01 of 08
Stay in England's Dreamiest Vacation Rentals
If you've ever wished for a fantasy vacation in a unique or romantic setting, you will have plenty of options in the United Kingdom. Imagine spending a week holed up inside a magical triumphal arch in the woods. Or how about one of these:
- A cottage on the battlements of a castle
- A vacation rental apartment in the turret of a Tudor mansion
- A fairytale cottage beside of one of the most important places in English history.
Vacation rental cottages and accommodations like these are available by the week, the weekend and for a short midweek break from English Heritage and from The National Trust.
English Heritage is a semi-public body that advises the UK government on preserving the historic environment. It manages 400 historic properties, including Stonehenge and Battle Abbey, beside the site of the Battle of Hastings. Some of these properties have attached vacation rental cottages, lodges and apartments. The National Trust, an independent organization supported by membership subscriptions... and income from the historic properties it manages, has similar vacation rentals available.
A bonus is that guests often have the run of grounds, gardens, and parks after hours and can even be offered private viewings of the main historic property.Continue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
A Garden Hideaway in a Triumphal Arch
This Triumphal Arch Cottage, is a vacation rental that sleeps five and overlooks parkland landscaped by Capability Brown. It is part of the National Trust's Berrington Hall estate, a Neoclassical mansion, near Leominster in Herefordshire, with views over the Brecon Beacons. The main house has French Regency furnishings, fine painted ceilings and an interesting costume collection. It also has wonderful formal gardens and parkland that you can enjoy after hours if you stay in thegateway arch, once the coachman's home.
The fully equipped cottage, occupying half the arch, rents for a two night minimum and, sadly, no dogs are allowed. Check the current rates and availablity on the property website.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
03 of 08
1066 and All That - A Vacation Rental Near the Battle of Hastings Field
If you're looking for a vacation rental in England, you've probably heard about the Battle of Hastings, in 1066, when William the Conqueror defeated the English and began the Norman occupation of Britain.
But did you know that the Battle of Hastings didn't take place in Hastings at all, but in a place up the road that has come to be called Battle.
Shortly after his victory, William ordered that an Abbey be built beside the field of battle. The South Lodge was once the gatehouse of Battle Abbey, managed by English Heritage. This fairy tale stone cottage with leaded glass windows is a vacation rental that sleeps four plus baby - and Fido if you'd like. You can't beat the location - it looks out over the very field where the most famous battle in British history was fought. And guests at the cottage have free access to the battlefield.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
04 of 08
Stay in a Turret in Shakespeare's Backyard
While you're visiting Stratford-upon-Avon, you might enjoy this vacation rental near the scene of Shakespeare's youthful indiscretions. According to legend, he poached game from the estates of Charlecote Park when he was a boy. Nowadays, you can stay in a vacation rental apartment in a Turret of Charlecote Park, managed by the National Trust.
The fully equipped apartment sleeps six people in three bedrooms with a minimum stay of three nights. It can be quite reasonable most of the year - though prices are steeper during the high season of July and August. In 2018, three nights in the off season (winter except for Christmas week) start at £384. Check the website for a full rundown of prices from 2017 through 2019.
While there, you can enjoy visiting the park with its landscaped gardens beside the River Avon, its maze, and its Capability Brown deer park.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Abermydyr - A Sweet, Yellow Artist's Cottage in South Wales
Abermydyr is the very definition of picturesque. This vacation rental, on the banks of the river Aeron in the Aeron Valley of South Wales, is a restored cottage with Gothic windows and an octagonal roof. It's well located for walking the beautiful South Wales coast and is a good place for anglers too.
The self-catering cottage, managed by the National Trust, was the home of contemporary artist, George Chapman. It is believed to have been designed by Regency architect John Nash to house the Llanerchaeron estate's coachman.
Guests taking this a vacation rental that sleeps six have free access to the estate during opening hours. It has a large, informal garden and patio area but it's unfenced, so no dogs.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
06 of 08
Be King of Pendennis Castle After Hours
Pendennis Castle was built by Henry VIII, between 1540 and 1545, to defend the South coast against threats from France and Spain. It was considered his finest coastal fortress. Later, it was adapted for new enemies over the years, even playing a role in World War II. In the English Civil War, it was the last of the Royalist castles to remain armed.
If you stay in the vacation rental, a tiny Custodian's House managed by English Heritage, the castle is all yours at the end of the day. The self-catering cottage, built into the castle ramparts, sleeps two, plus baby, and overlooks the Fal Estuary in Cornwall.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
07 of 08
Cambridge Lodge at Audley End
This vacation rental for four tells a story of a failed social climber. Stay there and you can have a vacation that was planned for Royals.
Audley End, in Essex, is a beautiful Jacobean house, completed in the early 17th century, that is a case of foiled ambition. The Earl of Suffolk, who built it, set out to impress everyone with its magnificence. He was especially out to impress the royals who he hoped would come to stay. Sadly, for him, he fell out of favor at court and the Royals he'd emptied his purse for stayed away in droves.
Nevertheless, his fabulous house, surrounded by vast and lavish formal gardens, is yours to enjoy when you rent the gatehouse. The house is often used for filming so you might be lucky enough to catch a discreet, behind-the-scenes peek from time to time.
Cambridge Lodge managed by English Heritage was built to be the principal gatehouse in 1842. This charming Victorian house is a vacation rental for four, plus baby. It is well equipped and really lovely... inside. Views from the lodge take in the River Cam, dammed to form a lake on the grounds. And while you are there, you have free access to all English Heritage properties during opening hours.Continue to 8 of 8 below.
08 of 08
Your Own Apartment in an Elegant William and Mary-Style Home
Hanbury Hall is an elegant, red brick, William and Mary style home in beautiful parkland, built in 1701. The vacation rental National Trust apartment enjoys the use of the park and grounds as your own domain once the house is closed to the public for the day.
The vacation rental, in the South Wing, sleeps two and overlooks beautifully restored 18th Century gardens. It's perfectly located for explorations in the historic spa town of Droitwich. There's also a lodge that sleeps three on the edge of the estate.