The following information is intended as a guide to cottage holidays. Further information can be found under important information page or on our frequently asked questions page.
All cottage holidays sold by cottages.com are self catering meaning there will be adequate facilities at the cottage for you to prepare your own meals. If you prefer to eat out, the cottage owner or key-holder will be able to direct you to nearby restaurants/pubs/cafes etc..
We will provide you with directions to your cottage and if you are travelling to a cottage in another country, we can help you book ferry crossings, flights and car hire, however we cannot transport you directly to the cottage. When you arrive at your cottage, you will find that it has been cleaned and prepared, ready for you to begin you holiday.
On a cottage holiday you have the freedom to tailor your own break. Freedom is a unique part of a cottage holiday experience, and for many people it's a great excuse to spend time exploring the area and meeting the friendly locals! You will find a guide to events and places of interest, and the owner or key-holder will be close at hand if you need any help or advice.
The following information has been provided for your assistance and safety and we recommend that you read this information in conjunction with our Booking Conditions.
Whether you're planning a short break or a longer holiday, you'll be looking forward to the experience.Here are the answers to many of the questions that are asked…everything from when to arrive to how to care for the environment when you're there.Please note that many of these comments apply to both UK and overseas destinations - if there are significant differences, this is stated. We've tried to cover the most common questions asked though, obviously, you may have some questions which only the property's owner can answer.If so, simply contact them on the number you'll find in your booking confirmation pack.
Except for short breaks, all bookings run weekly from Saturday to Saturday, unless otherwise stated. When you have paid for your holiday in full, you will be sent details of how to find your property and where to collect the keys on arrival. Please advise the owner or caretaker of your estimated arrival time, which should normally be after 3pm (any variance to this will be advised at the time of booking).
On your departure day, you are required to leave your property by 10am. This is to allow the owner or caretaker sufficient time to prepare the property for the next arrivals.
Many properties have gardens where you can enjoy peace and privacy. Most properties also offer space for off-road parking; details are stated in the property description.
If a property has on-road parking, please note that we cannot guarantee availability of such parking. If you require an enclosed garden suitable for children and pets, please check with your holiday adviser when you book, or use the search facility on our website. You must not leave children or pets unsupervised in the garden.
Property descriptions show the “ideal” number that a property will sleep, based on a maximum of one or two people in a room. If a property also shows a higher capacity (shown by “4+2” or “4-6”), this means extra people can be accommodated in additional sleeping arrangements (for example extra beds in a bedroom or sofa beds). Under no circumstances may more than the maximum number of persons indicated occupy a property.
Most property owners provide linen at no extra charge, and this is stated in the brochure description. If linen is supplied at the property, this does not include cot linen - you should bring linen for cots in all cases (including pillows and blankets or duvets).
Some property owners prefer to hire their bed linen and/or towels. Bed linen can be hired at £4 per person per week. Towels can be hired at £2 per person per week. If bed linen and towels are hired together then a charge of £4 per person per week will apply. If you want to hire bed linen or towels, you must remember to request this at the time of booking. Charges made overseas in Euros may be in excess of these rates.
If you choose to holiday in an older property, remember that much of its character and charm is due to its age. Many of the properties featured are over 100 years old and were built before the days of damp-proof courses and cavity insulation.
Bear this in mind if you're planning to take an elderly person or very young children on your holiday, especially if it's going to be between October and April. Also, please remember that should traditional cottage features (steep stairs or low beams, for example) be a problem for any member of your party, you must mention this when you call to book.
In rural locations, people around you will often be earning their living and country hours can run into the late evening and very early morning. So be tolerant when it comes to sounds and scents - it's all part of being in the country! It's also worth remembering that because all the properties in our brochure are privately owned, they are decorated and furnished according to the individual owner's tastes.
We'll do everything we can to help those in your party with special requirements by suggesting properties that are especially suitable - just let us have all relevant information at the time of booking.
