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Our little black book of enchanting places


Baby-friendly cottages

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O' Sullivan

Bedroom, Quakers, Premier CottagesWhen I put my house on Airbnb recently, one of my first requests was from a family with a one-year-old. Around the same time, Premier Cottages got in touch about their new collection of 300 baby-friendly properties across the UK. It made me realise that a. my house wasn’t in the least bit equipped for a one-year-old, and b. Premier's baby-friendly cottages really were, with cots, highchairs, stair gates, plastic plates and bowls, plus a a range of extras, all free of charge.

Here are six properties in their new collection, all of which would work equally well for both young families and those with older children.

Quakers, Cornwall

This New England-style cottage (above) is one of seven properties of varying sizes at Tregongeeves Farm, on the outskirts of St Austell. On the ground floor there are two bedrooms, one of which opens onto a courtyard, and a bathroom; the living area is on the floor above where a painted vaulted ceiling gives a light, beach-house feel. The cottage has its own private patio but guests also have access to the farm’s shared facilities, which include a tennis court, swimming pool, play barn, play area and interaction with farm animals. From £310 per week; sleeps 4.The Railway Carriage, Premier CottagesThe Railway Carriage, Somerset

Very young children won’t fully appreciate this replica brake van carriage, though their parents will, especially if they’re steam enthusiasts, as it’s located next to the West Somerset Steam Railway and steam engines regularly chug past. The carriage sleeps four in two bedrooms, there is a wooden veranda off the main living area, and the garden is well fenced so no danger of little ones wandering off. From £350 per week; sleeps 4. Orchard Cottage, Premier CottagesOrchard Cottage, Devon

There are 12 cottages on this rural site between Dartmouth and Salcombe. Orchard Cottage is the largest and most luxurious, overlooking an apple orchard and with views across the valley. It has a large, open-plan living area and three bedrooms on the lower floor, each with its own bathroom. It also has great outside space, with lots of room for children to run about it. From £1,082 per week; sleeps 6.The Treehouse, Premier CottagesThe Treehouse, Somerset 

This lovely two-bedroom property has been built into a mature lime tree overlooking farmland. It sleeps four in two bedrooms and there’s a private hot tub and an indoor swimming pool available from midday every day. Parents of very small children might want to bear in mind not just the steps outside – it is a treehouse, after all – but the spiral staircase inside. Actually, it’s such a romantic spot, you might want to leave the children with granny anyway. From £545 per week; sleeps 4.The Barn, Premier CottagesThe Barn, Staffordshire

The Barn is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on the edge of the Peak District National Park. Alton Towers, Bakewell and Buxton are all within easy reach, while the RSPB’s Coombe Valley reserve is just a couple of miles away. The property has two bedrooms on the first floor and one on the ground floor and there’s a shared hot tub which you can enjoy by candlelight. Well-behaved dogs are welcome. From £540 per week; sleeps six.Orchard Cottage, Red Doors Farm, Premier CottagesOrchard Cottage, Devon

Another Orchard Cottage – this one at Red Doors Farm in Honiton. It’s what Premier Cottages calls an ‘upside down cottage’ in that the three bedrooms and two bathrooms are on the ground floor while the living area is upstairs. The cottage has its own private garden but it also has access to facilities shared with the other properties on the site which include a children’s play area with swings, slide and play house, garden games, trampoline, giant chess and ride-on toys. There’s also a games barn with table tennis, table football, a covered play area plus an indoor swimming pool and a playroom for children up to the age of six. It would be a shame not to have children here. From £595 per week; sleeps 6.


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