4 Top Choices for a Relaxing Holiday

With winter approaching, now might not seem to be the best time to start planning your next holiday. However, booking a holiday in advance is a great thing to do, as it gives you something to look forward to as you drag yourself through the colder months of the year. When it comes to holiday options though, not everyone embraces the growing modern trend of hiking through the wilderness or conquering mountains for the fun of it; plenty of people just want to kick back and relax. Here are a few of our favourite choices for a relaxing getaway to help you unwind:

Beach Holiday

Beach

When it comes to relaxing, going to the beach and watching the hours roll by still takes some beating. There are plenty of possibilities for a beach holiday on our very own shores, although if you can’t wait until the weather comes fine again you might be best setting your sights on foreign shores. With so many great beaches to enjoy around the world, you’re sure to be spoilt for choice.

Fishing Holiday

Fishing

Fishing is a fantastic way to unwind, and yet sitting on a riverbank eagerly awaiting your latest catch never verges upon being dull either. Things like carp fishing holidays in the UK are readily available, and best of all this is one type of holiday that you don’t have to wait to experience, as winter leases are very much worth considering. Just make sure you wrap up warm and take an umbrella!

Wildlife Holiday

Wildlife

Following on from fishing, why not stick with the wildlife theme and broaden the scope a bit? Booking a cottage in the middle of nowhere, and then wandering through the hills and glens whilst indulging in a bit of goat-spotting (or something similar…) is sure to help you unwind, and you’ll always see something different regardless of the time of year you go. Definitely one to think about.

Spa Holiday

Spa

We all like being pampered, and there’s something invariably relaxing about a bit of well-deserved ‘me-time’. Spa holidays combine the appeal of beach vacations with a few select health and beauty treatments, so you’ll feel the positive effects of your holiday long after you’ve returned to normality. If you’re in need of rest and rejuvenation, then you couldn’t do better than some time at a spa.

You don’t have to wait until summer to start planning your holiday break; in fact it’s often a poor decision to do so. There are so many things you can enjoy right now, and at the absolute worst you’ll give yourself a bit of something to look forward to by booking early. So many people dread the cold weather, so a bit of light at the end of the tunnel never hurts. Starting planning your next relaxing break now, and give yourself a reason to soldier on this winter.

 

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Escape On A Cretan Adventure

Ever had that feeling of just wanting to stick a pin in the map and jump on a flight? Whether you fancy a winter getaway or just want to start planning your summer holiday – we’re sure you’ll be wondering where to go!

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Discover somewhere you’ve never been before, or if you have, discover it all over again by choosing Crete. Crete is a beautiful holiday destination, offering something to suit all types of holidaymaker. Whether for a romantic escape, a family adventure or a solo expedition – here are just a few reasons why Crete is our voted holiday destination of the year. (And next!)

The Food

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One of the most known reasons for visiting Crete is to discover the flavours and aromas of traditional Cretan cuisine and dining. Enjoy a seaside view whilst relaxing at one of the local tavernas, or taste the flavours of local produce from Cretan markets and shops. Crete provides something to suit all taste buds and is a haven for foodies and dining tourists. Whilst on holiday, be sure to try the local meats, cheeses and various Cretan delicacies that give the island its tasty reputation. To get inspired by the flavours of Crete in the comfort of your own home – try some of these traditional Cretan recipes from Eat Crete.

The Culture

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Crete is an exciting island with plenty of cultural goings-on and things to discover. No matter if you are a first-time visitor or a returning holidaymaker, Crete provides something new to see and enjoy. If you’re the adventurous type, the arty type, the calm and relaxed type or even the discovering type – Crete highlights something for everyone. Need some ideas? Here’s a lovely big list from Trip Advisor with plenty to see and do during your holiday. Why not visit Aquaworld Aquarium - suitable for all the family, or add a touch of organic relaxation to your trip by visiting the Botanical Park of Crete?