Many property owners offer cots free of charge, but please note, property owners who provide cot and high chair facilities may not necessarily offer other infant equipment. Please check with your holiday adviser when booking.
Easy walking access: A visitor using a walking aid should have no difficulty in gaining access to the principal rooms (sitting room, dining room, kitchen, one of the bedrooms, a toilet and a bathroom or shower room) and the garden of a property described in this way.
We feature a number of properties which have no internal stairs or steps or have at least one bedroom and one bathroom on the ground floor. Please ensure at the time of booking that the property matches your individual needs, particularly relating to access to the property and garden. Simply call us and we'll be happy to give you further details.
Look out for the no stairs symbol which will help you select suitable properties, or you can use the online search facility at our website.
Some properties participate in the VisitBritain National Accessible Scheme, reflecting the practical needs of wheelchair users, and are graded from levels 1 to 4.
typically suitable for a person with sufficient mobility to climb a flight of steps but would benefit from points of fixtures and fittings to aid balance
typically suitable for a person with restricted walking ability and for those that may need to use a wheelchair some of the time.
typically suitable for a person who depends on the use of a wheelchair and transfers unaided to and from the wheelchair in a seated position.
typically suitable for a person who depends on the use of a wheelchair in a seated position. They can require personal/mechanical assistance to aid transfer (eg: carer, hoist).
Unless otherwise indicated in the property description, outdoor swimming pools are not usually available outside the main summer period (normally end-May to mid-September for properties in France and Italy, end-March to early October for properties in Spain and Portugal, and mid-June to mid-September for properties in Croatia).
If your holiday is before June or after August, please check opening times before booking. Outdoor pools are not usually heated, unless indicated in the property description. Pools are regularly maintained but unusual climatic changes can affect the chemical balance, which often results in the water becoming discoloured or cloudy. The owner or caretaker should be contacted in these circumstances and a period of time - at least 24 hours in most cases - allowed for rectification.
Please also follow the safety information below -
If you have any concerns about the safety of your property, whether it be the garden, the equipment or the facilities, then please tell the owner or caretaker immediately.
We want you to have a safe and happy holiday - a few minutes taking some simple precautions could make the difference between a holiday enjoyed and a holiday spoiled.
Some properties may have use of a boat or other activity equipment such as trampolines, swings, climbing frames and sporting equipment. You will find details of such equipment in the brochure description. Please note that any activity equipment is provided directly to you by the owner and does not form part of your contract with us. Use of such equipment is at the property owner's discretion, and liability for availability and condition rests solely with the owner. It is your responsibility to (i) ensure that you are familiar with the operation of the equipment, (ii) satisfy yourself that the equipment is safe to use, (iii) to use the equipment responsibly, and (iv) to supervise children using the equipment at all times.
Laws, licensing requirements and age limits vary overseas. Please make sure you are familiar with the driving requirements of the country you are visiting.
We work very hard with all property owners to ensure that you will have an enjoyable holiday. However, in the unlikely event that you are dissatisfied with your accommodation, then it is very important that you register this straight away with the owner or caretaker and do not wait until you return home, when the chance of actively helping you has passed. Even if you think nothing could be done to make your situation better, you must say something while you are on holiday. Please see our Booking Conditions for further information on our complaints procedure.
The properties featured on our website or in our brochure are set in some of the loveliest parts of the country, so naturally we are interested in anything we can do to help preserve the environment.
Even our brochures are printed on paper made from trees which are grown commercially as a renewable resource - and two trees are planted for every one felled. You can help too, by respecting the area you visit and remember the following points:
When you book your holiday the last thing you want to think about is what would happen if you found yourself unable to go. But mishaps do happen, and that's why having cancellation protection is so important.
For holidays in the UK, our commitment to giving you the very best service means our standard Booking Conditions now allow you to cancel your holiday for a wide range of unavoidable reasons and obtain a full refund - and you don't even need to take out additional cancellation insurance. You'll find full details in our Booking Conditions - a policy which few other holiday cottage companies can match.
