A Great Family Day Out at County Shows, County Fairs and Agricultural Shows

If you are looking for something to do this summer with the family then why not go to one of the many County Shows, County Fairs and Agricultural Shows across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

There is no better way to learn about the British and Irish countryside and the rural way of life.  A typical Show includes prize-winning live stock, pet shows, dog shows and every imaginable type of competition ranging from fruit and veg to arts and crafts.  Every County Show, County Fair or Agricultural Show will have its own unique flavour determined by the countryside in which it is set.

You will find plenty to entertain you whether it’s roaming around the Show’s competition marquees, beer tents, parade and show rings or simply chilling out watching the World go by.  Some of the bigger shows have star attractions so it is well worth checking out what’s happening where so you don’t miss anything.

To help you find a County Show to go and see we have compiled a list of some of the best known ones across the UK and Ireland, with the all important 2012 dates and contact/website details you need.  See our 2012 County Show Calendar

Going to a County Show?

If you are going to a County Show why not tell us about it and send us a best picture.  We would love to how you found the Show, what were the best bits, how was the parking, would you go again etc.  If you want to share your County Show experience add it here on our blog or why not upload your comments and pictures to the Find Cottage Holidays Facebook page.

County Show Organisers

If you organise a County Show, County Fair or Agricultural Show and would like to add your event to our list or add more details to your listing then simply contact us by posting here or on our Facebook page.


Happy St George’s Day – what to do and where to stay

Well it hasn’t exactly started as the brightest and warmest St George’s Day but we do hope that whatever you are doing on this special day that you have a great time.

If you are looking for something to do this St George’s Day, whatever the weather may hold, we have put together a list of top tourist attractions across England.  There are lots of things for couples, families or groups to do from historic houses and castles to theme parks and zoos.  Take a look at some English holiday attractions

We think St George’s Day is the best time to think about the very best of England and so we have put together a list of selected self catering cottages, apartments and holiday flats across England – from the Northumberland Coast and Yorkshire Moors to the Cotswolds and West Country.  You can even find plenty with open fires or wood burning stoves so that you can be snug and warm even if the dire May weather forecasts prove to be right!  See a great selection of St Georges Day English self catering cottages and apartments

If you can’t get away for a last-minute break this St George’s Day then why not use the time to plan a May Bank holiday get-away, remember we have an extra long break this year with Diamond Jubilee weekend providing an extended break.

East Devon Cottage and Self Catering Holidays

We are just back from a family cottage holiday in East Devon and have decided that Devon is our new family favourite holiday destination in the South of England. 

I have to admit that in previous year’s we have often stopped in Dorset (particularly the New Forest) or gone all the way to Cornwall heading for the coastal surfing resorts.  However, this year we thought we would do something a little different and instead of passing through, stopped in East Devon at a wonderful little village called Broadhembury, near Honiton.

Broadhembury conforms to every one of your stereotypes of a Devon village…. reached via winding single lane roads and lanes, peaceful, relaxed, impressive Church, lovely local pub, post office selling delightful cream teas and packed full of thatched cottages.  If this is all sounding rather idyllic that is because it was.

Honiton is just a few miles down the road and is a good-sized town in East Devon with takeaways, restaurants and shops to meet all your needs.  There is also a swimming pool if you are looking for something more active.

At Broadhembury you are also about half an hour drive away from the lovely regional city of Exeter. Exeter combines a busy and modern shopping centre, restaurants and cinema complex with its old town, Cathedral and historic roots.  There are lots of Guided Walks through the City that provide all the history and drama of the City before you get some great family entertainment.

We loved our time in East Devon and would definitely recommend it.  Find out more about East Devon and self catering cottages.

April… Snooker… time to head to Sheffield

It hardly seems a year since John Higgins triumphed, but this weekend in Sheffield the Snooker World Championships get underway for 2012.

This year promises to be another intriguing tournament with lots of and twists and turns in store over the 17 days of the competition.  There are a host of big names looking to win the crown with last years finalist Judd Trump, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, Mark Williams, Mark Allen, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Shaun Murphy and Ding Junhui among the leading contenders for Higgins’ title.

If you are heading up to Crucible to see any of the Snooker Final sessions why not make a weekend or short break of it and stay in Sheffield or surrounding countryside.  We have a selection of self catering apartments in Sheffield which will mean you are close by but if you want something a little more in the countryside why not head further in to South Yorkshire in a holiday cottage.

If you are looking for a shorter stay then check out these hotels and guest houses:

Discover Mid Devon on a Cottage Holiday

It has to be said that Mid Devon can be a little over looked when people are planning their Devon holidays, but Mid Devon is a hidden gem that is perfect for a cottage holiday or short break.

If you have not experienced the delights of Mid Devon before, it can be found between the national parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor (so both are within easy reach for a day trip) and includes towns and villages such as Crediton, Tiverton, Uffculme, Cullompton, Kentisbeare and Bampton.

