Tag Archives: family holiday

Stunning large party house in Norfolk joins the Big House

We’re excited to welcome Cliff Barns as a new large house at the Big House Co. The owners originally stayed in one of our own houses (Tone Dale House) and loved the concept so much they decided to do the same thing for themselves – albeit a few years later!  The idea of having a ‘weekend’ place for big groups of friends and family to stay is no longer new but being able to offer clients a variety of properties with unique features to suit the needs of their group is a big part of what we do.  The stylish approach at Cliff Barns is certainly a superb addition to our portfolio.

Nestled next to a strawberry farm in Norfolk the property forms a quadrangle around a central courtyard with all the accommodation cleverly arranged on the ground floor.  The owners are interior and set designers to the stars and have put more than the usual ‘barn conversion’ formula into Cliff Barns.  The impression you get as you enter is one of rustic hunting lodge meets boutique hotel but with an overall feeling of squishy comfort.  The living spaces are generous and open out through folding glazed doors to the central courtyard which contains more seating, alfresco dining, hot tub and games area.

Sumptuous Cabana bedroom

Up to 18 people can be accommodated in eight stunning bedrooms and everyone can sit around the dining table.  There are great self-catering facilities but you can also let the local caterers take the strain instead.  It is possible to hold larger events such as weddings by arrangement and the team can look after all your needs and manage the event for you.

Make an effort to leave the property at some stage and explore the beautiful coast line with miles of sandy beaches, or enjoy some of the many local attractions and fabulous gastro eateries close by.  Ideal for families, birthday groups, hen weekends and corporate away days.

Stunning open plan living area, perfect for large groups.

Somerset – top UK summer holiday destination

 

Somerset is fabulous for summer holidays

Enjoy a fantastic summer holiday in Somerset

A summer holiday in Somerset is more popular than ever this year.  The fall in the value of the pound certainly makes going abroad far more expensive. Not having to go to the airport reduces stress levels too – no delayed or cancelled flights to contend with and what about the long haul flight in the seat next to the crying baby, not this year!

We think Somerset has a lot to offer for a summer holiday.  With so much coastline and a hugely varied landscape from the Somerset Levels to the Quantock Hills there is lots to explore and enjoy.

Stunning Cheddar Gorge in North Somerset is a great place to visit in an area of outstanding natural beauty.  It’s Britain’s biggest limestone gorge, with cliffs rising to 450ft and a designated walk along the top of them, guaranteed to blow the cobwebs away!  With a stalactite cave, an open top bus tour and a look-out tower adults and children alike will have a great day out.  For the more courageous, there’s adventure caving and rock climbing.

A trip to the beach is a summer holiday tradition for many and in Somerset there’s loads of choice.  Burnham-on-Sea is a classic seaside town with an Edwardian backdrop of buildings overlooking the wide sandy beach, perfect for getting out your buckets and spades – you can even have a donkey ride on the beach and why not enjoy an ice-cream on the shortest pier in the UK.  Further along the coast is Kilve, a fossil hunter’s paradise and a great place to investigate the many rock-pools that appear at low tide.  There’s a lovely grassy area at the back of the beach for picnics, barbecues, cricket and all sorts of fun and games.

Now, let’s face it, sometimes the weather does get a little damp in the UK, so your summer holiday may not be end to end sunshine!  Grab those opportunities and visit some of the excellent indoor attractions that Somerset is home to, you’ll be glad it rained!

Why not keep with the watery theme and visit SeaQuarium at Weston super Mare?  We particularly liked the moon jellyfish, just like watching aquatic ballet and the underwater tunnel with a huge selection of creatures circling above you.  There’s so much to learn about here and you can get hands on involved too with some of the rock pool creatures.

Another of our favourites is Fleet Air Arm Museum showing the history of the airplane from the very early days of the biplane (you get a real sense of their fragility and the bravery of the pilots), through to the modern day. Along the way you can learn the physics of flight from a model plane inside a wind tunnel and hear about the military and human stories of the second world war.  There’s plenty here to make a day of it.

