Tuesday, 1 May 2012

My holiday picks from Homeaway.co.uk

Even though the terrible sleep problem persists (see The Cruelty of Sleep Deprivation) we are trying to get on with things and have turned our attention to lovely thoughts about our next holiday. Going on holiday with children is completely different to going away as a couple. Nothing is simple anymore, and the slightest problem can turn into a big stress. One of the most important things to get right is accommodation because, let's face it, you're going to be staying in a lot more than you used to. Some people love the ease of hotels and all inclusive deals, but for me, nothing beats the freedom of staying in a cottage or villa as it means you can put the kids to bed and have some adult time, even if you are "staying in". One of the companies that specialise in holiday accommodation for young families is HomeAway.co.uk. There are loads of cottages to choose from (though you can set the filter to find the things most important to you), but these are the ones that take my eye:

Christchurch, Dorset. Ref - 418812
4 bed harbourside house with panoramic views, and books & games for kids. From £600/week 
I absolutely love Christchurch, it is one of the most picturesque places I know. It is also a wonderful place to take children with its recently renovated children's park with paddling pool and lots of child friendly restaurants. If you catch the ferry (and by ferry, I mean wooden rowing boat) across the water you can go to Mudeford beach, home of the £125,000 wooden beach huts (I spend my time trying to nosy inside them).

Purbeck, nr Swanage, Dorset, Ref - 96889
3-bed seaside cottage, from £350/week.  ‘Very baby and child friendly’ and provides baby equipment, plus kids toys, books and games.
Swanage was the site of my very first holiday as a child. Apparently this is the place I fell in some stinging nettles and then my dad thrashed them all down with a stick. I have such happy memories of holidays in Swanage, so child friendly and seasidy. I love this house, all cosy and homely.

Carew Newton near Pembroke, ref - 8843.
 Unusual converted chapel. Listed as ‘children welcome’. Very modern interior, 3-bed, from £550/week
We took son 1 on his very first holiday to Pembrokeshire, so it holds special memories. Although this cottage isn't especially child friendly, sometimes you've got to just look and gaze in wonder at fabulous contemporary interiors. 

Here's another great find in Pembrokeshire:
Pembrokeshire National Park, Ref - 418962
2-bed detached cottage, from £400/week. Provides games and toys and states property is very family friendly.
Lovely interiors, very "shabby chic".
This is another beautiful cottage, and probably more suitable for a young family (if I'm honest) than the previous one. The fact that there is a pub/restaurant on the beach nearby that sells locally sourced lobster is a winner as far as I'm concerned. There are also lots and lots of beaches close by which small children love.

Everyone loves the Lake District (even though my mum claims it rains there all the time).
This one was recommended to me by a friend and looks divine:
Caldbeck, near Keswick, Ref - 82107
3-bed, 5*-rated cottage in Caldbeck (very pretty village). The owner Jen is brilliant and does lovely home-cooked food which she can deliver to the cottage (extra charge for the food, of course) and you just then whack in the oven. From £575/week.
You can't beat roaming around in the Lake District in the beautiful scenery and countryside to make you feel truly proud to be British. This cottage would be great for those looking to really get away from the hustle and bustle. The interiors look amazing and would make me come home and detest my own paltry house (and lack of taste for that matter).

Now although I love holidaying in this country, it's cheaper than going abroad and much easier, you can't always rely on the British weather. I'm no sunbird but I do love a sunny day or two so I can get my summer dresses out and generally feel summery and wear sunglasses on my head. I'm a bit of a Francophile as well, truth be told. I love all things French but most especially the delicious food and wine. There is something amazing about even the simplest of lunches in France and everyone takes food and meal times very seriously (as they should!). With this in mind, I couldn't help but think "wow" about this little gem.

"The Blue House", Near Deauville, Normandy, ref - p80776
A beautifully decorated 3-bed, wood-timbered house in front of the famous Abbey of Bec Hellouin. From £806/week
This house is absolutely stunning and more importantly, gets great reviews too. It is quite near Deauville which is a lovely seaside town with restaurants to die for and a stunning beach (I speak from knowledge here, yum yum!). Husbands will also like this area as it's quite handy for all the Normandy (and by this I mean WW2) beaches, though to be fair there are some very interesting things to see and do and poignant reminders of the great sacrifice made in those sad times.

I will update you when we decide where to go, roll on summer!

And of course, booking direct means(this is from the website):
- A free rental guarantee which protects against fraudulent (i.e. non-existant) properties/listings. Everyone who books a property on our site is eligible for this and it provides compensation of up to 50% of the rental fees paid – up to a maximum of £700 – for any properties which turn out to be fraudulent (very rare).
-        A dedicated insurance product via our partner Europ Assitance which protects specifically against fraud and mis-representation (i.e. the property is significantly not as described), as well as all your standard travel insurance items.
-        Traveller reviews for increased peace of mind so people can read feedback from previous guests. Owners can add their reply/comments to reviews but reviews are unedited and so long as they meet our guidelines, all are posted, good and bad.

I am looking for a holiday with HomeAway but this was a sponsored post. Just so you know.


  1. Replies
    1. They do and there is so much choice! Holidays seem far away at the moment for me but it's food to have something to look forward to. X


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