Our Top 10 Small Holiday Cottages for Big Adventures

Need some inspiration for your next family getaway? With so much to see and do across the UK, it can be difficult to know where to start. But one thing’s for sure, after months of being cooped up indoors, you’re probably ready to get out and explore. 

So, whether you’re a seasoned outdoor adventurer, a history buff with a penchant for ancient ruins, or you’re simply looking for a fun-filled holiday that will keep the kids entertained, look no further. At kate and tom’s we have a wide range of luxury holiday cottages dotted across England and Wales, close to some of the country’s best attractions. 

Cotswolds to coastal havens along the south coast, here’s our pick of our top 10 small holiday cottages for families seeking big adventures. 

Water’s Reach & Ullswater Barn, Lake District 

As England’s largest National Park, the Lake District is home to rugged mountains, stunning lakes and a whole host of wonderful family attractions. A popular hotspot for visitors is Lake Windermere, the area’s largest lake, on which you can enjoy idyllic boat trips and a variety of water sports if you’re looking for adventure. 

There’s also lots to do in the surrounding area, including several literary museums, the Lakes Aquarium and the vintage Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway. Slightly further afield is Grizedale Forest, which acts as a sheltered adventure playground for people of all ages. Activities here include walking, cycling, Segway riding and Go Ape tree-top course.

After a hard day’s play, Water’s Reach is the perfect place to relax and unwind. One of two lake view holiday cottages in our collection, this secluded Swiss-style lodge features a cosy wood burner and panoramic views across Lake Windermere. Further north you’ll find Ullswater Barn, another waterside lodge with floor to ceiling windows at the foot of Helvellyn. This luxury hideaway is perfect for walkers and climbers wanting to get away from it all.  

The Coast House, Northumberland

Northumberland offers the best of countryside and coast in one. With unspoilt beaches, traditional market towns and a myriad of ancient castles like Bamburgh and Lindisfarne dotted along its windswept coastline, there’s something here for everyone.

For adventure seekers, Adventure Northumberland in Alnwick offers both equipment hire and guided sessions in coasteering, kayaking, canoeing and more. If you’d prefer to stay dry, a boat trip from Seahouses is another great way to enjoy the water. In summer you may even spot some local wildlife, like seals and puffins!

Just two miles from the sandy cove of Beadnell Bay, you’ll find The Coast House. Usually reserved for larger parties, this luxury holiday cottage with a large games room and unique cocktail-making area is now available for small groups to hire out – family party anyone? 

Kingham Houses & Campden Edge, The Cotswolds 

Known for its rolling hills and spectacular scenery, the Cotswolds is the perfect place to explore. For a fun family day out, the Cotswold Falconry Centre showcases an impressive collection of birds of prey during its daily flying displays, while more exotic animals can be found at Cotswold Wildlife Park. Find giraffes, rhinos and lions, all within the unsuspecting gardens of a Victorian Manor House. 

For hiking enthusiasts, The Cotswold Way offers over 100 miles of scenic walks, all the way from Bath to Chipping Campden, home to one of our best country cottages.  Campden Edge really makes a statement with its honey-coloured stonework and thatched roof, and indoors is just as impressive. Enjoy movie nights with the family in its state-of-the-art cinema room or unwind in the heated pool after a long day’s walk.    

Once named ‘England’s Favourite Village’, Kingham is home to a unique electric bike tour and two highly rated pubs for food lovers. Here you’ll find our quaint holiday cottages where you can bathe in the relaxing Turkish hammam after a busy day out, swim leisurely laps in the heated pool or enjoy some family fun on the tennis courts. 

The Dunes, North Cornwall

Four miles from Newport, Mawgan Porth is a quieter beach away from the crowds, sheltered by high cliffs on either side. As well as being a great surfing beach, it also has a multitude of rockpools, inlets and caves to explore. 

The surrounding area has all kinds of things to see and do, from National Trust heritage sites to animal attractions and boating trips around Newquay Bay. Further up the coast, Tintagel Castle is a particularly impressive sight on the headland. This Dark Age settlement has a unique network of ancient paths and bridges soaring high above the elusive Merlin’s Cave below, which has inspired writers for centuries. 

