Tag Archives: Oxfordshire

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 🙂

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What’s on this Weekend – 7th 8th September 2012

The skies are blue, the sun is out, and so we are all set for a lovely September weekend, so what are your plans for the weekend?  Going anywhere, doing something or just chilling at home?

This is one of the last big weekends of country and county shows in the UK and Ireland so it’s one of your last chances to get out and enjoy a fun family day out. Here are some to check out:

In addition, many of the lovely British and Irish Gardens are still open to the public so if you want to see the last of the summer planting before Autumn sets in and changes the colours and views make a bee line to them this weekend.

If you are going to be stuck at home this weekend then there are some major sporting events taking place this weekend.  The Spanish Grand Prix qualifying is on Saturday and the race is on Sunday as well as the US Open Tennis with Andy Murray in the semi-finals on Saturday.

And, of course, the wonderful London 2012 Paralympics draw to a close with the final competitions over the weekend and the closing ceremony on Sunday night.

As we are going to have to tackle our overgrown garden this weekend due to a summer of neglect, the Paralympics will be featuring high on our activities this weekend.

So what are you doing, what else should be on our list?

First Day of School, Must be Time to Plan the October Half-Term Break

The summer holidays have barely ended, it’s the first day at school for many, and yet our thoughts are already turning towards the October half term.

It’s not as mad as you may think as with most half-terms being 6 weeks long that means the October half term is rapidly approaching.  It’s also one of those tricky half terms because the weather can be highly unpredictable which is never a good thing if you are confined to the house with the family for a long period.

A self catering cottage or apartment are ideal during the October school half-term as they guarantee warmth and comfort at the end of a day exploring, playing and having fun. The availability and prices are also better for a family at this time of year, once the high season has passed, so you can get some great deals whatever the size of your family.  Although October can be chilly its quite often fairly dry so you are able to get out and about during the day and with lots of self catering in the country, near the coast or close to some of the UK wonderful towns and cities you will not be short of things to do and see.

A great alternative to a cottage or apartment, and a little bit cheaper still, is a holiday lodge, log cabin, chalet or static caravan.  You will find that they do have heating for those chilly nights and are a perfect base for exploring the great outdoors. You will often find these lodges and caravans on holiday parks which is perfect during the half term as most tend to run activities to keep children entertained whatever the weather – nothing better than letting someone else wear them out a bit!

So where to head?  Well there are great locations across the UK and Ireland to choose from but favourites at this time of year for us have been the New Forest (Hampshire), Oxfordshire, Brecon Beacons and the Yorkshire Dales.  Although it has to be said we are tempted by the Scottish Borders as well this year.

Wherever you intend to go there is just 6 weeks left to book so click here if you are looking for some ideas for the October school half-term

September County Shows and Agricultural Show for a Family Day Out

August may have passed but that isn’t the end of the fun across the UK and Ireland, there are still plenty of great days out at County Shows, Country and Agricultural Shows and lots of Events throughout September 2012.

It may be tempting to see the beginning of September as the end of the Summer holidays (as schools are about to go back) but whether you are looking to make the most of the last few days of the school holidays, looking for something fun to do at the weekend or are looking to enjoy an event when there are slightly less people about then take a look at our County Show list for September 2012.

So what can you see this September?  A couple of the biggest County Shows are The Royal County of Berkshire Show and the Dorset County Show.  Other ones to look out for are the Kingsbridge Show (Devon), The Henley Show (Oxfordshire), Westmorland County Show (Cumbria), Yarrow Show (Selkirkshire) and the Usk Show (Monmouthshire).

Or how about the excitement of a ploughing match in Surrey – Surrey County Ploughing Match and Country Fair – or The Midlands Game and Country Fair?

You can find out more about these Shows and many others across Britain and Ireland by checking out our County Show list and clicking on the various September Shows.

If you want us to add a County Show, Agricultural Show, Country Show or event to our list simply get in touch via this blog, Facebook, twitter and we will be happy to include your event – there is no charge.

Top 5 Things to Do in the Last Week of June

Can you believe we are already at the end of June, what has happened to this month? So with just a few days left what can we possibly still squeeze in to this month… where can we go, what can we do??  We have put our thinking cap on and come up with a few things to do over the last few days of June…. feel free to add some more.

  • Henley Royal Regatta. One of the great british sporting traditions the Henley Royal Regatta in Oxfordshire is a fantastic day out on the river bank with glass of champagne in hand!  Find out more about Henley Royal Regatta
  • Goodwood Festival of Speed. Not just for motor racing enthusiasts, the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex is a fun family day out with the famous hillclimb, rallying in the forest, Grand Prix bikes, supercars, Le Mans winners and Formula One cars. Find out more about Goodwood Festival of Speed
  • Royal Norfolk Show. Today is the 2nd day of the country’s largest 2-day agricultural show in Norfolk near Norwich.  The Royal Norfolk Show is a super family day out with so much to do and see… animals of course, but also The Household Cavalry Musical Ride, The RAF Falcons Freefall Parachute Team, The British Military Band and Double Harness Scurry Driving to name just a few. Find out more about the Royal Norfolk Show or see more County Shows
  • Visit Bide-A-Wee Garden. This is a great time of year to visit British Gardens that are open to the public.  Perfect for a relaxing afternoon in the sun and we are lucky that there are so many to visit.  We have picked out one, Bide-A-Wee Gardens in Northumberland, a wonderful secret garden well worth seeing.  More about Bide-A-Wee or see more British Gardens
  • Wimbledon. It is difficult to turn on the TV without seeing Wimbledon highlights but why not go there and see it for yourself.  Certainly in the first week there is more opportunity to get in so why not?  More about Wimbledon

So what do you think of this list?  So what else should we be doing in the next few days?  Why not tell us via our Facebook, Twitter or post on our Blog below.

Source: Find Cottage Holidays

Henley Royal Regatta Short Breaks in June and July

The Summer sporting and Social season is coming thick and fast now, following Royal Ascot this week is the Royal Henley Regatta next week.

Sit and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere by the river at this world-renowned Regatta.  Held on the River Thames at Henley in Oxfordshire, you can see over 200 international standard rowing races over 5 days – races can be as little as 5 minutes apart so there really never is a dull moment!

Of course the racing is taken very seriously but the Regatta is as well-known these days as one of the leading social events of the summer, so you can be assured of seeing the height of fashion and the consumption of champagne and strawberries in big quantities.

You can experience the racing from the Regatta Enclosure which includes grandstand seating alongside the river – children are welcome and those  under 14 are free with a paying adult.

Find out more about the Henley Royal Regatta

Henley-on-Thames and Oxfordshire are great places to visit for a weekend break, short break or holiday in the UK. If you are heading to Oxfordshire here are some useful links:

Source: Find Cottage Holidays