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Frequently Asked Questions

Booking your Holiday

How can I book a property?

As you are probably on the website while reading this, you will find that the easiest way to book is online.

Click 'Book Now' on the calendar for each property or the “Book Now” tab at the top of the page to take you to the secure online booking system.

This will take you through the different stages, including taking your payment.

You can also complete the booking over the phone by calling us.

Can I pay a deposit?

Yes, if your holiday is more than nine weeks away you can secure your booking and spread the cost by paying a deposit of 30% of the total price up front. The full balance must then be paid no later than nine weeks before your holiday.

What holiday insurance do we offer?

Part of our booking conditions are that if you cancel your holiday you will remain liable for the whole cost of the holiday. If your claim is covered by insurance, you will be able to claim back all monies paid less the insurance premium and a small excess charge.

Some people may already have their own travel Insurance cover in place for their holiday.

We do not offer insurance.

If you do have your own insurance, you will still need to pay the full amount on cancelling. We will then issue a cancellation schedule to you which will enable you to make a claim through your own insurance.

What if I cancel?

If you have to cancel your holiday we will require written confirmation from the lead member of the party by e-mail or post.

Upon cancellation, you may be entitled to a partial refund of the accommodation cost, although the booking fee and other agent charges are non-refundable. Please refer to the booking terms to see the refund calculation.

View our Terms & Conditions.

Can I bring a dog(s)?

We love dogs at River Cottages and know many of our guests do too. Yes, our properties welcome dogs If you are thinking of taking a puppy under 1 year this MUST be declared to at the time of booking and will need to be specifically authorised by the owner.

Our properties where dogs are welcome will allow them throughout the downstairs except those properties with downstairs bedrooms and carpets. Dogs are not allowed in any bedrooms, upstairs or on furniture.

Dogs are charged at £25.00 per dog. We will sometimes consider other pets, please ask.

Are there any guidelines when bringing a dog?

We do have strict guidelines for dog owners and they very rarely present a problem. We do ask all dog owners to adhere to these guidelines (failure to do so may result in you being asked to leave without compensation).

1. Dogs must be under strict control at all times while on the property.

2. Any fouling on our property or our neighbours must be cleaned up without delay.

3. The owner must bring the dog’s bed or basket for sleeping in.

4. Dogs must not be left alone in the property.

5. Dogs are not allowed in any bedroom must not lie on chairs, and hair must be cleared up before departing.

When are properties changeover days?

Most commonly throughout our, properties 'changeover' or start days tend to be a Friday or Monday. For other start of finish days please contact us by email or phone.

View contact us page.

Can my holiday start on a day other than the designated changeover day?

It may be possible to book a holiday on a start day other than the designated changeover day out of peak times subject to agreement with us, simply select your property and dates and contact us by email or phone. Please be aware that as prices are based on Friday or Monday starts and changeover, any weeks that cross over price bands could be charged at the higher price.

View contact us page.

How do I book a short break?

Booking a short break is easy, simply follow the holiday search facility on the website and choose your preferred “Duration” starting at 3 or 4 nights. Although the most popular bookings occur on the main designated change over day and book out for the Full week (7 nights), we can also offer short breaks during certain off peak periods or last minute bookings. When short breaks are acceptable, they can range from 3, 4, 5 or 6 nights and are priced accordingly.

Prices are based on a minimum stay of 3 nights and normally start from:

3 nights 70% of the property’s full weekly price

4 nights 80%

5 nights 85%

6 nights full weekly price

How do I find information about a property's location?

The location given in the details of location page.

Can I take an extra person/infant?

If the extra person exceeds the maximum occupancy of the property it may be possible, however, this must be checked with us before the start of the holiday and confirmed with us – there may be an extra cost for this.

Is it possible to book single sex parties/parties of young people?

It is our policy not to take bookings for single sex parties, however parties of golfers/groups of ladies after a chill out weekend etc. are accepted, please explain your requirements to us and we will be happy to discuss them.

Parties of younger people will also need to be checked with us prior to accepting any booking. On occasion we will request an additional security deposit to secure the booking; this is required at the time that the final balance is due and will be returned in full at the end of the stay providing the property is left undamaged.

Is there parking at the property?

Each property has parking.

Parking at Kingfisher Lure, Sunset Have and Swan Cottage

Each cottage has one allocated parking bay with a marker with the same number as the property.  If you are travelling in more than one car, please do NOT use any of the other parking bays as they belong to other properties.


