We all know the feeling of needing to get away from it all in a hurry. But you don't have to go trawling for 11th-hour flight deals to Bali to satisfy that wanderlust. You could try to pin down late-availability cottages and head off on a hard-earned staycation instead. There are plenty in all corners of the UK. They can cater to couples and families alike, all while offering a wallet-friendly bargain on their rates. Read on to learn more.
Late-availability cottages by the sea
If you're pining for a getaway that takes you down to the shores, seaside cottages are the pads to look for. There are myriad cottages available in the UK thanks to our long and meandering coastline, with some options even spilling out straight onto the sands.
Last-minute cottage rentals in Devon
Devon's 2 coastlines are surely among the most breathtaking in the South West. The north has pounding surf swells to knock the air out of your lungs – they challenge wave riders at Croyde and Woolacombe Beach. Meanwhile, a late cottage steal in Torquay could see you unexpectedly shaking fins with penguins in the cutting-edge Living Coasts zoo and aquarium.
Last-minute cottage breaks in Cornwall
You'll need to swat up on your fish fillets and shellfish in a hurry if you manage to bag yourself a last-minute holiday cottage in the beautiful region of Cornwall. That's because the seafood here is said to be some of the best in the UK. Find it sizzling on the grills of celebrity kitchens in Padstow and St Ives.
Choose Wales for late-availability cottages
If you're not already on the Celtic side of the Severn, then it's just a quick drive across the bridge and a couple of hours until you can find yourself on the award-winning coast of Pembrokeshire. There's loads to keep families busy in these parts, from dolphin spotting around Ramsey Island to ice-cream eating in colourful Tenby.
Last-minute cottage deals in the countryside
Lace up the hiking boots and ready the compass, because that spontaneous cottage holiday is about to take you inland. Between the Scottish archipelagos and the White Cliffs of Dover, there are more rural enclaves to the UK than you can shake a full English breakfast at. That means there's also plenty of hunting ground for last-minute cottage deals.
Last-minute Scottish cottages
The sheer remoteness of many a Scottish rental means that there aren't often enough travellers to keep each place booked up, even during the main season. That opens the door to plenty of late deals in Highland cottages and island cottages. In fact, the remoter you get, the more likely it is that you'll find something, so a jaunt to the Orkneys or Shetlands could be in order.
Find late cottage deals in Yorkshire
The Yorkshire Dales are a grand escape for anyone in the North of England. They are easily accessible from the big cities of Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle, which means you could book your pad and be cruising through vistas of drystone walls and grass-green farm fields in no time.
Last-minute cottage deals in the Lake District
The Lake District has to be one of the most evocative and emotive landscapes in the UK. A place laced with poetic verses courtesy of Wordsworth and Coleridge, it pierces the clouds with Scafell Pike and Skiddaw mountain. For a weekend away with the other half, this region could offer the perfect balance of culture and seclusion.
Key features to look out for when booking cottages
We know you're eager to bag that last-minute holiday cottage before someone else does, but we also want you to be sure it's the right rental for you. Skim these 3 major talking points about cottage stays to ensure your chosen pad has what it takes.
Finding last-minute holiday cottages with hot tubs
One of the most sought-after extras in a cottage stay is a hot tub. They add a dash of luxury to that country adventure, promising evenings of clinking your glass of wine to sweeping sea views or bouts of bubbling waters for returning hikers.
Last-minute cottage breaks that allow the dog
If the pooch is feeling as keen to escape the Rat Race for a spell as you are, you'll need to ensure the place you've chosen has a pet-friendly policy. There are plenty that do, but just be aware that a canine guest can sometimes incur a small extra charge.
Last-minute cottages with self-catering
It's actually quite tricky to find any sort of holiday cottage that doesn't have self-catering facilities. Because these are fully-fledged homes, they will almost always come with a cooking space. It's a good idea to think about whether the one you've picked is big enough for your needs – large parties might require something oversized, while couples can get often away with just a kitchenette.