Frequently Asked Questions

Your questions answered

Q. What is your refund policy?

A. Our cancellation policy is as follows…

Cancellations made up until 14 days prior to your vacation start date will incur a 10% (of full package price) charge. This will be retained and all other payments made up until that point will be refunded in full.

Cancellations made within 14 days of your vacation start date will incur a 50% (of the full package price) charge. This will be retained and all other payments made up until that point will be refunded in full.

Rescheduling policy: However, we do have a rescheduling policy which allows you to reschedule your booking for a time in the future- Completely free of charge if it’s due to an effect of covid or $100.00 USD admin fee if it’s due to any other reason.

All of the above cancellation policy details will be outlined clearly in your agreement which you will have time to read before signing and paying your deposit.

We do encourage folks to take advantage of our free rescheduling service as we want nothing more than to fulfil your dream vacation at English Cottage Vacation here in beautiful England.

However please note: As an independent privately run business, we are the face and heart of our business. We run every aspect of our business and we genuinely care about our guests. We will always review each case on an individual basis and offer an ideal outcome wherever possible for us to do so.

Q. What Does Bespoke Mean? 
A. You have probably all noticed by now that we offer a package called Bespoke. However we have come to realise recently that it is a word not widely used in North America, so what the hell does Bespoke actually mean?!
Well the official definition according to the Oxford dictionary is as follows…
Made for a particular customer or user.
“a bespoke suit” or in our case – “a bespoke vacation” 

So it basically means that your vacation is tailor made or custom if you like, Nathan does all the itinerary planning depending on your interests and ‘to do’ list, and Laura plans a menu which includes all your breakfasts, lunches, canapes and dinners based on your preferences and dietary requirements. Everything about your special vacation with us here at English Cottage Vacation is Bespoke.


Q. How big is the garden at Well Cottage?
A. Well Cottage sits in approximately 0.4 acres of land; it is very much like a traditional English garden with lots of different areas. The majority of the garden is laid to lawn which is immaculately kept. We have the part with the borders/beds of annual and perennial flowers which can easily been seen from the garden room. We have the vegetable patch which is at the bottom of the garden in a section separated by some very mature laurels and a gate. We also have the courtyard area where we have a beautiful set of comfortable outdoor furniture, a perfect spot for canapes and cocktails. In addition to all of this, the backdrop of the garden is fields and endless countryside providing wildlife and amazing views which will have you dreaming forever.


Q. What exactly does exclusive mean?
A. When you book an experience with English Cottage Vacation you are getting full exclusive use of Well Cottage, which includes the 3 bedrooms (with ensuites and private bathroom) snug, lounge/diner and garden room along with Nathan & Laura as your personal live in host and hostess/chef. It doesn’t matter if you want to travel on your own, as a family/party of 6 or anything in between you will have the cottage, the garden and private vehicle just for yourself/yourselves.


Q. When is the check out time?
A. Here at English Cottage Vacation we pride ourselves on being flexible and accommodating right up until the moment you leave us, and that is the same for checking out. We literally do not have a check out time! We keep the whole of your departure day for you, so whether you are flying out, catching a train somewhere or staying in a London hotel, you will never feel rushed here at Well Cottage and your departure day will be on your terms.


Q. What if our group arrives on different flights and subsequently all land at different times, different terminals or even different airports?
A. It goes without saying that if you can arrive on the same flight all together then it makes the pick-up process a lot more efficient for you. If you do arrive on different flights then of course it will be better if the expected arrival times are as close as possible to each other.
If you are all arriving within a few hours of each other into the same or similar Heathrow terminals then there may be a wait for the early landing guests, however this will all be discussed in advance and alternative plans can always be created.
If you are arriving into different Heathrow terminals at similar times please note T2 & T3 are quite close but do have their own pick up locations so the vehicle will need to be moved which will take approximately 15mins.
It takes approximately 30 minutes to get between Heathrow terminals 2&3 and terminal 5 and another 15 minutes on from terminal 5 to terminal 4.
If the early guests wish to be taken to Well Cottage and then Nathan returns to Heathrow to collect the later arriving guests, then he needs at least 6 hours between flight arrivals- again, if this situation arises this will be discussed in more detail, and if required we can provide 3rd party arrangements.
Nathan will need to allow a minimum of 1 hour to move between London Heathrow and London Gatwick. London Gatwick is slightly further away from Well Cottage and so Nathan will need the flights to be at least 7 hours apart to do 2 separate runs himself but the reality is we will probably make 3rd party arrangements.


Q. We would like to take advantage of the complimentary meal out to experience the English culture- where and what do you recommend?

