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Holidays give us a chance to escape the demands of daily life and refresh our minds. Children need this just as much as adults, so that’s where these family-friendly (and stress-free) rentals come in! These 8 rentals focus on getting out and playing in the great outdoors, trying new experiences and staying somewhere special to remember forever. 

Whether you want to squeeze in a last-minute break or plan ahead for next year, these UK rentals are just what tired minds need…

The Cottage Beyond, Sampford Arundel, Somerset

Set in the heart of a 260-acre organic farm, this beautiful contemporary home is packed full of features families will love. There’s a secure private garden with a trampoline, roundabout, swings, slide, croquet, badminton and clock golf. If the weather isn’t so good, there’s a large undercover games room with air hockey, Connect 4 and table tennis. 

Explore the surrounding farmland and you’ll find everything from chickens and cattle to woodland, ponds and picnic tables – not to mention fantastic views of the Quantocks and Blackdown Hills. But the icing on the cake is the exclusive use of the spa with its private heated indoor pool, hot tub and sauna. So whether you’ve got teenagers needing a break after exams or toddlers needing some time to run free, this fantastic home is ideal for relaxing family escapes.

See all rentals in Somerset

Court Farmhouse, Marhamchurch, Cornwall

This sprawling 300-year-old farmhouse is perfect for stressed-out kids (and grown-ups!) of any age. Take a dip in the pool, feed the farm animals or let off some steam in the enclosed garden. The facilities for little ones are excellent and will help make your stay as easy as possible; you’ll find everything from cots and highchairs, to buggies and even babysitting! There are also holistic treatments and catering options available on request. 

This calming rental sleeps up to 12 so there’s plenty of room for the extended family, too. You’re sure to leave feeling recharged and refreshed. 

See all rentals in Cornwall

Into the Woods Treehouse, Whippingham, Isle of Wight

There’s something about treehouses that stir up a huge sense of awe in children. Holing up in the woodland and staying in a cosy nest next to the birds is every kid’s dream. This gorgeous treehouse sleeps up to six guests, so it’s perfect for families looking for an exciting adventure. 

One guest celebrating their 18th birthday said, “I have always wanted to experience staying in a treehouse since I was young and all my dreams came true for a special birthday!”. This is one experience your kids will treasure forever.

Find more family-friendly rentals on the Isle of Wight

Craufurdland Castle, Kilmarnock, Scotland

If staying in a treehouse wasn’t enough, then how about your very own castle? This stunning 13th-century rental is one of Scotland’s oldest castles and enjoys fantastic views over the Ayrshire countryside. 

When your kids aren’t simply swishing around the grand halls, feeling like a prince or princess, you’ll find tons to keep them entertained here. The castle is just 20 minutes from Glasgow with its museums, galleries and restaurants, but you might prefer to stay in the estate where you can go mountain biking, walking through the woodlands, fly-fishing and more. 

See all stays in Scotland

Riverscapes Houseboat, East Molesey, Surrey

If anything will make your teens put down the tech, this unique rental will. Spend a week or two on this luxurious six-berth houseboat near Hampton Court on the banks of the Thames. As you’d expect being so close to London, there’s a whole plethora of attractions from theme parks to botanical gardens. 

Chessington is around five miles away whilst the world-famous Kew Gardens is just seven miles from the houseboat. If you’d prefer to take things easy, pack a picnic and hop on board a pedalo or a motor boat for a day of messing about on the river.

See more rentals in Surrey

The Garlic Farm Yurts, Newchurch, Isle of Wight 

Got any Harry Potter fans in the family? These beautifully-crafted yurts located on a garlic farm on the Isle of Wight are reminiscent of the magical tents at the Triwizard Tournament. Kids will love sleeping on the mezzanine decks and stargazing through the roof window at night. 

Making friends with other families is part of the fun, as there’s a large communal dining yurt seating up to 24. Children will love spending long sunny days simply playing in the fresh air. There’s also a private tennis court, a games room and football pitch, as well as open access to all the beautiful surrounding farmland.

Look for other family-friendly holidays in Sandown

Corner Cottage, Osmington, Dorset

Do you have a budding paleontologist on your hands? Are your little ones dotty about dinosaurs? If so, this pretty cottage in Osmington is just a ten-minute walk from the world-famous Jurassic Coast. Spend the day fossil hunting on the beach and then head back to admire your treasures in the sunny private garden. 

The rental sleeps eight so there’s room for aunties and uncles, too. And as there’s a high chair, cot and stair gates available, it’s ideal for families travelling with little tots in tow. If you don’t feel like cooking, there’s a family-friendly pub just over the road where you can enjoy a meal and a drink in the garden whilst the kids play on the climbing frame. Perfect! 

Wightsands Appley Beach bungalow, Ryde, Isle of Wight

It’s a simple fact of life that kids love dens… and this charming bungalow in Appley near Ryde has one in the back garden! It’s full of toys to keep little ones entertained, and there’s table football and a range of board games for the older kids, too. 

When they’re not keeping themselves busy at this cosy two-bedroom rental, the large, soft sandy beach is just a few minutes’ stroll away. Children will love spending the day searching in rock pools, paddling in the sea and tucking into a picnic in the sunshine. 

Choose a break in Ryde

The post School’s out! Time for some fresh air and fun at a family-friendly rental appeared first on Holiday Lettings Blog.

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Think of Greece and it conjures up images of glistening beaches, ancient ruins and picturesque seaside villages. But with hundreds of islands to choose from, how can you find the right one to suit you? Here at Holiday Lettings, we’ve picked some of our favourite islands and highlighted what makes them special. So, whether you’re looking for an action-packed family holiday in Zante or a blissful escape in Santorini, your Greek adventure is just a few clicks away…

Santorini

Great for: couples, romantic breaks, luxury rentals

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Famous for its stunning sunsets, blue-domed churches and sprawling vineyards, Santorini has a dreamlike quality that lends itself perfectly to honeymoons and romantic getaways. The island curves round a giant lagoon in the Cyclades, offering spectacular views from the whitewashed towns overlooking the azure ocean. Perissa and Kamari are two of the island’s best beaches, while the famous Red Beach near Akrotiri is a favourite with archaeology buffs. It’s no surprise that this instantly-recognisable island is one of the most popular with holidaymakers the world over.

Find a romantic rental in Santorini

Corfu

Great for: museums, culture, nature

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With its green and luscious landscape, pristine beaches and fascinating historical sites, Corfu is one Greek island not to be missed. If you want to experience life like a local, head to a secluded seaside village, such as Agios Stefanos, Afionas or Palia Perithea, where you’ll be treated to fantastic views of the valleys. One of the best ways to see the sights is with a bus tour where you can hop off and on all day, exploring landmarks such as Achilleion Museum and Corfu Old Town.

Book a break in Corfu

Zakynthos

Great for: beaches, watersports, wildlife

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Also known by its Italian name, Zante, this gorgeous Greek island has the best of both worlds – facilities, attractions and long sandy beaches in the more popular areas, and traditional rural villages away from the tourist trap. Head to the west coast where you’ll find breathtaking limestone cliffs and crystal-clear waters, or watch the sunset from the cliffs of Keri and Kryoneri.

For endless beaches and exhilarating watersports, pick a place in Lagana, Tsilivi, Argassi or Kalamaki. And if you’re interested in wildlife, the protected Loggerhead sea turtle resides in this area, so why not book a tour and see this beautiful animal for yourself?

Choose a holiday rental in Zakynthos

Paxos

Great for: scenery, peaceful escapes, picturesque villages

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If it’s a relaxing escape you’re looking for, Paxos won’t disappoint. From sunbathing to snorkeling, fine-dining to hiking in the mountains, there are so many ways to unwind when you book a rental here. Take a stroll through ancient olive groves before enjoying a warm welcome and some succulent seafood at a traditional taverna. Or spend the day exploring the east coast with its sandy beaches, enchanting coves and views of the Greek mainland.

Pick a place in Paxos

Mykonos

Great for: party vibes, group holidays, shopping

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This seductive destination is a haven for party-goers, jet-setters and celebs. The island is humming with energy and attracts a diverse crowd that thrives on its stylish nightlife and coffee shop culture. The beaches in the south are where it’s at, and you can waterski, windsurf or parasail until your heart’s content. If you’d like a little more privacy, set off for the more secluded northern beaches where you can simply soak up the sun and conserve your energy for the night ahead.

Choose a rental in Mykonos

Cephalonia

Great for: family-friendly stays, culture, scenery

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Exotic Cephalonia, or Kefalonia as it’s also known, is the largest of the Ionian islands and, if you think you’ve seen it before, it was the filming location for Captain Corelli’s Mandolin! With its sparkling azure waters, glittering beaches and emerald-green mountains, visitors are sure to fall in love with its natural beauty. Take a tour of the caves in Melissani, explore the ancient monastery of Agios Gerasimos or spend the day popping in the tavernas and shops at Argostoli Harbour. There’s so much to keep the whole family happy on this warm and welcoming island.

