Self-Catering Cottage Holidays in England
England as a holiday destination - let us inspire you
With all respect to William Blake, England is so much more than merely a "green and pleasant land". The landscape ranges from the mist-wreathed peaks of the Lake District down to the sandy shores of the Isle of Wight and Land's End in cornwall, encompassing the sort of views that have inspired great artists for centuries. It isn't only the scenery that attracts millions of visitors to England every year, but the history too. England has long been a major player on the world stage, influencing all areas from culture and language, to industry and technology.
Take a look at our guide to England, or browse through all of our holiday cottages in England
The South West of England is where you will find not only spectacular beaches, but charming fishing villages, hamlets with thatched cottages, Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks, and eight bustling cities, including Bristol, Swindon, Bath, and Exeter. You can squeeze an enormous amount into a holiday here, no matter if you want to shop, eat, hike, surf, or simply see the sights.
England's south west is most popular for its incredible coastline. It's perfect whether you want to take your family on a bucket-and-spade holiday like those you enjoyed as a child, or prefer to explore the Jurassic Coast, a 155 mile stretch of World Heritage Site. Speaking of World Heritage sites, the South West of England has four, with the city of Bath (in Somerset), Stonehenge (in Wiltshire), and the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape also being on the list.
You can't come to England without seeing London! Even before the Romans moved in, the natural highway of the River Thames made it a thriving community. You can see it all here, from ancient ruins to cutting edge architecture. The shopping is incredible, the vibe unbeatable, and the photo opportunities are unforgettable!
Of course, there is more to the South and South East of England than London. Kent, Sussex, and Surrey all have their own unique charms just waiting for you to discover. Brighton (in East Sussex) has outstnding nightlife, while the New Forest and South Downs National Parks give you ample opportunity to fill your lungs with fresh country air. See the famous White Cliffs of Dover in Kent, and imagine what it would be like to be royalty in over a dozen palaces such as Hampton Court.
Central England is all about traddition, creativity and ingenuity, whether you're referring to plays, pottery, or premium cars such as Bentley, Aston Martin and Jaguar. The Cotswolds is even prettier than the postcards would have you believe, with warm honey coloured stone, friendly villages, and some of the best food in the country. Once the beating heart of England's powerful industrial revolution, Central England has both thriving cities and lush, rolling countryside with the odd castle and cathedral thrown in for good measure. Walk the hallowed halls of Oxford University, or climb Kinder Scout - the highest point in the Peak District National Park. Either way, you're guaranteed a sensational view!
Given their proximity to London, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire are commuter counties and have the top-notch facilities to match. They're often much quieter during the week than at the weekend, and are within easy reach of the area's best attractions.
Whether you believe in the tales of Robin Hood or not, Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire is very real and a wonderful place to let loose on a mountain bike, or to simply lose yourself for a while in its green beauty. Northamptonshire is a cornucopia of family friendly activities whether you have energetic kids who simply want to run and climb, thrill seekers who will love the action at Silverstone and the rides at Wicksteed Park, or those who love the inevitable gory history that accompanies castles.
Leicestershire, with its links to King Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth, and ancient market towns, is certainly worth exploring, as is Lincolnshire, with intimidating castles, the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) walking paths, and WWII heritage.
One of the most charming features of the East Anglian landscape are the windmills which are dotted around it. It was once the strongest Anglo-Saxon kingdom and is still a favourite with royalty - the Queen's holiday estate of Sandringham is in Norfolk. The Suffolk coastline is equally beautiful at any time of year.
The city of Cambridge has been inhabited since Bronze Age times. The Romans loved it for the fertile grounds and River Cam; the Vikings made it one of their major trading centres; and it's long been considered a place of learning, with a university that is over 800 years old. Despite all this history, it's known as the "Silicon Valley" of the UK, with Europe's leading science and technology companies being based there.
Visiting North East England is like being embraced in a very welcoming hug. Yorkshire, Northumberland, Durham, the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales are all packed with fascinating sights and experiences, including clean beaches popular with surfers. The north east is Hadrian's Wall territory, and you can still see and walk along many of the wall's original 73 miles today.
Newcastle Gateshead is a cultural hub. Don't miss the majestic Angel of the North sculpture, and be sure to take in some live music whether it's a pub band or the opera. Take a tour of the Victorian tunnels running underneath the city, check out the incredible medieval castle, and be amazed at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. York, Leeds and Harrogate are other cities worth visiting while you're there.
Be it sport, music, art, or food, the North West of England is passion personified. The Wirral, Liverpool and Merseyside are always buzzing, while the countryside around the Roman town of Chester is blissfully peaceful. The Lake District National Park in Cumbria is nothing short of perfection, while Lancashire's industrial heritage, which includes the very cosmopolitan city of Manchester, sits side-by-side with the dazzling lights of Blackpool.
England's people are as diverse and interesting as the land in which they live. They celebrate their past but keep both eyes firmly on the future. This is not a nation of meek queues, but a country of excitement and vitality where every day brings something new to experience and something old to enjoy.