A. We have a list of places that we recommend depending on your itinerary and what you would like to experience, they all offer a very good lunch and/or dinner option…

  • The Compasses Inn, A traditional thatched 13th century inn drizzled in character
  • The Fontmell, Fontmell Magna- A gastro pub in our local village
  • The Beckford Arms, Tisbury- A quintessential formal pub/restaurant in the countryside
  • The Cricketers, Shroton- A well decorated British pub with a nice garden and great atmosphere
  • The Crown Inn, Marhull- A more relaxed traditional English thatched pub with good ‘pub grub’
  • The Museum, Farnham- A traditional British pub to the south east of Well Cottage
  • The Grosvenor Arms, Shaftesbury- A gastro pub in the town center
  • The Udder Farm Shop, East Stour- A well respected farm shop cafe with great views



Q. Will I have to share a bathroom during my stay at Well Cottage?
A. One of the amazing things about Well Cottage is that we have 3 bedrooms AND 3 bathrooms upstairs. The king and queen rooms both have clean modern en-suites with showers, while the queen/twin room has an adjoining bathroom with a shower and a bath. It is extremely rare to have multiple bathrooms in a quintessential English thatched cottage. After looking at many, many cottages before finding Well Cottage we feel extremely fortunate to have found one so perfectly equipped and situated for our very special guests.


Q. How do I know if something I really want is included in the price or not.
A. We pride ourselves on including an infinite range of activities and services within our package and our prices reflect the quality and abundance that you receive with in our one-price promise.
There are of course some activities that are excluded (due to extensive pricing) and we refer to these as our ‘sky’s the limit’ specialities. As our vacations are completely bespoke we can arrange anything you can dream of. Whether an activity is included in your price or not will depend somewhat on the rest of your itinerary.
Please check out our ‘Sky’s the Limit’ blog for further information about the type of activities that may require extra cost.


Q. Do Nathan & Laura live in the cottage?
A. The simple answer is yes, we do. We have a purpose built room downstairs which is our office, sitting room and bedroom for when we have guests staying which means the bedrooms upstairs and the rest of the cottage are kept completely private just for the use of our guests.
We also have our own separate shower room downstairs.
Over the years we have mastered when our guests would like us to be around and when we should give privacy and so you can rest assured that you will always be 100% comfortable while staying at Well Cottage.


Q. Can you go for a walk straight from the front door of the cottage?
A. The easiest frequently asked question we get asked- YES! You can literally walk out of the cottage and within 50m (150′) be on a footpath making your way across the fields.
We have so many places to walk in every direction and you can generally do a nice circular route, for a whole range of distances. We provide all maps and information to help you get out and enjoy your walk- and if you would like us to, we can even come with you to act as your guide!!
If you love to walk all day, Laura will pack your hamper backpack full of goodies for a relaxing picnic stop in amongst the nature and wildlife of the Dorset countryside.


Q. How will I contact you while we are out and about?
A. For your convenience we provide a cell phone and a British sim/chip with each room so that you always have the ability to contact us wherever you are at no extra expense to yourself.
It will be programmed with all of your most important numbers, plus you will be able to use the phone for occasions such as ordering coffee and/or breakfast in bed from the comfort of your room!


Q. Will you be able to cater to all of our groups dietary requirements?
A. No matter what your dietary requirements there is nothing that we will not accommodate. Over 10 years as a yacht chef Laura has adapted her menu and recipes for every different type of diet and allergy. It is never a problem and more common than you may think.
“I start by trying to keep everyone’s basic menu the same whilst making tweaks to recipes where necessary so that no one ever feels different or as if they are missing out.” There is an art to this and preparation is everything. Your entire menu is planned and carefully provisioned for prior to your stay ensuring everything runs without a hitch. If we have young guests who prefer simpler more child friendly cuisine, this is an exception of when Laura may provide a completely different meal to the rest of your group. If you are at all worried about food for any reason, the best thing to do is simply chat with Laura to find what measures will be taken to ensure that you can sit back, relax and eat without any worry.


Q. What Do I need To Pack?

A. At Well Cottage, our guest bedrooms are furnished with luxury amenities, ensuring that you not only have everything you need on your vacation but you can travel light if you choose. This is especially important for our overseas guests and those travelling for extended periods of time.
In each bedroom room you’ll find:

  • Adult bathrobes and an abundance of fluffy towels
  • Hairdryers and charging stations.
  • A never ending supply of our carefully chosen luxury, eco friendly bathroom amenities such as- shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, toothbrush, cotton wool and much much more.
  • Our complimentary house slippers will keep your feet warm all day any day and you can take them home as a momento at the end of your stay.

Downstairs you’ll find:

Wellington Boots for our walkers who like to venture through the fields and woodland and we even have a range of fleeces and jackets for the chillier days.

Umbrellas – just in case. We’ve got you covered!

And that’s not all, throughout the cottage we provide many important everyday amenities that you most likely won’t want to bring with you. We won’t list them all here, but please ask about anything specific! We promise we have thought of just about everything!


Q. Do I have to stay at Well Cottage Saturday-Saturday or Sunday-Sunday? 
A. The answer is a big NO! We are so flexible and bespoke you can arrive any day convenient to you providing of course we are available! So take a look at the flight options and get booked in for whenever it suits you! We also do not have an official check in or check out time, the days you are booked are your days.