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What makes a perfect holiday is so often the perfect holiday home: our range of alternative hand-picked properties, from big barns to beach huts, are a cut above the norm when it comes to luxury self-catering breaks.

Knowing where to start is often the first hurdle when it comes to choosing the best place to stay for you and your group, whatever the size. Luckily, we've done the hard work for you, scouring the UK from top to bottom to hand-pick the very best self-catering homes, from rural retreats to luxury lodges. Here at Unique Homestays, it's tricky to say what our favourite property might be from the extensive collection we've grown over the years. For some of us it's that tiny cottage on the side of the Irish lake, surrounded by nothing but blue waters and moss-scented air, and no noise except the chatter of birds right outside the window.

Others would say it's the huge manor house in its own private gardens with the cinema room and tennis court – perfect for the ultimate group gathering. Whatever your taste, group size and holiday requirement, from short-stay to long-term, cultural breaks, wilderness retreats, surf spots, pooch and baby-friendly homes, wedding venues and more, we can cater to your needs and organise special extras too. We've even found properties in film-shoot locations (think Poldark and Cornwall). Still don't know where to start? Give us a call to discuss your needs in person: however tall the order, we love getting stuck into a challenge!

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Over Lemon River

Over Lemon River

Ashburton, Dartmoor, Devon, UK

Dartmoor is Devon’s wild heart; a place where heather cloaks the ground like an over-sized velvet eiderdown and granite tors scramble to meet big open skies. On fine days, ponies wander amidst the mysticism of faeries but when the swirling mists arrive, Over Lemon River is the perfect hideaway.

Sleeps: Up to 2 guests
From: £1,350 per week, £1,050 per short break
Pets: Two dogs are welcome
Features: Al fresco living space with wood-fired hot tub and fire pit

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The Riddle

The Riddle

North Bovey, Dartmoor, Devon, UK

Plot your country escape to this luxury holiday cottage in North Bovey; one of Devon's most idyllic villages set within the rugged beauty of Dartmoor National Park. The Riddle is the type of cottage you might find on the pages of a storybook.

Sleeps: Up to 4 guests
Alternative Group Option: Up to 2 guests
From: £1,850 per week, £1,295 per short break
Pets: Two well-behaved dogs are welcome, or three on prior request.

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The Creamery

The Creamery

Abbotsham, Appledore, Devon, UK

Far from the crowds, the Hartland Heritage Coast is a halcyon world of pebble beaches and Beatrix Potter wildlife backed by a deep blue sea. Set between Appledore and Clovelly, The Creamery was made for those hidden-away self-catering holidays in Devon.

Sleeps: Up to 4 guests
Alternative Group Option: Up to 2 guests
From: £1,750 per week, £1,350 per short break
Pets: Two well-behaved dogs are welcome with a third small dog on request
Features: Fire pit, hot tub

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Ivy Cove

Ivy Cove

Holbeton, Noss Mayo, Devon, UK

Perfectly placed for both sun baking and storm watching, Ivy Cove is a luxury cottage near Noss Mayo where colourful modern design and spectacular coastal views go hand in hand.

Sleeps: Up to 4 guests
Alternative Group Option: Up to 2 guests
From: £2,195 per week, £1,695 per short break
Pets: Two well-behaved dogs are welcome, or three small dogs on prior request
Features: Wood-fired hot tub and tennis court

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Castle on the Well

Castle on the Well

South Molton, Exmoor, Devon, UK

Fusing luxurious shooting lodge appeal with a modern country twist, Castle on the Well hides within a patchwork of rolling Devonshire countryside, on the edge of Exmoor National Park. A unique luxury castle in miniature for a family holiday to remember.

Sleeps: Up to 6 guests
Alternative Group Option: Up to 4 & Up to 2 guests
From: £1,995 per week, £1,495 per short break
Pets: One small to medium well-behaved dog is welcome and two on prior request
Features: Fire pit

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The Brandy Thief

The Brandy Thief

Lee, Ilfracombe, Devon, UK

Awash with history and swathed in character, this luxury coastal cottage is a dreamy retreat for explorers looking to hunker down in North Devon.

Sleeps: Up to 6 guests
Alternative Group Option: Up to 4 & Up to 2 guests
From: £1,995 per week, £1,495 per short break
Pets: One small to medium well-behaved dog is welcome and two on prior request

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Beauport

Beauport

Newton Ferrers, Devon, UK

Nestled on the banks of the River Yealm in South Devon's yachty haven of Newton Ferrers is the oh-so-stylish Beauport. This stunning self-catering luxury cottage exudes a restful ambiance echoic of the rippling river which sits at the bottom of the garden.

