Travel and Holidays

Woodland Holiday Homes

4 Woodland Holiday Home Destinations That Will Have You Trading Sand for Trees

Picture your ideal holiday home location, does it consist of white sandy beaches? Most people jump straight to the coast when they think about the perfect location for their holiday home. Sun, sea and sand – the combination everyone longs for. However, these destinations can’t always guarantee a relaxing holiday; particularly in peak season.

Those looking for complete relaxation should consider trading sandy shores for verdant trees. A woodland holiday home is the ideal way to escape the bustle of everyday life, allowing for affordable getaways at the drop of a hat.

Forests and woodlands, unlike the beach, are multi-seasonal. While a fantastic destination in the summer, not many will want to brave the coast during the bitter chill of winter. Forest destinations, however, offer new blooms and wildlife in spring, shaded but warm walks in the summer, the fiery colours of autumn and the frosted glitter of winter – the perfect excuse for multiple weekend breaks and holidays.

Here are a few idyllic UK woodland destinations that make the ultimate location if you are considering investing in a staycation property.

The New Forest

Recently discovered to be the most instagrammable forest in the UK, the New Forest has a lot to offer those looking at investing in a holiday home in the South.

The New Forest is the largest royal woodland in the UK. Its historical roots date back to the Norman conquest when in 1079, William the Conquer proclaimed it to be a royal forest, used primarily for hunting royal deer.

Nature lovers, or those looking for a literal breath of fresh air, can enjoy the 219 square miles of woodland that make up this impressive national park. It also boasts more than 140 miles of tracks and footpaths, from short strolls to long-distance trails. But what makes holidays in the New Forest a completely unique experience is that visitors are likely to walk alongside the free roaming ponies, cattle, donkeys and deer along their exploration.

It isn’t all about walking and cycling though, there is plenty to do away from the forest itself. Adventurous older children and adults can partake in many activities in the area, such as archery, horseback riding and water sports.

Families, including those with younger members, can enjoy the large offering of local attractions surrounding the forest park, for example the New Forest Wildlife Park and Paulton’s theme park.

There is plenty to see and do in this beautiful UK location; making a holiday home in the New Forest worth the investment. 

The Lake District

Nothing will make you feel a world away from urban life like a break in the Lake District. Its rolling hills, dense forests and wide stretches of lakes will help you forget the troubles of daily life and unwind.

The Lake District offers accessible routes for all, including those in wheelchairs and those with buggies. There are 48 Miles of Without Stiles routes across the National Park. These laidback routes will allow those who need wheel-friendly tracks to enjoy the stunning views this destination has to offer.

And it doesn’t stop there. Once you have finished walking, there are plenty more activities and attractions to suit all ages. Adrenaline junkies can try their hand at kite surfing, mountain boarding and abseiling while families can explore caves, try a treetop trek or even visit the Lakeland Wildlife Oasis. There is no chance of anyone getting bored here, whether you visit once, twice or even five times a year.

Those looking for something a little different can even give ghost hunting a go. The Lake District is renowned for spook spotting, so those interested in the paranormal can try to see some for themselves. Will you spot Bjorn, a thirteenth century outlaw that haunts the Styhead Pass? Or maybe a ghostly galloping horse carrying a coffin in Wasdale Head?

The Royal Forest of Dean

The second largest royal forest in the UK, the Royal Forest of Dean is a fantastic woodland destination to consider if looking for a family holiday home.

The forest offers a range of natural and man-made attractions for all types of weather. On sunny days why not plan a visit to Puzzlewood, a fairy-tale like day out? Puzzlewood is an entrancing, ancient woodland, packed with fantastic tree and rock formations to explore. It is also a popular TV & film location, including Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. This attraction makes the woodland a thrilling place to be for a younger audience.

On rainy days you can visit the Clearwell Caves, these ancient iron ore mining caves are exciting and atmospheric. They contain interesting and informative displays throughout showing visitors how the ore and ochre has been mined here for over 4,500 years.

Although worrisome for a few, the wild boar that live in the forest are likely to interest animal enthusiasts. They are primarily nocturnal but can sometimes be seen out and about during the day. However, they should be appreciated from afar and not approached, as they are wild after all! As well as boar, visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of the forest, surrounded by the impressive stature of the conifers, oak and beech trees.

Argyll Forest Park

Can you believe you can drive to the Rough Guides’ 2017 most beautiful country in the world? That’s right, no need to fly, Scotland is accessible by car and the perfect place for a break. To fully immerse yourself in Scotland’s beauty, a holiday home near Argyll Forest Park is ideal. 

The forest park was the first forest park to be created in the UK in 1935. It includes differing landscapes from fresh and seawater lochs to high peaks to thick, tall forests. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot rare red squirrels in Glenbranter or perhaps get a glimpse of red deer in Corlarach.

