Tag Archives: holiday

Travel & Holiday Ideas

Are you having trouble planning your holidays this year? Why not start looking online? There are literally hundreds of great travel forums on the Internet which offer the keen holiday maker unlimited ideas for a new vacation or holiday break. You could even find a holiday blog like this one and pick up some top holidaying tips!

If you love holidaying abroad then why not try searching for holiday blogs which offer ideas on local accommodation or holiday suggestions in a general area or location you’re interested in? You’ll often find links to lesser known holiday destinations, maybe off the beaten track. It’s always best to plan your journey ahead though and organising your own holiday can be more risky with less back up if things go wrong, but provided you get good travel insurance and plan transport and take all the security and safety precautions, planning your own bespoke holiday can be great fun and often lead to a more unique and memorable experience.

You may just want some tips on local attractions, maybe you’ve booked your holiday and are looking for scenic walks or tours, all this information can be found on holiday forums and travel blogs.

Forums are very useful indeed, as they often have others who are willing to share their experiences of a location or holiday resort whether it be good or bad, you can ask advice, pick up tips on where’s hot and where’s not, it’s a good way to pass on your own experiences too!

Holiday blogs and travel forums can help the avid holiday maker make informed and well thought out decisions on where to visit. If you’re hoping to visit the UK then such websites are equally as useful, with links to local accommodation and reviews.

So next time you think about planning your holidays, or even your weekend breaks, rather than simply heading down to the nearest travel agent, have a look online to at least get some ideas, you may just find that perfect retreat which you wont find advertised in the travel agents.

Article by Simon Lucas

Prepare your property for a holiday swap vacation

If you live in a popular tourist destination, then the possibilities for letting out your home for a holiday swap will make finding accommodation either elsewhere in the UK or abroad a lot cheaper for your trip away. There are many websites available today such as www.ukholidayswapshop.co.uk where you can register your home online and start swapping.

Once you have arranged your holiday swap and agreed on a date when you would like to swap, it is time to start preparing your home for the swap. There are many things that you need to think about, particularly security if you have never swapped with this person before. Before leaving your home in the hands of somebody else for a while, make sure to lock away any or highly valuable items in a secure room or cupboard. It is also important to make a plan for the handing over of the keys, consider whether you will meet at one of the houses and hand the keys over then, or perhaps arrange for a neighbour to

To make your home more welcoming to your swap guests, make sure the beds are already prepared for when they arrived and that they know where clean linen and towels are available. Leave information in a document about how to use the household appliances such as the television, washing machine and the wifi access key code. Provide a booklet which will tell them all about the best places to eat and drink in the local area, as well as things to do and places of interest to visit.

Obviously cleanliness is a must, before your swappers arrive, give your house a big spring clean and make sure that they will leave it in the same order when they leave. Empty the fridge or if you have a separate fridge or freezer somewhere else in the house, move all of your items into the alternative and give your guests the most convenient and obvious option.

Don’t forget the little extras! Making a “welcome pack” for when your swappers arrive will be very much appreciated, particularly if they have driven or travelled a long way. Get some bread and milk in and perhaps bake some cakes to make them feel at home. Most of all, once you arrive at their home, concentrate on having a good time, and leave the place in the same condition you left it!

Relaxing, rural and green in Dordogne, France

When you think about holidays in France, Dordogne is probably not the first region you think about but it offers a wealth of panoramas, activities and historic culture and is nestled next to arguably the best wine region in the world.

Situated in the south-west region, east of Bordeaux, the Dordogne is famed for its river, hence a host of water activities occur year-round; the most popular being canoeing. There are many organisations offering lessons and excursions, so check with the Federation Francaise de Canoe-Kayak for information on the best spots nearest you.

Another popular holiday activity is go-karting. Lubserac boasts a professional circuit of almost 1000 metres and bikes or cars for everyone aged over five years. In Javerlac there are two tracks – one for adults, the other for children.

If you are an animal lover, you could try horse riding, with 8,500 kilometres of winding countryside track, going through small villages and beaches. You could visit the Aquarium du Périgord Noir, in Le Buge, to view a wide variety of fish and reptiles.

You can also see lions, tigers and, rhinos, giraffe, camels, monkeys and birds at Le Parc du Reynou, near Limoges.

Matt Hopkins loves to holiday in Dordogne so much, he now owns a self catering holiday villa there. He says, “The Dordogne is a great region of France – it has just about everything you would expect from France – beautiful countryside, vineyards, cafe culture, amazing history.

“I like that it is far enough for great weather, but not too far – so you can drive to the area within half a day. This is the primary reason we chose this area – accessible, yet far enough to escape the north European weather.”

