The nights are drawing in; it’s dark by 4pm and the air’s taken on a bitter chill. It’s time to put away with the floaty dresses and shorts and pull out the winter coats, jumpers and scarves in a bid to stay warm throughout the winter months. At this time of year we prefer to draw the curtains against the gloom, crank up the heating and snuggle up indoors.
Of course, a lot of us like to take a bit of time out in winter and take a trip away. While it’s no longer beach season, there are still plenty of great places to visit in the UK, whether it’s for a week away or just a romantic weekend with lots of opportunities for comfort and warmth. Here are some of the cosiest places to visit in the UK this winter.
Millgate House, North Yorkshire
Millgate House is perfect for people looking for a cosy and intimate trip away. The B&B was once a Regency house, offers three beautiful rooms and a unique, warm décor full of quirky antiques and pictures, not to mention a fantastic breakfast. There’s an open fireplace too, ideal for relaxing during the long, cold nights.
Boathouse, Knotts End
Located in the Lake District, the Boathouse is a unique and incredibly lovely place to stay. Surrounded by forests and a glacial lake, the house is decked out in warm oaks and has all the amenities you need for an intimate trip to the Lakes. It even comes with its own rowing boat! The Lake District is full of cosy retreats for the winter.
Bailiffscourt, West Yorkshire
The ancient manor house, built by Guinness magnate Lord Moyne, is heavily inspired by medieval architecture, with original stonework and woodwork, creating a close space. The effect is a warm and cosy place complete with roaring fireplaces, a spa and four poster beds decked out in beautiful reds and golds. A great place for people looking for a more traditional experience in West Yorkshire.
The Feathered Nest, Oxfordshire
Situated in a little village, the Feathered Nest is ideal for people looking for the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Each bedroom offers its own unique and cosy quirks and there’s an open fire in the bar for those chilly winter nights. The converted malt house also has plenty of history for anyone interested.
Tan y Bwlch, Gwynedd
This little Welsh cottage is perfect for holing up during the winter. It’s largely unaltered from its original state and offers everything from a rustic fireplace to original wooden beams and floors. The interior has been carefully cultivated for historical accuracy, and it’s a great place to curl up and sit out the cold, dark nights of winter.
This is just scratching the surface of the cosiest and most intimate winter holiday retreats in the UK during winter, but there are plenty of ways to make sure your own home is a haven from the chilly weather outside. For one thing, making sure you have a warm and comfortable bed from Bedstar is a sure fire way to beat the winter blues; after all, what’s better than snuggling up under a thick, fluffy duvet and drifting away to sleep?
Stay warm and comfy this winter, and maybe take some time to see how beautiful the UK can really be in during the colder months.
Posted in Holidays Tagged with: Lord Moyne, Millgate House, UK, West Yorkshire
Booking a luxury weekend break in London is easier than you think. You can relax your cares away in the lap of luxury while you take in all that this fun city has to offer, and you can have an experience that you will never forget.
Royalty free photo
For help in setting up your luxury weekend break in London, check out the five step guide below.
It All Starts with Where You Stay
The first step you need to take is determining where you want to stay. There are plenty of luxury accommodations throughout London, but to really make the most of your weekend, it is best to book luxury suites London that will give you everything that you need to remain comfortable and content throughout your stay. Remember, not all hotels are created equal, and some are far more luxurious than others, so take your time to research the options that provide you with clean, spacious rooms and plenty of amenities.
Book Some Time at a Spa
London is also filled with luxurious spas where you can kick back and indulge in some of the best services for pampering yourself. From manicures and pedicures, to facials and whole body treatments, and, of course, massages, there are plenty of ways to feel like royalty. The best spas will have breathtaking views, all new facilities that are modern and clean, and friendly staff that are ready to help you feel magnificent.
Eat at the Best Restaurants
Sure, there are more places to eat throughout London than you can count, but if you want to dine like royalty, you can’t just go to any old restaurant. Instead, look for those restaurants that have made a name for themselves in the city as being the best of the best and the most opulent. Take, for example, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, which is considered one of the top culinary experiences you can enjoy in Britain, thanks to the fact that its chef is one of the highest rated of all of the chefs in the UK.