See all stays in Cephalonia

Crete

Great for: cuisine, historical landmarks, outdoor activities

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It’s easy to see why Crete has been a popular holiday destination with families for many years. From wandering around the Venetian and Byzantine castles of the region to paddling in the sea at the glorious Blue Flag Elafonissos beach, toddlers, teens and grown-ups alike will be in their element. Delve into the history of the island at the Museum of Natural History and the Historical Museum of Crete before enjoying a family-sized ‘dakos salad’ – a dish comprised of tomatoes, barley rusk, olives and feta. At the end of a busy day, watch the sun go down by the pool at your private holiday rental.

Choose a rental in Crete

Rhodes

Great for: ancient monuments, fine dining, beaches

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Also known as the ‘Knights’ island’, Rhodes has a fascinating history just waiting to be discovered. Visit Rhodes Old Town where you’ll find winding alleys, elegant mansions and a medieval castle; you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale! Visit the Rodos Museum of Folklore where you can find out more about life as a local in ancient Rhodes. Kids will love a day out at the waterpark or the petting zoo, whilst grown-ups can look forward to a banquet of traditional Greek mezze in the evening.

Find the perfect place to stay in Rhodes

The post Greek islands – which one is your perfect match? appeared first on Holiday Lettings Blog.

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The wind in your hair, the world rushing by and the buzz of endorphins as you power yourself along – there’s a fantastic sense of freedom when riding a bike, so it’s no surprise cycling holidays are hugely popular. It’s a great way to see a place properly, as you can go at your own pace and discover hidden gems en route.

From the hills of the Peak District to the cycle lanes of Cambridge, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best destinations and events for cycling in the UK.

Bike ride destinations in the UK

If the whole family want to join in the fun and take to the saddle, Holiday Lettings has hundreds of spacious rentals to pick from that will suit tots and teenagers alike. Couples looking for a romantic biking break might opt for a picturesque cottage or an apartment close to the action. Whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find the perfect rental for you.

The Yorkshire Dales

With its acres of moors, valleys, hills and villages, this scenic national park is perfect cycling territory. The rolling Yorkshire Dales has some flatter parts if you want to take things easy, or if you like the rush of a slope, try mountain-biking in the famous Three Peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside.

Choose a relaxing rental in the Yorkshire Dales

Cheshire

Known for its rural villages and local red sandstone buildings, this picturesque county is a pleasure to cycle through. Cycle along the Trent and Mersey Canal towpath that runs alongside the River Dane, or enjoy one of the many circular routes round one of the towns and villages.

Book a cycling holiday in Cheshire

Dartmoor, Devon

With its craggy landscape, forests, rivers, wetlands and tors, Dartmoor’s winding trails are excellent cycling terrain. There are over 350km of bridleways and byways, and an extensive network of quiet lanes and designated cycle routes.

Dash off to a holiday home in Dartmoor

South Downs, Sussex

The South Downs National Park is stunning and you’ll find plenty to see and do, from walks in ancient woodland to gazing at the white cliffs of Seven Sisters. Choose a cosy cottage in a picture-perfect village or pick a family-friendly home in a bustling market town for your cycling stay.

See all rentals in the South Downs

Fort William

Head to Fort William for a relaxing break in the Scottish Highlands. Known as the gateway to Ben Nevis, this beautiful spot has plenty of independent shops and restaurants, so it’s great if you love cycling around town.

Find a holiday home in Fort William

Richmond Park, London

Created by Charles I in the 17th century, Richmond Park in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, is the largest of London’s Royal Parks. It’s also a Special Area of Conservation and a national nature reserve, so cycling here is fantastic for anyone looking for a biking holiday.

Search for rentals near Richmond Park

Cambridge

Home to the prestigious University of Cambridge, this elegant city on the River Cam is a haven for cyclists. It’s the best way of getting around and you’ll find excellent cycle lanes and places to lock bikes if you want to spend the day sightseeing. Visit the University museums, the Gothic chapel, the cathedral and much, much more.

See all cycling holidays in Cambridge

Peak District

No need to bring your bike as you can hire them locally from the Bike Garage. They offer comprehensive bike servicing, repair and hire of top-quality Trek mountain bikes for use on the beautiful trails in the Peaks. Full suspension and electric models are available, too.

Browse all rentals in the Peak District

Box Hill, Surrey

Located in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this stunning summit of the North Downs is every cyclist’s dream. It’s also a Site of Special Scientific Interest, noted for its orchids, rare plant species, and over 40 species of butterfly. Enjoy a leisurely ride, stopping at the visitors’ centre en route.

Book a biking break in Box Hill

Brecon Beacons

Cycle across the Brecon Beacons National Park visiting pretty towns en route, from Llandeilo in the west to Abergavenny in the east. The Roman roads, winding country lanes and towpath are ideal for cyclists of all abilities. When you’re not racking up the miles on a bike, explore peaceful waterfalls, pop into a farmhouse cafe or maybe spend an evening stargazing at your private holiday rental.

Soak up the scenery at a rental in the Brecon Beacons

The post Best Destinations for Cycling Holidays in the UK appeared first on Holiday Lettings Blog.

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If you’re trying to go green but don’t want to sacrifice well-needed holiday time, help is at hand! One of the easiest ways to cut your carbon emissions (and your costs!) is with a staycation. There are so many fantastic places to stay in the UK and an increasing number of holiday home owners are doing their bit for the environment.

Solar panels, local produce, wind turbines and wildflower meadows are just a few of the amazing green initiatives these owners are providing. Show them your support and encourage other owners to follow in their footsteps by booking a stay at one of these eco-friendly rentals. They might inspire you to make some changes at your own home, too!

The Cabin at Old Summer Dairy, Glastonbury

As featured on Channel 4’s ‘Cabins in the Wild’ series, this luxurious and quirky rental in Glastonbury offers a “back to basics self-catering experience, but with all mod-cons as well”. Electricity is supplied by solar panels and a diesel generator, and visitors are asked to be considerate about their electricity consumption during their stay. You might go home with some good habits that’ll cut your bills and help the environment, too!

For nature-lovers, the cabin has its own wildflower meadow and acts as a nature reserve. The area is abundant with wildlife, including roe deer, foxes, hares, badgers, kestrels, swallows and the resident common Pipistrelle bats (who live in the log cabin). The area is renowned for its cycle routes, so there are plenty of opportunities to take to the saddle and explore this beautiful part of the country.

See more details and photos for the Cabin at Old Summer Dairy

Skiddaw Cottage, The Lake District

A huge amount of care and attention has gone into making this small group of four cottages as eco-friendly as possible. The cottages have been renovated by local craftsmen, using timber from the original barn. Using “green design and technologies”, the cottages have an abundance of eco-friendly features: ground and air source heat pumps power the underfloor heating, and solar panels produce the heating and hot water. Furnishings include organic bedding and towels, handmade furniture from sustainable sources, and the owners have even used eco-friendly paints!

The cottages are surrounded by 10 acres of grounds, including young woodland, a wildlife meadow, a pond and an arboretum. As you’d expect, there’s an abundance of wildlife including deer, foxes, red squirrels, badgers and the occasional kingfisher that visits the beck. The owner’s hard work to make this cottage as kind to the environment as possible has paid off, as they were awarded a Gold Award from the Green Tourism Scheme.

See more details and photos for Skiddaw Cottage

Airigh nam Fiadh, Outer Hebrides

The Airigh nam Fiadh (the Deer Pasture) is luxurious, eco-friendly and runs almost exclusively on renewable energy. The house is insulated and heated by a ground source heat pump, and electricity is supplied by a non-intrusive wind turbine on the owner’s adjacent croft. Enjoy a stroll by the shores of Loch Bee, or maybe have a go at fishing, bird watching or kayaking. In the evening, relax in the garden with a glass of wine under a canopy of stars; this area is known as one of the best stargazing spots in the UK!

By staying and shopping locally in the village, you’ll be helping to support its crofting background. Many of the locals keep cattle and work the Machair lands, encouraging wildlife to flourish. Gaidhlig is the native tongue in the village, so you might pick up a few phrases by the end of your visit!

See more details and photos for Airigh nam Fiadh

Lake Yurt, Dartmoor National Park

If you want to go off grid completely, this traditional Mongonlian yurt in the Dartmoor National Park is for you. There’s no electricity; lighting is provided by candles and paraffin lamps. No need to worry about getting cold, though – the yurt is well-stocked with firewood for the woodburner, and cosy rugs help to keep your toes warm.

Make the most of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by exploring on foot, camera in hand. Hire a bike and whizz through the open countryside. Pack a picnic and go hiking in the moorlands. Or simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the peace and tranquility this eco-friendly holiday gives you… in spades.

