Because we are in the holiday lettings industry, we assume everyone understands the term self catering but of course, there may be many of you out there – particularly if you don’t reside in the UK – who don’t.  So as I’m sitting at my desk, indulging in my first coffee of the day – I thought to myself, why not explain what it all means to those who may be confused but may not wish to appear so.  So here goes …

Firstly, renting a self catering holiday home means you have full use of a furnished property (castle, house, mansion, cottage, lodge hmm this list could be endless) that is exclusively yours for the duration of your stay.

Secondly, it’s quite an economical way of renting holiday accommodation, particulary if you split the cost between your group – even the larger more impressive properties with higher price tags are all relative if you do the maths.

When I arrive – how do I access the property?

So you’ve chosen the place that suits, in the area you think you’d like to explore.  When you get there – you’re likely to either be met by the housekeeper or the owner, who will show you around and point out anything you may need to be made aware of during your stay.  Beds are made up for you on arrival with good quality linen (certainly in our properties) and enough towels are provided for the duration of your stay.  We do not charge extra for the use of linen & towels, although some of the smaller cottage agencies will.

Basic household necessities will be provided in enough quantity to get you started, ie dishwasher powder, washing up liquid, toilet rolls etc.  You will need to supplement these as well as bringing your own food, drink, and toiletries.  Self catering – literally means – you need to cater for yourself!  Depending on where you choose to rent, you may easily be able to pre-order your groceries in advance through a reputatable supermarket chain and arrange to have them delivered on the day of your arrival.  Our staff are very happy to advise and given they are experts in the field, you may as well make the most of the knowledge they’ve acquired over the years!


Anything you’re not sure of (or need to know, emergency numbers etc) will be provided in an information folder.   You are then left to your own devices for the duration of your stay, although should there be a problem, the housekeeper/owner/agency is only a phone call away.  And of course if you book through an agency, your legal and fiscal rights will always be protected.

What are the check-in, check-out times?

As a general rule, self catering properties in the UK traditionally let on a weekly basis from Saturday to Saturday, generally arriving around from 4pm, and on the day of your departure you’ll be expected to vacate the property by 10am to give the cleaners time to turn the property arounda again for the newcomers at 4pm.  Most owners accept short breaks outside the popular summer holiday months and UK public and festive holiday dates.

So why would you book a self catering property?

Well, to start with you have full autonomy and privacy when you get to the property. It’s a very affordable way of going on holiday, particularly if you split the cost between members of your group.  Generally speaking, cheaper and more flexible than B&B’ing or staying in a good quality hotel.   It’s a great way of getting to know other parts of the country, using the holiday home as a base from which to explore the local area, and depending on the size and style of holiday home you choose (one of ours for example) it can be a luxurious way of relaxing in magnificent surroundings – particulary if you contract the services of a cook during your stay, to give you a break from kitchen duties!

More on that in my next blog – how to upgrade your holiday property.   So watch this space …