If you need additional parking, it is possible to park for free in parts of Brimbelow Road, as not all has a yellow line.  This is approx. 250 metres from the cottage. From Trail Quay Cottages, turn left and back the way your drove in.  At the first junction, turn right into Brimbelow Road and continue round the corner.  Parking is on the right.


Alternatively, please contact a local business called Landamores who have some spaces available nearer the cottage that you may be able to use for the weekends, for a small charge. (after 4pm Friday and leaving early Monday morning)


01603 782212 Office

Parking at Brightside and Waterside Retreat

There is parking on the drive of each for 3 or 4 cars.

Can I charge my electric vehicle at the holiday property?

If you are planning to charge an electric vehicle during your stay, please obtain permission before and be aware that there will be a charge - typically £20-£30 per week per car, depending on car, payable in advance.

Are towels supplied at the property?

Towels are not supplied unless requested and paid for. You have the option of hiring them, and this consists of 1 hand towel and 1 bath towel and costs £5.00 per set per person. For full details please refer to the relevant property description. They can be added at time of booking.

Can we smoke inside the property?

All of our cottages are non-smoking inside. This includes all types of tobacco as well as e-Cigarettes/vaping. If our cleaners find the cottage has been smoked in, we will retain the whole of your breakage deposit for additional cleaning.  You can smoke outside, however, please ensure that you dispose of cigarette butts in the rubbish, when they are no longer a fire hazard. Again, if you fail to do this, we will retain some of the breakage deposit to cover the cost of clearing up.

What is included with my self-catering accommodation?

All of our cottages are self-catering, this means that you will need to bring your own provisions.

Your accommodation will be equipped with bedding, pillows and bed linen.  Most of our guests bring their own towels, however, we can provide these at an extra cost and need to be booked in advance.  The kitchen is equipped with crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils. We also provide washing up liquid, tea towels, liquid soap for the bathrooms and dishwasher tabs for those properties that have them (Waterside Retreat, Brightside & Sunset Haven).

Our Cottages can have a highchair (limited number available), and travel cot with mattress but cot bedding is not supplied. Please request at the time of booking on the booking form.

How do I play the balance?

The balance of your holiday is payable at any time up until and not after 9 weeks prior to arrival, there are three ways that you can pay the remaining balance of your holiday.

1. By clicking on the link at the reminder email sent to you.

2. By bank transfer

3. By calling us to pay by card

Who do we contact before we arrive?

After you have paid in full, you will receive final confirmation, which includes travel directions to your property and details. This is sent about 10 days prior to your stay.

What time do I arrive and depart the property?

In order that your accommodation can be properly prepared, it is important that you do not arrive before the designated arrival time. This is normally after 4pm but can vary and will be stated on your final confirmation. Departure time is before 10.00am

Can we invite friends to stay?

Yes, just inform us at the earliest opportunity that friends might be joining you and as long as your party does not exceed the maximum capacity of the property we will add the extra people to your booking. If the extra person exceeds the maximum occupancy of the property it may be possible, however, this must be checked with us before the start of the holiday and confirmed with us – there may also be an extra cost for this.

Do we need to clean the property before we leave?

We ask that the property is left tidy, bins are emptied, all washing up has been done and put away in cupboards, oven and hob have been kept reasonably clean and fridge and freezer emptied before our cleaning team arrive to prepare for the next guests.  If our cleaning team find unreasonable mess, any additional cleaning required will result in some or all of the breakage deposit being retained.


When will I receive my booking confirmation / directions to the property?

You will receive a booking confirmation when a deposit payment has been made, and a second confirmation when the balance is paid. Approximately 10 days prior to your stay we will send check in details along with directions to the property.


What is the administration fee?

An administration fee  of £35 is payable to cover the administration and processing of any change to each booking.

Problems whilst on holidays

Customer Feedback

As a business we believe that our customers provide valuable feedback about our Holiday Cottages and our Service. We welcome and encourage this from our guests after their holiday with us. We use it to monitor ourselves to ensure we are listening and meeting the needs of our customers and to help make improvements and changes to our holiday properties and the service we offer. We show feedback on individual property pages which have been written by previous guests. We do ask that all feedback that is submitted to be fair, appropriate, legally acceptable and relevant so that it may be used. We hope that our customers find this feature useful.

While it is unlikely that you should have a complaint about our holiday home, occasionally things do go wrong. If you have a problem during your stay, you MUST inform us immediately and we will endeavour to rectify the matter. We will not accept liability for any dissatisfaction or other complaint not reported to us during your stay.

