Top ten fishing holiday destinations part 2

Tuesday we discussed the first five of our top ten fishing holiday destinations. We covered the River Teifi in Wales, Eye Kettleby Lakes, Melton Mowbray, Sutherland, Scotland, Blenheim Palace, Oxford and Lough Corrib in Connemara, Ireland.

So without further ado, let’s get to our final five. Don’t forget, we have top quality holiday cottages close to each of these locations!

1.  Whitby, North Yorkshire

Let’s try some sea fishing this time. It’s a distinct change of pace and environment from sitting idly by a river but it’s an experience all by itself. Whitby is a lovely little town that has a flotilla of small boats willing to take fishermen out to sea to likely spots and enjoy a day catching cod, ling, haddock, herring or mackerel. The skippers are friendly and knowledgeable and its rare indeed to come back empty handed.

2.  River Wye, Derbyshire

The River Wye at Monsal Head in Derbyshire is a firm favourite fly fishing spot. The river is dramatic as it winds its way through the gorge and out into the sunlight. It’s a beautiful spot that has wild brownie by the thousand on a good day. As well as great fishing, the area has walks and places to visit too.

3.  Lake District, Cumbria

No fisherman worthy of the title will miss the opportunity to cast a line in one of the most beautiful places on earth. There are too many spots to recommend a single one, so we recommend the area as a whole. Once you’re finished on the water, there are plenty of other ways to spend time so is a great place to rent a holiday cottage for a week or two!

4.  Cheviot Hills, Northumberland

The Cheviot Hills in Northumberland is somewhere you have to fish but will have to work hard to try. Much of the river here is privately owned, making it difficult to get onto. However, there are quite a few tributaries along the length that make this journey worth the effort. Once you’re there, the salmon fishing is second to none.

5.  River Moyola, Northern Ireland

The River Moyola close to Castledawson, Northern Ireland will need patience to get to. While not far from Belfast, you need to leave the town behind and work your way up the river to the peace and quiet. Once you get there, you will be rewarded by lovely green countryside, a wide flowing river and lots of brown trout. It’s an idyllic place to fish once you’re there!

Remember, we have holiday cottages close to each of these top fishing spots. So if you’re looking to take time away from the world, there’s no better way than relaxing by the river and going home to a quality holiday let to cook your catch!

Top ten fishing holiday destinations part 1

Fishing is one of those activities that galvanises opinion. For some it’s not a hobby it’s a way of life. For others it’s a boring afternoon spent sitting by a river staring at nothing. We are definitely in the former camp and cannot count how many afternoons we have spent by the riverbank.

With that in mind, we have put together a two-part series on the top ten fishing holiday destinations in the UK. We, of course, have holiday cottages close to all of them. Each cottage would be the perfect place to relax or cook your catch!

1.  River Teifi, Wales

The River Teifi near Lampeter is one of the best places in the UK to find trout. Welsh rivers have regained their health and their fish stocks and nowhere is it more obvious than here. Night fishing is a must and the stillness of the Welsh night with the noise and drama of the river just adds to the occasion.

2.  Eye Kettleby Lakes, Melton Mowbray

Eye Kettleby Lakes is a series of eight lakes that stretch for over 150 acres of land close to Melton Mowbray. It’s an idyllic place for coarse fishing, set is lovely grounds with trails, woods and open land spread around the entire property. While it doesn’t have the freedom or drama of a Welsh river, it is a great place to fish.

3.  Sutherland, Scotland

Sutherland in Scotland is a national favourite for those who like to get away from the world, enjoy some fantastic countryside and do a bit of fishing. It’s fairly remote and showcases Scotland to its very best. The trout are good here, as is the welcome, the view and the entire experience. If you don’t mind being remote, this is a must see!

4.  Blenheim Palace, Oxford

Blenheim Palace is at the other end of the scale completely. This is lake fishing at its best, with tench, perch and roach during warmer months and pike during the winter. The setting couldn’t be more different than Sutherland, within the grounds of the exceptionally beautiful Blenheim Palace. Those grounds were designed by Capability Brown and it shows. It doesn’t get much better than sitting in a row boat in the lake watching the world go by!

