Blakes Boating Bonanza – sister company to launch new discounts

boats-logoUp to £150 off per week or up to £75 off per short break for boating holidays taking place on select dates between 26th February 2009 and 15th July 2009.

Established in 1908, Blakes Holiday Boating have been providing quality boating holidays amidst the unspoilt landscapes of Britain, Ireland and Europe, for over 100 years. With our wealth of knowledge and experience gathered over the years we’ve created some new discounts and savings for 2009 boating holidays.

On Friday 6th February 2009 staff from our Earby office were given the chance to name a new line of discounts due to launch on our Blakes Holiday Boating brand later this month offering savings of up to £150 per week or up to £75 per short break on participating boats.

The competition proved to be very popular with more than 220 discount name suggestions submitted. Out of the many entries our “expert” panel of judges chose Blakes Boating Bonanza, entered by Lesley Millman (Accounting Services Manager).

Keep a look out for the launch of the Blakes Boating Bonanza discounts on Blakes Holiday Boating and you’ll find savings on participating boats of up to £150 off per week or up to £75 off per short break for holidays taking place on select dates between 26th February 2009 and 15th July 2009.

Terms and Conditions apply.

Geocaching; Modern treasure hunt for the whole family

Are you:

  • looking for a fun thing to do around your cottage with the whole family
  • ready to discover unexpected and beautiful places
  • in need of for a reason to go on a short or longer walk
  • a bit adventurous
  • a bit of a ‘geek’….. ?

Try the modern days treasure hunt called ‘geocaching’

“Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.”

There are 647,562 active geocaches around the world and there is a big chance that there is one hidden near you or your holiday cottage. All caches are published on where they also offer a google map search. There are for example more than 400 geocaches hidden around Windermere in the Lake District.

Find out how to get started and then we hope to find you out there.

Let us know if you have any questions about or experiences with geocaching! We have some fanatical players here at cottages4you who would be happy to answer your questions!

The Lake District. Englands home for activity and adventure.

By: Steve Finch for cottages4you Escape Magazine

“If you’re an experienced fell walker or mountain biker you may already know that there’s nothing better than staying in your own cottage in the Lakes, from which to have the freedom to explore.
It’s little wonder that the area was home to Alfred Wainwright the famous fell walker, whose books are still the definitive guides to the fells, and it’s where one of our most accomplished mountaineers, Chris Bonnington, chooses to live.

The scope of activities available within the Lake District’s diverse landscape is unparalleled; just the sight of the Lakeland fells and lakes reminds us of the opportunities to stretch our personal boundaries that bit further and experience the essence of adventure.

Cumbria Tourism has been working hard in partnership with adventure providers in the Lakes, to deliver activities which can offer something to everyone – whatever your own level of experience or ability. Their new web site provides a one-stop-shop for outdoor activity in the Lakes, while their accreditation scheme ‘ROAM’ provides you with the confidence to ‘get out there and do it’ with the best of them, in safety.

Lakes, Goats and Boats – it really has to be the Lake District.

The Lakes would not be the same without the Lake Steamers regularly criss-crossing the water, which are now linked up to the famous ‘Mountain Goat’ bus service to give you total freedom from the car for a few hours.
Linking Bowness with Hawkeshead, Coniston or Grizedale Forest Park; is a large range of cycle routes for all abilities. You can also join up the bits by foot, boat or let the Goat take more of the strain.
Hire a bike and experience the full downhill rush, or take it easy on a family friendly track.

From Glenridding on Ullswater the steamer can be taken up the lake to Howtown, and a walk back along the eastern shore offers an easy but spectacular return.

Diving the English lakes isn’t for the faint hearted and experience is required to explore the dark cold depths of these mountain lakes. But, for those who are attracted, Capenwray Diving at Jackdaw quarry near Carnforth offers one of the countries best dive sites and schools. Capenwray offer a comprehensive one day introduction to diving, while watersports centres on Windermere, Coniston and Bassenthwaite offer a wide range of activities on the lakes.

If you’re looking for a walk to remember and already have a strong pair of boots, I’d recommend the Crinkle Crags Traverse at the top of Langdale. I recently revisited this walk and the views are every bit as spectacular as I remembered them… just a word of warning; make sure your navigation skills are sharp if the weather conditions are poor.

Why not find a guide on, so you can tackle some of the higher fells in

confidence, or add a ‘Gill Scramble’ to the day?

A visit to one of Lakeland’s market towns, such as Ambleside or the mountain town of Keswick will provide the best selection of outdoor gear found anywhere in the world.”

The Lake District offers something for everyones taste and one of our holiday cottages in the lake district can offer you the perfect base from which to undertake your activities.

For more information and a list of our holiday cottages in the Lake District also visit our Lake District Destination Guide.

Summer Cycling in France

If TV coverage of the Tour De France has left you hankering for a taste of the action, then here’s our pick of the top summer cycling destinations in France.
At this time of year, it’s far too hot for cycling in the south, so we’ve picked the cooler regions for some family-friendly rides, all within easy reach of our French villas and cottages…

A nice ride in the cooling shadeNormandy – The gently undulating landscape of Normandy makes it great for cyclists of all ages and experience, and you can choose to ride through history from Rouen, along the River Seine, taking in the legend of Joan of Arc at Place du Vieux-Marche.
Another favourite route in the region starts at the Port Village of Honfleur, the birthplace of impressionism, and takes you to Monet’s famous gardens at Giverny. You’ll find great food along the way to fuel your trip – Normandy is famous for its lobsters, oysters and camembert, and you’ll find a bakery at every stop.

Explore our holiday cottages in Normandy.

Brittany – Cyclists in the know choose Brittany as their destination, as it offers unspoilt countryside, sleepy villages, little market towns and quiet country lanes, not to mention the most spectacular and varied of coastlines, ranging from sweeping golden sands to rocky coves and cliffs.
You’ll find countless lakes and forests linked by canals, all with towpaths perfect for safe cycling with kids. Most notable is the 172 mile Nante-Brest Canal, which takes you near to Stone Age monuments and ancient Celtic churches, and through remnants of the great Pan-European Forest.

Explore our holiday cottages in Brittany.

The Loire – Possibly the most obvious choice, the Loire Valley is famous for breathtaking cycling holidays.

Our favourite rides in the region can be found on the Vendeé Coastal Paths, safely designed routes with spectacular views of the Atlantic, all connecting gorgeous coastal towns. Between Noirmoutier and Sables-d’Olonne you’ll find 100km of stunning views. Or between La Barre-de-Monts and Saint-Jean-de-Monts there’s 110km of car-free cycle routes, taking in the sea, marshes of Poitiers, sand dunes and pine forests.
Local highlights include the Montois Hinterland and Pays du Pont d’Yeu.

Explore our holiday cottages in The Loire.

Whichever region you decide to explore, don’t forget to pack plenty of sun cream and fresh drinking water. Plan your route well, taking account for everyone’s abilities, and make sure you carry a map, compass, mobile phone and phrase book, just in case!

Have you got a favourite French cycling route you’d like to share? Leave us your comments below…