The Cretan way of life is heavily focused on enjoying life and the simpler things; an attitude that shines throughout its culture, society and lifestyles. Visit one of the blue sea beaches and relax in tranquil scenery, go hiking throughout the White Mountains or explore the history of Crete and its traditional villages. Be sure to check out the local markets within the hearty city of Chania; discover the hand-made crafts and souvenirs, and take a piece of the beautiful island home with you!

The View

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Whatever your holiday style and taste, there is the perfect Cretan village to reside in during your Cretan adventure. Whether you enjoy being by the sea and enjoying a coastal home, or lounging amongst the White Mountain ‘scapes and the vineyards in a private villa home – there are plenty of options to surround yourself with the view you desire! Visit Freelance Holidays and discover the perfect location to suit your getaway. If you need any more convincing, here’s a full guide as to the Crete villages and what they have to offer.

Whatever your holiday style, Crete offers something to all. Whether a honeymoon getaway, a family holiday or a group retreat – escape to the beautiful island all year round and enjoy the scenic views, flavoursome cuisine, and discover the history of Crete.

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Essentials for Winter Camping

Whether you’re planning on tenting or caravanning in winter, there are certain things that you shouldn’t forget! Camping is enjoyable in all seasons, but only if you’re prepared – if you’re caught out, you could end up shivering away – not having a good time at all!

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Camping can be a cheaper alternative if you fancy a skiing holiday, so before you head out make sure that you have the following essentials…

Warmth & Comfort

Only a fool would think that camping in winter wouldn’t be cold, it is, but you’re also blessed with beautiful views and gorgeous mornings – so it is worth it. However, you don’t need to suffer at the hands of Jack Frost, just ensure that you purchase a well insulated sleeping bag; this will keep you cosy and warm in the night to make sure that you have sweet dreams. Sleeping bags from Nemo Equipment are available in all shapes and sizes, plus they have options for all weathers.

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Airbeds and floor mats can also make you feel much more comfortable at night time; that is if you’re camping in a tent – if you are; read these how to keep warm at Night when camping tips from Campr. Alternatively, you could be camping in a warm camper or caravan where you will have a comfortable bed, therefore you can just take an extra thick duvet and loads of layers!

Food & Cooking

When it comes to food, you’ll need things that keep your energy and blood sugar up, especially if you are heading out hiking. It is therefore important to pack loads of readymade or ready-to-eat snacks. Of course, you will also need to take cooking implements and a quality stove for your large meals. If your campsite allows campfires you could have loads of fun trying out cooking on a campfire – it really is an experience, although it can be difficult and take a long time! But, there are loads of foods you can cook when camping.

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Many campsites do not allow campfires, so an alternative is to choose a gas barbecue; you get that same flavoursome taste, however with fast efficiency – it’s really easy to light a gas barbecue. The funny thing is that when camping with this style of barbecue many people forget the gas! But without it you will be in trouble. You can buy calor gas from Adams Gas; it’s affordable and won’t let you down – so don’t forget it!

All Weather Outfits

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When it comes to winter weather, you never really know what to expect, so if you can make sure that you have a selection of outfits with you that include the following:

  • Wellies
  • Puffy coats
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof coats
  • Jumpers
  • Hats, scarves and gloves
  • T-shirts
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Jeans
  • Tracksuit bottoms
  • Warm pyjamas

Before you begin winter camping, ensure that you include all of these in items of clothing. Stock up with outdoor clothing from Cotswold Outdoor. If you are going skiing, remember you’ll need specialist clothing! Too many people attempt to conquer the great outdoors without suitable equipment.

Warm Drinks 

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After a long walk in the cold, take a minute to have a rest and warm up with a hot beverage. Ensure that your cupboards or backpack has a range of tea, coffee, and hot chocolate powders there – it will surely help you to have a relaxing holiday in a winter wonderland. Alternatively take a Thermos flask with you full of your favourite hot drink – there is no better way to warm yourself up when out in the cold!

So before you go camping in winter, make sure that you have the essentials with you, or you could find yourself in a bit of a pickle! Be warm, be cosy and most of all enjoy yourself!

