This is one entry in a series of blog posts written by Priority Club Connect members. Learn more about Glen_H, the author of this post.
What’s your ideal week-long break away from home? Not the destination itself, but the place in which you stay? Until the past couple of years, I’d always been a hotel man myself – never really saw the point of self-catering – but when we started at looking at a vacation in the UK, I thought it might be a good idea to try out a “country cottage” for a week – especially as my parents, our perennial house-sitters, were happy to look after the house, but our the animals were becoming a strain on them and an obligation.
For a start “cottage” is a misnomer as many properties are very large – we (me, large wife, small family and two dogs) listed out what we wanted of a property (yes, even before location) and found that we agreed we needed plenty of room and a large communal area to dine and relax. After that, sea views would be good, but inside mattered more than outside. Quickly we found many places fitted our needs and the top tip for newbies is absolutely go for properties sleeping at least 1.5 times the number in your party at a minimum – this way you are not crowded.
In year one we settled for a converted meeting room in the grounds of a 12th Century pub in Cornwall, with the kitchen being the biggest room I’ve ever enjoyed, last year we had a similar experience with a newish property with magnificent views over Loch Lomond in Tarbert, Scotland, and in a few short weeks we are off to stay near the Yorkshire Moors at a seaside place once owned by the UK leisure magnate Billy Butlin.
So what makes these holidays work for us? Yes the space, but also the convenience – we can eat when we want, enjoy the preparation of the food – a ritual has become the evening food preparation and dining with convivial conversation and good wine – we have huge amounts of space and the ability to do what we want, when we want – and the freedom to bring the dogs along too – something that is not very easy in the UK hotel industry. As for cost, a decent property will cost you in rent about the same as two hotel rooms.
We still very much enjoy hotel breaks abroad, and occasional leisure nights away in hotels in the UK, but self catering accommodation – well I’ve found it in my 40’s and wish I had done so sooner – and please don’t tell me it’s an age thing, and that I’ll be buying a caravan next – that simply is not going to happen – no way!
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