5.  Lough Corrib, Connemara, Ireland

Lough Corrib in Connemara is not only a beautiful place to visit, it’s also an excellent place to fish. The entire village is built around it as it has its own special holiday called “Mayfly Week.” Here the schools close and the entire village goes to the river with mayflies on rods to catch hungry trout. It’s an experience as well as fantastic fishing. has a collection of high quality holiday cottages within a short drive of each of these great fishing locations. Choose your favourite, check the interactive map and book. It’s as easy as that!

Join us again Thursday for the second and final part of our top ten fishing destinations in the UK.

Top tips for taking better holiday photos

With spring well and truly here and people beginning to enjoy the great outdoors, we thought it time to discuss taking better pictures of your holidays.

As keen photographers, taking snaps of everywhere we go and everything we do comes naturally. Years of practice has given us the ability to take some good shorts too. It’s about time we shared what we have learned so you can benefit from some quality holiday photos too. After all, there’s no point enjoying a lovely holiday cottage if you have no reminders of your time there!

Brace yourself

Even the most steady hand will shake a little bit and there’s nothing like blur to ruin a nice photograph. Even if you’re using a camera with an image stabiliser, try to brace yourself against something to stabilise the shot. If there’s nothing to lean against, put your elbow into your hip, take a deep breath and shoot as soon as that breath is expelled.

Compose yourself

Composition is all about framing the image you’re looking at. Many amateur photographers will put the subject in the middle of the shot, but that’s not the only way. Putting the subject to one side if there is something else in the shot to add scale, interest, colour or depth can completely transform the image.

Close up

Getting in as close as you can while still maintaining composition will add some drama to the image. Whether you’re shooting a person, place or object, having it large and unmissable can make all the difference.

More is better

One of the benefits of digital photography is that you can shoot as many images as you like at no extra cost. You can then select the one that looks best and discard the others. Therefore, if a shot is important, take as many images as you can in that moment. You will be surprised at the differences between them!

Be quick

Life is full of those moments that just last a second so it’s important to be prepared. Experienced photographers will always have potential shots in the back of their mind and will be prepared for them as they arise. With most of us having camera phones, there really is no excuse not to have a camera ready for when that moment arises. Just think ahead and consider whether what’s coming up will be worthy of a photograph or not.

Those are just a few quick tips for taking better holiday photographs. We want you to have the best time possible while staying in one of our holiday cottages and remember the experience forever. Good holiday shots will help with that!

The Pennine Way hits 50

A couple of weeks ago, one of the most famous trails in the country hit the half century. In 1965, the 268 mile trail across the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales was opened to the public. It was Britain’s longest, most challenging hiking trail and it has gained a loyal following since.

The Pennine Way traverses the spine of Britain from Edale in the south to Kirk Yelholm in the north. It wanders through the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, North Pennines and the Cheviots, taking in some of the best countryside we have.

The Pennine Way

This trail, like many longer walks, can be broken up into bite size pieces so you can walk the entire way, but not all at once. There are dozens of towns and villages within close proximity to The Pennine Way and we have holiday cottages spread throughout the entire length of the trail. It’s easy to plan a week or two exploring the centre of Britain while using one of our top quality holiday lets as a base.

It would take around 19-20 days to walk the entire trail. That’s assuming you walked every day for several hours at a time. As an aside, the fastest completion of The Pennine Way was complete in 1989 in 2 days 17 hours 20 minutes and 15 seconds. A man called Mike Hartley ran the whole way, stopping only twice for 18 minutes each time.

The trail can be challenging as it’s hilly, sometimes exposed and very long. If you begin in Edale, the first few dozen miles can be hard, but then it evens out. Expect to do a lot of training before tackling the entire trail!

If you’re more interested in tackling sections of The Pennine Way, then things are much easier. You can break the trail down into manageable sections depending on your ability. The National Trails website has a wealth of information regarding maps, terrain, planning and much more.

Remember, if you feel like tackling The Pennine Way, check our holiday cottages in the area first. You’ll need to put your feet up after a long day of walking!

The National Trails organisations has organised a number of events this year to celebrate this 50th birthday. Beginning on April 24th, the official birthday of The Pennine Way, there began celebrations, special events and more. A month later and things are still going strong in what will be a year of events.

Check the list of special events here if you would like to get involved.

Top springtime food festivals 2015

Food festivals are great. They showcase local producers and growers, expose us to artisan products and new foods and allows everyone to come together to try something different. They are growing in popularity too, which is good news for all of us.

