Crabtree & Crabtree’s top picks for large festive get-togethers

Planning a big Christmas getaway with friends or family but not mad on the idea of all being under one roof? We hear you. If matching the pace of over-enthusiastic toddlers with the more sedate older members of the party is a bit of a challenge, why not opt for a handful of smaller neighbouring properties, rather than one big house. While sitting round the table for a Christmas feast may not be possible for big groups, taking smaller cosier properties will ensure a happy Christmas for all.

We’ve whittled down our festive favourites, all of which still have availability over Christmas and New Year and also love hosting any four-legged friends that you may have in tow. If you like the sound of any of them, give us a buzz…

Milne Graden | Coldstream, Scottish Borders

The Milne Graden estate, on the banks of the River Tweed, has eight properties that sleep a whopping total of 32 people. The newly-refurbished gate lodge West Lodge and the picture-perfect Swan’s Nest (sleeping two and four, respectively) are two of our favourites.

This is a great choice for those looking for a sprinkling of town and country: beautiful frosty walks along the Tweed, up into the Cheviots or along the Northumberland coast; Floors, Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh, Thirlestane and Alnwick Castles for the culture vultures; and the coffee shops, bookshops and galleries of the nearby Borders’ towns for those who prefer the festive buzz.


Coldingham Bay | Coldingham, Scottish Borders

Fancy a spot of surfing over Christmas? Our six newly-launched apartments at Coldingham Bay - collectively sleeping 24 - are ideal.

These super-chic beach pads are just a few steps away from one of the most picturesque beaches in southern Scotland. Each has sweeping views of the bay, all with private balconies and roof terraces and crucially – given that the North Sea is a bit nippy in December -  these stylish design-led apartments have big cosy sofas, king-sized beds and super-powerful, drench showers with lashings of hot water. So there’s really no excuse not to dip your toe in!


The Shepherd’s Huts | Berwick Upon Tweed, Northumberland

Looking for a back-to-nature Christmas adventure in the great outdoors? Look no further than our three Shepherd's Huts - Foxglove, Teasel and Cow Parsley – and their neighbouring Beach Hut, each sleeping a family of four. Young children will love the Shepherd’s Huts – acres of countryside to explore on foot or by bike, stargazing around the fire pit and building dens in Colin, the retro caravan, which is parked up alongside. This is the perfect Christmas holiday glamping.


Rose Cottage, Windley, Sandhills, Sandpiper and The Mast House | Bamburgh, Northumberland

The historic coastal village of Bamburgh, tucked below the magnificent Bamburgh Castle, really comes into its own at Christmas: the lights, Father Christmas’ grotto, the show-stopping Saints & Angels castle installation – new for 2021 – all make it a truly magical choice for families.

Rose Cottage, Windley, Sandhills, Sandpiper and The Mast House all lie in the village of Bamburgh and sleep between three and eight people. These five charming properties are truly idyllic at Christmas – also ideal for the festive swimmers out there(!) – and are just a short stroll from one another.


Lucy, Lydia and Romilly | Glanton, Northumberland

The trio of Lydia, Lucy and Romilly – three separate one-bed properties that form part of the same converted former barn – is ideal for groups of couples looking for a festive rural bolthole. There’s also neighbouring Poppy House: a quirky period stone cottage for six, with some great contemporary features including a big glass wrap-around conservatory and a castellated tower complete with roof terrace. The perfect spot for a merry get-together.


Wild Rye, The Rushes and Lyme Grass | Bamburgh, Northumberland

Wild Rye, The Rushes and Lyme Grass are three adjoining farm cottages, each sleeping four, that sit midway between the pretty village of Bamburgh and the jolly seaside town of Seahouses. Great for those who like coastal walks, playing on the beach with the kids or who prefer to just soak up the charm of Northumberland’s coastal communities. The views are superb, especially the evening twinkle of Inner Farne lighthouse that can be spotted in the distance.


The Sculleries and The Maitland, Thirlestane Castle | Lauder, Scottish Borders

It doesn’t get more magical than Christmas in a Scottish Castle, and the fairy-tale turrets of Thirlestane do not disappoint. These two beautifully-appointed apartments (think: sleigh beds, roll top baths, historic artwork and stacks of period features) sleep two and four respectively, be it alongside the old castle kitchen or in the south wing of the castle. Added perk: guests have complimentary access to the castle and a range of optional extras are available including spa treatments, food hampers and exclusive tours.


If you’re looking to book a festive family escape, give us a ring on 01573 226711 or drop a line to to find out more information and the latest availability. We’d love to chat to you.