Enjoy a holiday cottage this bank holiday weekend

April and May are fantastic times of year. Not only are we enjoying some lovely spring sunshine, there are also three bank holiday weekends in a relatively short time. We have Easter, early spring bank holiday and Spring bank holiday all within a few weeks of each other.

What better time to get away from it all in a lovely holiday cottage?

Not only do we have some long weekends, the trees are green, lambs are out, flowers are budding and life is renewing once more. It’s a fantastic time of year, especially after the winter we had!

Wherever you live, wherever you want to go, we have a holiday cottage for you. With over 15,000 high quality holiday lets on our books, there really is something here for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a romantic cottage, something near the city, by the seaside, a holiday cottage for all the family, with a pool, a pet friendly holiday let or something else. We can help.

The origin of bank holidays

There are eight public holidays in a given year and we have had three of them already. That leaves just five for the remainder of the year. They are:

  • Early May bank holiday – Monday 5th May
  • Spring bank holiday – Monday 26th May
  • Summer bank holiday – Monday 25th August
  • Christmas Day – Thursday 25th December
  • Boxing Day -  Friday 26th December

Originally, bank holidays were exactly that. The Bank of England would close its doors for business to observe saint’s days and religious festivals and no business was conducted. This had a ripple effect, which led other businesses to close their doors too.

There were 33 bank holidays a year until the Bank Holidays Act 1871 which reduced it to four. They were Easter Monday, Whit Monday (which could fall anywhere between 11 May and 14 June), the first Monday in August (later changed to the last Monday) and Boxing Day  on 26th December.

August bank holiday was introduced in 1965 and formalised in law by the Financial Dealings Act 1971, which also reaffirmed the existing bank holidays. The Spring bank holiday was added in 1978 and the early Spring bank holiday was introduced to replace Whitsun.

So while the banks aren’t popular for much these days, at least they were the reason we get extra days off during the year!

If you want to make the most of your bank holidays, why not try a holiday cottage somewhere nice? Holidaycottages.net has a huge variety of cottages, of all shapes and sizes, across the UK and Ireland. Each has something different to offer and each will offer excellent value for money!

Check out our range of holiday cottages this bank holiday weekend. We think you’ll love them!

How to tell if a holiday cottage advert is real

Holiday rental scams are never far from the headlines as a new scam or new victim is unearthed. These kind of scams are cruel in that they not only steal your money, they also ruin your holiday. A double blow that can easily be avoided by renting a holiday cottage from holidaycottages.net.

The big difference between holidaycottages.net and many other websites offering holiday home rentals is the fact we do everything by hand. We don’t have automated forms that allow anyone to advertise a holiday cottage. To advertise on holidaycottages.net, owners have to contact us directly.

This not only allows us to build relationships with our property owners, it also allows us to check them out too. While it’s no guarantee of reliability, it’s certainly far above what many other holiday rental websites offer!

If you don’t use holidaycottages.net to find your dream holiday cottage. Here are some tips on ensuring your holiday rental is genuine.

Talk to the property owner

While many of the holiday cottage arrangements can be made via email, it’s always a good idea to speak to the property owner over the phone. You can ask them questions about the property, the area and the local amenities as well as get a feel for them as people.

Most scammers won’t know anything about the local area or amenities, so it’s a good way to sort the real from the not so real.

Check references and feedback

Like any professional arrangement, if a business offers you references, take the time to check them. Whether it’s a plumber or a holiday cottage, asking others for their opinion is a great way of finding out about the reality of the transaction.

The holiday industry is one that benefits greatly from feedback. It’s always worth checking out your potential holiday cottage on feedback sites.

Do your research

Once you have a good idea of what and where your holiday cottage is, check it out on the internet. Search the property name, the address, check Google Street View and the owner’s name or business name.

Also look for negative feedback, scam reports and any other negative press. Don’t take it at face value as people tend to say anything online. Verify everything and bear it in mind when making a booking.

Get a contract

Each holiday cottage owner works slightly differently, but most will want to confirm in writing the dates, cost, who will be staying and when you will be arriving and leaving. Some will do this by email, others will issue a booking contract.

Check everything before signing and ensure you’re paying the owner directly. Not all holiday cottage owners will accept credit cards, but use one if they do.

We do everything we can to ensure every single holiday cottage on our website is real and that they offer great value. While we would always recommend using our site to book your next holiday, at least you now know what to look for if you don’t!

Enjoy a lovely holiday cottage this May Day bank holiday

If the end of winter and the fact that spring is well under way isn’t enough to warrant a weekend away, what about the fact we have three set of bank holiday weekends to enjoy? If that isn’t a great reason to rent a holiday cottage somewhere nice, we don’t know what is!

Here at holidaycottages.net, we have thousands of the highest quality holiday cottages available to rent all year round. We have cottages in just about every area of the UK and Ireland, with some offering discounts for last minute bookings. Even on a bank holiday!