If you have never visited a food festival, you really should. If you're at all interested in food and curious about just how much we create in the UK, a festival is a great way to spend a day. Given that they are all over the country now, there will always be one close to where you are.

If you're spending a spring break in one of our holiday cottages and are looking for inspiration, here are a few food festivals being held this spring. Try one if you can!

Chorley Food Festival

Chorley Food Festival is now a foodie staple despite only being in its second year. It's now a well-established street festival held in the town of Chorley in Lancashire. It showcases local and national food growers, chefs, food and drink producers and many other food related businesses.

The Chorley Food Festival is well worth a visit if you're staying in the area on the 9th of May.

Cheese And Cider Festival

The Cheese And Cider Festival at the Gower Heritage Centre in Wales is another festival worthy of your time. It features our two favourite foods, cheese and cider, but will also have plenty of other produce on offer. This is a showcase of the best of Welsh food and drink and draws a big crowd each year.

Great British Food Festival

The Great British Food Festival in Yorkshire is a major food event that includes over 80 producers, dozens of displays, activities, demonstrations and more. Some of Britain's top chefs will be appearing and so will many artisan producers from around the country.

The Great British Food Festival is being held in Harewood, Leeds from the 23rd to 25th May.

The Great Wild Food And Chilli Fair

The Great Wild Food And Chilli Fair in Maldon, Essex is something a bit different. It not only celebrates local produce, you can also learn how to forage, to cook on a fire, smoke food, build shelters and many other skills. There are also stalls selling street food, performing demonstrations and showcasing chillies. It's a great event that is being held on 27th and 28th June.

There are literally hundreds of food festivals held around the country each year. They make a great day out for anyone who likes food or who is interested in trying something a little different. If you're staying in one of our holiday cottages nearby, we urge you to try one. It will be well worth the effort!

The National Waymarked Trails of Ireland

Continuing on our journey across the United Kingdom and Ireland's national trails, we visit Ireland. This is a land designed for walkers, with 43 National Waymarked Trails and 775 officially recognised walking trails across Northern and Southern Ireland. That's enough to keep even the most ardent walker occupied for a lifetime!

Anyone who likes walking and exploring is going to love Ireland. It's a good job we have a few dozen top quality holiday cottages for you to stay in while you're here! There are obviously too many trails for us to list them all here, but visit and you'll see all of them listed by county. Then, check to find a cottage close by. It couldn't be easier!

Here are a few highlights from that very long list of trails, including National Waymarked Trails of Ireland.

Ballyhoura Way

Ballyhoura Way is a national National Waymarked Trail of Ireland located in County Cork. It crosses into Limerick and Tipperary too over its 89km. The traditional start point is St. John's Bridge and ends at Limerick Junction. It would take around 4 days for an experienced walker to traverse.

This trail has its origins in 1602 as the escape route for O'Sullivan after the Battle of Kinsale. That's why we feature it here, history and geography all in one, what's not to love?

East Clare Way

The East Clare Way has seen some changes over the past decade that leave it less of a trail than it was. Nevertheless, at 180km, it's an epic trail that takes in some of the best of County Clare. The trail begins at Killalor and ends at the same place.

This loop highlights many aspects of Ireland you don't get to see from the tourist trail and for that reason alone we think it's a worthy trail to try.

Monaghan Way

Monaghan Way is 56.5km long and begins in Monaghan Town in County Monaghan. It ends in Inishkeen after taking in some of the best countryside, rolling hills, lakes and arable land in the area. The trail is well marked, well maintained and well worth a try.

It's shorter and could be done in a day or two for experienced walkers. There's no rush though, we are in Ireland after all!

Western Way

Western Way is in County Galway. It is 55km long, begins in Oughterard and finishes in Leenaun. It's a wild area that takes in the best of Connemara as it skirts the edge of Lough Comb. There is mountain, bog, farmland and small villages to take in on this trail, offering a great view of Ireland in its natural state.

The National Trails of Scotland part two

Welcome to the second part of our series highlighting some of the many walking trails that make up the National Trails of Scotland. Last time we covered Annandale Way, The Ayrshire Coastal Path, Kintyre Way, Borders Abbeys Way and Great Glen Way. This time we're going to cover five more places to enjoy walking in this beautiful country. has quite a selection of holiday cottages in Scotland. All would make a great base camp for tackling many of these trails. Check them out and book yours today!

