We’ve noticed that we’re getting a lot of enquiries lately for cottages for large groups with a hot tub, and we were talking about it in the office, trying to pinpoint why. We concluded that there’s no particular reason, just that sometimes we all need a break from the hectic pace of modern life – you know, work, the school run, the washing, the ironing, the gardening, it goes on and on, and sometimes you just want to escape to somewhere where you don’t have to think about any of those things. A holiday in the country with a group of friends or family helps you to unwind, especially if there’s a lovely warm hot tub for you to have a soak in.
Of course, our luxury holiday cottages have so much more than hot tubs; they have heated indoor pools, saunas, and steam rooms, and most have a games room where you can whip up a bit of in-house competition playing pool, air hockey, table football or ping-pong. A lot of our large group self-catering holiday houses have a BBQ lodge, and there’s plenty of room in them for you all to get together and have a feast or toast marshmallows even if it’s raining. You’ll also find play areas for the little people, with climbing frames, swings, trampolines and football goals, but more often than not there’s loads of room for them to run about and let off steam anyway.
When it comes to cottages for large groups with a hot tub, we have some beauties, especially if you’re looking for that perfect rural retreat, a chance to really get away from it all and recharge your flagging batteries. These are charming, just oozing country character with plenty of original features, like thick stone walls, flagstone floors, centuries old wall timbers and ceiling beams. A recent addition to our portfolio of big holiday homes is Pippinsands, a 15th century thatched cottage tucked away in the Devon countryside not far from Honiton; it sleeps 14 people and as well as there being a hot tub in the large private garden, you also get use of the 15 acre shared grounds where there’s a play area and games room. What’s really nice about Pippinsands is that you can sit in bed with a cup of tea and watch ducks dabbling in the little pond, and squirrels scampering up the pine tree just outside. Right from the garden you can stroll down across the fields for a walk along the river, or climb up to the hill at the back of the cottage and watch the sunset. Bliss.
Over on the Somerset Levels is Riverside; two red brick cottages were built in Victorian times for the workers who dredged the river, but they’ve long since been made into one very welcoming English country cottage that sleeps 12 and has a hot tub beneath a leafy arbour in the front garden. There’s a games room and a play area, and right from the doorstep you can walk along the River Tone for lunch at a cosy country pub. Wake up in the morning to beautiful views that stretch far across the Levels; in the evening take a sundowner out on the riverbank just at the back of the cottage.
Snuggled on the edge of the pretty village of Halse, between the Quantock Hills and Exmoor National Park, is Halse Water House, a dream of a big thatched holiday cottage for 12 with a hot tub and a lovely outdoor dining pavilion for sitting out beneath the fairy lights when it’s balmy. There’s a paddock where you can have a family game of rounders or French cricket, even your own sports day! For moments of entire mindfulness, take a drink out and sit and chat beside the stream that trips its merry way through the garden.
Right on the edge of the Quantocks is Dancing Hill, a charming cottage that still retains the happy ambience from when it was a family home; 6 bedrooms sleep 12 people and there’s room for 2 more at an extra charge. There’s a games room, and a play area for the young ‘uns, but oh boy, what’s really amazing here is that you can sit in the hot tub or the swim spa and totally relax, with the immense countryside spread out before you, covering most of Somerset and stretching down to the coast and over to Wales on a clear day; it’s incredible.
Not far from Taunton, Frog Street was once a farmhouse, but now it’s a wonderful holiday house in the country for 12, plus there’s room for 2 more guests at an extra charge. This is perfect for big family holidays as there’s a games room, a play area, and a BBQ lodge with its own kitchen attached, and it gets better and better, because not only is there a hot tub where you can sit back and gaze over the fields, but also, there’s a fabulous indoor 5m swim spa! Peace and quiet, walks into the woods and across the fields to the village; perfick.
Pound Farm was a farmhouse too, and likewise, it’s got all the happy feels from when the family who ran the farm lived here. And it’s gorgeous, heaps of character, snooze space for 18, plus 3 extra at an additional charge per person; there’s a games room, an indoor pool, sauna, hot tub and play area. Stroll into the village to the vintage tea shop, or up the lane to a very good restaurant for Sunday lunch.
Veering away from the quintessential country cottage we’ve got plenty more large group holiday accommodation with a hot tub, sleeping 8-30 people, in Somerset, Devon, Monmouthshire, Wiltshire and the New Forest. You’ll find stunning barn conversions, big country houses, purpose built luxury lodges, an imposing town house for city breaks, and a beautiful 600 year old chateau in France.