BookCottages.com Blog February 2011


Castles in England

Friday, 22nd February 2013

Indelibly marked by the bulwarks of bygone kingdoms, England's green and pleasant land plays host to a smattering of regal bastions and Roman strongholds. From the 11th Century architectural marvel of Warwick Castle commissioned  by William the Conqueror in 1068, to the hauntingly macabre Chillingham Castle, Northumberland, where Edward Longshanks imprisoned Scottish rebels, England's ubiquitous medieval castles yield untold number of historic tales and even a few dark secrets -  if you know where to look. Travel back through the ages and immerse yourself in a land of clashing swords, warring clans and treacherous Royals; our pick of the best castles in England will help you discover the thrill and realism of true medieval life!

Read More ->

POSTED BY: RACHAEL



Buckinghamshire Tourist Attractions

Monday, 11th February 2013

Encircled by sandy knolls and chalk-stone cliffs, the verdant county of Buckinghamshire yields unlimited opportunities for exploration. A patchwork of golden meadows and thick wooded forests, the narrow Vale of Aylesbury retains a quintessentially  English charm, famed for its agricultural heritage and myriad of 18th Century country estates.

The majestic Chiltern Hills to the South are a dramatic contrast to the sleepy Vale; a prime base for cyclists and kite-surfing junkies seeking out challenging terrain. Whether you prefer a vertical challenge in the shape of a towering cliff-face, or tracing the history of Buckinghamshire's many notable literary characters, such as Percy Shelley and Enid Blyton, you'll be spoiled for choice by the sheer volume of fascinating attractions scattered throughout 'old Mercia'.

... Read More ->

POSTED BY: LISA



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!

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POSTED BY: LISA



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



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