BookCottages.com Blog 2012


Cambridgeshire Tourist Attractions

Monday, 29th October 2012

Glorified by poets and university students alike, Cambridgeshire is certainly a county of educational relevance. Where else can you get a better glimpse of old aristocratic England than the birthplace of some of its most celebrated historical characters? Home to one of the most prestigious universities in the UK, Cambridgeshire has borne an eclectic variety of poets, politicians, scientists and thinkers, the legacies of whom continue to draw tourists from across the globe. But there's more to this leafy East Anglian county than dusty libraries and living museums; in fact, Cambridge's green spaces form the backdrop to some of the most popular music, arts and sporting events in the British calendar. Even if you're not fortunate enough to touch down whilst these seasonal shindigs are in full swing, there's a plenitude of other fascinating attractions for the cul... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Halloween Chocolate muffins

Wednesday, 24th October 2012

115g sugar
75g butter or margarine
A few drops of vanilla extract
2 eggs
100g plain flour, sifted
30g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
90ml of milk (approx) and a pinch of salt

Makes 8 Chocolate Muffins 

Preheat oven to 180C and add paper cases to a muffin tin.

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and light.

Beat the eggs and then add to the creamed butter and sugar, mixing thoroughly.

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POSTED BY: ALICE



Devon Traditional Foods

Monday, 8th October 2012


Few regions have influenced British cuisine as extensively as Devon. With low lying Southern pastures and an exceptionally mild year-round climate, Devonshire's lush landscapes yield rich grasses high in fibre, which influences the high-fat quality of milk produced by local cattle. As such, Devon's cuisine is characterised by numerous high-fat dairy products, including Devon Blue Cheese and clotted cream.

Of course, freshly baked Devonshire scones would be nothing without a local gooseberry or raspberry preserve. The cultivation of seasonal berries has been central to Devon's economic success for centuries and ... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Castles in Wales

Monday, 24th September 2012

Often referred to as the 'Land of Castles', Wales ranks up there with the likes of Bulgaria and Austria for the highest concentration of castles in Europe. Including the ruinous forts, sunken mottes and vanished strongholds; it is believed there were once over 400 castles in Wales. Of the 170 catalogued castles still standing, only about a hundred remain intact enough to be able to walk around, and absorb the mythical, medieval heritage that has shaped this small isle.

 

Conwy Castle, Aberconwy and Colwyn, North Wales
Rising majestically from the hills... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Wiltshire Traditional Foods

Wednesday, 19th September 2012

 

 

The cityscape of modern Swindon differs little from that of a century ago, save for the absence of drovers herding cattle to the huge central market. Wiltshire's largest borough town was, in its heyday, a bustling market  town best known for the proliferation of cured meats, pork belly and sausage varieties on offer. In fact, the town's very name is said to derive from 'Swine-toun', the land upon which pigs have grazed for nearly 1,000 years. Surrounded by oak forests and low moorland, Swindon's environs provided locally farmed swine ... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Lancashire Tourist Attractions

Friday, 8th June 2012

Sleepy villages and hiking terrain may lure the city-slicker seeking a slice of tranquility, yet the North West county of Lancashire serves up far more than the postcard perfect idyll for a weekend getaway. Fascinating historical ruins scatter the countrysides - all that remains of the several hundred year presence of Cistercian monks. Eccentric Preston museums showcase bizarre modernist artwork, alongside toys which have defined the 20th Century. Bizarre walking trails lead to picturesque towns such as Carnforth and Warton, which hide secret links with George Washington and the movie 'Brief Encounter'. Avid movie fan or aching for some morsel of fascinating history - the verdant county of Lancashire promises a wealth of surprises. For a holiday rentals in Lancashire.

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POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Devon Tourist Attractions

Monday, 28th May 2012

Carpeted by patchwork fields, criss-crossed by time-scarred estuaries and narrow vales, the rural character of Devon is its most defining allure. That, and the legacies of a few iconic celebrity types whom famously hail from England's fourth largest county.

If Cumbria is to be known as Wordsworth country, then its only fitting that Devon be attributed to Agatha Christie, award-winning mystery writer and self-confessed cream tea fanatic. Her legacy remains one of Torquay's most prominent touristic attractions, lending to the establishment of umpteen museums, tearooms and monuments, create...

