Tuesday, 4 December 2012

StayCottages.com Goes Live

We have just launched a new site - StayCottages - http://www.staycottages.com/index.html - featuring holiday cottages and self catering holiday homes from around the UK.

The site allows easy browsing to help you find the cottage you want to stay in.  Once you have selected your ideal holiday home, simply click on the image and it will take you straight through to view more details, images and location information on the holiday cottage.  From there you can make a booking enquiry, in many cases directly to the property owner.

The site currently has holiday cottages for each of the Stay regional sites :

South West - holiday cottages and self catering holiday homes in the South West

South East - holiday cottages and self catering holiday homes in the South East

North West - holiday cottages and self catering holiday homes in the North West

East Anglia - holiday cottages and self catering holiday homes in East Anglia

To view a great selection of hundreds of holiday cottages and self catering holiday homes take a look at StayCottages.

Monday, 22 October 2012

A Quick Overview of the South West of England

The South West of England offers one of the most diverse range of visitor attractions, natural beauty and accommodation in the UK, great for all interests and activities.
In the Avon region there are historical cities like Bath, with its Roman architecture and heritage, Bristol with its trading and shipping heritage, and then in Dorset there is Bournemouth and Poole which are more traditional seaside resorts.

Friendly County towns like Exeter in Devon, Truro in Cornwall and Gloucester in Gloucestershire, where you can see hillsides and farmland from the city centre – always a reassuring sign that you are never far away from the fresh air of the countryside.

Dorchester, the County town of Dorest, and the surrounding villages and countryside is where the author Thomas Hardy lived, wrote and based many of his works - here you can really see his works come to life in rural Dorset.

Inland, the counties of Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire have some of the prettiest countryside in England, including areas like The Costwolds, with its rolling English hills and stone built cottages and the New Forest, which is well known for its unspoilt beauty and New Forest ponies.

The Somerset levels offers some amazing countryside, with features like Glastonbury Tor rising, often out of the mist, from the lowlands.

If it is wild scenery you like, then Exmoor, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor are renowned for spectacular walking through some of the wildest scenery in the UK.  An alternative way to experience them is also on horseback, with many local stables providing tours of the moors on horseback.  Or for something a little more unusual, you can go “hawking” on the moors – hunting with a hawk on your arm.

But take care when visiting some of these Moorland areas – the weather can close in quickly.

The mild Cornwall climate, which benefits from the “North Atlantic Drift”, creates a great environment for garden lovers.  Cornwall has some of the nicest gardens in the region, including Lanydrock and Heligan, and of course the world-renown Eden Project near to St Austell.

The South West of England is most well know for its lengthy coastline – hundreds of miles of coat path, where you can walk from North Somerset, south to the southern most point of England, then turn the corner to walk east along the south coasts of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset all the way to the Hampshire border.

This route takes you through seaside resorts, across some of the most stunning cliff tops with Atlantic views, through charming traditional fishing villages, and resort towns like Westward Ho ! (the only town in the UK with an exclamation mark as a part of it’s name !) or Torquay.

Along the way there may also be the chance to surf some of the best beaches in the UK, like Croyde or Newquay.  Every summer the miles of sandy beaches are packed with surfers, especially for the annual championships that are held in Newquay each year.  Or for the braver surfer, the Winter months usually deliver some fabulous surf – but it is a little colder !

Depending on your budget or preferred style of accommodation, there are always places to stay.  Cliff top campsites and youth hostels, farmhouse Bed & Breakfast, self cateringcottages and some top quality hotels.  A site like StaySouthWest.com can help you search out a range of places to stayacross the South West, to plan you tour.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Stay on Pinterest

We are uploading images of our favourite places to stay onto Pinterest, the social media site that allows you to share all your favourite pages and images from web sites.  Here are the links, and feel free to repin to your own boards.

StaySouthWest Pinterest

StaySouthEast Pinterest

StayNorthWest Pinterest

StayEastAnglia Pinterest

StayNewZealand Pinterest

Or take a look at each of the sites for accommodation listings :

Accommodation in the South West

Accommodation in the South East

Accommodation in the North West

Accommodation in East Anglia

Accommodation in New Zealand

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Stay Google+ Pages

We have been busy creating some pages for all our sites on Google+.  On these pages we will post links, images and details of new properties that are coming live on each regional site.  Follow the page from your own Google+ account if you want to keep an eye on it.

Here are the links :

StaySouthWest Google+ Page

StaySouthEast Google+ Page

StayNorthWest Google+ Page

StayEastAnglia Google+ Page

StayNewZealand Google+ Page

Monday, 10 September 2012

4 Unusal Self Catering Holiday Homes

4 Unusal Self Catering Holiday Homes

There are many great cottages and holiday homes to stay in throughout the UK, but here is a small selection of some quite unusual properties for a self catering holiday.

Rishangles Old Church, Eye

Located in the hamlet of Rishangles near Eye.  Eye is a  small market town on the River Dove, just south of Diss, in Suffolk.

Richangles Old Church is a converted church building, imaginatively restored by a successful Suffolk furniture maker.  It is a Grade II listed church that now offers unique holiday accommodation sleeping up to 10 guests.  Accommodation includes superb countryside views from the bell tower, a galleried library, stained glass windows and vaulted ceilings.

Take a look at Rishangles Old Church on StayEastAnglia.

