Your questions answered

Here are some FAQs to help answer any queries or questions you might have. If you require any additional help please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Should you have any queries specifically regarding coronavirus and the potential impact on your holiday, please refer to our coronavirus FAQs page.

Pre-booking questions

As you are probably on the website while reading this, you will find that the easiest way to book is online.

Click 'Book now' on the right hand side of each property details page to take you to the secure online booking form.

This will take you through the different stages, including taking your payment.

You can also complete the booking over the phone by calling us.

Yes, if your holiday is more than nine weeks away you can secure your booking and spread the cost by paying a deposit of one third of the total price up front. The full balance must then be paid no later than nine weeks before your holiday.

Part of our booking conditions are that if you cancel your holiday you will remain liable for the whole cost of the holiday. If your claim is covered by insurance, you will be able to claim back all monies paid less the insurance premium and a small excess charge.

Some people may already have their own travel Insurance cover in place for their holiday however, if you don’t, you could consider one of the insurance policies we offer. For more information please click below on ‘What does the insurance we offer cover?’

If you do have your own insurance, you will still need to pay the full amount on cancelling. We will then issue a cancellation schedule to you which will enable you to make a claim through your own insurance.

We offer two policies:

1) Combined Damage Waiver & Cancellation Insurance

The policy may include cover for several circumstances including cancellation, travel delay, personal accident, medical, damage waiver and personal liability and others. There are also significant exclusions such as, customers outside of the UK, trips over 28 days, pre-existing medical conditions and others. Please read the Policy Details for a full explanation of what is and what isn’t covered. Please also read our Status Disclosure Document and Insurance Product Information Document (IPID)

2) Single trip Damage Waiver & Personal liability Insurance

We also offer a single trip damage waiver & personal liability insurance policy, which may offer up to £10,000 worth of Accidental Damage (including legal costs and expenses) and includes damage caused by domestic dogs or cats. There is no excess on this policy however, there are significant exclusions such as deliberate damage, trips over 28 days and customers outside of the UK. Please read the Policy Details for a full explanation of what is and what isn’t covered. Please also read our Status Disclosure Document and Insurance Product Information Document (IPID).

If you have to cancel your holiday we will require written confirmation from the lead member of the party by e-mail, post or fax.

Upon cancellation, you may be entitled to a partial refund of the accommodation cost, although the booking fee and other agent charges are non-refundable. Please refer to the booking terms to see the refund calculation.

Yes, many of our properties welcome dogs, each property will state in its description whether pets are accepted or not. If you are thinking of taking a puppy this MUST be declared to at the time of booking and will need to be specifically authorised by the owner.

Most properties where dogs are welcome will allow them throughout, however please check the individual property description as some owners may request that they are restricted to a specific area i.e. kitchen or conservatory etc.

Sometimes it will state 'by arrangement', if so, the breed or size of dog will need to be checked with the owner of the property.

You can use the filters when searching to select the number of dogs you will be bringing. Dogs are charged per dog at £20.00 for up to 7 nights, £40.00 for up to 14 nights and an additional £20.00 for every week or part week thereafter. The owners will sometimes consider other pets.

We do have strict guidelines for dog owners and they very rarely present a problem. We do ask all dog owners to adhere to these guidelines (failure to do so may result in you being asked to leave without compensation).

  1. Dogs must be under strict control at all times while on the property.
  2. Any fouling of lawns etc. must be cleaned up without delay.
  3. The owner must bring the dog’s bed or basket for sleeping in.
  4. Dogs must not be left alone in the property.
  5. Dogs must not lie on beds or chairs, and hair must be cleared up before departing.

Most commonly throughout our collection, properties 'changeover' or start days tend to be a Saturday, although sometimes this could be a Friday or Sunday. When viewing a results page or a property description page it will state the respective changeover day.

It may be possible to book a holiday on a start day other than the designated changeover day out of peak times subject to agreement with the property owner, simply select your property and dates through our short break enquiry process and we’ll try and arrange things for you. Please be aware that as prices are based on Saturday or Friday (Main Day) changeover, any weeks that cross over price bands would be charged at the higher price.

