The differences between cabins and cottages can seem a little vague – and in some cases, they are! Cabins and cottages share many of the same characteristics; namely, providing a place to get away that’s in the lap of nature. This could be by a lake or the seashore or nestled in the woods. Regardless, they are a welcome place to escape.

There are, however, some differences between cabins and cottages. We’re here to explore the most prominent.

cottages vs cabins


Physical Characteristics & Locations

Cottages can be made of a variety of materials, ranging from wood to brick to stone to mud and sod. In its most traditional, English sense, a cottage is a small house that can be located anywhere. They usually have a ground floor and a storey of bedrooms tucked into the cottage’s roof space. Cottages are still widely thought of in this regard in England and are often a primary residence.

In Canada and the US, however, cottages are usually thought of as abodes by a body of water – be it a lake or by the sea. They are not primary residences, but rather holiday homes. While many are modest and cozy in nature, some ‘cottages’ are sprawling estates. They are secondary residences, but they are not by any means humble.

Regardless of where the cottage is located, what it is made of, or its size, a common trait among cottages is that they are finished. Walls are painted or papered, they have modern conveniences like electricity and running water, and – for the most part – they could serve as a year round abode – even if they don’t.

A more recent hybrid of the cottage is the cottage resort.  Vacationers can enjoy the quaint and cozy feel of a cottage while also enjoying the luxuries of maid service, restaurants as well as the company of other travellers. This is what the Loughborough Inn offers year round. Like our Inn, the majority of cottage resorts are located beside pristine bodies of water.


Who are cottages good for?

Everyone! Cottages can be enjoyed by families, couples, groups of friends, hunters/anglers and anyone who just wants to get away from it all while enjoying the comforts of home and often, the company of fellow cottagers.

If you don’t own a cottage, there are plenty you can rent and most are quite affordable. Cottage rentals are perfect for people who don’t want the hassle and expense of owning a second property, but want to enjoy the tranquility and memories that come with cottage life. Every year we welcome many of the same cottagers back to our shores. It’s become their home away from home for a few days or weeks every summer.


Physical Location & Appearance

Cabins are made of wood, more specifically, logs. Some of the most common trees used to make log cabins include Cyprus, Douglas Fir, White Pine, Yellow Pine, Hemlock, Oak, Red Cedar and White Cedar.

Whether your log cabin is round or square, log cabins – or more precisely log structures – date back to Roman times.

Round log cabins require less work to build, since you don’t have to shape the log (with the exception of the notches on the end). On the other hand, round log cabins do not fit together as neatly and require more chinking (filling in) between the logs. As a result, insulation can be an issue.

Square – or more precisely rectangular – log cabins have been around a long time as well. One of the earliest square log cabins dates back to 1142 and can be found in the Belarusian city of Gormel.  These angled log cabins are better insulated and easier to assemble. However, since you have to spend time shaping the log, it takes longer to erect. Earlier settlers who wanted to build a cabin quickly before cold weather came would often opt for a round log cabin at first, and perhaps build a square/rectangle one later.

Today, round cabins are just as warm as their more angular counterparts – thanks to modern marvels like metal flashing which can be bent to make an interlocking channel or folded to allow for log settling without creating leaks or gaps in the exterior. In other words, choosing between a round or square log cabin is largely a matter of aesthetics and personal preference.

Cabins are most commonly found nestled in the woods, as opposed to by a shoreline.


Who are log cabins ideal for?

For the most part, cabins are cruder in appearance than cottages and won’t always have amenities like running water or electricity, though some do (like ours!). The more rustic, bare bones cabins are usually used by hunters or other people who intend to spend most of the time outside and simply require a place to rest and take shelter from the elements.

As you can see, the differences between cabins and cottages do blur. Many cabins could very well be considered cottages, and there log cabins which are considered cottages. When you bring it to basics, the main differences come down to location (shoreline vs. inland), material (almost anything vs. logs) and finishing (finished vs. bare bones). However, as discussed, these differences are not set in stone.

What are the differences between cabins and cottages at the Loughborough Inn?

Our cabins and cottages at the Loughborough Inn abide by the first two distinctions: Our cottages are on the shore, making them ideal for lively groups, couples and families, and our cabins are inland, making them perfect for those who want a more secluded experience.

None of our cottages or cabins are bare bones, however. You will find a full list of amenities, ranging from bathrooms, TV, air conditioning, fireplaces and even wireless internet. Of course, we are a resort, so we want to provide our guests with more than comfort – we want them to truly luxuriate in nature!