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Why a Farm Stay UK holiday could make your Easter Break!

Well can’t believe it but Easter is just over a couple of weeks away and for many, school is breaking up this week!  So if you’re thinking about what you’ll do while the kids are off, here’s the Farm Stay guide to having a fun filled time!

Remember, there are Farm Stay member properties including holiday cottages, working farm experiences and bed and breakfasts all over the UK, so do take a look at our accommodation search for your perfect property!

If you’ve got young children eager to meet the Easter Bunny then we would recommend a visit to Crealy Adventure Park.  Between the 18th and 22nd of April all children will receive a free Easter egg (yum) while rubbing shoulders with Fireman Sam and even Peppa Pig!

For a classic day out then don’t overlook Newquay Zoo, where you and the children can enjoy seeing the animals but also Easter egg hunts and Easter bonnet making – with lots of chances to win prizes!   Oh and if you want something a little special you’ll be able to sponsor a duck in a duck race and contribute to the daily penguin and meerkat feeding!  And if that’s not enough, you can top it all off for the children by getting their faces painted!

For those who enjoy a bit of grandeur then we can recommend one of Pembrokeshire’s Finest Stately Homes – Picton Castle and Gardens.  Their highly popular Easter Egg Trail is a hit for young and old every single year and with a nominal £1 charge to do the trail it’s a budget way to keep the kids occupied.  They can scamper through the beautiful woodlands on a self-guided tour, find the clues and then collect their prize from the shop once they’re finished!

For seven years the Cadbury Easter Egg Trail (supported by the National Trust and National Trust for Scotland) has been plenty of people happy, with trails in over 300 locations throughout the UK.  You can find your nearest trail here and enjoy a well-established Easter Egg hunt on your break.

If you fancy getting to Portsmouth over Easter then don’t miss the events at Fort Nelson.  Tanks, battles, archery, puppets and even tarantulas are on offer, with some dramatic recreations with special effects to enthral the whole family with.

Of course, you may just prefer to keep things simple and enjoy some peace and quiet on a Farm Stay break with a swimming pool or even some tranquil cycle rides.  Whatever you need, do take a look at our accommodation search, find your perfect property and check our Things to Do section and enjoy a stress-free countryside break with Farm Stay.

LINCOLNSHIRE WOLDS WALKING FESTIVAL

17TH MAY – 1ST JUNE 2014
The eighth Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival offers a vast range of organised walks in the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of outstanding Beauty.
stay at a farmstaylincolnshire B and B or cottage to make the most of the event.
www.lincswolds.org.uk

A great holiday doesn’t have to cost the earth with Farm Stay UK

Well we have finally seen more than 24 hours without rain and for many people there’s even been some sunshine to enjoy.  This could certainly mean that Spring is finally on the way.  So if you’ve been thinking about a holiday but are worried about the costs and your budget then Farm Stay UK has the answer!

We regularly have a range of special offers (updated weekly) on holiday breaks all over the UK from our Farm Stay members who work very hard to give you a great countryside experience that offers value for money, no matter what your budget might be.

From holiday cottages in Wales with literally £100 or more off and half price offers on bed and breakfasts in Cornwall, you can really get a break to remember at a price that’s affordable for you and your partner or your entire family.

Many people think that a UK holiday is more expensive than going abroad, but this really isn’t the case.  By the time you’ve calculated your airport parking, spending money, a new holiday wardrobe (and that’s before you’ve sorted your accommodation and food) it’s surprisingly expensive.  Not to mention the fact that if you’ve got pets you need to find somewhere to put them while you’re away.

With so many Farm Stay properties being pet friendly and with properties that you can even take your horse to, you’ll find Farm Stay offers great value for money and holiday properties in some of the most beautiful locations in the UK – at a price that’s a lot less than you think.

If you’re thinking of booking a break for 2014, why not take a look at the Farm Stay accommodation search or see our latest special offers and wake up to the country this Spring!

 

 

 

Finalists in the Climate Week Awards

You can enjoy yourself on holiday in the country reassured by the fact that you are contributing to reducing climate change and leaving a low carbon footprint.

Farm Stay members David and Felicity Brown of Hoe Grange Holidays in The Peak District Derbyshire have been selected as one of four finalists for the Best Business Initiative category in the Climate Week Awards to be held on Tuesday 4th March at the Excel Centre, London, as part of the launch event for Climate Week 2014.

