If you’re planning on a trip in the UK or Ireland, you might be considering renting a holiday home. These self-catering options can give you a home away from home experience, usually coming with a range of amenities that you wouldn’t always find in a hotel such as a kitchen, lounge, dining area, private terrace, and washing machine.

A holiday cottage can be a lovely way to have a more private and self-contained trip, which can work well whether you are looking for a romantic escape as a couple, a fun family trip, or an adventure with friends.

Holiday cottages and homes are available across the UK and Ireland and cover a vast array of budgets and sizes, from compact city centre studio apartments in London and Dublin through to sprawling mansions in the countryside. They also span styles, from simpler rustic accommodation, through to holiday villas with pools, hot tubs, tennis courts and more!

There are also pet-friendly holiday homes, family friendly holiday cottages, and large country retreats  which are perfect for a group gathering.

Jess and I have rented and stayed at a number of different holiday homes in the UK and Ireland, and we’ve used a number of different booking websites to find them. In this post, we’re going to share some of our favourite websites we use to find and book holiday cottages when we travel. We’ll help you decide where to book holiday homes in the UK and where to rent holiday homes in Ireland.

Lighthouse vacation rental Scotland

The Best Holiday Home Websites in the UK and Ireland

Below are some of our favourite holiday home rental websites which cover the UK and Ireland. These span a wide variety of properties, from city getaways to sites that focus on rural escapes.

Some of them are UK and / or Ireland specific, whilst others have a more global coverage. We hope you find one that works for you.

 

Sykes Holiday Cottages

Sykes Holiday Cottages are one of the best known holiday cottage companies in the UK and Ireland, and have won multiple awards for their service and brand. They have over 15,000 properties on their books across the UK and Ireland, with a focus on self catering cottages that are perfect for a getaway.

So whether it’s a cottage with a hot tub, a dog friendly holiday cottage, a luxury holiday cottage, or a large holiday cottage for a big group, Sykes Holiday Cottages should have something to suit.

Jess and I recently rented a holiday home in Cornwall from Sykes Holiday Cottages for a week and had a lovely stay with no issues.

Pricing runs the full range from under £300 a week to in excess of £15,000 a week, so whatever your budget, we’re sure you’ll find something to suit.

Company Headquarters: Cheshire, UK
Number of Property Listings: 15,000+ in the UK and Ireland
Geographical Availability: UK and Ireland only
Areas of the UK and Ireland Covered: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland
Pricing: Budget to luxury
Book Holiday Homes OnlineBook here

Holiday cottage bedroom

 

AirBnB

It would be impossible to do a round up of holiday rental accommodation without including AirBnB. Although AirBnB is one of the youngest companies on the list, it is the company that really made home sharing popular and is now the market leader in online home sharing worldwide.

AirBnB has a huge variety of properties to choose from – in excess of 200,000 across the UK and Ireland. These range from renting a room in someone’s house through to renting an entire Scottish castle. Basically anything can be listed on Airbnb from yurts, treehouses, and houseboats to castle, country estates, and private islands. There is something for everyone at every budget.

With so much choice, finding an AirBnB can be a little overwhelming. Thankfully, there’s a wide range of useful filters to help you narrow the search down. For example, you can specify you want the whole place to yourself, as well as filter by a wide range of criteria from property type through to amenities, number of bathrooms, wheelchair accessibility, and more.

Another option for filtering is to look for either AirBnB Plus or AirBnB Luxe properties. AirBnB Plus homes are quality inspected in person by the AirBnB team, and only hosts with very positive reviews are eligible for the Plus program. This is a great way to ensure you’re going to have a positive experience.

AirBnB Luxe focuses on the highest end properties available on AirBnB, and you even get a dedicated trip designed to help you plan your stay.

AirBnB properties are available at a huge range of prices, from under £300 a week to in excess of £20,000 a week.

Company Headquarters: California, USA
Number of Property Listings: 200,000+ in the UK and Ireland
Geographical Availability: 191 countries around the world
Areas of the UK and Ireland Covered: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland
Pricing: Budget to luxury
Book Holiday Homes OnlineBook here

Holiday cottage cornwall UK

 

Snaptrip

If you are planning a getaway in the UK or Ireland, then we think Snaptrip should definitely be one of the websites that you check. With over 60,000 properties listed, the majority of which are found in the UK and Ireland, they have a huge amount of choice.

However, this isn’t the main reason we recommend them. You see, Snaptrip are a little different to the other holiday rental websites on our list. They focus on last minute getaways, and rather than listing their own properties, they search some of the top providers in the UK and Ireland for the best deals.

