Category Archives: Walking Holidays

Suffolk self catering in Stowmarket at Leys Farmhouse

Leys Farmhouse Annexe, Stowmarket SuffolkIf you are looking for a self catering break in the Stowmarket area of Suffolk, then take a close look at Leys Farmhouse Annexe.

This 1 bedroom bungalow it is perfect for a romantic escape or for parents with a young child (in a cot).  The property has central heating, wi-fi, parking and an outdoor swimming pool for use in the summer.

If you want an outdoor, active, rural break this area is perfect with fishing, pony trekking, walking, golf and cycling all close by.

Feedback about the accommodation is equally positive including:

“Thoroughly enjoyed our stay in your clean and comfortable annexe. thank you for also providing the baby cot and high chair for our grandson.Most helpful. Would have no hesitation in recommending you to our friends. With thanks.”

“Excellent accommodation in a lovely area. all we could possibly need for a relaxing break. The wonderful Indian summer was a bonus.”

Find out more about Leys Farmhouse on Find Cottage Holidays »

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Autumn colour at The National Arboretum, Westonbirt, Tetbury, Gloucestershire – Perfect for a Cotswold cottage day out

 

During the October school half term we  stayed in a lovely Cotswold cottage and visited Westonbirt, The National Arboretum.  With over 17 miles of forest walks, glorious colour from 16,000 trees (2,500 different species) it is a lovely day out even on a cooler day.

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Find out more about the National Arboretum.

Find a Cotswold cottage break

 

Enjoy Wonderful Autumn Colour at Exbury Gardens in the New Forest

Exbury Gardens in the New ForestIf you want to enjoy the splendour and beauty of an English Autumn day then it’s time to check out Exbury Gardens in the New Forest, Hampshire on the south coast.

At this time of Exbury Gardens are full of resplendent and spectacular fiery seasonal colours from maples, dogwoods and deciduous azaleas to the stunning National Collection of Nyssa and Oxydendrum. You can also enjoy a 45 minute self-guided trail leading you to the best of the colour in Yard Wood, with descriptions of over 23 trees associated with the season, and discover arguably the country’s finest display of Nerine sarniensis (the jewel lily) in the Five Arrows Gallery displayed alongside Peter Thwaites inspiring ‘Wild Autumn Art.’

It is a great family day out with over 20 miles of pathways, three woods and parkland to explore. Even the wet cannot spoil the fun – simply put on your waterproof and see a new side to Exbury! In the Gardens children can discover plants that existed before dinosaurs roamed the earth; plants dinosaurs liked to eat; a Chinese Coffin Tree and even the Devil’s Walking Stick!

Exbury is also home to a Steam Railway that runs every day the Gardens are open and a special Halloween ghost train runs during late October.

Find out more about Exbury Gardens including website details and opening times.

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Perfect time for a Short Break in the Cotswolds, Cotswolds Holiday Cottages

Short Breaks in the CotswoldsThe Cotswolds are one of the UK’s premier holiday locations, attracting some 38 million day visits each year.

The problem with being so popular however is that during the summer all that is wonderful about the Cotswolds, including the pretty villages and beautiful countryside, become a little over-run with tourists and traffic.

So if you are wanting to see the Cotswolds at its best, it’s well worth heading there now, as the tourists have headed back to their working lives. Suddenly you can enjoy the winding lanes, meandering rivers and honey coloured villages in relative peace and quiet.

The Cotswolds are situated in south-west and western England, with a range of hills mainly in the counties of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, although they do extend to include parts of Wiltshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Somerset.  It is the biggest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales (790 square miles of it).

Much of its appeal is that a visit to many of the Cotswolds villages is like a step back in time to what England was like before the Industrial Revolution impacted the rest of the country…. postcard pretty village dot the gentle rolling countryside.

The best way to see this beautiful area is on foot, walking the Cotswold Way is a delight, or by bike on those adorable country lanes.

It is perfect for a weekend break, short break or a holiday and particularly through the rest of September and October when the tourism is quiet but the weather is still bright and pleasant.  If you are planning to visit the Cotswolds, what could be better than your own stone cottage with a roaring log fire at the end of the day?  We have put together a list of some super Cotswold Cottages which are perfect for a self catering break.

