What to do in Hampshire while you’re there

If you’re staying in one of our Hampshire holiday cottages this year, you’re staying in one of the most historic counties in England. Not only does it have some of the oldest towns, naval bases and landmarks, it also has some of the best forest of anywhere in the country.

So if you’re planning a summer break in Hampshire, here are five great ways to spend your time.

Hawk Conservancy

The Hawk Conservancy Trust is a charity that rescues and rehabilitates birds of prey. Set in 22 acres of countryside near Andover in Hampshire, the Trust has a visitors centre, viewing area, display section, breeding programme and much more.

You have the opportunity to watch the birds fly, see them in their native habitat and even hold one on your arm. It’s a great day out for all the family.

New Forest

The New Forest is a real highlight of Hampshire and is located near Lyndhurst. It’s a huge forest with wild ponies, livestock roaming free, walking trails, cycling areas, campsites, activities and more. It’s an amazing place to visit when you’re staying in one of our Hampshire holiday cottages.

There are activities, walks, local landmarks and more, all within easy reach of the forest.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is an exceptional attraction even if you’re not into naval architecture or history. It includes the Mary Rose Museum, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, HMS Alliance and so much more. It’s a grand day out for all the family and will educate and entertain in equal measure.

Set in the heart of Portsmouth, it’s easy to access from anywhere in Hampshire.

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral is a thousand year old landmark set in the heart of this ancient city. The current cathedral has elements that date back over a thousand years. The building is open to the public and has both guided and virtual tours. There are also local events and festivals celebrated here.

The architecture alone makes the cathedral worth a visit. Add in the city of Winchester too and you have a top day out in Hampshire!

Royal Armouries

The Royal Armouries is based in a Victorian fort called Fort Nelson. It’s open to the public and has a visitor’s centre and café as well as display. Located on Portsdown Hill near Portsmouth, the fort has been restored to its former glory and is well worth a visit.

The Royal Armouries are currently free to get in and the gallery on site is well worth a look, especially if you like military history.

Each of these attractions is easy to get to from almost anywhere in Hampshire. Each makes a great day out if you’re enjoying a summer break in one of our Hampshire holiday cottages and is well worth a few hours of your time!

Great days out from your Somerset holiday cottage

Somerset is about as English as English can be. It’s a lush, green county full of quaint villages, twee traditions, excellent attractions and lots of things to see and do. Somerset is also a location with a healthy range of holiday cottages to choose from and is a firm favourite with our customers.

With that in mind, we thought we would put together a quick list of some great days out within easy reach of many of our Somerset holiday cottages.

West of England Falconry

West of England Falconry is an experience that you won’t forget in a hurry. Located near Bath, this day out is ideal for anyone with even a passing interest in birds. View them, get up close and even fly them.

The falconry is a charity that rescues birds and rehabilitate them. For that reason alone they are well worth a visit.

Wells Cathedral

Wells Cathedral is an ancient cathedral set in lovely grounds in the town of Wells, Somerset. Named after the natural springs set in the Bishop’s Palace garden the city was settled in the Stone Age and has been settled ever since.

The cathedral itself is a lively, beautiful building with lots going on. There are displays, walks, talks and events. It’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

The North Somerset Butterfly House

The North Somerset Butterfly House can be found between Weston super Mare and Bristol and is another worthy day out if you’re staying in one of our Somerset holiday cottages. It’s a tropical setting with all sorts of plants, flowers and butterflies.

Staff are always on hand to offer information, anecdotes and advice. It’s a great place to visit whether you’re into nature or not.

West Somerset Railway

West Somerset Railway is based between Minehead and Bishops Lydeard in Somerset. It’s a heritage steam railway that includes miles of track, several stations, lots of locomotives and rolling stock and plenty of enthusiastic volunteers.

If you have ever wondered what all the fuss is about with steam trains, this is where you can find out!

Roman Baths Museum

Roman Baths Museum in Bath is a Roman bath house that has been preserved and restored as authentically as possible. Set in the centre of Bath, it holds guided tours, as well as plays host to city walks and other entertainments.

The Baths Museum gets busy, as does the city, so arrive early if you can.

