Thursday, 29 September 2016

Ski Breaks in Scotland

You don’t have to budge from Britain to enjoy a few days skiing! So why head like lemmings for those cram-packed ski resorts in far flung places, when you can chill out and enjoy the real snow experience closer to home, often at a fraction of the cost?

 

Although you can ski in the Lake District in Cumbria when there's enough snow. Scotland, and the Cairngorms natural ski resort, in particular, is the place to be if you're looking for somewhere more snow-dependable. The Cairngorms is the highest land mass in the UK and therefore the nearest you'll get to predictably reliable skiing conditions, in Britain. The vagaries of British weather aside, the ski season in the Cairngorms usually runs from December to early April.

 

Located amid the glorious Highland scenery of Strathspey, the Cairngorm Mountain range lies between Speyside and Braemar. The highest peak, Ben Macdhui, rises to a height of 4,296 feet; the three other main peaks stand at: Braeriach (4,249 feet), Cairn Toul (4,242 feet) and Cairn Gorm (4,085 feet). Once a quiet railway village, the region's main ski resort, Aviemore was developed in the 1960s to cope with the booming skiing industry. Today, Aviemore is the largest ski centre, in the Cairngorms offering conveniently located accommodation and a broad choice of tourist amenities. Facilities include a funicular railway, east of Aviemore which travels up the flank of the Cairn Gorm terminating at the highest restaurant and shop in Britain.   

 

Skiing aside, the Cairngorms and the surrounding area is also a great all-year-round tourist destination. For a start, the Cairngorms National Park (designated Scotland's second National Park in September 2003) also offers spectacular scenery - moors, forests, hills, glens, lochs, rivers, alpine plants and rare wildlife. The remote corries, throughout the region, are home to golden eagles, ptarmigan and other rare species. In late August and September, the hillsides are a mass of purple heather and the forests in autumn time form swathes of rich golden, russet hues. In addition, the area is well-known for its wide range of sports including fishing (the River Spey is famous for its salmon), walking, hiking, golf, biking and pony trekking. So, if taking to the slopes is not your bag, take the chairlift to the top instead and simply enjoy the breathtaking views.

 

But above all, the Cairngorms are seen as a trendy ski destination for those who dare to be different. So go on - give it a go! The Cairngorms is Britain's prime ski centre and is fast becoming a viable alternative to other European ski destinations.  Book up a flight on one of the budget airlines that fly to Inverness; check out the available B&B deals in the area (Grantown-on-Spey, Carrbridge, Newtonmore, Aviemore (the main ski centre) all make good bases); create your own ski package; have fun. At least, this year, you can keep up with the Joneses when they're banging on interminably about their annual skiing holiday in that same old European resort.

 

Don't be put off if you've never been skiing before; newbies fear not. If you would like to get a feel for things before venturing onto the natural snowy slopes of Scotland, why not have a trial run - first - on one of the seventy- seven real snow and artificial slopes conveniently located around the UK? Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

 

Find your perfect Bed and Breakfast in The Cairngorms National park and grab your ski's (or snowboard)

Posted by David Martin on Thursday, 29 September 2016 12:07

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Chester - such a civilised city

Chester – such a civilised city

 

Over six million people visit Chester, every year, making this charming city one of the most popular short stay tourist destinations in Britain.

Chester B&B 

 

image courtesy of istock.com (Artist name villorejo)

So what's so appealing about Chester from a visitor's point of view? The simple answer is that this famous walled city has something for everyone: history, rich heritage, sophisticated ambience, chic shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants, street theatre, lively lifestyle, an abundance of prime location B&Bs and above all, a genuine welcome. Add to this the fact that Chester is a compact city and it's easy to find your way around and really, you can't go wrong!

 

Chester was built over 2,000 years by the Romans as a garrison port named 'Deva'. The Romans held sway for more than 300 years until the Saxons and then the Normans extended the town, adding an abbey (which later became a cathedral, in Tudor times), a castle and larger walls. In mediaeval times, Chester was an important port and trading centre, with its characteristic half-timbered merchants' houses, built on stone cellars and linked by galleried walkways. Chester's fortunes, however, took a down-turn during the seventeenth century when the River Dee silted up and Cromwell's men wrought havoc upon the city, destroying many of its original buildings. The next 200 years or so were spent restoring this cathedral city to its former glory. During the Georgian period, Chester re-emerged as a place where prosperous merchants chose to settle. But it is the nostalgic Victorians whom we have to thank for the 'replica' black and white 'Magpie style' façades that were built in mediaeval and Tudor style.

