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Guest Reviews

Our Google Reviews

Elizabeth DeterdingElizabeth Deterding
18:47 25 Feb 24
This experience was by far the most all inclusive vacation I have ever experienced. From the moment I was arrived at LHR and transported to the charming cottage I was treated like royalty! Nathan and Laura are hosts extraordinaire. Everything and i mean literally everything was included with the exception of gifts I took home. This included, meals at the cottage and outside, alcohol, transportation, and tickets to venues. In addition they provided local cell phones so I kept my cell phone on airplane mode using WhatsApp when I had internet service (which they have in the van and the cottage). This is the first time I have been out of the country and never incurred international roaming fees!I was the inaugural visitor for their Winter Holiday stay. I am so happy I had the chance to experience this! With Laura as the chef every meal was a culinary delight. She and Nathan helped celebrate my December birthday in style along with a proper British Christmas Lunch. It was the first time I had ever experienced Christmas Crackers! They were so much fun I ordered some for my grandchildren for Christmas dinner ( you cannot transport these home on the plane. They have to be ordered stateside). A special treat was the "spa day" where I had a chance to relax and be pampered (all apart of the AIF).I loved this stay so much I have already planned a ladies trip for 2025. I can't wait to share my experience with my friends!
Stephanie BlackStephanie Black
00:31 14 Jan 24
Hands down, the best vacation we’ve ever had. Nathan and Laura of English Cottage Vacation go above and beyond to make you feel welcome and cater to your every need. We had a group ranging from 8yrs old to folks in their 70’s. Somehow they structured our days to keep my two kids entertained, well fed and educated in a fun way every day. But the adults didn’t feel like they were on a kids trip either.Laura’s skills in the kitchen are as good, if not better, than any award winning restaurant in major cities. We had a few special requests including a Beef Wellington night and my daughter’s 11th birthday party and she knocked them both of the park!Nathan is your tour guide extraordinaire! We let him plan our entire stay and there wouldn’t be one thing we would change. As I said before he kept both the adults and kids entertained each day.Your accommodations will be welcoming, charming, comfortable and clean. We had the largest group they could accommodate and everyone had their own private space to relax and unwind each evening. The grounds are beautifully kept and we loved spending most dinners on their patio soaking in the fresh air and scent of their beautiful garden.We never repeat vacations as we always feel there’s more to see and experience, but I can say with confidence we will be back to spend more time with Nathan and Laura! Thank you two for such an amazingly unforgettable family vacation. 🤍
audrey sizeloveaudrey sizelove
11:16 15 Oct 23
My stay at Well Cottage was exceptional. If you want to immerse yourself in the English culture and countryside there is no better place to do it then with Laura and Nathan as your guides. I could lists many things that I enjoyed but especially I enjoyed the Sunday we went to church in the their village, had a roast lamb dinner with mint sauce and vegetables from their garden, sat in their snug, with a fire, with the visiting West Highland terrier, Isla, at my feet. That memory will stay with me always. Another is my visit to Stourhead House and Garden a beautiful landscape garden which is a favorite. Nathan arranged for us to have a guided tour of the garden in a golf cart which was perfect! And later he set up a table and chairs near the garden for us to have a picnic lunch. How glorious it was to sit in this beautiful landscape to eat one of Laura’s delicious gourmet picnics. They are the perfect hosts, pampering is Laura’s forte and Nathan’s timing was perfect while shopping In Shaftesbury when he appeared to help carry packages back to the car. I can’t say enough about my experience there. You really have to experience it yourself to understand how perfect it was.