Check out our interactive map to find your perfect holiday cottage for May Day bank holiday weekend. Treat yourself or your family to a weekend by the seaside, a break in the country or by exploring a city you haven’t seen before.

Holiday at home this May Day bank holiday

Wherever you want to go, whatever you want to do, we have the perfect holiday cottage for you. Want a cottage with a pool? Check. Want a pet-friendly holiday rental? Check. A cottage by the sea? We have those too. Want to explore Ireland? We have hundreds of holiday cottage that are just perfect as a base.

Don’t want to spend hours at the airport waiting for a flight? Don’t want to contend with queues? Ever-decreasing weight limits for your luggage? Would you prefer to holiday your own way, at your own pace? Then a holiday cottage is for you.

Explore a different part of the country at your pace, at your leisure. We have cottages in every part of the country from Cornwall to Cork, London to Londonderry, Exeter to Edinburgh and everywhere in between. If there’s a part of the country you have always wanted to explore, this May Day bank holiday is the perfect time to do it!

With over 15,000 listed holiday cottages and ABTA registration, holidaycottages.net is the perfect place to plan your spring break. With great cottages and great savings, why go anywhere else?

Fancy something a little different? Holidaycottages.net also lists boats. If you fancy a long weekend on the water, we can help there too. We have hundreds of boats of all shapes and sizes from cruisers to narrowboats and all offer the same kind of quality as our cottages.

So wherever you want to spend your May Day bank holiday, holidaycottages.net can help. Book your next holiday today!

Want a last minute break? We have a wide range of holiday cottages available this week or next for anything up to 30% off the normal price! 

Let your dog enjoy Easter alongside the family with holidaycottages.net!

Renting a holiday cottage over Easter is a great way for all the family to escape the world and spend quality time together over the long weekend. But there’s no reason to leave the dog at home or in a kennel while you’re away.

Many of the 15,000 holiday cottages on the holidaycottages.net website are completely dog friendly. So there’s no need to leave man’s best friend at home. You can bring them with you to enjoy the time away. You don’t miss them, they don’t miss you and you don’t have to pay for a kennel stay either.

The popularity of holidaying with dogs has allowed the holiday cottage industry to rise to the challenge. Self-catering holidays are now the prime way for families to enjoy family time with their pets.

A cottage is warmer and more comfortable than camping and offer much more space than a caravan, so it perfect for an Easter break with your dog.

Don’t forget, you can take your dog on the train as long as it’s on a lead. You can take them on ferries too if you’re travelling to Europe. Just check with the train operator or ferry company before travelling to ensure you have everything you need.

The EU Pet Passport also allows you to take your dog abroad to Ireland and the rest of Europe. That’s great news if you want to go a little further afield. Check out the government website if you want to know more about taking your dog abroad.

Pets and holiday cottages

Many of our holiday cottages are quite relaxed about allowing dogs. Many will charge a small fee to cover extra cleaning and wear and tear but these are generally sensible.

There are a few things we would like to remind pet owners about when using our holiday cottages though.

  • Keep animals off the furniture wherever possible
  • Bring lots of things for them to do to avoid boredom and furniture chewing
  • Don’t leave mess behind when you leave
  • Ensure your dog is safe and secure while travelling and while in the cottage
  • Don’t leave animals unattended while in a holiday cottage

That’s it!

As we have said before, ensuring you have a well behaved dog and cleaning up behind yourself ensures more holiday cottage owners have positive feelings about allowing dogs. Following these guidelines means we can all benefit from having animals around us when we go away.

So check out our range of pet friendly holiday cottages and book one for yourselves this Easter. Book it when you see it as this is a busy time of year!

Announcing the new holidaycottages.net iPhone app!

You’ve heard the saying “there’s an app for that” right? Well now there really is. Holidaycottages.net is pleased to announce it has released its very own iPhone app!

The app installs in seconds and will have you searching our selection of thousands of holiday cottages within minutes. With the holidaycottages.net app, you can do everything you can do on our website, from anywhere!

The app is only 2.5mb and allows you to search out database of over 15,000 holiday cottages across the United Kingdom and Ireland and see what holiday cottages are near to your location. If that wasn’t enough, it can also tell you what attractions are around you too.

So even if you’re already in one of our amazing holiday cottages, you can use the iPhone app to find local attractions. There need never be a dull moment at any time of year when you’re in a holiday cottage from holidaycottages.net!

You can search our database, book a cottage via the app or by calling our reservations team from within the app. You can pretty much find, book and arrange your entire holiday through this app alone. If that doesn’t make it worth downloading, we don’t know what will!

The holidaycottages.net iPhone app can work in concert with other popular apps such as Google Earth, TripAdvisor, National Rail Enquiries, Live Traffic Info and many more to offer a lot of value for your trip. Mobile phone apps are a great way of accessing information while on the move. Ideal for when you’re on holiday.