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Great Island Holidays Right on Your Doorstep

Island holidays really are beautiful, especially if you love the sea! You may think that you need to fly for hours and hours to find stunning islands that are worth visiting; well you’ll be pleased to know that there are gorgeous islands that are excellent for holidays, closer than you think (if you live in the UK that is!). We’re sure that you’ve heard of them, but let’s introduce them anyway; the Isle of Man, Jersey, and the Isle of Wight…

Isle of Man

isle of man

The Isle of Man is a stunning little island based off the coast of North West England. Picturesque and full of history it is the perfect place to enjoy a getaway. You can do anything here from walking, to exploring old castles and relaxing on the beach. Whilst here you must visit Peel Castle; as a ruin it’s absolutely incredible, you can really let your imagination run wild and think about what it was like in times gone by. If you’re more into modern entertainment, visit when the world famous TT Bike Race is on.

How to Get There:

Steam Packet provide a regular ferry service from Heysham and Liverpool to the Isle of Man throughout the year – it is recommended that you take a car though to get around, although their bus links are very good.

Top Accommodation Choices:

There really are many different places to stay whatever the type of holiday you’re after.

  • For those looking to embrace the outdoors, choose a campsite on the Isle of Man, Peel is a great place to stay if you’re looking to explore the history of the island.
  • If you desire a little bit more luxury, choose a beautiful guest house in Douglas. Douglas is a fantastic place to stay as it is right next to the port.

Jersey

jersey

Jersey is one of Channel Islands and is situated between England and France – it really is a sublime destination where you can relax in style! There are lots of gorgeous beaches in Jersey. Plus with being situated between England and France, you get to experience a mixture of culture – you can order a delicious croissant without being able to speak a word of French.

How to Get There:

You can travel to Jersey by sea, so if you’re scared of flying you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to fly. However if you don’t mind flying, you’ll be happy to know that Easyjet have regular flights from the UK to the island.

Top Accommodation Choices

Whatever type of holiday you’re after, you can find it all here:

  • If you crave luxury, relaxation and comfort, choose a B and B in Jersey. With a B and B you are offered all the comforts of home, with breakfast made for you, but you can also enjoy the local cuisine by having a meal out at night.
  • Alternatively try camping in St Helier; this is great for families and those who just love the great outdoors. If you’re after a holiday with nature this is the best option.

Isle of Wight

isle of wight

The Isle of Wight is a wonderful destination for all ages, whether you’re after a family holiday, a romantic getaway or something a little bit different. One of the most famous events that attracts people to the island is the Isle of Wight Festival which happens annually in June. There are many different things to do here including farm visits, zorbing and of course, visits to the beach!

How to Get There:

Many ferries run from the south of England to the Isle of Wight, you could even get there via hovercraft, which is certainly an exciting and unique way to travel.

Top Accommodation Choices:

  • A spa hotel on the Isle of Wight is definitely an optimum choice. You can recline and relax in true tranquillity and then go and explore this fantastic island.
  • Alternatively, choose a self catering cottage in Newport, for a central location. This option is fantastic if you want the freedom to travel far and wide!

Shetland Isles

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The Shetland Isles is the perfect destination for any solo, couple or small group holiday aiming to escape from the mundane routine of life. It’s relaxing and tranquil atmosphere with beautiful seascapes and beach views provides the ultimate calm getaway for many a visitor. There are plenty of gorgeous beaches in Shetland with many being considered amongst the best in the UK.

How to Get There:

The Shetland Isles provide great transport links to the rest of the UK, and the most popular methods of transport include flight and ferry although there are various other easy and affordable ways to travel to Shetland.

Top Accommodation Choices:

  • For the perfect home-from-home accommodation, try a local Shetland hotel located in the area of the Island you wish to relax. This gives you a great opportunity for sight-seeing and exploring the gorgeous landscapes and nature reserves.
  •  Alternatively, why not camp out to add a little adventure to your stay? Make sure you rent a car though for ease of exploring!