By the time we had put the list together, we were so won over by the idea, that we booked one for ourselves… can’t wait 🙂

Walking Breaks in North Norfolk, Norfolk and Norwich Festival

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.

Cottages for Couples… Short Breaks Weekend Breaks Summer Holidays

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.

Take a look at our self catering for couples

 

Source:  Find Cottage Holidays

Top five hiking routes in the Lake District

Scafell Pike, Lake District

Few people leave the Lake District without having done some hiking. From gentle walks around its lakes to strenuous mountain hikes, hiking is accessible to all. For keen hikers, the most popular attractions in the Lake District include Helvellyn, Skiddaw and Scafell Pike, Lake District hotels are available in the area to suit all budgets.

Known as Munros because they are over 3000 feet, they attract thousands of people every year. Helvellyn is the UK’s third-highest mountain and is home to Red Tarn Lake, named for the colour of its surrounding scree (rock fragments).

The Striding Edge route is a popular ascent for Helvellyn. The route is very well-marked but has some narrow ridges and steep sections. This route is dangerous in bad weather and is not suitable for those who dislike heights.

The hike usually commences from Glenridding at the southern end of Ullswater, or there is a shorter route from Patterdale. Starting from Glenridding, it is a 9.5-mile loop, taking around seven hours to complete.

The Striding Edge route incorporates a stony climb and at 850m there is a rock tower overlooking a ridge. This stretch of the walk is quite easy in good weather, although there is some scrambling required at the rock tower known as ‘The Chimney’.

Another Munro, Skiddaw is just north of Keswick in the northern Lake District. There are a number of routes up Skiddaw, including Ullock Pike Ridge, which follows a narrow ridge. Other hikers may choose Slade’s Beck as it offers a gentler ascent.

Skiddaw is also a popular choice for families as it can be less challenging than other mountain hikes in the Lakes. Starting from Ormathwaite, the climb up Jenkin Hill offers hikers a stunning view of Derwentwater.

From here, the route heads up towards Skiddaw Little Man and then continues on to the summit of Skiddaw. As with all summit ascents, the weather is often much cooler at the top and hikers should be prepared for changeable weather.

Those seeking more of a challenge should consider Scafell Pike. There are a number of routes up it and hikers should take time to plan their hike beforehand, as it is particularly easy to wander off a path.

Starting from Wasdale Head, the route is slightly less strenuous than starting from Seathwaite in Borrowdale. For less experienced hikers, this route can take around eight hours to complete. The landscape is quite steep in places and there are plenty of boulders strewn around.

Much of the ascent is up a rock staircase and to reach the summit hikers have to go up and down a number of other peaks. Those who reach the top of Scafell Pike will find that they are on top of the highest peak in England.

For those staying near Seathwaite, there is an opportunity to take a hike of around 5.5 miles that offers some interesting sights. Stockley Bridge near Seathwaite is unique in that it is actually a Grade 1 listed building. This area also holds the record for having had the most rainfall in 24 hours and is home to the vendace, a rare fish that survived from the last glacial period.

Although there is some climbing on this hike, there are great picnic spots and the shorter walk means that it is more attractive for families on their holidays. For those looking for shorter family walks, Hawkshead to Lake Windermere is another popular option.

There are some easy climbs on this walk and just one sharp descent to Lake Windermere at the end. Hawkshead is a village that retains a quaint charm and is a popular with visitors. The walk to Lake Windermere takes in woodlands and fells and because it finishes at the ferry house, it is easy to catch a ferry back.

For those who want to add a challenge to this walk, there is the option to take a steep descent to Claife Station. Built in the 1790s, this was a viewpoint for Lake Windermere and was a popular attraction with visitors in the 1830s and 1840s. Although its windows and roof are long gone, it is still a fantastic way to take in the vista.

Hikers should always be aware that the weather can change very quickly in the Lakes and novice hikers especially should take care when considering mountain ascents or other challenging routes. With many more hiking routes available, everyone has the opportunity to make the most of their visit to the Lake District.