Hankering after a week away with a gaggle of friends?
These awesome houses can all sleep eight or more, and with private pools, outdoor fun and incredible views par for the course, grab your pals and get booking.
Please note: stated prices are intended as a guide only. Where possible, we've listed the lowest price available at time of writing for seven nights in 2016, but be aware that prices are subject to availability and may be dependent on number of guests.
The Rural Dordogne Escape
Sixteen of you lounging by your own private heated pool, drinking wine and eating delicious French bread and gooey cheese sounds dreadful, doesn’t it? So you won’t want to book this gorgeous 18th century country home with landscaped gardens in the south of France. No, no, not at all. It even has a guest annex 20 metres from the main house, so you can invite your mum and dad to do the cooking and laundry but never actually have to see them.
The Tuscan Villa
Fancy living the high life? In this marvelous Tuscan villa you’ll find it hard not to, especially as the price of the property includes your very own maid. Yes, a maid. There are numerous private terraces from the bedrooms in this house, so while you can hang out with the main group by the heated pool when you want to, there’s scope for a bit of privacy too.
The Welsh Windmill
First off: this isn’t a house: it’s an incredible converted windmill. (I don’t have 11 friends I want to go on holiday with but I might try and make some just so I can stay in a blooming windmill.) It’s been decked out in modern, luxurious style and four of the six bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, while the views are green and can be enjoyed from the balconies around the property. Plus, it’s a windmill. A windmill!
The Luxury Cornish Option
As we all know, the problem with holidays in the UK is the rather unpredictable weather. This house, however, does away with that issue by having a rather lovely indoor heated pool, where you and nine of your nearest and dearest can while away the hours until you’re prune-like, then settle down for a film night courtesy of the house’s cinema projector. Ellenglaze is in a beautiful part of Cornwall but there’s a strong chance you won’t actually venture out.
The Georgian Lakeside House
This Georgian Lake District house sits in a prime position overlooking the picturesque Derwentwater, while the bold interior design sure as heck reminds you you’re there to have fun. And fun you shall have – with croquet and barbecues in the garden and a games room indoors, or perhaps you’ll venture out on a boat. Oh, and all 10 bedrooms are en suite so you’ll never even have to wait for the shower to be free.
The Catalonian Masia
Can Tilly Villa is on the Costa Brava, in one of Spain’s best areas for sandy beaches – including pretty Tamariu, which is within walking distance of the property (but be aware that during the school holidays the beaches are packed by 11am.) Back at the house itself, there’s table tennis, a private swimming pool with poolside shower and a barbecue. Pull up a sun lounger and you’re set.
The Proper Scottish Castle
Saddell Castle is completely unique and even has battlements you can walk around while taking in the incredible views – the castle stands right on the beach at Saddell Bay (if you’re brave you may fancy a paddle). Enjoy meals in the long impressive dining room and then partake in a game of chess after dinner – being a Landmark Trust property, the castle doesn’t have a TV. A good chance to really get to know your friends…
The City Townhouse
This cosy and functional townhouse may not have the showy features of a country manor but what it lacks in huge rooms and chandeliers, it more than makes up for with its Bath city centre location. Ideal for a group of friends wanting a spa weekend break and as it’s so close to the station you won’t even need a car to get around the beautiful city.
The Designer Sports Pad
This former home of professional golfer Rory McIlroy is perfect if members of your group are interested in the sport, as the house has its own championship golfing facility. Rather brilliantly, Halloran Hall is ideal for the non-golfers too, with a home cinema, library, fully fitted gym and a hot tub to keep everyone entertained. Oh, and an all-weather tennis court, just in case you get bored.
The Modernist Country Escape
Like something out of Grand Designs, this Cotswolds house is impressive and beautifully styled. You might not want to take red wine with you – there’s a whole lotta white and cream going on, and you definitely wouldn’t want a Merlot spillage – so enjoy your Sauvignon Blanc within magazine-shoot interiors or while relaxing on the property’s rooftop terrace. Alternatively, make the most of the home cinema system, games room, trampoline and rowing boat that are all included.