Tag Archives: Wales

Where to head for a countryside summer holiday or spring break… AONB?

If you are wondering where to head on a summer holiday or a Spring break there is nowhere better to start than checking out our list of the official Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales.

Every place designated an AONB is considered to be of significant landscape beauty ranging from rugged coastline and water meadows to gentle lowland and upland moors – each one of them is a wonderful – perfect for a short break or cottage holiday.

There are 37 AONB in England and Wales, from the Suffolk Coast and Heaths to the Malvern Hills and the Gower Peninsula. Below are the links to our full list of the areas and some super self catering accommodation close by to help you make the most of your stay.

Of course the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are in addition to the British National Parks, that are also perfect for a cottage holiday.

Perfect base for a family holiday: Aberystwyth, Mid Wales

It may be Halloween, but we don’t want any rights on holiday or a short break, so today’s recommendation is the university town of Aberystwyth.

Lying on the west coast of Wales, it is a thriving metropolis of shops, restaurants, pubs and tea-rooms. This vibrant location also has museums to explore, excellent cinema and is home to the National Library of Wales.

A typically Victorian promenade lines the seafront and the cliff-top ruins of Aberystwyth castle dominate the entire town.  A wealth of attractions are designed to entertain and inspire visitors to explore further afield.

The scenic 20-mile cycle route and footpath on the Ystwyth Trail follows a wonderful woodland and river path and links Aberystwyth to Tregaron.  A trip on the Steam Railway from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge is a great way to visit the falls.

The seaside resort of Borth is seven miles away with three miles of sandy beach and the ‘Animalarium’ to keep all ages amused.

With so many attractions, the castle, Welsh craft centres and stunning countryside to explore, this is a perfect base for a family holiday.

Check out some great Aberystwyth cottage breaks

Christmas & New Year cottage breaks

Why not do something a little different this year and getaway for a Christmas or New Year break?

Whether you fancy bracing fresh air on the coast or frost-white fields in the countryside a cosy cottage break is the ideal way to celebrate a family Christmas or to party in the New Year.  What better way to get in to the festive spirit than a bit of Christmas shopping in the pretty village stores or just hanging out at a friendly coffee shop and watch everyone else rush around buying their last-minute gifts!

Across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland there are just so many perfect places for a Christmas short break, for a couple, family or large group of friends… so take a look at some great ideas on our Christmas selection

If you are looking for a great place to bring in the New Year then head for one of the our city breaks where you are bound to find some great party celebrations.

 

Beat the January Blues

January cottage breaks

The better our Christmas and New Year celebrations are, the harder we fall for the January blues.

New Year it might be, but everything takes on a slightly bleaker look.  It’s not surprising really, one minute you are surrounded by family and friends, eat and drinking to excess and in general having a great time, the next you are confronted by an empty home devoid of decorations with the winter weather ding its utmost to put you off putting a foot outside.

So, if that is how your January usually pans out and you want a change, then it’s time to get something in the diary that will cheer you up through those first few cold days.

Now when it comes to something positive to look forward to what can be better than a holiday or short break?  Now, agreed, it can be chilly in January but that certainly doesn’t mean all the fun has to stop.  In fact, there is something more romantic about cuddling up in front of an open fire or sharing a hot tub with someone special and where better to do that than a luxury apartment, cottage or log cabin?  Or how about a family January get-away on the British coast or in the countryside to blow away those New Year cobwebs.

If you are wondering where to head, well the countryside and coastal regions of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland all offer dramatic and beautiful scenery that is worth exploring.  However, it’s also a great time to go to some of those hugely popular holiday destinations in the UK and Ireland because you get the chance to explore without so many tourists!

So how about Cornwall, Devon and the Cotswolds in the South West, the Lake District in the North West, Yorkshire Dales and Peak District in the North, the New Forest in the south east, Northumberland in the North East, Norfolk Broads in the east, Pembrokeshire and Snowdonia in Wales and the Highlands and Cairngorms in Scotland… to name but a few.

Or is that too much choice?  Take a look at our selection of January cottages and apartments for some more ideas.

Christmas Cottages and Festive Breaks

Christmas cottage breaksNow that the weather has turned decidedly chilly and the clocks have gone back, I think it’s safe to give our first mention to the Christmas holidays.

And, while many people like Christmas at home, a lot of people love the opportunity to escape over the festive holiday break.  we can certainly see the appeal, either with or without the extended family, to enjoy the Christmas and New Year holidays in a lovely cottage in the country or on the British coast.

A cottage for Christmas can be perfect for couples wanting a quiet retreat but are so perfect for big families all looking to get together in one place that is big enough to take them all.

