Having already enjoyed my main holiday abroad for this year, I wanted to book somewhere local where I could enjoy the Great British summer time with my girl friend without breaking the bank... again.
After asking my friends for some advice on where to go, my weekend for two suddenly turned into a weekend for six, as two more couples intend to join us on our great British adventure. Under normal circumstances my girlfriend and I would have booked a B&B somewhere along the English coast line but with the extra people involved we decided to book a cottage big enough to hold the six of us. As we are all from the city, cottages are not something we have grown up with so the novelty alone should keep us entertained over the long weekend.
As there are a number of us going on this long weekend holiday I had to make sure that everyone was happy with the arrangements which meant I had to choose something somewhat close to London, that has at least three double size bedrooms and with enough things to do to keep us occupied during our stay. I am a bit of a history buff so if I can sneak in some historical monuments then all the better. There are certainly no shortages of cottages for rent across the UK and there are a number of internet sites that are designed to help you find and book the right cottage for your needs. Some websites are simply booking agents for a number of cottages while other website provides a fully interactive website with readymade offers they think will be most appealing.
The hardest part of my search was deciding a destination. I have enjoyed my short breaks to seaside resorts like Brighton and Hastings but feel I have done them to death. So instead of a beach holiday I decided to go for something more tranquil and with a bit more nature to it. I have never been to the Lake District before so I thought now would be a good time to give it a go. After using a few different Cottage rental websites, I felt comfortable with the Cottages4You.co.uk website as it was well designed, the search features where pretty good while the prices were also quite reasonable.
Most of the cottages I looked at were only available for week rentals so finding a weekend resort was a bit of a trek. Luckily on most websites there are advanced searches which allow you to stipulate how long your stay will be and filters the results for you. For a three night stay, the first day most always be on a Friday which is perfect for my needs but a bit frustrating if you want to start on a Monday.
In this day and age, the need for the internet is also a big requirement and I was also pleased to find a number which offers wireless internet as standard on most of the cottages I was most interested in. I even found a number of cottages that have outdoor pools which I can imagine would be a great laugh, especially if you are going there with a group of good friends.
Most cottages provide linins for beds as well as most mod cons you would find in your own home so you will never be without in most of these places. If you want to bring the kids along with you, there are also options for highchairs and cots but luckily this is something I do not have to worry about for now.
In the end I was able to locate what I thought to be the perfect cottage for me and my 5 friends and was simply booked and paid for online without talking to anyone directly. There are of course numbers you can call if you have any specific questions about the property before you rent it. Reviews are always a good way to know if a property holds up to its description and there were a number of promising cottages I was interested in renting before I read the comments about cleanliness and the general state of the properties. Be sure to search the internet for any references to your interested property to ensure you are disappointed when you get there.
In summary, booking a cottage holiday in the UK online is a very simple process however the sheer amount of properties can become a headache. With the correct search terms you can quickly narrow down your search but remember to always read the reviews as they can help swing a decision and save you the heartache of staying in a subpar cottage. In the end I found a nice 4 bedroom cottage in the lake district complete with mod cons, internet and close to amenities (basically a pub) for the grand price of £256 for the weekend. Bargain.