Archive for category Bank Holiday

May special offers

The Easter and school holidays may nearly be over, but with two more bank holidays coming up in May then why not take a mini-break in the West Country and save your work-entitled holidays for another time? Our friends at Helpful Holidays have plenty of special offers on for bookings throughout next month, so you’ll also be saving cash as well!

Gulworthy J35

J35 Gulworthy

Save 20% on the remaining weeks of May, including both bank holidays at The Granary (J35) near Gulworthy, a hamlet three miles from Tavistock. This single-storey cottage (sleeps 4) is converted from an old granary on a 250 acre dairy farm. Inside, enjoy open-plan living/dining/kitchen and French windows to terrace; two bedrooms – a double, and one with two singles; and a bathroom (suite plus hand-shower). A good spot for relaxing, listening to birdsong and avoiding the rush of everyday life.

P326 view from top bedroom

P326 view from top bedroom

Or how about saving 20% on this three-storey cottage in Port Issac P326 (sleeps 7) on week commencing 17th May? The exceptionally pretty fishing village is famously the setting for popular TV series ‘Doc Martin’. The property has four bedrooms, two doubles, a twin and a single. There is a lovely, sunny living room with a bay window with a sea view, a kitchen/dining room, upstairs bathroom and downstairs shower room.

P306 waterside views

P306 waterside views

Another 20% saving on week commencing 24th May at Little Petherick, North Cornwall P306 (sleeps 4) a peaceful location just two miles from Padstow. There’s an enclosed, waterside, decked terrace and a first-floor balcony to enjoy the views. A ground floor twin bedroom with en suite shower room; an open-plan living/dining/kitchen. French doors to the terrace and stable doors to a little summer room with foldaway chairs and more French windows to decking. The first floor has a double bedroom with balcony and a bathroom. Neat and compact; a lovely, peaceful waterside spot, excellent for walking or cycling.

For these and more holiday cottages, visit the main website.

 

 

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Happy Easter from Holiday Cottages.cc

 

The Gathering by Flickr user susan

The Gathering by Flickr user susan

Happy Easter from all at Holiday Cottages!

 

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Easter events in Devon 2014

Easter Bunny by Flickr user somewhereintheworldtoday

Easter Bunny by Flickr user somewhereintheworldtoday

Here are some family friendly events taking place this Easter in Devon. If you haven’t already booked your accommodation, make sure to visit our Devon holiday cottages.

Easter weekend at Living Coasts, Torquay’s costal zoo and aquarium. Meet the cute little chicks and take part in the Easter egg trail, games and craft activities, as well as meeting all the playful penguins and many more fascinating creatures!

Visit Kents Cavern, prehistoric caves in Torquay for a Dinosaur themed Easter. Piece together the Dino facts around the caves, solve the T-REX riddles and see if you can win an Easter surprise.

Easter egg trails at Coleton Fishacre, Dartmouth. Part of the National Trust, you can explore this lovely RHS accredited garden with winding paths through glades, past tranquil ponds, and see many wonderful plants from the Mediterranean, South Africa and New Zealand thriving in this sheltered valley.

Go ‘Beyond the Book‘ in Bovey Tracey at this exhibition of artists that examine the book as a physical form as well as a container of ideas and concepts. Expect a variety of sculpture, installation and jewellery.

Family Rock Days in Okehampton. Suitable for ages 8 and up, this tour of some of the famous Dartmoor tors will cover a range of activities such as rock climbing, weaselling and bouldering.

Also in Okehampton is the Finch Foundry rag rug making workshop on Easter Monday.

The Big Sheep near Bideford, North Devon, is holding an Easter egg hunt to end all Easter egg hunts. Over 30,000 miniature chocolate eggs will be hidden throughout the site, plus, if you find three of them, you can claim a big egg! The Easter Bunny will also be making an appearance for a special breakfast!

 

 

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Easter availability in the West Country

There is still time to book a break away for this Easter. Here are a few holiday cottages in the wonderful West Country!

Q10 - View from the balcony

Q10 – View from the balcony

Q10 - spacious living/dining/kitchen area

Q10 – spacious living/dining/kitchen area

This absolutely stunning custom-built detached house (sleeps 8) is positioned on a quiet, private lane on the northern edge of Mawgan Porth. The village has pubs, restaurants, deli, wine bar and beach shops clustered around a beautiful cove. It’s great for bodyboarding, and close to pony-trekking and golf. It’s also not too far from other magnificent beaches and international surfing facilities at Newquay (airport).

The property (Q10) is full of large windows to showcase the view and let light stream in to the generously sized rooms. The living/dining/kitchen area of this house is upstairs to take advantage of the wonderful sea views. Downstairs are four bedrooms (two double, two twin) with three en suite bathrooms and French windows to the garden. Everything about this property is sleek and modern in design for a comfortable holiday.