 

Things to see and do in Chester:

 

Walk the Wall: If you do nothing else, at least make time to walk along Chester's famous city walls; other British cities have fine city walls but none as complete as these or as accessible (some sections have wheelchair access). It takes about an hour to walk round the entire walls. From this vantage point, take in the sights: the cathedral, Roodee (the ancient racecourse), the Welsh hills in the distance, a bird's eye view of the River Dee, the hustle and bustle of the Rows below .. Pause en route and make a wish at the 'Wishing Steps' which link the south and east walls. Legend has it that if you manage to run up and down these steps, without drawing breath, then your wish is sure to come true.

 

The Rows (Eastgate Street, Bridge Street, Watergate Street): Although a few of the two-tier shop fronts, notably the '3 Old Arches', Bridge Street, date back to the thirteenth century, most of the unique store façades with which Chester is synonymous were actually built during the Victorian period. Enjoy the frontages for their architectural quirkiness. But be prepared to battle past the high street names in search of Chester's many specialist shops, from gourmet food to up-market arts and crafts.

 

Chester Cathedral: Built in 'stages' and occupying pride of place at the heart of the city, Chester Cathedral has its origins in the eleventh century. The last major construction work was carried out in the sixteenth century. The splendid edifice that we see today was once St. Werburgh's Abbey, which became a cathedral in the 1540s. Chester Cathedral remains one of Britain's best-preserved examples of a Benedictine abbey. The cathedral has some amazing features including the choir with its intricately carved stalls and magnificent stained glass windows.

 

Chester Zoo (Caughall Road, Upton): This is no ordinary zoo. Founded in 1903, Chester Zoo was truly visionary for its times in its aim to give its inhabitants plenty of space. To this day, animal welfare remains of paramount importance. Its 7,000 or so inmates are housed in generously proportioned enclosures and 'natural' habitats: a free-flying bat cave, human-sized prairie dog tunnels, a 'monkey kitchen' and much more. Conservation is also high-profile at Chester Zoo with several species bred specifically for returning to the wild. 

 

Chester Racecourse: A day at the races is a great way to take a break from all that sightseeing. Notoriously difficult to navigate, Chester's racecourse is constructed in a 'tight' circle which adds to the atmosphere of thrills and spills. If you happen to be visiting Chester in June, then the spectacular Roman Race Day is a must.

 

Choose Chester for a well-earned break that will appeal to all the family. Keeping everyone happy is a bit of a tall order, but if any city can rise to the challenge - Chester can!

 

Find your perfect Chester B&B, Guest House or Hotel on Bed and Breakfasts Guide

Posted by David Martin on Thursday, 1 September 2016 02:55

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Relax and unwind in Devon

Relax and De-stress in Devon

 

Looking to de-stress at a stunning bed and breakfast in Devon? Devon is always the perfect destination in Britain to take a break – to slow down the pace, relax and de-stress.

 B&B Brixham

 Image is of Beautiful Brixham harbour, courtesy of istock.com artist name  GordonBellPhotography

One of Britain's most popular holiday destinations. Open roads, open countryside, relaxing, picturesque towns and villages, friendly ambience in tearooms, pubs and restaurants and a huge selection of excellent B&Bs and Hotels to cater for all your needs. You simply can't go wrong. 

Devon Cream Tea

There are regional variations within England as to how a cream tea should preferably be eaten. The Devonshire (or Devon) method is to split the scone in two, cover each half with clotted cream, and then add strawberry jam on top. Traditionally it is important that the scones be warm (ideally, freshly baked), clotted cream (not whipped), and that the jam be strawberry (although raspberry jam is sometimes used as an alternative[citation needed]). Butter should never be included, and the tea should be served with milk.

In Cornwall the cream tea was traditionally served with a "Cornish split", a type of slightly sweet white bread roll, rather than a scone. It is now rare to find this available commercially, even in Cornwall, although splits are still used by many Cornish families in their own homes. The warm roll (or scone) should first be spread with strawberry jam, and finally topped with a spoonful of Cornish clotted cream.Scones are rarely buttered in commercially available teas - although we recommend it! 

Another variation to a cream tea is called "Thunder and Lightning" which consists of a round of bread, topped with clotted cream and golden syrup, honey or treacle.

 

England's third largest county, Devon, boasts an impressive range of scenery, between its north and south coastlines, including the two famous national parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor.

Devon has a fine reputation for taking its tourism industry very seriously; the infrastructure is in place and the county has earned its stripes as a provider of top quality accommodation and hospitality. And, at this time of year you'll be spoilt for choice. There are some fantastic late deals around and something to suit everyone's taste and budget. But, that's just the beginning. 

