Self-Catering Cottage Holidays in Eastern Central England
Our holiday guide to Eastern Central England
There are so many fantastic places to holiday in Britain and Eastern Central England is one of them. Here you'll find the home county of Buckinghamshire, as well as Bedfordshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, and Robin Hood's old stomping ground, Nottinghamshire.
Take a read of our guide to Eastern Central England below, or browse through all of our holiday cottages in Eastern Central England
Chances are, if you've seen a good period drama or film that's been made in Britain, at least part of it has been filmed in beautiful Buckinghamshire. It's close enough to London to commute yet has never lost its countryside charm, making it incredibly popular with families and holidaymakers who like the excitement and convenience of the city without having to compromise on space. Not only is Buckinghamshire home to The Chilterns - a hilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB) - there are more National Trust properties here than anywhere else in Britain, and two museums dedicated to Roald Dahl.
Set on the River Thames, Bedford is a mere 35 minutes by train from the centre of London, making it perfect for a last-minute getaway. Escape the rat-race and explore beautiful parks, Victorian bridges, fantastic cafes and restaurants showcasing produce from around the country, historic houses, and thrill seeking action. Kids will love ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and Woburn Safari Park; while green-fingered visitors will appreciate the gardens at RSPB Sandy and Grade I listed Moggerhangar Park House.
Whether you're the sort who can think of nothing more pleasant than a gentle row on the Thames, or prefer to get your thrills in the world's largest indoor skydiving tunnel, Bedfordshire has it.
The recent discovery of King Richard III's lost burial place in Leicester may have brought this county to the world's attention, but the truth is that Leicestershire has always been a top UK holiday destination for those in the know. It's where you can enjoy not only gripping history but superb food, adventure parks, and stunning countryside. Conkers is an activity centre in The National Forest offering bush craft skills, a zip wire, assault course, and indoor and outdoor play areas, or maybe you'd prefer to exhaust the kids at the 50 acre Bosworth Water Park.
You won't be disappointed if you are interested in British heritage. As well as being the site of the Battle of Bosworth, Leicester was a large Roman settlement, and has some fine stately homes.
Lincolnshire is well known for Lincoln Cathedral, famed as one of the most impressive in Europe. There is a lot to enjoy in this fantastic county, including gorgeous countryside with charming market towns, miles of walking trails, Georgian buildings, and clean Blue Flag beaches. It's unlikely you'll find another county that packs more into their borders! The Lincolnshire Wolds is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and you will appreciate why when you see its undulating hills and valleys yourself. Market Deeping and Grantham are great for shopping, or maybe you would prefer walking by the river in Spalding. Lincolnshire caters brilliantly for everyone's interests.
Northampton's attractions are many and varied. It's difficult to move far without tripping over a magnificent stately home, such as Althorp House, the family seat of Diana, Princess of Wales, or Rockingham Castle and Kirby Hall, which are staggering in both size and quality. Water lovers can make use of the Grand Union Canal and, for art lovers, there are dozens of museums and galleries, from the Kettering Art Gallery and Museum, to the Sywell Aviation Museum. Lincoln, Towcester, Corby and Rushden are all good for shopping, and there are a number of farm shops selling local produce. Northamptonshire is fantastic for visitors who don't need an adrenaline rush to enjoy themselves and, perhaps, enjoy the finer things in life.
Robin Hood may be a character from folk tales, but parts of Sherwood Forest actually exist, including Major Oak, which is between 800 and 1,000 years old. If that wasn't enough to whet your appetite for history, make sure the National Civil War Centre in Newark is on your agenda. Visit Newstead Abbey, which Lord Byron inherited when he was just ten years old, or follow the Mayflower and learn about the Pilgrim Fathers who left to start a new colony in America. Other things to enjoy in Nottinghamshire include white knuckle rides at Twinlakes Theme Park; shopping in the thriving market towns of Worksop, Newark, and Southwell; and discovering the view from the region's ample cycling and walking trails.
Eastern Central England is so peaceful that it's hard to believe that it was where Britain's future was decided not once, but twice: at the Battle of Bosworth when Richard III's death marked the end of the Middle Ages and the start of the Tudor dynasty; and in Nottingham, where Charles I rallied supporters and started the Civil War. As you walk the city streets or overlook brilliantly green countryside, you'll feel like you're making your own small mark on history, too.