See more details and photos for Lake Yurt

Raithby Hill Reservoir Eco-house, Lincolnshire

Not many rentals can take credit for having a ‘bee-friendly’ roof, but this stunning eco-house in the Lincolnshire Wolds can! This modern and luxurious rental blends into its environment beautifully. It’s run using renewable energy which powers the fantastic high-tech features, including a premium Wifi connection, a surround sound Sonos System with access to Spotify Music and a 55 inch HD smart TV. Natural, sustainable materials have been used throughout, such as limestone flooring, quartz surfaces and European oak.

If you want to relax, it doesn’t get much better than this. Take a soak in the roll top bath before enjoying a glass of fizz on the balcony overlooking the gardens. In winter, curl up with a book by the fire or watch a film with your loved ones. There’s half an acre of grounds so if you need some breathing space, this is the perfect place to get away from it all.

See more details and photos for the Raithby Hill Reservoir Eco-house

Mizpah Ecolodge, Oxfordshire

Mizpah Ecolodge in Benson, Wallingford, has been built with the environment in mind. It’s been painstakingly engineered using timber and hemp, with clayboard-lined walls, oak floors, and oak windows and doors. The latest infrared heating and LED lighting system help to create the ultimate low-carbon living, and all electricity is sourced from renewables. Externally, the lodge is clad with green walls and a green roof to enhance the biodiversity of the site, and it’s watered by rainwater harvesting.

The owners have installed a nesting box with an internal camera so you can enjoy the secret lives of the local blue-tits! The whole building sits on a recycled tyre foundation system, and the decking is made from recycled plastic and rice husks. The lodge is just two miles from the nearest town of Wallingford and 15 miles from Oxford, so you can enjoy a nature retreat and see the sights of the city in the same holiday! If you’re trying to curb your car usage, the owners have bikes available to hire and they can also provide local organic food upon request.  

See more details and photos of Mizpah Ecolodge

Happy Vale – Bearnagh Cottage, County Down

Happy Vale in the heart of the Mourne Mountains is a fantastic example of how environmentally-friendly a home can be. There’s a ground source heat pump for the underfloor heating, solar hot water, solar PV electricity and a grey water system from a nearby mountain spring for flushing toilets. There are even external sockets for charging electric vehicles. The cottage is ideal for families, walking groups, mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts who want a warm cosy base with mountain walks on the doorstep.

Spend some quality time together by tucking into a picnic in the garden with the sound of the stream running past. Or if you want to explore the nearby area, the cottage is just a few miles from Tollymore and Castlewellan forest parks where you’ll find even more opportunities to connect with nature and the great outdoors. And if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, County Down was the location for many of the filming sites, so book onto a tour and see the dramatic landscapes for yourself.

See more details and photos for Happy Vale – Bearnagh Cottage

Wardle House, Yorkshire Dales National Park

This secluded bolthole in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Swaledale, is all about the amazing views. When you’re not spending hours simply gazing out of the window from the comfort of an armchair, there’s plenty to do nearby. Go walking, mountain biking, explore Bolton Castle and admire the stunning waterfalls at Aysgarth Falls. There’s a cosy village pub just down the road where you can stop for refreshments before heading back.

Wardle House has been restored as an eco-friendly property: solar panels heat the water, and electric storage heaters and a multi-fuel stove keep things toasty. Shop locally at the nearby farm shops and delis in Richmond where you’ll find a range of organic meat and cheeses. You can then tuck into a feast back at the house and look out over the dales from the large dining room… Bon appetit!

See more details and photos for Wardle House

The Old Barn, Abergavenny

The Old Barn on the slopes of Sugar Loaf Mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park is surrounded by fields and National Trust woodland; it’s the perfect place to take in the fresh air and get away from it all. The barn has been lovingly restored by the owners, using traditional Welsh slate, oak, lime and eco-friendly materials. Inside, you’ll find a stylish mix of old and new, with contemporary furniture and lighting, alongside traditional oak beams and antiques.

If you like to shop for your food locally, you can’t get more local than this! A homemade cake, and eggs from the free range ducks and chickens, are included. Organic lamb and pork from the farm is available on request, so you can know exactly where your food came from. Enjoy the natural landscape by spending the day walking, cycling, riding or wild swimming in the beautiful Black Mountains.  

See more details and photos for The Old Barn

The post Curb Your Carbon Footprint – Eco-Friendly Rentals appeared first on Holiday Lettings Blog.

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The wind in your hair, the world rushing by and the buzz of endorphins as you power yourself along – there’s a fantastic sense of freedom when riding a bike, so it’s no surprise cycling holidays are hugely popular. It’s a great way to see a place properly, as you can go at your own pace and discover hidden gems en route.

If you’re looking for a cycling event to spark your interest in biking holidays, then the UK has plenty. From time trials in the South Downs to family-friendly routes in Cambridge, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best destinations and events for cycling in the UK.

Bike ride destinations in the UK

If the whole family want to join in the fun and take to the saddle, Holiday Lettings has hundreds of spacious rentals to pick from that will suit tots and teenagers alike. Couples looking for a romantic biking break might opt for a picturesque cottage or an apartment close to the action. Whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find the perfect rental for you

The Yorkshire Dales

With its acres of moors, valleys, hills and villages, this scenic national park is perfect cycling territory. The rolling Yorkshire Dales has some flatter parts if you want to take things easy, or if you like the rush of a slope, try mountain-biking in the famous Three Peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside.

Top cycling event in the Dales

The Etape du Dales sportive takes place here each May and covers 110 miles, so you might want to start training now! The event starts and finishes in Threshfield, near Grassington, and you’ll find some beautiful rentals nearby where you can relax after a day’s cycling.

Best bike hire

Bikes are available to hire locally from Dales Bike Centre where you’ll find a fleet of over 30 top quality current models. Each bike comes clean, safety-checked and in perfect working order. The price includes bike helmet, route map, pump and small spares pack, so you won’t need to worry about packing extra accessories in your suitcase.

Choose a relaxing rental in the Yorkshire Dales

Cheshire

Known for its rural villages and local red sandstone buildings, this picturesque county is a pleasure to cycle through. Cycle along the Trent and Mersey Canal towpath that runs alongside the River Dane, or enjoy one of the many circular routes round one of the towns and villages.

Top cycling event in Cheshire

The Evans Cycles Cheshire 100 event takes place here in July and it’s a beautiful route loved by cyclists and spectators alike. The 100km winds its way through country lanes on the Cheshire Plains, and through Dunham Massey Deer Park and Tatton Park along the way. There’s also a 100-mile route on the edge of the Peak District for riders who want more of a challenge.

Best bike hire

Whether you want to hire a bike or invest in a new one, check out Delamere Bike Shop and Hire. Their range of top-spec bikes and equipment is suitable for everyone, from toddlers on a tagalong to seasoned enthusiasts looking for a bike to excite.

Book a cycling holiday in Cheshire

Dartmoor, Devon

With its craggy landscape, forests, rivers, wetlands and tors, Dartmoor’s winding trails are excellent cycling terrain. There are over 350km of bridleways and byways, and an extensive network of quiet lanes and designated cycle routes.

Top cycling event in Devon

If you’re looking for a cycling holiday in July, The Dartmoor Classic Sportive, organised and run by the Mid-Devon Cycling Club, is one of most prestigious open-road cycling events in the UK. Established in 2007, the event has grown in popularity, attracting cyclists from around the globe. There’s a choice of three routes. The Grande (107 miles / 173 km), the Medio (67 miles / 109 km) or the Piccolo (38 miles / 62 km).

Best bike hire

Looking for local bike hire? Visit Devon Cycle Hire when you arrive on your holiday. Their friendly staff will help you find your perfect match, so that your cycling experience in Devon is stress-free. You can simply concentrate on enjoying the stunning cycling routes nearby, such as The Granite Way.

Dash off to a holiday home in Dartmoor

South Downs, Sussex

The South Downs National Park is stunning and you’ll find plenty to see and do, from walks in ancient woodland to gazing at the white cliffs of Seven Sisters. Choose a cosy cottage in a picture-perfect village or pick a family-friendly home in a bustling market town for your cycling stay.

Top cycling event in Sussex 

Visit the South Downs in October if you want to take part in the Wiggle South Downs 100. Pit your wits against a challenging course spanning Hampshire and Sussex, and if you’re feeling especially energetic, join one the climbs against the clock on closed roads – the next best thing to the Tour de France!

Best bike hire

To get your bike, head to Hassocks Community Cycle Hire located right next to Hassocks train station. This community enterprise is led by volunteers with the aim of promoting cycling, and environmental tourism, locally. And if you’re in need of a little refreshment after you’ve picked up your trusty steed, the nearby The Hassocks pub serves food and drinks, and has a beer garden with climbing frames for children.

See all rentals in the South Downs

Fort William

Head to Fort William for a relaxing break in the Scottish Highlands. Known as the gateway to Ben Nevis, this beautiful spot has plenty of independent shops and restaurants, so it’s great if you love cycling around town.

