living area too, complete with huge windows that flood the room with light. Just the trick if those April showers trickle into May.
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This spacious garden flat with its own quiet courtyard is conveniently located within walking distance of the town centre and the race course. Cheltenham has jazz, music, science and literature festivals and is an ideal centre for exploring the Co...
This pretty cottage is set by a quiet pathway just off the Fore Street in the heart of the popular picturesque fishing village of Beer.
Excellent position just a few yards (no roads to cross) from the sea, sheltered beach and bay where you wi...
Apartment 6 is located on the second floor. It provides a double bedroom area on a mezzanine deck over the kitchen area and a sofa bed in the lounge. Superbly located the apartment has been individually crafted, furnished and equipped to provide s...
Apartment 4 is located on the second floor. It provides two double bedrooms with a sofa-bed in the generous lounge area. In addition there is a mezzanine area with desk. Superbly located, the apartment has been individually crafted, furnished and...
A mile inland from Mousehole by hedgerow lane is the hamlet of Sheffield (cluster of sturdy granite cottages surrounded by farmland), perched high looking seaward. Recently discovered artefacts reveal this area has been inhabited since Mesolithic ...