Posts Tagged Holiday Cottages

North Devon Clovelly Herring Festival

This Sunday 17th November is the Clovelly Herring Festival in North Devon. Once a major centre for herring fishing, the popular festival is held to celebrate the town’s heritage and support sustainable fishing by traditional methods.

There will be herring specialities, cooking demonstrations to get the perfect fish supper, street entertainments, crafts, stalls and traditional shanty singers!

Mike Smylie’s ‘Kipperland’ exhibition will also be included and he’ll smoke his delicious kippers and bloaters. There will also be net making, flax processing and a curragh on show provided by ‘Flaxland’.

K3 Cottage in Stoke

K3 Cottage in Stoke

Why not stay at this detached, thatched, Grade II listed 16th century house (sleeps 10) in the pretty village of Stoke. A lovingly restored property formerly owned by the Abbey, the holiday cottage has a slate-floored hall;  beamed living/dining room with inglenook fireplace (woodburner), TV/DVD; well-equipped fitted kitchen with tiled floor and stable doors to back patio and courtyard. Down from kitchen to the twin bedroom; second living room with inglenook (woodburner); double bedroom; two shower-rooms. Stairs up to three more bedrooms – a beamed double, one with double plus single bed, and a single. Bathroom (suite plus hand-shower). Tumble drier in shed. You even get a games room and an indoor heated swimming pool!

You’re also only 3/4 mile from spectacular cliffs at Hartland Quay, close to some excellent sandy beaches at Westward Ho!, Bude and Instow, and lots of other pretty villages to walk to.

Lovely inglenook fireplace

Lovely inglenook fireplace

 

Heated indoor swimming pool

Heated indoor swimming pool

 

 

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Devon Open Studios

Discover art and craft at its Devonshire source from now until 22nd September with the Devon Open Studios. 

With many artists residing in studios across Devon, open studios are a great opportunity to understand artists’ processes more clearly and buy directly from the artist or maker. Many work in interesting locations you might not normally get to explore while on holiday, so could make for an interesting excursion.

Visit the Devon Artists’ Network to find out more and find an artist to visit.

Why not take a week to explore from this beautiful base in Tawton (sleeps 12). It also has a special offer for the week commencing 14th September, with a 20% reduction in price from £1035 to £828.

View from outside

View from outside

A mile from South Tawton in heavily wooded lanes, this stunning house, converted from stone barns has the ‘wow factor’. Inside it is stylishly decorated with mostly porcelain flooring downstairs. Massive living/dining room with open fire, TV/DVD; big fitted kitchen/breakfast room (dishwasher, microwave, fridge-freezer, two ovens/5-ring ceramic hob, TV) with granite worktops and big double doors to patio/back garden. Utility room with Sheila Maid and loo with butler sink and washing machine. Off living room, a children’s den with TV/DVD, wood floor/rugs. Upstairs there are  five bedrooms (four double, one twin), two are en suite and there is a large separate bathroom also.

 

Opposite is an open-fronted barn with table tennis, darts, storage for bicycles/surfboards. Shooting can be arranged.

Stunning interior

Stunning interior

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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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Blackpool named most popular seaside resort

Blackpool picture by Flickr user Ingy The Wingy

Blackpool picture by Flickr user Ingy The Wingy

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside! And the most popular British seaside resort we like to spend our time on has been named as Blackpool!

The resort beat off stiff competition from other favoured destinations, such as Brighton, Croyde in Devon, and Southwold in Suffolk, in the latest TripAdvisor Choice Awards.

On the world scale, London was voted third most popular city, beaten by Paris and New York and followed by Rome, Barcelona and Venice.

Within the UK, the capital was the leading destination, closely followed by Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Belfast and Blackpool.

For more holiday cottages within the UK, go to our main site, or for villas abroad, try our sister site Villaseek.

 

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Events in Devon

Devon is famous for its countryside and coast, and a favourite visitor destination in the UK. It also has a lot of activities on offer, particularly now that the weather is warming up. The Devon Events Guide 2013 is a great place to start, even highlighting the free activities to make planning days out even easier.

Events coming up this May include Six Days of Art around Teignmouth (final showing 11th – 13th May), Devon County Show, Exeter 16-18th May, (featured here previously), Analogue to Digital Music Expo, Exeter 18th May, and the Cycle Tour Series in Torquay on the 28th May.

This one bedroom apartment  (sleeps up to 4) in a central location overlooking Torquay beach has availability at the end of this month. Well maintained throughout, with on street parking available, beautiful gardens and terrace with panoramic views. Prices for a 3 night stay from £234.

Bay Fort Mansions

Bay Fort Mansions

View to the sea

View to the sea

 

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Beautiful Pembrokeshire

Stables Cottage outside view

Stables Cottage – outside view

Stables Cottages inside view

Stables Cottage – inside view

Pembrokeshire is Wales’ most popular coastal destination. As the sun starts to shine, then it would be a great place to consider going on holiday. It has a national park, coastal path, great cycling routes, arts and crafts and wonderful beaches.

