For a cheap but very comfortable stay in a relatively unknown part of France, pitch a tent, book a B&B room or rent the fantastic apartment as a group at Forest View Campsite and B&B, in the beautiful Le Parc Naturel Régional du Perche. The campsite has mini-golf, a splash pool and beautiful views over the stunning countryside; Le Perche is home to picturesque medieval towns, bucolic countryside and delicious local cider. A stay in this region, part of Normandy, offers full immersion in rural French life and plentiful, impossible to resist, camembert. Heaven.
Coconut creek is a B&B in Kumarakom back water destination. I stayed there recently with my family and kids and it was the best homestay in Kerala out of all the others we stayed at during our tour of the region. The food was great and it so mouth watering. The Kumarakom lake is just two minutes walk away and a morning walk to the lake is awesome. The country boat cruise through narrow canals was unforgettable. The host is gentle and sincere.
Coconut creek farm and homestay, Near nazareth church, Kumarakom p.o, Kottayam, Kerala, India 686563
Nearest Station:- Kottayam
Nearest Airport :- cochin
Google map: bit.ly/ZTdUFq
The view of Ashness Bridge with Derwent Water and Skiddaw Fell beyond has been seen on a gazillion postcards. Standing white, on the fellside behind you, is Ashness Farm. Between school runs the farmer, Anne Cornthwaite, runs hardy Belted Galloway cattle, local Herdwick sheep and rare-breed pigs, while welcoming guests to this friendliest of farm B&Bs. The location is a walker’s paradise. Anne makes mouth-watering Cumberland rum butter to a family recipe. Layer lavishly on fresh bread for a slice of heaven in heaven.
Walks (approximate times, one way):
Surprise View 30 minutes
Watendlath Tarn one hour
Lodore Falls and Bowder Stone (2000 tons!) 1.5 hours
High Seat (608m) and Thirlmere (its water reaches Manchester via a 96 mile aqueduct a day after leaving the lake/reservoir) three hours
Watendlath Tarn, Dock Tarn, Greenup Gill, Langstrathdale, Borrowdale (Royal Oak pub), Bowder Stone, Lodore Falls (six hours, circular)
We visited this lovely Bed and Breakfast a few weeks ago, which is a beautifully restored barn on a beef and sheep farm. After a day exploring the Peak district (with many options for walking, cycling etc), this is the perfect place to completely relax.
The owner, Jane Bassett was very welcoming, made a delicious breakfast and told us all about the farm including her part-time role as Midwife during lambing season! Highly recommend for a peaceful stay on a really interesting working farm.
The Secret Garden B&B is run by John Fernandes and it's a wonderful place. It's very private, with only three rooms, and everything is taken care of with personal touch. The rooms are clean and comfortable, and the breakfast provided is generous and good.
The location is also very strategic, comfortably nestled among a housing area, but within walking distance to restaurants and shops.
John is a very hospitable host. He took us around the town, gave us good advice on places to eat and visit, and ensured that we are comfortable and have everything we needed, including helping us to arrange for transportation. He also invited us for evening happy hour so we could meet and chat with him and other travelers.
The Secret Garden B&B is a really good find with reasonable price. Don't miss it!
Docharn Lodge B&B is a jewel in the Cairngorm National Park. It is the only B&B in the Highlands to have accommodation better than some five-star hotels we have stayed in throughout the UK (they even have Molton Brown products, fluffy robes and slippers, a wee nip of whisky and wine in the rooms!) Newly opened - get there quick before they have no room. Such wonderful hosts, it's a haven in some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.
Almohalla 51 is an exquisite guesthouse in the small Andalucían town of Archidona, off the Malaga tourist trail and a world away from the tower blocks of the Costa del Sol (even though that's less than an hour away if you feel the urge!)
The owners, Myles and David are the perfect hosts; attentive, discreet and unfailingly helpful - arranging day trips (such as to Granada or Seville), suggesting the best local restaurants and generally making guests feel welcome and looked after over and above the norm. Bedrooms feature immaculate linen, iPod docks and generous bathrooms. Breakfast comes with a plentiful supply of fresh fruit, local olive oil, cheese and delicious fig jam. After sunning yourself in the town's main square you can return to base camp and continue soaking up the rays by the pool. But if it's chilly, the fire is always going and there's a stack of magazines, books and DVDs in the snug. Tea and coffee is available on tap and if you're lucky, still-warm-from-the-oven lemon cake in the afternoon. Later, the honesty bar is there if you fancy an aperitif.
Almolla 51 is stylish, mixing antiques with contemporary furnishings, intimate and restful but what sets it apart really is the thoughtful and charming owners. It only has five rooms so get in there quick!
B&B, with licensed bar, overlooking the North Shore of the town. Fantastic hearty Yorkshire breakfasts which should keep you going all day. Jude and Alan are very knowledgeable about places to eat and drink in the town. The place was so good we stayed an extra night. Ask for a sea view when booking.
My wife and I stayed two weeks in Lecce staying at La Piazzetta B&B. Was a great choice, lovely accommodation in very central location and the staff were really helpful and pleasant. The room was clean and well appointed, and the bed comfortable and we had daily breakfast served in-room at an agreed time. The room was cleaned every two days, we had fresh towels every two days and bedding every three days. We were able to walk from the hotel to many sights. The area around is packed with restaurants, which some are quite cheap, and Lecce's buzzing night life is next door. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. It's not a luxury hotel but is perfect if you are looking for somewhere nice to sleep at an affordable price.
