How to Book

1. Why Book Direct with a Stilwell’s Cottages Direct advertiser?

Booking your holiday home directly with the owner offers a whole host of advantages and is becoming an increasingly popular choice for holidaymakers. Here at Stilwell’s Cottages Direct, we have been listening to property owners and customers for over 20 years and have built up a reputation as being one of the best holiday home advertising directories in the business. Choice remains a top priority and our directory continues to offer a huge selection of holiday properties to suit everyone. Our simple to use website has improved search functionality to make finding your perfect holiday home easy and enjoyable.

Value for Money

Booking directly with the advertiser by email or over the phone can be a great value for money way of securing your holiday home at a competitive price.


One of the great benefits of dealing directly with an owner is the opportunity to find out additional information about their property and its locality. What better way to discover this information than from those that know first-hand?


As property owners do not have to fit in with the operational requirements of a letting agency or tour operator, they are often able to take a more flexible approach to suit individual customers. Whether it’s accommodating specific arrival and departure times that can be negotiated or arriving a day late to miss the weekend traffic, these are all options that you can discuss at the time of booking.

Home comforts

Many of the book direct properties tend to be second homes for families who use them for their own leisure purposes, so they are often full of the little home comforts that will make your stay even more special.

The best of both worlds

If you select a property that is signed up to the easybook service you will be able to secure it by paying a deposit online. Your selected holiday dates will instantly be displayed as unavailable so they cannot be booked by another Stilwell’s Cottages Direct customer. On acceptance of the booking by the owner, we will notify you and the payment will be processed. The owner will then contact you directly regarding the booking and you can make any arrangements regarding arrival times or key collection as well as ask any additional information about the property or locality. This offers a superb alternative if you want to make a booking quickly and securely in a hassle free manner.

2. Searching for your holiday property

Stilwell’s Cottages Direct has designed this site and in particular the search and filter functionality to make finding your perfect holiday property as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Regional and County Search

From the homepage choose your preferred region and county using the interactive map or the drop down menu. Properties in your chosen region or county will be displayed and you can then apply any of the filters listed on the left hand side to find a property to match your exact requirements. If you are left with only a few options to choose from, remove some of the filters that are less important to you.

Availability Search

Know exactly when you want to go away? Add your holiday dates into the availability search from the homepage along with your duration and party size. Then use the filters on the left to help you select a property that meets your most important requirements. There are a lot of filters to choose from, from those that allow pets to those which have an open fire or those which have a dishwasher to make your holiday even more relaxing.

3. How do I know what the price will be?

The prices given in the advertisements are per property rather than per person and are for the duration shown. The advertisements should detail whether any extras will be charged locally (linen hire, heating etc), but we recommend that you double check this at the time of booking. Contact details for the owner are given in the advertisement.

4. Who should I direct any queries to?

The beauty of Stilwell’s Cottages Direct is that the property owner is your source of information so that you get direct access to the most accurate and thorough information at all times. For any questions or queries you may have, you can contact the owner using the contact details in the advert. Alternatively, if they have a website address listed in their advert, you may find your answer, plus a whole host of additional information on their website.

5. Before you book

You will be aware that Stilwell’s Cottages Direct does not own, manage or inspect any of the properties listed on our website. As an advertising directory, we provide a means for holidaymakers to select holiday accommodation from an extensive range and our search functionality allows areas and properties to be narrowed down depending on requirements.

As we do not guarantee the accuracy of property adverts or inspect properties we recommend that you carry out a few simple and sensible checks before you confirm your booking;

Sending an email enquiry via the website is a good starting point but a telephone conversation with the owner before you book is strongly recommended. An owner should be able to give you additional information about the surrounding area, places to visit, good places to eat, nearest supermarket etc. this will help you to establish that they know the property personally.

Note that the majority of adverts on the Stilwell’s Cottages Direct website include information on how long an advertiser has advertised with Stilwell’s Cottages Direct and how long a particular advert has been listed on the Stilwell’s Cottages Direct website. The longer an advert has been listed the more likely it is that customers have stayed there without any problems.

Review the details of the advert and check for any inconsistencies. Look out for poor spelling and bad grammar in the advert description.

Be wary of adverts that seem too good to be true – look at the size of the property and the facilities offered and see how the price compares to similar properties in the same area.

If you notice something suspicious when you’ve spoken to an owner please contact us as soon as possible.

6. How do I book a property?

There are two ways to book...

Book online with easybook

Many Advertisers have chosen to subscribe to our easybook service. Look out for the easybook symbol in the property details page. These properties allow you to instantly check availability and pay your deposit (or full amount if within 6 weeks) to secure your chosen date/duration online. This takes the property off-sale whilst we notify the advertiser and await their acceptance of the booking. Your balance is then paid directly to the advertiser.

  1. Once you have checked the dates for the property you are interested in, you can then click the 'book' button. You will need to complete all the requested details and pay the full amount (+VAT) for arrivals within 6 weeks or the deposit amount specified (+VAT) for arrival outside 6 weeks.
  2. Payment is pre-authorised instantly online with a credit or debit card, but payment will not actually be taken until the booking has been approved by the owner.
  3. The owner is contacted on your behalf and informed of the pending booking. Upon acceptance of the booking by the owner, your payment will be processed and you will be notified of the booking acceptance by email.
  4. If your booking is declined, you will be notified and no payment will be taken. You will then be able to search for alternative properties.
  5. Payment for the remaining balance should be sent directly to the owner on the date specified and you will then be sent directions and key collections details.

Please see full terms and conditions

Book direct via telephone or email

If you choose a property that does not display the easybook logo, follow the process below:

  1. Check whether there is availability for the dates and duration you are interested in.
  2. Make a note of the prices.
  3. Contact the advertiser using the 'Contact Owner' button on the advert and fill in all the requested details. If you prefer to telephone the owner, use the telephone number provided on the advert, but remember to give all the relevant dates, duration and party details. Remember, most advertisers are private individuals so calls in the evening or at weekends may be more effective.
  4. If the property is available, you can make a provisional booking. We strongly recommend that you speak to the advertiser before making any payment and that you establish whether the owner has any of their own rental terms. You should see these and agree with them before continuing with the booking.
  5. You must then send the advertiser your payment along with written confirmation of your booking details and party size. Payment types will vary per advertiser and are likely to be either personal cheque, credit card or by PayPal, some advertisers may ask for a direct bank transfer. We strongly advise against paying by a wire transfer as this type of payment is untraceable and very difficult to recover. If you can, you should pay by credit card or PayPal. Be wary if you’re asked to make a payment to someone other than the person you’ve been dealing with or to a bank account in an abscure country. Please report any concerns to us.
  6. Ensure your confirmation is acknowledged and that you receive a receipt for your deposit. You will now have formed a contract with the advertiser.
  7. You will need to confirm with the owner when they require the final balance, this is usually 6-8 weeks before arrival, if you’re asked to pay the balance much sooner than this please contact us and we’ll check this with the owner. Final balance payments must be paid directly to the advertiser (and not Stilwell’s Cottages Direct).

7. Arriving at your property

Once you have made a balance payment (or paid in full if booking less than 6-8 weeks before arrival) you will receive the directions and the key collection details from the advertiser. Always keep the key collection details secure and keep the supplied contact numbers handy should you need them.

Have a great time...