Sleeps: Up to 6 guests
Alternative Group Option: Up to 4 & Up to 2 guests
From: £1,650 per week, £1,195 per short break
Pets: Sorry, no pets
Features: Summerhouse, kayaks (used at your own risk, life jackets not provided), private slipway

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Novella

Novella

Braunton, Devon, UK

This cob cottage deep in Devon woodland is a storybook of a home, tucked down a lane and decked out in botanical prints, vintage embroidery and antique furniture, inviting imaginations to unfurl. 

Sleeps: Up to 6 guests
Alternative Group Option: Up to 2 guests
From: £1,995 per week, £1,450 per short break
Pets: Two well-behaved dogs are welcome
Features: Hot tub, trampoline, table tennis, outdoor kitchen (year-round)

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The Lost Music Hall

The Lost Music Hall

Ipplepen, Totnes, Devon, UK

Created by a London dandy to serve as his secret retreat from society, this former music hall has been restored in all its Arts and Crafts glory to offer unique escapes in a hidden valley of Devon's South Hams AONB.

Sleeps: Up to 6 guests
Alternative Group Option: Up to 2 & Up to 12 guests
From: £1,995 per week, £1,595 per short break
Pets: Two pets are welcome
Features: Heated outdoor swimming pool (May-September) and games room with table tennis and darts

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Kohtalo

Kohtalo

Combe Martin, Ilfracombe, Devon, UK

Kohtalo is a grand design conceived by childhood sweethearts. Just 15 minutes from the Ilfracombe coast and with a hot tub settled under the stars, this luxury holiday home is a modern, welcoming family escape.

Sleeps: Up to 8 guests
Alternative Group Option: Up to 4 guests
From: £2,395 per week, £1,850 per short break
Pets: Two well-behaved dogs are welcome
Features: Hot tub

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Verte

Verte

Chevithorne, Devon, UK

A spectacularly grown-up treehouse, Verte seamlessly merges inside-outside living within the lush Devon estate of Chevithorne Barton. This RIBA-award winning modern home was designed to reset the soul.

Sleeps: Up to 10 guests (6 adults and 4 children)
Alternative Group Option: Up to 6 guests
From: £3,595 per week, £2,750 per short break
Pets: Two well-behaved dogs are welcome, or three on prior request
Features: Wood-fired hot tub, large flat lawn for croquet, football and badminton

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Leopoldina

Leopoldina

Stoke Gabriel, Totnes, Devon, UK

Once the stables to Sandridge Park and now a harmonious family home with a heated pool in Devon's Stoke Gabriel, this grand Italianate manor was the creation of John Nash, architect to the Prince Regent.

Sleeps: Up to 10 guests
Alternative Group Option: Up to 6 guests
From: £5,150 per week, £3,895 per short break
Pets: Sorry, no pets
Features: Outdoor heated pool (available May-September), private beach on the River Dart, yoga space with roof terrace, and games annex with table tennis and a football table

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Botania

Botania

Ashburton, Dartmoor, Devon, UK

All at once wrapped in Dartmoor’s mossy-hued clutches and minutes from the good-living village of Ashburton, this Arts and Crafts manor is a portrait of minimal maximalism that keeps Devon's River Dart in its backyard.

Sleeps: Up to 10 guests
Alternative Group Option: Up to 6 & Up to 4 guests
From: £2,950 per week, £2,250 per short break
Pets: Two well-behaved dogs are welcome

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Ellesmera Mill

Ellesmera Mill

Dartmouth, Devon, UK

This enchanting 400 year old millhouse is chock-full of old-world charm. Set in the South Hams near Dartmouth, the dreamy south Devon coast is almost within touching distance and a short stroll through the valley leads to the sheltered cove of Blackpool Sands.

Sleeps: Up to 10 guests
From: £3,595 per week, £3,150 per short break
Pets: Sorry, no pets
Features: Wood-fired hot tub, sauna, cinema room with table football

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Weddings at The Lost Music Hall

Weddings at The Lost Music Hall

Ipplepen, Totnes, Devon, UK

Wrapped up in an eccentric folklore all of its own, The Lost Music Hall is a luxury wedding venue in south Devon; an extravagant country manor that's no stranger to Champagne-drenched parties and sentimental revelries.

Sleeps: Up to 6 guests
Alternative Group Option: Up to 100 guests
From: £8,195 per week, £7,695 per short break
Pets: Two pets are welcome
Features: There is a heated outdoor swimming pool (May-September) and games room with table tennis and darts

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