Check Out All the Sights
Set aside some time to really take in London’s unique beauty and history by exploring it by day and by night during your weekend break. With so many incredible landmarks, from gardens to palaces, be sure to bring your camera, wear comfortable shoes, and book private transportation to get to where you are going easily, comfortably, and quickly.
London also features places like Sloane Street, which is the best shopping avenue in the city if you are in search of the world’s top luxury brands, from clothing to accessories created by the most famous designers. So go ahead and buy yourself something nice to remember your trip.
Now that you know how to plan a luxurious weekend getaway in London, what are you waiting for? As one of the most popular cities on the planet, this is one place that you will never forget, especially if you make it a point to experience only the very best that it has to offer.
Posted in Holidays Tagged with: Best Restaurants, Go Shopping, London, Sloane Street
More and more people are choosing to go on river cruises instead of ocean cruises. It is also for this reason that tour operators like Tauck Tours are becoming so popular. Indeed, a river cruise is an opportunity to have a unique, luxurious holiday at a very affordable price. However, is it right for you?
Are Your Ready for a River Cruise?
The reality is that not everybody will enjoy a river cruise. While they have many benefits, some people simply enjoy ocean cruises or traditional modes of travel more. If you like some of the following things, then a river cruise may not be for you:
- Having to pay for absolutely everything.
- Having to pay more to eat a nice meal.
- Having to pay more to go on an excursion.
- Having to pay more for entertainment on your ship.
- Being served by staff who will never remember your name and just want to get a tip.
- Having to spend time in a confined space with thousands of other people.
- Spending hours just to get off your ship if you visit a new port.
- Driving for hours just to be able to get to an excursion.
- Never having enough time to really experience your destination.
- Having to share a dining room with at least 1,000 other people who all want to be served at the same time.
- Getting seasick.
- Having to stick to a certain wardrobe just to be ‘allowed’ to enjoy entertainment and dining.
- Having to deal with bouncy teenagers and drunk louts during the ‘disco’.
If that is what you enjoy doing, then a river cruise is definitely not for you. That isn’t to say everything about ocean cruising is bad. After all, they are hugely successful and the inspiration behind river cruises as well. Indeed, if you have a choice between all the different types of vacations you can take, then an ocean cruise is probably the second best option out there. But the first best option simply has to be the river cruise.
Today, ocean liners have everything you can possibly think of, from five star dining experience to rock climbing walls and from casinos to ice skating facilities. Their rooms are luxurious, the entertainment is grand and the food is fantastic. But, in reality, it is almost like you are in a floating piece of Las Vegas. While this is enjoyable and certainly something that everybody should enjoy at least once in their lives, isn’t there more to a vacation than that?
With a river cruise, you will have the opportunity to experience new cities and destinations and you will get a unique perspective on the world. You will not have to spend days on the water with no land in sight. Rather, you will be able to enjoy the most breathtaking views every step of the way and you will be able to spend time in some of the world’s most fascinating historic and cultural cities.
Posted in Holidays Tagged with: Las Vegas, Tauck Tours
Planning a last minute holiday in the sun? You have plenty of time to get it organised yet (it’s only July, after all)! If you’re travelling from the UK, you have the whole EU at your fingertips, only a few hours’ flight away. It’s easy to take the family along too, without it costing the earth. Here are some fantastic options that might just be what you’re looking for:
Tuscany is known for its beautiful climate and decadent wines. Stay at a stunning 18th century farmhouse, which has multiple apartments for other families lucky enough to be staying there. Your kids may find themselves playmates, which would give you an opportunity to truly relax, while they all have fun in the pool. Oh, and did we mention that this estate grows its own amazing wine on-site? Where do we sign up?
Cabins, South France
This characterful cabin is a little wonky around the edges, but you can tell that it was a real labour of love – the nearby owner made it himself, and he has a wealth of knowledge on the local area, so get in his good books and he will make your holiday easy. You have fantastic views of the lake and gardens, plus your own kitchen, so you won’t have to stray too far from your cabin, if you don’t want to! And who could blame you – with the amazing scenery and charming, raised decking, you won’t want to go anywhere else.
