Holiday Homes: Airbnb Victorian Cottage

Last weekend we tried out Airbnb for the first time.

If you’ve not come across them yet, it’s a website service, where you’re able to find properties to rent for a holiday or short trip. Airbnb manage the payments and bookings, but then you deal direct with the property owner. They have properties all over the world, often interesting and quirky so you get to stay in some fabulous homes on your travels.

We went off to Bournemouth for the weekend for the eldest daughter’s Cheerleading competition, and I thought a house would be better for us than a hotel. When you have a family it’s often easier to have separate bedrooms and more space, particularly if you need to spend hours preparing a child for the competition! Our house was in a little town called Fordingbridge in the New Forest, just 30 minutes from the coast.

Our first experience of using Airbnb couldn’t have gone better.

Flowers at the Airbnb cottage


Cottage bedroom

Loft bedroom

Cottage stairsThe 2 up 2 down cottage had been renovated to create a beautiful 3 storey home full of character and charm. Adding a porch, a kitchen extension and converting the loft space had created a really spacious cottage that easily accommodated us, a family of 4. There was even a downstairs loo – perfect.

The girls had the top attic bedroom and loved it. It was pretty, spacious, with wrought iron bedframes and a lovely array of games and activities. We were only sad we couldn’t stay longer, but it was a very cute moment when I discovered R lying on her bed, reading a new book we’d treated her to from the local bookshop.

Loft bedroom readingWe’ve stayed in plenty of rented cottages across the years, with and without the girls, and what struck me about this booking, was the attention to detail, and how the little touches really made it feel like a home.

Cottage dining room shelf Cottage fireplace Plant potIt’s these little touches that immediately give you that home away from home feeling, and help you settle in. Even though we were only there for 2 nights, it felt like we’d been there much longer.

And just to reiterate what I said earlier, it’s staying in a cottage over a hotel that makes the holiday or trip a little special. On Saturday morning, we were woken by the girls (admittedly rather early) to let us know they’d made us breakfast and it was all ready downstairs. They’d set the table, made the coffee and served the croissants. What a treat!

Cottage breakfastWhen I was little, I remember my mum making special holiday breakfasts for my Dad and us. It usually included lots of bacon and sausages and it’s always been a very fond holiday memory. I’ve tried to recreate that with our girls, making an effort with holiday breakfasts, hoping to give them special memories too. It seems it’s caught on and they know that making a special breakfast is all part of the holiday experience.

So, a big thumbs up to our first Airbnb trip, and here’s to many more in the future. Our host left us lovely feedback (we tidied and cleaned up before we left – a must in a rented home I think) and she was a dream to deal with.

If you’re planning your next trip and looking for accommodation, do check out Airbnb and see what interesting homes you can find. And if you like the look of our cottage you can see it on the Airbnb website here.

An Airbnb collaborative post

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram


  1. Donna
    July 18, 2015 / 11:05 pm

    I’m a big advocate for air bnb. I’ve booked through then loads if times and they’re always my first point if call when looking for accommodation xx

  2. Stephanie
    July 20, 2015 / 9:57 pm

    I have never heard of Airbomb so that is really interesting, I love going away to cottages rather than hotels. So much more relaxed…..I am off to have a look at the site!

  3. KarenAnita
    July 20, 2015 / 10:37 pm

    What a gorgeous house! So often when you go away you find yourself in really drab rooms but this is fab!
    I really love that painted brick fireplace too x

  4. Molly
    July 21, 2015 / 6:19 pm

    What a gorgeous cottage! I had my first airbnb experience just last week – and loved it. I agree it is all the little homely touches that make the stay all the more special than staying in a hotel. I’m hooked!

  5. Thabang Nkoana
    April 19, 2016 / 10:33 am

    Until recently AirBnB wasn’t that big in South Africa but I guess their marketing strategy has been expanded to reach out neck of the woods because people swear by it now both dwellers and the property owners making a passive income from this website. Had a look at it myself and saw an opportunity to make money renting out space I already had and converting my double garage to a studio like apartment it is great.

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