For those of you who want to do more than just put your feet up and chill, in idyllic surroundings, here are just a few suggestions (at the risk of omission!) for great days out in Devon:

 

Beaches: So many magnificent beaches, north and south and all within easy reach: flat swathes of sand at Woolacombe and Croyde Bay (noted for its superb surfing); the sandy dunes of Braunton Burrows and the stunning coastline of Start Bay are, to name but a few, beaches and bays that will satisfy more than just the bucket and spade brigade.

 

Exmoor: Relatively unpopulated, even in high season, Exmoor's wooded valley, heather moor and spectacular cliff top views from the town of Lynton or a trip on the cliff railway that takes you from Lynton to Lynmouth below, are not to be missed. 

Buckland Abbey (Yelverton): Enjoy a trip back in time, at Buckland Abbey, a medieval monastery, dating back to the thirteenth century. The hands-on style exhibition of the exploits of Sir Francis Drake is likely to appeal to all ages.

Canonteign Falls (Near Chudleigh): England's highest waterfall is set amidst spectacular scenery, surrounded by lakes, rocky crags and woodland.

Dartington Crystal (Great Torrington): A visit to the Dartington Crystal glass factory is a must for those who want to find out more about the ancient craft of glassmaking. The visitors' centre has a glass activity area that is great fun for young and old.

A visit to Dartmouth Castle is worth it for the sweeping views, alone, from its imposing battlements, as well as its wonderful waterside location.

Devon Railway Centre (Tiverton): Fun for all the family, the Devon Railway Centre, in the Exe Valley, forms part of the restored Great Western Railway. The railway museum and exhibition centre are well worth a visit.

Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon (Barnstaple): The museum encapsulates North Devon's social and natural history, dating back to 1845 and provides a unique insight into the archaeology and pottery industry of North Devon.

Powderham Castle (Exeter): This is definitely a day out for all the family. Powderham Castle, the family seat of the Earl of Devon, is open to the public with guided tours of the impressive staterooms and Castle grounds. The kids will love the children's secret garden and miniature steam railway.

Tarka trail: For an invigorating day out, in the great outdoors, head for the Tarka Trail, which consists of more than 180 miles of winding paths through rural Devon countryside. The trail is suitable for both walkers and cyclists.

South Molton: For visitors in search of the elegance and grandeur of former times, South Molton is sure to please. Famous for its period Georgian architecture, South Molton oozes charm, with its fine churches and museum, its antique shops and stalls selling local produce.  

 

Exeter: The cathedral city of (and university town) has so much to offer: historic sites dating back to Roman times, as well a modern day cosmopolitan atmosphere, shops, pubs and restaurants and a wide range of attractive accommodation. Visit the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter, with its display galleries that take visitors on a trip through history to modern day Exeter and further afield.    

The area know as the English Riviera is also in this county, this includes the beautiful towns of Paignton, Brixham, and Torquay in Torbay. Read more about this beautiful area in our blog on the English Riviera

With its winning formula of beautiful countryside, glorious beaches, picturesque seaside resorts, historic towns and so much to do that appeals to all the family, Devon has, indeed, got the lot.

So, what are you waiting for? Get online and book yourself a break, in Devon, before the high-season tourists beat you to it!

Find your next Bed and Breakfast or hotel in Devon on Bed and Breakfasts Guide.

 

 

Posted by David Martin on Thursday, 11 August 2016 08:51

Monday, 8 August 2016

Edinburgh the Jewel in Scotlands Crown

 If you're thinking about booking a bed and breakfast in Edinburgh, then you might like to read our interesting article on Edinburgh first

'It seems like a city built on precipices, a perilous city. Great roads rush down hill-like rivers in spate. Great buildings rush up like rockets .'

Edinburgh B&B

 

Image courtesy of istock.com ( Artist name bukki88 )

 

That was in 1905, and over 100 years ago that G.K. Chesterton enthused about the striking setting of Scotland's capital city. And credit where credit's due. When it comes to location, location, location, these words still hold good, today. There's no doubt about it, Edinburgh enjoys one of the most commanding city locations in Britain, but luckily there are many hotels and B&Bs offering bed and breakfast in Edinburgh.

Situated on Arthur's Seat, a craggy outcrop and the site of extinct volcanoes and later glacial activity, Edinburgh is visually spectacular, to say the least. And the best way to take in the delights of this friendly Scottish capital is on foot. Stand back and admire its classic architecture, Georgian crescents, medieval closes, the breathtaking panoramas, magnificent bridges. Above all, take time to visit the city's very epicentre, Edinburgh Castle, around which fortress, the city was built.

