Think of Goodwood and your first thoughts might be of its vintage racetrack, its aerodrome or its place in the horse-racing calendar.

But the estate offers much more – from a hotel, golf course and spa, to its own restaurants, club and bars. And now the estate is joining in the revolution in UK family travel, which has seen the luxury self-catering apartment and rented house compete with the classic hotel experience.

Great British Life: The open plan living space is cosy. The open plan living space is cosy. (Image: Christopher Ison)

With its two new cottages, opened in February, the Goodwood estate is providing beautifully designed homes from home, albeit with the hotel reception just over the road or a phone call away.

We were booked for an overnight stay in the semi-detached Crab Apple Cottage – which forms half of a former estate worker’s cottage. Although it and Pear Tree Cottage are only across the road from the hotel and golf course, it felt nicely separate – even boasting its own parking.

Great British Life: CrabApple cottage is a home away from homeCrabApple cottage is a home away from home (Image: Christopher Ison)

The cottage was designed by longtime Goodwood collaborator Cindy Leveson, who also created the interiors for Goodwood’s 10-bedroom Hound Lodge, its private club The Kennels, restaurant Farmer Butcher Chef and various parts of the hotel itself.

The walls were lined with hand-printed wallpaper and the homely rooms festooned with vintage details and antique furniture. The open-plan ground-floor living room had a large flatscreen TV, a sprawlable sofa and giant ottoman, comfy chairs perfect for perusing a bookshelf groaning with Sussex-related tomes, a vintage Monopoly set for a traditional family argument, and a well-stocked kitchen, complete with integrated fridge, dishwasher, microwave, coffee pod machine and oven with induction hob.

Great British Life: Dogs can stay at the cottage with their own 'bunk' bedsDogs can stay at the cottage with their own 'bunk' beds (Image: Christopher Ison)

The painted floorboards, strewn with patterned rugs, added to the lived-in feel, as well as the carefully selected paintings and prints on the walls – mostly based around a sporting or Sussex theme. There were innovations too, such as the double-decker dog bed for anyone who wants to bring a couple of four-legged friends, while the hallway had room for muddy boots and wet coats.

On the kitchen worktop was a hamper packed with goodies from the Goodwood farm shop – including handmade chocolates by Noble and Stace, Sussex Alberts courtesy of Horsham Gingerbread bakehouse and beers from the estate’s own brewery – plus a loaf of fresh artisan bread and bottle of milk from the farm, which all went down a treat with our evening pasta meal. The cupboards were well-stocked – from sharp kitchen knives to cake tins for anyone wanting to mark a birthday with a freshly baked treat. Also on the ground floor was a utility room - with washing machine, ironing board and a suspended wooden rack for hanging wet clothes - and a WC and sink under the stairs.

Great British Life: The well-stocked kitchenThe well-stocked kitchen (Image: Christopher Ison)

On the first floor was a double bedroom and large en suite bathroom, for Mum and Dad, a family bathroom, and a second bedroom with twin beds for the kids, although perhaps not quite so suitable for the very young as the beds were high and the room door opened out onto the very steep stairs. Both bathrooms boasted roll-top baths, with a walk-in shower in the main bedroom.

Although we were visiting at the tailend of March, we stayed warm and toasty – in fact we had to turn down the oil-fired heating, and there was certainly no need to light the wood fire in the living room.

Great British Life: The main bedroom is stylish and comfortable.The main bedroom is stylish and comfortable. (Image: Christopher Ison)

After a comfortable sleep we headed over to Farmer Butcher Chef, Goodwood’s on-site restaurant, for breakfast. Like the cottage its decor had plenty to catch the eye – from curiosity-stuffed vitrines doubling as tables, to vintage wall decorations. As well as the traditional breakfast buffet – offering everything from croissants to cereal – their cooked options included a Butcher’s Breakfast drawn from Home Farm itself. The carnivore’s delight featured bacon, Cumberland sausage, black pudding, kidneys, lamb’s liver (accompanied by hash browns, baked beans, plum tomatoes, flat mushrooms and a choice of eggs) but wasn’t stacked too high – making it a perfect way to start the morning.

Staying at Crab Apple Cottage meant that we could take advantage of the hotel’s spa and swimming pool, which is open to youngsters from noon to 6pm on weekdays and 10am to 6pm on weekends. The 18-hole golf course was also on the doorstep, but seeing as our limit was the crazy kind, we decided instead to follow one of two walking trails around the 11,000-acre estate to build up an appetite. Following scattered red arrows we set off on a 2.65km jaunt around the beautiful grounds of Goodwood House and Seeley Copse. Sadly we must have taken a wrong turning towards the end as, after a brief stop at the Farm Shop, we took a mile-long detour along a picturesque bridleway and ended up in nearby Halnaker, necessitating a swift route march back to our waiting lunch.

Great British Life: The bathroom comes with a roll top bathThe bathroom comes with a roll top bath (Image: Christopher Ison)

Again Farmer Butcher Chef didn’t disappoint, with a choice of three mouthwatering roasts supplied from the estate farm, with all the trimmings, for £25 each. Other options included hake with celeriac fondant, spinach, Gusbourne and truffle for £29, or baked wild mushrooms with a truffle pesto for £19. My five-year-old tucked into some of the most flavourful sausages we’d ever tasted from the kids’ menu. Desserts were also worth the wait – with a choice of four dishes for £10 each or a local cheeseboard at £22. My chocolate and coffee sponge was a work of art, while my wife enjoyed a rhubarb mousse stacked with succulent pink rhubarb.

The whole weekend was a taste of the country life, within a very homely setting. It's no real surprise that the estate is planning to open more self-catering cottages in the coming years.

Prices to stay in Crab Apple or Pear Tree Cottage start at £300 per night, with a minimum two-night stay. Further accommodation options include The Pheasantry, offering three-beds, and Hound Lodge, providing 10 beds for big parties. Rooms at Goodwood Hotel start at £150 bed and breakfast. For more information visit