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In the British Isles, cottages aren't merely charming, they're also a way to stay off the beaten track and explore local history, nature, and village life. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the National Trust has nearly 400 cottages available for holiday rental. Up north, the National Trust for Scotland has its own collection of properties. And in Ireland, several private companies connect holidaymakers and owners. Here's an irresistible sampling to inspire a cottage vacation.