Romantic Devonshire cottages for November

November 6, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Exterior of Millhayes

Exterior of Millhayes

Secluded coves, sandy beaches, rolling hills and – of course – clotted cream. These are the images that are synonymous with Devon, a region as famous for its long sunny days as its rich dairy products. Aside from the natural wonders of the Devon countryside, there’s also the quaint villages, ancient churches and seaside towns to explore, from Brixham to Exeter. The quintessential Devon holiday involves glorious weather, buckets and spades and a plethora of outdoor activities, from horse riding to white water rafting.

At the end of a day spent exploring the countryside, you’ll want nothing more than to retreat to your holiday cottage and relax in style. Speaking of style, we’ve rounded up a selection of Devon cottages that are imbued with style, pizzazz, class, charm and a bunch of other superlatives. Put simply, this is the best of the best: our favourite Devon holiday retreats. Don’t dream on – read on and then pick the one you like best!

48 hours in Portsmouth

October 27, 2013 at 3:02 AM
Spinnaker tower and harbour view of Portsmouth in Britain

Spinnaker tower and harbour view of Portsmouth

Portsmouth has played an important part in this country’s heritage. It has been the home of the Royal Navy for 500 years, the city had a key role in preparing for the D-Day landings in Normandy in 1944, and its history arguably stretches as far back as the Roman times. But modern Portsmouth also has much to offer to the contemporary visitor, be they a tourist, resident or business owner. And, over the past 14 years that I have lived here, the concept of a great waterfront city has successfully emerged to balance this rich naval heritage. Spending a weekend in Portsmouth, it is possible to combine countryside (with the South Downs so close by), coast and city living remarkably well: it’s a compact area that’s easy to get around.

These are my choices as to how to spend 48 hours in the city.

Five cosy cottages to escape cold Autumn days

September 25, 2013 at 12:14 AM
Lavender Cottage and Garden

Lavender cottage and garden

What would your dream holiday cottage look like? Where would it be? And who would you invite along with you? We can’t answer the latter question, but we can definitely help with the other two. After much brain-racking, soul-searching and review-reading, we’ve assembled a shortlist of some of the finest cottages ever to resonate to the sound of happy chatter. When you rent an English holiday cottage from HomeAway, we want you to feel the same warm glow of satisfaction that comes from knowing you made the right decision. Without further ado then, here it is: our pick of the best holiday cottages that Old Blighty has to offer.

Staying together: Cottage holidays in the UK

September 13, 2013 at 1:26 AM

This week we bring you the first in our new series on ‘Staying together’.

Over the next few weeks, we will be taking a look at different types of holidays and destinations which are perfect to visit with the people closest to you over the autumn and winter. Whilst we all need a little time to ourselves, staying together and really exploring a destination is when we really get to know the people we’re closest to; whether that’s family, friends or that special someone.

Autumn and winter can seem rainy and cold, but Becky Goddard-Hill shows us why the autumn is a great time to whisk yourself off to a holiday cottage in the countryside. She takes us from rural Wales, to Yorkshire and Derbyshire, as we see what UK cottage holidays are all about.

Stunning old world cottage

Stunning old world cottage

Summer salvation: the best things in life are free (or nearly!)

August 28, 2013 at 6:57 AM
Warhorse play

Kids Week sees many city theatres offering excellent deals. Photo:

Well, as the school holidays are heading to a speedy end, my attentions have turned to the rather expensive activities of kitting my kids out with new school uniforms, shoes, sports kits and stationery; all very exciting stuff, of course. After a somewhat pricey summer and costly back to school shopping expeditions, any activities or days out that I now look at have to be cost effective. Thankfully, great days out don’t have to cost a fortune to be fun; in fact sometimes, they can be absolutely free. I’ve been taking a look at what’s available across the UK over the next week, hoping to ease the tension on our purse strings yet keep the kids thoroughly entertained. After all, it’s important to provide a happy ending to what’s been one of the warmest summers we’ve seen in many years! So enjoy the next week or so with your little ones in tow, before the dreaded school runs commence once again.