Whatever you choose to do during your summer holiday, we think Somerset has a lot to offer, we know you’ll enjoy it, come and take a look.

5 great places to visit in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds makes a great location for a relaxing short break or family holiday with a wide diversity of great things to do.

It’s the epitome of rural England with its rolling hills, quaint villages, churches and stately homes built in distinctive, soft yellow Cotswold stone.  Here’s a few of the things we’d suggest you include in your plans:-

Historic villages and market towns

The Cotswolds charm lies in its pretty medieval villages and market towns with their mellow limestone walls – picture perfect rural England full of honey coloured thatched cottages.  Perfect for sauntering around on a lazy afternoon, buying some of the local crafts or indulging in a delicious cream tea of warm scones and home-made jam in a cosy teashop.

Our choice would be Bourton-on-the-Water, often referred to as “the Venice of the Cotswolds” with the River Windrush trickling through its centre, handsome stone bridges spanning it and quaint cottages to admire.  Enjoy a relaxing lunch and a locally brewed ale in one of the cosy pubs and don’t miss the exquisitely detailed model village, which even has the sound of the choir in fine voice, echoing from its miniature sized church.

Highgrove Garden

It’s probably the only garden visit where you take your passport and go through security, but doesn’t that give you the sense of something special on the other side?

The garden of HRH The Prince of Wales certainly offers something unique and it’s well worth pre-booking a tour to see the magical garden that’s been created there.  Surprisingly quirky and innovative – some of the delights include a colourful and elegant wildflower meadow, an idiosyncratic wall created from many of the unusual gifts given to HRH over the years, and the Rapunzel like treehouse of the young Princes.  The tour finishes at a beautiful building housing the restaurant and café.  It’s worth stopping here to savour the food and contemplate the delights of the garden.  The finale to your visit: the opportunity to buy plants that you’ll have seen in the garden, a lasting memory.

Charleston House  

A great family trip where you’ll find yourself stepping into a time capsule of 17th century living at this enchanting manor house, owned by the National Trust.  Built as a sign of prosperity by a rich woollen merchant, you enter the world of a bygone age.  Families will particularly enjoy the explorer packs available, which entice you into searching for the 400 year old mulberry tree, or test your wits by trying to name the cloud shapes clipped into topiary.  Believe it or not (it’s true) the game of croquet was actually invented here.  You can try your hand at a game on the original pitch where it all began.  Both the house and gardens are a joy, but don’t forget your picnic, if you want to enjoy the delights of an alfresco feast spread out on a rug in the sunshine.

Cheltenham Races  

Hear the thunder of the hooves on turf and roar on your chosen horse.  There’s nothing quite like the excitement of a day at the races to get the pulse racing.  Cheltenham is home to the world famous festival of jumps racing.  But, as well as this world class event there are other meetings throughout the year to indulge in.

Part of the great fun of a race meeting is the complete involvement you feel in each and every race; whether you’ve bet £1 or staked the family silver (we don’t recommend this!). Dress up in your finest, sip chilled champagne, enjoy a meal at the Roux brothers restaurant or go for the ultimate and treat yourself to a private box.

Whether you back a winner or not it’s a thoroughly entertaining day out.

Birdland Park

 If your group includes children, then hunting for dinosaurs may be right up your street. The Jurassic Journey transports you back 65 million years into a world where you’ll discover life size creatures, from the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex to the tiny baby stegosaurus.  Trackers kits are supplied and your inner pre-historic explorer might even come across dinosaur eggs, fossils to dig for and maybe some old bones.

You’ll be tempted to linger but the park has lots more that’s worth exploring – cute newly hatched chicks to cuddle, penguin feeding to watch and if you’re really feeling daring a snake to dangle round your neck.

Whether you choose the Cotswolds for a short break or a longer holiday there’s plenty to see and do and our Cotswold Manor makes a great base for a large group.