BookCottages.com Blog 2011


Christmas Stately Homes

Friday, 16th December 2011


 

Decking our halls in time for Christmas is no mean feat; especially if you've a five-course dinner to plan; additional chairs to source and kids to ferry to and from Christmas parties. Fortunately, the season of tinsel and goodwill also brings with it a plethora of festive distractions - such as Britain's stately heritage houses. From supping mulled wine 'neath the gaze of Winston Churchill, to Victorian fairs and 'Casino Royale' inspired Christmas balls; Britain's stately homes serve up a wondrous array of traditional treats, guaranteed to lift any flagging Christmas spirit!

Ripl... Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Christmas markets in the UK

Wednesday, 7th December 2011

Can you imagine the public outcry if our government banned Christmas? During the early 1600's, Christmas markets flourished in the UK. By 1649, they'd become all but a distant memory, banned under the Puritan supremacy of Oliver Cromwell. Christmas markets were consigned to  history until 1660, when Charles II ascended the throne and immediately overturned the prohibition. Today, Christmas markets constitute an integral event in the community calendar, heralding the beginning of the Christmas season. From holly, mistletoe and Christmas fayre, to handmade jewellery, clothes and books, these popular UK markets are still the best place to snap up a real Christmas bargain!

Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Gwynedd tourist attractions

Monday, 5th December 2011

Far in the North of 'Castle Country' lies the county with a dual personality - Gwynedd. To the West, Gwynedd overlooks the dynamic Irish Sea with swathes of rock strewn beaches, while to the North-East Snowdonia National Park provides equal tranquility and beautiful scenery, with it's backbone of jagged mountains. Archaic twee villages such as Blaenau Ffestiniog are best known for their affiliations with mining, yet are also location of  intriguing Welsh attractions such as the Llechwedd Slate Caverns. By contrast, Gwynedd's neighbouring towns of Caernarfon and Bangor are an equal blend of prehistoric and new attractions, ranging from the vast medieval fortress that is Caernarfon Castle to the Victorian Bangor Pier - proving that Gwynedd is far from a past-it seaside county. For fantastic holiday rentals in Gwynedd.

Bala Lake Railway... Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Tourist attractions in Lincolnshire

Monday, 28th November 2011

Lincolnshire, home to the ultimate bucket and spade resort; Skegness. If you like a spot of sand on your UK holidays, then escape the crowds on the south coast and head up to Lincolnshire. Rent one of our UK holiday cottages and discover Lincolnshire's glorious coastline, tranquil countryside and vibrant cities. From a Flake 99 on Skegness Pier to afternoon tea in a stately home, Lincolnshire self catering holidays have something for everyone.

Burghley House - Stamford
The epitome of gra... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Northamptonshire Tourist Attractions

Tuesday, 22nd November 2011

Of the many Midland counties teeming with theme parks, renowned ancient monuments and Royal retreats, Northamptonshire in the East is by far the most overlooked. Comprising an area of over 900 square miles, Northamptonshire is larger than many give it credit - it's municipal market town of Northampton alone inhabited by over 200,000 people. The county town is famed for it's abundance of historical architecture, including protected sites such as the Northampton Medieval Synagogue and the rotund Church of the Holy Sepulchre, yet also for it's market plaza - one of the largest in England. For the culture vulture, there's plenty more just waiting to be discovered! Cottages in Northamptonshire.

 

Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Traditional Cornish foods

Monday, 14th November 2011

 

Don't just limit yourself to cream teas next time you're down in Cornwall. If you're renting one of our cottages in Cornwall on your UK holidays, then there's plenty of local produce to savour. Luckily there's also lots of walking to be had - over the moors, along the coast - so your waistline doesn't have to suffer!

Mining marvel
Where better to start than with the humble Cornish Pasty? Much imitated, but never better... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Museums in Wales

Monday, 7th November 2011

If you're a culture vulture thinking of taking UK holidays, Wales is a great bet. It may be small in size, but the Principality is packed full of museums and exhibitions. Cardiff apartments are great for exploring the capital and all its artistic offerings. But it's not just in the bright city lights that you'll find museums; take a self-catering holiday in Wales and you'll discover galleries around pretty much every corner. If you're renting one of our cottages in Wales for your UK holiday this year, be sure to check out our pick of museums in Wales before you check in.

St Fagans: Natural History Museum - Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Dorset traditional foods

Wednesday, 19th October 2011


Dorset, a county of coastline and countryside. Whether you're bedding down in one of the many cottages in Dorset for a week of sun, sea and surf, or pulling on your walking boots, be sure to try some of the local specialities. holidays in Dorest have never been so tasty...

Super soup
Dorset's fertile soils mean vegetables play a key role in the county's cuisine. Dip a hunk of freshly-baked bread into a bowl of lettuce soup - a lot more flavoursome than it sounds! Similar to asparagus soup, it's a traditional Dorset delicacy. Not just for dieters, cabb... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Another 5 hidden gems

Friday, 14th October 2011

The United Kingdom is a haven of wondrous landscapes, with mirror-like inland waters enshrouded by convex arid hills, and vast open plains of verdant greenery stretching from rugged coastlines, to golden sanded beaches. From the cobalt blue of flaxen fields in Buckinghamshire, to the desolate beauty of the Cairngorms - Britain boasts a wealth of beautiful locations, ideal for a weekend or summer getaway. Quaint villages and winding lanes comprise the most common perception of our rural retreats, however there is far more to rural escapism than  just the picture postcard hamlets.

