Self-catering has many attractions, especially for families on a budget. With the arrival of the "unhotel" concept, self-catering has become a popular way to travel.
Sites like Airbnb and One Fine Stay offer apartments and homes to rent directly from their owners, giving you a chance to live like a local. The range of places to let for holiday rentals is huge, from luxury apartments to log cabins and even converted farm buildings. If you're looking for accomodation full of character, conservation organisations such as The Landmark Trust, which restores buildings of historic or architectural interest, English Heritage and the National Trust, which have a number of holiday cottages on their estates are popular choices. Whichever you choose, be sure to book ahead!
Annually updated self-catering guides are a useful source of listings, and Sawdays is particularly informative. Tourist offices can also supply up-to-date regional lists and may also offer a booking service.
Remember to confirm what is included in the price (cleaning, electricity and so on), and check whether any extra fees, deposits or insurance charges will be added to your bill.
Content provided by DK Eyewitness Travel Guides (www.traveldk.com)