Those are just five of the hundreds of great days out in Somerset. Each is within a short drive of many of our holiday cottages and is worth a visit when you’re here.

Top tips for taking your dog to a holiday cottage

It’s becoming more common to holiday with our animals. We do the same here. We don’t go anywhere without our Labradoodle as he likes to be with us all the time. If you like to take your furry friends with you wherever you go, this post is for you!

Many holiday cottage owners are aware of our desire to take our pets with us when we go away so allow them in their properties. There are usually stipulations and an extra deposit to pay if you do, but the process is easy enough. Pet-friendly cottages are now so popular, we have a section on our website to help you search them quickly!

To help keep holiday cottage owners on side, we have put together some quick tips for if you want to holiday with your dog.

Keep animals off the furniture

While you may let your dog onto the furniture at home, most holiday cottage owners don’t want them on theirs. Not only do they get dirty, claws and collars can easily catch and damage said furniture. Plus, it means more cleaning before the next guest arrives.

Bring their toys and bed

Usually, if you keep your dog tired or occupied they are no trouble. A tired dog is a happy dog after all. With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to bring lots of toys for them to play with and their bed to collapse into after a hard day playing and exploring.

Not only do they give them something to do and lie on, they are also familiar and help the dog ease into their new surroundings. Both allow your dog to enjoy your holiday as much as you.

Don’t leave animals unattended

Bored dogs create trouble. They can chew, bark, howl and destroy. They can also escape, go where they shouldn’t, try to find you or get themselves stuck in places they really shouldn’t.

While a dog should never be left somewhere they could do those things, it’s even more important that they aren’t while not somewhere familiar.

Clean up after them

What goes in must come out. All of our holiday cottage owners say cleaning up dog mess from their garden or property is their number one gripe. Followed shortly after by muddy paw prints everywhere and fur on the furniture. If you enjoyed your time in the holiday cottage, leave it in the condition you found it.

These four simple things will help ensure those holiday cottage owners who allow dogs will continue to do so. It could also help others who are on the fence about offering pet-friendly cottages to join in. Both would benefit all of us who like going on holiday with our dogs!

What Brits really want from their holiday

A new survey has been released that tells us some interesting things about how the UK has changed and how our lifestyles, tastes and requirements are changing with them. While focused around hotel holidays, the survey is equally relevant to those who enjoy staying in holiday cottages.

The survey does reflect what we see and hear from our holiday cottage owners about the changes they have seen over the past few decades about what is expected of a holiday property and what we now expect.

The survey was run by Pixmania.com, an electronic retailer. It found that almost a third of Brits rank Wi-fi access higher than cleanliness and a good restaurant. The results were:

  1. A nice view
  2. Wi-fi access
  3. Clean room
  4. Good mattress
  5. Great hotel restaurant

It’s good to see a nice view is still top of the list, but it’s a shame to see over thirty percent of people are so connected that they can’t spend time away from the internet!

While deeper exploration of the changes in British society would be fun, it’s a little out of scope for this blog. However, we can use this list to work with our holiday cottage owners so they offer what the public wants.

All of our holiday cottages offer clean rooms, clean linen, hygienic surroundings and a good mattress. They wouldn’t be featured on the site if they didn’t. But, this survey and any others like it are a good way to tell our owners that Wi-fi is now seen as a specific requirement by almost a third of holidaymakers.

It seems our inability to switch off from the world is stronger than our desire to do just that. However, if the public wants it, holiday cottages should provide it. The same can be said for the rest of that list.

We can’t always do much about the view. A property is where the property is. However, highlighting the view if it has one is important.  Wi-fi access should then be provided if at all possible as some respondents of that survey said they only pick destinations that offer it.

A clean room and a good mattress should be the very minimum our holiday cottages have anyway, but it’s worth reiterating. As for a restaurant. Well, if you have good ones near your rental property, it’s worth highlighting those too.

While we may not agree on this list of priorities, they are what people want. As we are in the business of giving people what they want, we should listen.

Try a holiday cottage for your next fishing holiday

If you’re trying to think of things to do this summer, why not try a fishing holiday in one of our fantastic holiday cottages? With over fifteen thousand of them on our books, you really are spoilt for choice!