Booking a short break is easy, simply follow the holiday search facility on the website and choose your preferred “Duration” starting at 3 nights. Although the most popular bookings occur on the main designated change over day and book out for the Full week (7 nights), we can also offer short breaks during certain off peak periods or last minute bookings. When short breaks are acceptable, they can range from 3, 4, 5 or 6 nights and are priced accordingly. We provide the facility to search for a short break using the link under the availability search on the left hand side of the homepage.

Prices are based on a minimum stay of 3 nights and normally start from:

3 nights 80% of the property’s full weekly price
4 nights 90%
5+ nights are at the full weekly rental

Any Peak Week breaks are charged at the full weekly price

Please note that some properties (Particularly larger properties) may vary their short break price structure due to the amount of work involved in changeovers and this may be reflected within the short break search results page. If running over 2 different weeks, the price would be based on the higher of the two weekly prices. Please contact us if you have questions or need help with your short break.

After performing a search you can use the refine feature to show only properties that have accessibility provisions. The levels of these do vary so please call us with any specific requirements and we will be pleased to help. In addition there is also a facility on our website for sourcing properties that have Increased Accessibility, you can find this by going into the 'holiday ideas' section.

A large number of our properties are situated in the country, sometimes a few miles from the nearest village or town.

The location given in the details of the individual property is the distance in a straight line from the town or village. I.e. Bideford (5mls S) means the property is located 5 miles south of Bideford. Distances given to the beach etc. are by road. The tab labelled 'Local info' will describe the surrounding region.

On each property page there is a tab labelled 'Map' by clicking this you will be able to see the location of the property.

If the extra person exceeds the maximum occupancy of the property it may be possible, however, this must be checked with us before the start of the holiday and confirmed with the owner – there may be an extra cost for this.

A booking fee is payable to cover the administration and processing of each booking.

For a holding fee of just £50 per week, you can reserve your chosen property for dates beyond those showing on the website, and before next season’s availability is published. We’ll let you know 2-weeks before availability is released that booking is available. If you do not book the property within this time, your holding fee will be forfeited. In the event of your chosen property not being available however, the holding fee is refundable or transferable to another property. The holding fee will be deducted from your overall holiday cost. To arrange this please call our reservations team.

Accommodation questions

Where possible, we do try and encourage all fuel costs to be included in the respective property price, however when this is not possible fuel charges are extra and are paid directly to the owner of the property.

These are calculated at cost; central heating can range between £10-£35 per week depending on the time of year and the size of property. Electricity where stated as extra is normally based on a meter reading. Where applicable we will indicate these costs in the description of the property.

We aim to inspect every property annually and categorise each into one of our star gradings ranging from 2–5 (5 being the highest).

The grading takes into account the features / facilities at the property and the quality of the furnishings. Some properties may have also been independently inspected by 'Visit Britain' and this will also be displayed on the property description page if applicable. If you require further information on a property, please do not hesitate to contact us to speak to a member of staff who has visited the property in question.

2 Star - A basic standard of furnishing, cooking facilities, shower or bath, washbasin and WC.

3 Star - A reasonable standard of furnishing throughout. Kitchen area with cooking facilities. Bathroom with bath or shower. Some have towels supplied or available for hire; please refer to the individual property description for confirmation.

4 Star - Good standard of furnishing and appliances throughout. Where possible a separate WC if more than 8 persons. Many have towels supplied or available for hire; please refer to the individual property description for confirmation.

5 Star - Well-furnished and equipped. High standard of kitchen equipment. Garden furniture. Many have towels supplied or available for hire; please refer to the individual property description for confirmation.

If a property is described as having a bathroom it has a bath. If it has a shower it is always stated in addition.

For every property we aim to include the status of parking within the property description. Typically farm properties have plenty of parking available but some cottages may have off street or roadside parking and some may suggest you use a public car park. If you require further help with this please contact us.

An enclosed garden means that walls, hedges or fences surround the garden at the property. This however does not necessarily mean that a garden is dog proof/child friendly i.e. a dog may be able to get under a hedge or a child over a fence. If you require further details please contact us.

Swimming pools are unsupervised unless stated in the property description. Children must be supervised at all times whilst using the swimming facilities. Whilst every measure possible has been taken to make the swimming area as safe as possible, all facilities are used at your own risk.

