The endless summer of 2018 may be waning and giving way to autumn, but with burning colours beginning to tinge the trees and thick socks making their way out of the back of the drawer and onto our feet it’s difficult to mourn the loss of those balmy days too much. Autumn is a season of rich tones, intense flavours and outdoor pursuits, of snuggling down in a thick cable-knit jumper by the fire in your favourite pub, bottle of red being shared with your beau. It’s about muddy puddles and coming home from long, chilly rambles to the smell of a roast dinner almost ready to be served; of bracing winds and toffee apples, of bonfires and hot chocolates laced with cinnamon.

Autumn is a time to come together, when social calendars lull between the rush of summer and indulgence of Christmas parties, and with October half term just over the pumpkin-spiced horizon, what better excuse to bring the family together for a week of good food and frolicking?

Here we round up some of our most beloved family-friendly self-catering holiday homes, perfect for rustling up mouth-watering meals, brisk exploration between fallen leaves and drawn-out evenings over the Monopoly board.

Felicity Park, Hampshire, Sleeps 10

Fun and flamboyant, Felicity Park oozes with class as much as it pops with colour. A place where pompoms cheerfully swing from the orangery ceiling and a cosy pool hut (complete with roaring fire) allows for outdoor living even on the coolest of evenings. This bright and rambunctious home instils joy on gloomy afternoons and delight when the sun sets before 7pm; with a candy floss pink Aga, a fish scale bar and tropical prints galore, the only thing missing is piña coladas on tap.

Cornucopia, West Sussex, Sleeps 14

There are few homes available to the public where one truly never needs to leave, even with bored children in tow in a seemingly forever downpour. But Cornucopia delivers all of this and more. A bowling alley and snooker room, cinema and air hockey, hot tub, sauna, gym and even a private lake with row boats. While the brood entertain themselves with the myriad of fun available to them within the 40 acres of grounds, adults can get on with the important stuff; relaxing, sleeping, eating and not even thinking about checking their emails.

Galleon, Cornwall, Sleeps 6

Whatever the weather or season, there is no finer place for a family gathering than on the cliffs above Portreath beach on Cornwall's north coast. Drink morning tea while watching Atlantic storms rage over the harbour walls, run carefree across the sand to the sweet cafe on the other side of the beach for lunch and let hearts soar as arguably the best sunset in the land goes down in a blaze of glory into the horizon. Unbelievable views, lovely pubs within strolling distance and enough beds for six family members to enjoy this magnificent coastline together, what more could one possibly want?

Maberly, South Devon, Sleeps 10

Simple, elegant and wildly understated, Maberly is a true tonic for busy souls in search of a calming escape. Dignified interiors wash throughout this grand home in the gorgeous South Hams, while outside, the dramatic coast of East Prawle is just a short jaunt down the road. With the advantage of the majority of tourists residing far from these shores, children will relish the empty paradisiac beaches while grownups hunker down in the county’s most characterful pub, The Pig’s Nose, at the top of the cliffs.

Florin, West Wales, Sleeps 14

Beautifully appointed and close to the Heritage coast of West Wales, Florin is the perfect family home with plenty of space for several generations to unwind. Large regal bedrooms with sink-into beds support decisions to not surface until lunch, while the extensive gardens encourage day-long games of hide and seek between the secret pathways, fountains and treehouse. Coast walks, pub lunches and free-range antics on Welsh beaches are the norm, as is lighting the fire and revelling in the joy of having nowhere to be but on the sofa sipping a glass of port.