Aberfeldy, Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Derbyshire Tourist Attractions

Tuesday, 11th October 2011

Derbyshire, home of the Peak District National Park. The perfect choice for a UK walking holiday, there are 100s of trails criss-crossing the park. Or if you're a fan of pedal power, get on your bike and take one of the Peak District cycle routes. You could quite easily spend your whole holiday exploring the natural beauty of Derbyshire's Peak District on your UK holidays. But, if you want a change of scene, don't panic! There are still plenty of other things to do on holiday in Derbyshire. For somewhere to stay visit some of our Derbyshire cottages.

Chatsworth House - Chatsworth, nr Bakewell
... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Castles in Scotland

Friday, 7th October 2011

Romantic and mystical, the typical projection of a Scottish castle is the likes upon which 'Macbeth' was based. Looming, ancient and shrouded in mystery, Cawdor Castle in the heart of the Nairn region bears little semblance to the motte and bailey fortress described in Shakespeare's 'Macbeth', yet today draws visitors in their thousands because of this fictitious historic link. In stark contrast is the fairytale pink castle of Craigievar near Alford, Aberdeenshire. Set afoot the undulating Grampian Mountains, Craigievar is one of Scotland's finest baronial architectural feats and a mecca for photographers. Whether it's mystery, cultural interest or the sheer romanticism of these historic ramparts that lures you to Scotland; you don't necessarily have to tackle the windswept Highlands to find them!

Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Tourist attractions in Warwickshire

Monday, 3rd October 2011

Why not give Warwickshire a whirl on your UK holidays? Bed down in one of our Stratford cottages and explore this beautiful county. From Shakespeare to stately homes, galleries to gardens, Warwickshire is bursting at the seams with things to see and do. For a tantalising taster of Warwickshire's tourist attractions, read on.

Shakespeare's Stratford: Stratford-upon-Avon
Perhaps best known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, you can't rent one of our Warwickshire cottages without a trip to Stratford-upon-... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Traditional foods of Somerset

Wednesday, 21st September 2011

 

The West Country is a mecca for lovers of local produce, and Somerset is no exception. From cheeses to chops, if you're staying in one of our Somerset cottages on your UK holidays, there's bound to be something to tickle your tastebuds!

Be sure to make a visit to the city of Bath Spa while on holiday in Somerset. Relax in the natural spring waters of the new spa complex and then fuel up on local goodies. Perhaps  you'll plump for a Bath Bun, ... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Gardens in Scotland

Friday, 16th September 2011

Flora and fauna may flourish in abundance out on the wild highlands of Scotland, yet the manicured botanical gardens found within her bustling cities, and the picturesque parks of quaint seaside towns combine two aspects of Scottish culture in perfect harmony. Art and nature. We take inspiration from both, to create areas of exquisite beauty for serenity, peace and rejuvenation, and many of Scotland's own such gardens could arguably rival those at fashionable Kew, London, or Monet's in the North of France.

St. Andrews Botanic Garden, St. Andrews
Founded by St. Andrews University  in 1889, the botanical gardens originall... Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Leicestershire traditional foods

Thursday, 15th September 2011

Want a taste of Leicestershire on your UK holidays? It's great to sample local delicacies when you're away from home, and the UK is no exception. Whether you're taking a break in one of our Leicestershire cottages, or just enjoying your UK holidays nearby, tuck into one of these tasty treats...


Who ate all the pies?

You'll need something to go with all that cheese, and Leicestershire has just the answer: a good old pork pie. A Melton Mowbray pork pie, to be precise. A protected species, only pies made within a designated area in and around the L... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Staffordshire Tourist Attractions

Monday, 12th September 2011

Steeped in the history of a bygone industrial era, the North Midlands 'Shire' is one of England's finest counties of contrast.  The industrial power-house cities that have made their mark on British economic history, have not shrunken from the decline of industries such as coal - Stoke now considered one of the most contemporary and culturally influential cities in the U.K. Staffordshire is best known for it's affiliation with pottery and fine china production - revered names such as Spode, are still manufactured today.

Conversely, Staffordshire's remarkably beautiful rural personality yields a plethora of intriguing attractions, both old and new. Theme parks such as Alton Towers and Drayton Manor offer families excitement, freedom and adventure within the grounds of stunning Gothic manor ruins, while National Trust owned Toothill Wood sets the sc...

Read More ->
POSTED BY: LISA



Unusual UK Sports - updated

Tuesday, 6th September 2011

Fed up with football? Tired of tennis? Think snooker sucks? Discover something a little different on your UK holidays. We Brits have a bit of a reputation for having a stiff upper lip, but read on and you'll find nothing could be further than the truth...