Instigated by Kevin Steele in 2011, Climate Week is Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, inspiring a new wave of action to create a sustainable future. Culminating in a week of activities from 3rd to 9th March 2014, it showcases practical solutions from every sector of society that help people live and work more sustainably.

Hoe Grange Holidays is very much a sustainable business, combining a range of renewables to offer low-carbon holidays. David and Felicity Brown have strived to minimise use of fossil fuels; 75% of energy needs are produced on site with a 10kw wind turbine, solar power enhanced with a tracking system, heat pumps and zero waste to landfill. Together these initiatives have reduced carbon output by over 21 tonnes per year.

Sustainable technologies at Hoe Grange

Renewable energies harnessed together

Just as important as these measures is the fact that the Browns openly share their passion with holiday guests and local businesses giving guidance on practical steps to achieving a more sustainable lifestyle.

Warm & cosy - heated by ground source system

David Brown commented “We are delighted to be finalists in these prestigious national awards.  We hope our actions not only inspire guests and businesses alike to find out more about climate change and what can be done to reduce energy and waste, but also how to adapt to change”.

Felicity added “Climate Week is a great opportunity for us all to concentrate on reducing the amount of energy we waste in our homes and workplaces every day.  We believe small improvements can be as important as big innovations and can really make a difference. Come and stay with us in the Derbyshire hills and we will show you how”.

What will you try for Climate Week? Find out more about local events and how to take part in the Climate Week Challenge; a competition for teams of 4 to 6 people, which gives experience of tackling real-life environmental issues to a deadline, at www.climateweek.com

 

Great places to visit when the weather’s not perfect!

In case you hadn’t noticed we have had a lot of rain, which may have put you off a UK holiday.  However, despite all the water we’ve had of late there are still plenty of reasons to book a break with Farm Stay, as there are tons of things you can do with the kids!

In today’s blog, Farm Stay UK takes a look at some great tips for families who want to stay in the UK for their next holiday but who may be a little lost as to what they can do when the skies open up!

Stately Homes and Castles

The UK has an array of stately homes and castles, which offer a brilliant day out rain or shine.  Cardiff Castle and Edinburgh Castle are great examples of castles with very elegant interiors.  However, for a more romantic setting you’ve got Chatsworth House or Belnheim Palace to consider!

 

Theatre matinees

Theatre and the UK has had a long standing relationship.  After all one of the most famous writers in the world came from Stratford-upon-Avon.  There are great matinee performances throughout the UK at small and large theatres alike, such as the Birmingham’s Rep or Manchester’s Royal Exchange.

Botanical Gardens

If you want a bit of warm and what is effectively an indoor countryside experience, then you shouldn’t miss some of the best botanical gardens in the world!  You can chill amongst tropical plants in the glasshouses of Kew Gardens.  Edinburgh has a wonderful botanical gardens and of course if you want to really excite the kids and you’re in Cornwall then you should get on over to the Eden Project!

Shopping

If you’re with friends then a day out shopping can be a wonderful way to avoid the rain!  With so many sizeable shopping centres it really doesn’t matter what the weather’s doing.  Glasgow’s Merchant City is a great place to seek out designer bargains and of course the Bullring in Birmingham can offer every shopper a great day out!

Spas and swimming pools

When it rains outside one of the best things you can do is pamper yourself with a spa or even a family swim.  Splashdown Water Park in Poole offers some wonderful slides for the kids and adults to enjoy, while you can get a more relaxed atmosphere at Thermae Bath Spa – which is Britian’s only natural thermal spa!

 

Museums and galleries

If your children are a little older then a visit to a museum or gallery might be the answer.  We have a wealth of cultural treasures in the UK if you’re willing to take a look.  The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead offers a cultural experience, while you can get a hook on Scottish history at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Caves and Caverns

Who said you can’t be outside when it rains?  Okay not quite outside but you can head underground and see the spooky caves at Wookey Hole or enjoy the Cheddar Gorge Caves.  These are wonderful things to see and children will be enthralled by the experience.  Another more unusual outing might be the gigantic hydroelectric power station at Dinorwig in  Snowdonia!  If you’re in Derbyshire and the Brecon Beacons or Devon you may want to consider some pot holing if you’re feeling adventurous!

