Amanda Statham

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Sorting out a UK holiday with a group of friends is always time consuming: finding somewhere large enough and stylish enough to meet everyone's demands can take ages. In younger years it's all about booking a cool place to crash with entertainment on the doorstep, but as time progresses and friends start to have families, it's often about seeking a venue that's comfortable, has a big kitchen and keeps the kids entertained. To save you search time, here's my pick of the best places to hire around the UK, from party pads to child- and adult-friendly escapes.
Rosehill Lodges

For a chilled, week-long getaway, self-catering lodges in Porthtowan on the Cornish Coast work out to be budget-friendly and cool. Not only are the two- and three-bedroom lodges five-star standard inside and out, with breakfast bar, wood floors, king-sized beds, patio for barbecues and widescreen TV, they're also just a five-minute walk from the bars, restaurants and a Blue Flag beach of Porthtowan, which has the added bonus of a Surf School (www.falmouthsurfschools.co.uk) so you can all learn to catch a wave while you're there.

The Dovecote Barns

There's a ‘posh party pad' feel to these three barn conversions, which sleep two, four and six people. The open-plan lounge, kitchen and dining area, which flow effortlessly into each other, are the perfect space for group gatherings, particularly The Hay Barn where you can fit up to 12 people around the dining table. The barns may date back to the 18th century, but inside they're thoroughly modern, with under floor heating and en suite bathrooms for every room. And with the historic city of York on your doorstep, you won't be short of places to sightsee - or places to eat and drink.

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