We woke to a world of white down in Somerset this morning, the first sprinkling of snow this year but even though it’s so cold now it won’t be long until Spring is here and everything starts to warm up. Spring is a popular time for large group holidays, particularly around the Easter period; if it’s something you’ve been thinking about now is the time to find that perfect holiday house whether it’s for a whole week, a few days or a weekend away. Most of our luxury self catering holiday accommodation is already booked for the Easter weekend but we do still have some availability so read on to see what we’ve got.
Easter is late this year – Easter Sunday falls on 21st April, but that’s good news because by then the sun is climbing higher in the sky, the days are getting longer, the spring flowers are in bloom and everything is feeling and looking a whole lot fresher. All of the family attractions will be open, and some of the historic houses are a delight to visit with displays of late daffodils, tulips, peonies, and even the first roses in the gardens. Butterflies are flitting about, the birds are busy nest building, and in the woods and hedgerows you’ll see primroses and bluebells aplenty; it’s a wonderful time of year when you can hope for enough warmth for days on the beach and long walks in the countryside.
It’s also a good time for getting together with friends and family and celebrating Easter with all its traditions – Hot Cross Buns at teatime, roast lamb for Sunday lunch, Easter egg hunts with the children in the garden; an opportunity to make some very special memories.
If being away over the Easter weekend is important, we only have three properties left so act quickly! In a very peaceful location on the edge of the pretty village of Halse deep in the Somerset countryside is Halse Water House, a picturesque country cottage that sleeps 12 people. If it sounds idyllic just wait till you see it – it’s a big old thatched place, the stuff of old fashioned chocolate boxes; there’s a big garden with a hot tub and a heated outdoor dining pavilion, a stream winds it’s merry way through the garden and beyond it there’s a 5 acre paddock that’s perfect for a game of rounders or a spring picnic. You can head off for a jolly good walk right from the door, and if you do, make sure you time it to end up at the New Inn for roast on Sunday – otherwise it’s only a 5 minute stroll anyway.
Or you could have an impressive country home all to yourselves for Easter, at Bossington Hall, which has availability from 12th or 19th April. This Edwardian gentleman’s house is huge, sleeping 30 in 15 bedrooms, with 14 bathrooms! There’s a games room, a tennis court and 6 acres of grounds and woodlands, and the setting is a dream – high up on a hill with panoramic views over Porlock Bay and virtually the whole of Exmoor. Have afternoon tea out on the terrace, or stroll up to Kitnor’s Tea Rooms and Gardens for home made scones with big dollops of jam and cream. Go and explore the heather topped heaths, climb Dunkery Beacon, stroll up the cliffs to tiny Culbone Church, or along the river at Watersmeet or Tarr Steps; wander through the woods on the Holnicote Estate, go down to Porlock Weir and have lunch at The Ship Inn and come back for a sing-song round the piano, or a game of rummy in the Card Room.
We have some special offers over Easter for Wayside, a very spacious and luxuriously modern house in Devon, so check those out if you have a group of up to 13 people. The house is tucked away in a private location, and talk about ‘everything you need’ – there’s a covered pool, a hot tub, sauna, games room, and one of those wonderful Nordic style BBQ lodges; whatever the weather decides to do it won’t stop your enjoyment of any of those things! There are plenty of places to visit within easy reach and some very welcoming country pubs within walking distance – The Ashill Inn and The Culm Valley Inn are both good ones to round off a walk in the Blackdown Hills.
And that’s all we have left for the bank holiday weekend, but we also have more for the week before or the week after, so still falling within the Easter holidays. Most are in gorgeous settings amidst the beautiful scenery of Somerset, or there’s one just over the border in Devon; you’ll be surrounded by miles and miles of open fields, rolling hills dotted with copses, and in between, some charming villages so it’s never far to go for a pub lunch or dinner.
Stay at The Plough in Wiltshire for 4 nights from 15th or 22nd April; this former village pub has been carefully transformed into commodious self catering accommodation for up to 29 guests and it has a covered hot tub, pool table and a lovely outdoor eating area. Bradford on Avon is just up the road, where you can have a ride on a narrowboat or stroll along the Kennet & Avon Canal for lunch at The Cross Guns; only a little further is the elegant city of Bath, famous for its Roman Baths, beautiful abbey, museums and galleries.
Ortus House in the New Forest is also free for 4 nights from April 15th – an absolute stunner of a holiday home that sleeps up to 15 people and has heated swimming pools both indoors and outdoors, a steam room, games room, hot tub, gym and play area. The house is on a quiet lane in Lyndhurst with a good pub, The Waterloo Arms just a stone’s throw away, and in a few minutes you can be deep in the forest. There is no shortage of places to eat and things to do in this part of the world – go to The New Forest Reptile Centre, Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary, Longdown Activity Farm, or pop down to Portsmouth or Southampton for a day of maritime adventure.
You can book a 3 night weekend stay from 26th April at The Benches on the outskirts of Monmouth; this gorgeous Arts & Crafts style house sleeps 12 and has an outdoor pool, hot tub, sauna and games room, but best of all is the setting – right on the banks of the River Wye with the most breathtaking views. At the bottom of the garden is a footpath where you can stroll along the river to a lovely rustic inn, and with the Forest of Dean and Symonds Yat just a short drive away there are activities galore, plus towns to browse, and plenty of attractions - castles, historic houses, and places like Puzzlewood, the aMazing Hedge Puzzle and the Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo.
But like we say, act swiftly because experience tells us that when we let people know about these things any availability we have left is snapped up very quickly. Don’t forget you can reserve your selected property for 2 days, before you confirm, giving you time to check with everyone else in your group and book time off work if need be. There’ll be happy holidays to look forward to folks!