Family-friendly holiday cottages

A family holiday at home can be a low-stress alternative to a trip abroad. And there’s plenty of opportunity for fun in the outdoors with our 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ activities. Take a look at some of our best cottages for seaside adventures, stargazing and getting up close to nature. Every booking helps support our work looking after special places, for ever, for everyone.

Exterior of Greenlands holiday cottage

Greenlands, Studland, Dorset

Located on the edge of Poole Harbour, Greenlands boasts views of Brownsea Island and direct access to the water’s edge. The cottage is surrounded by a large garden with a pond that's perfect for getting up close to nature. You could spend a day exploring the four miles of sandy beach at nearby Studland Bay or take one of the designated trails through Studland Nature Reserve to spot birds, insects and deer. Sleeps 5 and dogs welcome.

Darfar holiday cottage with bikes outside

Darfar, Ashbourne, Staffordshire

Darfar is one of a pair of holiday cottages on the bank of the River Manifold in the Peak District National Park. The surrounding countryside is great for bug hunting and birdwatching and there’s a hard-surface cycle trail right on your doorstep. Visit Hinkley Wood in nearby Ilam Park to create wild art or build a den. Sleeps 4.

Children running through the garden at Sizergh Castle

Holeslack Farmhouse, nr Kendal, Lake District

Spacious and welcoming with a large garden, Holeslack Farmhouse is great for larger family groups. The farmhouse sits on the medieval Sizergh Castle estate offering lots of activities for budding adventurers right on your doorstep. Play hide-and-seek amongst the towering trees in Sizergh's gardens, build a den in the wooded knoll or search for hidden geocashes across the estate. Sleeps 8.

High Lidmoor Farmhouse, North Yorkshire

High Lidmoor Farmhouse, Yorkshire

On the east slopes of the Bransdale valley and surrounded by open moorland, High Lidmoor Farmhouse is a great place for climbing a huge hill, going on a really long bike ride or a spot of stargazing. Head to the nearby Yorkshire Coast for the chance to tick off lots more 50 things activities including barefoot walks and fossil hunting along the shore. Sleeps 5.

A swan on the estuary outside The Farmhouse, Fowey

The Farm House, Fowey Estuary, Cornwall

On the banks of Pont Pill creek on the Fowey Estuary, the Farm House was once part of a busy quayside pub that has since been converted into a comfortable family-sized holiday cottage. Whatever your age, the best way to explore the winding tributaries and wooded creeks of the Fower Estuary is by water. Join a guided canoe trip, set sail on a self-hire boat or opt for a relaxing day fishing for bass and mackerel. Sleeps 5.

Looking towards Compton Farm cottages and the sea, at Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

1 and 2 Compton Farm Cottages, Isle of Wight

1 and 2 Compton Farm are a pair of 19th-century cottages a short walk from Compton Bay. As well as being a favourite with fossil hunters, Compton beach is ideal for swimming. The wildflower-rich downland nearby offers lots of opportunity to tick off 50 things activity No. 38 bring up a butterfly. Both cottages sleep 4.

Springwell Cottage

Springwell Cottage, Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland

Just a few hundred yards from Hadrian’s Wall, this remote cottage looks out over the Northumberland countryside. Follow Pennine Way to Housesteads Fort or visit nearby Staward Gorge to stargaze or find hidden geocaches. Sleeps 6 and dogs welcome.

Exterior of the Farm Cottage

Stackpole Cottage, Stackpole, Pembrokeshire

Stackpole Cottage is in one corner of an attractive courtyard complex close to the sea at Stackpole Quay. As well as being a top spot for stargazing and 50 things activities at the beach, young nature explorers can head to Stackpole’s Bosherton Lakes to discover what’s in a pond or hunt for bugs. Sleeps 5.

The exterior of Woodford Cottage

Woodford Cottage, Crom, County Fermanagh

One of seven holiday cottages within the restored Old Farmyard Courtyard at Crom. It has twin and double bedrooms and a family-sized bathroom. With Upper Lough Erne just 100 metres away, the cottage is an ideal base for watersports. There's also bird watching at the hide on Derrymacrow Lough. Sleeps 4.

Sitting room at 2 Horsey Barns, Norfolk

2 Horsey Barns, Norfolk

One of three converted barns, 2 Horsey Barns is a fun retreat for families. The barn has comfortable open-plan living space and children will love sleeping in the galleried area. Winterton Dunes and beach is also only a ten minute walk from the cottage where you could jump over waves or go for a walk bare foot. Sleeps 4 + 2.

Book your holiday with us

Tempted to book a stay with us or intrigued and would like more information on a National Trust holiday? Visit our holidays website