For holidays overseas, it is a condition of booking that you must have personal travel insurance. You can choose the cover we recommend (which includes cancellation protection) or you can provide details of your own policy which must provide at least equal benefits.
We are committed to providing quality holidays and that's why we ask our holidaymakers to complete a customer satisfaction questionnaire on their return. Your comments and suggestions provide valuable information on how we can further improve our holidays. Please take the time to fill in your questionnaire - we value your opinions.
If you are planning to travel to a destination outside the UK, please ensure you familiarise yourself with the relevant passport and visa requirements for your destination.
It is your responsibility to ensure that all members of your party, including any children, have a valid passport and visa (where appropriate). Please also be aware that if you are flying within the UK or to the Republic of Ireland you will require photo identification.
For all non-UK destinations, UK residents should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card and carry this with them. For more details, please the relevant Booking Conditions.
All properties are cleaned between lets so all you have to do when you get there is unpack and put the kettle on. In the UK and Ireland there is no extra charge for cleaning, unless extra, heavy cleaning is required after you leave, or you do not leave the property and its contents as you found them. In other countries a cleaning charge may apply.
The voltage of electricity in Ireland is the same as in the UK and plugs are the same. For other overseas destinations both the voltage and plugs may be different and you will require travel adapters, which are widely available.
In most cases, there is no additional charge for electricity, gas, heating, water or other fuels.
Where charges are made this is detailed in the property description. Sometimes the charge is using a slot or card meter, so please check and if necessary have a supply of coins with you. Water heating may form part of a general charge for heating, and hence a small charge for water heating may be levied even in the summer months.
All properties (unless otherwise stated) have a cooker and a fridge.
All properties (unless otherwise stated) have at least one television that receives terrestrial channels, and therefore channels local to the relevant destination. Additional channels may be available where satellite, freeview or cable television is listed in the property description.
Many properties featured on our website or in our brochure accept pets from as little as £25 per pet, per week or short break.
The property description shows when pets are accepted by the property owner. Some properties allow more than one pet and this will also be noted in the property description. Please note that certain dog breeds are subject to the owner's approval. Please also see our booking conditions.
If you are taking your pet with you, you must:
It is stated in the property details when pets are not permitted at a property. However, registered assistance dogs are allowed in all properties featured on our website or in our brochure, even where the property description states that pets are not allowed. Customers with allergies should be aware that we cannot guarantee that an assistance dog has not stayed in a chosen property recently or that the property owner has a dog that sometimes occupies the property. We cannot accept responsibility for any suffering which may occur as a result of such animals having been present.
If you are travelling to a destination outside the UK, it is your responsibility to ensure that, if you want to take your pet with you, you familiarize yourself with the relevant information about Pet Passports, etc, and that you make all the necessary arrangements through your vet well before departure.
Although we do not own or manage any of the properties shown on our website or in our brochure, as part of our Safety First Policy, we do our best to ensure that owners take the safety and wellbeing of all our holidaymakers very seriously and that their properties are well maintained for your comfort and safety.
Nevertheless, please remember that when you stay in unfamiliar surroundings, you must take special care of yourself and your family.
If you are travelling from outside of Europe, here is a little info on what to expect from a European cottage holiday.
We'll prepare your accommodation and give you directions showing how to get there. There'll be no local representative to meet you at the airport and you'll have to find your own way there - so you'll need to hire a car.
It's all part of the European experience, and for many people it's a great excuse to spend time exploring the area and meeting the friendly locals!
When you reach your property you'll find a guide to events and places of interest, and the owner or key-holder will be close at hand if you need any help or advice.
You'll find that we do things differently in Europe, we speak a different language - even our English can be strange. So, to help you translate any unfamiliar terms, phrases or local descriptions you might find on our website, we've included a useful glossary of terms.
In many properties in Britain and Ireland, water fills in a tank in the roof and you will need to throw a switch called the emersion heater to heat the water. Once full tank is used, you will have to wait for the tank to fill and heat again.