The best birdwatching cottages


Posted by Ed Roberts on 1st September 2020

Birdwatching is a popular outdoor pursuit and beloved of many. We have a collection of holiday cottages situated the length and breadth of the British Isles that is conducive to enjoying the perfect birdwatching holiday. Some of the properties are located in private grounds with a lake or similar body of water that attracts certain species of bird. Others are situated in woodlands or by a secluded beach, which are amongst the best habitats to birdwatch. They are also within proximity to some of the UK's best-loved nature reserves, often situated in wetlands with abundant hides to spy on your feathered friends in relative quiet.

As part of our Holidays with more Heart series, we have linked up with several organisations to promote conscious travel and demonstrate our commitment to best practice in global environmental matters. We're very proud of our association with the RSPB who protect our birdlife for future generations. 

Beudy Bach, Lampeter, West Wales | Sleeps: 2 guests plus 1 dog

This renovated cow-shed is poised on the shore of a wildlife pond. Park a chair by the window or at the back door and see what birds turn up. Located deep in the Cambrian Mountains, Beudy Bach is located on the edge of Lampeter. Lampeter is great for local amenities and places to eat or buy good local produce. Beudy Bach itself is the ultimate escape, it sleeps two people (plus one) and is set within 10 acres of land with a stream, pond, woodlands and sheep. Inside, you have all the mod-cons and a few rustic favourites like an AGA to prepare some interesting home cooking. There’s also a wood-fired hot tub to soothe your feet and muscles after a long trek.

For a day out you could head to the coast at Aberaeron about 10 miles away with its picturesque harbour and plenty of places to bird spot. You can also pick up a section of the Dylan Thomas Trail at the coast, one of West Wales' best-loved long-distance treks.

Also nearby: 

Warren Roost, Dawlish Warren, South Devon | Sleeps: 2 guests

Located close to the estuary of the River Exe, Warren Roost is a short driving distance from Exminster Marsh and its twin reserve Bowling Green Marsh on the opposite bank. Both are great places to see waders and geese. The habitats for birds are excellent in the area and there are plenty of places beyond the reserves to catch some good sightings. Warren Roost is also well-placed for the south coast and one of the best seaside trails around - as you walk parallel to the railway track to Dawlish it cuts through the red sandstone cliffs.

Warren Roost itself is a cosy former hayloft set on a peaceful working farm within walking distance to Dawlish Warren railway station if you fancy a day trip to Exeter or Plymouth and the South West Coast Path. It sleeps two people and is equipped with a pleasant kitchenette for cooking up a storm. It’s a very pleasant proposition for couples looking for an enjoyable nature break. The plot has great views of the Exe Estuary and surrounding countryside, and is set within extensive grounds.

Also nearby:

Higher and Lower Clearwater, Kirkby Lonsdale, Lake District | Sleeps: 6 guests

These two eco-lodges are perfect for birders because they are located overlooking a flooded former quarry. With the turfed roof covered with wildflowers and the spectacular balcony views over the lake, these contemporary lodges provide an inspirational spot for those seeking a relaxing family break. A diving school makes use of the lake, so between bird watching stints you could take up another hobby - they welcome novices through to seasoned pros.

Higher and Lower Clearwater are tastefully furnished and both have large communal areas with big theatre windows to enjoy the panoramas of the Yorkshire Dales and the lake below. There is access to a hot tub and the lodges are well-equipped with modern kitchens and utility rooms. Each has three bedrooms and welcome up to two dogs.

Popular attractions close by include Capernwray Diving Centre, Hill Top - the home of Beatrix Potter, Grasmere Gingerbread Shop and Skipton Castle. The Lake District is full of great hideaways to look for birds all year round, so make sure you do some preparation and pay a visit to  RSPB Haweswater.

Also nearby:

Stonihoe, Dungeness, Kent | Sleeps: 4 guests plus 1 dog

This converted railway carriage in Dungeness is a superb place to stay for birdwatchers as it is very close to RSPB Dungeness, with its large lakes and flocks of visiting birds. Its location is peaceful and literally yards from the sea's edge. There is a telescope in the house so you can watch seabirds and other visitors from the comfort of the living room. 

Dungeness itself is a 468-acre nature reserve with a unique makeup of wildlife and plant life too. The property is especially cosy at night with its wood burner and comfy couches. Between Dungeness' two lighthouses, it's a dramatic spot to enjoy a birdwatching holiday. Local attractions include Romney Marshes, Camber Sands, Rye, and the Sound Mirrors.

Also nearby: 

Further reading

For more inspiration when looking for a bird-watcher friendly holiday home, read some of our other nature blogs.

There nothing better than a day birdwatching and simply taking the time to appreciate our natural surrounds. Book yourself a holiday far from the crowds this season.

Our cottage collection


Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.