Whether you have an iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, tablet, laptop… we are all finding it harder than ever to live without Internet access. But when you head off on a short break or holiday how important is it that your holiday cottage or apartment has Internet access?
Can you live without it or do you choose your accommodation around having access?
We would love to know how important it is to you, so please answer our poll question.
If you love a good read on holiday then choosing the right books for your short break or holiday can be a pleasure but also a challenge. At least with the advent of e-readers like the Kindle there is less restriction on how many books you actually physically take with you but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to choose what to read.
We all have our favourite authors but over time I do forget which books of a series I have read. As a result I am often look out for the latest books by my preferred authors and desperately try to avoid, not always successfully, those old books dressed up as new by crafty publishers. Although this year I fell victim to buying a book for my Kindle just to find it was a pre-order which would be delivered after my holiday was over!
Anyway, my 2012 holiday reading list looks a bit like this….
Racing through the Dark, David Millar. A fascinating and absorbing read where David Millar takes you through the highs and lows of his professional cycling career. Not for the feint hearted as it takes you honestly through the sad dope cheating years but in a year when Bradley won the Tour and Britain dominated the Olympic Velodrome it’s a reminder of how the sport has such a difficult past to overcome.
Deep Down, a Jack Reacher Short Story, Lee Child. You can never go wrong with a bit of Jack Reacher but as I have read the whole series to date the only left was this short story before the next novel is out later this year. Short story it may be, but it contains all the twists, turns and action you would expect from him.
The Litigators, John Grisham. It has been a while since I have picked up a Grisham book, mainly because recent books had moved so far away from the gripping court room stories that I really enjoyed. The Litigators takes us back to familiar territory with courtroom drama, David vs Goliath type scenario… in short a quick, fun read.
You’re Next, Greg Hurwitz. Not a writer I was familiar with previously, and it’s selection was based upon an Amazon Kindle suggestion. So a first for me, but certainly not the last. A thriller right to the end, this was a real page turner and
Private Screening, Richard North Patterson. I am a big fan of the political novels by North Patterson having read all of his books to date. This one doesn’t disappoint although I did find it hard going at times.
Fifty Shades of Grey, E L James. Sometimes you just have to find out what all the fuss is about and at least reading it on a Kindle no one can tell what you are reading! Downloaded mainly as a joke, you have to say that it’s a page turner but best as bed time reading rather than by the pool.
The Ambler Warning, Robert Ludlum. An older book that found its way on to my Kindle. You can never go wrong with Ludlum though, tight plots, action all the way, perfect for beside the pool.
So that was my reading list, but what was on yours? Any recommendations on what I should read next?
From 2015 the qualification levels for the prestigious Blue Flag that recognises the cleanest beaches across Europe is being tightened up and this may cause some British beaches to struggle.
It is reported that beaches will require a longer (up to 5 years) clean track record and this puts at risk some beaches in the North West of England, including Blackpool and Morecambe because of some current pollution issues that have yet to be fully resolved.
We hope that these issues can be resolved quickly as we all want high quality beaches to visit across the UK.
North Norfolk is a wonderful place for a walking short break or holiday. With the wonderful coastline and close proximity to the Norfolk Broads you have access to fabulous countryside and coastal walk – which is well populated by bird and animal life – and of course it is ridiculously flat making it less strenuous!
During the Norfolk and Norwich Festival there is even more to see on your walk with a sculpture trail along a 3 mile stretch of the North Norfolk coastline. Explore the trail until the end of the 2012 Festival (2nd September).
You can find a great selection of self catering cottages, apartments, lodges and more in the North Norfolk area ideal for short breaks and longer holiday stays. There are also a great selection of luxury cottages in Norfolk so if you fancy pampering yourself then take a look at some luxury Norfolk accommodation.
Ok, the weather forecast for the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend are not exactly what we were all hoping for, less Indian summer more British Bank holiday.
However there is no reason to let it get us down and certainly we should take advantage of the last long weekend before Christmas!
We have plenty of cosy cottages across the UK and Ireland to choose from, including many with log fires or wood burning stoves to curl up in front of. Of course our lodges and holiday park accommodation offers you the perfect inside/outside holiday experience so you can make the most of the bright spells or shelter in a warm cabin or enjoy your own hot tub. What’s more the holiday parks have lots of entertainment on over the Bank Holiday weekend whatever the weather.
