Holiday Homes in England

Welcome to Merry Old England, a land of timeless charm, captivating history, and endless discovery in the largest country of the UK.

From the iconic landmarks of London to the rolling hills of the countryside, England offers a tapestry of experiences for every traveller. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of culture and heritage as you explore ancient castles, majestic cathedrals, and quaint villages frozen in time.

Indulge in culinary delights ranging from traditional pub fare to innovative gastronomic creations in Michelin-starred restaurants. Wander through vibrant cities pulsating with energy and creativity, or escape to tranquil landscapes dotted with picturesque gardens and winding rivers.

How better to experience this lush green land like a local than with a stay in a luxury English cottage? Browse our collection of beautiful homes in England and book your cosy country getaway or big city bolthole with Oliver’s Travels.

Why visit?

  • England has forever been a source of inspiration for countless writers and filmmakers. Explore the settings of beloved novels like Harry Potter in Oxford or Jane Austen's Bath, visit the birthplaces of iconic authors such as William Wordsworth and Charles Dickens, or embark on themed tours that bring famous literary and cinematic worlds to life.
  • England is home to a vibrant calendar of traditional festivals,  colourful carnivals and music festivals. There's always something exciting happening throughout the year, be it the bassy revelry at Notting Hill Carnival or the pomp and pageantry of Trooping the Colour.
  • England's transport infrastructure makes it easy to explore the country, whether you're travelling by train, bus, or car and to travel to mainland Europe, linked by the fantastic Eurostar and Eurotunnel Le Shuttle.

Read the England Travel Guide

Why stay with us?

Style and character are everything at Oliver’s Travels, and our collection of handpicked holiday homes and cottages in England have this in spades.

We have destination experts who know the ins and outs of all our regions, picking holiday homes that aren’t only unique, but also in the best locations. What's more, our cottages are 100% family-friendly, and have the ‘wow’ factor.

Our helpful concierge team are on-hand to make your stay extra special. Whether you want a fully-stocked fridge, a local in-house chef to cook your meals, housekeeping or any other extra service – consider them your holiday genie, who will happily grant your wishes.

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Holiday Homes in England: Our Top Picks

England Travel Guide

When to visit England

England's climate varies throughout the year, offering something for every traveller. The summer months (June to August) are popular for outdoor activities and sightseeing, with longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures, especially in the south.

Spring (March to May) brings blooming flowers and milder weather, ideal for exploring gardens and the countryside. Autumn (September to November) offers crisp weather and beautiful foliage, perfect for scenic walks and cultural events like Bonfire Night (5th November) which includes firework displays and toffee apples!

Winter (December to February) can be chilly and soggy, but it's a magical time to experience Christmas markets, cosy pubs with open fireplaces, and festive celebrations. London’s Christmas lights around the principal shopping avenues of Oxford Street and Regent Street are not to be missed.

Consider visiting outside of peak tourist seasons for fewer crowds and better deals, but be prepared for unpredictable weather at any time of year.

The famous Christmas angel lights on London's Regent Street

Things to do in England

England is brimming with cultural attractions, historic landmarks, and natural beauty. Explore iconic cities like London, Oxford, and Bath, home to world-class museums, stunning architecture, and vibrant nightlife. Discover ancient castles, picturesque villages, and rolling countryside in the Cotswolds, the Lake District, and the Yorkshire Dales.

Immerse yourself in history at Stonehenge, wave hello to the King at Windsor Castle, and storm Hadrian's Wall, or indulge in outdoor pursuits such as hiking, cycling, and boating along the coast or in national parks. Don't miss traditional afternoon tea, Shakespearean performances, or cheering on your favourite team at a football match for an authentic English experience.

Food and drink in England

So, around the world England’s food gets a bad rap, but at Oliver’s Travels, we believe that England's culinary scene offers a rich tapestry of flavours. From hearty pub classics to fine dining fare, visitors can indulge in traditional dishes like fish and chips, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, and savoury pies, washed down with a pint of locally brewed ale or cider.

Sample some of the finest international cuisine in cosmopolitan cities like London, where you can find everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to street food markets. Don't forget to try regional specialities like Cornish pasties, Yorkshire tea, and clotted cream scones, and explore farmers' markets and food festivals for fresh produce and artisanal treats. Whether you're dining in a cosy pub, trendy bistro, or elegant restaurant, England offers a delicious culinary journey for every palate.