The providers they use include many of those in our list, meaning you get a huge choice and also great quality. They also guarantee their website features the lowest prices, and will refund the difference if you find the same property available at a lower price elsewhere.

Whilst they do focus on last minute deals, you can also book properties well in advance of course if you prefer to plan ahead. With so many properties available, the price range varies greatly. Properties can be rented from under £200 a week to in excess of £10,000 a week, and range from cute far flung cottages to extravagant castles.

Company Headquarters: Hatfield, UK
Number of Property Listings: 60,000+, primarily in the UK & Ireland
Geographical Availability: UK and Europe
Areas of the UK and Ireland Covered: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland
Pricing: Budget to Luxury
Book Holiday Homes OnlineBook here

 

Plum Guide

Many of the websites in our list focus primarily on rural or country cottages. Plum Guide covers a slightly broader range of categories, with an impressive collection of properties that range from ultra-luxurious city centre apartments through to remote Scottish castles.

One thing we like about Plum Guide is how selective they are. Properties have to pass an incredibly thorough vetting process, meaning that only the highest quality options are listed. So whilst they might not have the numbers of some of their competitors in terms of total listings, they certainly have some of the highest quality properties we’ve seen.

Currently there are around 2,000 properties on their site, the majority of which are found in England, with some listings in Wales and Scotland.

Pricing is firmly in the mid-range to luxury category. Depending on the property, you are looking at between £500 and £60,000 for a week. Naturally you can filter your search by a range of criteria, from hot tubs and gym facilities through to lift access and car parking. Fast WiFi is standard at all properties.

Company Headquarters: London, England, United Kingdom
Number of Property Listings: 2000+ in the UK
Geographical Availability: Mostly European cities, but also the United States and Israel
Areas of the UK and Ireland Covered: England, Wales, and Scotland
Pricing: Mid-Range – Luxury
Book Holiday Homes OnlineBook here

Loch Ness vacation rental Scotland

 

Cottages.com

Cottages.com have over 18,000 properties available across the UK and Ireland, with everything on their books from coastal retreats to country castles.

One feature we particularly like is how granular the filtering system is. For example, if you’re going away for Christmas, you can search for properties that are specially decorated for this period!

Otherwise, with a wide choice of properties to suit all budgets, group sizes and tastes, we think you’ll find something to suit. Pricing varies from under £300 a week to in excess of £20,000 a week.

Company Headquarters: Lancashire, UK
Number of Property Listings: 18,000+ in the UK and Ireland
Geographical Availability: UK, Ireland, France, and Italy
Areas of the UK and Ireland Covered: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland
Pricing: Budget to luxury
Book Holiday Homes OnlineBook here

 

Holidaycottages.co.uk

Focusing entirely on the UK, and with over 6,000 properties to choose from, Holidaycottages.co.uk are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a wide range of properties to choose from.

They’ve been helping travellers find properties in the UK since 1989, and have an extensive range of options. So whether you’re looking for a great value getaway, or a luxurious mansion with pool, hot tub and tennis court, you will find something to suit.

Prices vary depending on the property of course, from around £350 a week up to in excess of £10,000. You can also filter properties based on your requirements, be that WiFi access, four poster beds or nearby amenities.

At the time of writing, they do not have many properties in Ireland.

Company Headquarters: Devon, UK
Number of Property Listings: 6,000+ in the UK
Geographical Availability: UK only
Areas of the UK and Ireland Covered: England, Wales, Scotland
Pricing: Budget to luxury
Book Holiday Homes OnlineBook here

Vacation rental interior UK

 

Rural Retreats

Rural Retreats exclusively lists holiday homes in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, so you know that they know the market well. They have over 600 properties on their site, and as the name of the company suggests, the focus is very much on rural properties where you can get away from it all.

That said, they do have a small selection of city flats as well, so don’t discount them for a city break.

Rural Retreats have been helping customers find properties since 1985, and they certainly know the rural areas well. They have properties all across the UK and Ireland, at a range of prices and sizes to suit all types of travellers, from shepherd’s huts to castles.

Properties are available that are cosy enough for two, or spacious enough for groups of 20+. Naturally pricing also varies, from in the region of £450 a week up to £10,000+, depending on the size of property, time of year, size and amenities.

Company Headquarters: Gloucestershire, UK
Number of Property Listings: 600+
Geographical Availability: UK and Ireland only
Areas of the UK and Ireland Covered: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland
Pricing: Budget to Luxury
Book Holiday Homes OnlineBook here

 

Oliver’s Travels

Oliver’s Travels have properties in destinations across the world, with around 300 to choose from in the UK and Ireland. They focus on character properties and luxury villas.