The Southern Upland Way

The Southern Upland Way is 212 miles from Portpatrick to Cockburnspath. It includes some of the best hidden scenery in Scotland and is one of the quieter trails thanks to being relatively unknown except for enthusiasts. Enjoy hills, fields, woodland and coast along this way, with plenty of wildlife to spot along the way.

It takes around 12 days to complete this trail from end to end so using one of our holiday cottages as a base camp would be ideal.

Clyde Walkway

Clyde Walkway takes you from Glasgow city centre to New Lanark across 40 miles of city and countryside. Walk along the riverside out of the city into Strathclyde Country Park and then along the banks of Strathclyde Loch to the River Clyde. From here you explore woodland, fields and hillsides and take in all four Falls of Clyde.

Speyside Way

The Speyside Way runs from Buckie on the shore of the Moray Firth southwest to Aviemore on the edge of the Cairngorm Mountains. It is 65 miles long and includes a huge variety of countryside to enjoy. The trails are well maintained and take in some of the best views in the area. Buckie offers a lovely coastline, while you head inland to Aviemore where the mountains dominate the skyline. It's a lovely walk.

Berwickshire Coastal Path

Berwickshire Coastal Path takes you 28.5 miles from Cockburnspath to Berwick across some of the most picturesque coastline anywhere in the world. With dramatic cliffs, energetic sea and some lovely countryside landward, this is an excellent walk for anyone who loves the coast or seabirds as you get plenty of both. It's not the longest trail, but it is one of the prettiest.

The Moray Coast Trail

The Moray Coast Trail runs 50 miles from Findhorn to Cullen and is another excellent coastal trail. It takes in some amazing coves, cliffs and dramatic coastal scenes. Look inland for busy farms, lush woodland and some lovely scenes of Scottish lowland life. has a selection of high quality holiday lets within a short drive of any of these trails. If you're looking to explore, we have the perfect holiday cottage for you. Check out the interactive map to find yours!

The National Trails of Scotland

So we have covered the national trails of England and Wales, now it's time for Scotland. There are hundreds of miles of walking and cycling throughout the country with thousands of paths, bridleways and features to explore. It's just one of the many reasons to take a holiday cottage here.

There are too many trails to list in a single post, so both posts this week will feature some of Scotland's best walking trails. Enjoy!

Annandale Way

The Annandale Way is a new trail that runs for 55 miles between Moffat and Annan. There is a bit of rough ground, some loose sections and some climbing so good walking boots are essential. In return, you will get to see an old Roman watch tower, the Devil's Beef Tub and down into the Solway Coast. It's a great walk with plenty of open land, woods and valleys.

The Ayrshire Coastal Path

The Ayrshire Coastal Path runs from Glenapp to Skelmorlie and is 100 miles of some of the best coastal views in Scotland. From the path you can view the mountains of Arran, the Firth of Clyde. The going is steady, with good ground, plenty of hills but nothing too challenging. Pick the right day and those coastal views are simply stunning!

Kintyre Way

The Kintyre Way takes in the best of the Kintyre peninsula that opens up hidden coves, sheer cliffs, dramatic rock formations and some of the best coastal walking in Scotland. The Kintyre Way stretches from Tabert to Machrihanish over 98 miles or so of trail. It is broken down into sections so you can walk as much or as little of it as you please.

Borders Abbeys Way

Borders Abbeys Way is 68 miles long and links four Scottish abbeys, Kelso, Jedburgh, Melrose and Dryburgh. The track is a mix of coastal path, riverside, woodland, farm track and old railways lines. It's a fascinating glimpse into rural Scotland and offers the opportunity to see some of the country's best wildlife as well as some amazing scenery.

Great Glen Way

Great Glen Way is 79 miles of Scottish scenery stretching between Fort William and Inverness. It takes in some of the best of the highlands and makes it accessible to walkers of all levels. The trails are well maintained and there are a number of holiday cottages within easy reach. There are also opportunities to kayak or canoe across some of the glens, adding to the experience.

Those are just five of the many trails in Scotland. Join us on Thursday when we highlight five more. If you have gained an appetite for exploring Scotland, check out our Scottish holiday cottages. There really is something there for everyone!