Fish and chips is a renowned British dish and classic pub fare

Why England is perfect for a getaway

  • Great for Babies: England's family-friendly amenities make it an ideal destination for parents with babies. Parks and gardens offer ample space for outdoor strolls, and family-friendly attractions like zoos and aquariums provide engaging experiences for little ones.
  • Great for Kids: With its rich history and diverse attractions, England offers endless opportunities for kids to learn and explore. From visiting castles and museums to interactive science centres and theme parks, there's something to captivate every child's imagination.
  • Great for Teens: Teens will appreciate England's vibrant cities, cultural attractions, and outdoor activities. Shopping districts like London's Oxford Street and Manchester's Trafford Centre offer trendy fashion and entertainment options.
  • Great for Couples: England's bucolic romance makes it perfect for couples seeking a getaway. Explore picturesque countryside landscapes hand in hand, indulge in candlelit dinners at cosy pubs or fine dining restaurants, and enjoy cultural experiences like theatre shows, concerts, and art galleries.
  • Great for Large Groups: Whether it's a family reunion, friends' getaway, or group retreat, you’ll find great outings to attractions like amusement parks, historic sites, or guided tours, and enjoy bonding experiences such as group hikes, cooking classes, or boat trips along scenic rivers.

Top tips

  • Pack a brolly! If you come to England expecting bad weather, then you’ll be very pleasantly surprised when the sun shines.
  • Don't be afraid to try regional dishes, participate in local customs, or explore off-the-beaten-path neighbourhoods – you'll discover hidden gems and make authentic connections along the way.

What Oliver loves

The best thing about visiting England is its incredible diversity. From the bustling streets of London to the tranquil countryside of the Lake District, England offers a wide range of experiences for travellers to enjoy. Whether you're interested in history, culture, outdoor adventures, or culinary delights, England’s rich heritage, stunning landscapes, world-class museums, and vibrant cities ensure that visitors are constantly captivated and inspired.

Best Beaches in England

England's coastline offers an array of stunning beaches, each with its own unique charm and character. From the rugged cliffs of Cornwall to the pebbled shores of Brighton, visitors can discover diverse landscapes and coastal experiences. Whether you seek the vibrant atmosphere of bustling seaside towns, the tranquillity of hidden coves, or the thrill of water sports on rolling surf, England's beaches cater to all preferences.

Marvel at nature's masterpiece, the limestone arch of Durdle Door, set against the backdrop of the Jurassic Coast. Accessible via a scenic hike, this iconic beach offers crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming and stunning views of the coastline.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Brighton Beach, known for its colourful beach huts, bustling promenade, and iconic pier. Enjoy a variety of watersports, explore the quirky shops and cafes along the seafront, or simply relax on the pebbled shore.

Stretching for miles along the North Devon coast, Woolacombe Sands boasts pristine golden sands and rolling surf, making it a haven for surfers and beach lovers alike. With its Blue Flag status and stunning coastal scenery, it's the perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, and sandcastle building.

Surfers flock to Polzeath for its consistent waves and excellent surfing conditions. Nestled within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this picturesque beach also offers breathtaking coastal walks, rock pooling opportunities, and panoramic views across the Atlantic Ocean.

Tucked away in a sheltered bay surrounded by wooded cliffs, Blackpool Sands exudes tranquillity and natural beauty. Its turquoise waters are ideal for swimming and kayaking, while the soft shingle beach provides a picturesque setting for a leisurely day by the sea.

With its charming Victorian pier, colourful beach huts, and wide expanse of sandy shore, Cromer Beach epitomises traditional seaside charm. Take a stroll along the promenade, sample freshly caught seafood, or try your hand at crabbing off the pier – there's something for everyone to enjoy in this quintessential English seaside town.

Towns and villages in England

England boasts a rich tapestry of towns and villages, each exuding its own distinct character and charm. From the quaint thatched cottages of the Cotswolds to the vibrant urban buzz of London's boroughs, diversity thrives. Coastal gems like Whitby offer maritime history alongside breathtaking vistas. In the Lake District, picturesque villages nestle amidst dramatic landscapes, while in Cornwall, fishing villages like Port Isaac beckon with their rugged beauty. Whether steeped in history, nestled in nature, or alive with cultural vibrancy, England's towns and villages offer a captivating mosaic of experiences.

Oliver’s Hidden Gem

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall is a unique attraction was once a grand estate garden that fell into disrepair after World War I but was rediscovered and restored in the 1990s. Visitors can explore over 200 acres of gardens, including mysterious sculptures, exotic plants and the enchanting "Mud Maid" sculpture. The gardens offer a whimsical and slightly surreal experience and a sense of mystery that delights visitors.