Top cycling event in the Scottish Highlands

For something more energetic, the Scottish Downhill Association Series, plus the Scottish Championships run for Scottish Cycling, take place here every September. It’s a thrilling event to take part in, or spectate, especially when you’re surrounded by the stunning scenery of Fort William and Glencoe. If you find you’re naturally quick through technical terrain and you enjoy learning about the limits of handling off-road, then this is the event for you.

Best bike hire

For bike hire, choose from an extensive range at Nevis Cycles. From kids bikes and child seats to panniers and touring accessories, you’ll find it here. They also offer coaching and guiding in association with West Coast Biking.

Find a holiday home in Fort William

Richmond Park, London

Created by Charles I in the 17th century, Richmond Park in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, is the largest of London’s Royal Parks. It’s also a Special Area of Conservation and a national nature reserve, so cycling here is fantastic for anyone looking for a biking holiday.

Top cycling event in London

The London Duathlon takes place in the park every September so if you love cycling and nature, you’re in for a treat! Riders must give way to the 600+ resident deer which, along with the stunning flora and fauna in the park, adds to the charm of this event. You’ll find hundreds of rentals nearby, so there are plenty of places to choose from when it comes to resting your head after a long day of riding.

Best bike hire

If you’re looking to rent a bike, visit Totally Richmond where you’ll find a selection of companies offering hire locally. Hiring a bike is well worth it, even if you’re not planning on a lengthy ride, as getting around by bike in Richmond means you can beat the busy traffic!

Search for rentals near Richmond Park

Cambridge

Home to the prestigious University of Cambridge, this elegant city on the River Cam is a haven for cyclists. It’s the best way of getting around and you’ll find excellent cycle lanes and places to lock bikes if you want to spend the day sightseeing. Visit the University museums, the Gothic chapel, the cathedral and much, much more.

Top cycling event in Cambridgeshire

If you fancy a bit of a challenge, The Strawberry 50 community cycling event happens every September and is a fantastic family-friendly cycle ride. Refreshments include strawberries and cream, and sausages! Why not book a rental for a week or two to make the most of your stay? Choose a cosy cottage by the river or a spacious townhouse in the centre.

Best bike hire

Bikes are available for hire from Outspoken! Cycles. As well as providing the best quality, well-maintained and fully insured bikes, this friendly company also runs cycle-themed events, such as mobile workshops and maintenance training.

See all cycling holidays in Cambridge

Peak District

With the glorious Peak District National Park as your backdrop, cycling through this stunning part of the world will give you a new lease of life. From peaceful backroads to challenging gradients, the route options are vast in the Peaks. Book a stay in one of the historic towns, such as Bakewell, or find a rustic rental overlooking ancient moorland.

Top cycling event in the Peaks

The Eroica Britannia cycle ride is a challenge to be reckoned with! But if you’re up to it, it’s one of the most rewarding routes in the UK. The event takes place each June and there’s entertainment, food and shopping available, too. So, whether you want to participate or spectate, this cycle event is sure to make you feel in top gear.

Best bike hire

No need to bring your bike as you can hire them locally from the Bike Garage. They offer comprehensive bike servicing, repair and hire of top-quality Trek mountain bikes for use on the beautiful trails in the Peaks. Full suspension and electric models are available, too.

Browse all rentals in the Peak District

Box Hill, Surrey

Located in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this stunning summit of the North Downs is every cyclist’s dream. It’s also a Site of Special Scientific Interest, noted for its orchids, rare plant species, and over 40 species of butterfly. Enjoy a leisurely ride, stopping at the visitors’ centre en route.

Top cycling event in Surrey

You can raise money for a fantastic cause and test your cycling ability by signing up for the Sigma Sports Box Hill Original Sportive that takes place in October. The sloping, zig-zagging route takes riders from base to peak with a steady gradient, so the challenge is both doable and rewarding. The views of the surrounding Surrey Hills at the peak are well worth the effort!

Best bike hire

Hire a bike from Surrey Hills Cycle Hire where you’ll find electric mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrids and traditional mountain bikes, available in a range of sizes. Child-friendly bikes and trailers are also available. The bikes are less than a year old and are regularly serviced.

Book a biking break in Box Hill

Brecon Beacons

Cycle across the Brecon Beacons National Park visiting pretty towns en route, from Llandeilo in the west to Abergavenny in the east. The Roman roads, winding country lanes and towpath are ideal for cyclists of all abilities. When you’re not racking up the miles on a bike, explore peaceful waterfalls, pop into a farmhouse cafe or maybe spend an evening stargazing at your private holiday rental.

Top cycling event in the Brecon Beacons

Book a holiday home in August to take part in the Brecon Beacons Devil Sportive. The event offers three stunning cycling routes, passing through the best of the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Radnorshire Hills. From Hay-on-Wye to the Black Mountains and the pretty villages beyond, this ride offers some of the best scenery you can enjoy from a saddle in the UK.

Best bike hire

If you need to hire a bike, try Bikes and Hikes in the heart of Brecon town centre. Not only can you hire your bike from here, they also have a wealth of knowledge about the area and are happy to have a chat about venues for Rock climbing, Caving, Hill Walking and Mountain Biking in the Brecon Beacons and Wales.

Soak up the scenery at a rental in the Brecon Beacons

The post Best Destinations for Cycling Holidays in the UK appeared first on Holiday Lettings Blog.

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With summer just around the corner, it’s not too late to book a break by the sea. And, after all, who doesn’t love the beach? The comforting sensation of sand between your toes… the sound of the sea lapping against the shoreline… Ah, it’s bliss. When you think of amazing coastlines, you’d be forgiven for casting your mind to a far flung corner of the globe but the British Isles has some of the best beaches in the world! We’ve picked out some of our favourites that are renowned for their high environmental and quality standards – take a look at our top 20 UK Blue Flag beaches.

Ventnor Beach

On the south coast of the Isle of Wight you’ll find a real hidden gem. The seafront at Ventnor, established in the Victorian era, is built on the steep slopes of St Boniface Down and the beautiful beach glistens with a unique red tint. If you crave warmer summers than the mainland can offer, you’ll love Ventnor’s very own micro-climate; the popular botanical garden thrives in the milder weather and is definitely worth a visit.

Find a rental in Ventnor

West Shore, Llandudno

North Wales is blessed with a number of superb beaches and West Shore is certainly one of the very best. Much calmer than the lively North Shore in Llandudno, the tranquil surroundings make it an ideal location for people of all ages to hide away from the usual stresses and strains of everyday life. If you enjoy flying kites (or even want to try out kite-surfing), at low tide there’s ample opportunity for you to make the most of the strong winds and vast stretches of golden sand.

Look for a place near the sea in Llandudno

North Bay, Scarborough

Away from Scarborough’s bustling South Bay is the North Bay; a long, flat, sandy beach, strewn with rock pools which beg to be explored at low tide. Due to its level terrain, the beach is often used by recreational water sports enthusiasts all year round. Intrigued by those three pyramid-shaped buildings up the coast? Investigate and you’ll discover Scarborough’s popular sea life sanctuary home to Humboldt Penguins, the Common Octopus and even the Lesser Spotted Dogfish!

See all stays in Scarborough

South Sands, Salcombe

Deep into Devon is the picturesque harbour of Salcombe, made famous by its 19th century shipbuilding heritage. Today, you’ll find a buzzing tourism industry based on sailing and yachting, as well as intimate beaches and rugged shorelines where you can investigate the region’s smuggling past. South Sands beach is one of the most unspoilt in South Devon and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to boot.

Find a serene stay in Salcombe

Main Sands, Ramsgate

With a long stretch of golden sand and the world’s only Royal Harbour and Marina, you can see why Ramsgate’s Main Sands beach has been attracting tourists to its shores for years. Excellent for sandcastle building or simply enjoying the sunshine on one of the charming deck chairs for hire, Ramsgate has everything you need for a fun day out at the seaside. And when you need a pick-me-up, there are lots of little bars and cafés close by offering a continental al fresco feel on the waterfront.

See all rentals in Ramsgate

Main Beach, Abersoch

Arguably one of the most popular beaches in Wales, Main Beach has everything a day-tripper could ask for. The waters are internationally recognised for sailing, so it’s ideal whether you relish a spot of watersports yourself or prefer to watch the professionals compete. There’s lots of space to kick back and enjoy the lovely British sunshine, not to mention spectacular views of the Llyn Peninsula and nearby Snowdonia National Park.

Find a peaceful escape in Abersoch

Polzeath Beach

Nestled within the quaint Cornish parish of St Minver is the sleepy seaside resort of Polzeath. Its beach is a thing of natural beauty, stretching over 1,500 feet across and extending almost as far out to sea at low water. The stunning seashore attracts thousands of visitors every year due to its reputation as a UK surfing hotspot. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a dolphin or two.

