Creative choices and top tips for bagging cheap cottages

Don't worry if the budget is on the tight side, as there are still plenty of cottages throughout the UK and beyond.  You’ll find that these can make your few days away from the rat race as special as can be. To help you seek out the cosy British boltholes and the most wonderful Welsh escapes for less, check out these top destinations, and a few tips on how to secure the lowest rates.

Discover cheap holiday cottages in Scotland

Far away from the hustle and bustle of the Big Smoke, past the onetime industrial cities of the North and over the border in Scotland, a whole host of enticing holiday cottages sit ready and waiting. They can also be real bargains, with plenty of wallet-friendly things to do, right on the doorstep.

Head to Inverness for Highland adventures

If you can bag a cheap cottage in the wooded vales around Inverness, you'll have the Highlands at your fingertips. Even more savings can be made there by opting for drive-by tours of Loch Ness – see if you can spot the monster! – and visits to haunting Culloden Moor, where the last ever battle on British soil unfolded back in 1746.

Aviemore is the gateway to the Cairngorms

Walkers will find plenty to love in the little town of Aviemore. It's the self-proclaimed gateway to the iconic Cairngorms National Park, where you can launch expeditions to the summits of Sgor Gaoithe and Ben Macdui for free. Come winter, the Glenshee ski resort offers reduced rates for beginners and students, just in case you're keen on a little snow sports, Scottish-style.

Free wanderings mean cheap cottages on Skye

Skye is a great place to really get away from it all. It fragments off the side of western Scotland, where it's carved by the spear-like mountains of Cuillin and cut-through by great waterfalls. Thankfully, strapping on the hiking boots and hitting the trails of this otherworldly place won't cost you a penny.

Seek out cheap holiday cottages by the beach

While the rugged peaks of Scotland and the enchanting dells of the Lake District take care of the mountain lovers, there are other UK destinations where you can bag cheap cottages to rent by the sea – there's over 7,000 miles of coastline on these islands, after all. Here are just a few suggestions for those pining for a budget-friendly escape to British shores.

Be enchanted by cheap holiday cottages in Wales

Wales lays claim to some of the most stunning and dramatic coastline in the whole United Kingdom. You'll find charming cottages dotting the cliffs of Anglesey up north, where visits to the centuries-old castle at Caernarfon means some well-priced family tickets – visions of the Menai Suspension Bridge come completely gratis.

Cheap holiday cottages by the beach in Cornwall

Cornwall might be known for its jet-setter resorts and celebrity kitchens, but there is a way to soak up the sun of England's southernmost county for less. You'll just need to search for the cheap holiday cottages that sit a little back from the beaches, preferably along the wilder north coast between Bude and Tintagel.

Rent cottages for less in Devon

The kaleidoscope of seaside cottages in Devon might mean your next getaway comes with a side order of clotted cream and country jam. Or, it could mean settling by stunning beaches like Croyde or Woolacombe, where the surf shacks offer huge reductions on multi-day board rentals and hiking the coastal paths comes without any cost at all.

Unearthing the cheapest of cheap cottages

Finding bargain destinations for cheap holiday cottages is just the first step in keeping costs on the good side of your spending. Here are a few other tips and tricks to ensure you're left with more pennies to enjoy, wherever it is you are heading…

The benefits of last-minute cottage deals

It would be a darn shame to leave some of the sumptuous getaways around the UK empty for even a single weekend. That's why you can often find last-minute deals that reveal some seriously cheap cottages to rent. You'll just need to be flexible about your destination and willing to pack the hiking boots and pyjamas in a jiffy.

Go self-catering to save on food

The good news for those on the lookout for cheap holiday cottages is that most rentals in this category are self-catering as standard. That means you can hit the farmers markets to haggle for your Welsh lamb or Cumberland sausages before cooking up low-cost meals for the whole crew, come evening.

Search untrodden destinations for cheap luxury cottages

If you're pining for a country escape to bucolic Kent or the village-dotted Cotswolds but can't find anything to fit the budget, it might be a wise idea to broaden your search a little. It's often the case that the most luxurious of cottages – and yes, that even includes cottages with hot tubs – in lesser-known parts of the UK come in at just a fraction of the price. Possibilities include the Midlands, Mid Wales and the Wye Valley, to name just 3.