Tanzania Safari Escapes – Saadani to Zanzibar

Saadani National Park isn’t far from Dar es Salaam making this National Park a very popular destination for many safari goers. Described as “Where the bush meets the beach” Saadani is only a 15 minute flights across to Zanzibar and opposite the island’s iconic Stone Town.

saadani tanzania safari
The unique location means those on safari in Saadani get to witness and experience the beach and its wildlife as well as the large game within the park including giraffe, buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, sable antelope, wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, warthog, hyena, mongoose, civet, serval, caracal, baboon, black and white colobus, crocodile, hippo, as well as a great variety of birdlife. Most decide to have a few days on Zanzibar too with both the beach at Saadani and on Zanzibar offering idyllic white sand.

A Tent With A View offer the choice of 2 camps owned and managed by themselves within the Saadani National Park, the Simply Saadani Camp and Bab’s Camp. They have been operating from this area for over 20 years and along with their experience local guides have people returning year after year. Simply Saadani has 11 bedrooms, all making the most of the beautiful scenery including facing the Indian Ocean. Bab’s Camp sits directly within the elephant island private conservancy along with its magnificent 20 metre viewing tower complete with crow’s nest for the ultimate in viewing location. To view the full list of Tanzania safaris in Saadani and Zanzibar, visit http://www.tentwithaview.com/tours

A relaxing short break by train to Grange over Sands

grange over sands cumbria

What could be better than starting off a holiday or short break from the start of the journey? Not often achievable by driving with traffic and roadworks leading to a stressful beginning to a time that should be enjoyable. Travel by train however, sit back relax, take in the view, even take a picnic to enjoy.

Yes, it isn’t always practical or possible to travel by train to certain locations in Cumbria or the Lake District but there are some destinations that are so easy to get to by rail. Take Grange over Sands for example. A train can take travellers from locations such as Manchester on a direct service for just £27.0 return per person (prices based on travelling from Manchester on Friday afternoon returning to Manchester on Sunday afternoon – perfect weekend break timings!). Typical journey times are just one and half hours making Grange hugely accessible. No being caught up on the M61 or M6 during Friday rush hour, no getting stuck in the Sunday short break exodus, simply a longer and more relaxing short break. It is a lovely train journey too through the countryside before approaching the coast with sea views.

What to do:
Whilst staying in Grange, hill walking is possible that doesn’t require a car such as a beautiful walk up Hampsfell where you can see the Lake District fells on one side and across Morecambe Bay to the other. Cycle over along the quiet back roads or take the train to Cartmel and enjoy lunch in one of the fab pubs or cafes in Cumbria’s little foodie capital. Back to Grange over Sands and there are some lovely places for dinner from country pubs to restaurants. Visit http://cartmelvillage.com/eating.html for a list of where to eat in Cartmel and http://www.bayvilla.net/the-area/places-to-eat for restaurants in Grange itself.

Where to sleep:
There are plenty of places in Grange with it being a substantial town in size. A short walk from the train station is Bay Villa, a luxury Grange bed and breakfast, a real gem of a little place famous for its big rooms, delicious breakfasts and attention to detail. Visit http://www.bayvilla.net for more information.

Marmalade Madness in Cumbria this March

marmalade festival cumbria

The world’s best marmalade maker will be making a pilgrimage the beautiful Dalemain Mansion in Penrith for the annual The World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival being held on the weekend of March 18th and 19th 2017.

Yes, on the weekend of March 18th and 19th thousands of jars of marmalade will be judged and not just from makers in the UK but from all over the world as far away as Australia and Japan! Founded in 2005 with just 50 jars and it has now grown to well over 2000 in the amateur category alone, there are also Artisan and B&B/Hotel makers categories.

The event has grown in popularity and international news and acclaim year on year. This year Penrith Goes Orange is yet another event during the weekend too in the historic market town of Penrith. The town will be transformed to orange with orange and marmalade themed and flavoured beers, food, music, performances and activities throughout Saturday 18th March.

The awards are just one part of the festival weekend. Throughout the weekend there will be a number of events including demonstrations, Yuzu and Japanese Citrus Marmalade, by Hideko Kawa, one of Britain’s top dessert chefs on Saturday and on Sunday Brilliant Chocolate Citrus Preserves & BonBons, with Hideko Kawa & Cacao Barry.

Alongside the celebration of marmalade, the awards and Penrith Goes Orange event will also be raising money for the charity Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland and Marie Curie Scotland.