Tucked away on the edge of the sand at Mawgan Porth, you’ll find our secluded beach house, aptly named The Dunes. Just steps from the beach via a private path, you can enjoy barefoot walks along the sand or volleyball games with the family. For the best fish and chips in the area, visit Rick Stein’s award-winning restaurant in neighbouring Padstow.

As night falls, watch the sun go down from the garden overlooking the sea and when it’s time for bed, two of your party will have the added delight of ascending the ladder to the cosy loft area, reminiscent of carefree childhood sleepovers. 

Kirkbride Hall, Cumbria

The Eden Valley in Cumbria is conveniently situated beside the North Pennines to the east and the Lake District to the west. With lush countryside, sweeping fells and clusters of woodland, it is the perfect base for walkers of all abilities.

The River Eden, Cumbria’s longest waterway, is a terrific fishing spot for those who’d like to try their luck at hooking a salmon or sea trout. There’s also several ruined castles, mysterious stone circles and the famous Hadrian’s Wall with its ancient Roman forts nearby. However, the best attraction in the area has got to be the
Settle-to-Carlisle Railway, with one of the most scenic railway lines in Britain.  

In the village of Melmerby, overlooking Cross Fell, lies Kirkbride Hall. Just 10 miles from the Lake District, this cosy yet contemporary cottage boasts walled orchards, a sandstone terrace and antique four poster bed in the master bedroom. Close to the Hartside Pass, climb the hill to enjoy views all the way to Scotland. 

The Penthouse & Ludbrook Stables, South Devon

With 120 miles of unrivalled coastline, South Devon is both an Area of Outstanding Beauty and a World Heritage Site. Steeped in history, this coastal haven boasts beautiful beaches and secluded coves, and remains a firm favourite with British holidaymakers.

It goes without saying that this area is perfect for anyone who enjoys water sports. From canoeing to kayaking, surfing to paddle boarding, you can do it all on the south coast. If you’d rather watch from a distance, you can enjoy breathtaking views over the water from the spacious balcony of our luxury Penthouse in Dartmouth. 

Further inland, nestled on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, you’ll find Ludbrook Stables – one of our best small holiday cottages in Devon. This cosy annexe offers a heated pool, private tennis courts and 8 acres of landscaped grounds to explore. South Devon’s Heritage Railway and Dartmoor Zoo are also on your doorstep. 

Fairoaks Farm Barns, Herefordshire

The Malvern Hills in Herefordshire is an Area of Outstanding Beauty offering incredible views over the Severn Valley, serene walking routes and natural springs water favoured by royalty.

Nearby there are several museums, parks and gardens, including the famous Three Counties Showground which hosts the popular RHS Malvern Spring Festival each year. There are also several heritage sites in the area, including Hampton Court and Eastnor Castle. The grounds of this impressive mock castle, dating back to 1820, are ideal for keeping the kids amused, with a large playground, maze and tree-top course. 

Nestled in the Malvern Hills, you’ll find our four restored barns on the 300-acre estate at Fairoaks Farm. This picturesque setting is a great base for exploring the area, with walks in all directions. Unwind in the rolltop bath in the rustic Sugarloaf Barn or stargaze through the Velux windows from your plush mattress in Midsummer Barn

Get out and explore

Whatever your interests, there are all kinds of adventures to be had across the UK. Hike picturesque routes in the Cotswolds, make waves on the sandy beaches of Cornwall or swing from the tree tops in the Lake District.

Marvel at ancient coastal castles overlooking the sea in Northumberland, enjoy a close animal encounter at South Devon’s top wildlife attraction, or take a trip on one of Britain’s most scenic railways in Cumbria.

Feeling inspired? Book your next adventure holiday with kate and tom’s and enjoy a combination of fun-filled days making memories with the family and relaxing evenings beside the fire in our sumptuous holiday lets. 

For tailored advice and to book, please get in touch via our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.