 

R54 - kitchen/living room

R54 – kitchen/living room

 

R54 - view from patio and garden

R54 – view from patio and garden

Another holiday cottage from Helpful Holidays is this large detached bungalow (R54) (sleeps 6) in the hamlet of Freathy overlooking the fine sandy beach of Whitsand Bay. It has a sunlit living room and fitted kitchen and glazed doors to the patio and peaceful garden. There are three bedrooms, two double, one twin, and one bathroom and a shower room. An excellent holiday home with good links to nearby Plymouth.

 

L153 - view from the front

L153 – view from the front

L153 - inside/outside dining

L153 – inside/outside dining

 

Perfect for a group or large family in the South Hams is this large, split-level, detached house (L153) (sleeps 12) with panoramic views over the bay to Burgh Island. Just 200 yards up from the magnificent sandy beach in Bigbury-on-Sea stands this contemporary home designed with the latest green technology. The interiors are light, bright and spacious. Consisting of four large en suite bedrooms (three twins, one double) on the lower ground floor, and another huge master bedroom with walk in dressing/cot room and en suite bathroom from the hall. A light-filled kitchen/dining room with glossy, modern units and a kitchen island. Through to a large living area with floor to ceiling glass doors here and in the kitchen to give panoramic views and access to the deck and steps down to the garden, hot tub and little summer house, plus much, much more.

These are just a few of the stunning properties still with availability for the Easter holidays, so make sure to visit the main site to discover even more!

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Eggcellent Cornwall this Easter

Eggs in basket picture by Flickr user cyanocorax

Eggs in basket picture by Flickr user cyanocorax

The Easter holidays are nearly upon us! So, if you still haven’t planned your activities, here are a select few of the things going on in Cornwall with suggestions of where to stay nearby.

 

National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth 5th-21st April

Inspired by the new Smuggling exhibitions, enter the smugglers’ den to make your own flintlock pistol, pop-up smuggler and secret chest with a concealed compartment. Plus, search for the concealed contraband hidden around the Museum with the Free Traders’ Trail. Plus, on Easter weekend, make your own bunny and chick masks and pour your own mini chocolate Easter egg.

Stay at this spacious first floor apartment situated in a prestigious waterside development on Falmouth Harbour (sleeps 6).

Wild Futures, Looe 5th-21st April

Take a tour of the monkey enclosures and learn about these fascinating creatures at the Monkey Sanctuary. You can also take a gentle stroll around the woodland gardens, and let the children swing like the monkeys in the play area. Have lunch at the award-winning Treetop café and when the day is done, go back to this lovely 4 bedroom house (sleeps 8) with views over Looe Bay and out to sea.

Eden Project, St Austell 5th-25th April

Chocolate Unwrapped is the Eden Project’s festival telling the story of chocolate, how it was found and how it became so popular in Europe. Visitors will be taken on an interactive journey through the Rainforest Biome to see real cocoa trees and meet characters along the way. Children can also make their own chocolatey creations, and adults will be able to take special chocolatier workshops.

Eat your chocolate delights back at this newly refurbished 3 bedroom house (sleeps 6) with stunning views over St Austell Bay.

Cornwall’s Crealy Great Adventure Park, Wadebridge 5-21st April

The Park is unveiling a £300,000 investment in attractions for the 2014 season. One of its most exciting projects is a new area for toddlers and pre-school children open in time for the Easter holidays. Swampy and Dina Land is a 2,000 sq m enclosed area with rides and play areas for children under the age of five.

Stay at this 2 bedroom apartment (sleeps 4)  with a sun trap patio situated in the idyllic hamlet of Little Petherick. Close to the famous Camel Trail and the fishing village of Padstow.

Newquay Zoo, Newquay 5th-20th April

With a programme of family activities including duck races, egg hunts and animal workshops, there’s lots to do at the Newquay Zoo. On 14th April Michaela Strachan will be there with her Wild Adventures Show, which visitors can go to at no extra charge. On the Easter weekend there is an egg trail in the Dragon Maze, and don’t forget to join the Easter Bunny tea party at 1pm on Sunday 20th April.

Close to Fistral beach and Newquay town centre, stay at this 2 bedroom mews house (sleeps 4). Perfect for beach holidays and a spot of golfing.

Tintagel Castle, Tintagel 18th-21st April

Get hands-on with history this Easter weekend. Young adventurers will be needed to crack clues and explore hidden corners of Tintagel Castle on this exciting quest. Those who succeed will receive a delicious chocolate reward.

Take your prize home to this smart detached cottage (sleeps 6) a mile west of Tintagel.

