Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Our 2012 photo competition winner...

Thanks to everyone who took part in our photo competition this year. Yet again, we were thrilled with the quality of the entries - so many talented snappers out there!

Our winner this year is Joanne Wisdom, who took this wonderful picture of her two children playing in the surf at Durdle Door, whilst staying at Dormouse Cottage in nearby Burton Bradstock. Congratulations, Joanne! £400 of Helpful Holidays gift vouchers are on their way to you.
The picture certainly captures the true spirit of youngsters enjoying themselves at the water’s edge on a crisp, sunny day at Easter. Here it is, in all its glory:

You can see some of the other fabulous photos that made the shortlist in this Facebook photo album.

We love seeing your snaps, so if you’d like to share your favourite moments and memories of the West Country, please feel free to post them on our Facebook wall.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

West Country bonfire night events...

Photo credit:

The West Country is a great place to celebrate bonfire night and enjoy some iconic local traditions and visual spectacles. Here's our pick of the hottest events... 

Ottery St Mary, Devon: A tradition hundreds of years old, the famous Flaming Tar Barrels (pictured above) were originally used for the fumigation of cottages and as a warning of the approach of the Spanish Armada. Head to this charming town on 5th November to see fearless men, women and children run through the town carrying blazing tar barrels - not for the faint-hearted!

Bridgwater, Somerset: The Bridgwater Carnival, on 3rd November, sees the town centre come alive with colourful processions and parades filled with illuminated carnival carts measuring up to 100 feet long and covered with up to 25,000 lights. The Grand Firework Display is at 7pm the night before on 2nd November. Bridgwater is the largest of the famous illuminated Somerset Carnivals which take place throughout November. 
Sticklepath, Devon: Sticklepath Fireshow, on 5th November, is one of the largest community arts events in the south west. This year they present 'Bamboozled!', a stunning fireshow with an expected turnout of 3,000 people. The show usually takes place on an elaborate, specially-built stage, which is then burned afterwards. Take a look at last year's stage below:

Falmouth, Cornwall: It makes sense to put the Fire Service in charge on bonfire night, and that's exactly how it works in FalmouthThey promise an explosive line-up impressively set to music at Falmouth Cricket Club on 5th November.
And a few more... the fireworks at Mousehole should not be missed, whilst there’s always a good display at Port Isaac, with plenty of good grub around the harbour. Talking of good grub, the bonfire on Porthtowan village green is handy for proper pub nosh from the Unicorn Inn. For a big bang, head to the beach at Weymouth for the ‘Great Bonfire’ and an astonishing firework display to follow.
Check our special offers for last minute deals, use our advanced search or give us a call on 01647 433593 and we'll help you find the perfect place from which to enjoy the whizz, bang, sizzle of bonfire night!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Relaxing winter breaks...

Love him or hate him, Jack Frost’s arrival heralds peace and tranquillity on the moors and coastal paths of the West Country. It's the perfect time to enjoy a restful break at a cottage in the countryside or by the sea.

The temperature drops and the nights draw in, meaning a warm fireside is all the more appreciated after a wander through crisp woods or along a beach. 

Too much exertion? Spend a lazy afternoon with the papers over a pint or two of local ale at a country pub or in the comfort of your cottage. Relax and revitalize before or after the Christmas revelry.

An excellent spot for those seeking peace, nature or a romantic hideaway, The Linhay is a  secluded, detached, ‘upside down’ cottage for two, newly converted from a sturdy granite barn. A mile from Ilsington, in the tiny farming hamlet of Lounstonthere is good walking from the doorstep on footpaths and quiet lanes. After a bracing walk, the Carpenter's Arms is a good spot for a pint and a bite to eat.

A delightful hideaway with exposed beams and oodles of space for two, Court Farm Cottage is a comfortable and stylish cottage in Newton Ferrers, tucked away in a pretty spot 100 yards from the local church with good food pubs nearby. A lovely area, there's plenty of excellent walking to be had beside the lake-like river Yealm estuary or at sandy Mothecombe beach.

If you can't get away for a full week, we take 2, 3 and 4 night bookings at many of our holiday homes from November through to the week before Easter. Read more about our short breaks.

Visit our website to view all our holiday homes and use the advanced search to help you find a cosy place to stay (cottages with an open fire or woodburner or cottages near a pub, perhaps), read other holidaymakers’ comments or call us on 01647 433593 for human help.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Celebrate in style: holiday cottages for Christmas and New Year

Christmas and New Year is always a popular time for our customers to get away, whether they're escapees enjoying a quiet time away from home or entertainers holding a big celebration for multiple families and friends.

Escapees - we’ll help you find hideaways. Once there, grab hats and scarves for a blustery moorland walk and a pint at a fire-warmed pub. Stroll the coast path; ice-skate at Eden; ride the Polar Express at the Dartmoor Railway; grab your wetsuit and brave some Christmas Day surf, or just toast your toes beside the fire, put on the TV and relax.

Escapees will love A173, in Dunsford, Devon. This pretty thatched, semi-detached cottage is an extremely beautiful home, renovated, decorated and furnished with a huge amount of attention to detail. A really exquisite, sophisticated cottage on the edge of a lovely village, you'll find a good food pub nearby, not to mention pretty Drewsteignton and the marvellous scenery of the river Teign valley.

Entertainers - if you’re a crowd, book with us to enjoy some additional elbow room. Indulge in some locally grown fayre and show off your culinary skills. Set the table, roast your goose, crisp the potatoes, mash the swede (plenty of black pepper and butter) and light the candles. Christmas together… eternal.

Entertainers will be in their element at Avocet, in Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon - a spacious property with the wow factor. This huge, split-level, detached house, facing south with the most sensational panoramic views over the bay to Burgh Island and the coastline beyond, is stylish and superbly comfortable inside. Take a New Year's Day stroll along the magnificent sandy beach just 200 yards away, and warm up in the outside hot tub afterwards!

Which are you? Entertainer or escapee?

Whatever your reason for getting away over the festive season, we suggest you book as early as possible to be sure of getting your favourite holiday home. If you're looking for a big house for a large gathering, be quick!

View all of our holiday cottages available for Christmas 2012
View all of our holiday cottages available for New Year 2012
View our big houses available for Christmas 2012
View our big houses available for New Year 2012

We look forward to helping you find just the right place to celebrate and relax in comfort and style.