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Best resource/website for renting a cottage in England?

This past October, I rented a cottage through the National Trust: it was so charming but on the pricey side... Now that I'm thinking of returning to England in the spring, I've been more or less priced out of that option.

I was doing some internet research and wondered about the reliability of the following sites, wondering if anyone here had used them or could recommend others?

*Cottages dot com
*Sykes cottages
*Holiday cottages dot co dot UK

Would love any suggestions! I'm thinking of Devon, Cornwall, or possibly Yorkshire.

Posted by
4843 posts

I've used cottages.com on several occasions and been happy with our choices. I've used Sykes once and was disappointed with the property. Properties were in Dorset, Cornwall and the Isle of Wight. In York I used AirBnB for a lovely house very central to the city.

Posted by
5962 posts

Even if you book through what appears to be a small niche operator, you actually often deal with Sykes Cottages for payment and queries.

In the past I have used English Country Cottages, who were good, but expensive. The best results I have had recently have been through Trip Advisor Rentals. I also use Booking.com.

Sykes Cottages used to have a portfolio of cottages that were the kind of place your grandparents would live in - old, dark furnishings. Their current portfolio is much improved and huge - 22,500 properties according to the internet. I have booked a cottage with them for mid December, so will soon have first hand knowledge. Their booking start dates are less flexible than Airbnb.

Posted by
19 posts

Thank you for this, Jennifer!

And I would love an update on how the December cottage works out if you have the time to let us know!

I did find it true with National Trust cottages, too, that the booking dates were not always very flexible.

Posted by
2390 posts

We've used Sykes Cottages several times for rentals in Ireland - they offer a number of unique and atmospheric properties including some thatched cottages which we've enjoyed. Have never had any issues with Sykes.
For info, on an extended visit to England this past June we had good luck using AirBnB for rentals in both the Lake District and the Cotswolds. The cancellation policy was pretty liberal and there were no restrictions on start dates or length of stay as is the case with Sykes.

Posted by
19 posts

Thank you, Robert!

Yes, the cancellation policy is important for me to consider right now as things are up in the air this spring...

Posted by
945 posts

Holidaycottages as in your question are a long running company my folks had them as agents for at least 15 years

Posted by
19 posts

Ramblin' on and Gunderson = wonderful! Thank you for these links!!

Yeah, honestly, I haven't thought too much about the refund policy... I need to...