There is no doubt that fishing is one of Britain’s more popular pastimes. In fact, recent lifestyle surveys by the BBC found it to be the most popular pastime in the UK. It’s calming, relaxing and a perfect excuse to spend an afternoon surrounded by beautiful countryside while pitting your wits against nature.

It isn’t just men either, a growing number of women and children are taking up fishing. Either as an activity or as an escape from daily life. Whatever the reason, it’s good to get outside, leave computers and email behind and get back to nature for a while. It can only be a good thing that our kids want to spend time outside instead of in front of the TV!

So it’s lucky that the UK is so rich in fishing spots. Freshwater or saltwater, river or lake, there really is no end to the opportunities to hit the water with rod and tackle. From Scotland to Dorset, Suffolk to Wales, there are lakes, rivers and private fishing spots to enjoy.

If you prefer sea fishing, there is plenty of opportunity there too. We’re an island, surrounded by thousands of miles of coastline. You can fish from the beach, from the rocks or pier. You can hire a boat and head out to sea or hug the coastline and see what’s out there.

Wherever you go, whatever type of fishing you have, we have a cottage for you. We have thousands of high quality, competitively priced holiday cottages across the UK. Many of them are by rivers, lakes or by the coast. Perfect for a summer fishing holiday.

If modern life is getting you down, technology becoming a drag and you just want an escape from it all, fishing is the way to go. You can leave your phone at home so you’re not contactable, can’t check emails and can’t answer work calls. It’s the perfect answer to the challenges of modern living.

It’s also something we can help you with. Check out some of our most popular holiday cottages and find something near a river or lake. Book it and go. Pack your rod, your tackle and the family if you like. Don’t hesitate, don’t overthink it, book it. Go on, you deserve it!

Top five days out in Dorset

If you’re thinking of having a summer holiday in Dorset using one of our beautiful holiday cottages, this is the post for you. We have selected some of the top destinations in Dorset to help you make best use of your time in this county. If getting out and about is your idea of a good summer break, read on.

Dorset is a lively county on the south coast of England. It has lovely scenery, historic towns, friendly people and some of the best coastline anywhere in the world. No wonder it’s such a popular holiday destination!

Here are what we think are the top five days out in Dorset.

1.   Sculpture by the Lakes

Sculpture by the Lakes near Dorchester is something no visit to Dorset should do without. This is a fascinating place to visit even if art isn’t your thing. The sculptures are thought-provoking and are set in some fantastic landscaped gardens and lakes. Booking is essential though as visitor numbers are purposely limited.

2.   Sherborne Abbey

Sherborne Abbey is an 8th century abbey that is still in operation to this day. On its 3rd or 4th iteration, the abbey is Norman and dates to around the early 15th century. It is a lovely place to look at, wander round and marvel at the architecture, stained glass windows and grounds.

3.   The Tank Museum

The Tank Museum at Bovington is definitely something for the boys! Much of the museum has been recently built or renovated and is now much bigger and better than before. There are static displays, interactive displays, activities for older children and a gift shop. It’s an excellent day out and within driving distance of most places in Dorset.

4.   Weymouth Beach

Weymouth Beach has miles of soft golden sand and is within walking distance of the town. It gets busy during high season, but you have to see it. A visit to Weymouth and Weymouth Beach should be a must-do to any visit to Dorset. We have dozens of holiday cottages within easy reach, so there really is no excuse.

5.   Monkey World

Monkey World is a sanctuary near Wareham that featured on the TV program Monkey Life. It’s an excellent day out if you’re in the area and well worth a visit. The enclosures are large and offer great opportunities to watch the various types of primate at play. The areas are logically laid out and offer enough space to take your time and take it all in.

Those are just five of the many attractions in and around Dorset. If you’re using one of our holiday cottages this summer, each of these are well worth your time!

The best beaches in Devon

If you’re planning a summer holiday in Devon in a holiday cottage, some beach time should definitely be on your agenda. With some of the best beaches of any location in the world, spending a few hours catching some sun and watching the world go by is our idea of heaven!