One of the most notable things about Mid Devon, and one of the reasons we really love it, is that whatever the time of year the traffic is quiet and so you can truly enjoy the winding lanes and open countryside in peace and a rural pace.  The countryside throughout Mid Devon is wonderful, rolling hills, the River Exe and the  Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty the Blackdown Hills.

Of course another advantage of staying in Mid Devon is that its the perfect place to stay and act as a holiday base for your Devon holiday. Sitting in central Devon you are never far away from 2 National Parks, the coastline, the south-west coastal path and all the other main Devon holiday attractions.

To help you find the best self catering places to stay and more, we have put together a selection of Mid Devon cottage holidays, including Devon apartments and Devon holiday flats.  Perfect for a short break or a holiday for couples, families and groups. Find out more about Mid Devon Cottage Holidays and self catering

Devon County Show Self Catering Cottages

The Devon County Show is a fabulous celebration of all that is great about the British countryside and one of the best days out in Devon. The 2012 Devon County Show is being held between the 17th May and 19th May at Westpoint, Exeter.

It promises to be a great year with all the activities you would expect at a county show, including competitions, arts and crafts, livestock, learning about animals & the countryside and, this years star attraction, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  Yes, the Mounties are going to be there and it’s one of just 2 appearances they will be making in the UK in 2012 – the other is the at HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

It’s perfect for a family day out with up to 3 children allowed in for FREE for each paying adult!  It’s also worth buying tickets in advance to save some extra pennies on admission!

So if you have been inspired by Kirstie Allsop’s TV programmes (like we have been) on entering a County Show competition or just want to have a really fun day out then check out the Devon County Show.

Find out more about the Devon County Show and Self Catering Accommodation

The Devon County Show is close to the May Bank Holidays so why not take a short break or holiday and enjoy a superb break in Devon.  We have a great selection of self catering cottages, holiday flats and apartments in Devon that will be a perfect base for seeing the Show and visiting other attractions in the county. See Devon Holiday Cottages

Celebrate St Georges Day in an English Country Cottage

On the April 23rd England celebrates St George’s Day, its patron saint. Although it’s no longer an English National holiday there are many events and pageants being held to celebrate the day across the country and so it’s a great time to get out and about in England.

And, what better way to enjoy a St George’s Day break than staying in an English self catering cottage, holiday flat or apartment.  We have a selection of holiday cottages across England from the far tip of Cornwall to the Northumberland Coast offering accommodation to couples, families and groups so you are sure to find something perfect for you.  Many of our holiday partners also have sales on currently that can save you 10% or more on an English holiday or break.

Find out more about St Georges Day English Cottage Breaks


10% Discount on May Cottage Holidays in the West Country

You can get 10% Off a cottage holiday to Cornwall, Devon, Dorset or Somerset in May if you book with our holiday partner before the end of April.

Choose from a superb selection of self catering cottages, holiday flats and apartments in the South West of England and, using our special code, you can get an extra 10% off.  See the webpage for more information and full terms and conditions: 10% Off Holiday Cottages in the West Country this May

Alternatively, see all of our current holiday cottage special offers and discounts

Thatched Cottage Holidays in England and Ireland

We have just spent a lovely week in East Devon in a village full of ‘picture postcard’ thatched cottages, Broadhembury is a delightful country village and left us wanting to stay in a pretty thatched cottage next time we set off for a holiday.

So we have been through our cottage database and selected some of the top holiday cottages with thatched roof’s not only in Devon but across England (including Cornwall, Norfolk, Isle of Wight) and Ireland (from Donegal to Wexford) for you to choose from.

Thatched cottages come in all shapes and sizes, so if you thought a thatched cottage was only for couples you would be wrong.  There are plenty available that sleep anything from 2 people to 10 plus – so perfect for a family or a group of friends.  What’s more, although they are old it doesn’t mean that there is any loss of comfort, most of these thatched cottages have been fitted out tot he highest standards with some being perfect for a luxury break.

By their very nature, most thatched cottages tend to be tucked away in peaceful country villages, many close to the coast, or in slightly more remote countryside locations.  This makes them absolutely perfect for a break full of peace and relaxation.

See thatched cottages in England and Ireland

Family Fun in Rural Dorset

If you are heading to Dorset for a family break or holiday then there are a lot of excellent activities and places to visit that will keep the whole family amused, whatever the weather. We have compiled a list of a few of our Dorset family favourite attractions with some selected family friendly self catering cottages and apartments close by.

Our Dorset favourites include the wonderful country parks at Moors Valley and Avon Heath as well as the family favourites Farmer Palmers and adventure Wonderland (Dorset’s biggest theme park).  You can see a more extensive list of Dorset attractions

We currently have over 350 cottages, apartments and lodges listed in Dorset all offering excellent value for money whether you are looking for a budget break or a luxury holiday.  Search Dorset cottages