Green Holidays, Ireland
For an amazing variety of outdoor pursuits, The Three Towers is an eco lodge – with apartments and cottages – which offers pony riding, as well as donkey walking, in the verdant Irish countryside. There is more than 2,000 acres of woodland close to your holiday home, ripe for exploring. The owners have “enchanted” certain areas of forestry for the children, filling them with magical fairies and gnomes – endless hours of play for the little ones. Best of all, it’s a short plane or ferry ride away.
Have you always wanted to stay in a tipi, somewhere close to nature? Portugal has a great campsite called Tipis in the Algarve, where everything is brightly coloured and you even have access to a pool. On hand, you will have a small vegetable garden to explore, and a yoga platform perfect for your morning sun salutations. They run communal BBQ nights, so you can get some grub with other likeminded people and make new friends. Bonus: the beach is just a 15 minute drive away!
A Quick Note On Booking Your Flight…
If you are looking for flights to any of the above, be sure to book at the cheapest time as possible, to make sure that your family holiday stays affordable! Go with a cheap flights operator, but read the comments about their services for your next trip on an established site, such as these Bravofly reviews. Don’t accidentally spoil your holiday by going with the wrong travel agent, as hidden costs and poor customer service can really dampen the holiday – choose someone you know you can trust.
Posted in Holidays Tagged with: BBQ, EU, Portugal, UK
Not everyone loves the beach. Sand gets everywhere, it can get quite dull fairly quickly and who knows what is lurking below the ocean surface? It is possible to have a fun, fulfilling and relaxing holiday without heading to the coast and suffering the wind, seagulls and unpredictable weather. One of Britain’s great strengths as a holiday destination is it’s diversity. From rolling hills to vibrant cities there are breaks to suit everyone. Providers such as UK Breakaways cover a huge variety of holidays and there some fantastic last minute deals to be had across the internet.
A great guide to some of the most picturesque areas of the country is the official National Parks website. There are parks all over the country which means you can travel as little or as far as you want to get to your next rural holiday destination. Hiring cottages, camping or even ‘glamping’ allows you to get back to nature and might mean that you save a bit of money. There are also activities to be done such as sailing, hiking and cycling.
As Britain is not blessed with the most reliably sunny weather conditions, it is not over-furnished with water parks. However if you are near to Stoke, Sunderland, Blackpool or Paignton you are in luck as they have WaterWorld, Wet N Wild, Sandcastle and Splashdown respectively.
Britain has it’s fair share of great theme parks. Alton Towers has always led the way with great, high-octane rides, a kiddie-friendly offer and fantastic hotels. Legoland Windsor, Thorpe Park in Surrey as well as Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire and Drayton Manor in Staffordshire are also well worth the trip.
Ignore London. We’ve all been there, got the teddy bear beef eater and looked at the wax works in Madame Tussauds. There are many more interesting cities to see around the UK. Since gaining the title of Capital of Culture in 2008 Liverpool has gone from strength to strength with excellent museums, galleries and places to eat. Glasgow has a similarly vibrant cultural offer as does Cardiff. For more ‘olde worlde’ charm try York, Edinburgh or Chester.
For an altogether slower paced break, try a barge holiday either in the Norfolk broads, North Yorkshire or the Cotswolds. Seeing the countryside drift by while enjoying a cool glass of wine or a nice book is a thoroughly relaxing way to spend a few of your annual leave days. Companies such as Waterways give advice and have a portal to book through. In the words of Mr Alan Partridge “Water-way to have a good time!”
For the active family and cycling trips is high energy and lots of fun. Cycling gives you the freedom to see the country on your own terms, it’s safe and great exercise.
Posted in Holidays, Tips Tagged with: Ignore London, Legoland Windsor, National Parks, UK
As the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is a hot spot for weekend travelers. There are hundreds of things to do in Amsterdam, from sightseeing at historic sites and museums, smoking in coffeeshops,and ‘window-shopping’ in the Red Light District, tosimply enjoying its upbeat nightlife. Best seen by bike or foot, Amsterdam is aquaint city with its brick buildings, central canal, street performers, and charming Dutch crêpe spots.
