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Top summer breaks for families

Visitors at Souter Lighthouse, Tyne & Wear
Souter Lighthouse, Tyne & Wear | © National Trust Images / Trevor Ray Hart

Whatever’s on your family’s wish-list for a summer getaway, we’ve got lots of places to stay across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Take a look at some of our best cottages for a holiday with the kids.

You'll find places to stay with clifftop views and within walking distance of the beach or quiet retreats surrounded by acres of countryside. Plan a holiday you and your family will never forget.

The restoration of Hawthorn Cottage, Ceredigion

Hawthorn Cottage, Ceredigion 

New for summer 2024 and now available to book - Hawthorn Cottage is on the Hafod Estate with trails to waterfalls, gardens and valley views from the gate. It will soon be a cosy cottage with a woodburner, lots of original features and Welsh character. To get there, you'll pass through the Cambrian Mountains and wild mid-Wales landscape. Devil's Bridge and a restored steam train ride aren't far away. Sleeps six.

The exterior of Carrick-a-Rede Cottage, County Antrim

Carrick-a-Rede Cottage, County Antrim 

This bright, cosy and comfortable fisherman's cottage with Atlantic views, is a short walk from trails and the historic rope bridge. It's a peaceful haven in a popular spot, in one of two Dark Sky Discovery sites in Northern Ireland, great for stargazing and spotting seabirds, basking sharks, dolphins and porpoises. Sleeps four.

Florence Court Rose Cottage in the gardens at Florence Court, County Fermanagh

Florence Court Rose Cottage, County Fermanagh 

This Victorian gardener's cottage is at the heart of the Florence Court estate, with lots to see and do from the doorstep. Gardens, orchard and miles of footpaths and trails surround the cottage. You can spot the original Irish Yew tree in the native woodland, and explore the buildings of the historic working desmesne including a blacksmith's forge, carpenter's workshop and sawmill. When other visitors have gone home for the day, you'll have the gardens and pleasure grounds to yourself. Sleeps four.

The sitting room at 1 Bagden Farm Cottage, Surrey

1 Bagden Farm Cottage, Surrey 

A modern, timber-framed barn with views to the Surrey hills, 1 Bagden Farm Cottage is a warm and welcoming retreat with an enclosed garden and dining courtyard. There are countryside walks from the doorstep; Polesden Lacy is just a 20-minute walk away. Sleeps six.

The outdoor seating area at Cloud Farmhouse, Devon

Cloud Farmhouse, Devon 

This newly-converted farmhouse is by Badgworthy Water in an idyllic and wildlife-rich spot. with the picturesque Doone Valley on its doorstep. The open-plan living, dining and kitchen space is on the first floor for views of the valley. Sleeps six.

The exterior of Emley Farmhouse, Surrey

Emley Farmhouse, Surrey 

Emley is a Grade ll listed farmstead in the secluded Surrey countryside. With five spacious bedrooms, kitchen, breakfast room and two sitting rooms, there’s space for several families to holiday together. Children will love to explore the surrounding garden and the rambling house would make for an exciting game of hide-and-seek. Sleeps 10.

The exterior of Penrhyn Mawr, Anglesey

Penrhyn Mawr, Anglesey 

Located next to a working farm, this former farmhouse is perfect for a small family holiday. It’s just a short walk to the sheltered Taeth Mawr beach where the kids can tick off 50 things activities such as jumping over waves and swimming in the sea. A day trip to Penhryn Castle offers lots of attractions to keep little ones entertained and the railway museum at the castle is a great option for a rainy day. Sleeps three.

The exterior and surrounding area of Overhaven, Polzeath, Cornwall

Overhaven, Cornwall 

With spacious rooms and ocean views, this cottage is ideal for a seaside getaway. A ten-minute walk from the cottage down a quiet bridleway takes you to Pentireglaze Beach. Or go for a bike ride with the kids along the traffic-free Camel Trail, stopping off for ice-cream or fish and chips along the way. Sleeps six.

The idyllic outside dining area at Ferry Cottage, Brixham, Devon

Greenway Ferry Cottage, Devon 

This chocolate-box cottage with rose-covered walls and a thatched roof, has a sleek, modern interior and is just steps from the sparkling Dart Estuary. Hop on the foot ferry to Dartmouth or hike along the subtropical coastline and catch the steam train back. Sleeps four.

The exterior of Peppercombe Coastguard Cottage 1, Devon

Peppercombe Coastguard Cottage 1, Devon 

Hidden in the secluded woodland of Peppercombe Valley, but only minutes from the pebbly beach, these cottages offer an ideal base to explore Devon’s many attractions. The popular family beach of Westward Ho with its lifeguards and Blue Flag status is just ten miles away. Or you could jump on a ferry and spend a day looking for seals and puffins on Lundy Island. Sleeps four and three.

1 Compton Farm Cottages, Isle of Wight

1 and 2 Compton Farm Cottages, Isle of Wight 

These cottages are within easy walking distance of the sandy Compton Beach. Often referred to as ‘Dinosaur Island’, the Isle of Wight is a favourite destination for fossil hunters and some of the Island's best fossils can be found at Compton. But if you prefer hunting something a little smaller, it’s also one of the best sites in the UK to spot butterflies. Each sleeps four.

Souter Lighthouse, Tyne & Wear

Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage 1 and 2, Souter Lighthouse, Tyne & Wear 

These historic cottages are set on the rugged clifftops of the North East coast. As the name suggests they were once the home of the lighthouse keepers and their families, with many original features still in place. There's plenty to keep the kids occupied during the school holidays; you could join a clifftop adventure or search the rock pools on a Seashore Safari. Each sleeps four.

View of the exterior of Rothley Lakehouse and Rothley Lake

Ready for your next adventure?

Book your break at one of these cottages, or search all our cottages. With every single booking we’ll be able to keep looking after special places for ever, for everyone.

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A child walks along the beach with a kite at Rhosili and South Gower Coast Wales

How your holiday helps 

When you book with us, the money helps look after the place you’re staying in and contributes to the conservation of other special places too. Every year we restore around ten cottages, keeping alive historic and unique buildings which would otherwise have been lost to time. Your holiday also supports the Trust’s work as Europe’s largest conservation charity.

National Trust electric Land Rover connected to a power supply from an old stone building in Snowdonia, Wales.

Holiday cottages and campsites with electric vehicle charging points 

Find a list of the places where you can charge your electric vehicle during your stay at a National Trust cottage or campsite.

The outdoor seating at Hempfield Stables, Cheshire

Half-term holidays 

Looking for school holiday ideas? With hundreds of unique cottages, campsites, bothies and bunkhouses to choose from, make memories that last a lifetime.