Crumbs, is it really June already?? Before you know it you’ll be packing away the school uniforms, the PE kits and the lunchboxes and it’ll be the SUMMER HOLIDAYS! Yikes! Already?! So what are you doing, where are you going? What’s the weather going to be like? Ah, the weather. Well, we’ve had some fabulous sunshine lately and the weather forecast tells us there’s more to come, which is great news; best to get out there and enjoy it, make the most of it. Don’t we all love those long lazy days spent outdoors with friends and family, the enticing aroma of a barbecue, butterflies flitting about, flowers blooming, a table full of food, kids all happy playing together; that’s what it’s all about.
And that’s exactly what a holiday with Sleeps 12 is all about, whether it’s for a whole week or just for a short break you’re guaranteed huge amounts of relaxation because our self-catering holiday accommodation has everything you need to keep a large group of people of all ages happy. You see, our properties are made for large group holidays; virtually all of them have swimming pools and hot tubs, games rooms and play equipment, and quite a few now have saunas and steam rooms. One thing that’s proving really popular is the cosy BBQ lodges, not just because it means you can enjoy succulent chargrilled food anytime of year, but also because they provide a good refuge from the blazing sun when it’s scorching hot outside.
But like we said, you have to get out there and soak up that English sunshine and that’s something that always feels better in a nice private garden, which is something else you’ll get with our luxury holiday accommodation. We make sure there’s plenty of outdoor furniture so you can slap on the suncream and spend the whole day out there; lunch on the patio, afternoon tea on the lawn, and just imagine sitting in a hot tub and looking up to see a beautiful clear blue sky without a single cloud, the warmth of the sun on your skin, now and then a light fresh breeze. Bliss.
Take a rug out on the lawn and have a picnic, have a game of French cricket or rounders, and whenever you need to cool down go and take a dip in the pool. The advantage with the pools at our large group holidays homes is that most are indoor so you can use them year round, but a lot of them also have huge bi-fold or sliding doors that can be pulled right back, bringing the outside in.
And with most of our properties being in the West Country you’re never far from the seaside so you can head out for a day or afternoon at the beach. You’ll find golden sands and good old-fashioned fun at Weston-Super-Mare, Burnham-on-Sea and Minehead on the Somerset Coast, but there are plenty of quieter beaches and dog friendly zones, and further down in Devon are some superb surfing beaches at Woolacombe, Ilfracombe, Putsborough and Croyde. Over on the World Heritage Site Jurassic Coast there are wide sandy beaches at Sidmouth and Exmouth, and a mix of sand and pebbles at Seaton, Charmouth and Lyme Regis; further along are Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.
But it’s equally nice to head inland for a summer picnic, and you certainly won’t be short of beauty spots to unpack your hamper. Imagine an unhurried lunch beneath the dappled shade of a huge oak tree or on a sunny hilltop with the most spectacular countryside all around you,stretching for miles and miles. You’ll find designated picnic sites and quieter spots tucked away in the Blackdown Hills, in the glorious Quantocks and on the heather clad heaths or wooded valleys of Exmoor National Park. Get out there, soak it up, take the camera, take pictures of you all lazing about in the grass, relaxing, enjoying yourselves.
You’ve got to make the most of these opportunities and though we don’t have a lot left for this summer, there is still some availability. Down in Devon, Culmbridge House sleeps 12 plus room for 2 toddler beds and 2 cots, and it has an indoor pool, BBQ lodge and a lovely big garden with play equipment and a trampoline; if you fancy a city break you’ll love Pitmaston House in Worcester, an imposing historic house sleeping up to 14 guests plus 2 cots, with a swim spa, covered dining pavilion with pizza oven and barbecue, and a trampoline.
In an AONB on the Wiltshire/Dorset border is House on the Hill, a truly amazing property that can sleep up to 24; there’s a Mediterranean style outdoor heated pool, a games room and a movie room. The tranquillity and the views are absolutely staggering.
In Somerset, Hurstone is a charming country house in the most gorgeous edge of Exmoor setting; there’s a games room, a summer house, a big hot tub and snooze space for up to 18 guests. The Old Rectory stands in a commanding position on a clifftop within the Quantock Hills AONB; there’s a games room, rolling lawns, a hot tub and views of the sea, and it sleeps 18 guests in 9 bedrooms, plus room for 5 cots; if you like elegant period living with all mod cons, that’s the one for you.
Right on the edge of the Quantocks is Foxcombe, a spacious, light and airy timber clad lodge that accommodates 14 plus toddler beds and cots, and has its own indoor pool, games area, play equipment and trampoline. Between the Quantocks and the county town of Taunton is Ilbeare, a wonderful country house sleeping 14 people; there’s a games room, hot tub and BBQ lodge, and the 2 acre grounds are a delight, with woodlands and a stream.
See what dates we have left for these amazing large group holiday homes, and don’t make the mistake of thinking that big means expensive because with Sleeps 12 holiday accommodation, when you divide the cost between the number of people in your group, the price per person is less than the cost of a good hotel for the same amount of time, so actually, it’s remarkably good value. Get on the phone, get organised and get your folks together, grab it whilst it’s there. A happy peaceful break in the sunshine; isn’t that just what you need?