How to make the most of the long weekend holiday cottages


How to make the most of the long weekend

Ruth 17 April 2019

The bank holiday is coming up quick, and the struggle is real. We get it, you just want to get away from it all but there’s still the last few days of work to get through before you can escape. And when you do, you want to make the most of both your time and money without too much hassle. Totally #millennialproblems.

But hear us out – you don’t have to battle with EasyJet’s baggage allowance to have a fun weekend break. If you’re wondering what to do on the weekend, there’s actually loads of places to explore in the UK, whether you’re a total adrenalin junkie or just want to binge on Netflix all weekend.

Wherever you live in the UK, it’s time to be BFFs with your backyard.

Within three hours of London

➡For the thrill seeker:

Grab your waterproofs and a headtorch (no, the one on your iPhone doesn’t count) for a starlit adventure night kayaking on the River Ouse, Sussex.

After the twilight appears, you can take to the water as the stars come out overhead. Paddle silently through the gloom and listen to the sounds of nature around you.

Probs give this one a miss if you’re afraid of the dark, though.

➡For the wanderer:

While it’s most famous for the battle (or that super-catchy TV advert), it’s about time you catch feelings for Hastings.

It’s easy to spend the bank holiday wandering around the town, seeing the castle, popping into a cafe for an almond latte or visiting the museums.

When you’re over the town, you can check out the High Weald AONB or just walk along the coast.

➡For the retreater:

If you’re looking to somewhere to get away from everything and everyone, the unenclosed heathland and woods of the New Forest National Park should do the trick.

Hunker down with nothing but the sound of birds (and maybe the native ponies) disturbing your naps.

If you fancy exploring your surroundings, there’s plenty of cycle trails to explore before you retreat back to your cottage.

Where to stay?

1. The Beach Bung, Pevensey Bay, sleeps 4

2. House on the Hill, Hastings, sleeps 10

3. Beaulieu River View, New Forest, sleeps 2

Within three hours of Liverpool

➡For the thrill seeker:

Ever thought about walking across a gorge in the Peak District? Us neither, but it’s actual weekend goals.

Get wet and wild in Derbyshire (no winkyface emoji intended) as you scramble up waterfalls and jump in natural pools surrounded by gorgeous scenery.

It’s a great way to clear your head, but sadly no selfies – we’re not sure your phone would survive a waterfall, no matter how much rice you put it in afterwards,

➡For the wanderer:

Take a gentle 3-mile route through rolling Derbyshire countryside, fuelled exclusively by one of the UK’s best puddings – the Bakewell tart.

Starting off in Bakewell, head to the village of Edensor then out towards the magnificent Chatsworth House.  

There you can find out about the 16th-century stately home and get some Pinterest-worthy interiors inspo, or just wander round the lush grounds before heading back to Bakewell for more pudding.

➡For the retreater:

So, you want to get away from it all – how about a stay on an actual island?

Anglesey’s 220 square miles of coastline and landscape have been declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so you’re guaranteed a bank holiday of peace and quiet.

The 4G signal on the island is notoriously bad, so it’s also super easy to break up with your phone.

Where to stay?

1. 1 The Retreat, Taddington, sleeps 4

2. 1820, Bakewell, sleeps 4

3. Druid Retreat, Anglesey, sleeps 2

Within three hours of Edinburgh

➡For the thrill seeker:

If the words ‘highland fling’ make you think of that dodgy snog you had on a night out in Scotland, maybe this adrenalin-pumping activity will change your mind.

Ok, so Glasgow isn’t actually in the Highlands, but you can fling yourself off a 160ft platform as you take on the city’s bungee jump.

If nothing else, it’ll make a great Insta story.  

➡For the wanderer:

For #nofilter coastal views, head out on the 117 miles of the Fife Coastal Path which stretches from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Tay.

You’ll discover picturesque, sheltered and quiet coves to explore and you might even see a dolphin in the Firth.

On the way, make a stop at the historic town of St Andrews with its cobbled streets and old buildings that are the legit definition of the heart-eyes emoji.

➡For the retreater:

Only accessed at low tide, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne is goals when it comes to a coastal retreat.  

Just off the coast of Northumberland, it’s surrounded by the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve so the only thing disturbing your solitude will be birds and seals.

Back on the mainland, there’s loads of cute cottages perfect for nap opportunities after you’re done exploring.

Where to stay?

1. Duchal Lodge, Lochwinnoch, sleeps 4

2. Hillside Retreat, St Andrews, sleeps 6

3. Kyloe Church Cottage, Bamburgh, sleeps 4

Within three hours of Cardiff

➡For the thrill seeker:

A visit to Wales’ oldest inn will get your adrenalin pumping for a totally different reason.

The 900-year-old Skirrid Mountain Inn in the Brecon Beacons is said to be haunted by ghosts of hanged criminals, and a visit will leave you shook.