Brenda LewisBrenda Lewis
00:28 27 Sep 23
From the time that Nathan picked us up from the airport to the day sadly, we had to return home, this was an amazing vacation.Entering the cottage was like turning back the clock. So beautifully furnished and comfortable.Laura does a wonderful job of serving delicious elegant meals every day.Nathan manage our daily trips without rushing and with lots of information along the way. There was always a picnic basket on board filled with some of Laura’s culinary delights. We had several relaxing picnics along the way. We had picnics in a park, on the beach, in a field even in the van because it was too windy. So much fun to have the table all set with special china etc. and Nathan serving us.Our vacation was teamed with visits to several senior relatives that we had not seen in many years. Nathan planned our trips to see them and that picked us up later.Our second “special” day was an incredible lunch prepared by Laura at the cottage to celebrate our 61st wedding anniversary. Complete with a beautiful cake baked of course by Laura . Of cause there was champagne.Nathan and Laura have thought of everything .We had an amazing time and I hope to possibly take my grand children there one day to see the country their grandparents once live.Brenda and George LewisNapa California
Sheila YorksSheila Yorks
23:38 24 Sep 23
The cottage was an experience of a lifetime for me. I wanted to visit England for many years now and this was the one worth waiting for. I'd give the hosts an extra Star for their hospitality and everything during my stay was of top notch quality. Beautiful surroundings and pleasant relaxation time at the Cottage made the visit extra special.
Carrie HerndonCarrie Herndon
18:27 23 Jul 23
While we had visited England before, this was our first visit to Dorset. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience staying at Well Cottage. No detail was overlooked. The cottage is cozy but spacious, and the garden is beautiful and perfect for lounging or birdwatching. Laura is an amazing chef. She was able to create delicious meals with our differing tastes and my dietary restrictions. We did a bespoke package and Nathan organized an itinerary for us that incorporated our planned requests as well as seamlessly incorporating a couple of “oh while we’re here can we” requests. Nathan and Laura are the perfect hosts and are great company. They made sure our vacation was truly memorable.
pamela whitepamela white
23:37 01 Jul 23
An English Fairytale VacationI am an Anglophile…and an art historian with a focus on English art and architecture. Over the past forty years, I have traveled to England 24 times for both my profession as an academic museum curator and on vacation. England is the place I most love in all the world.In the spring of 2022 I was getting ready to retire from my university professorship when I ran across an advertisement in a magazine I take called Britain. It was for English Cottage Vacation. I was immediately intrigued with the information presented and began an email correspondence with you. I was so very pleased when as a single person I was able to join four other like-minded folks at Well Cottage from June 2 through 10, 2023.I chose the set itinerary because of the unique offerings of private tours and inclusions offered. Even though I had been to Highclere, Bath and Stonehenge before, the private tours provided by you far surpassed my earlier visits. The special guidance from Nathan offered during his marvelous drives around were a real highlight. An evening private tour if Stonehenge walking among the stones was amazing. The walking tour of Bath with an expert guide fulfilled all of my hopes for this visit. I discovered many places I wouldn’t have sought out on my own…this was especially true for the Jurassic Coast and Lulworth Cove.The quaint but luxurious cottage offered the lodging and comfort of a top hotel. The cuisine was beyond comparison and full of delightful and delicious surprises Laura included in all of her delectable creations.This week was truly an exceptional experience and exceeded all my expectations. Being privately ferried to all the sites in a luxurious vehicle, staying in one place without having to uproot every day or so and most of all the marvelous company of Laura and Nathan made this trip the highlight of all my England adventures.I have organized and accompanied tours to England but this experience was far and away the tops! Even the VIP reception at the American Embassy when the exhibition I curated (Victorian Fairy Painting) opened at the Royal Academy in 1997 pales in comparison.Sincerely,Pamela White
Ken FlemingKen Fleming
12:37 01 Jun 23
We have always enjoyed our several visits to England, but we never found something as delightful as our experience with Nathan and Laura. Nathan's knowledge of the beautiful Dorset countryside enriched our vacation experience. His answers to our many questions about birds, animals, historic sites, and English history added much to our enjoyment--plus he's a safe driver on narrow country roads. Laura's meals are amazing. Her table decorations, presentation, and variety are exceptional; however, the taste is out of this world. Let's not forget the wine. Laura and Nathan provide excellent choices for lunch and dinner. If you want the best possible English vacation, book a stay at English Cottage Vacation.