There is still some availability for the Bank Holiday weekend but you will have to be quick as they are selling out fast.
Loved by tourists and visitors from across the globe, Totnes in South Devon is just a little bit quirky, a little bit different to your average English town and is all the better for it.
Totnes has successfully held off the commercialisation that has impacted villages and towns across Britain, here you will not find a MacDonald’s, a Starbucks or any major retailer. Instead you will be reminded of how England used to be as a nation of shopkeepers with small proud independent shops offering their own unique products and services.
However, there are rumblings that the Totnes resistance has been broken and that a Costa Coffee shop will be opening sometime soon. This is much to the chagrin of most of the locals who almost to a man/woman oppose the move, but sadly their views do not seem to count.
Is this the beginning of the end for the independent coffee shops in Totnes as big high street chains destroy all before them? And what next, Marks & Spencer and Tesco moving in?
We hope not, let Totnes retain its charm, let the independent shops thrive.
As the summer holidays start to draw to a close, now is a great time to get ahead of the rush and book an October Half Term holiday.
We know, it’s still sunny outside so who wants to think about the Autumn, Halloween and the approaching winter. We certainly don’t, but a quick bit of planning now will mean you have something to look forward to when you and the family returns to school and work.
The October School Half Term is the last extended break before Christmas and surprisingly it is quite often a sunny and dry one (although a bit chilly in the evenings). A holiday cottage is perfect for the October Half Term providing a great base for all your family day time activities but also somewhere warm and snug in the evening (or those odd wet days).
As a relatively big holiday, often culminating in Halloween fun, you will find lots of the UK’s attractions are open during the Half Term break, often with themed events and fun. What’s more if you stay at a lodge or static caravan on a holiday park you will find many of them run a full entertainment programme for all the family during the Half term.
So you don’t have to spend too long thinking of October and so that you can back to your summer holiday as quickly as possible take a look at our selection of holiday cottages, apartments, holiday flats, lodges and mobile homes perfect for a self catering Half Term holiday.
To me my twenties really don’t seem that long ago and yet my daughter has put me in my place by pointing out I am way too old to listen to One Direction on my iPod!
I don’t remember her saying that when we were watching them on X-Factor or even when we went to the X-Factor Live Show, but now that we are on our summer holidays I am too old.
I will have to add this to my long list of other ‘Dad, You are Embarrassing Me’ incidents such as attempting to dance at the holiday disco, not wearing a t-shirt around our holiday accommodation and, worst of all ‘holding my teenagers hand when walking to the shop’.
It seems that I am slightly less than fashionable, when did this happen? Apparently I am just supposed to accept this and move on to liking country music (ok, I do like a bit of Johnny Cash) and dressing from Marks and Spencer (an old man’s clothes shop apparently) which is all well and good but I don’t feel quite ready for this ‘one foot in the grave’ scenario quite yet.
So I am going to do, as I have always done…. rebel (with a small ‘r’) by putting some Little Mix on my iPod. Living on the edge, that’s me!
It’s nearly time for the last of the great British Summer Bank Holidays, with the popular end of August long weekend being your last chance in 2012 (well apart from the Christmas break).
So if you want to make the most of the extra long weekend and make the most of the weather why not take a self catering cottage break in England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland.
Even though this is a popular weekend to be away, being that it coincides with the end of the school holidays, there is still some great bargains and late availability for self catering accommodation ranging from cottages and apartments to lodges and bungalows.
In fact there are some great deals on budget and luxury breaks whether you are looking for a couple, family or group August Bank Holiday escape.
This August 2012, get ready for a summer of jaw-dropping stunts, stomach-churning rides and festival vibes at the nation’s Thrill Capital!
Join THORPE PARK in Surrey between 17th and 26th August for extreme heat as Sun SCREAM returns this summer.
Brave Europe’s tallest winged rollercoaster THE SWARM, with its 127ft head-first inverted drop and terrifying near-misses as you rip through the apocalyptic annihilation, swooping beneath the wings of plane wreckage.
Prepare for the twisted horror-coaster SAW — The Ride, or take the ‘Unholy Trinity’ challenge: Stealth’s full-throttle launch from 0-80mph in under 2 seconds, the ten-looped Colossus and the inverted hell ride on Nemesis Inferno.
Thorpe Park is one of the South East of England’s top attractions and is perfect for a short break or a visit on your holiday. You can find some excellent self catering cottages and apartments close by to make the most of your stay in Surrey.