Aquariums

Being close to water needn’t result in getting wet!  Britain boasts some truly amazing aquariums.  There are actually numerous Sea Life Centres in the UK, including Edinburgh and Weymouth and The Deep in Hull has over 30 exhibits and 40 rather amazing sharks!

 

Indoor Entertainment Centres

If you want a mix of entertainment under one roof then you might like the Xscape Centre in Milton Keynes.  It has a bowling alley, climbing wall, cinema, great ski slope and even a parachute simulator!  Any child would be excited at the prospect of all of those!
Rain needn’t put a downer on your holiday plans and with Farm Stay you can get out and about for the day and come back to a country cottage or bed and breakfast that’s warm, welcoming and a lot of fun!

Why not take a look at our accommodation search and find your perfect break with Farm Stay?

It’s been a great Farmhouse Breakfast Week for Farm Stay UK

In case you haven’ t seen it, Farmhouse Breakfast Week has been in full-swing in the UK and Farm Stay members have been doing everything to get involved.

Farmhouse Breakfast week is a celebration that champions the importance of breakfast and is run on behalf of arable farmers everywhere.  It started on the 26th of January and ends on the 1st of February, so there’s still time to do something if you want to!  The effort to get the nation to ‘Shake Up Their Wake Up’ highlights the fact that 47% of people skip breakfast regularly and that it’s far better to enjoy a healthy breakfast by eating what’s good for you each morning.

Cheshire Farm Stay opened their doors at four of their properties to serve cooked breakfasts, afternoon teas, bacon baps, coffee and cakes and had a massive success in raising over £1000 for charity.

There was also a big breakfast event at Bucklawren Farm where some tasty breakfasts were lovingly cooked by Farm Stay members in an event that raised over £3,000 by serving 280 people! Over the years, they’ve actually raised well over £30,000 for charity through Farmhouse Breakfast events so definitely deserve a mention!

The picture from L to R is Sheryl Murray, MP for South East Cornwall; Barbara Sleep; Robert and Jean Henly

Farmers in the UK dedicate their time and energies into producing good quality foods for the nation to eat, so it’s great to see an initiative that promotes that, and of course it’s equally great to see our members getting involved.

 

 

 

Gorgeous country pictures from the Farm Stay Photo Competition!

For anyone that reads our blog and who follows our news via our Facebook page, you’ll know that recently we drew a winner in our Winter Photo Competition.  Therefore, in today’s blog we not only wanted to officially congratulate winner Jeremy Andrews but we also wanted to feature just some of the wonderful photographs that were sent in to us.  They really were amazing!

The competition was all about why the UK is such a great holiday destination in the winter time and we asked people to send in photographs that highlighted our beautiful countryside to the full and they didn’t disappoint!

However, having so many excellent entries really caused us a problem because it was so difficult for us to choose a winner!  This is why it seems only fitting that we not only highlight the winner but spend a bit of time acknowledging the effort that everyone made during the competition.

We will be holding more competitions in 2014 and should you be looking for a great holiday in the UK make sure you take a look at what Farm Stay has to offer via our accommodation search!

Jeremy Andrews took a stunning photograph of rolling fields covered with snow in Mid-Wales and we absolutely loved it, which is why he was awarded the £100 in Farm Stay vouchers.

Well done Jeremy for such a great photo and do let us know where you end up with your vouchers!

Other favourites have included;

This very Christmassy photo from Bobby Green.  Many Farm Stay properties are pet-friendly so it was lovely to see a cosy scene for Christmas complete with sleeping dog!

Snow was high on the agenda for many (well you can’t have a real winter without seeing some snow right?) and we particularly enjoyed Claire Nelson’s entry seen here:

Fiona Haward produced a gorgeous shot of this rather lovely Red Highland, looking very warm indeed!  We have a lot of Farm Stay properties in Scotland and these beauties can be found roaming fairly regularly!

And where would any ‘Farm’ be without some sheep?  This photo from Raymond JP Watson depicting some inquisitive and apparently photogenic sheep is a smashing effort!

If you want to see all the other entries that were posted to the competition, take a look at our Facebook page where you can see them in all their glory!

Again, many thanks to all those who entered and sent in some amazing pictures…you were all worthy winners and we do hope you’ll enter again next time around!

 

 

 

Great reasons to book a Farm Stay UK holiday cottage or break this year!

