‘Your Images of Autumn’ Competition

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Ochre coloured leaves, frosty mornings, golden sunlight and fireworks bursting in the sky – there’s something about the advent of autumn that is uniquely glorious.  With that in mind we’ve launched ‘Your Images of Autumn’, a photo competition designed to celebrate the wealth of scenic beauty that occurs as summer transitions into winter.

Think you have the perfect image of autumn?  You can submit your stunning seasonal photos on the cottages4you Facebook page or post to us via Twitter. The first prize is a £100 Blacks outdoor clothing voucher while two runners-up will each receive a bottle of champagne.

Good luck and happy snapping!

Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy

View of the old town of Bagnoregio

100 km from Rome, located on the border between Lazio and Umbria, lies the wonderful Civita di Bagnoregio – a true Italian hidden holiday gem. Founded 2,500 years ago by the Etruscans, it offers truly amazing views of the Tiber river valley. It also sits atop a fragile volcanic plateau, which is why its population dwindled to only 6 residents in the 20th century!

It now gets a little more crowded in the summer months, but residents are still happy to welcome the few tourists who make the effort to visit this beautiful and unforgettable location. Take a look at our featured holiday accommodation in the region.

Cottage of the Week – Trevellan House nr. Falmouth

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Trevellan House. cottages4you ref: TPF

An architect designed, detached house located in the creek side village of Mylor Bridge, perfect for families or couples looking for a comfortable house to relax. Trevellan House sits in a quiet private road and is perfectly placed for exploring some of Cornwall’s finest beaches and creeks.

Approximately 15 minutes’ walk along narrow country lanes will take you to Weir Point, where there is a peaceful and secluded shingle beach. The lovely, sandy beaches of Falmouth are just a 10-minute drive away. Visit its busy port and marinas, The National Maritime Museum and Pendennis Castle. Take a sea safari to watch dolphins, basking sharks and seals, or take a fishing trip or a small ferry to nearby St Mawes and the beautiful Helford River.

Trevellan House itself sleeps 6 and provides a selection of options to keep holidaymakers entertained, including WiFi, two bedrooms with TVs and one with wonderful water views. You can find more info and make a booking on the property listing on our website, and take a look at some customer comments below…

‘This is a truly outstanding property, the village shop was very large & well stocked for meals -with large superstores only a couple of miles away in Falmouth. The views both back & front were truly breathtaking. we stayed 1st week of school summer holidays- it was blissful!!’  Heather, Crawley, West Sussex.

 

 

The Great South West Walks – loving the South West Coast Path!

Last week Bill Brown, one of our intrepid Regional Managers, completed the cottages4you sponsored New Polzeath Coastal Conservation Walk, organised by the South West Coast Path Association.

The event was just one of many organised as part of Great South West Walks 2014, a celebration of the South West Coast Path comprised of 100 popular circular walks around the Coast Path in Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.

You can see a few of Bill’s brilliant photos below. If you fancy taking part, or learning more about the great work that the South West Coast Path Association do to preserve this beautiful stretch of Britain, then head over to their website and get involved!

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Bill (centre) with guide Justin Seedhouse (red jacket) and other intrepid walkers

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Some of the stunning scenery on offer

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Peppercombe to Bucks Mills is one of the region’s most popular walks

Autumn After Dark – a UK entertainment guide

New Year's Eve Fireworks

London lights up in November

As the nights begin to draw in, and a distinctive British chill returns to the air, it’s easy to lament the passing of those long, hazy days spent outdoors in shorts or summer dresses. It often feels like there’s nothing left to do until next year but hibernate, coming out only to celebrate those precious fun filled weeks over Christmas.But fear not! Your summer clothes may be packed away, but the UK is chock full of activities, locations and adventures up and down the country that will help you to enjoy the evenings that are closing in.
Enchanted Forest – Faskally Wood, Pitlochry
3rd – 26th OctoberWhat better way to take advantage of the early darkness than enjoying one of the UK’s most spectacular sound and light shows! Put one every year as autumn unfolds, each event has a different theme that is then explored through choreographed sound and light effects, which unfold as you work your way through the forest. This year’s theme is Elemental, and is all about getting back to nature through the enjoyment of the elements. While the weather is usually an uncontrollable aspect of the show, this year you can expect to be wowed by elemental effects.