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POSTED BY: RACHAEL



UK Music Festivals

Monday, 14th May 2012


 

What is a music festival without a little political and cultural rebellion? From the hippie Glasto' summers of the 60's, to the glam-rock of Live Aid in 1985, the UK's music festivals have been a platform for social expression for the best part of sixty years. True, the sound systems may have come on leaps and bounds since the Rolling Stones first kicked amplifiers around an outdoor stage, but the freedom, rain dancing and mud-slinging are still as much a part of the festival experienc... Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Northamptonshire Tourist Attractions

Thursday, 19th April 2012



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! For... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Top UK Diving Spots

Sunday, 8th April 2012


 

You may have experienced UK holidays from above ground, but how about underwater? Tropical, turquoise waters aren't within everyone's budget, and there's plenty of good diving to be had on a UK self catering holiday.  So, save yourself some pennies and splash out on having a great time in home waters instead. Here are our recommendations for the best UK diving spots..


St Mary's Island, Newcastle

St Mary's Island is England's first marine nature reserve and is a bit of a UK diving hotspot. Lo... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Spring Gardens

Friday, 9th March 2012

As the delicate tips of crocus petals herald the awakening of Spring, our attentions turn to country walks and escaping the cooped up feeling that winter generally brings. Britain has long been known as the 'Garden of Europe' - and with good reason. From the ancient piles of rural Sussex, to  the sprawling woodlands of Norfolk, our quaint English gardens have been inspired by some of the most beautiful natural environs in the country. Scotland thrills with its secret gardens beset within the grounds of crumbling clan castles; Wales with it's windswept mountainside plantations and even Northern Ireland, with bracing heathland plantations nestled beside isolated caramel beaches. Immerse yourself in the rebirth of nature; enjoy the exquisite preservation of old country estates and discover spring like you've never seen it, with a visit to our pick of Britain's best spring gardens!

 

Read More ->
POSTED BY: LISA



Dorset Tourist Attractions

Thursday, 1st March 2012

To locals, the endearing thatched cottages, weekly farmer's markets and rural isolation of villages are the quintessentially English aspects of Dorset that few migrating townies will ever appreciate - unless they choose to settle here. The 19th Century setting for many of Thomas Hardy's acclaimed fictional creations, Dorset inspires and intrigues with its Jurassic coastline, littered with fossils of national significance; classic British seaside towns and AONB's (Areas of Outstanding National Beauty), such as the Dorset Downs. Such organic, historical settings lent to the construction of many imperial country estates during the 19th Century, as well as medieval fortresses, World War I compounds and intriguing Iron Age settlements. Considered national treasures of prime historical importance, these archaic attractions are just one facet of verdant Dorset that lure thousands to the county each year. From water gardens inspired by Monet's infamous... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Skiing In the UK

Monday, 20th February 2012


 

Sparse though Britain's wintry snow showers may seem, we actually get more of the white stuff each December than many Franco Alpine destinations. Scotland, best known for her barren highlands and year-round bleak grey skies is home to Britain's ten highest natural peaks, many with a relative height in excess of 1000 metres. At 1,344 metres, Ben Nevis dwarfs all others in the Munro range and consequently, is home to one of Scotland's best loved ski resorts. With an average 40 days snowfall per annum, Welsh Snowdonia National ... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Golf Courses in Scotland

Tuesday, 14th February 2012



Affectionately dubbed the 'Home of Golf' by natives, Scotland outranks even the USA for above par golf courses of championship standard. With its undulating hills, rolling marshlands and year-round rainy season, Scotland's sporting landscape has largely been shaped by nature, lending to lush fairways, challenging back-links layouts and disarming views across some of the most beautiful lochs in the country. It's little wonder that overturning the 1457 Act of Parliament that banned the game in Scotland was top of King James IV's priority list in 1502. He marked the occasion by commissioning the first ever set of golf clubs from a bow-maker in Perth, t...

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POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Romantic UK destinations

Tuesday, 7th February 2012


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 Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Gloucestershire Tourist Attractions

Friday, 3rd February 2012

With its omnipresent medieval charms; yellow-tinted limestone hamlets and magnificent ancient forests, Gloucestershire's rural appeal far outweighs that of its sophisticated county towns. Authentic Gloucestershire connotes visions of picturesque cottages, gracious old country estates and miles of hiking country, once the hunting grounds of London's most revered nobility. Frankly, little has changed in hearty Gloucestershire, save the urban expansion of its capital, Gloucester.

