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Focus on: Flamingo Land Resort, Yorkshire

January 1st, 2016 by Emily
The award-winning zoo at Flamingo Land Resort, Yorkshire

The award-winning zoo at Flamingo Land Resort, Yorkshire

Want to give the kids a once-in-a-lifetime, really unique holiday, without breaking the bank? Flamingo Land Resort, just outside Malton near York, might just be the answer that you’ve been looking for.

Book in for an unforgettable holiday with the kids

Flamingo Land Resort is part holiday park, part theme park and part zoo – all of which have unlimited access for park visitors. The award-winning zoo features over 140 species from every corner of the world (including, of course, flamingos), and the theme park is home to a host of new attractions and over 100 rides and shows, including 7 extreme rides. There’s also some special experiences available on request, such as evening zoo safaris, animal encounters and even a zoo keeper day experience.

Covering over 375 acres of North Yorkshire, the resort features a host of facilities and amenities for the whole family, including an indoor heated pool, recently refurbished night-time entertainment venue, fully stocked gym and a smorgasbord of themed restaurants and takeaways. Accommodation is provided courtesy of a series of top-of-the-range chalets, that can sleep between 4 – 6 people in modern comfort.

Enjoy the pleasures of North Yorkshire

And, if all that gets a little too much for you, then you can unwind and enjoy everything that a rural break in Yorkshire has to offer. Surrounded by the North York Moors National Park to the north and Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding National Beauty to the south, there are plenty of great walking and cycling routes within easy reach.

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Top UK forest holidays for 2016

December 30th, 2015 by Emily
Sherwood Forest Lodges, Nottinghamshire

Sherwood Forest Lodges, Nottinghamshire

Forests are places of magic and wonder – whatever your age. The UK’s ancient forests are a well-kept secret waiting to be re-discovered, including outdoor activities and elegant accommodation for the whole family.

Rural holidays in Sherwood Forest

Sherwood Forest, one-time haunt of folk legend Robin Hood, is a 1,045-acre National Nature Reserve in the central county of Nottinghamshire. Filled with peaceful walking trails and classic country houses, such as Wollaton Hall and Rufford Abbey, the forest is also within easy reach of the historic city of Nottingham with its castle and old market square.

Nestled amongst the verdant boughs of the forest, Sherwood Forest Lodges is a charming and conveniently located base from which to begin your adventure. Lodges are available to accommodate 2 – 10 people, with views over secluded wooded glades. The lodges are colourfully appointed inside, with hard-wood furnishings providing extra character. Many come complete with a hot tub on the veranda, while visitors can also enjoy the on-site coffee lounge, play area and forest trails.

Rural holidays in Forest of Dean

Surrounded by the River Wye, River Severn and city of Gloucester, the Forest of Dean was declared royal hunting territory back in 1066. Today, it is enjoyed by families and holidaymakers, who come to sample the area’s many walks and trails, as well as prehistoric Clearwell Caves and the National Diving and Activity Centre.

Whitemead Forest Park is an oasis of relaxation right in the heart of the forest. Guests will be welcomed into one of many quaint log cabins, which can accommodate 4 – 6 people, with many offering views over the lake or into the woods. Alongside the spa and beauty salon, there’s a host of high octane activities to enjoy, such as zorbing, archery and tree climbing.

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Focus on: Faweather Grange Lodges, West Yorkshire

December 25th, 2015 by Emily
Hot tub with fantastic views at Faweather Grange Lodges, West Yorkshire

Hot tub with fantastic views at Faweather Grange Lodges, West Yorkshire

Whether you’re looking to explore the rural wildernesses of West Yorkshire, or visit the nearby cities of Leeds, Manchester, York and Sheffield, this is the ideal place to escape the 9 – 5 and spend some quality time with your loved ones.

Luxury holiday lodges

Faweather Grange Lodges boasts frontier-style log cabins re-imagined for the 21st century. An indulgent destination, each lodge comes complete with a sunken hot tub and wood-burner, and guests can also enjoy the on-site sauna and various in-lodge therapies.

