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Summer 2022 deals: Last-minute holiday cottages 11% cheaper

Which? Travel research finds prices have come down for August breaks to the Lake District, Cornwall, Devon and more

Which? research shows you’ll be over £100 better off if you’ve left booking your cottage holiday in England to the last minute. It’s 11% cheaper on average to book a week’s getaway in August now than it was to book three months ago. 

So if flight cancellations, airport queues and lost luggage are putting you off going abroad this summer, it might be worth snapping up a last minute value-for-money break closer to home.

We’ve been tracking the prices and availability of one, two and three-bed holiday cottages in England listed on Cottages.com, Holidaycottages.co.uk and Sykes - the three biggest providers - for a one-week peak-season stay, since April.  

Unlike last year, when there were reports of UK accommodation running out, we have found there’s still plenty of cottage availability for summer 2022. We also found overall price reductions in some of the most popular parts of the country.

Some of the biggest price drops are in the Lake District where holiday cottages are 15% cheaper now, on average, than they were in April.

Best and worst holiday cottage companies - as rated by Which? readers

Which cottage holiday companies have reduced their prices most?

We gathered prices for a one-week stay between 17 and 30 August. Properties on Cottages.com and Holidaycottages.co.uk are cheaper to book now on average than they were back in April.

Of the three companies we tracked, Holidaycottages.co.uk has reduced prices most across England, with a one, two, or three bed property now costing £1022 on average, a reduction of 17% from £1232.

The price change could suggest that the demand for UK holidays has dwindled with the return of international travel in 2022 and as a result, holiday cottage companies are lowering their prices to incentivise customers.

However, prices with Sykes have not reduced overall. It is asking for 1% more on average for bookings in the fourth week of August, than it was several months ago (correct 20/07/22).

Last-minute holiday cottage deals in Cornwall

With stunning beaches, dramatic coastlines and wild moorlands, Cornwall in the south west of England is still one of the most popular options for a Great British holiday. And the good news is, cottages there for a week-long trip in August are now 9% cheaper on average than they were in April, so it’s a great time to secure a property.

But for the best deal, head to Holidaycottages.co.uk - which has reduced properties in this area by 22%.

Unsurprisingly, availability has dramatically reduced in this idyllic summer holiday hotspot since April, but there are still hundreds of cottages to book.

For instance, two-bed Geevor Cottage in the Cornish village of Pendeen (half an hour from St Ives) is £840 for a 7-night stay from 19 August. If you’d booked in April this same stay would’ve cost £1,038. It’s a short walk away from the South West Coast path and a 20 minute drive from the beach. 

Book Geevor Cottage for £840

Sold out? See more on Holidaycottages.co.uk

Last-minute holiday cottage deals in Devon

If you’re looking to book a trip to Devon, the average price for a week-long August getaway is currently £1,158, compared to £1,306 back in April*.

It’s a great place to choose for a summer holiday, with beautiful beaches, forest bike rides and coastal paths with breathtaking views out to sea.

Several destinations in Devon ranked highly in our seaside towns survey this year, with Dartmouth landing itself a spot in the top 10. Its abundance of well-rated restaurants and scenic views out over the estuary make up for its lack of beaches, according to Which? readers.

This three-bed terraced holiday home - Weight N Sea - is just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Dartmouth. Back in April it would’ve set you back £1499, but it is now 19% cheaper at £1211. 

Book Weight N Sea for £1211

Sold out? See more on Holidaycottages.co.uk

Last-minute holiday cottage deals in the Lake District

This stunning region in the UK is a hiker’s heaven so be sure to pack your walking boots if you bag yourself a cottage deal here.

Good savings can be found here through Holidaycottages.co.uk. Securing a last-minute property now instead of back in April will have saved you 15%.

In contrast, Sykes has bumped up prices by over a quarter. Our research shows that a holiday cottage would’ve set you back £1,023 in April* on average. Booking on 20 July however would cost £1,286. See how Sykes performed in our cottage holiday provider reviews.

Rural Retreats, although the priciest cottage holiday provider in our survey, performed brilliantly. Readers awarded it four out of five for value for money, suggesting its luxurious portfolio of cottages is worth the outlay.

Mallard House Lodge - available to book on Rural Retreats - sitting just to the east of the Lake District is £1,038 for the week - and it comes with a hot tub for soaking in after a hard day on the trails. This cottage hasn’t increased in price since April. 

Book Mallard House Lodge for £1,038

Sold out? See more on Rural Retreats

Last-minute holiday cottage deals in Northumberland

We recommend heading for the Northumberland Coast, which came second in our survey of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), beating favourites including Cornwall and Dorset. Readers particularly liked the scenery and opportunities for spotting wildlife.

It also tends to be more peaceful than holiday hotspots in the south. And with the average price of a cottage holiday in Northumberland £363 less than one in Cornwall, you could find a bargain.

Cottages.com has the best savings in Northumberland in August with the average price of a week’s stay £841 - a reduction of £173 since April.

HolidayCottages.co.uk also has good savings - £154 on average in this region, however availability is limited with just 33 one, two and three bedroom properties available**.

While not a Which? Recommended Provider, Holidaycottages.co.uk came highly rated in our survey of cottage companies, scoring 80% overall from customers.

For a stay by Northumberland’s coast, choose this modest fisherman’s cottage - Creel Cottage - which has been reduced by a quarter of the price since April. It sleeps four and is minutes from beaches our readers rated highly in our seaside town survey

Book Creel Cottage for £1042 

Sold out? See more on Holidaycottages.co.uk

Last-minute holiday cottage deals in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is known for its cute chocolate-box villages and stunning walks. In fact it’s so picturesque that Lower & Upper Slaughter located within the AONB was rated as the prettiest town or village in the UK (joint with Castle Combe) by Which? readers.

If you’re keen for a deal in this region, swerve Sykes. At 36% more expensive to book a Cotswold property on 20 July rather than back in April*, you’ll be out of pocket. Instead, look at Holidaycottages.co.uk which has discounted cottages by 8%.

Or, you could choose to stay in a historic property from Which? Recommended Provider, National Trust. When you book a cottage through this well-rated company, all of the money will go back into preserving unique properties, coastal paths and forests.

Choose two-bedroom Diston’s Cottage in Snowshill for your visit. The village set high in the Cotswolds has incredible views over the Severn Vale and guests have free access to Snowshill Manor and Garden just steps away. It’s £799 for a week’s stay from 20 August, which has been reduced by £200 since we first checked prices in April.

Mike Henton
Credit: Mike Henton

Book Diston’s Cottage for £799

Sold out? See more on National Trust

*All mentions of April prices refer to 08/04/22

**Correct as of 20/07/22