Luckily for you, we have a new holiday cottage on our listings which is perfect for a self-catering family holiday.

A short stroll from its own beach and close to the coastal path on the Pembrokshire National Park coastline, Fynnonofi Farm is relaxation central. The traditional stone holiday cottage has stunning sea or mountain views from all rooms. And with outdoor eating areas to enjoy sunsets in the evening, you will have little need to go anywhere else.

The cottage sleeps 5 with 2 double bedrooms and a children’s room. The kitchen has all expected amenities, and the is a large, bright sitting room with wood-burning stove, TV/video and double glass doors with idyllic views across the sea. There are 2 bathrooms, underfloor heating and the style is ‘rustic coastal’. There is also plenty of space for children to play safely.

For many more Pembrokeshire cottages, visit our main site.

The beautiful beach!

The beautiful beach

 

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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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Holiday trends affected by age for 2013

According to new research, budgets for holidays differ by up to £280 per person depending on their age. The most expensive and longest holidays are taken by those over 50 and the cheapest and shortest by those aged between 18 and 29.

TravelSupermarket surveyed 5,000 British holidaymakers on their holiday habits for the coming year. Not surprisingly (to us anyway), self-catering accommodation in cottages and villas were most popular across the largest age range. Those aged between 30 and 39 were the family focused group, and loved beach locations (37%) and villa holidays (18%).

Those between 40 and 49 were also family focused, tending to holiday with older children or grandchildren. They also loved the beach (39%) and self-catering accommodation (23%), both of which can easily be combined in a holiday cottage or villa holiday!

To read the full story, head over to our sister blog site, Villaseek.

 

Do you fit into these categories? Or are you outside of these age brackets and still love a good holiday cottage?

 

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Hurling the silver ball!

A Cornish tradition dating back over three thousand years, hurling the silver ball at the St Ives Feast rolls around this year on 4th February. 

It may be chilly, but taking part in this rough and tumble tradition will certainly get you warmed up! The day starts with a mayor’s civic procession for the blessing at St Ia Well near Porthmeor Beach. A silver ball is then thrown into the crowd and chased by participants for possession; the person who is able to keep hold of it and deliver the ball back to the mayor by midday is then rewarded with a silver coin. In the afternoon, pennies are scattered to the children at the Guildhall forecourt.

Taking part quite so physically might not be your cup of tea, but you can join in the cheer with the many spectators expected at the event.

Go back and get warmed up in this ideally situated modern house from Helpful Holidays. With views over Porthmeor Beach, and around 400 yards from a variety of shops, pubs and restaurants, you aren’t far from the fun. It sleeps up to six and has a clean, comfortable and uncluttered look. It has an open-plan living/dining/fitted kitchen, sofa bed and ‘living flame’ gas fire. 2 bedrooms on the first floor, one double, one twin, and a smart bathroom with bath-shower and tiled floor.

Living Room

Living room

Gorgeous sea views

Gorgeous sea views

Beautiful St Ives

Beautiful St Ives

 

 

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Rise in demand for wi-fi in holiday cottages as more parents work while on holiday

A rise in demand for wi-fi in holiday cottages comes as over two-thirds (69%) of parents work while on holiday, according to a new survey.

Despite the demand, 82% of respondents said they would rather not work while on holiday; however 71% believed it was necessary for their business, while 14% felt under pressure from their employer , and 6% were afraid of losing their jobs.

More than 500 people responded to the Tots to Travel survey, which focused on the work/life balance of parents with young children. Astonishingly, 1.7% of parents said they would only stop work for two hours on Christmas day, with 5% stating they would only take one day off. The numbers increase on holidays aside from Christmas, with 41% claiming to work five or more hours a week while on holiday, 68% take work calls during this period, and 78% check work emails.

Holiday company founder, Wendy Shand said the results amazed and disturbed her: “We have seen a trend in our business towards families going on holiday for shorter periods and at the same time an increasing demand for wi-fi. As business owners ourselves we appreciate that many parents feel the need to keep in touch with the office while on holiday but an astonishing 40% of respondents said they worked out of habit.

“As parents of young children I believe passionately that we all need to give ourselves a break, resist the temptation of the smartphone and ensure that even if only for one week we try to forget about work and spend time with our families.”

The need for an actual holiday from work is supported in a review by the British Psychological Society, published last year. It found that holidays had a small but significant effect on people’s well being.

However, not all respondents required wi-fi purely for work (only 9%), 71% wanted it for both work and pleasure, showing that it is not all work and no play. Although, having wi-fi available in a property did increase the likelihood of  a quarter of respondents working while on holiday, perhaps showing that access is too much of a temptation.

 

Do you work while on holiday? Would wi-fi in a holiday cottage encourage you to book, or put you off? Please post your comments below.

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