Pick a place in Polzeath

Ruby Bay, Elie Woodhaven

Ruby Bay in Fife is a real sanctuary for holidaymakers who prefer to spend their time exploring clusters of rock pools and spotting seldom seen wildlife. Popular with walkers, it’s a great alternative to the usual hustle and bustle you sometimes find at the seaside. Lying just east of the harbour, Ruby Bay is also only a short distance from a number of attractive seaside bistros and restaurants in nearby Elie.

See all holiday rentals in Elie

West Cliff Beach, Whitby

There’s much more to Whitby than Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, you know! The North Yorkshire seaside town has beaches on both sides of the River Esk, but the larger sandy beach on West Cliff has an unmissable row of brightly-coloured beach huts along the promenade. It’s the perfect place for families to unwind and sample some of Whitby’s local, freshly prepared, and legendary fish and chips. What could be better?

Sandbanks Beach

Perhaps the best of all the beaches on the south coast of England, Sandbanks boasts miles of golden sands along its vast peninsula as well as breathtaking vistas across the English Channel and Dorset’s stunning coastline. The beach itself has held a Blue Flag award for almost 30 years and has an international reputation for quality. The area is also notable for its extremely wealthy residents and lavish houses; it’s an ideal location for holidaymakers wanting to experience the ultimate beach lifestyle in the UK.

Pick a place in Poole

Dawlish Warren Beach

With a coastline that stretches for miles, from Dawlish town in the west to Exe estuary in the east, Dawlish Warren is a truly spectacular beach. Its popularity with holidaymakers is largely due to the 506-acre shoreline and vast caravan parks. The sand spit at Dawlish Warren is also home to a renowned nature reserve and an 18-hole golf course which command impressive views of Devon and the English Channel.

Escape to the beach in Dawlish

Albion Beach, Walton-on-the-Naze

On the beautiful Essex Sunshine Coast, Albion Beach has something for everyone. The gently shelving beach is the perfect place to enjoy a day out at the seaside with the family; you can watch the yachts and fishing boats sail across Hamford Water, peruse the nearby shopping outlets and or sample the local eateries. But if you’d rather get a taste of the local wildlife, a mini expedition to nearby Naze Cliffs and the National Nature Reserve will provide hours of enjoyment.

Choose a rental in Walton-on-the-Naze

East Beach, Littlehampton

At the mouth of the River Arun you’ll find the West Sussex seaside resort of Littlehampton. At the popular East Beach you can involve yourself in a range of activities: take a stroll on the clean coastline, try sailing in the harbour or, for any Guinness World Record enthusiasts amongst you, take a seat on the Littlehampton Long Bench – a huge construction between Harbour Park and the eye-catching East Beach Café – which is officially the longest bench in the UK!

Look for a stay in Littlehampton

Westward Ho! Beach

In the north of Devon is the vast beach in Westward Ho! Stretching over two miles, the peaceful coastline is popular for holidaymakers searching for some much needed ‘R&R’ (that’s ‘Rest and Relaxation’ if you don’t speak American). Take your time to saunter along the unique pebble ridge which links to Northam Burrows Country Park and marvel at the impressive views of nearby Bideford Bay. The sandy beach is perfectly suited to sandcastle building, kite surfing or even long games of beach cricket.

See all rentals in Westward Ho!

Criccieth Beach, Snowdonia

Another amazing beach located along the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales is in the charming seaside town of Criccieth. This is definitely one for history buffs out there; the coastline is dominated by the striking ruin of a 13th century castle. However you don’t just have to have a penchant for times past to appreciate Criccieth Beach. The surrounding waters are warmed by the Gulf Stream and at low tide, walkers can take in magnificent views of Cardigan Bay and the nearby mountains of Snowdonia.

See all rentals in Snowdonia

West Strand Beach, Portrush

In the heart of the Northern Irish seaside resort of Portrush is West Strand Beach. Along its mile-long peninsula, you can enjoy all the usual amenities you’d expect to find at a vibrant UK seaside town. However, if you happen to be on the other side of the peninsula on East Strand beach at 9.30 on a Saturday morning, don’t be alarmed if you’re joined by a few hundred or so runners taking part in the weekly Portrush Parkrun – the only parkrun on a beach in the world!

Pick a place in Portrush

Western Promenade, Brightlingsea

Located between the well-known Essex towns of Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea is the seaside resort of Brightlingsea. The Western Promenade is a popular spot for locals as well as tourists. Particularly charming is the collection of retro beach huts along the seafront and all-weather paddling pool which back on to the sandy beach. What’s more, there are plenty of places for children to explore the landscape and get in touch with nature in a safe environment.

Choose a rental in Brightlingsea

North Beach, Bridlington

There’s a delightful sand and shingle beach at Bridlington, an old-fashioned seaside town in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Ideal for families looking for a traditional day out on the coast, there’s also a handsome Edwardian promenade to stroll along and admire the chalky cliffs of Flamborough Head which provide nesting sites for thousands of different species of seabird. Perfect if you have a predilection to a spot of twitching!

Book a break in Bridlington

Southwold Pier, East Suffolk

Blessed with a long, tranquil shoreline and a restored pier that attracts thousands of visitors every year, it’s easy to see why the people of East Suffolk are extremely proud of their seaside town. The promenade and colourful beach huts give the resort a nostalgic feel, while improved sea defenses and the addition of extra sand allows part of the beach to be accessible at both low and high tide.

Choose a rental in East Suffolk

Widemouth Bay Beach, Bude

As the name would suggest, Widemouth Bay is a huge open beach close to neighbouring Bude and Boscastle in Northern Cornwall. The long, sandy beach is a surfer’s paradise and home to many fantastic local surf schools. The Blackrock area of Widemouth Bay is a great place to explore at low tide but make sure you don’t get caught there when the tide comes in! Part of the beach is dog-friendly all year round so you can even bring your four-legged friend with you for a day out.

Book a break in Bude

The post 20 UK BLUE FLAG BEACHES TO VISIT IN 2019 appeared first on Holiday Lettings Blog.

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Jumping from treetop to treetop may seem like an activity straight out of The Jungle Book, but there are plenty of places where you can get into the swing of it, too. From Andalusia to New South Wales, these terrific adventure parks are sure to get that adrenaline pumping!

Without further ado, let’s explore some of the best adventure parks around the world (in no particular order).

#1. Go Ape, Alice Holt

Farnham, Surrey – United Kingdom

One of the best days out in Surrey, there’s something for the whole family at Alice Holt Forest. Alice Holt (close to Farnham and Guildford) is home to the original ‘Tree Top Adventure’. The team will brief you for safety before you fly down the zip-wires, leap off the Tarzan Swing and tackle the obstacles whilst enjoying breathtaking scenery. If you’re looking for outdoor activities for children, then Go Ape’s got the answer with Tree Top Junior: fun-filled days out including canopy exploring, trail blazing and obstacles for all to enjoy. You’ll negotiate crossings and finish on a high (literally) with an awesome zip wire.

Find a tarzan-tastic place to stay in Farnham

Read the reviews for Go Ape at Alice Holt on TripAdvisor

#2. Aventura Amazonia

Costa del Sol, Andalucia – Spain

Aventura Amazonia is the largest adventure park in Andalusia and the only one right on the coast. Just 500m from the beach, this adventure park has a total of 83 challenges on the trees and 20 zip-lines distributed over 6 adventure circuits. You can also launch yourself along the longest treetop zip-line in Andalusia, an amazing 240m in length. The MiniKids area offers adventure challenges and a zip-line, for children from the age of 4 to 7, and also serves as a creche for parents who want to do the circuits. The park has a cafeteria, and there is a shopping centre with shops and restaurants just 100m. away.

Find a sunny rental in Costa del Sol

Read the reviews for Aventura Amazonia on TripAdvisor

#3. Tree Top Adventure Park

Ko Chang, Thailand

Fancy clambering through the jungle like Tarzan? You’ll have plenty of opportunities at the Tree Top Adventure Park. Just take your pick of the slides, flying skateboards and rope-ways. As you go round the park, do try and take in the stunning vistas of the beach below, too. After you’ve caught your breath, a walk to the beach to flop in the shade of the palms is pretty tempting. And to finish the day? How about a dip under the majestic Klong Plu waterfall, which is just a few minutes away.

Find a great place to stay in Ko Chang

Read the reviews for Tree Top Adventure Park, Ko Chang, on TripAdvisor

#4. Tahoe Treetop Adventure Parks

Tahoe City, California – United States

Tahoe Treetop Adventure Parks currently have three locations in the Lake Tahoe area; Tahoe City, Squaw Valley and Tahoe Vista. The Tahoe City and Tahoe Vista locations offer approx. 70 tree platforms, over 50 bridges, and over 15 zip-lines with the Squaw Valley location offering approx. 20 platforms connected by 15 bridges, 6 zip-lines, and the 50′ Alpine Tower climbing structure. Tahoe Treetop has courses for adults, kids 5+ and team building groups. Hours of unforgettable, super-fun activity for the whole family!

