Cottageline began life in 1995/96 as an association of privately owned small holiday cottage agencies, which shared the same booking system. The idea came from Allan Simmonds, who had developed an appropriate booking system called Kelworth, together with Jane and Brian Lavender who owned Salcombe Holiday Homes. Originally called “A Great British Holiday”, the association met twice a year, hosted by and held in agency locations to discuss issues of common interest and standards.
The original members were:
Scotland – Discover Scotland
Northumberland – Northumbria Coast & Country Cottages
Yorkshire – Holiday Homes in Yorkshire
Anglesey & Snowdonia – Menai Holidays
East Anglia – Norfolk Country Cottages
Cotswolds & Heart of England – Cottage in the Country
Salcombe in Devon – Salcombe Holiday Homes
South Devon – Toad Hall Cottages
Rules for membership included a clause that agencies would not infringe on each other’s areas without consultation. This enabled them to discuss matters in a spirit of absolute trust.
As time moved on, the name changed to Cottageline. More agencies joined, some left, some were sold and some were acquired by others. New more efficient booking systems appeared and some agencies grew beyond being a small local agency.
Today there are more than 20 regional self catering agencies in the group spread across the United Kingdom.