To take advantage of and enjoy the whole festival and if you’re coming from afar, Dalemain and the surrounding area is stunning and there are some fantastic places to stay. The Lakeland Cottage Company have a number of luxury self catering properties in the area surrounding Dalemain including the beautiful Ullswater. Choose to make a full week of it or simply just a short weekend break. Just think, a cottage with a fridge so unlimited food and marmalade goodies to purchase!

The full schedule and all the details of the festival including directions can be found on the awards website https://www.dalemain.com/marmalade-awards/

Visit the lovely Lyth Valley in 2017

lyth valley lake district hotels
Perfectly snuggled between Kendal and Lake Windermere is the lovely Lyth Valley. Just 15 minutes to the heart of it from junction 36 of the M6 yet full of peace and tranquillity. Enjoy the rolling countryside found in this part of the south eastern Lake District with the dramatic landscape found a stones throw away to the north and west.

People may have heard of the Lyth Valley, being famous for its Damson’s as well as some excellent places to eat and drink yet this area still retains its peace and tranquillity. In Brigsteer itself are two excellent pubs whilst a 2 mile drive or very manageable walk sees guests being treated to the food and beverages on offer at the award winning Punch Bowl Inn at Crosthwaite. Broad Oak is set within a private estate, 17 acres to be exact, containing woodland, tarns and ponds and the hot tub installed last year has proved a stunning addition to this holiday let, all this and just 5 miles from Lake Windermere and less than 4 miles from Kendal.

Walking, well there are two absolute must do routes for views, Gummer’s How and Scout Scar. Both walks can be done whatever the time of year, are short so can be done even on a summer’s evening but for views both are hard to beat. Gummer’s How can be approached from two ways but ultimately it’s the vista, a view down to Lake Windermere, almost it’s full length and the fells beyond. Scout Scar is equally as impressive where those that head a little further to “The Mushroom”, a shelter with a view finder detailing what you can see from the 360 degree view. On a clear day you’ll be able to see the Langdale Pikes, Morecambe Bay and on very clear days, even Blackpool Tower. It really is a special and enjoyable walk with many viewing rewards.

The area has been notable confirmed in its beauty with its inclusion in the “Lonely Planet’s Beautiful World” book. The book has been published to showcase beautiful locations across the globe and the following is down in print as “The Lyth Valley – The unspoilt Lyth Valley is tucked in a hidden corner of Cumbria, where trees are laden with fruit and rolling hills are the most magnificent green.”

Where to stay in the Lyth Valley:
The Damson Dene Hotel offers great views, large private gardens, leisure facilities and a restaurant and bar. Rates start from just and it is definitely worth booking direct for the best rates as well as you’ll receive a £10 voucher to spend on food and drink during the stay.

Last chance for Lake District Hotel’s Winter Getaway Break

lake windermere hotel breaks

Late winter into early spring is offer heaven when it comes to travel and accommodation, some of the best deals and discounts can be found at this time. But time is running out and we’ll soon be uttering “How can it be Easter already!”

The days are getting noticeably longer especially on the lovely, crisp bright days the Lake District (more than you think) experiences. Wrap up warm and enjoy the fells, a cruise on Lake Windermere, visit museums and historic house, many of which are open all year round and sample some of the delicious Cumbrian cuisine in the many cafes, restaurants and pubs. Bring the dog, brings the kids or treat yourself to a romantic weekend just the two of you.

At the Newby Bridge Hotel their fabulous Winter Getaway break will be ending at the close of February. The break consists of a 2 night stay at the Newby Bridge Hotel, with a 3 course meal on the first evening, a full Cumbrian breakfast each morning and even included is a £10 voucher to be used towards the purchase of food in either the hotel’s Restaurant or Bar on the second evening. And the price, from just £84 per person. Weekend stays will be charged a little higher but still excellent value and the offer excludes half term. The offer is only available to book via http://www.newbybridgehotel.co.uk or by telephoning the reservations line on 015395 31222

With roaring log fires, large grounds with views of Lake Windermere, the fells on the doorstep – no need to use the car after arrival and attractions such as the Lakeland Motor Museum and Lakes Aquarium within walking distance, the Newby Bridge Lake District Hotel Winter Getaway offer is truly one not to miss.

