The best cottages, barns & mansions to rent for big families over Christmas & New Year

Christmas and New Year holiday rentals

These are the best Christmas and New Year rentals for big families this festive season…

If the idea of hosting the whole family at home puts fear into you, it might be worth looking at a last-minute rental home.

There are cottages, barns, mansions and even castles still available across the country, so check into one of these gorgeous rental properties this Christmas or New Year. All the below properties sleep eight or more family members.

Borthwick Castle, Edinburgh

Sleeps 26 in 12 bedrooms

Nestled in the Scottish countryside just 30 minutes from Edinburgh, fifteenth-century Borthwick Castle provides a magnificent and memorable setting for a magical Christmas. You’ll enjoy unrivalled views across the dramatic Scottish landscape and have the run of three breath-taking reception rooms for all the festive fun.

The Garrison crowns the castle, providing a splendid setting for a drinks reception, whilst the sumptuous State Room below is boasts a roaring open fire for cosy conversations over mulled wine, gift giving, or an escape from the chaos of a big family Christmas. December sleepovers at Christmas start from £11,000 (£423pppn) a night for two-night exclusive hire.

Ash Barton Estate, North Devon

Sleeps 35 in 13 bedrooms

This 25-acre estate will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. Your only neighbours within a two-mile radius are donkeys, chickens, horses, ducks and bees across the pretty wildflower meadow outside the house.

Inside, which sleeps up to 35, is a fully equipped games room (think table tennis, trampoline and life-size board games), a heated indoor pool and a multipurpose party barn for a festive dance. Plus, there’s a ‘no curfew policy’ so you can let the party go on all night. Available from Fri 28 December to Wed 2 January, a five-night stay costs just £9,995.

Pinkmead Estate, Isle of Wight

Sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms

This spectacular estate on the Isle of Wight is truly stunning. Think private manicured lawns, thick woodland, glittering lakes and pretty lagoons home to wild Canadian geese, swans, herons, owls, woodpeckers and red squirrels. Open plan interiors make it a sociable stay for a Christmas or New Year break with the family, and it costs from £2,500 for two nights, or £3,550 for seven.

The Willows, Cornwall

Sleeps 10 in 5 bedrooms

If a country Cornish escape is what you’re after, The Willows could be the perfect festive retreat for the family. Spend New Year’s Eve holed up in this glorious converted barn and you’ll save 20% - it’s just £2620 for three nights or £2784 for four from the 31 December 2018.

See in the New Year in the huge lounge area, then start your 2019 in the active spirit with a ramble across the Cornish landscape.

Eastnor, Cornwall

Sleeps 12 in 6 bedrooms

Almost on the beach at Polzeath, this lovely little seaside bolthole is a wonderful space for a festive family gathering. There’s also a 20% discount from 27 December to 3 January, making it just £1897.60. See in the 2019 in the warmth of this colourful home, then start 2019 with a bracing swim on the Cornish coast.

Sleeps 10 in 4 bedrooms

The Welsh coast is a showstopper: craggy black cliffs, azure waters, long, golden beaches worthy of the Mediterranean. And what better time to explore it than at Christmas? The coastal path, which traverses the entire Welsh coastline, will be significantly quieter at this time of year, so put on your layers and get outdoors for a Boxing Day stroll along some of Pembrokeshire’s best beaches. Carousel has sea views, and a special offer for Christmas 2019 – it’s just £1795 for five nights from 22 December.

Meadowgate, North Devon

Sleeps 14 in 6 bedrooms

As seen on Channel 4’s Kirstie's Homemade Home, with Kirstie Allsopp, this gorgeous cottage is a cosy farmhouse-style hideaway. Available for rental on New Year’s Eve from £3485 for a week-long holiday. Nearby is Welcombe Mouth, one of the county’s best beaches – ideal for New Year’s Day strolls.

