Parent Hack: Winter Socialising…

Gather some mates, some kids and rent a weekend getaway… no sitters, no cabs, no hassles!

Is it us or does socialising in winter seem so much harder work? The juggle of finding a sitter, then trying to get dressed up whilst simultaneously getting the kids down, only for perfectly straightened hair to flop between front door and cab, just doesn’t seem worth the hassle!

But we have found the solution. Needs no sitters, no cabs, no wrestling with a brolly… get a gang of mates with kids and rent a family-friendly house for a weekend of fun, fresh air and socialising… genius!

Here’s our pick of the Baby-Friendly Boltholes‘ UK cottage rentals for sociable weekend getaways…

1. Gitcombe Retreat, Devon

There are wow factors galore at this stylish 4-bedroom barn just 10-minutes from the waterfront pubs and bistros of bustling Dartmouth. From the huge deck and hot tub overlooking the estate’s private valley, to the adjacent pool house with sauna and soft play room, plus there are acres of grounds to roam including a carved wooden playground and smaller cottages ideal for extra guests. Rentals from £1500. Sleeps 8+ additional cottages available for larger groups. Book here.

2. Bauhinia House, Cotswolds

Drinks on the lake view terrace? Spa treatments and wildlife trails by day? Catered meals by night?With a spa, bistro, indoor/outdoor pool, playgrounds and wildlife trails and lake on the doorstep, Bauhina House is hard to beat. Rentals from £1519. Sleeps 11. Book here

3. Tregea, Cornwall

A mini football pitch in the garden, a sea view hot tub and a location within 10-15 minutes walk of beaches at both St Merryn and Harlyn Bay, makes Tregea the perfect spot for a surf-savvy group getaway. Lessons can be arranged… after all, you have to do something to justify your supper from the village’s celebrated fish and chip shop! Sleeps 11-15 with Rentals from £2500. Book here.

4. Westbrook Court, Herefordshire

This historic 4-bedroom farmhouse with an additional 5 split level guest suites in outbuildings is perfect for gathering a big gang of mates who may like to combine independent personal space with sociable evenings in the huge dining hall and games barn. Sleeps 18+5 from £3100. Book here.

5. WEIR HOUSE, COTSWOLDS

Akin to your own personal luxury country house hotel, Weir House boasts five opulently decorated bedrooms, a champagne and local goodies stuffed fridge and perfectly manicured gardens, along with shared access to a spa-like clubhouse and gorgeous collection of mini-mansion play houses and ride-on vintage cars. Daylesford Organics and Bamford Spa are short drive/taxi trip away perfect for stocking up on gourmet nibbles, or indulgent spa days. Babysitters & caterers available. Sleeps 10-14, plus additional cottages for extra guests on request. Rentals from £1858. Book here

6. Tapnell Manor, Isle of Wight

With a family-friendly bistro, petting farm, football golf and bounce pillows literally at the end of the drive, 10-bedroom Tapnell Manor is possible THE most fun family-friendly sociable house rental in the UK. Rentals from £995. Book/more info here.

7. Broombank, New Forest

This New Forest house has toys and games and gadgets galore from retro-Donkey Kong/Pac-Man arcade game table to classy ‘proper’ coffee machine, huge TVs, playstation, go-karts, splash pool and hot tub. There’s even a field set up as a football pitch, a full equipped office and tonnes of space to sit and socialise in the kitchen, garden, lounge or games room. Not to mention tw0 family-friendly good food pubs within a short stroll. Sleeps 10-12 from £1700. Bookings/more info. here

8. Dairy House, Somerset

Boasting its own orchard, hot tub, play area and resident chickens for fresh eggs, Dairy House on the Dillington Estate is an idyllic escape for family and friends. Just 30mins drive from the Jurassic coast beaches and with private chef and spa therapist on call too. Sleeps 12-16 with rentals from £2344. More info./booking here

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By Baby-Friendly Boltholes