With this location holiday home owners wouldn’t actually have to choose between the beach and the woods, as Argyll Forest Park gives access to both. Stroll along Cowal’s longest sandy beach in Ardentinny and explore the many interesting trails in this area, there is also a trail suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, making it accessible for all. 

Although the forest park has a range of exciting activities nearby, Argyll Forest Park offers visitors the chance to truly escape, appreciate the sounds of nature and enjoy a peaceful slice of the UK.

So next time you are day dreaming about your ideal holiday home destination, will you be thinking of sand or trees?

For more information about Away Resorts click on 

Escape on a Luxury Cruise

Luxury Escape on a Fred.Olsen Winter Warmer Cruise

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has launched its new ‘Warmer Cruising’ campaign, offering guests up to 40% off a selection of 42 tempting cruises between October 2018 and March 2019, on new bookings made up to 17th October 2018 inclusive.

Durations vary from 107 nights to shorter breaks of five nights – the perfect ‘taster’ cruise for those taking a holiday at sea for the very first time.

Fred. Olsen’s new ‘Warmer Cruising’ promotion features a wide range of great-value getaways, including ‘Around the World with Sydney at New Year’, ‘California, Mexico & the Panama Canal’, ‘Islands of the Indian Ocean’, ‘Uncrowded Baltic’, ‘Canary Islands & Madeira Winter Warmth’, as well as three intriguing ‘Mystery Cruises’.

Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines says, “Step aboard one of Fred. Olsen’s smaller, friendlier ocean-going ships and be whisked away to your choice of remarkable destinations.

“Discover the fascinating wildlife and exotic landscapes of the Indian Ocean islands, or embark on a sunshine escape to the Canaries.

“Indulge in an island-hopping adventure to the Caribbean, or glide along impressive waterways into the heart of European cities.

“Choose from over 40 tempting itineraries in Fred. Olsen’s new ‘Warmer Cruising’ promotion and take advantage of great savings of up to 40% on holidays between October 2018 and March 2019…there is something for everyone!”

Sailings are from Fred. Olsen’s convenient departure ports of Southampton, Dover, Liverpool and Newcastle, as well as fly-cruises from London and Manchester airports.

For further information about Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and the latest Winter Warmer offers please visit the website at

Sixtyplusurfers Competition

Silver Travel
October Prize Draw

At Silver Travel Advisor you can find a wealth of information, impartial reviews written by people like you, as well as suggestions, ideas and destination reports about travel for the over 50’s.

If you have any questions, a team of experienced Advisors who are retired travel professionals are ready to assist at no charge. And you can share your own experiences too by writing reviews. 

You can read about the latest special offers and holiday discounts too. 

October Prize Draw

Win a Cycling Holiday in Provence

This month you could win a five-night half board cycling tour for two from our partner, Cycling For Softies

You’ll visit beautiful Provence in Southern France, with your trip being based on Van Gogh’s magical painting ‘Starry Nights’.  As you travel between the charming Provençal villages, with narrow streets, traditional squares and pretty cafés, you’ll stay in luxury 4* and 5* boutique hotels, surrounded by delightful scenery. 

See the hilltop fortress at Baux-de-Provence and the magnificent castle at Tarascon.   Your tour will take in the Camargue Nature Reserve, with its unique wetlands and wildlife, ending at St Rémy de Provence.

This is a leisurely self-guided tour, which will allow you to go at your own pace, upgrading to an electric bike if you choose. Provence has marvellous light and stunning countryside which inspired Van Gogh and many other artists. This is a prize not to be missed.   

Click Here to Enter the Prize Draw

Terms and Conditions 

Enter the Cycling For Softies Competition NOW!

See for more details as well as terms & conditions and the growing list of holiday prize winners. 

Festive Foodie Getaway

Enjoy a Festive Foodie Getaway for Christmas

The award-winning School of Artisan Food and Ye Olde Bell, a beautiful 17th century hotel and spa, are offering the perfect foodie getaway this Christmas.

For food lovers and home baking enthusiasts, Christmas is the perfect time of year to share delicious homemade treats with family and friends. The hands-on Christmas Baking course offered by The School of Artisan Food is the ideal opportunity to get into the festive spirit, while learning how to bake a selection of Christmas favourites to perfection.

Taught by the award-winning author and internationally renowned baker, Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, food lovers will create a selection of festive treats, including a German inspired stollen and a modern twist on the traditional mince pie as well the skills to make puff pastry, marzipan and enriched doughs.

Now The School, based in the former fire stables in a beautiful secluded countryside setting, in the midst of the Welbeck estate, Nottinghamshire, has teamed up with Ye Olde Bell to offer a fabulous festive getaway.