Holiday cottages in the beautiful Channel Islands

The Channel Islands are an often forgotten part of the United Kingdom that doesn't get its share of publicity. For such a beautiful place with so much on offer, it deserves more. That's what this post is all about. We have a few holiday cottages in the Channel Islands and we want them all to get the attention they deserve.

The islands are made up of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Herm and Sark. Each has its own charm and character and each has something different to offer. Considering they are only an hour away by plane or helicopter, we really should visit them more. You can get there by ferry too.

Jersey is a mix of modern town and lovely countryside and is a real taste of cosmopolitan life. Guernsey is almost Mediterranean in character and has sparkling emerald waters and lots of history. Alderney is quieter, with less tourism but just as much to see and experience. Herm is smaller, with a tropical feel in its white sandy beaches and clear sea. Finally, Sark is car free, and a step back in time.

If you fancy a Mediterranean holiday without the hours of travel and language barriers, you should try the Channel Islands. Each has a very European flavour but with a British twist. The larger islands have plenty to offer families and couples alike. The smaller islands are well, smaller and quieter, perfect for taking time away from it all and enjoying yourself.

The Channel Islands sit close to the Normandy coast and have a unique mixture of French and British culture about them. The islands also bear the scars of being the only part of the United Kingdom to be occupied during the Second World War.

This year, the Channel Islands are holding the Channel Islands Heritage Festival, celebrating 70 years of freedom after that occupation. So if you were thinking of visiting the Channel Islands one day, this might be the best time!

Running from the 11th of May, the festival will include living history re-enactments of life during the 1940s at Castle Cornet to guided tours with historians, fetes and more. Visit the Channel Islands Heritage Festival website to learn more. Each island is holding its own events and there really is something for everyone.

Check out the Channel Island section of our website to book a quality holiday cottage on one of the islands. We bet you'll love it!

The National Trails of Wales

Last week we covered the National Trails of England and mentioned than Wales had its own set of trails. So this week we're going to discuss those, the National Trails of Wales. Despite there being an abundance of amazing countryside in Wales, there are only four trails in Wales. So it's just as well all four are actually very good!

There is no shortage of place to walk when in Wales. Many of our holiday cottage customers stay there to do that very thing. With national parks, forests and some lovely towns and cities, you're never short of things to do. However, if you're working your way across the country using the national trails, here are the four you need for Wales.

Offa's Dyke Path

Offa's Dyke Path is a 285km trail that stretches almost the entire length of Wales along the England/Welsh border. You begin in either Chepstow or Prestatyn and can walk the entire length in 12 days. Fortunately, the trail is broken up into more manageable sections with places to stay close to each.

Offa's Dyke was created by King Offa of Mercia during the 8th century as a rampart between England and Wales. Much of the original rampart remains and has been made safe for walking, which is now Offa's Dyke Path.

Glyndwrs Way

Glyndwrs Way is named after the last Welsh Prince of Wales, Owain Glyndwr. It is a 217km loop that begins and ends at different points along Offa's Dyke Path. It would take nine days to do all this trail, but in return you get to see some of Wales that most visitors would never get to see.

You walk through open moorland, isolated hills, small towns, farms, forests and the best of Welsh wildlife. You also get to see the Cadair Idris and Plynlimon mountains. Like Offa's Dyke Path, the trail is broken up into smaller sections with accommodation within easy reach of each. We have a number of holiday cottages within the area only a short drive from many sections of Glyndwrs Way.

Pembrokeshire Coast Path

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is 300km of coastal loveliness and is one of the best walks in the country. It takes in over 50 beaches, 14 harbours, lots of caves, coves, towns and villages and is well worth the effort.

Like the other trails here, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is broken up into manageable sections. Buses link many of them, while towns and villages make excellent stopping off points.

Wales Coast Path

The Wales Coast Path is the newest trail here, opened in 2012. It is 1,400km long and stretches for the majority of the Welsh coastline. It begins in Chepstow at one end and ends at Queensferry at the other. It includes the Pembrokeshire Coast Path the North Wales Path, the Anglesey Coastal Path and the Llŷn Coastal Path so you get to see the very best of what Wales has to offer.

Given the length of this trail, it will take a couple of weeks at the very least to cover most of it. Fortunately, like the other trails, there are a wide variety of accommodation available along the walk in the many towns and villages you'll come across while walking. We also have a number of Welsh holiday cottages near the route so you can recover at the end of the day!