 

World Gravy Wrestling Championships
An annual charity event held at the Rose 'n Bowl pub in the heart of the Lancashire village of Stacksteads, This very popular and interesting sport combines the art (loosely based as no experience required) and good Lancashire gravy. This wonderfully messy sport is open to men and women, competing in their own separate categories. The rules are simple, all the contestants have to do is defeat their opponents in a 2 minute... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Best Beaches in Scotland

Monday, 5th September 2011

Ringed by 8,137 miles (13,118 km) of contrasting coastline, Scotland hides many a cove and turquoise bay with powder soft sands to rival the Caribbean. Islands such as the Hebrides and Shetlands pepper the offshore regions, all hiding their own swathes of unspoilt seaside and wheaten hued sands, while the South West is fringed by flat bleached dunes and rippling marram grasses. Encouragingly, there has been a ten-fold improvement in water quality of the most popular beaches - over 44 awarded the distinction of 'Scotland's Most Recommended' by the Marine Conservation Society in 2007. Now, the only anxiety-inducing decision will be where to pick for your Scottish retreat!

Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Best Beaches in England

Friday, 2nd September 2011

Think bracing breezes and gunmetal seas are all that the English coastline has to offer? Drag yourself back from the Mediterranean summer daydream, because England too boasts azure waters, caramel sands and hidden coves to rival any Iberian idyll!

Our very own English Riviera combines the palm tree promenades and turquoise surf of tropical standard within Torquay, along with reclusive, quaint towns, set within undulating cliff faces at Brixham. Club 18-30 calibre nightlife can be found down on the seven miles of sandy Bournemouth beach, while ardent nature lovers will find flocks of feathered species at stunning Marsden Bay, South Shields. Best of all, such beauty doesn't just exist off the beaten track!

Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Shropshire Tourist Attractions

Wednesday, 31st August 2011

Straddling the Welsh/English border, Shropshire is a great choice for your UK holidays. You'll find acres of unspoilt countryside to stomp round, historic towns aplenty to potter about in and a whole host of visitor attractions to appeal to all the family. So, what's there to do on your Shropshire holidays? We're glad you asked - read on for our top days out when you're renting one of our Shropshire cottages.

 

Ironbridge Gorge and museums - nr Telford
You can't fail to be impress... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Leicester Tourist Attractions

Friday, 26th August 2011

Leicestershire's not just about cheese and pork pies - there's tons to do on your UK holidays in the county. Those of you renting one of our UK cottages won't be disappointed; there are family-friendly days out bursting from Leicestershire's seams. We've picked our favourites below, so once you've finished with the unpacking, get cracking! Looking for that lovely holiday home in Leicester?

Foxton Locks - Foxton, nr Market Hanborough
If waterside walks float... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Five fantastic Welsh beaches

Monday, 22nd August 2011



Buckets and spades at the ready! Beach bunnies taking their UK holidays in Wales are spoilt for choice. Whether you're an adrenaline junkie in search of action, or more at home on the beach towel, our rundown of the best beaches Wales has to offer should be part of your holiday reading. If you're thinking of heading to Wales, cottages are a great, wallet-friendly accommodation option. All together now...oh we do like to be beside the seaside.

 

Rhossili Bay - The Gower Peninsula
Not only one of the best beaches in Wales, Rhossili Bay was voted the best beach in the UK in 2010! A fav... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Cheshire Tourist Attractions

Friday, 19th August 2011

Engulfed by mile upon mile of rolling rural landscapes, the largely countrified county of Cheshire is a gentle, unassuming place with a moderate pace and a multitude of hidden historic manor houses. Chester, the county's municipal capital and former Roman settlement sits upon the banks of the River Dee, just a few miles from the Welsh border. With a low-lying moorland landscape punctuated by the Mersey and Dee Rivers, the industrial Victorians saw prime opportunity in Cheshire for a number of linked canal systems - easing the burden of goods transportation to the South of England. Built in 1826, the Shropshire Union Canal was the first to connect Birmingham up to Ellsmere Port, and paved the way for an eventual canal 'ring' around Cheshire to connect the flourishing industrial powerhouses of Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent. Today, these waterways have transformed from vital goods trafficking routes, to weekend holiday attractions for all the family - yet that's not al... Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Beautiful Gardens in Wales

Wednesday, 3rd August 2011

Meandering coniferous woodland paths, flanked on either side by carpets of rhododendrons and the dappled effect of rosy sunshine upon seemingly uncultivated gangs of shrubs. A backdrop of misty Welsh mountains, adding a slate-grey contrast to the lush greenness of vegetation. It sounds like the breath-taking views attributed to an Alpine forest, yet this is actually far closer to home. Bodnant Gardens are a conservationist's dream, comprising some 80 acres afoot the Snowdonia mountain range and slightly elevated above the River Conwy. The gardens belong to Bodnant Hall, the former home of green-fingered Lord Aberconwy and his like-minded ancestors, but they are also one of the best kept secrets in Wales.

Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Top Country Fairs

Tuesday, 26th July 2011

Game and country fairs are bucolic bliss.  A mecca for country sports enthusiasts and a great showcase for all things rural, country fairs are a great day out for all the family on your UK holidays. Fill your lungs with fresh, country air and maybe develop a new passion or two - check out our round-up of the best UK country fairs before you head off on your self-catering UK holidays.