The festive package is on offer for Sunday November 11th or Sunday December 9th. In addition to enjoying the course guests will be able to stay at Ye Olde Bell, located a short 20 minute drive away from the school in the rural village of Barnby Moor. You can choose to stay the day before or same day of the course and the package also includes traditional English breakfast at the hotel.

The hotel is on the borders of Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire has been passionately restored and renovated by its current owners. It features 59 beautiful rooms, suites and lodges, all individually styled with period furniture, luxurious fabrics and contemporary bathrooms.

Dining at Ye Olde Bell ranges from classics and contemporary Rosette dishes served in either elegant Restaurant 1650 or the more relaxed St Leger Bistro and Bar to hearty Sunday roasts and traditional afternoon teas.

Last year the hotel opened a new multi million pound spa, which includes a host of thermal experiences, to stimulate the body and mind, indoor/ outdoor vitality pool, the delicious Herb Garden Brasserie, gorgeous alpine inspired outdoor relaxation area, individually style treatment rooms and hair and beauty salon.

The course is being offered at £125 when booked with the hotel (normally priced at £175) and Ye Olde Bell are offering special room rates of £119 double/twin; £89 single per night including full English breakfast.

To make a booking call 01777 705121 and quote ‘School of Artisan Food Christmas Baking’.

The School of Artisan Food

A not-for-profit organisation and registered charity dedicated to teaching skills in all aspects of sustainable and artisan food production. The School offers a unique environment for people of all skill levels to expand their knowledge through a wide range of short courses in baking and patisserie, cheesemaking, butchery and charcuterie, ice cream and chocolate making, preserves, charcuterie and brewing.  It also offers a 6-month Advanced Diploma in Artisan Baking and professional business courses for new food start-ups and existing enterprises.

As a charity, the School works with voluntary organisations, schools and colleges, and community groups to provide opportunities to inspire and teach artisan food production skills.

To learn more about the School visit

Or call 01909 532171.

Ye Olde Bell

Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Spa a privately owned 59 room country hotel dating back to the 17th Century. Located in the pretty village of Barnby Moor, on the corners of Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, it rose to prominence as an important stop between London and Edinburgh with the inauguration of the postal service in 1635.

It has welcomed illustrious guests throughout its history, including a young Queen Victoria who stayed with her mother. One of its four suites is now named the Victoria Suite in her honour. There are 59 rooms, suites and lodges, multi million-pound spa and variety of dining options including an AA Rosette menu in Restaurant Bar 1650.

It has beautiful event, conference and wedding spaces including the Bradgate Suite, Wiseton Suite, Nielsen Suite, Levack Suite and The Bell Room plus The Oak Pavilion in the extensive gardens.  

For more information about the course click on

Christmas at Innsbruck

Visit the Christmas Markets in Innsbruck 

City and mountains, tradition and innovation in Innsbruck, like nowhere else, opposites go hand in hand to create the unique symbiosis that characterises the city.

During Advent this makes the city at the “Heart of the Alps” a favourite place for those looking for a short festive break or the chance to enjoy some rather special Christmas shopping. And the new LIGHTSHOW MAX 500 is an experience not to be missed. It’s being held in one of the city’s most beautiful historical places and it invites you to embark on a sparkling journey through time.

With streets decorated with Christmas lights and snow-capped mountain peaks, traditional brass band music and a sparkling crystal Christmas tree, Tyrolean tradition and modernity go hand in hand in Innsbruck.

From mid-November the city sparkles with Christmas lights and as soon as visitors young and old alike sense the delicious aromas of hot chestnuts or mulled wine in the air, they’re seized by an eager anticipation of Christmas.

For more information and to book your holiday visit  

Strictly Come Dancing Break

Shearings Launches Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour Packages

Anyone loving the return of Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday night TV should grab their sparkly jacket, put on their dancing shoes and book now for the Live Tour, which returns in January 2019. Tickets have just gone on sale and Shearings Holidays has created a range of packages ideal for any keen fans of the show.

The 2019 tour will be hosted by former Strictly champion Ore Oduba, directed by TV judge Craig Revel Horwood and will feature some of the best-loved dancing stars and professional dancers from the 16th series of the award-winning BBC One show.

Audiences will enjoy an all-new celebrity line-up, show-stopping routines with amazing choreography, incredible live music, and have the power to decide who wins the Glitterball Trophy at the end of each show

Two and three night short breaks are available that include tickets to see the 2019 Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham or London.

Birmingham – Two days from £139pp – Departing 19 January 2019, price includes all coach travel from various pick up points, overnight accommodation, ticket and transportation to the Strictly Come Dancing live show at Birmingham Arena, plus a visit to Stratford en-route. Based on two sharing.

