The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. 

Eight of the best self-catering holiday homes to stay at in the UK

Take your pick of cottages, holiday homes and log cabins for a Britain-based holiday

Chris Wilson
Friday 09 June 2023 10:05 BST
An outside view of the Angmering-on-Sea beach house in West Sussex
An outside view of the Angmering-on-Sea beach house in West Sussex (Luxury Beach House Rental)

With miles of rolling hills, scenic coastline and countryside walks, the UK has plenty of staycation options for the summer months.

Up and down the country, people will take the opportunity to visit some of Britain’s numerous cultural sights and areas of outstanding natural beauty. Outside of towns and cities, there are hundreds of options for couples’ retreats, family holidays and trips with friends.

Away from the boutique hotels and well-known chains, there’s also a wealth of self-catering accommodation available around the country, giving guests a level of flexibility and affordability that’s appealing for holidaymakers looking to save by doing some of the cooking themselves.

So whether you want a base to explore the beaches of Devon, somewhere to hit the hay after going hiking around the Lake District, or a stripped-back bolthole from which to set out on leisurely walks around the Cotswolds, a self-catered stay is a great option to cut costs while fully enjoying your freedom.

And The Independent has compiled a list of some of the UK’s best options for doing exactly that.

Two Guns Townhouse, Devon

The view from Two Guns’ balcony
The view from Two Guns’ balcony (Sue Vaughton Photography & ForeverFotos)

This stylish-yet-modest townhouse sits on the banks of the River Dart (almost parallel to Dartmouth), with lavish views of the English Channel and the surrounding town and countryside. The property’s two sleek balconies provide a comfortable viewpoint for taking in the scenery, with a paved ground floor terrace offering some shelter from the sun if needed.

The interiors have a contemporary style, with slick furnishings, modern wooden flooring and dashes of colour introduced by art, rugs and a selection of furniture. The property can sleep up to 10 people across four bedrooms, with the living room and master bedroom also offering sweeping views of the river.

Kingswear itself is a charming village. There are passenger ferry services over to Dartmouth, but visitors may well want to stay and sample the village’s more laid-back, relaxed pace of life. The area is also a great starting point for walks, with part of the South West Coast Path nearby.

How to stay

Prices start from £332 per night, with a minimum stay of three nights. Sleeps 10.

Silk Mill House, Gloucestershire

The back of Silk Mill House
The back of Silk Mill House (Silk Mill House)

With an idyllic location near Chipping Campden, Silk Mill House is an ideal base for exploring the Cotswolds. A beautiful, honey-hued building typical of the area, the house is found in the village of Blockley, also within easy reach of Broadway. It sits behind a large millpond, with a large deck and patio area overlooking the water and the surrounding enclosed garden – perfect for al fresco dining.

The six-bedroom house itself has retained much of the original charm alongside its more contemporary features. Furniture is modern, with slick, neutral interiors designed to make the most of the space and natural light lifted by pops of colour.

While a games room, large living room and kitchen will give you plenty of opportunity to spend time together within the house, the local area is home to two quintessential Cotswold (and indeed English) towns. Chipping Campden and Broadway are ever-popular with tourists, known for sites such as the Broadway Tower and Chipping Campden’s 14th-century High Street. The area is also good for walkers, with several options along the Cotswold Way.

How to stay

Prices start from £760 per night, with a minimum stay of three nights. Sleeps 12.

Beach View, Pembrokeshire

An aerial view of the Beach View accommodation
An aerial view of the Beach View accommodation (Beach View)

A modern marvel on the Pemborokeshire coast, this home has extensive views over Freshwater East Beach and the wider Bristol Channel. The property has been designed with these views in mind, with a large outdoor balcony and deck area that overlooks an outbuilding, itself containing another terrace area with a heated swimming pool.

Inside, large windows and doors in every room (many of which also overlook the sea), also maximise the view. Interiors are minimalistic and warm, with several large sofas, deck chairs, lounge chairs and king-size beds.

The beach is just a few minutes away on foot, while the wider area contains award-winning beaches such as Barafundle Bay.

How to stay

Prices start from £480 per night. Sleeps eight.

Read more on UK travel:

West Loch Tarbert Manor House, Scotland

A view of Tarbert Harbour
A view of Tarbert Harbour (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Perched on the shores of West Loch Tarbert, this manor house possesses vast grounds, access to a private section of beach and magnificent views across the lake. Its tranquil, serene setting is the perfect contradiction to the large, 19th-century turreted building.

Though the dining room seems to have retained a traditional style, the rest of the building is much like you might expect from an upmarket Edinburgh hotel. Interiors are elegant but neutral (save for the odd bit of colour brought in by tartan chairs and patterned rugs), with furniture befitting the grand building and setting. The kitchen and games room still contain original stone walls, making for an impressive (and cosy) feel.