February half term fun in Kendal – the gateway to the Lake District

family hotels kendal

As always, Christmas feels like it was just yesterday but half term is now looming. In and around Kendal there is a packed programme of events and things to do during the first school holiday of 2017. There’s no ned to worry about the way to entertain children of any age as most of the activity and attractions are open all year round. Choose to spend a week or just a couple of nights, you won’t be disappointed.

Across to the stunning and historic Sizergh Castle go wild on the Wild Play Trail. Help and learn to uncover history, flora and fauna in the grounds of one of Cumbria’s oldest inhabited house.
Volunteers have helped design and plan the trail, which tests balance, stamina, resolve and brainpower taken visitors off the beaten track into the depths of the wood allowing them to experience ancient trees, exotic looking fungus and beautiful ground flora. This trail will both entertain and educate.

As anyone who has visited Kendal already will know there is a great choice of restaurants to eat out at. From British to Indian, Italian to Thai, even the fussiest of kids will be happy. If the weather turns a little inclement than there’s The Brewery Arts Centre which has a cinema as well as theatre productions and art exhibitions including special family friendly events during half term.

But don’t forget the location of Kendal, it really is “The Gateway to The Lakes” with the fells and lakes within touching distance. Family friendly accommodation can be found at the Riverside Hotel in Kendal and which is a 2 minute walk from Kendal train station for jumping on a train to Windermere. Stop off at Staveley and explore the lovely village on the edge of the Kentmere Valley or journey through to Windermere. Family rooms including breakfast and a £10 for spending in either the restaurant or bar during the stay, can be booked from just £88 per room per night based on 2 adults and 1 child and just £15 extra per night for a second child. For more information and to book visit, http://www.riversidekendal.co.uk/

Romantic luxury confirmed for Windermere hotel

luxury windermere hotel
What a fabulous start to 2017 one hotel in Windermere has experienced. Applegarth Villa & Restaurant have been voted as one of the top 25 romantic hotels and top 25 luxury hotels in the whole of the UK. This means even more to them as it has been voted by the visitors and reviewers of Tripadvisor.

The awards, the Tripadvisor Travellers Choice awards. Run each year and with categories spanning the full spectrum of the tourism industry, the hotel sector is broken down into 8 categories offering the top 25 for each from bargain to luxury, family to romance. Most importantly, the accolades are purely judged on the basis of the Tripadvisor reviews left by guests of each establishment.

Applegarth Villa & Restaurant is delighted at being included with the top 25 hotels in both the luxury and romance sectors. Owners Alan & Suzanne Mumford know exactly how important it is to make every guest feel special and even more so when it comes to anniversaries and other such important celebrations of which guests frequently stay at Applegarth Villa to mark. Being a family run hotel, attention to detail is evident throughout and this is mentioned countless times in the many Tripadvisor reviews the hotel has received. Each room and suite is sumptuously decorated with luxurious bathrooms and furnishings and the relaxed bar and restaurant are the ideal places for cocktails and dining.

And this accolade has been welcomed even more so this year with the launching to the 7 brand new luxury hot tub suites developed in the adjacent building to the hotel little over 12 months ago. The individually designed suites, each with private hot tubs, spa baths and showers, views, terraces and all the latest gadgets including mood lighting, superfast fibre broadband and smart TV’s. The suites are proving exceptionally popular with returning guests as well as new ones.

Accolades such as these are not just good for the hotel but the Lake District as a whole which is firmly cementing its title as “The most romantic destination in the UK”.
Rooms at Applegarth Villa Hotel & Restaurant in Windermere start from as little as £150 per night bed & breakfast and look out for the free dinner offer. Stay 2 nights or more Sunday – Thursday and receive dinner for free in the Applegarth Restaurant on one of the evenings. Visit http://www.lakesapplegarth.co.uk/rooms for further details and to choose your room for romance.

The Lake District, #theplacetobe inside and out

brimstone luxury lake district hotel
The great outdoors of the Lake District is something to behold. It doesn’t matter time of the year you visit, there is always beauty in one corner or another and it’s changing seasons and weather means the same view one day can look a million times different the next. That is the appeal of this ever changing landscape.

It’s all systems go throughout the National Park 365 days a year now. Families and couples on holidays or short breaks, getting a bit of respite from the awful weather everyone has been experiencing over the last few weeks. And the weather is behaving itself quite well so the fells are busy and there are many organised outdoor activities taking place.

But I have been noticing the lure of luxury to the Lake District recently. If you’re on Twitter and Facebook you can’t help but notice photos and tweets from accommodation providers of their luxury services, new luxury decor or luxury food. Could it be that staying in is the new going out in the Lake District? I mean, these places look too good to leave!