Granted its first charter in 1167, the riverside town rapidly evolved into a port city and by the 1800's, had been linked to the Severn Estuary by the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. Crumbling by the 1980's, the former dockside buildings and wharf now house the National Waterways Museum and inland RNLI Lifeboat Centre. Settlement of the Romans for over 500 years, picturesque Cirencester draws attention for its cache of Roman attractions, including the Corinium Museum a... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Cornwall Tourist Attractions

Thursday, 2nd February 2012

Fancy a slice of the Mediterranean without the hefty duty tax on flights? With acres of caramel coastline stretching from Land's End to historic Bude; a temperate Iberian climate and thriving arts culture, it's little wonder Cornwall tops the stay-cation list as England's premier destination of choice. Enticing prolific foodies with its organic and rustic fayre, Cornwall has garnered a strong reputation for culinary excellence, coupled with an exceedingly contemporary arts and crafts culture defined by local traditions. The genial county bears an omnipresent mining heritage, particularly evident within Penzance and Troon, home to Cornwall's World Heritage mining attractions. In truth, there is no shortage of fun, fancy and fantasy attractions in Cornwall, but you may need to extend your stay in Conrwall to explore our pick of the best!

Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



Oxfordshire Traditional Foods

Tuesday, 31st January 2012

Once referred to as the 'Writer's County', Oxfordshire has borne many a gifted scholar and scribe over the last three centuries, including children's author Lewis Carroll, along with poets Seamus Heaney and T. S. Elliot. Of lesser repute are the county's iconic foodies, esteemed for a myriad of Oxfordshire recipes and concoctions still in production today. There was Frank Cooper, creator of breakfast table staple 'Frank Cooper's Oxford Marmalade'; Brown's of Banbury for the equally fruitful Banbury Cake, and of course Peter Scholey, former master brewer at Brakspear and now owner of Ridgeway Brewing Company, based in Henley-on-Tham...

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POSTED BY: LISA



Spooky Places in Scotland

Monday, 23rd January 2012

Steeped in a history prolific with clan battles, bloodshed and monarchs in exile, it's little wonder that Scotland is the self-proclaimed 'most haunted country in Britain.' Her spectral moors are littered with ruinous forts of a forgotten age; her city streets darkened by grisly tales of body snatching and her most beautiful scenery marred by the bloodshed of Jacobite Rebellion. Teeming with eerie castles, haunted inns and ancient burial grounds dating back to Pictish occupation, you're never far from a spooky place in Scotland - if you know where to find them!

Culloden Moor, Inverness
...

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POSTED BY: LISA



Traditional Foods of Kent

Friday, 20th January 2012

Endearingly dubbed the 'Garden of England' by natives, Kent's claim to fame can be summarised in two words: organic produce. This verdant South East county provides an estimated forty per cent of the UK's 'homegrown' organic fruit and veg, coupled with a significant contribution of hops to microbreweries throughout England. With a temperate climate and very little precipitation during key 'growing' months, Kent  was the ideal location for the introduction of Mediterranean and South American fruits during the 1600's. Both the Morello Cherry and Kentish Red made rich pairings with white meats such as duck and turkey, s... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Gloucestershire Tourist Attractions

Monday, 16th January 2012

With its omnipresent medieval charms; yellow-tinted limestone hamlets and magnificent ancient forests, Gloucestershire's rural appeal far outweighs that of its sophisticated county towns. Authentic Gloucestershire connotes visions of picturesque cottages, gracious old country estates and miles of hiking country, once the hunting grounds of London's most revered nobility. Frankly, little has changed in hearty Gloucestershire, save the urban expansion of its capital, Gloucester. For Gloucestershire cottages visit bookcottages.com

Granted its first charter in 1167, the riverside town rapidly evolved into a port city and by the 1800's, had been linked to the Severn Estuary by the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. Crumbling by the 1980's, the former dockside buildings and wharf now house the National Waterways Museum and inland RNLI Lifeboat Centre. Settlement of the Rom... Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Happy New Year

Thursday, 5th January 2012



We would just like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers and customers a very Happy New Year. The team here at BookCottages are all back to work after the Christmas break. Everyone survived Christmas and there were no turkey related incidents.

As usual the spring time rush has started for cottage bookings as people set their holiday plans for the year. Norfolk, Cornwall and Devon ...

Read More ->
POSTED BY: JEREMY



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