Boat House, Whitstable
If you didn’t manage to get to Whitstable this summer, there’s still plenty to do with the kids during an autumnal break. Once you’ve explored the seafront and sampled the local seafood, browse the cool shops in and around the harbour and visit the historic Whitstable Castle. Spend the weekend in the Boat House, just a five-minute walk from the harbour and town. The property sleeps up to six with a twin and two double rooms, one of which has an en-suite bathroom complete with a free-standing bath. There’s also a spacious family bathroom, a bright and airy dining room, a kitchen and a living room with a sound system and DVD player for family movie nights.
From £200 per night.
Coastguard's Cottage, Whitstable
If you’d rather be right by the sea, this cottage is set on Whitstable beachfront. The property, which was once a coastguard’s lookout, is a great base from which to explore the area and comes with great sea views. The cottage sleeps five across three bedrooms – including a double, a twin and a single – and also has a living room, kitchen-diner, and a utility. All the bedrooms have great views across the bay, and the interiors are light and airy with stripped wooden floors and an eclectic mix of vintage and contemporary furniture. The property is also dog-friendly – just be sure to ask the owners before you bring your four-legged friend along.
From £199 per night.
Country Cottage, Wittersham
This country cottage is in the quiet village of Wittersham on the Kent-Sussex border. A great location from which to explore both county’s attractions, spend a week visiting the nearby beaches, parks and farms. Inside the cottage, there’s a spacious double room for adults and a cosy twin for kids, as well as a modern family bathroom and living area. Families can enjoy breakfast under the bay window in the dining room or in the kitchen, and light the fire during the evenings while playing boardgames. There’s also a spacious garden and patio area for children to play.
From £220 per night.
Crown Cottage, Orford
This three-bedroom cottage has recently been refurbished. A great country hideaway, it’s located in the pretty village of Orford along the Suffolk coastline, which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are two double bedrooms and a single room, plus a living room, bathroom, dining area with doors that lead out onto a modern patio and garden, and a small kitchen. Families can light the fire during chilly evenings, play table tennis in the games room, and explore the local area – Orford Ness Nature Reserve is a must visit.
From £260 per night.
The Suffolk House, Assington
Located in the Dedham Vale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this beautiful country house sleeps up to ten across five bedrooms. Ideal for large families and groups celebrating a special occasion, guests can explore the scenic walks nearby, visit the coastal villages, and take a boat tour on the Stour river. The house is only a short distance from a friendly village pub, an excellent farm shop, and a lovely country café, too. The Suffolk House has a country-style kitchen, a cosy living area, a spacious dining room and three bathrooms. Guest can relax on the patio, explore the beautifully landscaped gardens, and cosy up on the south terrace around the fire pit.
From £700 per night.
Lime Tree Cottage
Located in Dorking, Lime Tree Cottage has panoramic view of the Surrey Hills and is a great base from which to explore the surrounding area and National Trust properties. Having recently been refurbished, expect to find modern country interiors throughout, with plenty of cosy touches to make you feel at home. With space for up to eight, there are four bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as a spacious living room with an indoor wood burner. Meanwhile., the chic dining room comes with doors that lead out into an immaculate garden, complete with a ‘nature pond’ little ones will love. Family days out can be spent at National Trust sites Polesden Lacey or Leith Hill Tower, while adults can escape to Denbies Wine Estate – October is one of the best times to visit.
From £425 per night.
Four-Bedroom House, Weybridge
Another great property in Surrey, this family home is made for large groups or families of up to ten. Just a 15-minute drive from Bushy Park and Virginia Water (two must-see spots if you have kids in tow), the house is close to several good restaurants and cafés. The property itself has an open-plan kitchen-diner, where little ones can lounge on the sofa while adults are in the kitchen, plus a luxe family bathroom with a free-standing bath and rainfall shower, and four bedrooms. Guests can cosy up in front of the fire during chilly nights, listen to music via the Sonos system and relax in the garden, which comes with a patio area and BBQ.