Ben MonninBen Monnin
17:54 07 Nov 22
I just filled out the private survey that Nathan and Laura send to their guests after your stay. I literally could not think of one single thing they could have done better. I appreciate they're always striving to improve, but everything about our stay was perfect. On top of everything else they already do, they made our engagement at Highclere Castle perfect and Laura did a phenomenal job of decorating the cottage for our return and made an amazing dinner with an incredible cake. If you want an authentic trip to England and want to see the amazing countryside, villages and sights you just need to get to Heathrow. They take care of every possible detail from there.
17:50 07 Nov 22
I can't say enough good things about our stay at the English Cottage Vacations. Truly the most amazing way to experience England! Nathan and Laura are the perfect hosts. The food, cozy environment, and the hospitality were off the charts!!!! They take care of every detail, which eliminates all the stress of travelling abroad. Having your own personal driver and chef along with arrangements being made for each of our day trips made the trip so enjoyable. Nathan and Laura go above and beyond to make sure you experience the best England has to offer. We got to see things that only the locals know about. We didn't have to fight our way through crowds because they know all the secrets! They arrange for private yacht tours, private walking tours, and even the royal treatment at Highclere Castle when we got engaged during our stay. This was my very first time traveling abroad and I fell in love with the cottage, the country side and most of all our hosts Nathan and Laura! I would give them 100 stars, but I guess 5 stars will have to do!
Kris LandrumKris Landrum
15:13 30 Oct 22
Nathan and Laura work together to provide an incomparable and memorable week in the English countryside. This all-inclusive vacation feels like a visit with friends who share their charming cottage while acting as your chauffeur/butler and chef/housekeeper. Cottage rooms and gardens are lovely. Laura is a gourmet cook who prepares meals to meet guest preferences (provided in advance), and plates and services them beautifully. Nathan acts as chauffeur to take guides on outings (planned in advance with guest input) and makes the experiences seamless by making reservations and payments in advance. When returning home for lunch is inconvenient, Laura prepares a picnic lunch which Nathan sets up and serves in a beautiful setting. Travel is in a comfortable 8 passenger Mercedes van with Nathan pointing out sights and stopping for photo opportunities. The countryside offers castles, mansions with beautiful gardens, ancient ruins, Stonehenge, and lovely villages. The Jurassic coast is nearby and a power yacht cruise to see this area was a special treat. Pampering of guests even included bringing in two masseuses to provide massages on a quiet afternoon. Our group of six women are still raving about this experience!
Laura BarrierLaura Barrier
00:20 21 Oct 22
The week I spent at Well Cottage cannot be compared to any other holiday I have ever taken. Laura and Nathan's hospitality surpassed anything I had previously experienced or expected from this trip. From my extremely comfortable bed, to the exquisite gourmet meals (picnics included), to our daily adventures, it all was superb. I was very sad when our week ended; a return visit is definitely called for.
Keya TaylorKeya Taylor
00:49 28 Sep 22
The stay was fantastic, the lodging - quite comfortable, the food - out of this world, riding was very comfortable, the pace of the outings were on point. Nathan and Laura are very gracious and accommodating, sharing their love of region and country.If you can - just GO to their English Cottage, you will not be disappointed. Watch out for the blackberries and hedge warnings! 🙂
Jim WarnerJim Warner
23:06 26 Sep 22
Tucked in the English countryside and the rolling hills and farmlands of Bedchester, Well Cottage is first class all the way! From the airport greeting and daily tours by Nathan to the awesome food by Laura, you will feel welcome in their home every day that you are there and likely wish you had booked extra time for your stay! The local area is full of history ready to visit from Stonehenge to the Jurassic Coast to more castles and stately mansions than there is time to explore. The accommodations are top rate and comfortable and the hospitality is unmatched!