CLA Game Fair - Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire
Think big - that seems to be the motto of Blenheim Palace's CLA Game Fair, the world's leading country fair. UK holidaymakers renting one of our Co...

Read More ->
POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Staffordshire Traditional Foods

Monday, 25th July 2011

Nestling in the heart of England just North of Birmingham, the Shires have long been an inspiration for modern cookery. The 'Black Country' as it was once known (due to it's mining economy) comprised of a resourceful and inventive populace, whom created the sweetest of oatcakes and biscuits from the harvests of the land. Stoke, often referred to as the 'chimney city of Staffordshire'  is historically renowned for it's potteries - the birthplace of Wedgewood and Royal Doulton. It is here too that a number of signature Staffordshire foods and dishes first came to prominence, since the city had some of the toughest working conditions and poorest areas of all Industrial powerhouses in the U.K. Much like it's Northern counterparts, Stafford... Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Golf Courses in Wales

Monday, 18th July 2011


Scotland might have St. Andrews and England it's Sunningdale, but when it comes teeing off with a view, Wales wins hands down with it's 1907 Nefyn layout. With eight holes alone dotted along a sea-bounded peninsula, Nefyn promises 'a view of the sea from every tee'. Royal St. Davids in the heart of North Wales is equally as magical, lying among the foothills of Snowdonia and in the shadow of Harlech Castle, while James Braid's Porthmadog course in Gwynedd has been likened to a miniature Troon. Ache for the challenge of a windswept ocean fairway? Wales could prove the ultimate test of your handicap!

Royal Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Stunning Gardens in England

Monday, 11th July 2011

Hell bent on horticulture? Fair-weather gardener? Or do you just enjoy a spot of tranquillity now and then? No matter how your garden grows, UK holidays are the perfect opportunity to have a nosey round someone else's! You may not find silver bells and cockle shells, but you will see natural beauty in abundance. If you're taking a self-catering UK holiday this year, then check out our pick of the best gardens in England.


University of Oxford Botanic Garden - Oxford, South East England
The UK's oldest Botanic Garden, this is a little gem in the heart of historic Oxford. Oxford Botani... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Gloucestershire Traditional Foods

Tuesday, 5th July 2011


Quaint old inns and cattle roamed fields define Gloucestershire in the way it has largely remained for centuries - a predominantly agricultural county. Unlike it's northerly counterparts whose cuisine is characterised by dairy, Gloucestershire is rather more renowned for the meat derivatives of it's cattle - namely the grouchy Gloucestershire 'Old Spot' pig found in Berkeley. Old Spot pork is regarded a pedigree meat since there are fewer than 2,000 of the species in existence. Old Gloucester cows once favored for the fattiness of their milk (the integral factor in the fine texture of Double Gloucester cheese) are becoming an inc... Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Museums in Scotland

Friday, 1st July 2011

From the teepee-like crannog dwellings of Perthshire, to the mist engulfed ramparts littering the Highlands, the sheer depth of Scotland's historic heritage makes it almost impossible to explore it all in it's entirety. The “land of the free” also bears a fascinating associated football history, most notably between the Celtic and Rangers football clubs – now celebrated across a number of museums in central Scotland. Insightful, diverse and full of unique insights into a regal, tumultuous and creative past, Scottish museums are now tipping the scales within several guide compilations, as Britain's foremost attractions to visit!.

Read More ->
POSTED BY: ALICE



The booming metropolis of Manchester City is no stranger to the eyes of the world being upon it – chiefly because it is home to one of the most prolific football teams on earth. While it's sporting culture has put Britain on the map as an ambassador for world-class football, the city bears far more in the way of bountiful sights, legends and attractions that contribute to it's repute as one of Britain's foremost culturally advanced counties..

Whitworth Art Gallery (at Manchester Univ...

Read More ->
POSTED BY: EMILY



Best beaches in Wales

Friday, 24th June 2011

Buckets and spades at the ready! Beach bunnies taking their UK holidays in Wales are spoilt for choice. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie in search of action, or more at home on the beach towel, our rundown of the best beaches Wales has to offer should be part of your holiday reading. If you’re thinking of heading to Wales, cottages are a great, wallet-friendly accommodation option. All together now...oh we do like to be beside the seaside....

Rhossili Bay - The Gower P...

Read More ->
POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Before we can sit back and enjoy our holidays, we all have to go through the hassle of packing. But relax, if you're taking a UK self-catering holiday there's no need to take everything plus the kitchen sink!  To help you get to the fun part of UK holidays quicker, we've compiled a list of what to take on a self-catering holiday. Let us know if you're a pro-packer and think we've missed anything!

Kitchen aid
Before you start packing all the pots and pans, find out what is already provided at your UK holiday home. As a rule, cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery will be provided. Things you might need to take are:

Read More ->
POSTED BY: PAUL



Amazing Restaurants

Friday, 17th June 2011

Our cities may be teeming with takeaways, gastro-pubs and celebrity chef endorsed boutiques, yet booking a week in advance for a table, paying “inner-city” prices, and the general hubbub you find within most restaurants of popular renown, isn't the culinary ideal of everyone.