We hope you find our app as useful as we do and use it to find the perfect holiday cottage for your needs.

If you already have iTunes, the app is here. If you need iTunes, you can find it here.

We have designed the holidaycottages.net iPhone app to be as simple and as effective as possible. There are no excessive bells and whistles, no gaudy graphics or confusing messages. Just the app and its ability to make your holiday dreams come true and enhance the holiday you’re already having.

If you have any ideas or feedback on the app, let us know through the app, through iTunes or through this website. We’d be happy to hear from you!

The UK’s Ten Best Easter Walks Part 2.

Continuing our Easter roundup of Britain’s best Easter walks, we now have the final six. All of these are great reasons to get away for the Bank Holiday weekend and rent a holiday cottage somewhere beautiful.

Try one, try them all!

5.    Pennine Way

The Pennine Way has to be one of the most famous walks in the country. The trail stretches over 429km from from Edale in Derbyshire’s Peak District, through the Yorkshire Dales to Kirk Yetholm.

The path traverses some amazing countryside, including three National Parks. It would take around three weeks to walk it all, so a holiday cottage somewhere strategic would make as much of this as accessible as possible within a four day weekend!

6.    Cotswolds Way

The Cotswolds Way is another famous walk that shows off the best of the English countryside. This trail lets you enjoy everything the Cotswolds has to offer between Bath and Chipping Campden over 164km of relaxed trails.

The Cotswolds area is one of outstanding beauty and now the floods are over, most of it is now passable once more. We have plenty of holiday cottages in the area too.

7.    Offa's Dyke Path

Offa's Dyke runs the entire length of the England-Wales border for over 130km. Originally built to separate the two warring kingdoms of Mercia and Wales, the dyke stretched for over 286km.

Some of it has now gone, but the Offa's Dyke Path now runs from Sedbury in the south to Prestatyn in the north.

8.    Kintyre Way

Kintyre Way in Scotland stretches 140km from from Tarbert at the north end of the Kintyre peninsula to Dunaverty in the south. It’s a coastal walk that is largely unknown, having been open only 8 years.

It’s a mixed trail with some easy walks and some serious hikes, making it ideal for an Easter getaway.

9.    Yorkshire Three Peaks

If you love a challenge, you’ll love Yorkshire Three Peaks. The trail is “only” 42km long, but includes Yorkshire’s three highest points. It’s a loop that includes Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent. While only 42km long, 1.6km of that is ascent!

If you’re competitive, the goal is to complete the walk within 12 hours. If you’re not, it’s an excellent place to spend Easter weekend. We have a few holiday cottages within easy reach too.

10.    South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path is an epic trail spanning 1011km through Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset. You certainly couldn’t do this route over an Easter weekend, but you could enjoy a decent portion of it!

If you want to see dramatic coastline, beautiful fields, forests and beaches, this is the trail to do.

We have holiday cottages throughout the UK that would serve as an ideal base for walking these top ten trails. Book yours today before it’s too late!

The UK’s Ten Best Easter Walks

This post is the first in a two-part series highlighting some of the UK’s best Easter walks. Walking is one of the primary reasons people stay in holiday cottages and a reason we’re completely in favour of. As walkers ourselves, we know how convenient it is to rent a holiday cottage in the middle of somewhere new, park the car and walk everywhere. We think there’s no better way to explore the world around us!

Springtime is a fantastic time of year to throw off the shackles of winter and embrace the sunshine, the new life and everything the great British countryside has to offer. The UK has some of the most beautiful scenery of anywhere in the world and how better to experience that than by walking.

We think these walks are the perfect accompaniment to one of our great value Easter holiday cottages. We think you will too!

So without further ado, here is the first part of our top ten Easter walks in the UK.

1.    Thames Path

The Thames Path is a National Trail that stretches for almost 300km from Cirencester in Gloucester near the source of the Thames. It follows the river through Gloucester, Oxfordshire and Berkshire to arrive at Greenwich in London.

The path is relatively flat and well-trodden and will take you through Oxford, Henley and the depths of Berkshire to Windsor, then on to Richmond and then finally to Greenwich. It’s a long trail, but well worth the trip if you want to explore the heart of England.

2.    Hadrian's Wall Path

At the other end of the country is Hadrian's Wall Path. This path follows the remains of the Roman wall for 135km across Cumbria and Northumberland. Essentially, the walk crosses most of the narrow part of England and takes in some stunning views.

The trail stretches from Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria to Wallsend in Tyne and Wear. The direction you walk it is entirely up to you, although “Wallsend” seems as good a place to finish this walk as any!

3.    Southern Upland Way

While in the north, you might like to travel to Scotland and take in the Southern Upland Way. This is the UK’s longest walk at 340km. It’s also regarded as one of the toughest too. It stretches from Portpatrick all the way to Cockburnspath and crosses some truly astonishing countryside.