The Pump House, Appleby

Appleby in Cumbria, is a pretty market town with a lot of historic interest and charm. Over the years it grew to be the market town of Westmorland, after the Norman Conquest, as it had a strategic position in the Eden valley.

The Pump Cottage, sleeping just 2 guests, is a unique and very romantic converted detached pump house, standing in an unrivalled position on the banks of the River Eden.  It is delightfully decorated with great attention to detail and enjoys views over the cricket pitch, the church and the river.

Take a look at The Pump House, Cumbria, on StayNorthWest.

Purbeck Vineyard, Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle is in Dorset, in the heart of the Isle of Purbeck, located between Wareham and Swanage.

Purbeck Vineyard, offers self catering holiday accommodation in Harmons Cross near Corfe Castle, giving the chance for parties of up to 25 guests to stay on in a superb property on a vineyard.

The vineyard was established over 10 years ago with about 3000 vines and the winery on-site allows the wine grapes to be harvested, pressed and vinified into wine that truly is "Chateau" bottled.  Tours of the winery and vineyard can be organised by prior arrangement and wine can be pre-ordered.

Quite a few of the rooms have balconies overlooking the vineyard, the nearby steam railway and the Purbeck Hills.

Take a look at Purbeck Vineyard, Corfe Castle, Dorset on StaySouthWest.

The Oast House, near Ashford, Kent

The Oast House, sleeping up to 6 guests, is located right on the edge of the old Wealden wool village of Smarden near to Ashford in Kent.

It is a beautifully renovated detached Oast House, finished to a high standard that includes oak floors and half galleried landing.

The village is made up of many half timbered and white weatherboard houses dating back to 1331, which was a propserous weaving town until the 19th century, when hops were introduced.

Take a look at The Oast House on StaySouthEast.

StaySites has a large selection of self catering holiday homes on the various regional sites :

For self catering holiday homes in the South West see StaySouthWest

For self catering holiday homes in the South East StaySouthEast

For self catering holiday homes in the North West see StayNorthWest

For self catering holiday homes in East Anglia StayEastAnglia

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The City of Bath - Enjoy it on a Fine Day

Bath is a great place to visit on a fine day, with much outdoors to do, so that you can enjoy the best of the South West’s weather at the same time as one if the region’s finest cities.
Sometimes when you visit a place the weather is just too good to be inside, so it is as well to have a plan for activities which are out in the fresh air, lapping up the sun.
When you visit Bath you will find a wealth of beautiful buildings and museums to attract the tourist whatever the weather, but on those rare sunny days there are other things to do, out-of-doors.
Cars are best left in a Park and Ride or city centre car parks, or the city is easily accessed by rail and bus.
Then, on a warm day, instead of walking why not take the city sightseeing open-topped bus?  This can be used as a way of seeing and visiting all the main sites.
Bath architecture is almost more stunning from the top of a bus than it is from street level and this mode of transport avoids hot pavements and crowds and sometimes gives an extra glimpse into the gardens and homes which are being driven past. Often a better perspective can be gained for photos from higher up as well as the sweep of the Georgian crescents and streets. Then there is always the local commentary to amuse and inform.
For the combination of indoor and outdoor the new Thermae Bath Spa offers options. Warm waters from the thermals beneath the city have been pumped into the complex to produce a lower ground floor Romanesque style pool for swimming against intermittent currents or just wallowing in the spa area. On mid level are a series of four glass steam rooms, each infused with different oils and up on the roof is the fine day option of the open air pool where the views across the rooftops of the buildings to the fields beyond the city can be appreciated. Two hour, four hour or all day ticketing times mean several hours can be spent there just moving from one area to another with a lunch or a coffee from the cafĂ© between water sessions. There are several spa treatments and therapies on offer as well. On entry to the Spa visitors are issued with a wristband which automatically scans into a safe locker for valuables and clothes.  Robes, towels and flipflops can be hired at extra cost. The Spa complex is in the centre of the city close to the Roman Baths and Pump Rooms and can be seen on all the pedestrian signs.
On a really hot day why not take to the river? The Avon flows through the city and is easily accessible for use via the Victorian built Bath Boating Station in Forrester Road. Here skiffs, punts and canoes can be hired by the hour for a gentle drift through cooling waters. There is a car park here and refreshments available.
For those less energetic organised river trips are available from Pulteney Bridge in the city centre.
Slightly further out of the city (one mile from the train station), is Prior Park Landscape Garden. It is in Ralph Allen Drive. Bus service out to the garden is frequent and access is free to National Trust Members.  The eighteenth century landscape was created by Ralph Allen, a Bath entrepreneur, and he was reputedly helped by the poet Alexander Pope and Lancelot “Capabilty” Brown. The most notable feature of the gardens is the much photographed Palladian Bridge famous for being one of only four in the World still able to be crossed. Set in a sweeping valley there are truly wonderful panoramic views of the City of Bath.
Another five minutes on foot leads to the Bath Skyline which is a six-mile walk rewarding you with woodlands, meadows, follies and endless spectacular vistas.
There are many great places to stay in Bath with a range of accommodation in the City of Bath as well as in the surrounding Avon and Somerset countryside and villages.
Take a look at StaySouthWest for a large selection of self catering accommodation in Bath, Hotels in Bath like the Best Western Abbey Hotel, Bath, Guesthouses in Bath or a B&B in Bath like Bloomfield House B&B in Bath.