But what makes an amazing restaurant? Is it purely impeccably presented food? Culinary creativity? Atmospheric ambience? Or is it the character and charm of it's locality; the friendliness of staff, and just simple, unfussy food cooked to perfection? Some of the best restaurants in the U.K are the one's you hear about through word of mouth and recommendation. We take a look ... Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Learning to Sail

Friday, 10th June 2011

Ahoy there sailor! Put your UK holidays to good use and discover your sea legs. There are countless opportunities for sailing lessons throughout the UK, bound to convert the most ardent of land lubbers. Whether you're a complete novice or just want to refresh your sailing skills, the locations below are all great spots for sailing holidays in the UK. So, what are you waiting for? Don your life-jacket and don't look back! All schools mentioned are approved by the RYA, the national body for all forms of boating.

Loe Beach, Cornwall
Need to burn off those cream teas? Then bed down in one of our cottages in Cornwall a... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Cumbria Traditional Foods

Monday, 6th June 2011


The administrative county of Cumbria is the youngest in England, following a Governmental reform of the metropolitan, and non-metropolitan counties in 1974. As a result, old Cumberland became reclassified as Cumbria; her boundaries re-evaluated to include partial areas of Lancashire and Westmorland.

With a predominantly mountainous topography, much...

Read More ->
POSTED BY: LISA



UK Folk Festivals

Friday, 3rd June 2011

By true definition, U.K folk festivals are the grass roots celebrations of acoustic and classically influenced native  music - often with a lick of regional influence, and a sprinkling of local legend added to the mix. With the relatively recent resurgence in popularity of artists such as The Pogues and Bob Dylan, folk was able to shrug off the barn-dance band stigma pre-1980, and prove to the world that it could be equally as energetic as the rock, indie and dance genres. With over 300 folk festivals occurring in the U.K annually, you can be guaranteed of a rompin', stompin' good time, no matter where you ... Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Homes of the other half

Tuesday, 31st May 2011

Fancy seeing how the other half live? The UK has oodles of stately homes dotted all over the place - use your UK holidays to have a proper nosey round them. All the historic piles listed below are still privately owned and are great examples of the UK's heritage. So, what are you waiting for - grab your own Lord or Lady of the manor and get exploring.

Scone Palace, Perthshire, Scotland
The jewel in Scotland's crown, Scone Palace is perched above the River Tay and well worth a visit if you are taking your holidays in Scotland. The site of the Stone of Scone (also known as the Stone of Destiny),  Sc... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Traditional Lancashire Foods

Tuesday, 24th May 2011

It's borders may have become realigned during the county reshuffle of 1974, however the grass roots of Lancashire cuisine are still present among the traditional dishes of the newly formed Cheshire and Greater Manchester counties. Hotpots tend to be regarded as a generalised Northern specialty, since the mining counties of both Yorkshire and Lancashire were primarily working and lower class. Parkin is still a popular commodity, although is now regarded a staple for the middle class 'high tea'. For a county that has undergone extensive changes to both it's character and physiology, it still pips even Cumbria to the post, for t...

Read More ->
POSTED BY: LISA



Top British Museums

Friday, 13th May 2011

London's kooky collective of museums and galleries offers visitors a plethora of opportunities to explore history, science, nature and archaeology within a relatively short distance between each attraction. English history however, isn't confined to her capital alone, and there are a wealth of museums littered throughout the country,  throwing wide the doors to the pockets of history that are often overlooked. From prolific names that have shaped history, to permanent exhibitions celebrating the years of film and multimedia; England bears an exciting variety of museums just waiting to be uncovered!

 

Beaulieu and The National Motor Museu... Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



5 top uk fishing spots

Monday, 9th May 2011

Whether you are looking for a new location for your next fishing holiday or are planning your very first fishing trip, here are our recommendations for some of the best places to go fishing in the UK.

Rutland Water, Leicestershire
Rutland Water is a reservoir and nature reserve managed jointly by Anglian Water and the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust. It has been designated as a 'site of special scientific interest' and many different wildlife species can be spotted here, including ospreys - who like us, love Rutland Water for its fish.

You can fish from the bank, or take a boat out t...

Read More ->
POSTED BY: ALICE



Love is in the air! Whether you're celebrating a special occasion, searching for some well-deserved R&R or desperately need to earn some brownie points, the UK is packed to the rafters with romance.  Read through our recommendations for romantic UK breaks and whisk your loved one away. Who says UK holidays can't be romantic?!

The Lake District
Widely considered as one of the most naturally beautiful UK spots, the Lake District screams romance. Rent one of the Lake District cottages on our site and you and your beloved will be in seventh heaven. Hire a rowing boat and take it out on Coniston, Windermere, Derwentwater or Ullswater...

Read More ->
POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Our favourite UK motor racing circuits

Wednesday, 27th April 2011

Step your UK holidays up a gear. Why not combine a UK self catering holiday with a visit to a motor racing circuit. Whether you want to watch the professionals from a safe distance, or indulge your inner Michael Schumacher or Jenson Button, read on for our pick of the UK's top motor racing circuits. Go on, put the va-va-voom back into UK holidays.

