Self-Catering Options for a Cosy Hogmanay

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could spend Hogmanay this year in a quiet and tranquil part of the countryside, in a quaint little cottage? Alternatively, perhaps you prefer the idea of a comfortable lodge with all mod-cons, by the quiet edge of a gentle rolling river. Maybe you like the idea of an island where you can’t be reached and if you turn off your phone—proving you get a signal up in the wilds—you will be totally at peace with your loved ones. Whichever of those ideas appeals to you most, Best UK Hotels can tell you that they are all available in various parts of Scotland to help you enjoy your own Hogmanay party the way you want to.

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Hogmanay!” by easylocum, licenced under CC BY 2.0

Self-catering options

Elderburn Lodges in St. Andrews are the perfect place to enjoy a Hogmanay trip. You can play a round of golf and enjoy the scenery of the St. Andrew’s area. There is so much to see and in the winter some of the best and beautiful views can be found in the Fife area.

Dotted around Scotland you can also find the Perfect Manors Lodges and accommodation options. In Inverness, they offer picturesque cottages and in Aberdeen there is the mansion of Cortes House and the beauty of Achnagairn Castle. All have something to offer, and are perfect for a Hogmanay getaway you’ll remember for years to come.

Islay Cottages has some of the most stunning and breath-taking views in Scotland. About three hours from Glasgow on the island of Islay, they have cottages that can sleep 4 or 6 people. All cottages are beautifully presented and have all the mod-cons as well as a beautiful fireplace to cosy up next to.

If you want something more rustic but without compromising on quality, you can choose the Lochside Self Catering Cottages. These lovely lodges are located a mere hour from Edinburgh and Glasgow but are still right in the centre of the most peaceful area in Scotland. On the edge of Loch Lomond, these beautiful cottages will have you relaxed and rejuvenated in no time.

Now that’s lots of options to mull over. You may have a hard time choosing but wherever you choose to go, relax knowing you will have a Happy Hogmanay!

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International Spotlight – Alberobello

In this week’s spotlight, we consider the stunning scenery of Alberobello.

Alberobello is home of the world renowned Trulli dwellings. Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this town should be listed on the itinerary of every person planning a holiday in southern Italy. The town of Alberobello and the surrounding area will take a day or more to explore because, while the Trulli structures are a popular tourist attraction, there is much more to see and do.

Trulli-of-Alberobello

A view of Alberobello” by Yellow Cat, licenced under CC BY 2.0

Trulli District

The Trulli of Alberobello are distinctive in appearance. Made from limestone and built with conical roofs; these structures were originally built to house peasant workers. In the Trulli District, you can spend an afternoon casually roaming the streets, marvelling at the unique architecture, visiting the area’s small museums, and tasting the local fare. There is no charge to enter the area, but you will of course need to bring along some money for food and to purchase souvenirs from the local shops.

Castellana-Caves

Grotta di Nettuno“, image courtesy of Wikipedia

Castellana Caves

One of southern Italy’s most visited natural sites, the Castellana Caves are a beautiful and haunting destination, whether travelling alone or with your family. Located less than 20 minutes from Alberobello, the caves are best explored with a guide. Since the caves are so popular, it’s best to purchase advanced tickets to ensure a spot on the tour. Tickets start at €11.50 per person.

Acquasplash

Located in Alberobello, this waterpark is ideal for families with children of all ages, as it provides an opportunity for them to have a little fun while you relax in the Jacuzzi. There is even a designated area for small children. Open from the first Saturday in June through the first Sunday in September, Acquasplash also has a self-service pizza and sandwich bar onsite, as well as lockers, showers and other amenities.

If you need somewhere to stay, the beautiful Borgo Egnazia is a 25 minute drive from Alberobello and other quaint towns making it the ideal base for exploring. If you are planning a trip to southern Italy, consider including Alberobello in your itinerary. From historic Trulli structures to grand caves and a family waterpark, the town of Alberobello and its surrounding attractions offer something for everyone.