Judith KulbJudith Kulb
21:29 28 Aug 22
Our English Cottage Vacation at Well Cottage truly exceeded our expectations in every way. Boy, did Nathan and Laura spoil us! We have stayed at five star Relais Chateaux before, but our week in the idyllic English countryside at Well Cottage with Nathan and Laura took the meaning of luxury and service to another level. They are consummate professionals who tended to our every need and want with good humor and smiles. Laura's gourmet cooking was always amazing. I don't know how she always pulled these meals off with such elegance in not only the food, but the artistry of the table settings themselves. Nathan's selection of wine was always spot on. Every meal was a scrumptious gastronomic feast for both the stomach and the eyes! Their yard was beautiful, and just relaxing in it was a lovely part of the whole week. There are so many places in it to sit, relax, read, watch/name the birds (Nathan's specialty!)We found ourselves exhaling our stress as soon as we got to the cottage. As hosts, Nathan and Laura are very skilled at being around when something is needed, and not being around when they sense you are just relaxing. Everything they do for you is done with caring and wanting to make sure you have everything to make your week warm, fuzzy, and luxurious! Our week at Well Cottage was tailor made to suit what we wanted to see and do. It was a magical combination of Nathan's chauffeuring us to sites we wanted to visit, Laura's elegant meals and picnics, watching the gorgeous sunset at Cranborne Chase, walking around the road and paths by the cottage, relaxing with a drink, bugging Laura while she is cooking (she was always welcoming to this!). We absolutely loved our stay at Well Cottage, and we can't thank Nathan and Laura enough for making our stay so special. It was truly much more than we had every hoped or thought it would be in every single way. Thank you to our new friends, Nathan and Laura, and for your talents in making Well Cottage the very special place it is. I am hoping Well Cottage will be in our future again.Judith K
Anne Christine WattAnne Christine Watt
19:50 23 Jul 22
Our family vacation (3 generations) at Well Cottage was fabulous. Well Cottage is a perfect example of a true English thatched cottage. Its location out in the countryside and its gardens invite one to relax after being out exploring. Nathan chauffeurs the Mercedes van expertly around the country lanes.Nathan and Laura pampered us and could not do enough for our relaxation and enjoyment.The gardens planted by Laura and her mother are watered by Nathan, they produce the huge variety of vegetables used by Laura in her culinary arts and to decorate the cottage rooms and tables. Chef Laura is outstanding. Each dinner had a theme with the table settings complimenting the cuisine. The meals were delicious and enjoyed by all our family. Our youngest member (10yrs.) enjoyed all the gourmet cuisine and gave Laura “two thumbs up” on a daily basis. No “kids menu for him”. Also, we ate elaborate picnic lunches with table, chairs and fine china on several days.From pickup, by Nathan, at the airport to final set down this was an exceptional vacation. Nathan and Laura are gracious hosts who deliver on all their promises.We hope to return.
Dale CoxeDale Coxe
20:47 26 Jun 22
A week at Well Cottage was a terrific holiday. We have traveled to many parts of the world and, while some adventures have been more exotic, none have surpassed the enjoyment of our vacation with Laura and Nathan. The meals prepared by Laura and the daily sightseeing planned by Nathan were exceptional. They both went above and beyond what we expected! Yes, it is an expensive vacation, but it is worth every penny. Book now, just do it and you will be delighted!!
Bruce ShermanBruce Sherman
20:18 03 Jun 22
What a positively awesome trip to the English countryside!Nathan and Laura, we felt so welcomed at Well Cottage. Your exceptional and unceasing attention to detail was extraordinary. Our richly flavorful and lavishly presented meals were a gastronomic delight – and chatting with Laura while she worked her magic in the kitchen was an enjoyable bonus. Our daily sightseeing adventures with Nathan were thoughtfully customized based on our pre-travel communications, and included a number of experiences that were certainly new to us. Who knew that the Shaftesbury Food Festival could be so much fun?!We can’t think of a prior trip where we’ve felt so richly satisfied and fulfilled with our entire experience. You two are exceptional! For anyone looking for a thoroughly relaxing, restorative and satisfying getaway, this is it!