Silverstone, Northamptonshire
Where better to start than the home o...

Read More ->
POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Best surfing destinations in the UK

Monday, 18th April 2011

Surf’s up. We’ve got just the thing for the adrenaline junkies among you: our selection of the top UK surf spots. Proving you don’t have to jet off to distant shores to get the waves, UK surfing holidays will give a new lease of life to your self-catering break.

Llangennith, Gower Peninsula, South Wales
Holidays in Wales aren’t necessarily the first thing that come to mind when you mention surfing, but the principality has some of the UK’s best surf. Down south, in the heart of the beautiful Gower Penins...

Read More ->
POSTED BY: PAUL



Five more Hidden Gems

Thursday, 14th April 2011

Times are hard, inflation is up and your pounds are not buying as much abroad as they were a few years ago.  But it does not mean you have to ditch your holidays.  We think it's time to look closer to home.  We have beautiful towns and villages, teeming with history and natural beauty, just waiting to be discovered.

So, to help you out, we've looked for the UK's hidden gems. They're stunning and they offer you plenty to do.  No flights to worry about, no lost baggage, no language barrier, just motorway traffic to weave through.  But that's another matter, all together.

Blanc... Read More ->

POSTED BY: JEREMY



UK Horse Trials

Tuesday, 12th April 2011


For a quintessentially British break, a day or two at some of the best UK horse trials is hard to beat. Whether you're after the elegance of dressage, careering cross-country rides or some breathtaking show-jumping, horse trials demonstrate the incredible relationship between man and beast. Witness this awesome display of trust for yourself - arrange your next UK holidays to coincide with one of our pick of the best horse trials.

Badminton Horse Trials - Badminton House, Gloucestershire
Pretty much synonymous with UK horse trials, Badminton has been going since 1949. Rent one of our Cotswol... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



UK Theme Parks

Friday, 8th April 2011

The U.K's top three theme parks are a G-force to be reckoned with, not least because two of them boast the scariest 'coasters' in Europe. Remember the chiller thriller movie 'Saw'? They based a ride on that. A ride which allegedly has a similarly chilling stigma attached to it - the resident ghost. Yet it still enjoys in excess of 1.2 million visitors a year at Chertsey's adventure-playground, Thorpe Park.

Of course, England and Scotland do have a few tamer theme parks, ideal for the vertically challenged and kids. There's Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire which incorporates a holiday village, wildlife park and playground, set among 375 acres of lush green parkland, and Legoland near Windsor Castle for those with the kids, or a big kid mentality.

Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Roman Ruins in the UK

Thursday, 7th April 2011

What have the Romans ever done for us? Quite a lot actually - discover the Romans' UK legacy on your next getaway. UK holidays are great for history buffs, with Roman villas, forts, roads and towns around every corner. Visit any UK Roman ruins and you'll get a fascinating insight into the architecture and life of Roman Britain. Step back in time with our top UK Roman sites...

Chedworth Roman Villa - Chedworth, Gloucestershire
Now protected by the National trust, Chedworth Roman Villa is one of the best known UK Roman sites.  Base yourself in one of our Cotswold cottages and discover the remains of one of the largest Roman v... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Derbyshire Traditional Foods

Monday, 4th April 2011


Derbyshire; the heart of the Peak District, and the gateway to gastronomy, influenced by the harvests of earth and agriculture. With rolling hills to the North, and flatter, fertile lands to the South and West, Derbyshire's traditional foods vary greatly by district. Both rural and urban areas are attributed with the conception of many recipes we take for granted today, such as the Bakewell Tart, Thorcake and Derbyshire Savoury and Battered Puddings. For cottages in debryshire.

Derbyshire's Famous Springs
Du...

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POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Cumbria Tourist Attractions

Tuesday, 29th March 2011

'Poets country' first springs to mind at mention of the Lake District, yet the rolling craggy, perilous peaks, and pond-like tarns yield a multitude of adventures and archaic heritage. From Neolithic and indigenous tribes, to bloody clashes afoot Hadrian's Wall; re-enactments, museums and surviving trades have all borne a generation of tourist attractions that give a fascinating insight into Cumbria's past. Cumbria now also represents a very contemporary retreat for the modern 'stay-cation', offering endless possibilities for exploration, excitement and tests of endurance! For a fantastic seleciton of holiday cottages in Cumbria.

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POSTED BY: LISA



We have an App for that...

Monday, 28th March 2011


Hot on the heals of our success with a mobile version of the BookCottages.com site we've now produced an Android Application allowing you access to all our cottages.

Ever been stuck on the train doing the daily commute and thought 'I know, I'll plan a nice break away for myself', or you're out to dinner and want to show the other half where you're planning to whisk them away to? Well now we've got the perfect solution!

Towards the end of last year we released a mobile version of the BookCottages.com website, and visitor number have been increasing steadily. To help provide the bes... Read More ->

POSTED BY: PAUL



Yorkshire Tourist Attractions

Friday, 25th March 2011

England's largest, and most unexplored county is rarely exploited to it's fullest potential. Guides tend to proffer the Yorkshire Dales, historic Hull, and sophisticated York upon holiday itineraries, rarely encompassing the wealth of ecclesiastical ruins, and prehistoric surprises littering the outlying areas.