Find a tempting holiday rental in Tahoe City

Read the reviews for Tahoe Treetop Adventure Parks on TripAdvisor

#5. Trees Adventure Grose River Park

Richmond, Greater Sydney, New South Wales – Australia

Trees Adventure is Australia’s premier Treetop Adventure experience. At our Grose River Park, you will have all the family from 4 to 75+ swinging, leaping, climbing and flying through the forest from 2 to 25 meters up in the trees allowing thrill seekers and nature enthusiasts to experience the trees like never before. Come in and spend 2 hours choosing from 8 courses with over 110 challenges including 19 flying foxes!

Find a place to stay in Greater Sydney

Read the reviews for Trees Adventure Grose River Park on TripAdvisor

The post 5 Thrilling Treetop Adventure Parks For Your Bucket List appeared first on Holiday Lettings Blog.

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Since 1951, 15 of the UK’s most precious landscapes have been designated as national parks. From magnificent mountains and moors to spectacular dales and coastline, their landscapes differ wildly. But they all have one thing in common: extraordinary natural beauty.

In springtime, the landscape comes to life before your eyes. See lambs being born, blankets of bluebells and flowers blooming. And with so many rentals nearby to choose from, picking a place to stay will be easy…

Brecon Beacons National Park

Just an hour from Cardiff, the Brecon Beacons form a rich and rewarding landscape. Discovering it is a treat for all the senses: explore subterranean caves, uncover picturesque cycling trails, watch resident red kites soar above hilltop castles and more. At 886m, Pen Y Fan is the National Park’s highest peak; perfect for a spot of abseiling, rock climbing or hiking. The park is also an International Dark Sky Reserve, meaning it’s one of the finest places in the world to observe the night sky.

View holiday homes in the Brecon Beacons!

Broads National Park

The Broads is Britain’s wildlife national park – a unique mosaic of land and water, with lakes and rivers nestling in gentle wooded valleys and wild, open reedlands. With more rare animals and plants than any other UK national park, the Broads is a living landscape of humans and wildlife, water and land. Whether you take to the water by sail or paddle, explore one of its many trails or tour its villages, breathtaking scenery and fascinating history is guaranteed. It also offers plenty of culture; with Norwich on its doorstep, it is the only English National Park to embrace a city.

See holiday rentals in the Broads

Cairngorms National Park

In the Cairngorms, you’ll find five of the UK’s six highest mountains to ascend, 55 Munros to tackle, forests of ancient Caledonian pine to ramble through, cascading waterfalls to photograph, and the chance to see some of the rarest and most endangered wildlife. The Cairngorms offer something for every visitor: skier, hillwalker, rock-climber, mountain biker, pony trekker or anyone seeking the peace and tranquillity of the great outdoors. And all against a simply stunning backdrop.

View holiday homes near the Cairngorms

Dartmoor National Park

Tottering piles of granite rocks, stone circles and atmospheric medieval villages… the Dartmoor landscape certainly is unmistakable. It’s the only National Park in the UK to allow wild camping, so it’s the perfect spot to get back to nature (just make sure you read up on the rules beforehand). And, of course, you can’t visit Dartmoor without making friends with the Park’s most famous residents: the Dartmoor Ponies. Visit soon and you’ll be able to see the Moors Otters, too; a public art trail of 100 otter sculptures scattered around the National Park.

View holiday rentals near Dartmoor

Exmoor National Park

Photo credit: ENPA/Nigel Stone

Why is Exmoor so popular? Perhaps it’s the remarkable range of colours the park takes on throughout the year: the white of the Snowdrop Valley in February, the yellow and purple of moorland heather, the green and gold of precious woodlands (with over 1700 ancient trees), the resident Red Deer and not forgetting the highlight of many visitors’ trips – the duns, bays and browns of the free-living Exmoor Ponies. But that’s not all! Don’t forget the dramatic green and blue of its seascape (where you’ll find the highest cliffs in England) or the intense black of the night sky over the park (Exmoor was Europe’s first designated Dark Sky Reserve).

See homes in Exmoor

Lake District National Park

From the peak of England’s highest mountain to the bottom of its deepest lake, the Lake District is full of natural wonders. The best way to appreciate the jaw-dropping landscape is to follow one of Wainwright’s famous fell walks (there are 214 to choose from!) which will lead you through breathtaking valleys, past crystal clear lakes, under cascading waterfalls and through picturesque towns and villages. But it’s not all magnificent vistas: outdoor pursuits from rock-climbing to canoeing make this paradise for seekers of adventure as well as relaxation.

View holiday homes in the Lake District

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park covers 720 square miles of Scotland’s most stunning landscapes. A treasure trove of wildlife and scenery enjoyed by millions of visitors every year, it’s a place of grand mountains, ancient forests, breathtaking glens, tumbling waterfalls, unique historic sites and many interesting cultural traditions. Whether you want to enjoy active outdoor pursuits, sample some delicious local produce, or simply want to take in the stunning scenery, there’s something for everyone in this very special part of Scotland.

View holiday rentals in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs

New Forest National Park

Once a royal hunting ground for William the Conqueror, the New Forest is packed with activities, sights and sounds you’ll be sure to fall in love with. Idyllic glades, rugged beaches, ancient woods, pretty heathland and iconic New Forest ponies… a trip to the New Forest is as restorative as it is fun. Here, wildlife roams free. Be prepared to spot a horse nearby, whether you’re going for a bike ride with the family or enjoying lunch in a cosy tea room in one of the New Forest’s many quaint villages.

See holiday homes in the New Forest

Northumberland National Park

Northumberland National Park is home to 400 square miles of breathtaking natural beauty, stretching from Hadrian’s Wall to the Scottish Borders. By day, it’s a haven for walkers and cyclists with trails through its picture-postcard scenery. But by night, it’s just as spectacular as it forms part of the largest area of protected night sky in Europe (calling all astronomers!). This summer sees the opening of The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre, a new visitor attraction sure to inspire people of all ages to explore the landscape, history, culture and heritage of Northumberland.

See homes in Northumberland

North York Moors National Park

Spectacular moorland, wonderful woods, ancient ruins and a stunning coastline: the North York Moors National Park certainly is a landscape to treasure. Its 26-mile heritage coastline reveals hidden gems at every turn, from picture-postcard fishing villages like Staithes with its artistic flair, to the smugglers’ hot-spot of Robin Hood’s Bay, with its maze of cobbled alleys.

Keen walkers will love the Cleveland Way National Trail while cycling enthusiasts will feel right at home in Dalby Forest (England’s largest mountain bike trail centre). If you prefer a more laid-back itinerary, you can picnic amongst the magnificent ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. Or climb aboard the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the world’s most popular heritage line steaming through the heart of the moors via Goathland (Harry Potter fans may recognise it as Hogsmeade Station in the first film) before reaching Whitby’s golden sands.

See all rentals in the North York Moors

The Peak District National Park

Set up in 1951, the UK’s first and original National Park holds a special place in the hearts of millions. Its unique landscape encompasses the Dark Peak’s gritstone moorlands, the White Peak’s limestone plateau, and the moors and foothills of the South West Peak in Staffordshire. It’s a place for relaxation among tree-lined dales or adventure high on the heathered moorlands. Many routes are accessible for wheelchairs and buggies, including a staggering 65 miles of off-road flat trails, meaning everyone can enjoy the picturesque Peaks.

Book a place in the Peak District!

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Photo credit: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is Britain’s only truly coastal National Park, covering 240 square miles of spectacular landscape. While it may be one of the smallest parks, it’s also one of the most diverse, being home to unspoilt beaches, spectacular views, rolling hills and rugged cliffs. The Pembrokeshire Coast also attracts an amazing range of wildlife and includes internationally important nature reserves, geology, and archaeology. The National Park also boasts a wealth of wonderful places to explore and enjoy including the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail, which twists and turns through 186 miles of breathtaking coastal scenery.

Discover holiday homes on the Pembrokeshire Coast

Snowdonia National Park

Arguably the most alluring of all Welsh scenery, Snowdonia is somewhere every traveller should experience at least once in their lifetime. Home to the tallest UK peaks south of Scotland, it’s no surprise that thousands of hikers arrive every weekend to hike up mighty Snowdon. But there’s more to Snowdonia National Park than it’s hiking potential… TripAdvisor travellers love visiting Harlech Castle, going white water rafting and visiting one of the region’s many museums (the National Slate Museum is a firm favourite!). Oh, and don’t forget the wildlife — rare Snowdonia residents include otters, polecats and feral goats to name a few.