The natural backdrop of the forest will be set off by amazing visuals and beautiful design, accompanied by an original music score written specially for the event. You can also expect to be delighted by aerial performance artists defying gravity in the tree tops, and an enchanted story telling yurt. The outdoor catering team also ensures you won’t go hungry, and you can enjoy a hot chocolate or a mulled wine to keep you cosy as you wonder around on a frosty evening.

It’s recommended that you allow between 60 – 90 minuets to fully appreciate the event, and you may want to go around more than once to make sure you catch everything! The show is fantastic for children, although you may struggle to get around the forest path with large buggies.

Illuminating York – York city centre
29th October – 1st November

On a similar theme, you can also brighten up your autumn nights with a visit to York’s annual light festival, Illuminating York. Named as one of the Guardian’s top ten European light festivals, it’s one of the city’s biggest annual events and is not to be missed. Having begun nine years ago, York have been wowing visitors with stunning illuminated art for nearly a decade. With specially commissioned digital art being projected onto various historic buildings, you get to appreciate York’s beautiful architecture as well as seeing some great works of art. Using the latest technology available, 12 pieces of illuminating artwork will be displayed across the city centre.

The main attraction is to be Hidden Worlds, which is being projected onto the York Crown Court Building. Using 3D projection-mapped animation, the art work explores the microscopic and the unconscious. There are also various supporting events and other local attractions that can be taken advantage of while visiting the city, including several tours and trails, so you can enjoy the event over several evenings. Also new for this year is the opportunity to travel further afield to witness the Castle Howard bathed in light.

Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations – Lewes, East Sussex
5th November

The biggest and best known bonfire night celebrations in the UK have been taking place in Lewes for hundreds of years. Almost always a riotous affair, the event sees six local bonfire societies joining forces with visiting groups. Marching bands also travel to take part in revelries, and the occasion is always marked by costumes and parades, along with a tradition of carrying 17 burning crosses through town. The evening peaks with huge bonfires on the surrounding hills, and spectacular firework displays. As the carnival-like evening can be pretty boisterous, it’s not recommended that you take young children.

Lord Mayor’s Show – London
8th November

While occurring very close to bonfire night, this event comes from a completely different tradition – since the year 1215, the city mayor was expected to travel upriver to Westminster, in order to swear loyalty to the king. What started out as a duty became a major celebration, and now the event sees a flotilla sailing up the Thames, followed by a street procession and a massive firework display. The show takes up a whole day, with the flotilla beginning as early as 8.30 am the procession following at 11 am, and the fireworks taking place at 5.30 pm. It’s a fun and exciting day out for all the family.

So there you have it – you don’t have to stay at home forlornly just because it’s getting dark! Instead, take advantage of the early evenings and experience some of the great night-time events that are happening up and down the country.

Cottage of the Week – Skene House Cottage

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Skene House Cottage. Property ref: 29020

Not only does this unique holiday property form an annexe of the stunning Skene Castle (a privately owned property in peaceful seclusion, west of Aberdeen) but it’s also part of the cottages4you Green Scheme, which promotes properties that offer environmentally friendly features!

We’ve established our Green Cottages scheme by identifying holiday cottages where the owners have taken extra steps to be kinder to the environment whilst remaining completely warm and comfortable. This includes looking at the impact on the environment of each cottage with regards to energy, pollution, information, water, wildlife and landscape. Property owners may also provide information about local facilities and car-free days out whilst we provide practical advice on how to make small improvements for a greener future.

We think you’ll agree that whilst Skene House offers a wonderfully ‘green’ holiday experience, no compromises have been made in offering complete comfort, warmth and relaxation for holidaymakers. Of course, the best way would be to find out for yourself! Find more info and make a booking on the property listing on cottages4you. Find more info on The Green Scheme.