Every lodge has its own unique décor, with leather sofas and chic stylistic soft furnishings, as well as contemporary kitchen and dining equipment for meals that can be enjoyed on the veranda. For fans of the outdoors, there’s fishing, golf, horse-riding and mountain-bike hire – all available on-site. The nearby market town of Bingley, with its Victorian industrial mills, is full of amenities to bring convenience to your excursion.

Take another look at West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire has been re-invigorated as an idyllic rural destination, culminating in the region hosting part of the Tour de France (now known as the ‘Tour de Yorkshire’) in 2014. Set just outside the Yorkshire Dales and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding National Beauty, the cultural centre of Leeds is the closest major urban area, with the old spa town of Harrogate also within easy reach.

There are plenty of attractions to keep the whole family amused. Kids (and big kids) will love the hands on experiences of the National Coal Mining Museum, the vast collection at The Royal Armouries or slippery slopes of Snozone. Yorkshire Sculpture Park, with works by sculptor Anthony Gormley, is a great way to spend an afternoon, or you could take in the scenery with a hike around picturesque Hardcastle Crags.

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Family holiday destinations in the UK

December 23rd, 2015 by Emily
Indoor pool at Treago Castle Holiday Cottages

Indoor pool at Treago Castle Holiday Cottages

Whether you’re looking for a winter retreat for your extended family or are looking to share a break in 2016, a family holiday is a great way to re-connect with your relatives.

Family holidays in Herefordshire

The historic county of Herefordshire is just a stone’s throw from the Welsh hills. There’s something for the whole family in this rural county, with attractions such as Newbridge Play Barn & Farm Park for the kids, as well as acres of wide open spaces to explore. Meanwhile, adults can experience a taste of the West Country at Hereford Cider Museum, embark on a long walk or visit one of the many stately homes in the area.

Treago Castle Holiday Cottages is an inspirational destination for your family getaway: you can hold court in this 15th century fortress. Charming outhouses are available to accommodate up to 18 people, with access to an indoor swimming pool and five acres of parkland.

Family holidays in Norfolk

There’s a host of charming villages to explore along the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding National Beauty, as well as seaside towns like Great Yarmouth where kids can crack out their bucket and spade. The royal residence at Sandringham is well worth a visit, as is the likes of BeWILDerwood and Banham Zoo for little adventurers.

Thorpland Manor Farm is a 17th century farm hewn from Norfolk stone. Its seven barns have been converted to accommodate 2 – 6 people (35 people in total), centred around an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers for the summer season. The farm – still in operation – is the starting place for a number of walks and also has its own coarse fishing spot.

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Focus on: Mill Meadow Lodges, Powys

December 18th, 2015 by Emily
Relaxing comforts at Mill Meadow Lodges include a hot tub

Relaxing comforts at Mill Meadow Lodges include a hot tub

Looking for a chance to escape it all without venturing too far from home? Mill Meadow Lodges in Powys is just over the border in Wales, but with a secluded woodland backdrop and views out over a lake, it might as well be a world away.

Charming wooden lodges in an idyllic location

Resembling elegant Swiss chalets, the soft pine motif of the exterior carries through to the inside, complemented by high spec wood and leather furnishings that give the lodges a natural feel. Combining cosiness with outdoor living, each lodge accommodates up to four people in comfort, with a furnished veranda and private hot tub to make the most of those long winter evenings.

The site is only a short drive from nearby Llanbister, a picturesque and historic Welsh village complete with pub, station and other useful amenities. The nearest town – Llandrindod Wells – has long been known for its therapeutic spring water, becoming a popular spa destination in its Victorian heyday.

Escape it all with a rural break in Wales

No rural break in Wales would be complete without a little slice of adventure. Whether walking, cycling or canoeing is your preferred means of travel, there’s a whole host of must-see countryside gems in the area, such as the Elan Valley with its glorious damn, Henrhyd Waterfall or The National Showcaves Centre for Wales.

There’s also a wide selection of historical and wildlife related destinations within easy reach. For animal lovers, there’s Ynys Hir Wildlife Reserve featuring ospreys, Gilfach Nature Reserve with its otters, the Red Kite Feeding Station & Rehabilitation Centre and even the Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary. Meanwhile, for the history buffs, the area contains such national treasures as Powis Castle, Abbey-Cwm-Hir and Glansevern Hall Gardens.