But there's so much more to see and do, in Edinburgh, than meets the eye. Culture vultures, for a start, won't know which way to turn. London aside, Edinburgh boasts more buildings of historic or architectural significance, than any other city in Britain. In addition, the city houses around a quarter of all Scotland's A-listed buildings.

Edinburgh, however, is also a modern and forward-looking city that takes tourism very seriously. Excellent accommodation, world-class restaurants, popular pubs and cafes, unrivalled recreational facilities, tourist attractions that appeal to all ages and tastes, the list of options is endless but makes staying in an Edinburgh Bed and Breakfast an ideal weekend away.

Edinburgh is a city of two parts, two characters and almost two separate identities: the Old Town with the castle in pride of place and the eighteenth-century New Town, with its swathes of Georgian architecture. Both the Old and New Town were designated a world heritage site by UNESCO, in 1995; both have so much to offer tourists from all over the world. So, at the risk of serious omission, here are a few ideas of places to visit in Edinburgh - 

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1: Scotland's most visited castle is a proud blend of architecture, dating back to the twelfth century. Within the castle are many attractions including St Margaret's Chapel (considered the oldest building in Edinburgh). 

B&Bs near Edinburgh Castle

Nelson Monument

Nelson Monument, Calton Hill, Edinburgh. EH7 5AA: Designed by the architect Robert Burn and constructed between the years 1807 and 1815, in memory of Admiral Lord Nelson who died in 1805, views from the top of the Nelson Monument are truly spectacular.

Forth Rail Bridge

Forth Rail Bridge, North Queensferry, Fife, Scotland, KY11 1HP: Opened to the public by Edward, Prince of Wales, in 1890, the Forth Rail Bridge was the first large steel cantilever bridge to be constructed in the world. The bridge spans an impressive 1.5 miles.

The Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP: Since devolution, in 1998, the Scottish Parliament has played a central role in both national and international politics. The Parliament building is open to the public, with visitor facilities among the best in Europe.

The Palace of Holyrood House

Palace of Holyroodhouse, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1: Originally founded as a monastery, in 1128, Palace of Holyroodhouse was home to Mary, Queen of Scots, and is currently the Queen's official Scottish residence.

Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo, Corstorphine Road, West Edinburgh, EH12 6TS: Edinburgh Zoo is world famous not only for its vast range of inhabitants, but also for its participation in educational and community programmes. 

B&B near Edinburgh Zoo

The National Gallery

The National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL: Situated in glorious surroundings, between the New and Old Towns, on the famous Mound, the National Gallery is housed in a magnificent building designed by William Henry Playfair. The National Gallery was completed in 1859 and today houses one of the most magnificent collections of paintings in Europe.

B&B Near the National Galleries of Scotland

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD: Located in the heart of the New Town, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery focuses on portraits of influential Scots who have shaped the nation's history.

The Stand Comedy Club

The Stand Comedy Club, 5 York Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EB: Established in 1995, in the basement of a pub, as an alternative form of entertainment, during the Edinburgh Festival, the Stand Comedy Club is now recognized in its own right as a showcase for new talent, as well as a venue for established comedy acts.

Did you know that .

 

. opinion is divided about the origins of the name Edinburgh? One of the most plausible theories is that the word derives from the Brythonic "Din Eidyn" or Fort of Eidyn. A less likely theory is that the name comes from the Anglo-Saxon, Edwin's Fort, named after the seventh century King Edwin.

 

Top tip for visitors to Edinburgh: 

 

The city's newly launched Edinburgh Pass (looks a bit like a credit card) is the perfect, hassle-free visitors' solution offering free entry to 27 of the city's most popular attractions, as well as unlimited public transport in and around the city.

 

Find your Bed and Breakfast or Hotel on Bed and Breakfasts Guide and start exploring the jewel in Scotland's crown.

 

Bed and Breakfast & Hotels Edinburgh

 

Posted by David Martin on Monday, 8 August 2016 09:50

Friday, 22 July 2016

Peak Popularity

The Peak District attracts millions of visitors each year. Designated Britain’s first National Park in 1951, this 555 square mile expanse of natural beauty (and tranquillity outside ‘peak’ season) contrasts starkly with the nearby industrial valley towns and larger conurbations of Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, West Yorkshire and the Potteries. In short, the Peak District is the complete antithesis of the surrounding swathes of urbanisation.

 B&B Peak District

image courtesy of istock.com artist name wamp

 

But the real beauty of it is that the Peak District enjoys excellent links with all nearby major cities, making it the most accessible of all Britain's National Parks and the perfect place for a last-minute break. In addition, the Peak District is served by an extensive network of bus and train routes, throughout the area.

