Christmas gift guide…for the nature lover in your life

We may have been experiencing one of the mildest winters for years but it still seems a little strange to be talking about gardens and greenery at this festive point in the calendar. Still, many of you will be looking for gifts for the gardeners and nature lovers in your life so to make it a green Christmas we’re going to highlight a few of our featured cottages that offer stunning flora or are ‘Green Graded’ to offer an unrivalled environmentally friendly holiday experience.

If you’d like to purchase cottages4you gift vouchers to go towards any of these properties then give us a call on 0845 268 9253. You can get them in denominations of £10, £20 or £50 – but you must order by 19 December to avoid disappointing your loved ones on Christmas day!

Beautiful garden and pool with retractable roof

Green-fingered friends won’t be short of inspiration at either of the two properties at Carnethic House in Fowey, Cornwall. Both are set in the award-winning gardens of this Regency country house on Cornwall’s south coast. The gardens are set with shrubs, water features, trees and plants, so there’s plenty for the garden-lover to enjoy. The properties also offer Visit Britain Gold Award winning accommodation so friends and family of garden lovers won’t be disappointed either. If you’re not sure if this is the right property for you then one look at the pool house, with its retractable glass roof, 15m heated pool, sauna, hot tub and changing room set within the beautiful garden, should be enough to convince you otherwise!

Enjoy 'Britain’s Best Home & Garden'

When it comes to stunning topiary, Haddon Lake House on the Isle of Wight is no shrinking violet either. It offers two properties in the glorious 2-acre grounds. The gardens were voted one of the UK’s finest in the TV series ‘I Own Britain’s Best Home & Garden’ and have also been featured in ‘Homes & Gardens’ and other national magazines. We really can’t do justice to the shared gardens and stunning lake so we’d advise you to take a look at the pics below and we’ll move on to eco-friendly homes when you’ve managed to lift your jaw off the floor…

If you fancy over-indulging while enjoying a completely guilt-free Christmas then we’d recommend using your vouchers to book one of our Green Graded properties for 2012. The Green Tourism Business Scheme is a national sustainable tourism certification scheme awarded to holiday properties that meet a set of environmentally friendly criteria.  At present it’s the only certification scheme validated by Visit Britain and the demands are fairly rigorous, which makes for some fairly unique holiday properties.

The multiple award-winning Blackthorn Gate

For example take a look at the Swedish designed eco-friendly detached holiday lodges at Blackthorn Gate. These properties have an undeniably impressive checklist of eco-friendly awards, including winner of the Bronze Award for Self Catering 2010 and shortlisted in the Sustainable Tourism category 2011 in the North East of England Tourism Awards. In 2011 they attained Silver in the Green Tourism Scheme and retained 4 Star Gold with Quality in Tourism. They were also voted Eco Friendly Accommodation 2011 by My Family magazine and nominated for the Tye Trophy Conservation Award in 2009.

The Byre Eggleston: Probably smarter than us

The Byre Eggleston near Barnard Castle offers a more traditional holiday cottage design with the added environmentally friendly benefit of generating its own electricity through use of photo-voltaic roof tiles. How does this work? We’re not really sure, but it does!

There's plenty to like about Calbourne Water Mill Eco-houses

The Calbourne Water Mill Eco-houses have been constructed in an eco-friendly style yet combine plenty of light, space and style to make for a superior holiday experience. These fully equipped, and furnished to a very high standard, holiday homes offer modern day living yet are energy efficient to help the environment. Set in 10 acres of rolling landscaped gardens with roaming peacocks, hens and doves, you can also step back in time and observe the traditional flour making process using the 17th-century water and stone mills, view antique engines, renewable energy centre, Granma’s kitchen, Granfer’s tool shed, threshing machine, restored farm wagons, war time museum and even a fire station.

Environmentally and child friendly accommodation

Located on the edge of beautiful Northumbrian moorlands, the cottages at Hadrian and Derwent Country Escapes offer eco-friendly and child-friendly properties in a beautifully tranquil location. You’ll find communal gardens and social areas with an on-site purpose built games barn, barbecue area and fully secure children’s play area with swings, climbing frame and Wendy house so every member of the family will enjoy a stunning environmentally friendly break!

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