Selecting the “best” beaches somewhere like Devon is tough because we all look for different things. What we hope we have done is highlighted a cross-section of beaches with a range of amenities. If you’re holidaying in one of our Devon holiday cottages this summer, there’s bound to be at least one here you’ll love!

Dawlish Warren

Dawlish Warren is widely regarded as one of the best beaches in Devon. Voted in the top ten by The Times and various nature magazines. Dawlish Warren is a great place to relax, unwind and enjoy the best of the scenery and wildlife. There are usually local events going on too in the summer months.

Ladram Bay

Ladram Bay near Sidmouth is a pebble beach set in a cove surrounded by sandstone cliffs. If you close your eyes and imagine the Devon coastline, chances are it would look something like this. It’s sheltered, dog friendly and has some fantastic cliff walks as well as lots of places to explore.

Strete Gate Beach

Strete Gate Beach near Slapton Sands is a long shingle beach that stretches for miles. There is a section for nudists but the rest is family friendly. The coastline is lovely, the sea relatively calm and the slope shallow, making it ideal for paddling.


Teignmouth is a town in Devon that has miles of lovely beach. It gets busy during high season, but is family friendly and close to amenities. The beach itself is quite wide, clean and is overlooked by the Victorian pier. It’s a great seaside spot to explore during any summer break in Devon!

South Milton Sands

If you want to do something other than just soak up the sun, sea and sand, South Milton Sands is for you. You can snorkel, scuba dive, body board and try all sorts of other activities. It’s also a great place for a spot of seal and dolphin watching, which makes this beach a must-see.

Beesands Beach

Beesands Beach is a typical, quaint Devon village with cottages and a pub. It also has a freshwater lake, lots of grassland and a sea wall. There is a coastal path that traverses the area too if you’re feeling energetic. Otherwise, the beach itself is a fantastic place to while away a sunny afternoon.

Putsborough Sands Beach

Putsborough Sands Beach near Woolacombe is a surfing hotspot. This north Devon beach is long, sandy and has some great waves. It’s also sheltered from the Atlantic wind too, which is another reason this beach is so popular.

We could write for days about the beaches in Devon, but we simply don’t have the space. If you’re planning to use one of our Devon holiday cottages this summer, any of these beaches will be well worth your time!

Summer adventures in Cornwall

If you’re planning to spend summer in Cornwall staying in one of our lovely holiday cottages, you’re not going to be short of things to do. To add a little adventure to your summer break, why not try one of these adventurous activities?

With a selection of high quality holiday cottages all around the Cornish coastline, all of these activities are within easy reach of your accommodation. That makes them ideal for a day of adventure while you’re on holiday!

Body boarding

Body boarding is a type of surfing that uses a shorter surfboard and fins. You also do it lying down so is much more accessible than surfing. There are a number of body boarding schools in and around Cornwall, including some owned and run by professional surfers.

If you fancy getting into the water without having to spend days learning how to transition on the board, this is the activity for you!


If you can swim and are comfortable underwater, why not try spearfishing? Spearfishing is a combination of snorkelling, free diving and fishing. James Bond has done it, it has been on TV, now you can try it too.

With the fantastic shoreline all around Cornwall, there are ample opportunities to dive and get to see a part of this fantastic county you wouldn’t normally see. Check out the spearfishing schools and book your lessons now.


Cornwall is most famous for surfing, so you would be remiss for not giving it a try when you’re staying in a Cornish holiday cottage. There are surf schools all around the coast, with quite a few around Fistral Beach where the surf is ideal for catching a wave.

We would definitely suggest taking a lesson or three first unless you have tried it before. There are dozens of great surf schools around so you really are spoiled for choice there.


Not all adventures in Cornwall take place in the sea. With miles and miles of dramatic coastline, the cliffs are a playground for the skilled and adventurous too. There are a number of abseiling centres dotted around the coast, as well as rock and cliff climbing.

If you’re good with heights and want to see the Cornish coastline from a completely different angle, this could be the activity for you.

Those are just four of the many adventurous activities available in Cornwall. If you’re planning a summer in the sun in one of our superb holiday cottages, you’re perfectly placed to try them!