See all holiday rentals in Snowdonia

South Downs National Park

Described as a “rich tapestry of wildlife, landscapes, tranquility and visitor attractions”, South Downs National Park has so much to offer. Visit the National Trust’s Petworth House (and its brilliant art collection!), go birdwatching at The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, and enjoy a brew or two in the charming city of Winchester. Stretching from Itchen Valley in Hampshire to Beachy Head in East Sussex, the park is renowned for its picturesque chalk hills which, complemented by the blue crashing sea below and rolling green clifftops, is a postcard-worthy sight indeed.

View holiday homes in the South Downs

Yorkshire Dales National Park

The Yorkshire Dales National Park has many moods; it can be wild and windswept or quietly tranquil. It includes some of the finest limestone scenery in the UK, from rocky crags to an underground labyrinth of caves. Each valley or ‘dale’ has its own distinct character, set against expansive heather moorland tops. Stone-built villages sit amongst traditional farming landscapes of field barns, drystone walls and flower-rich meadows.

And if that weren’t enough, spectacular waterfalls and ancient broadleaved woodland contrast with the scattered remains of the area’s rich industrial heritage. Together, nature and people have created a special landscape of immense beauty and character.

View holiday homes in the Yorkshire Dales

The post UK NATIONAL PARKS FOR A SPRINGTIME HOLIDAY appeared first on Holiday Lettings Blog.

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We’re taking you all around the world with this one, from Florida to Malaysia. Read on for help planning your tropical escape, whether you’re after rest and relaxation or action-packed adventure.

Tropical getaways are what holiday dreams are made of. Swaying palms, powder-fine sands, and clear blue waters—what’s not to like? Well, stop dreaming and listen up! “Tropical” doesn’t have to mean expensive: booking a rental home can make that tropical daydream a reality without blowing your budget. With a rental property from Holiday Lettings, you’ll have the advantage of more space, added privacy, and maybe even your own garden or beachfront! Cocktail under a palm tree, anyone?

The best tropical holiday destinations stand out for their natural beauty and also for the range of activities to help visitors make the most of their getaway. Our round-up includes locations particularly recommended for activities like deep-sea fishing, scuba-diving, rainforest hikes, city tours, and gentle cruises.

These 21 breathtaking places are among the best tropical holiday destinations in the world. How many have you visited? Warning: Your wanderlust wish list may get a little longer after reading this round-up…

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

First on our list of best tropical places is this peaceful little island known for its picture-perfect honeymooning reputation, and its quaint sun-splashed homes picturesquely perched over the water. If you’re here to relax, try a sunset catamaran sail or daytime catamaran experience, including snorkelling and swimming amongst eagle rays. For a different kind of adventure, book a four-wheel-drive tour, including lunch and a cruise.

Find a place to stay in Bora Bora

Port Douglas, Australia

Visitors come to this tropical corner of Queensland for the beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, and the rainforest of Daintree National Park. There are various tours to choose from, including this Great Barrier Reef cruise and this combined helicopter tour and/or cruise, showing you the best of both reef and rainforest. You can also get a thrilling bird’s-eye view over the forest on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.

Find a great place to stay in Port Douglas

Nassau, Bahamas

Capital city Nassau is a lively affair, abuzz with cruise ship passengers and locals enjoying the local dining and nightlife. Seafood fans should try classic Bahamian dishes such as conch fritters. While you’re here, you can choose to simply park your sun lounger on the white sands, or you can scuba dive among shipwrecks, snorkel through coral reefs, or get to know your surroundings by scooter. You could also try a 90-minute scavenger hunt, ticking off local landmarks as you go.

Find a great place to stay in Nassau

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

When you base yourself in Tamarindo, there’s plenty on your doorstep: activities, shops, and an extended stretch of white sandy beach, popular with swimmers and beginner surfers. Head to the Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge to kayak along the canals and see crocodiles, water birds, and howler monkeys. For a faster-paced holiday, try this high-octane zipline experience at Pura Aventura Park. There’s also this tempting snorkel and sunset trip, including a leisurely cruise, lunch, and time to play in the water, arriving back in time to catch a spectacular sunset.

Find a great place to stay in Tamarindo  

Kauai, Hawaii

The island paradise of Kauai is considered one of the best tropical destinations going, rich in waterfalls, rainforest, coconut palms, and beaches—and the Na Pali Coast is particularly impressive. Check it out on this Na Pali Coast tour, where you can snorkel, hike, and picnic with a local guide. Finish the day with a sunset dinner cruise or try this spectacular air tour over Kauai. Keen hikers should seek out the trails through Koke’e State Park.

Find a great place to stay in Kauai

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Another great choice for a tropical holiday is Ambergris Caye, with its stunning beaches and gorgeous sunsets. There are plenty of ways to enjoy this beautiful destination. Acquaint yourself with the area’s colorful marine life on a SNUBA adventure tour, including a trip to Ambergris Caye’s Secret Beach for fishing, snorkeling, and delicious BBQ lunch. Or this cave rafting and zipline tour will guide you around sacred caves on an inflatable raft and take you high up into the jungle canopy, experiencing Belize from above and below.

Find a great place to stay in Ambergris Caye

The Seychelles, East Africa

The Seychelles is another postcard-perfect tropical getaway, where you can bathe, fish, scuba dive, and stroll along white sands hunting for Coco De Mer seeds. This romantic collection of islands is understandably loved by honeymooners, but it’s just as great a choice for other types of travelers. Visit the charming little island art galleries, shops, and nature reserves at your leisure. If it’s your first visit, you might enjoy this tour of the capital, Victoria, to get to know its key sights.

Find a great place to stay in the Seychelles

The Cook Islands, South Pacific

The Cook Islands are ideal for total relaxation or energetic exploration—whatever you want out of your tropical holiday. You’ll also find fantastic food here, a friendly welcome, and some of the best snorkeling views you could hope for. Try this lagoon cruise in a glass-bottomed boat and this cultural village tour, including performances of local music and dance in Rarotonga.

Find a great place to stay in the Cook Islands

St. Kitts and Nevis, The Caribbean

The double-island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis offers historic plantation homes, fantastic views, fresh seafood dishes, and welcoming drinking holes stocked with local rums. To get the best out of your visit, pre-book an island tour of St. Kitts, including a shopping stop and a visit to Brimstone Hill fortress. You might also like this three-hour scenic railway tour.

Find a great place to stay in St Kitts and Nevis

Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok is a great alternative to its more busier neighbour, Bali. There’s more room to spread out on the beaches here and plenty of top-notch surfing to be had. You also have the Gili Islands within easy reach. You can learn about Sasak culture and enjoy the beautiful beaches of Kuta and Tanjung Aan Beach on this day tour. Or this mountain biking and waterfall excursion is a good option combining a workout with views to die for.

Find a great place to stay in Lombok

Ko Samui, Thailand

This Thai island is one of the best tropical destinations according to many travellers, and is welcoming to all budgets. The huge gold Big Buddha statue at Wat Phra Yai Temple, just offshore, is one of the most famous local landmarks and definitely worth a visit. While you’re here, get the local lowdown on an island sightseeing trip or try this specialized photography tour and create your own souvenirs to keep forever.

Find a great place to stay in Ko Samui

Tulum, Mexico

Mayan ruins and wonderful beaches await you in this Yucatán Peninsula destination. You can tick off three of Tulum’s top attractions, including the Tulum Ruins, in one exciting three-part excursion. The Tulum Insider’s Bike Tour is another great option, showing you the best of Tulum on two wheels, led by an expert guide.

Find a great place to stay in Tulum

Langkawi, Malaysia

Turquoise waters, lush jungle, coconut palms, and soft, soft sands are the marks of a Langkawi holiday. This place is considered by many as one of the best tropical holiday spots due to its excellent diving, mangrove swamps, tasty seafood and cheap beer. There are some great tours available to try during your visit: check out this cable car and Oriental Village tour and this mangrove forest and cave exploring tour.

Find a great place to stay in Langkawi

Bermuda

This pretty, sun-baked location is known for its golf courses, colonial buildings, signature pink sands, great fishing, and super-friendly community. Once you’ve gotten a lay for the land and settled into island life, it’s a good idea to join a tour, such as this five-hour island coach tour, which takes in the Royal Naval Dockyard and Horseshoe Bay. Or, if you can’t wait to get out on the water, try out this Catamaran sail and snorkel tour.

Find a great place to stay in Bermuda

Islamorada, Florida

This Floridian village comprises six islands of the Florida Keys and is something of a fishing mecca. The Theater of the Sea marine mammal park is home to alligators, dolphins, and sea turtles, and much more. You can explore the neighboring islands and coral reef on this fun eco adventure and snorkelling cruise. If you’re seeking a “tropical” getaway in the States, Islamorada can’t be beat.

Find a great place to stay in Islamorada

Nadi, Fiji

Nadi is the gateway to the South Pacific island paradise of Fiji, and one of the world’s best tropical holiday spots no matter what type of trip you’re seeking. Enjoy coral diving, cruising, and making long-lasting memories. You can see the Garden of the Sleeping Giant and the mud baths of the Sabeto Valley on this four-hour guided tour. If you’re seeking an adrenaline-packed adventure, you can book a tandem skydive for one of the most thrilling experiences (and unforgettable views) Fiji has to offer.