You can fly to the Dordogne via Bergerac airport – with Toulouse and Bordeaux also viable. In Bergerac you can also hire a car from just over £26 a day, which is advisable because France is a very big place. Or you can pick up a car in the UK and cross the channel to northern France and then drive down.

Matt adds, “When we take our holidays there, we pretty much just relax – soak up the sun, read books, enjoy the wine and such. But if you want to be more adventurous, there’s plenty to do to keep you going – canoeing down the Dordogne river, horse riding, cycling, some fantastic walks too.”

OTHER TOP DORDOGNE ATTRACTIONS

Château de Castelnaud
A 12th century castle in Nontron which dominates the skyline. After three restoration projects, the château is now open to the public and home to an impressive, popular museum of medieval warfare.

Rocamadour
A hugely popular village which draws tourists wanting to see the black Madonna – the shrine of the Virgin Mary.

Les Jardins de Marqueyssac
Wonderfully manicured gardens overlooking the Dordogne river where each hedge has been carefully snipped into whorls and bubbles, producing a stunning effect – all done by hand. Stay until dark to view the fairy lights.

Lascaux
Not far to the north of Sarlat, the Lascaux caves are known around the world and have been given UNESCO World Heritage status.

Markets
You will find markets all over the region in towns and villages. Well worth a visit.

By Steve Masters

 

Visiting the heart of Britain

“Guest blogger Alex James McKean tells Homes for Holiday why Stamford makes the perfect getaway”

Are you looking for time away from noise and sounds of the city? Or are you on the hunt for a quintessential Britain? If either of these applies to you, then Stamford, in the heart of the United Kingdom, may be the place for you.

Stamford is an old market town in South Lincolnshire surrounded by tranquil countryside and quaint villages. Its appearance is a visual projection of its history as its architecture comes from the 17th and 18th century with its stone buildings, cottages and timber structures. Much of the centre of town is renowned nationally and protected so that the history can continue to tell stories for time to come.

However, there is more to this town than history. You may find yourself meandering down the high street and discovering one of the many cafes, sitting with a cup of tea watching the world go by.  Keeping with tradition, Stamford has its own market, not only charming, but where fresh fruit, flowers amongst other products are available to purchase.

If there is an active person inside of you, Stamford and its surrounding area is home to many a cycle and hiking route. Clean, fresh air is definitely not hard to come by. Just ten minutes by bus takes you to Rutland Water, the largest reservoir in England which is home to a flurry of wildlife. Many birdwatchers descend on the area to catch a glimpse of rare birds in their natural habitat. Don’t be fooled into thinking the reservoir is just for animal enthusiasts. You may also come across water sports such as sailing and fishing and for the athletes among you there is a cycling route along a 25km road that allows you fully take in the breathtaking scenery.

At the end of the day after a long walk, then do as many do and head on to one of the pubs in Stamford for delicious pub food, a refreshing pint and warm atmosphere. The pubs in Stamford represent the community whilst at the same time they are the perfect place to relax. Or perhaps, you are looking for something a little more up market, so try one of the wine bars just off the high street.

Stamford is a town where old English culture survives. It has remarkable scenery and the people are always welcoming. It truly is quintessential Britain.

 

City guide to Bristol

For anyone who’s had the chance to visit, they will know what a charming little city Bristol is. With a population of just under 500.000, Bristol is big enough to have a great city vibe, but also retains much of its original style and atmosphere, giving it a very warm and cosy feel. In this first section of our guide to Bristol, we will be focusing on things to do and see and where to eat out.

Popular things to see and do: Bristol has many attractions to keep you entertained, and whether you are visiting on your own, with a group of friends, or for a weekend with the family, you will find something that will keep everyone happy.  The Bristol Aquarium is one for the whole family, and will provide an adventure-filled day with many exciting things to see.  Visit one of the most beautiful spots in the UK – Cheddar Caves and Gorge, whether you visit alone or in a group, this place is a must see – just don’t forget your camera!

 Culture, music and events: The Tobacco Factory is a popular spot in Bristol among locals and visitors alike – a café and theatre, which is holds performances from touring groups, and also holds in-house performances. The Tobacco Factory is great for the whole family and has a wide variety of events for children.  As part of the University of Bristol’s music department, the Victoria Rooms puts on a range of classical music performances throughout the year, and is greatly loved by everyone who visits.

Eating out: Take advantage of some of the amazing pre-theatre dining specials when in Bristol, and get real luxury at fabulous prices. The Palm Court Restaurant at the Marriot Hotel offers an excellent offer of 3 courses at just 20.50 GBP per person – get there nice and early and enjoy a glass of fine wine before heading off to the theatre.  For a Sunday lunch with a difference, head to The Spot Restaurant – a modern grill restaurant where fresh, quality produce is priority. This is a very popular, family friendly restaurant with a great atmosphere and great prices.