To best explore Amsterdam, visit a local bike shop and rent a bike for a few hours. Spend the day exploring historic sites, such as Dam Square – the site of the National Monument, Royal palace, and Nieuwe Kerke. At the heart of Amsterdam, Dam Square is a common gathering spot for tourists withits local street performers, cafés, and the occasional soccer match (yes, played on concrete). Other destinations could include the Anne Frank house or the famousI amsterdam sign. In the meantime, get lost exploring random cross streets – you may be surprised where they may lead.Who knows, you may happen across a marketplace, tavern, or a Smart & Sexy parade celebrating the rights of women. Amsterdam never ceases to surprise. Asa cautionary piece of advice, be mindful of the tramsthat tend to travel along the narrow streets without demanding much notice.
Amsterdam has a unique culturethat allows travelers to smoke in coffeeshops, explore museums by day, and witness the streets of the Red Light District by night. Amsterdam’s cannabis-stocked coffeeshops are a necessary stop for many travelers. There are more than 300 Amsterdam coffeeshops – with varying atmospheres and styles – to choose from. It is hard to miss the multitude ofpalm tree logos, COFFEESHOP signs, and Rastafarian flags that advertise that a place sells marijuana.
One of the most popular museums inAmsterdam is the Heineken Experience – afun, interactive exhibit that educates about the brewing process.The 75-minute guided tour includes beer tastings, virtual bartending lessons, futuristic recliners for watching classic Heineken commercials, and more!
For a uniquely eye-opening experience, spend an evening inAmsterdam’s Red Light District – one of the oldest parts of the city that is best known for its sex shops, adult theaters, and red-lit windowdisplays of young women selling their services.Theprude or faint of heart should be forewarned that this could be an emotion-provoking experience.
As the streets of Amsterdam come alive at night, travelers can tailor their choices by selecting from a variety of clubs, pubs, and dance festivals. ProeflokaalArendsnest is a popular destination for all beer lovers, who appreciate the 24-page listing of beers with bios of their histories, ingredients and flavors. This traditional Dutch pub – with authentic blackboard menus, copper taps, and wooden interior – attracts a local cliental. For the club-goers, Paradiso is a popular multilevel dance venue that is famous for delivering intimate performances by well-known musicians.This former 19th– Century church – with massive balconies and stainedglass windows – has an upstairs that sets the stage for musicians and DJs, a smoking room on the second floor, and a basement café. The headliners perform on the stage in the main room and, in the past, have included the Rolling Stones, Jamiroquai, and Willie Nelson.
Daniel Hogan is a writer at Party Earth – a global media and entertainment company that publishes reviews and listings of the best social experiences around the world including: things to do in Amsterdam , clubs in London, beaches in Ibiza, plazas in Rome, bars in NYC, festivals and concerts everywhere, and more.
Posted in Holidays, Tips Tagged with: Dam Square, Heineken Experience, Red Light District, Smart Sexy
Hollywood Theaters at Grand Cayman is a famous state of the art audio visual venue, which features the current movies in six screen digital presentation with the use of real D 3D technology. It features great movies to be enjoyed by kids in the afternoon and even great movies for couple’s date nights. You will also feel the comfort and luxury of stadium seating. If you are planning of going to movies, then make a wise decision and go to Hollywood Theatres.
What made Hollywood Theaters the best?
State of the art equipment
Hollywood Theaters only delivers the best movies using high quality state of the art equipment. The six screens feature absolute digital projection to ensure that viewers will be able to enjoy their movie experience. Furthermore, Hollywood Theaters uses Dolby digital surround sound to ensure sound sharpness. Every viewer is guaranteed that they will experience finest picture, high quality sound, and classy environment. Not to mention the high back reclining seats.
Screening time and policy
Majority of the featured films are released the same day as the US movie screening. Blockbuster films are featured in two to three theaters with numerous time slots. So you can literally choose your viewing schedule as per your convenience. Hollywood Theaters make sure that their show time can cater to all viewers. The show time is staggered into different schedules from early afternoon until evening. Matinee prices are also offered for every movie screened before 6 PM. Aside from that, Hollywood Theaters also follow a strict policy every Saturday night. Those viewers below 18 years old should be accompanied by their parents or guardians every Saturday night.