 

Although the Peak District cannot lay claim to any high, mountainous peaks as its name might suggest, the whole region nevertheless boasts some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain. The Peak District is also a prime location for outdoor pursuits especially walking, cycling, climbing and horse-riding. The whole area has a clearly marked network of 'rights of way' and ancient bridleways and it is estimated that more people explore the region on foot, horseback or bike than all other areas of outstanding natural beauty in Britain combined.

 

The Peak District has two distinctly contrasting landscapes: the northern Dark Peak and the southern White Peak. To the north, west and east are the brooding and often bleak hard peat, grit-stone and heather-clad moors with their deep 'groughs' or gullies and the rocky edges and hillsides of the Dark Peak area. The area known as Dark Peak covers the high moorland north of Edale and is bordered to the west by the former textile centres of Glossop and Chapel-en-le-Frith, to the south down to the moorlands around Buxton and to the east by Howden and Derwent moors. The southern White Peak is classic limestone country with dry stone-walled pastures, intersected by deep dales most notably Dovedale, Lathkill Dale and Monsal Dale. White Peak extends from the Matlocks and Ashbourne in the south, to Hope Valley and Castleton in the north, the Manifold Valley in the west and the River Derwent in the east.

 

Highlights of the Peak District include:

 

Arbor Low: Known as the 'Stonehenge of the North', this stone circle, made up of forty-six recumbent stones enclosed by a ditch, dates back to around 2,000 B.C.

 

Ashbourne: 'The market town of Ashbourne is known locally as the 'gateway to Dovedale'. Ashbourne has one of the most impressive parish churches (mainly thirteenth century) in the Peak District as well as one of its oldest schools, founded in 1585.

Bed and Breakfast Ashbourne  

Bakewell: With a population of approximately 4,000, Bakewell is the largest village within the National Park area. Home of the famous Bakewell Tart, this charming village has a fourteenth century town bridge and an attractive seventeenth century market hall.

B&B Bakewell 

Blue John Cavern (Castleton): The Cavern's vast stalactite and stalagmite interior also contains the Blue John Mine where Blue John stone, a rare and exquisite type of fluorspar, is extracted.

 

Chatsworth House: Magnificent Chatsworth House and the Duke of Devonshire's 'Palace of the Peak' is undoubtedly one of Britain's grandest stately homes. Set among beautiful gardens, the magnificent seventeenth century Palladian house contains works of art from around the world.

 

Cromford: Site of Arkwright's Mill, the world's first water-powered cotton mill built in 1771, Cromford, today, is at the heart of the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site.

 

Dovedale: With its thickly-wooded slopes, dramatic wind-sculpted rocks and stepping stones, Dovedale is one of the prettiest and most popular river valleys in the Peak District.

 

Eyam: Step back in history and visit the village where the inhabitants imposed quarantine upon themselves to contain the plague of 1665 to 1666.

 

Peveril Castle: The ruins of romantic eleventh century Peveril Castle are located in the centre of the Peak's cave district, overlooking Castleton.

 

So, if you're feeling frazzled and champing at the bit for a change of scene, why not base yourself in one of the lively nearby cities and then escape to the peace and tranquillity of the Peak District - for the best of both worlds!

Bed and Breakfast Peak District

 

Posted by David Martin on Friday, 22 July 2016 02:15

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

The Lake District

The Lake District, in Cumbria, is Britain’s largest (all 885 square miles of it!) and most visited national park. The natural grandeur of the region’s lakes, mountains and waterfalls inspired some of Britain’s most famous thinkers and poets of the past, and continues to work its magic on modern day visitors. The Lake District boasts some of England’s largest lakes and highest mountains, with four mountains over 3,000 feet high.

Image courtesy of istock.com artist name Rachapol

 

Nature lovers, cyclists, walkers and holidaymakers, from far and wide, descend upon the Lake District in their droves, during summertime.

The most popular areas are around Grasmere, Ambleside, Coniston and Windermere, all of which are geared up to catering for tourists with many excellent B&Bs and guesthouses, as well as numerous visitor attractions, throughout the region.

 

One of the major attractions of the Lake District is its vast network of over 1,800 miles of footpaths that covers some of Britain's most spectacular scenery. This is the great British outdoors, at its rugged best: mountains and rolling fells, awe-inspiring lakes and waterfalls - and a unique sense of calm even at the height of the summer season.

 

Apart from its natural beauty, however, The Lake District has much more to offer visitors. The whole region provides the perfect setting for recharging the batteries, amidst tranquil and inspirational landscapes. But, Cumbria is also famous for its welcome, for its bustling, market towns, delightful stone-built hamlets, elegant country houses and gardens, as well as its numerous and varied tourist attractions.

 

So where do you start exploring the wonders of the Lake District? Here are just a few suggestions .

