Holiday cottages UK and Ireland: Find your Dream Holiday Cottage

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Yippee! It's that time of year again, when the days lengthen, the temperature rises and thoughts turn to barbecues, sun tans and summer holidays.

Whether this year will finally see that long-promised 'barbecue summer' remains to be seen – it's anybody's guess after early Spring saw record breaking temperatures one week and snow the next. But one of the great things about this country is that whatever the weather, there's always plenty to do if you're on holiday. For instance, if you're staying in the New Forest and you hit a rainy day, just head for the National Motor Museum at nearby Beaulieu, or take yourself to Bournemouth or the Isle of Wight, says Gillian Thornton – who has plenty more suggestions.

Have you ever thought about moving to the country and making a career out of self-catering? It can be a fantastic, life-changing experience but also very hard work – to find out more, check out one couple's experience in James Baron's Cottage industry feature.

If your holiday just has to feature guaranteed sunshine, then how about Cyprus? It does sun, sea and sand to perfection, but like Britain it can also provide plenty of variety, from historic castles to unspoilt mountains, as Paul Craig explains.

If you're lucky enough to be considering a new car, now's a great time to buy one as dwindling demand means there are bargains about. And there's no better way to celebrate a new car than to take it on holiday. Holiday wheels, looks at some frugal newcomers.

We have plenty more to keep you informed and entertained, but don't spend so much time reading and researching that you leave booking your villa or cottage holiday too late. The best properties are snapped up first, so last minute bargains aren't always the answer.

Wherever you go, have a great time!

John Kerswill


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Holiday Villas & Cottages is published six times a year.

Next issue on sale 15 June