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12 top tips for finding the perfect cottage for you and your family

Posted: Mon, 23rd May 2022
Dream, Bolthole Retreats


When it’s just you and your partner heading off for a quick escape, you’ll probably have a straightforward checklist to follow to find your perfect holiday cottage, but that all changes when your children or extended family are coming too. As the lead booker you’ll have a greater responsibility, with everyone most likely looking to you to choose the best property match possible (yikes!) So, we’ve created the following 12 top tips for finding the perfect cottage for you and your family… hoping that it takes some pressure off you too!

1. Choose a property to match the school holiday

We think our School Holiday Planner is like a seam of gold for parents trying to find suitable holiday cottages during the UK’s major school holidays. We’ve looked at each holiday period and worked out which properties are ideal for you and your family.

2. Preparing for under-twos

If you have little ones coming, be sure to check the ‘More Filters’ option on our Search Bar and from the dropdown list select ‘Family Friendly’. All the properties with that filter applied will have at least one highchair and one travel cot. (Note that none of our properties provide cot bedding.)

3. Check out games for older children, and ‘big kids’ too

Some properties have games rooms, table tennis tables and table football, while others provide a couple of board games. All good to know ahead so that you know if there’s in-cottage active entertainment and what extras you may or may not need to squeeze into your car. You can find out what’s provided by clicking on the ‘Full List of Facilities’ on each online property page.

4. Be WiFi prepared

These days just about everyone needs WiFi access, and the password will most likely be the first thing you’ll be asked for on arrival by younger members of your group. All our properties have free WiFi service, ranging from simple broadband to super-fast cable. You can find out more about the service on the individual property description online. Once you’ve booked, you’ll be sent the specific router information and password.

5. Avoid youngster boredom

You’ll never hear the dreaded phrase, “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do”, with all the family friendly experiences we’ve rustled up for you and your family. Take some time checking them out so that you can choose ones that suit your age group and aren’t too far to travel to.

6. Book tickets to events well in advance

Continuing on from the last tip, we recommend booking experiences and events well in advance to avoid disappointment, whether you’re going to a Gifford’s Circus performance, The Big Feastival, the Cotswold Show & Food Festival, or a Fat Squirrel Outdoor Experience.

7. Finding a cottage for an extended family group

If your immediate family is more than 10, you’re inviting extended family members or perhaps, another whole family of friends, you’re going to need a bigger than average-sized cottage. We’ve created a collection of holiday properties that sleep 10+ guests, making them perfect for large group get-togethers, or you can view our neighbouring properties to have two properties next door to one another, offering you a lot of space but also your own privacy.

8. Make sure your four-legged member of the family is welcome too

If your dog is an inseparable part of the family and simply has to come too, check the ‘More Filters’ option on our Search Bar and from the dropdown list select ‘Dog Friendly’. A whole host of dog-friendly properties will appear. You can find out if there’s a secure and enclosed garden from the property’s ‘Full List of Facilities’. (Some of our properties will accept moggies too, but please ask us if you’d like to bring your pussy cat.) Alternatively, we have a doggy dedicated page.

9. No pets please?

If you would prefer a cottage that doesn’t accept pets, we can help with that too. Head to our pet free properties.

10. For easy catering, stay close to a good pub

Nobody (surely?) wants to prepare and cook meals all holiday long, and with a family group you might not want to drive far to eat out either. So, we’ve created a collection of holiday cottages near a local pub with every one of them providing some form of pub ‘grub’. Usually, because it’s the Cotswolds, they’re nearly all good quality. Alternatively, you can tell if a property is near a local pub by the icon on each property page, and in the ‘On Your Doorstep’ section of the property description, we’ll even tell you which one!

11. Let’s have a cosy fire

If a crackling fireplace at the heart of a cosy cottage with your family all around you is the quintessential mental picture of a holiday in the Cotswolds, we’ve made it super easy to find that holiday property with a fireplace.

12. Come ready for all weathers

We all know the British weather is a fickle thing and can swing through all the seasons in one day. Here are a few of our favourite things to bring, which will help you all get out whatever the weather: wellies, rain suits for little ones (so they can puddle jump, of course), a couple of umbrellas, sun cream, swimsuits (yes there is a beach in the Cotswolds!), and a picnic blanket for lazing in the sunshine.

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