The Best Autumn Food and Drink Festivals

iStock_000023362468SmallfoodfestivalThe chilly mornings and darker evenings of autumn often find us turning to comforting, warm food and drinks to get through the day. If you are lacking in inspiration, don’t worry as autumn is the perfect time to visit one of the many and varied food festivals taking place across the UK.

Love Food Festival, Dyrham Park, South Gloucestershire

Making the most of the autumn harvest will be the theme of the Love Food Festival in Dyrham Park, South Gloucestershire on Sunday 28th September. Visitors will have the chance to try local seasonal produce and as well as lots of opportunities to try and buy food and drink, there will be fun activities for the children, a chance to try out survival skills and even a Homemade Competition to show off your own homegrown or homemade seasonal produce. Find out more on the event website.

Melton Mowbray Food Festival

A name synonymous with food, Melton Mowbray hosts one of the largest food festivals in the country. The weekend of 4th and 5th October will see the 11th annual Melton Mowbray Food Festival with over 150 exhibitors showcasing new and traditional food and drink from the local region and from around the UK. Alongside the traditional Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and Stilton, you will find alcoholic ice creams, chocolate kebabs, artisan cheeses to name just a few, which can all be washed down with locally brewed ales. Find out more on the event website.

The Chocolate Show, London

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The Chocolate Show is a food festival with a difference. Completely dedicated to all things chocolate, the best UK and international chocolate companies will be ready to tempt you with wonderful chocolate treats. Taking place at Olympia West in London from 17th to 19th October, there is even the chance to see the highly acclaimed chocolate fashion show, which sees chocolatiers and fashion designers join forces to create amazing chocolate inspired couture outfits. Find out more on the event website.

Hamper Llangollen, North Wales

In North Wales Hamper Llangollen is described and the ‘heavyweight’ of the Welsh food festivals. Held in Llangollen on 18th and 19th October, this is a food and drink festival where over 100 exhibitors offer a wide range of food and drink for visitors to sample and buy. Here you will find that it certainly isn’t just about the food and there is a dedicated beer tent featuring locally brewed ales. Find out more on the event website.  

Lincolnshire Sausage Festival, Lincoln Castle

Dedicated to the Lincolnshire Sausage, this festival will take place on 25th October and there will be sausages to sample, eat or take home. With chefs on hand doing cookery demonstrations, there should be plenty of inspiration and recipes to transform the Lincolnshire sausage into a family favourite. Find out more on the event website.

Bramley Apple Festival, Southwell, Nottinghamshire

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The market town of Southwell in Nottinghamshire was where the Bramley apple was first propagated over 200 years ago and it now hosts an annual festival of food and drink to celebrate the heritage of this much loved apple. With fun and craft activities, cookery demonstrations and much more, each sticking to the apple theme this is a food festival with a difference. Find out more on the event website.

Dartmouth Food Festival

Dartmouth Food Festival is the perfect food festival for the whole family to enjoy. From 24th to 26th October there is plenty to see and do with cookery demonstrations, food and drink seminars, tasting and the chance to see top food writers and celebrity chefs. There is even a festival for children with lots of fun activities to keep the little ones entertained. Find out more on the event website.

The Good Food Show, Birmingham

The ultimate food and drink experience can be found at the NEC, Birmingham from 27th to 30th November with celebrity chefs, demonstrations, endless shopping opportunities and lots of inspiration. Find out more on the event website.

Botany Bay Christmas Food and Gift Festival, Chorley, Lancashire

With Christmas on the horizon, the Botany Bay Christmas Food and Gift Festival in Chorley, Lancashire on Sunday 30th November is the place to visit. The five floors of the Botany Bay mill have been transformed into a Christmas food and drink shopping bonanza with street entertainment, carol singing, fairground attractions and cookery demonstrations all to get you in the mood for the festive period. Find out more on the event website.

There is nothing better than a food and drink festival to tempt your taste buds or offer inspiration and new ideas for seasonal produce and there are lots to choose from. Whichever you choose, you can guarantee a fun day out for all the family and you might get to try something new and delicious for the coming season.

Find accommodation nearby on the cottages4you website.