Alexa, play the Ghostbusters’ theme.

➡For the wanderer:


Hay-on-Wye can easily be walked around in 20 minutes, but it will take you a lot longer than that to linger in the 24 bookshops in the town.

There’s also a second-hand vinyl shop and a retro interiors shop giving you those #tbt vibes.

When you’re done with the town, there’s the Black Mountains, the Brecon Beacons and the River Wye to explore.

➡For the retreater:

You don’t get much cosier than a glamping break and the Brecon Beacons is full of super-cute converted shepherd’s huts that’ll give ‘contactless’ a whole new meaning.

Snuggle up for the bank holiday in your sweet retreat and nap the day away. Then when evening falls, chill out in a hot tub while the stars come out.

When you fancy exploring, a wander round the countryside will bring you face to face with cows, sheep and even alpacas – that’s our kind of squad goals.

Where to stay?

1. Sugar Loaf Barn, Abergavenny, sleeps 8

2. The Beautiful Bunkhouse, sleeps 14

3. Skirrid View Shepherd Hut, Abergavenny sleeps 2

Within three hours of Newcastle

➡For the thrill seeker:


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Ka Kitesurfing Team rider Andrew McMillan ripping at #budlebay #kitesurfing#kiteboarding #northeast #northumberland #kakitesurfingadventuresports #shinn #airush @airushkites

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Northumberland’s Beadnell Bay is the ideal location to try out probs the coolest sport going – kitesurfing.

Making the most of the super windy coast, there’s plenty of schools (with fit instructors) who’ll have you looking on fleek on the water in no time.

That’s if you can get into your wetsuit first.

➡For the wanderer:

With its Instagrammable old streets and historic buildings for days, York is the perfect destination to spend your bank holiday wandering round.

Start your day off with avo toast in one of the cute cafes, then head to the jaw-dropping York Minster cathedral where the views from the top (and the climb up to it) will leave you dead.

Then visit the Shambles – a small district in the old town, not you on a night out – for independent shops and restaurants.

➡For the retreater:

You don’t get much more remote than the Dark Peak, the Peak District’s area of desolate moorland and gritstone.

TBH, the views are so bleak they make the perfect contrast to curling up in a cottage in front of the wood burner while Netflix asks if you’re still watching (Netflix, the answer is always yes).

Continue the cosy feel at one of the area’s pubs, where a pint will actually leave you with change from a fiver.  

Where to stay?

1. Bothy, Beadnell, sleeps 6

2. Pear Tree House, York, sleeps 4

3. Sett Cottage, Peak District, sleeps 4

Within three hours of Bristol

➡For the thrill seeker:

TFW when you live in the West Country but haven’t tried surfing….

What are you waiting for?! Devon and Cornwall’s north coast is high-key the best area of the UK for surfing, and it’s right on your doorstep.

There’s tons of surf schools and rental shops and when you’re surfed out, there’s pasties, cream teas and cider to get stuck in to.

➡For the wanderer:

It’ll take you longer than a bank holiday weekend to truly explore the South West Coast path, but now’s a good time to start.

Beginning at Minehead in Somerset, the country’s longest national trail continues for 630 miles until its finish point in Poole, Dorset.

After snapping the on-point seaside views, find a pub in one of the cute fishing villages where you can be BFFs with the locals.

➡For the retreater:


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Thank you to the 3000 people who joined us for this year's #Exmoor #DarkSkies Festival and to the local businesses who help organise more than 40 events across the #NationalPark. If you've been inspired by your dark skies experience, our #poetry competition is open until this Saturday, with categories for all ages. The winning entries will be posted on our website and displayed in National Park Centres, plus you could win a dark skies goody bag with prizes sponsored by @sundayafternoons_uk and Astronomy Now Magazine. More info on our website. Thanks to @fionawalshlandscapes for the great 📸! #astronomy #ExmoorDSF #space #nightsky #constillations #shootingstars #milkyway

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Exmoor National Park has been given an actual classification for being so remote, which makes it the perfect place for a bank holiday away from it all.

Europe’s first Dark Sky Reserve, Exmoor is so undeveloped it has very little light pollution, meaning you can stargaze with bae all weekend long.

Leave your iPhone at home, though – the 4G sucks on Exmoor and let’s be honest, pictures of the night sky never look as good in real life, no matter how many Valencia filters you put on them.

Where to stay?

1. The Old Cider Barn, Croyde, sleeps 8

2. Trebarfoote, Polruan, sleeps 6

3. The Hoe Cottage, Lynton, sleeps 4

Ready to explore? We’ve scoped out the UK’s best self-catering accommodation so all you need to do is pack a bag. Find your perfect cottage here.


Georgie 01 August 2019
Georgie 29 July 2019

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