The Yorkshire Moors are a wilderness of incommunicable beauty, where rare species of Black Grouse and Merlin populate, and clusters of wooded trees shield thundering waterfalls, gorges and ravines. The best of Yorkshire's tourist attractions are scattered widely across the width and breadth of this beautiful county, which is why we recommend you don't limit yourself to just the tourist traps!

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POSTED BY: LISA




We all know the feeling: your holiday is just around the corner but you’ve got a list as long as your arm of things to do before you can relax. So, before you set off on your UK holidays this year take the time to read our list of top tips. Make like a boy scout and be prepared! Food glorious food

The last thing you want when you get home from your UK holidays is a fridge full of rotten food. Make sure you eat up any perishables in the fridge, or bung them in the freezer before you leave. If not, you won&... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Scotland may well attest to having some of the most famous golf courses in the world; St. Andrews, Turnberry and Muirfield all having a tendency to overshadow the plethora of stunning grounds within England. But ever since James VI took up seat in London from Scotland in 1603; his subjects soon got into the swing of a sport, that has since made England the golfing centre of the world.

England's eclectic topography has a significant influence upon shaping, and refining the personality of her golf courses. St. George's in Kent is renowned for being particularly testing, due in part to the hilly landscapes and dune-like sands that have now become a... Read More ->

POSTED BY: PAUL



Cheshire Traditional Foods

Tuesday, 15th March 2011

Bounded by some of the most prolific counties in England for traditional fayre, Cheshire's historic gastronomy has been shaped greatly by external influence - yet there are still a plenitude of native dishes, for which Cheshire can be recognised. Well known as a historic mining centre for sodium (salt), Cheshire enjoyed cured/ salted meats and fish, as a staple base for many recipes.

'Pyes' and Peas
Dairy production was, and continues to be a consistent industry (owing to the richness of soil... Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Five Fab National Trust Properties

Friday, 11th March 2011

Like fish and chips, the WI and rainy weekends, the National Trust is something of a British institution. Protecting the UK's heritage, the National Trust looks after more historic houses and gardens than you can shake a stick at. Next time you're on your UK holidays, take time out to visit some of these architectural gems. We've listed our favourite five below, but there's plenty more where these came from: visit the National Trust website to gen up on hundreds more houses!

Erddig - Wrexham, Wales
If you ever feel put upon, rent one of our North Wales cottages and take a visit ... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



We've been providing services for cottage owners for many years now, and one of the features on our site that property owners love is our availability calendar.

What a lot of people don't realise is that we've made the availability calendar free for anyone to use, and it can be displayed on your own website.  There's no charge for this, yep you read that right, no costs, no hidden charges, nothing.

What's more, we've made it incredibly simple to use! From the straight forward interface we've created to allow you to edit rates and availability to the few lines of code needed to embed the calendar in your own website, it's all been made as simple to use as possible.

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POSTED BY: PAUL



Durham Tourist Attractions

Tuesday, 8th March 2011

The North East of England is often overlooked by holidaymakers seeking a rural slice of tranquility; the rolling Pennine hills, dipping valleys and winding rivers of County Durham set the scene for some spectacular attractions of both prehistoric, and modern interest. Arguably one of the most beautiful cathedrals in England, the Norman Durham Cat sits atop a hill looking down upon the sprawling cobbled city, closely guarded by the Romanesque castle. Together they form one of the most prolific World Heritage Sites in England, and are just the prequel to an abundance of historic, exciting and outstanding attractions. Find cottages in Durham

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POSTED BY: LISA



Amazing Zoos

Monday, 7th March 2011

Take a walk on the wild side with a visit to one of the UK’s best zoos. Treat your little monkeys to a fun day out while on your UK holidays, or indulge your inner child with fellow big kids. With a world of wildlife on your rented doorstep, there’s really no need to holiday anywhere else! You’ll find our choice of UK zoos below.

London Zoo
If you’re renting one our London apartments, why not check out London Zoo? You’ll find this 36 acre animal kingdom located in the north-east corner of Regent’s Park. London Zoo p... Read More ->

POSTED BY: EMILY



The Best Spring Gardens in the UK

Friday, 4th March 2011

Nothing says spring quite like the arrival of daffodils and tulips. Guaranteed to put the spring back in your step, a visit to a garden full of colour and new life is just what the doctor ordered. The UK is peppered with gardens and it’s hard to pick a favourite. To help you on our way, we’ve highlighted five of the best UK gardens to visit this spring.

 

 

 

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POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Best Places to Walk in the UK

Monday, 28th February 2011

Exploring Britain's walking trails, with their abundance of heritage, archaic ruins and beautiful vistas, is a year-round delight regardless of season.

As Spring's warmth rejuvenates and revives our weather-beaten winter landscapes, there is none more beautiful a sight than the carpets of bluebells which grow by the wayside of Wiltshire's woodland walks. In summer, the balmy evenings light the way for heritage trails along the spectacular Hadrian's Wall bordering Scotland, encouraging many a couple to head for the North of Cumbria to enjoy romantic sunset views along the Solway.