Bath is renowned for its well-preserved Roman-built baths, which have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is also famous for its elegant Georgian architecture, including the iconic Royal Crescent and the Circus. Visitors can explore the Roman Baths, relax in the Thermae Bath Spa, stroll along the charming streets lined with boutique shops and cafes, and relive their favourite scenes from Netflix’s Bridgerton.

York is a historic city with a rich heritage dating back to Roman times. Its most iconic landmark is York Minster, one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe. The city is surrounded by well-preserved medieval walls and features narrow cobblestone streets, timber-framed buildings, and the Shambles (the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series) a picturesque street lined with shops. Visitors can explore attractions such as the Jorvik Viking Centre, York Castle Museum, and Clifford's Tower.

Stratford-upon-Avon is best known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and it attracts visitors from around the world who come to explore the Bard's life and legacy. Key attractions include Shakespeare's Birthplace, Anne Hathaway's Cottage, and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, which hosts performances of Shakespeare's plays year-round. The town itself is charming, with riverside walks, historic buildings, and a bustling market.

Cambridge is famous for its prestigious university, founded in the 13th century, and its beautiful architecture along the River Cam. Visitors can explore the university's historic colleges, including King's College and Trinity College, and admire landmarks such as the Mathematical Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs. Punting along the River Cam is a popular activity, offering views of the college "backs" and scenic gardens.

Rye is a charming medieval town perched atop a hill overlooking the Romney Marshes and the English Channel. Its cobbled streets, timber-framed buildings, and medieval church create a picturesque atmosphere that has inspired artists and writers for centuries. Visitors can explore historic landmarks such as St. Mary's Church and Ypres Tower, browse the town's antique shops and art galleries, and enjoy panoramic views from the top of the hill.

Bakewell is a delightful market town located in the heart of the Peak District National Park, renowned for its stunning scenery and outdoor activities. The town is famous for its unique pastry, the Bakewell Pudding, which can be sampled at local bakeries and cafes. Visitors can explore the historic streets lined with stone buildings, visit the weekly market held in the town centre, and enjoy walks along the River Wye or hikes in the surrounding countryside, including nearby attractions such as Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall.

Getting to & around England

Flying to England from Europe is convenient and accessible, with numerous airlines offering direct flights to major airports such as London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, and Birmingham. Flights from Europe take between 1-4 hours and flights from the US are typically 6-9 hours.

By Car

Renting a car is a convenient option for exploring England, offering flexibility and access to remote areas. Keep in mind that driving in cities like London can be challenging due to congestion and parking restrictions, so consider using park-and-ride facilities or public transportation for urban exploration. Be prepared to navigate narrow country lanes and roundabouts in rural areas, and of course, over here we drive on the left!

By Public Transport

England has an extensive public transportation network, including trains, buses, trams, and ferries, providing convenient and affordable options for getting around. In cities like London, Manchester, and Birmingham, integrated transportation systems provide easy access to attractions via underground trains, buses, and trams. Consider purchasing travel passes or using contactless payment methods for seamless journeys across different modes of transport.

By Bicycle

Exploring England by bike offers a scenic and eco-friendly way to discover the country's landscapes and attractions. National Cycle Routes crisscross the country, providing well-maintained paths and trails suitable for cyclists of all levels. Many cities and towns have dedicated bike lanes and rental services, making it easy to pedal around urban areas and explore local sights.

Coastal routes, such as the South West Coast Path and Hadrian's Cycleway, offer breathtaking views and opportunities for multi-day adventures. Remember to wear a helmet, follow traffic rules, and plan your routes in advance, taking into account terrain, distance, and weather conditions.

By Walking

Walking is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in England's natural beauty and heritage, with thousands of miles of footpaths, trails, and long-distance routes to explore. From leisurely strolls through city parks to challenging hikes along rugged coastlines and scenic countryside, there's a walk for every ability and interest.

National Parks like the Lake District and Peak District offer endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, while historic trails like the Cotswold Way and Hadrian's Wall Path invite walkers to follow in the footsteps of ancient civilizations. Pack comfortable shoes, weather-appropriate clothing, and plenty of water, and set out to discover England's landscapes, history, and hidden treasures on foot.

Top tips

  • While England's cities are vibrant and exciting, don't forget to venture into the countryside and coastal areas, where you'll find stunning landscapes, charming villages, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Renting a car or exploring by public transportation can open up a world of possibilities beyond the urban centres.

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