Find a great place to stay in Nadi

Waikoloa, Hawaii

Hawaii’s Big Island is a great spot for your tropical escape. Indulge in a bit of coastal kayaking on this small-group tour and seek out the local spinner dolphins. Try a fantastic Big Island van tour, taking in Pu’ukohola National Historic Site, Rainbow Falls Waterfall, and more. Or see coral, tropical fish, and sea turtles on a glass-bottom boat cruise.

Find a great place to stay in Waikoloa

Darwin, Australia

The cosmopolitan city of Darwin has a truly special feel. It’s close to Kakadu National Park, the biggest national park in Australia, housing Aboriginal rock paintings, thousands of plant species, and plenty of fascinating wildlife. You can see the key sights of Darwin on a five-hour coach tour or book onto an eight-hour turtle-watching experience on Bare Sand Island. In the evenings, prepare yourself for some great food and some of the most wonderful sunsets in the world.

Find a great place to stay in Darwin

Key West, Florida

There’s always something going on in Key West, whether it’s live music and late-night entertainment or dolphin swims and magical sailing experiences. You can set out night or day with Gulfstream Fishing on a deep-sea fishing trip, or go kayaking and paddle boarding on an eco tour, perfect for exploring the mangroves and sighting wildlife.

Find a great place to stay in Key West

Bali, Indonesia

One of the world’s most renowned and beautiful islands, Bali can’t be beaten for a tropical getaway. Dotted with temples and soaring peaks, this place is perfect for surfing party breaks or spiritual retreats, and offers some fantastic affordable eating. Get your day passes to Waterbom Bali water park or book a private tour, comprising a heavenly hot spring soak and a meeting with the macaques in the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.

Find a great place to stay in Bali

Durban, South Africa

Offering relaxing beach stays as well as action-packed adventures, Durban (although, strictly speaking, subtropical) is another fabulous destination we just had to add to our list. There’s plenty to do here: battlefield tours, diving, hiking, and much more. Start off with this guided city sightseeing tour, or, if you’re here to see wildlife, hop on a combined safari and wild cat-spotting experience.

Find a great place to stay in Durban

This post was originally published on the TripAdvisor blog. Holiday Lettings is a TripAdvisor company.

The post 21 Best Tropical Holiday Destinations Around The World (For Adventure Or Relaxation) appeared first on Holiday Lettings Blog.

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If you’ve already fallen in love with dreamy destinations like Paris and Venice, why not try something new with one of these lesser-known romantic destinations in Europe?

Holiday Lettings has hundreds of rentals to choose from, whether you’re yearning for a plush apartment packed full of facilities or a rustic gem brimming with character. All you need to do is decide which one captures your heart.

So, without further ado, let’s find out which are the 14 romantic hidden-gems in Europe…

#1 Ghent, Belgium

Belgium’s fourth-largest city is home to a quarter of a million people and a flourishing flower export trade. An important port, Ghent’s city center is a pedestrian area that is like a museum of early Flemish architecture, and a testament to the city’s medieval might. Impressive Gothic sites, such as dramatic St. Bavo’s Cathedral and the Castle of the Counts, are awe-inspiring. The works of the Flemish masters are housed in the distinguished, Museum voor Schone Kunst.

Find a romantic place to stay in Ghent

#2 Positano, Italy

Once a vital part of mighty sea power, Positano today is a sophisticated resort on the central Amalfi Coast. Moorish-style architecture rises up steep slopes that gaze out on the Sirenuse Islands. Smart boutiques, selling fashions for visitors to display on Grand Beach, abound in the village. And it’s a great base for exploring the area—you can easily travel by boat to Capri, Ischia and the Grotta dello Smeraldo cave.

Find a romantic place to stay in Positano

#3 Utrecht, The Netherlands

This ancient and historic city houses many buildings going back to the early Middle Ages. Until it was overtaken by Amsterdam in the Dutch Golden age, Utrecht was the most important city in the Netherlands. It was, and still is, the See of the Archbishop of Utrecht: the most important Catholic leader in the Netherlands. The University of Utrecht is the largest in the Netherlands. One of the unique features of the city is the wharf system in its inner canals. Most prominent of the historic buildings is the Gothic Cathedral of Saint Martin, the construction of which lasted for almost 200 years, beginning in 1254.

Find a romantic place to stay in Utrecht

#4 Zell am See, Austria

The picturesque lakeside town of Zell am See offers about 80 miles of ski slopes, with beginner, intermediate and advanced runs all well represented. One hundred and twenty-five miles of cross-country trails offer gorgeous panoramic views. The neighbouring town of Kaprun is famed for its glacier skiing.

Find a romantic place to stay in Zell am See

#5 Sintra, Portugal

Long the home of Portugal’s monarchs, Sintra is a magnificent town of marvellous historic mansions, all set against the backdrop of lush hills. Sintra’s many castles include the Palácio Nacional de Sintra (a main abode of Portuguese royalty until the early 20th century), the hilltop and storybook Palácio da Pena, Quinta de Regaleira (incorporating several architectural styles and with gorgeous surrounding gardens), the Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle) and the Palácio de Monserrate.

Find a romantic place to stay in Sintra

#6 Annecy, France

Romance is the lifeblood of Annecy; a town in the Rhone-Alpes region of southeast France that’s replete with castles, cathedrals and softly curving architecture. Stroll hand-in-hand with your partner across Pont des Amours (the lover’s bridge) before taking in the Imperial Palace and the baroque Cathedral of Saint-Pierre. A walk down the Rue Royale will be rewarded with prime shopping, dining and people-watching, especially at the fountain of Saint Jean.

Find a romantic place to stay in Annecy

#7 Bled, Slovenia

With its iconic fairy-tale church steeple perched atop the tiny rock island at the middle of Lake Bled, this stunning spot is a sight that stays in your memory. The town has also long been a destination for those seeking relaxation, through its sunny alpine air and thermal springs, which are especially welcoming after a day of mountain trekking, golf or touring on horseback.

Find a romantic place to stay in Bled

#8 Isle of Arran, Scotland

Packed to the gills with antique silver, porcelain and furniture, the red sandstone Brodick Castle is one of the highlights of the Isle of Arran. The castle overlooks Goatfell, a majestic hill that’s a popular day hike. The Machrie Moor stone circles make for a mystical field trip, as does a tour of The Arran Malt whisky distillery.

Find a romantic place to stay in the Isle of Arran

#9 Taormina, Italy

Volcanic Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea provide the cinema-worthy backdrop for Taormina, Sicily’s legendary resort town. Twisting medieval streets and a second-century Greek theatre add to its romantic air, which inspired the writings of D.H. Lawrence and Truman Capote. Take a cable car to the beach, or walk uphill behind the Church of St. Joseph for panoramic views.

Find a romantic place to stay in Taormina

#10 Segovia, Spain

Segovia is a picturesque old city with twisting alleyways, the highest concentration of Romanesque churches in all of Europe and pedestrian-only streets; all bordered by a medieval wall and two rivers. In 1985, this sleepy Castilian town was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. One of the main tourist attractions is Alcázar: a royal palace built around the 11th century where Queen Isabel agreed to fund Christopher Columbus’ exploration of the New World. The picturesque palace is said to be Walt Disney’s inspiration for Cinderella’s castle.

Find a romantic place to stay in Segovia

#11 Tenby, Wales

Tenby is lovingly protected from the outside world by an embrace of 13th-century stone walls, which, ironically, attract—not repel—visitors from all over the world. The town is simply adorable, teeming with the archetypes of pubs and shops. Adding further appeal are the miles of gorgeous beaches and the gently lapping waves of the sea.

Find a romantic place to stay in Tenby

#12 Girona, Spain

One of the most historic sites in Spain, Girona lies in northeast Catalonia, just 99 km (62 mi) from Barcelona. Founded by Romans, the city was later taken over by Moors and Franks before finally falling under the rule of Barcelona. Influenced by different cultures and religions, the city beckons visitors with beautiful architecture. The Old and New Town offer many opportunities to pleasurably get lost and observe local life and culture.

Find a romantic place to stay in Girona

#13 Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

The southwestern castle city of Cesky Krumlov is one of the Czech Republic’s finest medieval sites. Its Old Town is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site, a maze of twisting alleys built around the extensive Cesky Krumlov castle. Saunter through crooked, cobblestone streets on foot and soak up the atmosphere of this impeccably preserved medieval gem. The gushing Vltava, popular with rafting enthusiasts, darts through the town.

Find a romantic place to stay in Cesky Krumlov

The post 13 Romantic And Off-The-Radar European Destinations for 2019 appeared first on Holiday Lettings Blog.

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