For their properties in the UK and Ireland there is a definite focus on higher end properties, although there are some lovely smaller properties for those in the mid-range price range. That said, if you are looking for a castle or spectacular manor house to rent for a week, they certainly have you covered.

Pricing ranges from around £450 a week through to in excess of £100,000. With such large properties available, Oliver’s Travel are a great option if you’re looking to rent a villa for a large group.

With numerous awards and positive customer feedback about the Oliver’s Travel experience, this is definitely a site to consider for your next villa rental.

Company Headquarters: London, UK
Number of Property Listings: 300 in the UK and Ireland
Geographical Availability: Worldwide
Areas of the UK and Ireland Covered: England, Wales, Scotland, Republic of Ireland
Pricing: Primarily mid-range to luxury
Book Holiday Homes OnlineBook here

Hot tub vacation rental

 

Interhome.co.uk

Founded in Switzerland in 1965, Interhome has decades of experience helping travellers book holiday homes around the world. They currently offer 50,000+ properties in 31 countries worldwide, with over 1,500 to choose from across the UK and Ireland.

Properties are available ranging from city centre apartments through to rural cottages, chalets and holiday homes. They are also able to accommodate group sizes ranging from 1 person to over 20.

Properties can be searched and filters based on a wide range of criteria, from fireplaces, saunas, and jacuzzis through to distances from the sea, or whether you prefer a hiking holiday or golf.

Pricing varies from under £300 a week through to over £5,000 a week.

Company Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland
Number of Property Listings: 1500+ in the UK and Ireland
Geographical Availability: 31 countries around the world
Areas of the UK and Ireland Covered: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland
Pricing: Budget to luxury
Book Holiday Homes OnlineBook here

 

Homeaway.co.uk

With almost 100,000 holiday lettings to choose from across the UK and Ireland, Homeaway.co.uk have no shortage of choice. The company is owned by Expedia, which has a number of brands in the vacation rental space including Vrbo. These brands cover a wide range of vacation rentals around the world.

In the UK though, we recommend using Homeaway.co.uk since it is focused on the UK market. They have a huge range of properties available, from farm cottages and apartments through to stately homes and castles. You can also filter search results by a huge range of criteria, so finding what you want shouldn’t be too difficult.

Pricing varies from under £300 a week through to over £10,000 a week.

Company Headquarters: Texas, USA
Number of Property Listings: 94,000+ in the UK and Ireland
Geographical Availability: 190 countries around the world
Areas of the UK and Ireland Covered: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland
Pricing: Budget to luxury
Book Holiday Homes OnlineBook here

 

Imagine Ireland

If you are heading to Ireland, then you might want to use a company that focuses exclusively on properties on the island. Covering both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Imagine Ireland has over 600 properties to choose from.

So whether you are looking for a city break in Dublin or Belfast, a country break in rural County Kerry, or a road trip along the Atlantic Coast, you’ll find something to suit.

These range from apartments through to cottages and even castles, with properties available for both small and large groups. Pricing covers a wide range, from under £300 a week to over £4,000. You can search across a variety of property styles, from luxury to teenage friendly, and filter based on your requirements.

Company Headquarters: Yorkshire, England
Number of Property Listings: 600+ in Ireland
Geographical Availability: 31 countries around the world
Areas of the UK and Ireland Covered: Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland
Pricing: Budget to luxury
Book Holiday Homes OnlineBook here

 

Booking.com

When you think of booking.com, you probably think of hotels. However, this popular accommodation website offers a great deal more than hotels, with categories including villas, apartments, cottages and even glamping sites available to book.

In the UK and Ireland they have over 25,000 holiday rental style properties available to book, across a wide range of styles and price points.

Pricing ranges from under £200 for a week’s stay to in excess of of £15,000 for larger properties. If you’re looking for a holiday rental, just used the specific filters on booking.com to filter by the type of property you are interested in.

Company Headquarters: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Number of Property Listings: 25,000+ in the UK and Ireland
Geographical Availability: 225 countries around the world
Areas of the UK and Ireland Covered: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland
Pricing: Budget to luxury
Book Holiday Homes OnlineBook here

Outdoor dining holiday cottage

 

Further Reading

Hopefully this guide to holiday cottages in the UK and Ireland has helped you find the perfect property for your next getaway. Before you head off on your adventure though, we wanted to share some other content we think you’ll find useful.

And that’s it for our guide to some of the best holiday cottage rental websites in the UK and Ireland! We hope you found it useful. As always, we’re open to your feedback and questions – just pop them in the comments below. Safe travels!

A detailed guide to some of the best websites for booking a holiday home in the UK. For everything from holiday cottages to castles, apartments & more!



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