 

The Lake District's literary heritage: Poetic giants, famous philosophers, artists and writers, throughout the ages, have all drawn on the area's natural beauty for their inspiration. Wordsworth, for instance, the 'Poet of the Lakes' still lives on through his verse depicting the beauty of the Lake District. Visit Grasmere, the centre of the Lake District's literary world, where Wordsworth wrote some of his best poems, between the years of 1799 and 1808; and where Coleridge, in his hypnotic poetry captured the enduring charm of the area's unique landscape. Then there's the nineteenth century social philosopher, John Ruskin; visit Brantwood, near Coniston, where he lived. His letters and paintings capture the distinct character and glory of the Lake District. Or, pop into the Ruskin Museum, Coniston for an insight into Ruskin's critical mind and artistic talents. On a lighter note, the famous children's author, Beatrix Potter was also besotted with the beauty of the Lake District, as is evident at the Beatrix Potter Gallery, (Main Street, Hawkshead).

 

Derwentwater:  Famous Derwentwater Lake is three miles long, one mile wide and around seventy-two feet deep. The waters of the River Derwent flow into the lake from the high fells, at Borrowdale. Derwentwater boasts four islands, and is set amidst dramatic fell scenery. Enjoy a walk around the lake's shores or take a boat trip across its waters, in order to fully appreciate the lake's magnificent natural setting.

 

Rheged Discovery Centre (The Village on the Hill, Redhills, Penrith, Cumbria): This popular Lake District visitor centre is Europe's largest grass covered building. Rheged's attractions include a large, giant cinema, where visitors can experience a simulated 'flight' over the lakes and mountains of Cumbria; a national mountaineering exhibition; craft and gift shops;  local artists' exhibitions; the Reivers café, as well as an indoor play area that will please younger visitors.

 

Carlisle Castle (Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 8UR): A commanding medieval fortress overlooking the City of Carlisle, Carlisle Castle is over nine centuries old. Visitors can get a real feel for the past, by entering the castle's ancient chambers, stairways and dungeons with their notorious 'licking stones', which allegedly contained just enough moisture to keep dehydrated prisoners alive, before their execution on Gallows Hill.

 

To find your perfect Lake District B&B click here.

 

 

Popular Lake District Towns –

 

Keswick B&B

 

Windermere B&B

 

Ambleside B&B

 

Bowness on Windermere B&B

 

Carlisle B&B

 

Penrith B&B

 

Grasmere B&B

Posted by David Martin on Tuesday, 12 July 2016 10:34

Friday, 1 July 2016

Riviera Style

This beautiful South Western coastal area has all-year-round holiday appeal; but it is, after all, the Riviera: vibrant, stylish, upbeat. Surf-lovers seeking their thrills, beach babes strutting their stuff, elderly couples strolling along the promenades and families enjoying a fun packed day out. This is people watching, at its best. And, on a sunny, summer’s day, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is the French Riviera, the similarities are so striking. But, no, this is the glorious English Riviera, otherwise known as Torbay.

English Riviera

 

image courtesy of istock.com artist name GordonBellPhotography

But there the comparison ends. The British version has a fine pedigree all of its own. Over the ages, the English Riviera has earned itself the reputation as a top tourist region thanks to its winning formula for pleasing those in search of a great British break. 

 

 

For a flavour of what this wonderful twenty-two mile coastal strip that has to offer, dip into the following list of goodies; there's something for everyone:

 

Beaches: The English Riviera boasts more than its fair share of beaches, a whopping twenty, in total, ranging from large and sandy to hidden, rocky coves. Torquay, alone, for example, has Maidencombe Beach, Watcombe Beach, Oddicombe Beach, Babbacombe Beach, Redgate Beach, Anstey's Cove, Meadfoot Beach, Torre Abbey Sands, Corbyn Sands and Hollicombe beach. Or head for Paignton's Preston Sands, Paignton Beach, Goodrington Sands, Broadsands, Elberry Cove. Brixham, too, has no shortage of fine beaches including Churston Cove, Fishcombe Cove, Breakwater Beach, Shoalstone beach and St. Mary's Bay. The English Riviera's beaches have a good overall safety record. Torbay enjoys a relatively sheltered position, protected from prevailing winds.  

Watersports: Torbay and the surrounding area is famous for its access to an impressive range of water sports: swimming, diving, surfing, boating, angling; whatever floats your boat, the English Riviera's got the lot. Mingle with the yachting fraternity at Torquay or Brixham Marina or take a boat trip from any of the departure points, along the Bay. Torbay is a fisherman's paradise, with unrestricted sea angling off several beaches. Catches include bass, bull huss, dogfish, conger, garfish, flatties, mullet and mackerel.