While we would probably all agree that booking a holiday gives you a great feeling, choosing where you want to go in the UK is more difficult than you might think.  After all there are so many great places to explore you may not even know where to start!

Perhaps you want to try the Peak District or after years of hearing how great it really is, you’d like to book a break to the Lake District in 2014.  Whatever location you end up choosing, it’s then time to choose where you want to stay, but that’s actually the easiest thing to do with Farm Stay UK.

We have holiday cottages, farm houses, bed & breakfasts and even camping options at Farm Stay, giving you every single opportunity to find the perfect holiday for you, you and your partner, the family and even your best friends.

In 2014, Farm Stay UK is offering you even more, choice and some authentic countryside experiences you won’t find anywhere else.  The great thing about the way we do things here is that you get to stay in properties that are run by people in the know!  Our Farm Stay members put a lot of time and effort into creating breaks that embrace everything about the countryside you may not find anywhere else.  Whether that’s insider knowledge of a particular area, or the best way to see the views when you get to your destination, it’s the personal touch that really counts.

Farm Stay UK has cottages and holiday properties all over the UK and that means you can find somewhere that’s close to some of the UK’s most popular places and attractions.  From the Eden Project through to Alton Towers, you’ll find somewhere that’ll make your 2014 break special.

You’ve only got to check out our Facebook page and Twitter accounts to see how many people love the Farm Stay experience.  Why not join the Farm Stay family and book your next break with us?  Try our accommodation search now and see where you might end up this year, creating memories that will last a lifetime – or at least until the next holiday break you come back to Farm Stay for!

Happy holidays!

Scandinavia comes to the Peak District

Farm Stay offers a unique range of holiday accommodation, from traditional cottages, converted cattle sheds, chapels, and coach houses to cosy Scandinavian log cabins, there is something to suit everyone. Some of our rural hideways offer unusual additional facilities enabling you to make the most of your holiday whatever the time of year.

Barrel Sauna at Hoe Grange

Winter warmer - new barrel sauna at Hoe Grange Holidays

Hoe Grange Holidays in the Heart of the Derbyshire countryside brings a little piece of Scandinavia to The Peak District. In addition to the cosy timber log cabins and the Swedish style log-fired wooden hot tub there is now a brand new Barrel sauna, with its own log fire with heat retaining stones to get things really steamy! With room for up to 6 guests at a time this is bound to be a popular new facility, enabling guests to truly relax, unwind and get back to nature.

A great way to start the New Year – book a short break at Hoe Grange and treat yourself to an amazing relaxing experience.

log fired sauna bliss

log fired sauna bliss

Winter holidays with Farm Stay…

The winter holiday is often something that is not always considered, in favour of the more classic summer break or beach holiday.  However, winter holidays in the UK offer a chance to do things a bit differently and often allow you to make real time for fun with family and friends.

Any time this winter you can enjoy some great rest and relaxation with Farm Stay UK and relish that time with your family and friends in a beautiful countryside setting or on a working farm.

Farm Stay UK has member properties throughout the UK and hosts that are always ready to make your stay a great one.  So whether you want a cosy cottage for two in the Peak District or you prefer a family break on a real working farm you’ll find we have the answer.

With a great choice of bed and breakfasts and self-catering options you’ll find the luxury and traditional are easy to find on a Farm Stay break, which keeps everyone happy.

The greatest thing about a countryside break in the UK has to be the multitude of activities you can partake in.  Yes, even in the winter time you can spend some time horse riding, cycling or enjoying a swim in an indoor pool and you can throw in a spot of fishing if you feel like it.  It’s all there, waiting for you …

Custom Breaks

Everyone has a different picture of what a winter break is about and Farm Stay knows more than most that sometimes you will want time out.  That’s why we’re proud of our members who know everything there is to know about their area.  You just can’t get this kind of service from a standard hotel, which is maybe why so many people choose a Farm Stay break in the first place.

If you have a winter break over half-term, why not take the kids on a Farm Stay break and get them out and about enjoying the countryside.  You may even find it a brilliant excuse to shed a few pounds in the New Year – saving you from a dreaded diet!

Booking through Farm Stay UK

Finding your perfect winter holiday is so easy!  Simply look through our website and browse or if you want something highly specific then use our accommodation search and find your ideal break, complete with the facilities you want with just a few clicks!

Why not book today and plan some time for you this winter!

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