This walk really will need a holiday cottage to use as a base as it’s isolated too. You will need to pack carefully, prepare properly to get the most out of this challenging walk!

4.    Pembrokeshire Coast Path

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is another challenging but rewarding walk we thoroughly recommend. It’s another National Trail and is 299km long end to end. It goes from Amroth north to St. Dogmaels in Pembrokeshire. It also forms part of the Wales Coast Path which covers over 1,400km in total!

This walk is within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and allows walkers to explore some dramatic coastline, high bluffs, cliffs and amazing countryside. Well worth a try!

Join us again next time for part 2 of our ten best Easter walks. Don't forget, we have a wide range of holiday cottages near to all of these walk. Check them out before they get booked for Easter!

Keep the kids happy with these Easter egg hunt ideas

If you’re planning to enjoy the best of British springtime with an Easter break in a holiday cottage, you’re going to need plenty to keep the kids happy while you’re there. Wherever you go, however much you plan to do on your holiday, your kids will always have more energy to burn. We know!

That’s why we have put together this quick post of ideas for Easter egg hunts. You can take them to your cottage with you, set them up in minutes and sit back and watch while your children burn energy trying to find them.

Couple these ideas with a lovely holiday cottage in the British countryside or by the seaside and you have a recipe for the perfect Easter break!

Dusk hunt

With the evenings getting lighter, a twilight Easter egg hunt is a great way to exhaust the kids before bedtime. Hide brightly coloured eggs around your holiday cottage or in the garden, give them a torch and let them loose. It’s as easy as that!

Puzzle hunt

A cool twist on the Easter egg hunt is the puzzle hunt. Get some hollow chocolate eggs, write a clue to the big prize on paper, tear the paper up, number the pieces and place one in each egg. Hide the eggs and let your children find them. Not only do they get an Easter egg hunt, they also get a clue to an even bigger prize.

Treasure egg hunt

Another variation on a theme is the treasure egg hunt. Buy some smaller brightly coloured eggs and put them in a box or “treasure chest.” Instead of hiding eggs on their own, hide either clues or eggs with clues attached. Alternatively, draw them a treasure map and let them follow the clues to the eggs.

This type of hunt is ideal if you’re in a holiday cottage by the sea, or in Cornwall as it fits the surroundings perfectly!

Sugarless egg hunt

Not every child can have chocolate and you don’t want them to miss out. Use those plastic eggs that come with the toys and add your own surprise to them. Then hide the eggs as you normally would and let them loose!

Prizes can be anything from money, cinema tickets, IOU for a trip to the zoo or anything likely to make up for the lack of chocolate.

Those are just four types of Easter egg hunt you can arrange quickly and quietly from your holiday cottage. Not only do they continue the feeling of Easter while you’re away, they will also keep the kids occupied for ages!

Enjoy Easter in an eggstravagant holiday cottage!

Easter is a fantastic time of year. Not only do you get to eat as much chocolate as you can handle, it’s also springtime. Taking an Easter break in one of our lovely holiday cottages is the perfect way to spend that time.

Spring is the best time of year as far as we’re concerned, especially this year. After a long, wet winter, nature is throwing off the gloom, drying the land and waking up once more. The grass is growing, trees are coming into leaf, flowers are blooming and the animals are getting ready for the year ahead.

What better time to enjoy the fantastic British countryside?

Whether you’re planning for the Easter bank holiday, the school break or both, we have a cottage for you. We have holiday cottages by the sea, in the depths of the countryside, near lively towns and villages. We have romantic cottages for two, or large family-sized cottages so the kids can come too.

Holidaycottages.net always has the widest range of holiday accommodation. From quaint to contemporary, character to colossal, it’s all here and all priced affordably.

Easter holidays are about taking a break from work and school, sitting back and enjoying what the world has to offer. It’s about spending time with the ones you love and starting the new year as you mean to go on. What better way to do that than with an Easter break in a holiday cottage?

Easter is also a time of year when attractions hold their own Easter events. Easter egg hunts, festivals, fayres, fetes, exhibitions and all sorts of organised activities are held over Easter. If you’re up for something a little more free form, then a lovely cottage is a great base of operations for an Easter break of your own making.

Look out for local events in the place you’re staying as there is bound to be something going on!

Enjoy Snowdonia, visit Cornwall, relax by the lakes, explore East Anglia, hike Hadrian’s Wall, visit the Giant’s Causeway or do whatever feels right. Just know that there are hundreds of high quality holiday cottages here to help.

Don’t pay excessive holiday charges because it’s a school holiday. Don’t pay over the top for hotels because they have a captive audience. Don’t spend hours in an airport waiting for flights. Book an Easter holiday cottage with Holidaycottages.net and begin your holiday right away!