Let’s be honest, Christmas holidays are not about the rush to see holiday attractions and theme parks, they are much more to do with staying  in with your friends and loved ones – with the occasional walk to get some fresh air and exercise.  Which is why getting away makes such perfect sense and so to help you find a cottage for you this December, Christmas and New Year we have put together a couple of list that you will find useful:

Luxury Cottages and Apartments in South West England, Isle of Wight and Wales with Blue Chip Holidays 0844 704 4966. Save 15% in October

Blue Chip Holidays 0844 704 4966If you are looking for a fantastic luxury break in October then you should check out our selection of holiday accommodation in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset, the Isle of Wight and Wales.

In association with travel partners Blue Chip Holidays you can choose from traditional cottages to luxury town houses, or how about converted Victorian villas and modern apartments.  Characterised by luxury fittings, sea, river or countryside views, en-suite bathrooms and excellent locations, it will come as no surprise that most of this self catering accommodation is 4 star or 5 star.

If you are not sure where to head take a look at our luxury holiday selection for some great ideas and then you can check availability and book online.  If you are looking for something last-minute simply call for the latest availability and some great last-minute deals on 0844 704 4966.

What’s even better news is that Blue Chip are currently offering 15% off selected October holidays, call to find out more.

Winter weather, check out some holiday cottages with Wood Fires

Cottages with Open Fires and Woodburning StovesOh 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!

Is a Holiday Review all its Cracked up To Be? Is there a Future for Holiday Reviews?

We love our holidays and travels and so we spend a lot of time reading and writing about them, but we always struggle with the true value of a ‘Holiday Review’.

Holiday Reviews, are they any use?In fact, in recent years the publishing and reading of reviews has become problematic for readers as well as website and blog owners.

So what’s the issues involved, here’s our take on the issues:

For Holiday Review Readers

Whether you are planning to book a holiday or have just booked one we all like to check out what others have said about it, whether to confirm a decision or to help us make one. Holiday reviews are great for getting someone else’s perspective – rather than a glossy brochure – but you need to consider a few things:

  • Are they genuine?  In recent months even authors have been caught out writing their own book reviews on Amazon, so how can we trust that a positive holiday review is not written by a holiday operator or a negative review is not written by a competitor.
  • In our experience people own right Reviews when they have got a particular issue on their mind?  This tends to mean you get reviews that are at the extreme ends of customer experiences (either really good or really bad) which can distort your view of the holiday.
  • Differing expectations. When someone reviews a holiday it is against their perception of what they expected to get for the money they paid.  Of course, we all have very different expectations of a holiday and so what one person may consider 5 Star luxury another might consider basic.

For Blog Owners

If you are trying to incorporate meaningful reviews in a website or blog you are confronted with these issues as well.

  • How do you know they are genuine?
  • Are they legitimate grievances, complaints or compliments? How can you vet them effectively?
  • How can you give ensure that they are reflective of the holiday experience?
  • With numbers of people doing reviews being relatively low, and often those with an issue, how can you get a fair rating?

And, increasingly, we are faced with the issue if I publish a negative review could I be sued by the holiday operator or owner for the comments made even if there is a disclaimer saying it does not represent our views… an issue even Trip Advisor is trying to come to terms with.

So where does that leave Holiday Reviews?

It’s safe to say that life is not all rosy in Holiday Review world.

For me, reviews must now be treated with a certain skepticism but that doesn’t mean they are still not useful especially non-subjective comments such as when they provide ideas for things to do in an area.  In terms of web publishing of reviews on our Find Cottage Holidays website we currently use holiday operator feedback where they have an established and ‘independent’ process for collecting reviews and encourage feedback from users via our Facebook pages.  We publish comments good and bad as long as we feel they are honest and balanced in nature.

But what do you think?

Author:  Stuart @ Find Cottage Holidays

Enjoy a Peaceful September Cottage Break. September Cheap Cottage Deals

 

September cottages and apartments with Find Cottage HolidaysIt’s September, the sun is out all across the UK, schools are back…. this is the perfect time to get-away on a weekend break, short break or even better a holiday.

If this is the Indian summer we so often here about then you really need to make the most of it.  And, with the schools back, there is lots of availability of cottages, holiday apartments, chalets and lodges that until recently have been solidly booked out.

Of course now the high season is over prices are also coming back down and you can find some really great deal making a  cheap cottage break a reality.  To help you look for a September bargain we have put together a list of some excellent September cottages and apartments. We give you choices of cottages, apartments, lodges, chalets and mobile homes perfect for a luxury holiday – how about a hot tub or a four-poster bed – or a cheaper get-away.

What’s more, you can find September self catering holidays across the UK and Ireland, including popular country and coastal locations such as the Cotswolds, Lake District, Norfolk Broads, Yorkshire Dales, Yorkshire Moors and Coast, Pembrokeshire, Peak District, Snowdonia and the Highlands of Scotland.

So whether you want to travel across England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland, or just enjoy a quick break away from home then take a look at a holiday cottage this September.

 

Are some British Blue Flag Beaches under threat?

 

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.

If you are heading out for a day at the beach this Bank Holiday you can see a list of the current English Blue Flag beaches and Scottish Blue Flag beaches