The majority of properties which have a swimming pool make no extra charge for the use of the pool unless where indicated, but sometimes the owner may wish to reserve it for their own use for the occasional half day. The period they are open is usually from late May to early September depending on the weather. You are advised to check these details with us if you are planning to use such facilities around these times.

When a property description states that an amenity i.e. beach, shop or pub is within walking distance, we class this as between a few yards and 1 mile.

Unless stated in the property description there will be no use of a telephone at the property.

Properties with wireless internet access will show it in the description. Sometimes, particularly in more rural areas there may be properties where internet access is intermittent or even on occasion unavailable for a short period of time because of the distance to the nearest BT exchange and its remoteness. As in most properties the strength of the wireless signal can vary throughout the property and in some of our older properties the thickness of the walls may prevent wireless internet access in certain rooms or areas on site, so please bear this in mind – where we can we will let you know about these. You may have noticed statements such as “wi-fi available in the kitchen” and “wi-fi available in games barn only” written in a few property descriptions. If this is important to you and you are unsure about the quality of internet access in a particular property then please ask, we are here to help.

Towels are supplied unless stated in the description. Properties may offer the option of hiring them. For full details please refer to the relevant property description.

All of our properties are non-smoking unless otherwise stated. If this is an important feature for your holiday, please contact us to check before you book.

Whilst many of our older cottages have charm and character, some were built before the days of damp proofing courses and cavity insulation. As a result sometimes they have a tendency to be damp and despite the care we take when inspecting a property, damp patches may occasionally appear especially after a long wet winter or through condensation if windows have not been left open to allow air to circulate. Please also remember that should traditional cottage features (steep stairs, uneven tiled floors or low beams for example) be a problem for any member of your party we are here to discuss your requirements allowing you to make the decision that the property suits you and your party.

Please remember that cottages in the country do attract cobwebs. It does not mean that the cottage is dirty or has not been cleaned as country dwellers will tell you webs can be spun almost as quickly as they have been cleaned away. Some of our properties, particularly in remote areas, may have a private water supply from a spring or well water. In rural areas please be tolerant of the sounds and scents that you may experience, they are all a part of countryside living.

All of the properties in our collection are self-catering, this means that you will need to bring your own provisions. Owners are not required to leave any store cupboard items in the property, although we do find that many owners leave an initial selection of essentials to start you off. Many go beyond that and provide a welcome pack which may include some day to day items. Any items left for you are at the owners’ discretion but you are most welcome to use them during your stay.

Your accommodation will be equipped with bedding, pillows and bed linen (unless stated otherwise in the property details), crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils. If towels are not supplied or you have not hired them (only available in properties where indicated) you will need to bring your own. Most properties supply a highchair, cot or travel cot (as indicated) with mattress but cot bedding is not supplied.

As a business we believe that our customers provide valuable feedback about our Holiday Properties and our Service. We welcome and encourage this from our guests after their holiday with us. We use it to monitor ourselves to ensure we are listening and meeting the needs of our customers and to help make improvements and changes to our holiday properties and the service we offer. We show feedback on individual property pages which have been written by previous guests. We do ask that all feedback that is submitted to be fair, appropriate, legally acceptable and relevant so that it may be used. We hope that our customers find this feature useful.

Property facilities

Indicates the number of bathrooms available at a property.

The property has one or more bedrooms situated on the ground floor.

One or more bathrooms situated on the ground floor, this may also be an en-suite providing there is either a bath or shower.

Where a property is marked as having sea views, this indicates that there are views of either the sea / river / estuary / loch / canal from at least one of the rooms within the property or outside from a garden, within the grounds or from a balcony.

2 or more properties in one location or site (obviously not applicable in a town / village situation)

An indoor pool is available (Subject to certain restrictions) either private or shared. The pool may be either fully enclosed, partially covered or retractable.

An outdoor pool is located outside with no cover (Subject to certain restrictions) either private or shared.

Garden with either a fence, hedge or wall all the way around but not necessarily considered as dog proof also relevant for a patio or decked area.

The property has a real working open fire or woodburner that may burn wood or coal.