The picturesque village of Tarbert, with its pubs, restaurants and working harbour, is just a 15-minute drive away.

How to stay

Prices start from £917 per night. Sleeps 17.

Angmering-on-Sea Beach House, Sussex

Part of the outside area at Angmering-on-Sea Beach House
Part of the outside area at Angmering-on-Sea Beach House (Luxury Beach House Rentals )

With space for up to 20 people, this 5,550sq ft New England-style beach house in West Sussex is a perfect retreat for large family gatherings. It sits right next to the beach, with sea views whether sitting inside or enjoying the various outdoor areas. There’s a large seafront deck – with a seven-person hot tub – and two private beach-front gardens, with plenty of options for al fresco dining.

Inside, an open-plan living and dining area sit next to a modern kitchen (all with with yet more sea views), with dozens of seating options from smaller, two-person leather chairs to giant comfy sofas. Upstairs, two of the bedrooms boast their own private balconies.

Nearby, East Preston will provide the basic amenities for your trip, while Worthing and Littlehampton are good options if you want to visit a proper seaside town. The beach house itself practically sits on East Preston beach, but Kingston and Ferring beach are two other attractive local options.

How to stay

Prices start at £3,200 for a three-night weekend. There’s a minimum stay of either two nights (low season) or three nights (mid-season), though busy periods such as Christmas carry a seven-night minimum. Sleeps 20.

The Lingham Boathouse, Cumbria

An aerial view of Derwentwater
An aerial view of Derwentwater (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

This Scandinavian-style cabin is situated right on the shores of Derwentwater in one of the Lake District’s most picturesque locations. This small, remote boathouse is a perfect couples retreat, with a luxurious double bedroom with a king-sized bed and free-standing bathtub that offers views onto the water. Stepping outside, there’s a small balcony area with seating space that hangs over the lake itself.

The kitchen is attached to the spacious, open-plan living room, where floor-to-ceiling windows aid in giving the best view possible. The interiors maintain the Scandinavian theme, with modern furniture and minimalist, functional decor.

The boathouse is part of the Lingholm Estate on the western shores of the lake. As well as obvious swimming opportunities, fells such as Skiddaw and Grizedale Pike, and walking paths such as the popular Catbells routes, are nearby. Keswick – one of the area’s most well-known market towns – is just a 10-minute drive away.

How to stay

Prices start from £520 per night, with a minimum two-night stay. Sleeps two.

The Ballroom, Norfolk

The Ballroom’s terrace area
The Ballroom’s terrace area (Chris Taylor)

The Ballroom has only been taking reservations for just over a year, but it has quickly established itself among the premium offerings in this part of Norfolk. This luxurious accommodation is a standout due to its sweeping views over the Blakeney estuary and salt marshes, roof terrace with sunken fire pit, and large garden and patio.

Moving inside, the renovation has maintained many of the property’s period features, with ornate columns, original fireplaces and spacious rooms. Contemporary interiors have been added around these features (think marble finishes, slate and wooden floors and neutral rugs and carpets), with stylish beds, sofas and chairs adding splashes of colour throughout.

The village of Blakeney makes a great base for exploring the northern part of Norfolk, including well-known places such as Holkham and Wells-next-the-Sea. The village is found within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with Blakeney National Nature Reserve nearby (home to the country’s largest grey seal colony and 160 hectares of freshwater grazing marsh).

How to stay

Prices start from £2,475 for a three-night weekend and from £3,071 for a week. Sleeps 10.

Beavers Croft, Derbyshire

Beavers Croft sits right next to Howden Dam
Beavers Croft sits right next to Howden Dam (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Another beautiful stone building, Beavers Croft is a 17th-century barn conversion near Bamford in the Derwent Valley area of the Peak District. Set within lovely countryside, the barn sits right next to Howden Dam and acres of woodland, though it boasts a two-acre landscaped garden of its own, plus a terrace complete with outdoor furniture and barbecue.

Inside, the building has been lovingly converted into modern accommodation while keeping original features such as the exposed brick and stone walls and vaulted ceilings with wooden beams. The living area has the usual comfy-looking sofas alongside a range of board games – right next to an open-plan dining area and kitchen – with high ceilings and exposed stone giving the impression of staying in a castle rather than a barn.

The area around the barn is the perfect location for walking and cycling (as is the Peak District as a whole), as well as more adventurous activities such as mountain biking or longer rambles. Bamford has a number of shops, pubs and cafes, while the local reservoirs are a great option for relaxing by the water (though make sure you don’t swim in them).

How to stay

Prices start from £325 per night, with a minimum three-night stay. Sleeps eight.

Read our reviews of the best UK hotels

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in