Stillwells country cottages started out as a paper directory for renting holiday cottages, and while they still have a paper directory they have now expanded to offer online bookings as well.
From their website (cottagesdirect.co.uk) users are able to request a brochure or simply browse their thousands of properties direct from the website. They have a section for special offers, which encompasses both late deals and general price drops, so if you're not too picky about where you go or when you may be able to grab a great offer, for example they currently have a cottage reduced from £280 to £185 if you book a holiday in November.
Beyond that they have a standard search system, which allows you to choose when you want to rent, what country you want to stay in, whether you want a bed and breakfast or self catering accommodation and how many people will be staying, and the site then lists all the applicable results.
There is a wealth of information available on each and every cottage, including lots of images, a detailed overview of the property, features and facilities that are included, nearby town's airports and activities and a list of prices and availability. There is also a form and other contact details provided allowing you to contact the property's owner directly should you have any questions or concerns.
Once you're ready to book doing so is a simple matter of picking the exact dates you want to stay and then filling in a simple form with contact and payment details, and it's a secure payment form so it's as safe as paying any other way. Prices range from about £180 to £400 for a weeks stay in a four person cottage, and they have availability all year round.