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2013 round up

Happy New Year from all of us at Holiday Cottages! Before we start on the news and reviews for 2014, here’s a some highlights of what we covered on the blog in 2013:

We started the year with a report that we Brits are creatures of habit with our holiday choices, often returning to a previous destination and holiday cottage when we’ve had one good holiday there before. Last year was the Year of Natural Scotland, and was launched with an advert featuring Shetland ponies wearing onesies!

In February we found that 50% of Londoners prefer holidays in the sunshine, with many also stating that their holidays in the UK were some of the happiest they have had. We also gave you a run down of some of our most splendid cottages with pools, which are all still available now and could be great for a summer holiday vibe in winter!

Flybe announced flights from Manchester to Scotland in March, making for a quick and relatively cost effective way of taking a short break in Scotland. The Easter holidays were blighted by bad weather sweeping across the country. It didn’t affect Cheshire, though, as I shared my photography adventure in Tatton Park over the Easter weekend.

Our friends at Helpful Holidays swept the board at the Which? Travel magazine member survey in April. Meanwhile, in May, Blackpool was named the most popular British seaside resort at the TripAdvisor Choice Awards.

In June, research by VisitBritain found that more overseas visitors to the UK prefer visiting open green spaces such as parks and gardens than they do museums and galleries.

July started with the news that a change in the law in 2015, which means schools will decide their own term dates, will very likely drive up the prices of holidays year round. There was a rise in visits to UK attractions, helping to bolster domestic tourism.

We gave our top tips for festivals and activities over the August Bank Holiday; we also reported on the large number of UK piers under threat of coming under a state of disrepair if funding isn’t found.

September was a time for activities such as the Devon Open Studios, Frome Cheese and Agricultural Show, and pickling at Powderham.

In October, inbound tourism was on the up, and also Yorkshire was voted one of the top 10 places to visit in the world!

In November we recommended the North Devon Clovelly Herring Festival and reviewed the light fantastic Lumiere Festival, Durham. There was good news for Hull, as it was named the next UK City of Culture 2017.

Finally, in December, we found that we Brits are flavour of the month with Americans, as tourists from across the Pond have been increasing in number year on year. Christmas was also a great time for UK tourism as the number of overnight stays and short trips increased substantially over the festive period.

So, that’s it for 2013! Keep up to date with news and reviews in 2014 by following the blog, or you can like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

 

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Christmas cottages – special offers

It’s getting closer to Christmas, and with that comes some great special offers on some of Helpful Holidays’ huge array of cottages.

Q4 light and sunny apartment

Q4 light and sunny apartment

How about a whopping 50% off the Christmas and New Year weeks at this lovely cottage in Newquay. This sunny, first floor apartment sleeps 5 and has lovely views over the gardens and to the beach.

L248 stylish converted barn

L248 stylish converted barn

Save 25% on the new year week at this well presented converted barn (sleeps 4) in Aveton Gifford, South Hams. A quiet place on a gorgeous leafy estate to  just relax and get away from it all during the festive period.

L84 Hallsands perched on the clifftops

L84 Hallsands perched on the clifftops

Save 50% on Christmas week and 20% on the remaining weeks in January at Prospect House (sleeps 4), once a legendary hotel and now 16 lovely apartments in Hallsands, South Hams. Perched high on the cliffs you’ll enjoy stunning sea views across to the lighthouse at Start Point and all the way down the coast to Dartmouth.

P21 Boscastle

P21 Boscastle

Save 30% on Christmas and New Year weeks at this charming Grade II listed slate cottage (sleeps 8) in Boscastle. There are lovely woods to walk in, a low-tide beach and pony trekking nearby.

L6 Enjoy the heated indoor swimming pool

L6 Enjoy the heated indoor swimming pool

Due to a last minute cancellation, save 50% on the week commencing 3rd January for a lovely couple’s getaway at this holiday cottage in Kingsbridge, South Hams. Enjoy the use of a heated indoor swimming pool and games room to keep you entertained during your stay. A bargain at just £134 for the week!

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August bank holiday in the West Country

Newlyn Fish Festival picture by Flickr user pandrcutts

Newlyn Fish Festival picture by Flickr user pandrcutts

The August bank holiday is nearly upon us, and if you are visiting the South West for a holiday then here is a selection of just some of the fun things happening this weekend and beyond.

The Watchet Festival (23rd-25th August) is a family friendly music festival with amazing views of the stunning West Somerset coastline and beyond. If you’re looking for a last minute break for the family, then day tickets are available at the festival and this stunning newly converted barn (sleeps 8) is a short drive away in the village of Winsford.

The Newlyn Fish Festival (26th August) is held at one of Cornwall’s most distinctive fishing ports. What better place to see live cooking demonstrations and a seafood auction than at the place the fish was caught! The festival hosts a variety of entertainment and fun for all the family.