These properties have some increased accessibility features or provisions that are all described individually. It is, therefore, advisable that you contact us before you book to ensure the property meets your specific needs and requirements. Accessibility statements are also available.

Hot tub (subject to certain restrictions) either indoor/outdoor, either private or shared.

These properties offer some form of internet access and some maybe wi-fi; subject to certain restrictions and user agreements, specific to each property.

These properties are located on or near a working farm with variable access to farming activities and land which may fluctuate throughout the year.

These properties offer some separate games/play area.

These properties offer some form of cycle storage or lock facilities or offer bike hire for guests.

Post booking questions

The balance of your holiday is payable at any time up until and not after 9 weeks prior to arrival, there are three ways that you can pay the remaining balance of your holiday.

  1. By logging in to your account and choosing 'Pay Full Balance'
  2. By calling us to pay by card

You will receive a booking confirmation when a deposit payment has been made, a second confirmation along with directions to the property will be sent when your holiday is paid in full.

After you have paid in full, you will receive final confirmation, which includes travel directions to your property and details for the person you will need to contact before arrival. We request that you call them a few days before your holiday starts to arrange approximate arrival times. They will then tell you where to obtain the key or will arrange to meet you at the property.

In order that your accommodation can be properly prepared, it is important that you do not arrive before the designated arrival time. This is normally after 2.30pm but can vary and will be stated on your final confirmation. Departure time is before 10.00am

Yes, just inform us at the earliest opportunity that friends might be joining you and as long as your party does not exceed the maximum capacity of the property we will get approval from the owner and add the extra people to your booking. If the extra person exceeds the maximum occupancy of the property it may be possible, however, this must be checked with us before the start of the holiday and confirmed with the owner – there may also be an extra cost for this.

We have done our best to ensure that you will not have any cause for complaint. However, things can be missed and if this is the case the matter should be brought to the attention of the owner at once.

Often after a long journey even the smallest molehill can feel like a mountain but in most cases the situation can be easily rectified by the Owner or Caretaker of the property, don’t forget we can help if you have trouble getting in contact with the owner or caretaker. Or if you are unable to resolve the matter with them then please contact our office without delay so we can investigate and try and help. If you need to speak to a member of our team during or following your holiday please contact our Holiday Support Team at [email protected] or call 01237 459910. During out-of-office hours, an answer phone facility will be available which will be checked on a regular basis.

Please don't leave it until your last day, or when you have returned home to speak to us about any problems as we are then no longer in a position to help.

Owners expect that a certain amount of wear and tear is inevitable and this applies to the odd smashed glass or broken plate.

However, if something does get damaged while at the property please inform the owner at the earliest opportunity so that it can be fixed or replaced in time for the next holidaymakers.

It is sometimes reasonable to expect to pay the owners for more serious damages and breakages such as incidents to carpets, broken windows etc.

We ask that the property is left in the same state of cleanliness and general order as found.

Yes, if you have provided us with your email address you will automatically be sent a questionnaire email when you get back from your holiday, we would love to hear how your holiday went. As a business we believe that you, our customer provides valuable feedback about our Holiday Properties and our Service. We welcome and encourage this after your holiday with us. We use it to monitor ourselves to ensure we are listening and meeting the needs of our customers and to pass on to the property owner to help make improvements and changes to the holiday properties and the service they offer. We show feedback on individual property pages which have been written by previous guests. We do ask that all feedback that is submitted is fair, appropriate, legally acceptable and relevant so that it may be used. Holiday Cottages reserves the right to decide what is published.

Adverse Weather

Our primary concern is always the safety of our guests, owners, suppliers and team. If there are warnings in place around travel we would ask guests to make sensible decisions around delaying trips to start their holiday later where required.

Where we have information that a property you are travelling to is unavailable, we will always let you know as soon as possible. If you have any concerns due to the weather, you should use the contact information given to you on the pre-arrival information emails to contact the owner or housekeeper prior to travelling.

If adverse weather affects your booking, for example, a cleaner is unable to reach the property prior to your arrival, we will let you know as soon as possible about any changes that are needed to be made to your booking. In events such as this, we’d hope that your holiday can start just a little later, however, our holiday support team will be on hand to assist if needed.