Café Culture: Sit back and enjoy the scene from a nearby quayside café or restaurant. The English Riviera is famous for its lively café culture; the buzz is tangible, particularly during high season. Restaurants are noted for their quality local fare as well as pandering to the international palate. If you're looking for something a bit more basic, or perhaps a traditional English afternoon tea, Torbay offers something for all tastes.

B&B Accommodation: The whole area is well catered for with a wide selection of B&B accommodation to suit all budgets. Torquay, Paignton, Brixham, or anywhere else throughout the area, for that matter, would make an ideal base for exploring the English Riveria.

 

There is an air of optimism about this British coastal region, so aptly dubbed the English Riviera, where holidaymakers gravitate all year round. Torbay has moved with the times, while still managing to retain a general air of up-market refinement - a rare combination, which is so often missing from many holiday resorts abroad.

 

Torbay is clearly a wise choice for the discerning tourist.

Posted by David Martin on Friday, 1 July 2016 03:39

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Cosmopolitan Cardiff ticks all the tourist boxes!

If you haven’t visited Cardiff for several years, then you’re in for a big surprise. For Cardiff, the capital of Wales and seat of the Welsh Assembly is nowadays a buzzing metropolis – a thriving city that has completely obliterated the more dreary aspects of its poverty-ridden, industrial past.

Cardiff Skyline

 

image courtesy of istock.com artist pixelpot

Within the space of a few decades, Cardiff has undergone a radical makeover. But unlike other UK cities that have spruced up their image, in recent years, this city has taken a different approach.

 

Find your perfect Cardiff B&B, or Cardiff Hotel by clicking here 

 

Extensive investment and widespread renovation of the more run-down areas of the city has strengthened the local economy while, at the same time, boosted its tourist industry. With its cosmopolitan vision firmly fixed on prosperity, Cardiff has also managed to retain all that is good about its local character and unique culture.

                                     

Cardiff today is lively and prosperous; it is also one of the friendliest cities, in Britain. The people of Cardiff appear to enjoy the quality of life that the city has to offer. They exude that untranslatable quality of 'hwyl', which roughly equates with 'joie de vivre'.

 

So what does Cardiff have to offer visitors? The city's attractions are plentiful, with something to suit everyone's taste. The heart of Welsh rugby at the Millennium stadium (the first UK stadium to be built with a retractable roof); a lively contemporary music scene; superb restaurants, cafés and gastro pubs, as well as traditional, friendly local pubs; excellent shopping, with big names, designer outlets and an eclectic selection of specialist shops dotted throughout the Victorian and Edwardian arcades.

 

Or, simply chill out in the recreational quarters of the regenerated dockland area, especially on sunny, summer days. The ambience is positively carnival, with jugglers, buskers and street performers. Café society and trendy bars add to the party atmosphere. The water bus is a popular attraction and a great way to absorb the fun and frivolity - and enjoy some people watching, at a distance!

 

For those in search of culture, Cardiff is awash with inspiration, with theatres, outdoor performances, museums and regular literary events. Visit Cardiff's well-preserved castle, situated in a commanding central location. Cardiff Castle is an architectural extravaganza of colour and baroque detail and a reminder of the huge wealth amassed by the Bute family (allegedly richer than Queen Victoria herself!). No visit to Cardiff, however, is complete without a leisurely day out at the Museum of Welsh Life at St Fagans, on the outskirts of Cardiff. The folk museum is an amazing showcase for the rich cultural heritage of the people of Wales, from the early Celtic era to the present day. Also, do try and fit in a visit to the National Museum and Gallery of Wales, located in the impressive neoclassical Civic Centre. The Gallery houses the largest collection of impressionist paintings, outside Paris.

 

From a tourist perspective, Cardiff also provides the ideal base for exploring the surrounding coastline and areas of outstanding natural beauty. Perhaps take in the splendours of Llandaff Cathedral, on the outskirts of the city, which dates back to the sixteenth century. If you have transport, take a trip to nearby Caerphilly Castle, with its imposing moat and the second largest water defences, in Britain.

 

Whether you stay close to the city centre, or wander further afield, Cardiff never fails to impress.  It is a dynamic forward looking city, with a highly sophisticated edge - no doubt about it. But above all, Cardiff is a city that is proud of its past.

Posted by David Martin on Thursday, 30 June 2016 12:20

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Free Business booking service

Did you know we offer a free hotel booking service for businesses?

Corporate hotels 

(image courtesy of istock.com artist name shironosov)

Bed and Breakfasts Guide offer free support for businesses looking to book hotels on a regular basis, or even just one off bookings.