In all seriousness, when it comes to the Lake District, staying in is never going to exceed going out but I think you get the gist of what I am saying. I suppose really that you can have it all in the Lake District now, 5 star luxury of the kind that only a swish city hotel would offer but with England’s largest adventure playground outside. Number 1 example has to be the Brimstone Luxury Hotel on the Langdale Estate. Reviews are pouring in about the uniqueness, the luxuries and the 5 star feel with the Reading Room always mentioned. For those who don’t know, the Reading Room is like your dream living room. Stylish chairs, sofas and tables, newspapers and magazines, homemade cakes and snacks and fridges stocked full of local ales, wine and soft drinks. And the biggest thing, all complimentary to guests!

Brimstone Hotel is booked exclusively from their website here, http://www.brimstonehotel.co.uk or by telephoning 015394 38062.

Fabulous February & March Offers on Lake District Cottages

luxury lake district cottages

Sales are not just for January, especially at the Lakeland Cottage Company who is offering a super 10% discount on February and March reservations too. This includes selected short breaks either weekend or midweek making this a very attractive offer on already attractive low season prices. In fact, there is still the chance to hire a luxury Lake District retreat for a romantic Valentine’s break. Imagine spending a romantic weekend in Cartmel, Coniston or Ullswater this Valentine’s?

A short break is an excellent chance to visit the Lake District, get refreshed and relaxed yet not have the expense of a full week away whether that be in terms of money or days off. On the other hand, the crisp winter air and landscapes create an enticing lure for a full week in the Lakes taking advantage of all the wonderful log fires and hearty Lakeland food.

With properties ranging from sleeping 2 to 14 persons, the Lakeland Cottage Company can offer a holiday for romantic couples or for a multi generation family or friends gathering. Whatever the reason and requirement, guests are always sure to receive personal and highly informative service from the Lakeland Cottage company, one of the longest single owned marketing agencies of Lake District cottages with 24 years experience. What clients can also be sure of when booking is that the choice of properties is second to none with an astonishing forty per cent of LCC cottages having the Visit England 5 Star Gold Award. Choose from properties like the picture perfect cottage Lyme Cottage near Cartmel or the super sleek Summer Hill House Garden Apartment No.2 near Coniston – both romantic perfection.

So if you missed the January sales, book a fabulous February or March holiday in the Lake District with the Lakeland Cottage Company at https://www.lakeland-cottage-company.co.uk/

The family friendly Langdale Valley in the Lake District

lake district lodges
As the days get longer and Easter is getting ever nearer, families are looking to organising their holidays for the year. Whether its shorts breaks to take advantage of Bank Holidays, making full use of the two week school Easter holidays or looking to book the main event, THE summer holiday.

In terms of British summers, we all know they can be hit or miss, you just never know! But for various reasons the “Staycation” becoming more popular again. Well quite rightly so as the UK has everything you need for a family holiday on the doorstep so with a bit of sunshine, why feel the need to get on a plane with the threat of delays, disappointment and dent in the pocket?
Take the Lake District for example. Located with the county of Cumbria, such a diverse part of the UK with the lakes and mountains surrounded by and vastly undiscovered and lesser known coastal buffer. Hop between the coast to the fells, lakes and rolling hills all in a day if you like. In between enjoy walking, cycling, adventure and the arts. Sustenance is never far away with plenty of family friendly eateries.

Finding a central base is a great idea for exploring the whole county. The Langdale Valley is an excellent choice being the gateway (well England’s steepest road, the Hardknott Pass) to the Western Lake District and West Coast on the doorstep yet the South and Central Lakes within easy reach too, just 15 minutes to both Ambleside and Coniston. Enjoy from the doorstep fell walks, road and mountain biking routes, electric car hire, nature trails, swimming and boat rides.

Where to stay:
The Langdale Estate has a choice of family friendly hotel rooms (just £10 extra per child) but extremely popular with families are the Scandinavian self catering lodges. Dotted around the estate amongst the trees on the edge of becks and tarns, the 5 star Lake District lodges are practical for families whilst taking advantage of the estate’s facilities such as the pool and leisure amenities and the fabulous new restaurant, Stove. The lodge can be booked for 3 to 7 nights by telephone on 015394 38014 for more information and to see the lodges in details, visit http://www.langdale.co.uk/rental.html