Cozy cottages and holiday homes

Cozy cottages and holiday homes

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

There is something idyllic about holing up in a rustic cabin during the fall and winter. Curling up with heavy blankets on a well-loved couch with heat emanating from a crackling fire while shutting out the brutal elements of the season sounds like a small slice of heaven. If you’re not a big fan of the crowded city center scene, head away from the hustle and bustle for the perfect holiday. From thatched cottages in northern France to renovated horse stables in England and snow-covered chalets in the Alps, the lodging choices are endless. Here are some options to help inspire your search for a vacation bungalow.

Secluded wooden cabins

The U.K. is famous for its scenic and secluded countryside. Small, inviting villages pop up along the narrow winding roads, making them a great place to kick back and relax during the holidays. On the southwestern coast is Devon and Cornwall. Laced with legends and jaw-dropping scenery, you’ll find plenty of log cabins and treehouses to discover. Several treehouse options in Devon offer a beautiful combination of the two. Perched high in the forest canopy, the cabins are accessible by a rope bridge. Outdoor baths and a wood-burning stove add to their cozy feel. If you’d like to unplug and unwind, head to log cabins near the Lake District. Situated along a lakefront, the cabins are so well-hidden and escape Wi-Fi and cell signals. The nearest city is Carlisle, a 25-minute drive from the accommodation. To find yours, go to

Thatched-roof cottages

Thatched-roof cottages are quintessential European lodgings. They are easily identified by their unique roofing materials and are usually comprised of densely packed, dried vegetation. The roofing serves both an aesthetical appeal and practical purpose by providing natural insulation. These adorable abodes are reminiscent of fairy tales. Set among the rolling vineyards of the Burgundy region in France, some are attached to centuries-old mills. Often found with exposed wooden beams running the length of their ceilings, many feature uneven red tiles lining the floor and large hearths as the central feature in the main living space. These cottages can be found in the Dutch and English countrysides as well. While far enough from city life, they’re often within walking distance of local villages. is a great resource for booking one of these charmers.

Renovated spaces

Spending a relaxing getaway within the confines of a barn or stable doesn’t usually sound appealing. Surprisingly, some of the sweetest spots to stay are refurbished and repurposed spaces. In the U.K., the Cotswolds are home to mews, old horse and carriage stables that are transformed into beautiful rowhomes and cottages. Close to the Benelux region, near the Ardennes forest in Belgium, old farmhouses are reimagined yet keep much of their original craftsmanship. The result is an old-world, cozy space perfect for families. Don’t let the stone facades fool you. Most interiors are brimming with modern amenities and appliances. Visit to find your favorite.

Alpine cabins and chalets

Winter in Europe is synonymous with world-class skiing and snow sports. Even if winter adventuring isn’t your thing, the powdery snow blanketing evergreen trees is worth a stay in a local chalet. Granted, these are more like apartments or luxury cabins than a traditional cottage, but with plenty of features and space to unwind after a long day on the slopes, you won’t regret staying in one. In Switzerland, alpine chalets combine the warmth of comfy wooden cabins and the convenience of ski in-ski out accessibility to the resorts. In the Black Forest, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Tyrolean Alps, traditional Bavarian architecture is incorporated into mountain living. Many of these accommodations can be found closer to the villages, which is great for those who love the après-ski scene. offers a vast array of choices throughout Europe.

In the cooler autumn and frigid winter months, spending the holidays in a cozy cabin or cottage away from the crowds is a perfect option for an authentic European vacation. From self-catering accommodations to luxurious lakefront properties, there is something for all tastes and budgets.

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