Our Tripadvisor Reviews

audrey s
audrey s
Wonderful experience of English culture in the countryside. My 10 day stay at Well Cottage was unique and exceptional. I felt pampered like never before! Laura’s gourmet meals were beautiful presented and delicious, picnic lunches the same. Nathan has a wealth of knowledge which he shared on our drives through the countryside. They made time in our busy schedule so I could visit a wonderful antiques shop. The stay with them was exceptional and I look forward to making a return visit.
A Most Wonderful Vacation This was the second time we spent a week with Nathan and Laura. Both times have been very relaxing, enjoyable vacations. A couple words to summarize the English Cottage Vacation experience. It is unlikely you have been on a vacation like this before. It is like a tour, but you are the only one or ones on the tour. You choose, with suggestions from Nathan and Laura based on what you have an interest, what you do and see each day. Nathan drives you in a Mercedes van with large windows so you can see the countryside wherever that day's activities are located. Laura is the chef and she prepares the meals with the foods and ingredients you have indicated you particularly like. We like seafood, so Laura prepared a meal with a seafood paella, with lobster thermador, and with salmon. The beef meal was beef tenderloin cooked sous-vide style, which makes the most tender beef I have had. We also had a stuffed chicken breast sous-vide and it was delicious. Because you stay in the Cottage every night, you do not have the packing are unpacking common on many tours. Because you have planned each day's activities, there is no need to wake early to get on the bus or be rushed through a meal. It is a tour in which you choose your own pace and your own itinerary. Like many people, we had been to London, York, and Manchester, but we had never been to Dorset - a country county. The first time we were at English Cottage Vacation, we took the preplanned vacation. This was a way to see some of the countryside, the south coast, some of the castles / mansions in the area, and the city of Wells. We wanted to walk along the coast for a distance, so Nathan dropped us off at a starting point, let us walk, and picked us up at our destination, so we did not have to retrace our steps. He gave us a cell phone so we could call him if we had a problem or wanted to modify our path. Each day had a similar schedule - a cooked, hot breakfast, the activities for the day including a picnic lunch larger than we could possibly eat (Have you ever had hard boiled quail eggs?), a return to the Cottage for a snack and a drink in the late afternoon, and a three-course dinner. Because we had filled out a preferences form before we left home, Laura had planned meals that met our special diets and featured our favorite foods and avoided the foods to which we are allergic or which we do not like. Because the Cottage is on a one lane, two-way road in the country, the area is very quiet and peaceful. On our second visit, two weeks ago, we chose the plan in which we chose all of the places we visited. Nathan had given us a long list of possible destinations for each day and from those we chose what we wanted to do. We also requested a couple destinations which Nathan had not originally suggested, but which were possible for him to plan. Because Nathan drove us each day, he learned what we liked to do. So even when it was not on the original plan, if we were near something he thought we would like and it was not far off the path planned for that day, he would suggest we make an extra stop. This way we saw a number of sites that we would not have seen otherwise. For example, have you ever had a tour of a cidery in which the guide is one of the owners or a brewery. How about a stop with a guided tour at a gristmill that was originally built in about 934 and is still an active mill? Although we spent a week at English Cottage Vacation in 2022 and another week in 2023, we have already signed up for another week in 2024 - each week in a different month so as to see the country and gardens at different times.
Sheila Y
Sheila Y
Extraordinary Experience at English Cottage This was a relaxing visit at a quaint cottage. They provided everything! Even down to the sachets in the wardrobes. They had well-planned excursions - even a church service if one desires - as well as some of their own beautiful flower gardens at the Cottage itself while you sit and relax in the garden room tasting some of the best food provided by host Laura. They were attentive to our every whim. I actually felt like a queen while there! Highly recommend.