Foods to nibble on
Going to movies is never complete without having foods to nibble on. Hollywood Theaters has concession stand offering huge selection of foods starting from savoury foods to sweets. There are popcorn stands, fries, burger, hotdog, nachos, candies, chocolates, drinks, and so much more.
Adjacent to the concessioner stand is the movie trailer room, which features the must watch upcoming movies. Aside from that, the theater also offers gift certificates to be enjoyed by you and your family. The gift certificate can be readily purchased at the box office anytime you want to. Aside from the gift certificates, you can also buy supersaver tickets. Through these tickets, you will be able to save great discounts with every 25 tickets you purchase. If you hate falling in line in buying tickets, then don’t worry for Hollywood Theatres offer online ticket purchase. However, there is an additional service fee for ordering tickets online.
If you are planning to hold a party or a corporate event, then you can contact the administrator of the Hollywood Theaters. The theater is a perfect venue for numerous events, especially for corporate meetings considering its state of the art equipment such as:
- Stadium seating- corporate personnel will feel relaxed and comfortable while sitting in a recliner.
- Wireless microphones- with wireless microphone technology, presenter will be able to discuss the flow of the meeting in a convenient manner.
- Large screen- presentations can be easily presented and understood through wide screen, which remotely controlled inside the auditorium.
- Connectivity- the Hollywood Theaters also allows Apple users to connect their phone and iPad to the A/V System of the theater.
Janess Kim is an avid movie enthusiast. She has been to various movie theatres and one particular theater that fascinates her most is Hollywood Theaters Grand Cayman. She treats watching movies as a perfect form of relaxation, especially when she is not busy with her article writing job.
Posted in Holidays Tagged with: Hollywood Theaters Grand Cayman Tour
Family reunions allow you to spend some quality time and have a lot of fun with your family. Organizing such a vacation would involve getting all the relatives, especially those living in different cities, states and even countries to come visit. Traveling to Colorado shouldn’t be difficult for those living within the US. However, foreign travelers have to get the necessary paperwork i.e. Visas to allow them to visit.
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Posted in Holidays Tagged with: Colorado, Family Reunion Vacation, Keystone Resort
Your anniversary is rolling around again and you’ve had no time to plan anything. What you need is something simple and stress free but utterly amazing – you need the ultimate anniversary celebration. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to the nightmare you think it does. By all means, feel free to splash out and make a statement, romance isn’t really about how you’ve got in the bank or how many flowers you can buy in a day. It’s about imagination and creativity. It’s about care and attention – all you have to do is plan something that you know your other half will adore. It also helps if you can have a good time doing it as well.
Here are some amazing anniversary ideas that you can use to plan an event to remember. Some are expensive, some don’t cost very much at all – it’s entirely up to you how flashy you want to be.
Book A Cabin In The Woods
Forget all of the horror films you’ve seen – they’re dead wrong. A cabin in the woods can be super romantic and extremely relaxing, says LifeHack.com journalist Lori Thayer. The big draw of this idea is, of course, the isolation. There’s nobody around to see you misbehave and there’s nobody around to ask you to be quiet. There are two options – a UK getaway or a European trip. The only real difference is the sun. If you and your partner are real sun worshippers, you might want to pick an overseas cabin. If you prefer a roaring fire and cuddling under sheepskin blankets – why not a cabin in Scotland or Wales. There’s also the French Alps if the UK isn’t quite exciting enough for you.
Visit A Theme Park
Remember when you were nineteen and you couldn’t think of anything better than an entire day spent at Alton Towers? It’s time to revisit those days. Bundle your other half into the car and head off for a day of exhilaration. No kids allowed though – this day has to be all about you. Laugh, act silly and be completely immature. You’ll have a whale of a time. Ride as many roller-coasters as you can and finish the day with a candlelit meal in a nearby restaurant. Offer to drive on the way back and watch your partner struggle to stay awake after a day of thrills and spills.