So, if you fancy a holiday to a beautiful island, you don’t really have to travel far; these islands are spectacular and full of exciting things to do whether you visit in spring, summer, autumn or winter! Get booking and enjoy your holiday!

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Best UK Destinations For All Types of Weekend Getaways

Whether planning a family trip, a romantic escape, a solo expedition or a group getaway – city breaks within the UK can often provide as much adventure and culture as any abroad escape. We are all quite guilty of not classing jet setting in the UK as a ‘holiday’ or a ‘real break’, but you can find some really amazing city breaks within your home country at a fraction of the cost of a holiday abroad.

Always said you’ll visit a particular city yet never do? Now’s the time to get it booked and whisk yourself and/or your loved ones away with you. Who knows? You may even fall so in love with the place that you want to move there.

Here’s our guide to the best cities to suit any type of getaway within the UK.

Family Trip: Cornwall

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Cornwall is a perfect destination for any family holiday, and offers plenty of culture, cuisine and adventure to suit all members of the family. Whether a family with older children, or young parents with toddlers – Cornwall provides fun for all the family. From tasty Cornish pasties to surfing lessons; the seaside town offers lots to see and do. Cornwall is home to many an attraction, including the Eden Project, Newquay Zoo and Bodmin Museum, so if you’re looking for plenty of fun-filled activities to fill up your weekend – check out Day Out SouthWest who offer a one-stop info guide with everything you need to know to make your visit to the South West fun for all the family!

Romantic Escape: Windermere

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Windermere is a picturesque little getaway in the heart of the beautiful Lake District, offering stunning views and scenic ‘scapes all year round. Windermere offers a romantic getaway for any honeymoon, anniversary or weekend-for-two, and offers a range of attractions, lakeside restaurants and quality hotels to enjoy with your loved one. Whether it’s feeding the birds, renting your own rowing boat or just enjoying a picnic by the lake; Windermere is the ideal destination for a relaxing country escape. Check out Lonely Planet for great things to see and do whilst in the Lakes!

Solo Expedition: Edinburgh

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Edinburgh is the ideal UK destination for any brave explorer wanting to experience a little culture on their solo getaway. Edinburgh offers a bit of everything for the independent visitor; if the arts and theatre is your thing – visit the Festival Theatre or King’s Theatre for a top line-up of unmissable shows and productions. For the brave holidaymaker, Mercat Tours offer a variety of different tours that invite you to discover the underground history and vaults of both historical and haunted Edinburgh. Edinburgh offers lots to see, do, and explore, so check out Time Out Edinburgh for a full list of exciting options for your solo getaway.

Group Getaway: Bristol

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Bristol is the ultimate creative city, and is the ideal destination for any group getaway or old-friend meet-up. With its array of day and night attractions, Bristol really is a city that should be on everyone’s ‘to visit’ list. Relax on one of the many boat-bars along the harbour or lounge in a public park surrounded by architectural beauty; Bristol really is the perfect combination of traditional and contemporary styles. The nightlife is varied, and there really is something for everyone, both day and night. Check out Visit Bristol for a full line-up of Bristol’s events and festival dates.

 Corporate Teambuilding: Chichester

chichester

It may seem like an unusual choice to choose Chichester; it’s hardly a buzzing metropolis, however this is the reason why it is such a great destination for corporate getaways and teambuilding – the Chichester Treasure Hunt is certainly a favourite! You can get away from the office and focus wholly on the people that you work with. Plus Chichester has it all, from the cultural aspects to the beautiful beach of West Wittering, and there are a few top corporate hotels with excellent facilities; Crouchers for instance offer a wide range of corporate facilities – perfect for meetings and exciting team building events! Goodwood also offer a fantastic range of team building exercises including sheep herding – priceless! It really is a beautiful place to get away from the office.

We have only mentioned a few of the most exciting and unique cities in the UK, but it’s clear to see that you really don’t have to travel miles to discover new cultures and experiences. Next time you’re struggling to find a good last-minute deal abroad, consider visiting a UK destination instead. We are sure you’ll be surprised, and you’ll save some pennies!

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