They could be charming homes with honeysuckle-covered walls and roofs of thatched hair, or onetime fishing shacks sandwiched between hearty pubs and Gothic churches. Either way, English country cottages promise a retreat you're sure to remember. For a romantic getaway with the other half, or a family trip to nature, they could be the perfect place for that next holiday. Consider this range of top destinations before you book.

Find English country cottages in Yorkshire

The huge county of Yorkshire covers a mighty cut-out of the North. Smashed by the icy North Sea on one side and carved by the gritstones of Bowland on the other, it's largely rural, though a few enchanting towns also pop up here and there, usually with a haunting castle and a history that reaches back 1000s of years.

Bag an English countryside cottage in North York

Beyond the half-timbered taverns and soaring York Minster of the county's namesake town, the landscapes are quickly taken by the vast North York Moors. For adventurers who love a taste of culture as they go, this could be the most fulfilling spot to book a cottage. Be sure to complete the iconic White Horse Walk to see artwork cut into the hills, or hit Levisham Moor to encounter Iron Age fortifications.

English country cottages in the Peak District

Over on the far south-western side of Yorkshire is the famous Peak District. The valleys fling wide open to welcome travellers to these parts, framed by slab-like tors and farm-spotted ridges. Highlights of this corner of the national park include sweeping Marsden Moor, where your walks can take you across the border in neighbouring Lancashire.

Charming English country cottages in the Yorkshire Dales

The Dales are a quintessential stretch of English countryside. They can satisfy all sorts of travellers. Intrepid types come to conquer just a few of the 2,500 caves that pockmark the landscape, or to complete the arduous Three Peaks Challenge on the summits above the River Ribble. Foodies tend to devour teas and Wensleydale cheese by the bucket load, while romantic types can cosy up in a whitewashed English cottage with just the sound of the sheep outside.

Loads of English country cottages in Norfolk

Norfolk caps off East Anglia in grand style. It arcs around the North Sea in a medley of wide, blustery beaches, pier-sprouting Victorian towns and marsh-covered countryside. For a pastoral escape and a taste of history, it could be the region to pick.

Waterside homes in the Norfolk Broads

Waking to the sound of the sloshing waters of the Norfolk Broads is something tonnes of travellers dream of. Hop from your front door and into a sailboat to explore the county's meandering channels and streams. Eventually, you're bound to come across the bluebell blooms and warblers of the protected Strumpshaw Fen – a bird lover's heaven.

Consider Great Yarmouth for classic holidays

A more traditional bucket-and-spade holiday beckons families to the fun-loving town of Great Yarmouth. A former fishing hub, it's now better known for the scream-inducing rides and slides of Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. After hitting the roller coasters, head to the 17 miles of sandy beachfront, weather permitting of course.

Taste history in King's Lynn

Clinging to the River Great Ouse on the northern edge of Norfolk, King's Lynn comes peppered with plenty of heritage-rich cottages that reflect the town's rich past. Since medieval times it's been an important trading port. That's the reason eye-watering relics like the Benedictine King's Lynn Minster crown the centre, while muscular Rising Castle and its earth-work bulwarks command the nearby countryside.

Seas and sands by Devon's English countryside cottages

Devon straddles the South West of England. Ranging from the Bristol Channel to the English Channel, it's furnished with some of the most celebrated country escapes in the UK. They sit next to wave-lashed coasts and in leafy dells, catering to everyone from couples to large groups.

Jet-setter cottages in Salcombe

With its reputation for high-class living, it's hardly a surprise that Salcombe is laden with luxurious English country cottages. As the town spills into its own estuary, it cuts the figure of a genteel coastal resort. Sail boats bob on the harbour and yacht clubs are ready to help teach you how to hoist a sail.

Blow away the cobwebs around Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe is the gateway to the rugged, raw coastline of north Devon. As a place of rock-chipped cliffs and powerful Celtic swells, it holds no prisoners, though plenty of surfers continue to do battle with it at Bideford Bay. Dog walkers and history buffs who prefer to stay on dry land are rewarded with the North Devon Heritage Coast, with its age-old fishing hamlets and flowering shoreline paths.

Devon's backcountry in Blackdown Hills

Leave behind the bustling county town of Axminster to discover a picture-perfect swathe of typical England in the Blackdown Hills. The cottages here are large, primed for families and conveniently placed near 3 counties. You can explore Devon's dairy lands, Somerset's green dales and Dorset's Jurassic Coast, all in the very same trip.