Check Into A Bed & Breakfast
Who says you have to splash out on an entire holiday in order to please your spouse? If you can’t quite afford a full break – why not book yourselves into a luxury bed and breakfast for the night? Enjoy the privacy and the time away from the kids by tucking into champagne, chocolates and a romantic evening meal, say experts at TheNest.com.
Celebrate At Home
If you really can’t afford the money or the time spent on a getaway, you could always turn your house into the ultimate love-pad. Send the kids away to a babysitter, fill the lounge with candles and duvets and turn off all electronics. Share a home cooked meal and then just talk like you used to when you first met. If you don’t fancy cooking, order in and splash out on a fancy bottle of wine. Do not switch on your phone, computer or TV set – it would be a real romance killer and quite inconsiderate. So don’t do it.
Make Them A Cheesy Present
This is a great idea for couples who are super comfortable with acting silly in front of one another. It doesn’t matter if you rubbish at being creative – it’s not about creating the best present. It’s about the effort that goes into it. Write your partner a poem, sing them a song, draw them a portrait – it doesn’t matter what you choose to do, says money saving website OneCentAtATime.com. The only rules are that you can’t spend much money on supplies and you can’t get somebody else to do it for you. You must present both presents at the same time. Don’t be afraid to have a giggle about it either.
Kevin is a couples therapist and currently writing a book on relationship dynamics. He uses Room For Romance for great quality romantic breaks for couples. Kevin can be found online sharing her advice for keeping your relationship alive.
Posted in Holidays, Tips Tagged with: romantic breaks
When it comes to spending a holiday in the English countryside many people prefer to to own a private luxury holiday lodge. You will be able to find both pre-owned and new holiday homes that come in a range of prices to suit all types of budget. If you have a luxury holiday lodge of your own, it would mean that you visit it at any time you want to. Whenever you feel stressed out due to challenges of the modern day life, all you need to do is pack your bags and set out for a journey to your luxury holiday lodge in the countryside. The beautiful lodges and the parks are the perfect place for people to retreat in.
The article extensively discusses how luxury holiday homes act as the perfect place for you to unwind during your holidays.
If you wish to buy one for yourself, you will have to consider the approximate number of people who will be visiting the place. This is important as the lodges come in different sizes. You may think of buying a holiday home or lodge that has two to three bedrooms. Many even have a fold-out bed in the lounge, thereby offering ample space to extended families.
As you step inside the lodges are fully furnished and have every luxurious amenity that you use while at home. In fact, these holiday lodges are designed in such a way that they are spacious enough for you relax comfortably. Many of them have vaulted ceilings along with a open-plan lounge and dinning space. The kitchen area will have a full-sized sink, stove, fridge along with the other necessities so that you can cook delicious meals for your family and friends to relish.
One of the main reasons behind the demand for buying the lodges is that there are located in the parks that have beautiful backdrops. Therefore, they act as an ideal platform for all types of outdoor activities. While some of the lodges are located against the backdrop of the majestic mountains, others may be situated close to the sandy beaches or next to the dazzling blue riverside. Some of them are even situated near forest areas, allowing people to go for a nature walk. Visitors can also go for a walk by the side of the white beaches, or sit next to the quiet serene lake. You will also find parks that reflect history in them. Many who love adventure even choose to select a park that gives lighthouses or castles.
It is quite obvious while on a holiday, people will enjoy playing games. The parks parks inside the luxury lodges will let you indulge in a variety of games. People who love to enjoy tennis or golf should go for holiday homes that that have the provision for tennis courts and golf courses. The indoor swimming pools will also give your children the scope to pick up swimming skills.
Together, these luxury holiday lodges are a perfect place for people to take a break from their daily life. So if you are planning to own one them, all you need to do is do a thorough research and buy it.
Nicholas Percival is a leading chartered surveyor and estate agent. He has opened 4 beautiful luxury lodges Essex. To book a Luxury Holiday Lodge Essex visit the website or you can look for relevant information on Facebook or Twitter (@WakesHallLodges).
Posted in Holidays Tagged with: Luxury Holiday Lodge Essex