Visit our contact page.

What if we are not happy with our property on arrival or experience problems during the stay?

We have done our best to ensure that you will not have any cause for complaint. However, things can be missed and if this is the case the matter should be brought to our attention at once.

Often after a long journey even the smallest issue can feel like a mountain but in most cases the situation can be easily rectified by us or our Housekeeper.

Please don't leave it until your last day, or when you have returned home to speak to us about any problems as we are then no longer in a position to help.

What would happen if something gets damaged at the property?

We expect that a certain amount of wear and tear is inevitable and this applies to the odd smashed glass or broken plate.

However, if something does get broken, damaged or lost while at the property please inform us at the earliest opportunity so that it can be fixed or replaced in time for the next holidaymakers.

If it is more serious damage or breakages, such as incidents to carpets, broken windows, etc, expect to be asked to pay in full to repair or replace the item.  If you don’t tell us about this and we find out at the end of your holiday, will also charge for any additional cost to get this sorted in time for the next guests.  We are very reasonable, however, we would prefer to know immediately.

Visit the contact us page.


Returning Guests?

Please contact us to book again and benefit from a 5% discount for your repeat custom.

How enclosed is an 'enclosed garden'?

An enclosed garden means that walls, hedges or fences surround the garden at the property. This however does not necessarily mean that a garden is dog proof/child friendly i.e. a dog may be able to get under a hedge or a child over a fence. If you require further details please contact us.

Is Broadband / Wireless access available?

All our cottages have wireless internet access included in the price.

Rowing Dinghy

The cottage is located on the water and a dinghy is available for your use if you choose. Please ensure that it is only used in appropriate weather conditions. Buoyancy aids are provided for your safety. Adults and children should use them and care should be taken to ensure that they are fitted correctly and are the appropriate size for the wearer. Non-swimmers should be particularly careful, as these are buoyancy aids and not life jackets. Children should be supervised at all times.


If you have never used a rowing dinghy before, we suggest you research how to use a dinghy on the internet before arriving.


You must:

Wear one of the buoyancy aids provided

Step into the boat, standing only on the seat or floor (if you jump you WILL damage the boat and most likely yourself)

Sit down as soon as you are in the boat

Use it in a safe and sensible manner


Rowing boats can be great fun when used correctly.  However, incorrect use can be a danger to you and other users of the river.  Our boats are inspected weekly to ensure that they are in a good state of repair. 

Any damage caused by you or members of your party will be your responsibility and we will expect you to pay for any repairs.

Use of BBQ

We have charcoal BBQ’s at Brightside and Waterside Retreat. Please provide your own charcoal.

The BBQ MUST be placed on paving slabs and NOT on the decking. Any damage will need to be paid for in full.

We do not provide BBQ’s at the other properties. Guests are welcome to bring their own but please do not place hot BBQ’s directly onto the decking as it could catch fire, scorch it or melt it.

Many people are injured each year because they did not take a few simple safety measures. The following guidance will make sure that your barbecue is a SAFE success:

Ensure that the barbecue itself is stable and located on level ground

If there is a wind blowing, make sure that the wind is blowing away from you when you light the barbecue (just in case it flares up).

Ensure that you are not wearing any loose clothing that could flap onto the lighted barbecue and ignite.

Keep the barbecue well away from overhanging obstructions such as tree branches, and keep a safe distance from fences, etc.

Under no circumstances use any flammable accelerant (such as methylated spirits, paraffin or petrol) that has not been recommended by the manufacturers.

Should you choose to use lighting fluid, the manufacturer’s instructions must be adhered to.


When lighting the barbecue, do so at arm’s length (rather like Fireworks) and do not put your face over the range.

Keep children away from the barbecue when lighted and after cooking has finished, as it may still be hot.

Dispose of the charcoal safely after the barbecue has cooled completely.

Keep a bucket of water, sand or garden hose nearby in case of accidents.

Once lit, never leave a BBQ unattended.

Advice for Being Near Water

Water may look safe, but it can be dangerous. Learn to spot and keep away from dangers. You may swim well in a warm indoor pool, but that does not mean that you will be able to swim in cold water.

The dangers of water include:

it is very cold

there may be hidden currents

it can be difficult to get out (steep slimy banks)

it can be deep

there may be hidden rubbish, e.g. shopping trolleys, broken glass

there are no lifeguards

it is difficult to estimate depth