A little after the bank holiday from the 27th-30th August is the Bude Jazz Festival. A mix of free parade sessions across the pretty little town and ticketed events available to purchase on the day at various venues, it’s a good chance to get your jazz stomp on! Search for holiday cottages in Bude.

The Great Dorset Steam Fair (28th August – 1st September) boasts over 200,000 visitors to this extravaganza of an event, dubbed “THE” National Heritage Show of the year. Entertainment is spread across 600 acres of the enormous show ground at Tarrant Hinton, near Blandford Forum. Many interests are catered for, from steam engines to heavy horses, ancient farm crafts to stunt displays, the list goes on! Stay at this beautiful Helpful Holidays semi-detached Grade II listed cottage in Okeford Fitzpane (sleeps 4) or search for more Dorset cottages on our main site.

If you can’t make it to the Newlyn Fish Festival, or if you had a taste and want more, then on 1st September travel to Clovelly, North Devon, for the Lobster and Crab Feast in the iconic harbour. Not only that, but you can enjoy folk music, arts and crafts and some street theatre to keep you entertained. Still with availability is this single-storey house (sleeps 7) with views of the sea to Welcombe Mouth.

 

 

 

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Tatton Park adventure

On the Beatrix Potter Trail in Tatton Park. Picture by Elisa Artesero

On the Beatrix Potter Trail in Tatton Park. Picture by Elisa Artesero

I visited Tatton Park this Easter weekend for a spot of photography in its gorgeous selection of gardens. Little did I know that I’d also find myself caught up in the hustle and bustle of the many family activities taking place across the park!

Beatrix Potter inspired the weekend’s events; these included a Peter Rabbit trail across the gardens, the Pigling Bland trail and the Easter storyteller in the farm, and also magic shows and Punch and Judy shows in the stable yard. An adventure playground, an old-fashioned style merry-go-round, and storytelling time in the barn rooms also added to a long list of things for families to do.

I bumped into Peter Rabbit several times as he tried to hide from Mr McGregor, and found myself unwittingly following the Peter Rabbit trail across the gardens, meeting many of Potter’s most cherished characters along the way. It seemed an especially good day out for parents looking for some entertainment for their children.

Japanese Garden picture by Elisa Artesero

Japanese Garden picture by Elisa Artesero

It was also a lovely place to take photos, particularly the Japanese garden which could only be observed from its periphery so as to keep the careful planting in tact. It was so picturesque, it looked like something from a picture book. The grounds just outside of the main area were ideal for a more peaceful walk away from the popular activity areas. They were also great for a bit of wildlife photography, I saw some young deer settled down near the lake and there was also a special hut for bird watchers.

Deer at Tatton Park. Picture by Elisa Artesero

Deer at Tatton Park. Picture by Elisa Artesero

Luckily, the activities don’t stop at this bank holiday weekend. Many of them continue on throughout the school holidays and beyond, so you have plenty of time to visit yet. For instance, from now until the 12th April it is lambing fortnight at the farm, the ‘Beatrix Potter’s Life’ exhibition in the Mansion runs until 1st September, plus many more events and activities.

If you like the sound of Tatton Park and are also looking for a break away in Cheshire one weekend, you won’t go far wrong with Broomfield Barns (sleeps 5), nestled in the Cheshire countryside and near some award-winning local pubs. For this holiday cottage, and many more, visit our main site for details.

If you would like to see some more of my pictures of the day, please see my website elisaartesero.wordpress.com

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Met Office issues amber warning over Easter weekend

The bitterly cold winds, ice and snow that has been battering the UK for the last few days is unlikely to let up over the Easter bank holiday weekend, according to weather reports.

The Met Office has issued an alert level 3 amber warning across the majority of England. It warns that there is 100% probability of severe cold weather and icy conditions until Friday, and 90% probability over the rest of the Easter weekend.

Motorists in Cumbria have been advised by police not to travel unless absolutely necessary. The warning comes after search and rescue teams deployed special vehicles to help more than 70 stranded drivers. They were forced to stay in Millom High School, Copeland, overnight, as snowdrifts made many roads impassable.

The South West is on a lower Met Office yellow warning; however, it is suffering from its own weather problems with 11 Environment Agency flood warnings issued in the region after heavy downpours.

Chris Hogan, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, warned that the freezing weather will feel even colder due to the bitter winds, with no sign of warmer weather just yet. He added: “London will mark the border of rain and snow, with everywhere north looking at a covering of snow and around 6cm in the Midlands, Wales, north England and southern Scotland.

So far this month, the average March temperature in central England is at 3.8C, compared to a relatively balmy 8.3C last year.

If you are due to go away this weekend, take cake on the roads and check with appropriate agencies and local news reports for advice on travelling conditions.

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