Whether you seek the isolation of a wilderness that seems to fall away with every step, or the lively sp... Read More ->

POSTED BY: PAUL



Stunning Country Estates

Friday, 25th February 2011

The UK is famous across the world for its historic houses and grand country estates. And with many now open to the public, it's easier than ever to enjoy a taste of the grandeur and history of the past. Here are a few of our favourite country estates:

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire
The 18th Century Blenheim Palace, situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire is one of England's largest country houses.

This beautiful property was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and visitors today can explore the state rooms which house a large collection of portraits, furniture, tapestries and... Read More ->

POSTED BY: EMILY



Forget about the usual tourist traps, keep away from the crowds and enjoy a UK cottage holiday somewhere a little bit different.  Here are five of our favourite hidden gems in the UK countryside.

 

Hartington, the Peak District
Spectacular landscapes... Fabulous views... Invigorating walks... You'll find them all in the village of Hartington, within the Peak District National Park.

Steeped in history, Hartington was mentioned in the Doomsday book. Visit the market square today and you'll find a pub, tea shops and a pretty village pond. You can also sample the local produce including cheeses, wines a... Read More ->

POSTED BY: JEREMY



Award Winning UK Vineyards to Visit

Thursday, 17th February 2011

Forget France. Forget Italy, California, South Africa or Australia. If you want to visit vineyards and discover the art of wine making, you will find many closer to home. What may take you by surprise is that they produce internationally recognised award winning wines.

Yes, we British can hold our own against our French rivals when it comes to wine making.  If you fancy a trip to the local vineyards, here are some of the best places to visit.  Just don't go expecting that you can dance in bare feet, crushing the grapes.

Camel Valley, Read More ->

POSTED BY: PAUL



Five of the Best Places to Cycle in the UK

Tuesday, 15th February 2011

If you're fed up with fly and flop holidays and are seeking a new sense of adventure, then a cycling holiday could be just the thing for you.  Cycling is a fantastic way to discover and experience the area you are visiting, not to mention the benefit of the exercise. So, instead of coming home tanned from your holiday, you are fit and toned.

The best thing is: you don't need to go far to find a great cycling route.  The UK offers a number of safe and scenic routes for cyclists.

Coniston Water
Coniston Water is the third largest lake in the Read More ->

POSTED BY: JEREMY



UK Steam Railways

Friday, 11th February 2011


All aboard! High speed trains are all well and good, but when you're on holiday, you've got the time to take things at a leisurely pace. Choose from one of our self-catering holidays then step back in time and visit one of the UK's many steam railways. So go on, sit back and enjoy the ride!

Snowdon Mountain Railway (North Wales)
No round-up of UK steam trains would be complete without the Snowdon Mountain Railway. Choose from our North Wales cottages and discover Snowdonia by steam train. If the thought of climbing Mount Snowdon by foot is too much, let the train take the strain. The Snowdon Mountain Railway w...

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POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Five of the UKs Prettiest Villages

Monday, 7th February 2011

If you're looking for somewhere pretty, relaxing and with plenty of things to do; then head towards some of the prettiest villages in the UK. We've searched long and hard to bring you what we consider to be the best places to enjoy your holidays here at home.  It was difficult to choose but these five villages topped our list. 

Hawkshead, Cumbria
Hawkshead is an unspoilt village in the middle of the Lake District National Park with strong literary connections. If you are l...

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POSTED BY: PAUL



Top five UK movie locations

Friday, 4th February 2011

Not all blockbusters are set in Hollywood. We've compiled our top five UK movie locations to inspire you in your holiday choices. Follow in the footsteps of some of the biggest stars of the silver screen and you'll find there's more to UK holidays than meets the eye.

Oxford
Oxford University isn't the only academic institution for which the city is famous. Make like Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and co.  and hot foot it to the City of Dreaming Spires and visit some of the locations used in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Gobl... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



 

 

Whether you want to get some practice in before your next skiing or snowboarding holiday or just fancy a taste of winter sports, there are some great indoor skiing facilities in the UK. So dig out your bobble hat and check out some of our favourite indoor skiing locations.

SnowDome, Tamworth, Staffordshire
Opened in 1994, SnowDome is one of the longest established indoor snow venues in the UK. It has real snow all year round, a 170-metre main slope and shorter slopes for beginners.

If you are new to skiing or snowboarding, SnowDome is a great place to learn. Professional instructors provide a varie... Read More ->

POSTED BY: PAUL



Hidden Gems

Thursday, 27th January 2011

Are you a fan of self catering UK holidays, but fancy heading off the beaten track? Luckily for you, bookcottages.com has just the thing. Introducing our pick of the UK's hidden gems - go on, discover the real Britain, you can thank us later!

Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Bed down in one of our Pembrokeshire cottages, pack a picnic and head off to the wild and rugged Skomer Island. A haven for lovers of the great outdoors, you'll need to get a boat across to Skomer from Martin's Haven. You'll be glad you did; come spring, a carpet of blu... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



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