Liverpool – Two days from £139pp – Departing 28 January 2019, price includes all coach travel from various pick up points, overnight accommodation, ticket and transportation to the Strictly Come Dancing live show at the Echo Arena, plus a visit to Stratford en-route. Based on two sharing.

Manchester – Three days from £199pp – Departing 25 January 2019, price includes all coach travel from various pick up points, overnight accommodation plus ticket and transportation to the Strictly Come Dancing live show at Manchester Arena. Based on two sharing.

London – Two days from £149pp – Departing 7 February 2019, price includes all coach travel from various pick up points, overnight accommodation plus ticket and transportation to the Strictly Come Dancing live show at Wembley Arena. Based on two sharing.

For more information visit the Shearings website at

Or call 0344 874 8220

Flat Cap Hotels

Flat Cap Hotels Relaunches The Bridge, Prestbury

Cheshire-based hotel group, Flat Cap Hotels, has revealed the new bar and restaurant at The Bridge in Prestbury. This is the third property to be launched by the Cheshire-based hotel group.

Following the successful refurbishment of The Vicarage in Holmes Chapel, and The Courthouse in Knutsford, Flat Cap Hotels embarked upon restoring the historic property to its former glory and reinstating it back into the community.

The grade II listed building has been lovingly restored, with a host of original features uncovered during the refurbishment including stone and parquet flooring and wooden beams throughout.

The first phase of the relaunch which has taken three months, includes a new bar and restaurant, a Garden Room, along with a new-look lobby and reception area.

The lobby has been opened up to create more space for guests to enjoy teas and coffees. Heritage colours of red ochre have been used to create a cosy welcome for guests and there are large Chesterfield sofas and oversized vibrant coloured armchairs for the weary traveller.

The restaurant has taken inspiration from the beautiful gardens at the rear of the hotel, which overlook the Rover Bollin. The restaurant décor includes jewel-toned chairs in peacock blue and emerald green, plus a bright, light-filled Garden Room facing the terraced gardens with botanical print chairs and parquet flooring.

The new bar has been renovated in soft tones of green, with a feature wall of mirrors and the original beams have been exposed during the renovations.

Steven Tuke, executive chef of the group has transformed the menu, focusing on local producers in Cheshire and dishes include 12-hour cured salmon, English fillet of beef, cauliflower cheese risotto and Buttercross Farm pork steak.

Oliver Heywood, co-founder of Flat Cap Hotels says, “We always knew that The Bridge was a special hotel. It’s at the heart of the village and The Bridge holds special memories for many local people who’ve held weddings and birthdays at the hotel over the years. We wanted to uncover the heritage of the building and at the same time invest in the hotel’s future. We’re excited to be unveiling the first phase of the investment and look forward to the local people having happy memories of The Bridge for many years to come.”

The restaurant is open from 7am to 11pm Monday to Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8am to midnight and from 8am to 10pm on Sundays. Afternoon tea is served in the Garden Room daily from 12 to 5pm.

Over the coming months, the 23 bedrooms will be completely transformed with a fresh new look echoing the Flat Cap style.

The Bridge is located next door to the historic St. Peter’s Church in Prestbury, making it the perfect choice for local weddings.

The Whiteside Suite can accommodate up to 150 people for a wedding or private party and drinks receptions can be held in the gardens.

Nestled in the heart of Cheshire, The Bridge is easily accessible by car, just 30 minutes from Junction 19 of the M6 motorway and 25 minutes from Manchester Airport. The hotel is located within a five minute walk from Prestbury train station, which has direct links to Manchester.

Flat Cap Hotels is a third-generation family-run hotel group, founded in 2015 by brothers Dominic and Oliver Heywood. The group launched The Vicarage in Holmes Chapel in 2015; the first property in its portfolio, followed by The Courthouse in Knutsford in June 2017.

For more information about Flat Cap Hotels visit

News from Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises offers Tea and Reveals Launch of New Ship

Princess Cruises has recently equipped the 2,670-guest Sapphire Princess with kettles and tea and coffee making facilities in all staterooms. As the main Princess ship sailing from the UK both this year and in 2019, the new amenities onboard will appeal to the British market and in particular their taste for tea.

Sapphire Princess underwent an extensive two-week refit earlier this year, which included the introduction of a new luxury bed in every stateroom. The new in-cabin tea and coffee making facilities will further enhance each room.

Guests on Sapphire Princess and all other Princess ships can also continue to order complimentary tea and coffee in their stateroom via the onboard 24 hour room service.  

For further information about Princess Cruises visit

Or call 0344 338 8663 or contact your local travel agent.

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