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Top UK honeymoon destinations for newlyweds

December 16th, 2015 by Emily
A romantic hot-tub with lakeside view at Bassenthwaite Lakeside Lodges, Keswick, Cumbria

A romantic hot-tub with lakeside view at Bassenthwaite Lakeside Lodges, Keswick, Cumbria

Looking to lighten the load on your wedding expenditure by sticking to the UK for your honeymoon? Well, you’re spoilt for choice in terms of romantic destinations. Here’s our pick of the bunch:

Cosy up with a rural break in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is amongst the most picturesque areas of British countryside, with rolling hills and mediaeval thatched cottages spread across six counties in the centre of the country. A designated Area of Outstanding National Beauty, there are many secret escapes where you can find peace and solitude with your partner.

Homestead Barn is an idyllic choice for post-wedding romance. A characterful building with wood-panelled exterior walls and a classic slate roof, this couple-sized retreat in the postcard perfect village of Barford St. Michael, Oxfordshire, is luxuriously furnished and comes with everything you’ll need for a cosy and convenient stay.

Love in the Lake District

As newlyweds, you’ll be looking to escape to a secluded spot with your partner. The Lake District is the closest you can get to wilderness without travelling abroad, with truly epic scenery that will make the perfect backdrop to your romantic break. Whether you want to get active with a wild walk, row across a ribbon lake or just take some time out to relax, the Lake District has something to cater for all tastes.

Bassenthwaite Lakeside Lodges features luxurious modern chalets that look out across Bassenthwaite Lake to the hills beyond. Perfectly sized for a couple’s retreat, you can watch the stars from the furnished veranda, or recline in the hot tub for the ultimate in romantic relaxation. And, with Keswick – the traditional heart of the Lake District – just a short drive away, everything you need for a daytrip is right on your doorstep.

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Focus on: Bowford Cottages, Lancashire

December 11th, 2015 by Emily
Bowford Cottages, Balderstone, Lancashire

Bowford Cottages, Balderstone, Lancashire

Just an hour’s drive from fun urban centres such as Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Blackpool, Bowford Cottages in Balderstone are set on the edge of one of the last remaining UK wildernesses – The Forest of Bowland.

Why not make the most of the winter break with a trip to the magical wooded surroundings of this secluded piece of Lancashire countryside, or enjoy the sights of the red rose county?

A holiday cottage with the character of the county

The charming stone exterior of Bowford Cottages is the perfect welcome to the region. This classic cottage, with exposed wooden beams and an open fire to keep you cosy all winter, can accommodate up to seven people in rural luxury.

With views towards the River Ribble and Beacon Fells, the cottage is floored with flagstones and has comfortable modern furnishings to help you feel right at home. The cottage features all mod cons to make your trip convenient, plus dedicated parking for drivers and a patio for long summer evenings.

Countryside and coast come together as one

Lancashire boasts an enviable combination of coast and countryside that the whole family can enjoy. For the kids, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is just a short drive away, featuring the world famous illuminations and tower, as well as nearby Blackpool Zoo.

Balderstone itself is situated next to the meandering River Ribble, with the Ribble Estuary Nature Reserve to the South West and Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding National Beauty to the north, making it an ideal spot for keen hikers and anglers. The quaint village provides many amenities to enhance your stay, including restaurants, a shop and pub.

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Affordable UK city breaks to beat the winter blues

December 9th, 2015 by Emily
Stylish, affordable accomodation in London Stratford East

Stylish, affordable accomodation in London Stratford East

While cities are often associated with expensive extravagance, they can also be a great option for those on a budget, with a host of free attractions and cheap public transport for non-drivers. Here’s some top UK city breaks for this winter.

City breaks in Manchester – gateway to The North

Manchester is not only a leading city in its own right, it also gives you access multiple cities for a single price, located just a short train ride from other urban centres such as Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and York. The city’s cultural district, with its industrial aesthetic, public artworks and university is an ideal area to explore, while its proximity to The Peak District provides an affordable option for lovers of the outdoors.

