Katy Holland: It seems I'm not alone in my desire to escape

Are we there yet? The perfect excuse to make a quick (and cheap) family getaway for New Year

How to see in the new decade this New Year's Eve? I'm hoping to be holed up in a cosy cottage in the middle of nowhere. My ambitious plan is to surgically remove my kids from their Xbox and head for the country.

And it seems I'm not alone in my desire to escape. A few of you have been in touch recently about similar plans to run for the hills, asking for personal recommendations for family-friendly retreats over New Year.

You'd better be quick, places are getting booked up pretty fast. But the good news is that there is still availability and some jolly decent bargains on offer if you dig deep enough.

Toad Hall Cottages (01548 853089; toadhallcottages. co.uk) is offering a 25 per cent discount on many of its family houses in the South-west, including an attractively secluded and newly refurbished property in Salcombe, Devon, which sleeps eight and can be snapped up for £650 for the week over New Year. This little gem has marvellous sea views, lots of space and gardens to play in, and you'll be just a stone's throw from glorious beaches, where you and the kids can burn off all those Christmas cake calories.

Classic Cottages (01326 555555 classic.co.uk) is also worth checking out, with its offer of 20 per cent off a selection of properties for New Year.

And Cornwall's Cottages (01872 264441; cornwalls cottages.co.uk) also has a number of cosy hideaways still available. Check out Mallard Cottage, which sleeps four and sits on a 72-acre working farm, price £450 for the week. There, the kids can feed animals, collect eggs, explore wildlife trails, and discover the good life. Cornwall's Cottages is offering a 10 per cent discount to readers who hire one of its properties over New Year if you quote The Independent on Sunday when booking.

Bargain-hunters should also take a peek at some of the UK's hotel chains for family deals during December and January. One of my favourite offers comes from Premier Inns, which is featuring a "buy one and get Nan free" deal (or BOGNF for short) in a selection of its hotels across the UK, including Bournemouth, Cardiff, and Edinburgh.

Simply book a room (or two) for you and your brood, and you'll get a free one thrown in for gran and/or granddad. These are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so to take advantage, email pi.freenanas@premierinn.com.The company is also offering 330,000 rooms for under £30 per night, bookable online.

Other groups offering similar reductions include Thistle Hotels (0871 971 1831; thistle.com/wintersale), which is slashing 30 per cent off room rates between 18 December and 17 January – and kids go free, too. All of which provides the perfect excuse to make a quick (and cheap) family getaway for New Year.

k.holland@independent.co.uk

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