From country boltholes with views of rolling English farms to wave-lashed Scottish rentals on the edge of the Hebrides, there are all sorts of cottage hire options on the menu today. They can cater to couples after a little romance, whole families or even larger groups of friends and colleagues. In this guide, we'll take a look at the various types you can pick from, along with ways to make sure you get that bargain-friendly stay.

Popular features of cottage hires

Consider these 3 popular categories of cottage holiday rentals before booking your bolthole this year – you might notice something you need.

Dog-friendly cottages to let

A cottage hire is tailor-made for those who take the 4-legged family member with them wherever they go. The proximity to nature often means that you're never too far from a hiking path or field, where the barker can stretch their legs. What's more, it's normal to find cottages with large kitchens and lounges, where you can drop the canine bed or offer up a spot by the fireplace.

Cottages to let with pools

One sure way to make that next escape from the city a rejuvenating one is to seek out a cottage hire with a pool. There's a really wide variety of places available with this sort of accommodation. Some have shared swimming spots that can be used by anyone staying in a cottage in the same complex, while others have their very own pool that's reserved just for you. You'll also need to decide between indoor and outdoor pools, which might depend on whether you're going for a summer cottage rental or not.

Holiday cottages to rent with hot tubs

Many a traveller now goes in search of a cottage hire with a hot tub. It's something to consider if you want a taste of luxury in your country stay. For couples, it can add a dash of romance, especially considering that many of these steaming water pools sit outside, under the twinkling stars or with sweeping views of the surrounding hills and woods.

Types of cottages you can hire

Not all cottages are made equal. In fact, across the UK there's a whole kaleidoscope of various stays to be had, from rustic barn conversions to timber-clad shepherd's cabins. There are 3 popular choices below.

Eco-friendly and farm cottages

If you don't mind keeping the company of sheep, Highland cows and collies, then a farm stay cottage hire could be the perfect pick. Eco-conscious and ethical travellers often feel right at home in these, especially as some even offer the opportunity for guests to get stuck into the day-to-day working of the fields and animals.

Luxurious cottages and manors

The UK is strewn with more manor houses than you can shake a bag of fish and chips at. Many of those ancient buildings have now been converted into cottage hires. The grandest of the lot come with opulent medieval halls and 4-poster beds that are sure to leave you feeling like a baron or baroness. These large-scale stays are also great for bigger parties, packing in multiple sleeping quarters, sprawling lounges and acres of garden space, to boot.

National Trust area cottage hires

The National Trust is charged with managing many of the most important and alluring natural and historical sites across the British Isles. A cottage hire in this category will put you right on the doorstep of those. It could mean that a crumbly castle in Wales rises outside your window or that the bird-chirping woodlands of Suffolk ring the whole property. Either way, these are your ticket to a truly immersive stay.

Hints on how to find cheap cottages to rent

No one likes to pay over the odds for their holiday home. So here are 3 top tips on how to bag a bargain on your cottage escape this year.

Be spontaneous and flexible

Nothing booked yet? No worries. There's actually plenty of scope for last-minute deals in the world of cottage hire. After all, it's better to have someone staying in your pad than to leave it empty for a weekend. However, anyone thinking of holding out for the 11th-hour price drop will need to be a little amenable to new destinations and places, as many homes will have already been reserved.

Pre-plan your trip for the high season

A little preparation goes a long way when searching for holiday cottages to rent in the summer months and at Christmas time. These popular moments in the calendar can often see the best deals and the most coveted homes go quickly.

Stick to self-catering

While the Scottish Highlands have their whisky-tasting rooms and haggis pubs and Cornwall comes with sizzling fish grills, it's worth remembering that all that local gastronomy comes at a premium. To save more pennies for your adventures, try to find a cottage hire that's got a big enough kitchen for you to cook in each night. Produce can be affordable in farmers markets, so you’ll still find it easy to get a taste of the region.