Based right outside the city’s cathedral and wider historical district, Manchester Cathedral Quarter apartments are located right at the heart of the city, with many attractions in easy walking distance. Accommodating up to 4 people, these colourful apartments boast all the mod cons and are housed in sleek example of contemporary urban architecture.

You can afford a city break in London

The museum quarter near Kensington is an ideal destination, with free admission into world-leading institutions such as the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and V&A Museum. The Royal parks are another free way to soak up the city’s culture, while up-and-coming areas such as Shoreditch boast a range of pop up boutiques to rival the major shopping districts.

London Stratford East is a convenient and cost-effective destination from which to explore the city. Based right outside one of the city’s main transport hubs at Stratford Station, the apartments can sleep between 2 – 4 in chic urban comfort, with panoramic views over the city’s iconic skyline.

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Focus on: Bristol City Centre apartments

December 4th, 2015 by Emily
Bristol City Centre apartments

Spacious, stylish modern interiors at Bristol City Centre apartments

Liven up your calendar with a colourful city break in Bristol: gateway to Wales, with iconic historical sites and a vibrant new youth culture.

Industrial chic in the centre of Bristol

The apartments of Bristol City Centre are just a stone’s throw from the river Avon, based right in the heart of the city. From here, you can visit many of the city’s attractions on foot, as well as soaking up the area’s colourful nightlife.

Apartments sleep four in contemporary urban luxury, with exposed industrial architecture to give you a feel for the venue’s history. The apartments are fully facilitated with Wi-Fi, TVs in the lounge and bedroom, and more, while visitors can look forward to long evenings on the furnished deck terrace throughout the warmer months.

There’s more to a Bristol city break than meets the eye

Bristol is situated to the south of the Bristol Channel, the border between England and Wales. Flanked by The Cotswolds to the east and Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding National Beauty to the west, the city is ideally placed for day trips to some of the country’s most impressive countryside.

There’s a whole host of attractions to explore within Bristol itself, with the city playing a major role in trading, scientific and sociological development throughout the Victorian age. You can visit monuments to renowned engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge or SS Great Britain, the birthplace of the Methodist movement at John Wesley’s Chapel, or the Bristol City Docks – once swelled with trade and now a cultural centre.

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Top Traditional Seaside Holidays in the UK

December 2nd, 2015 by Emily
Osmington Holiday Park

View from Osmington Holiday Park, Weymouth, Dorset

The seaside holiday has long been a staple of the British summer, but you can also snuggle up in the long winter evenings, and enjoy the sea air, with a trip to one of the country’s finest coastal retreats.

Take in the sea air with a holiday in Weymouth, Dorset

A favourite destination for Victorian holidaymakers looking to explore the splendour of the Dorset coast, Weymouth is situated between the Roman town of Dorchester and Isle of Portland. Set just outside Dorset Area of Outstanding National Beauty, you can enjoy breath-taking coastal walks as well as the charming kitsch of Weymouth Beach and harbour.

Osmington Holiday Park is a traditional seaside resort re-imagined for the 21st century, set just a short distance from Weymouth on the Purbeck Heritage Coast. Accommodating between 4 – 8 people in luxury cabins, families can enjoy the pool and adventure playground, or clubhouse in the evenings.

Soak up the seaside atmosphere with a coastal break in Southend-on-Sea, Essex

Southend-on-Sea has long been a major destination for families looking to escape the London rush with a weekend at the beach. Less than an hour from the capital and ideally placed for a seaside tour of Margate, Whitstable and Clacton-on-Sea, Southend has everything for a quintessential British seaside holiday, including the pier, Palace Theatre, Adventure Island and Cliffs Pavilion.

Steeple Bay Holiday Park is perfectly placed to explore the coast, situated right on the Essex seafront. The park features activities to keep the whole family entertained, with an adventure playground, heated outdoor pool and even a private slipway if you’re looking to enjoy the water. Chalets sleep 6 – 8 in comfort, with modern furnishings and a veranda to ensure you can make the most of the sea air.

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