From £300 per night.
Courtyard Cottage, Middleton Stoney
Just two miles outside of Bicester, Middleton Stoney is a lovely rural village with several activities to enjoy nearby, including an interactive museum, a small bird park and a trampoline park, not to mention the many attractions in Oxford and Bicester. Courtyard Cottage has a large open-plan kitchen-diner with a stable door that leads to an outdoor patio where families can dine al fresco. There’s also a living room, a snug with a cosy log burner and a family bathroom with underfloor heating. Ideal for small groups of four, there are two bedrooms with king-size beds, while a sofa bed can be added to the living room for a further two guests.
From £200 per night.
Family Country Home, Charlton-On-Otmoor
Also near Oxford (just a 20-minute drive away), this family home sleeps up to eight guests in five bedrooms – three king rooms, a twin room and a smaller single room. Ideal for large families or those staying with friends, guests can take advantage of the large kitchen with an island and plenty of seating, plus a cosy dining room with a table for eight. The living room has an indoor wood burner and original property features. Adults can make use of a small study, while children will love the playroom and garden. Families can fire up the barbecue if the weather is good, cosy up on the sofa, or take a dip in the inflatable hot tub. Be sure to collect fresh eggs from the chicken coup in the morning for breakfast.
From £300 per night.
Victorian House, Cambridge
Take the kids to Cambridge for October half term and learn about the city’s rich history. This Victorian House, just outside the city centre in Castle, has everything you need, whether you plan on staying for the week or just a long weekend. There are two double bedrooms for four guests, plus a spacious living area (filled with chic furniture and decorative accessories), a dining area, and a kitchen with a small breakfast bar. Kids can play in the garden while adults relax on the sofa by the fire. Once you’ve explored the local area, head out on the Cambridge Tourist Trail which includes a range of activities the whole family will love – think sightseeing, trampolining, bowling and more.
From £143 per night.
Two-Bedroom Property, Cambridge
Just a five-minute drive from central Cambridge and a short walk to Jesus College (one of the prettiest at the university), this lovely Victorian cottage sleeps up to four guests in a double and twin bedroom. Families can relax in the living area, complete with modern furnishings, and enjoy mealtimes in the bright and airy dining room. The property also has a modern kitchen, a family bathroom with a shower and bath, and a lovely garden with a patio. Walk along the River Cam, just a short distance from the cottage, and explore the nearby restaurants – The Senate is a great option if you have little diners with you.
From £176 per night.
Rufty Tufty Cottage, Camber Sands
Autumn is one of the best times to visit Camber Sands and the surrounding beaches along the east Sussex coastline, when the waters are quiet and you can spot local wildlife, like seals and seabirds. Little ones can go beachcombing and explore the dunes, while a family day out can be spent at Romney Marsh – one of the best nature reserves in the area. Situated between Camber Sands beach and SSSI marshland, this holiday cottage is a great coastal hideaway for a family of four. There’s a small kitchen-diner, a cosy living room filled with books and DVDs, a modern bathroom and two bedrooms – a double and a twin for the kids. Camber Sands beach is just a two-minute walk away, while Rye is easily reached by car in 20 minutes.
From £200 per night.
River House, Wargrave
If you want to go all out, River House straddles the border between Wargrave and Marlow, surrounded by beautiful, secluded countryside. Ideal for a special occasion, the property is set on a private island on the banks of Henley on Thames, where guest can hire a boat or play tennis on the island courts. There’s a new kitchen with everything you need during your stay, as well as a cosy living room with an indoor wood burner, and a dining room with river views. River House has four double bedrooms (one of which has an en-suite with a free-standing bath), plus a twin room. Dogs are also welcome.
From £577 per night.
*DISCLAIMER: All properties had availability for October half-term week at the time of writing. Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice before you book anything. Visit Gov.uk for more information.