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Attractions with a difference—Odd things to do in Britain

Some of Britain’s best kept secrets are in cities that don’t immediately spring to tourists minds. Best UK Hotels brings you our chosen list of great places to stay and odd places to play.

edinburgh-castle

Edinburgh Castle” by Martin Burns, licenced under CC BY 2.0

Edinburgh, Scotland

The city of Edinburgh has some of the most spooky and unusual attractions in the entire country. Its long history is coloured with architecture, sights and creations that have earmarked it as one of the most exciting cities in Europe. One of the main attractions in Edinburgh is The Real Mary King’s Close. This attraction allows you to explore the ancient underbelly of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Visitors are whisked upon a journey of murder, plague and criminality that will leave you both intrigued and educated. Stay at the Parliament House Hotel for a superior welcome and some of the most incredible fresh, local food you could dream of eating.

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Little Shambles, York” by redjar, licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0

York, Yorkshire

York has so much to offer you won’t want to leave. Indulge in something tasty at York’s Chocolate Story then stay at the incredible Hedley House Hotel to enjoy a high-quality welcome and some of the finest food imaginable. Also, York has the Railway and Transport Museum and the noteworthy York Castle Museum, both of which are well worth a visit.

canterbury-cathedral

Canterbury 2014” by Neil Thompson, licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0

Canterbury, Kent

If you have heard of the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, you will no doubt find the Canterbury Tales experience fascinating. The costumed experienced is driven by Chaucer’s characters as you step back in time and find out exactly what it felt like in this bygone era. You enjoy interactive live performances and narration by famous actors. All the while you can keep the Canterbury spirit going by spending a comfortable and welcoming night in the grounds of the Canterbury Cathedral. Yep, you read it right. The Cathedral has its own Lodge, so you can book a room and enjoy a wondrous evening in Chaucer’s Land.

Do something different when you visit the UK and make the most of the odd things in life.

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International Spotlight – Pompeii

Whilst we love a good staycation, we can’t help but daydream of destinations further afield. We’ve decided to start doing an international spotlight each week to help with planning your next getaway. Are there any destinations you’d like to see featured? Just get in touch!

If you are planning a holiday in southern Italy and are interested in touring the countryside, then the city of Pompeii must be added to your list of things to do. The ancient city of Pompeii is a historic wonder, and one of southern Italy’s most impressive and majestic tourist locations. Located about a three-hour drive from the luxurious Borgo Egnazia hotel, Pompeii stands as a city lost in time and is home to some of the world’s most astonishing and grand structures and sites.

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Pontifical Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii” courtesy of Wikipedia

Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary

Touted as one of the most beautiful churches in Italy, the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary is truly a site to behold. With the capacity to seat 6,000 people and a bell tower that is 80 metres high, this church is a must see for all who visit Pompeii. There is no fee to enter the church, but the bell tower is accessible for the cost of two euros. From the top, which is reached by elevator, one can see the infamous volcano, Mount Vesuvius, as well as the haunting ruins of Pompeii.

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Pompeii” by Andrew Fogg, licenced under CC BY 2.0

The Ruins of Pompeii

Both historic and haunting, the grand design of Roman architecture and visible evidence of the devastation of Mount Vesuvius’ eruption in A.D. 79 are on full display when touring the Ruins of Pompeii. Walking tours, as well as supplementary audio tours, are available, or you can tour the ruins yourself. Currently, tickets start at €11 each and can be purchased through the official site. For those on a tight budget, admission to the Ruins is free the first Sunday of every month.

Mount-Vesuvius

Pompei; Vesuvio innevato” by Carlo Mirantelicenced under CC BY 2.0

Mount Vesuvius

Up for a real adventure and breathtaking views? Visit Mount Vesuvius. The volcano that caused the cataclysmic destruction of Pompeii and other local towns remains active today, but it is open for business. Vesuvius is accessible by bus from the Pompeii bus station, or by private vehicle. Some companies even offer guided day tours. Once you arrive you will be in for a hike of about an hour, depending on the quickness of your pace. So wear comfortable shoes and take water along.

The majestic city of Pompeii and the surrounding area are so incredibly rich in natural and architectural history. If you are staying at the Borgo Egnazia, you really must make the trip west to visit Pompeii. It truly is worth the drive.

 

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