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Glorious gatherings: the best UK holiday homes for hire

by Sainsbury's magazine

Book one of our selection of gorgeous rental houses in Dorset, Cornwall, the Brecon Beacons, Suffolk or the Yorkshire Dales for family holiday fun...

Quay House, Christchurch, Dorset



What is it?  A six-bedroomed pile on the edge of town within walking distance of good pubs and restaurants, the quay and the beach at Mudeford.

What’s it like?  The large rooms are comfortably furnished with big squishy beds and sofas, large windows overlooking the garden, churchyard and vicarage behind, and a well-equipped kitchen/diner designed for communal meals.

Where to eat?  The Boathouse for a lively atmosphere and casual dining, including hamburgers, oysters, pizzas and more. The King’s Arms ( is slightly more formal with a locally sourced menu focusing on British classics, including roasts and pies.

Who would like it?  Large families or big groups of chums (the house sleeps 15) with a taste for water sports – there is sailing, kayaking and windsurfing nearby – or those who relish a traditional British seaside holiday.

To book:  Quay House sleeps 15 people in six bedrooms and costs from £186.60 per person per week, based on 15 sharing. 

Penolva, St Mawes, Cornwall


What is it? A four-bedroomed (all en-suite) luxury home with beautiful sea views and large terraces, ideally suited for watching the action with a glass of wine in hand.

What’s it like? Incredibly peaceful, with breezy, modern décor and splashes of contemporary art.

Where to eat? St Mawes Retreats, which runs the rental, can organise meals from cream teas to dinner, cooked at home by private chef Hannah Dome. Think fresh Cornish mackerel, delicious lobster and fruity tarts. Alternatively, book at table at The Watch House ( for mussels, crab and lemon sole.

Who would like it? Those in need of a Great British escape but with good food and pubs close at hand.

To book: Penolva by St Mawes Retreats sleeps up to eight and costs from £4,500 per week. Flybe flies between London Gatwick and Newquay from £62 return.

Three more big rentals...

The Great Hay Barn, Hay-on-Wye, Brecon Beacons


This wonderful 16th-century barn conversion in a village just outside Hay-on-Wye sleeps 12 in six bedrooms and offers just the right blend of period features and stylishly contemporary furnishings. An airy kitchen leads to an amazing oak-beamed open-plan living space with a dining table that seats 20, a wood-burning stove and multiple spaces to hang out, including a mezzanine playroom/TV room. Three-night stays from £2,023. 

Cavendish Hall, Suffolk


Available as a six-bedroom holiday home, sleeping 12, this lovely Grade II-listed early Regency country house has been restored by the Landmark Trust. Brimming with character, with beautiful bay windows, open fires and 30 acres of woodland, walled gardens and landscaped grounds to roam, it is also within walking distance of the traditional Suffolk village of Cavendish. The house is well equipped with modern conveniences and has a bright contemporary kitchen. Four-night stays from £1,143.

Lower Gill Farmhouse, Yorkshire Dales



At the end of a half-mile-long private lane on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, this lovely old farmhouse sleeps 12 in six bedrooms and an adjacent farmhouse sleeps a further 12. Ideal for family gatherings, you’ll also find a heated indoor pool and a games room, with table tennis, snooker table and other games, in converted barns just across the yard. There’s even a tennis court and football field. Three-night stays at Lower Gill Farmhouse from £662. 

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