Sunnynook, South Devon

Sleeps 10 in 4 bedrooms

If you’re willing to brave the chills, pre-Christmas dinner drinks should be held on the terrace at Sunnynook, which has unrivalled sea views. Warm up in the cosy living room, also with stunning ocean views, and cook up a feast in the stunning modern kitchen. There’s 20% off this Christmas, with a week-long break from 21 to 28 December from £2966.

Hales Hall, Norfolk

Sleeps 25 across entire estate

This magnificent Grade I-listed medieval estate, dating back to 1478, has been beautifully restored to offer modern-day luxury in an historic setting. It’s just a 10-minute drive from Norwich station and the entire estate can sleep 25+ across Hales Hall, The Cottage, The Gatehouse and The Garden Rooms. Their New Year’s Eve offer is for five-night exclusive hire of the entire estate for £7500. That’ll be a party to remember…

Cystanog Fach, Carmarthen Bay

Sleeps 9 in 5 bedrooms

This stunning split-level house in the village of Saundersfoot has fabulous sea views out over Carmarthen Bay. Carefully renovated, it sleeps nine in five bedrooms and is furnished in a contemporary style, with a first floor sitting room with stunning views across the water and sliding doors leading to a decked balcony.

Cook your Christmas dinner in a light and colourful fitted kitchen/dining area, and wake up to ocean vistas in the ground-floor rooms. A seven-night holiday from 21 December is priced at £1405 or a week from 28 December is priced at £1741.

The Parsonage, Worcestershire

Sleeps 12 in 6 bedrooms

With 12 acres of landscaped gardens, a sweeping driveway and glorious views of the Malvern Hills, The Parsonage is nothing short of impressive. The house looks like something out of Pride & Prejudice and makes for a truly regal New Year’s Eve break. For five nights from 30 December you’ll pay £5,995.

Photo by Unique Home Stays

Castle Trinity, Yorkshire

Sleeps 10 in 5 bedrooms

Low ceilings and thick wooden beams make this incredible castle in Yorkshire the ultimate cosy country retreat. Spend New Year here and you’ll have access to a hot tub and indoor pool, and retire to sumptuously decorated bedrooms with deep-red velvets and glitzy chandeliers. It’s not cheap, but luxury worthy of the royals never is – from 28 December a week’s stay costs £13,750. There’s nothing like starting the new year in style…

Photo by Unique Home Stays

Studio Fold, West Sussex

Sleeps 10 in 5 bedrooms

A modern marvel, this home is eco-friendly, sleek but still cosy. Housed in a former derelict water pumping station are five bedrooms, all with a unique colour scheme and minimalist design. There’s a Sonos sound system for those all-night parties, and even a basement gym should you wish to work out after all those festive treats. A week here from 28 December costs £4295.

Photo by Unique Home Stays

Becks Green Barn, Suffolk

Sleeps 10 in 5 bedrooms

Situated in a spectacular rural setting between Southwold and Beccles - within distance of Blue Flag beaches and the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads - you’ll have no excuse not to walk or cycle off the Christmas calories. This beautifully converted barn has a wood-burning stove, large dining tables and sitting rooms, antique furniture and country-style bedrooms. A seven-night stay costs £2955 from the 21 December.

Chelsea Townhouse, London

Sleeps 8 in 5 bedrooms

For a city-style Christmas, head to Chelsea where this townhouse offers a sleek, modern festive escape. Four nights here from the 23 December will set you back over £8000, but you’ll feel positively fabulous lounging around these interiors. Plus, there are luxury toiletries in the bathrooms and a home cinema system, so there’s no chance of missing the Queen’s Speech.

Picture courtesy of The Plum Guide

Lottie Gross

Lottie is an NCTJ-trained journalist, an experienced travel writer and an expert in creating compelling digital content. 

Lottie has been in the travel writing business for nearly a decade and has writing and photography bylines at The Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, the i and National Geographic Traveller. She's done broadcast work for BBC Radio 4 and have contributed to a number of guidebooks and coffee table titles during her career.