Carrie H
Carrie H
Highly Recommend! This was our first visit to Dorset, and we couldn’t have asked for a better experience staying at Well Cottage. No detail was overlooked- from how we take our tea and coffee to all aspects of a perfect picnic. The cottage is cozy but spacious, and the garden is beautiful and perfect for lounging or birdwatching. Nathan is incredibly knowledgeable about so many topics and is an excellent guide and resource. Laura is an amazing chef. She was able to create delicious meals with our differing tastes and my dietary restrictions. We did a bespoke package and Nathan organized an itinerary for us that incorporated our planned requests as well as seamlessly incorporating a couple of “oh while we’re here can we” requests. Nathan and Laura are the perfect hosts and are great company. They made sure our vacation was truly memorable.
The PERFECT English Cottage Vacation! 'Can't say enough about our WONDERFUL hosts, Nathan & Laura Kurton! They picked us up & took us back to the airport, served us the most AWESOME (& authentically English), personally prepared, gourmet food, got all the tickets for the places that we saw (incl. all the extra V.I.P. options), and drove us to and from everywhere all week on our schedule! 😎 We saw Stonehenge, the Durdle Door & Lulworth Cove on the Jurassic Coast, Bath, Highclere Castle (where they film Downton Abbey), & numerous cool places in the hamlets of Bedchester and Fontmell Magna in Dorset, about 2 hrs south of London...It was GREAT! Check out their website & consider taking your family & renting the entire cottage, or do what we did & enjoy making new friends with who stayed there with us during the week, and take advantage of one of the few times during the year when they have individual rooms available 👍🏼 We had such a great time! Stay there & experience it for yourself ❤️
John H
John H
Well Cottage provides Luxury accommodation and service. I have reviewed this wonderful place before, but in the past few months, we have decided to revisit them in 2024, so another review is warranted. Nathan & Laura do everything possible to make sure you are having a great time. Prior to the visit, they send a questionnaire asking such things as where you would like to visit what sort of libation you prefer, and what size wellies you require.
A Fairytale English Vacation What an amazing vacation I had at Well Cottage with English Cottage Vacation. It was beyond my wildest dreams for luxury in accommodation and excellence in delicious food but most of all for attention to every detail involved in an exciting tour of treasures surrounding their location. All details were attended to and the visit was extraordinary in its inclusiveness. Expert driver in a luxurious vehicle and private tours of all the sites were amazing. I wish I could give English Cottage Vacation more than 5 stars…it is absolutely fabulous!!
Kelly B
Kelly B
A Must Do Vacation! This was a perfect vacation, with amazing hosts, a wonderful cottage (with a thatched roof!) and lovely garden. Laura prepared fabulous meals and Nathan is a fantastic chauffeur and tour guide. The Cottage is truly in the country and surrounded by all its wonderful beauty! We went on fun and amazing trips every day, with picnic lunches to unpack and enjoy. Upon arriving “home” we enjoyed relaxing on the patios followed by 4 course dinners, and very comfortable beds for a great night’s sleep. Perfect vacation all around, Nathan and Laura are a perfect team and are very welcoming. I highly recommend the English Cottage Vacation and hope to return!
Best Vacation Ever Guest comfort and enjoyment are Nathan and Laura's goals at English Cottage Vacations. During our previous trips to England, we always rented a car and wandered about on our own. Having aged a bit, we decided to try Well Cottage in Dorset. What a great decision! Nathan navigated the narrow country roads far better than I ever did. His knowledge enhanced our enjoyment of the local birds, plants, and historic sites. Laura's culinary skills are amazing. Every meal was a delight. Table decorations were beautiful and different each time. I can't praise enough the variety and taste of our meals. Fine wine choices accompanied all lunches and dinners. You'll feel richly rewarded if you choose English Cottage Vacation.
The Best Vacation Ever This trip was one of the best vacations I've ever taken and it was due to the over the top service that our hosts provided. We were met at the airport, driven to Well Cottage and treated like Kings and Queens. Everything was taken care of by our hosts---meals, sightseeing excursions, transport, guide, all entry fees, a pub experience, VIP entrance to Stonehenge, Bath and many other sights. Gourmet meals in the evening, picnics for lunch with table & chairs. It was all inclusive and all there.