 

We do all the hard work for you and can tailor the service to suit your individual needs.

 

Customers who already use this service say it saves them hours of trawling through different websites looking for the best deals because we take that hassle away from you. We then email the options over to you which are closest to your meeting so you can pick the right option to suit your needs, travelling time and budget.

 

Key benefits to your business –

 

  Free service

  Hours saved searching as we can do it all for you

  Best Rates found (we are usually cheaper than if you book direct with most hotels)

  Fast efficient service with quick response times

  Bespoke to suit your individual needs

  1000's of hotels in our database

  All areas covered

  No hidden costs, the service is totally free

 

All you need to do is simply

- email us the postcode of your meeting

- Travel dates

- Number of rooms required

- Type of room

- Budget

- Special requirements (Wifi, Parking, leisure facilities, spa etc

 

We will then email you a list of closest available options within your requirements. They can then be booked directly using the links provided, or we can assist you over the phone to help complete the reservation.

 

For more information on this please drop David an email –

 

[email protected]

 

We look forward to working with you in the future.

Posted by David Martin on Thursday, 9 June 2016 04:43

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Cottages.com have a great Summer offer for June - save £25 this weekend bookings only!

The better weather is finally here so the perfect time to escape for an early Summer break with an extra “£25 off June arrivals”

T&C’s - We currently feature a selection of properties across the UK offering a further £25 reduction for arrivals between 2nd June and 29th June 2016.  The reduction for shorter durations will be lower.  Offer available for bookings made between Friday 27th and Monday 30th  May 2016.  The ‘was’ price refers to the price at April 2015.  Prices may have varied since those dates. The discount applies to the accommodation price only.  Depending on popularity we can withdraw or extend this offer. Subject to availability. Booking Conditions apply.

Introducing Flexible start dates 

Many properties will now accept any day arrivals

The following REGIONS are just perfect for that next get away

 

Yorkshire - http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/BAB/england/yorkshire?adult=2&child=0&infant=0&nights=7&range=3&pets=0&partyprofile=1&region=1

Walk rolling hills, stop for some real ale or a cream tea and enjoy this huge county. Take in the Minster in York or perhaps the Bronte Museum in Haworth.

 

Devon - http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/BAB/england/devon?adult=2&child=0&infant=0&nights=7&range=3&pets=0&partyprofile=1&region=1

Quaint villages and cream teas make this a very ‘traditional’ location. Other things to enjoy are the fabulous beaches and traditional seaside towns.

 

Norfolk - http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/BAB/england/norfolk?adult=2&child=0&infant=0&nights=7&range=3&pets=0&partyprofile=1&region=1

Norfolk is a great destination at any time of year. Stroll along it’s miles of unspoilt coastline or perhaps take a boat trip, kick back and truly relax on the beautiful broads.

 

Northumbria - http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/BAB/england/northumberland?adult=2&child=0&infant=0&nights=7&range=3&pets=0&partyprofile=1&region=1

Northumberland's countryside is steeped in history and as a result you'll find fortresses and pele towers peppering the county. Why not re-visit roman times and visit some of the beachside castles.

 

We understand that not all our customers are the same, therefore we have a wide selection of product that will meet the needs of any holiday maker

 

Cottages.com Collections

 

Luxury Cottages - http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/BAB/england/luxury-collection/?adult=2&child=0&infant=0&nights=7&range=3&pets=0&fshow=1

 

Heritage collection - http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/BAB/england?adult=2&child=0&infant=0&nights=7&range=3&pets=0&fshow=1

 

Quirky properties  - http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/BAB/england?adult=2&child=0&infant=0&nights=7&range=3&pets=0&fshow=1

 

Baby & Toddler - http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/BAB/england/baby-and-toddler-friendly/?adult=2&child=0&infant=0&nights=7&range=3&pets=0&fshow=1

 

Group Bookings - http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/BAB/england?adult=2&child=0&infant=0&nights=7&range=3&pets=0&fshow=1

 

Pet friendly - http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/BAB/england?adult=2&child=0&infant=0&nights=7&range=3&pets=2

 

Cottages with hot tubs - http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/BAB/england/hot-tub/?adult=2&child=0&infant=0&nights=7&range=3&pets=0&fshow=1

 

 

Further afield –

 

France - http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/BAB/france?adult=2&child=0&infant=0&nights=7&range=3&pets=0

Italy - http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/BAB/italy?adult=2&child=0&infant=0&nights=&range=3&pets=0

 

Ireland - http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/BAB/ireland?adult=2&child=0&infant=0&nights=7&range=3&pets=0

 

 

Posted by David Martin on Wednesday, 25 May 2016 03:30