How about trying something new this year, with a short break or holiday in a Scottish castle? Or may be a Scottish country estate is more your style? Then again, there are mansions and spectacular converted churches also available for a self catering break in Scotland.
Whether you dreamt of a 16th Century castle, an uber stylish mansion or a traditional shooting lodge, our new collection of Scottish Castles and Country Homes could make it a reality for your 2014 break.
These properties are perfect for big families and large groups of friends as most have lots of bedrooms and facilities – from games rooms to hot tubs! What’s more if you fancy really pushing the boat out, you can also arrange to have a butler, housekeeper or cook throughout your stay!
With over 100 to choose from you will find something to match your taste and your budget.
There is nothing quite like the exuberant Hogmanay celebrations each New Year in Scotland.
Tens of thousands take to streets in the major cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow to bring in the New Year with a very Scottish flavour. A fun evening of celebrations and wonderful food reaches the New Years Eve climax with the accompaniment of a lone piper, the bells at midnight and the traditional singing of Auld Lang Syne (based on the words of famous Scot Robbie Burns).
Each area of Scotland has their own traditions and customs for Hogmanay, although perhaps the best known and most widely continued is that of First Footing. This is where you hope that the first person crossing your threshold after midnight is a tall dark stranger bearing gifts which will bring you good luck in the year ahead.
You will find Hogmanay celebrations taking place in towns all across Scotland but some of the popular bigger events can be found in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Stirling.
We think it is a great time to visit Scotland, to fully immerse yourself in the culture, tradition and celebrations, so why not enjoy a cottage or apartment break in Scotland. We have put some suggestions together for you including close to some of these bigger Hogmanay New Year events. Cottages for Hogmanay and New Year
Oh my, the weather in the UK would appear to have bypassed Autumn and gone straight to Winter in the last few days.
As I look out of my window I can see horizontal rain, trees bending over in the gale and lake sized puddles… not quite the start to Autumn I was hoping for. But never mind, I am sure it will pass soon 🙂
In the meantime, I think now is a good time to check out some holiday cottages and lodges that have open wood fires to curl up in front of or maybe a wood burning stove to keep the chill off. We have a super selection of self catering accommodation with open fires across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland and so there’s no excuse not to get away. Check out cottages and apartments with open fires or wood burning stoves.
Although the weather is cooler, and damper, there is still lots to do and see across the UK and Ireland – so don’t let the weather put you off, just remember to bring your wellies if you are heading in the countryside!
Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or just looking for a day out in September it is worth checking out the Tour of Britain, cycling’s premier road race in Britain.
In 2012 the event has attracted Team Sky with both Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish taking part, so its a great chance to see a current cycling World Champion, Tour de France winner and an Olympic gold medalist.
The 2012 Tour kicked off from Ipswich yesterday finishing at the Royal Norfolk Showground. There were a number of crashes, one of which unfortunately accounted for Mark Cavendish, but the stage saw a British winner in the form of Luke Wroe from Team Sky.
Here is what is in store over the next few days and where you can see some of the action.
The second stage today is from Nottingham to Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside passing through Cheshire’s Peak District. So it will be taking in some wonderful British countryside and the Safari Park finishes promises some great excitement.
The third stage heads to Scotland, moving from Jedburgh to Dumfries and taking in Scotland’s stunning landscapes which provide the perfect backdrop to Britain’s biggest race and an undulating stage route.
Stage four is the half way point of the Tour of Britain and takes place in the North West of England from Carlisle and Penrith to Blackpool Promenade.
It is certainly an exciting few days in store, if you go along make sure you take some great pictures and how about posting some here or on our Facebook page.
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.
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.
The school summer holidays may be approaching but that doesn’t mean it’s only families that are looking for a short break or holiday, so here is a super selection of cottages and apartments ideal for COUPLES this summer.
Whether the two of you are looking for a country escape, a relaxing coastal break or a pet friendly cottage, we have made it easy fo you to find all of the best self catering accommodation that sleeps two.
From the Highlands of Scotland to the English West Country, from the Welsh hills to the Irish countryside, from the Lake District & Peak District to the Cotswolds, you will find holiday homes that will meet all budgets, whether you are looking for a luxury break or a cheaper holiday base, with accommodation for couples ranging from cottages and apartments to lodges, chalets and mobile homes.
Of course if it’s a romantic get-away you can choose from self catering with open wood fires to curl up in front of or those with hot tubs or four-poster beds.
A couple’s break isn’t all about the romance though, so if you are looking for an active holiday with lots of walking, cycling or watersports near by you will find this self catering accommodation provides a great holiday base.
Edinburgh hosts a staggering 12 world class Festivals each year ranging from Jazz and Blues to Books and Films which makes Edinburgh the Festival city of the UK and the perfect place for a short break.
Like us, you have probably heard of the Edinburgh International Festival, the Military Tattoo and the Edinburgh Fringe but we have to admit we were surprised how many other wonderful events there are including the International Book and Film Festivals, Imaginate Children’s Festival, Science Festival, the Art Festival and lots more.
It’s quite a line up and although some of the best known ones are in August you will the others spread across the year.
All of this adds up to a staggering 2,500 events each year and so, it is fair to say, if there is one place you are planning to head this year for a weekend break or short break make it Edinburgh as you are sure to be well entertained.
The key dates for the Edinburgh Festivals in 2012 are:
2012 Summer Festivals
Edinburgh International Film Festival- 20 June – 1 July 2012
Edinburgh Festival Fringe- 3rd – 27th August 2012
Edinburgh International Festival- 9th Aug – 2nd Sept 2012
Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival- 20th July – 29th July 2012
Edinburgh International Book Festival- 11th – 27th Aug 2012
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo- 3rd – 25th Aug 2012
Edinburgh Mela Festival- 31st Aug – 2nd Sept 2012
Edinburgh Art Festival- 2nd Aug – 2nd Sept 2012
2012 Autumn and Winter Festivals
Scottish International Storytelling Festival: 19-28 October 2012
OK, so with grey skies over head our timing isn’t brilliant, but we have just updated our list of Blue Flag beaches in Scotland.
If you are planning to head to the beach this summer in Scotland check out the list of iconic Blue Flag beaches in Scotland . The internationally recognised Award is an indication of great quality beaches that offer your family a great holiday experience and so are well worth checking out before you travel.
In addition to the Blue Flag beaches we have also listed the Scottish coastal areas that have received the Seaside Award. A programme run in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Seaside Award recognises the different character of the beaches in these countries in 2 categories, Resort and Rural. We think the Seaside Award is another very helpful indication to those holidaying in the area where to find the best of the beaches.