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Picture postcard pretty Bibury in the Cotswolds, England
Picture postcard pretty Bibury in the Cotswolds, England

Holiday Cottages in Central England

Our guide to holidays in and around Central England

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Swathes of rolling green countryside and patchwork pastures are broken up by serene villages and lively cities, making a Central England holiday both fun and varied. With a landscape that ranges from postcard pretty to industrial chic, you're sure to find a view that speaks to your soul.

Take a read of our guide to Central England below, or browse through all holiday cottages in Central England

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DerbyshireThe CotswoldsGloucestershireHerefordshireOxfordshireShropshireStaffordshireWarwickshireWorcestershire
 

Derbyshire

Millstones on Hathersage Moor, Derbyshire, England
Hathersage Moor, Derbyshire, England

Derbyshire is famous for the Peak District National Park, staggeringly grand country estates, and terrific shopping. It's geographically central making it convenient to reach from anywhere in the UK. You don't have to go far to feel removed from the rush and stress of your daily life, so if a day hiking the hills sounds too strenuous, make your way to Britain's oldest public park: the Arboretum in Derby.

A visit to Chatsworth House is a treat for all the senses, and if stately homes are your thing, there are also Hardwick Hall and Bolsover Castle in Chesterfield to enjoy. Bakewell, Buxton, and Ashbourne are just three of many bustling market towns which are a must to visit. The latter is an especially good base if you plan on visiting Alton Towers theme park.

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The Cotswolds

Lower Slaughter, The Cotswolds, England
Lower Slaughter, The Cotswolds, England

The Cotswolds is the embodyment of quintessential English village life, and is arguably one of the prettiest parts of England. The soft golden stone buildings make it feel warm and welcoming on even the most miserable day. The Cotswolds AONB covers large parts of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, but also clips the edges of Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset. Although a popular tourist area, farming and equestrian pursuits are a major part of the local economy resulting in a landscape that is largely unspoiled. Many of the towns and villages such as Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Norton and Broadway have rich histories and architecture dating back hundreds of years; the Porch House in Stow-on-the-Wold dates back to 947AD making it the oldest inn in the UK.

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Gloucestershire

The River at Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England
Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England

The county of Gloucestershire is vast, bordering Wales to the west and Oxfordshire to the east. The county town of Gloucester is rich in character and history, as is Bath which is easily accessible in Somerset, where you can sit where Romans sat, and stroll where Jane Austen promenaded. It's great for shopping and eating, as is Cirencester. The landscape is no less attractive than the architecture. Gloucestershire is home to both the Forest of Dean - fantastic for mountain bikers and hikers - and Clearwell Caves. It is understandable why Gloucestershire is the weekend county of choice for so many well-heeled Londoners.

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Herefordshire

View of River Wye, Herefordshire, England
River Wye, Herefordshire, England

Herefordshire is the county of majestic rivers, rolling countryside, interesting market towns and pretty 'black and white villages. Not only the county town but also a cathedral city, Hereford itself is steeped in history and sits at the counties heart. Ever since the Saxons settled there in around 700, Hereford has been a vibrant market town. Its position on the Welsh border means it has seen a few skirmishes, but it's now a calm and pleasant place to visit.

Herefordshire includes the celebrated book town of Hay-on-Wye, Ross-on-Wye, and Mortimer Country, which remains as unspoiled as it was in medieval times. Appreciate it first on the Mortimer Trail, which runs from Ludlow to Kington.

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Oxfordshire

Oxford City Centre, Oxfordshire, England
Oxford City Centre, Oxfordshire, England

Given its proximity to London (it only takes an hour to get from Paddington Station in central London to Oxford) it would be easy for Oxfordshire to feel totally suburban. Thankfully, it doesn't. Oxford city centre is built around the ancient university and surrounded by postcard picture villages and countryside. The peace of the Chiltern Hills belies its industrial past and is popular with walkers; while Bicester is a haven for lovers of a bargain with its fantastic designer outlet shopping. The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Blenheim Palace are both enjoyable and educational, but even a leisurely stroll along a stretch of the River Thames will leave you relaxed and smiling.

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Shropshire

Dramatic sky over Carding Mill Valley, Shropshire, England
Carding Mill Valley, Shropshire

Looking across the peaceful Shropshire countryside, it's difficult to believe this was where the Industrial Revolution began. Whether you base yourself in Shrewsbury, Church Stretton, Ludlow, Market Drayton, or any one of dozens of villages, you can experience the fantastic food and history the region is renowned for.

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Staffordshire

Climber on top of The Roaches, Staffordshire, England
Overlooking Tittisworth from The Roaches, Staffordshire, England

Staffordshire has a fascinating history and a modern outlook, making it a great choice for families and couples looking for somewhere different for their next holiday. It's ideal if you love being outdoors, with a wealth of parks, gardens and wildlife areas, but with cities like Stoke-on-Trent, Lichfield and Stafford, there is no shortage of shopping, culture and entertainment. Known for theme parks including Alton Towers and Drayton Park, Staffordshire offers a wealth of opportunities for fun and excitement.

A day in Staffordshire could include a hair-raising ride along the mountain bike trails at Cannock Chase or a more gentle cycle through Dimmingsdale in the Staffordshire Moorlands. You could walk through the beautiful countryside along the The Way for the Millennium footpath which covers the length and breadth of the county, or visit the National Memorial Arboretum which is particularly beautiful in autumn. Discover why Staffordshire pottery is so highly regarded at the World of Wedgwood, Gladstone Pottery Museum or the Potteries Museum, or visit an historic building such as Lichfield Cathedral, the Shugborough Estate or Weston Park. When you throw in a fantastic choice of cottages and self-catering properties, you can understand why Staffordshire is such a great place to spend a week relaxing and having fun.

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Warwickshire

Warwick Castle, Warwickshire, England
Warwick Castle, Warwickshire, England

Warwickshire is bursting with goodies, including Coventry Cathedral, Coombe Abbey, and the magnificent (and magnificently haunted!) Warwick Castle. We haven't even started on the delights of Stratford-Upon-Avon (birthplace of William Shakespeare) and Royal Leamington Spa, or mentioned what a fantastically convenient base it makes for visiting Birmingham, Leicester and Northampton. Warwickshire's heritage is rich and varied, and certainly not to be missed.

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Worcestershire

Broadway covered in snow, Worcestershire, England
Broadway in Worcestershire, England

Worcestershire may be known internationally from the sauce label, but this amazing county is full of flavour that can't be bottled. The canal is a focal point for many holiday makers who walk, cycle or sail its length, and there are miles of other paths to navigate, such as the Worcestershire Way, Severn Way, and Wychavon Way. The region produces incredible food and drink, so whether you tuck into a meal at a country pub or buy the ingredients at a farm shop, you can always eat well. Save a day or two for West Midland Safari Park, or time your visit to coincide with one of the amazing events at the Three Counties Showground.

Whether you pop over for a few days or stay for a week, Central England is beautiful at any time of year.

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