What a perfect stay at a lovely B&B located on the Argentinian border close to Iguazu Falls. It is run by a remarkable gentleman, John, who goes the extra mile to ensure the comfort of his guests, including personally providing a tour of the local area, recommending eateries, in addition to arranging for transportation to and from the airport and the Iguazu Falls site. Lovely tropical gardens surround the rooms which are clean and charming, providing very comfortable beds and up to date amenities. John also hosts an evening cocktail hour where guests can meet and mingle - to share stories and travel tips and to relax after a day of sight-seeing. Thank you John for making our stay in Iguazu so pleasant and for taking such great care of us at the border.
Paris in spring - what not to recommend. To cycle there makes it even sweeter. The French have created a lovely cycle route from Dieppe to Paris via old train tracks, rolling French fields and then into Paris via the parks. Best route to follow is one carved out by Donald Hirsch.
Best place to stay on first night is 23 Grand Rue where you will welcomed by Madeleine and Peter, and eat a wonderful meal loving cooked by Madeleine. Watch out though; Peter is a wine expert and if you share his knowledge too much, then there's a danger of not enjoying the next days cycling!
23 Grand Rue, Mesnières-en-Bray,Normandie 76270, France
+33 (0) 2 32 97 06 31
An amazing contemporary cedar clad, copper roofed eco B&B built entirely by the owners. It is highly insulated with an air source heat pump supplying the underfloor heating. It is beautifully sited in a woodland paradise. Fluffy towels, duck island toiletries, biscuits, real coffee, smart TV, six-foot bed and absolutely amazing breakfasts in the comfort of your own room. There is even a fridge for wine and the terrace, overlooking the wood, is as big as the room. I can't understand why they don't have star rating it is so amazing. The beach has excellent surf and there are three pubs all offering food. I am not sure if I even want to tell people about it as it is the sort of hidden treasure you want to keep to yourself. Only two rooms, absolute quiet and tranquility. Really wonderful!
Beyond the door lies a retreat straight out of colonial days.Simple rooms,shaded by exotic vegetation, focus on a verandah where at 6pm all the guests gather at the invitation of the owner,John.Free cocktails and spicy nibbles enhance the exchange of information in a very sociable atmosphere.This is the perfect base for visiting both sides of theIguazu Falls.
Bed and breakfast accommodation. Hospitable, excellent local information, exotic surroundings. Will arrange airport pick-up and taxi tours to both sides of the Iguazu falls and the bird park on the Brazilian side.
Boutique B&B, superb breakfasts, wonderful dinners.
Sean and Suzanne are charming hosts, and Sean's culinary expertise is well up there with the likes of Nutter and Oliver.
The Sawrey Hotel on the road between Hawkshead and the car ferry across Windermere re-emerged from a makeover recently as the Cuckoo Brow Inn. Food is served every day from noon until 9pm and is excellent. They pride themselves on sourcing as much as possible from within a 20 mile radius - and with good local beers to boot. They genuinely welcome walkers, cyclists, wet dogs and noisy children - we often eat there with our muddy Springer after walks across the local fells without feeling like social lepers. In our view, best enjoyed when it's cold outside with a roaring fire blazing in the hearth in the centre of the bar - so July or August then.
The Perfection that is Frenches Farm, Farmhouse B&B: 400m from a pristine beach with seals:
I am sitting out front in the garden at a bench table surrounded by birdsong, as I post this from my laptop before going for a swim in the blissful sunshine. The manicured lawn goes on forever flowing to arable fields with only a majestic ancient Beech tree marking the boundary; in its boughs a pair of Jays are nesting.
This fifteenth-century farmhouse is gorgeous - well appointed on the inside and on the outside. Up a spiral staircase, the cavernous bedroom has colossal oak beams built-in during the early 1400s; trees were at least 400 years-old when felled so you are looking up at wood that was living c. 1,000 years ago! The round shaped beam was fashioned from the mast of a famous tall ship.
You get your own entrance to come and go as you please (but as farmers get up at five a.m, maybe no late-night raves – they didn't say that, but goes without saying on a working farm). Breakfast is from a good-choice menu and includes full English – everything is organic – and utterly yummy as freshly cooked. There is only the one apartment, so no need to worry about noisy neighbours – it's peace, peace, peace all the way.
The horse who starred as Black Beauty decided to retire here, that is to say, animal-lover Ruth kindly took him on and facilitated his retirement. He's got brains not just beauty as it is an excellent choice - 400m from a pristine Blueflag beach where seals bob up from the sea, looking curiously at you as you walk along in the early morning shoreline. Well-behaved dogs are welcome, but no sheep-chasers. Bird life proliferates, there are muntjack deer and badgers' sets nearby.
The sand is perfect for sandcastles and there is a Lifeguard-watched section of beach if you walk towards Sea Palling (turn left on the beach and walk for ten minutes) – always swim between the flags. For teenagers, there is scuba, jetskis, snorkelling from Sea Palling as well as plenty of eateries just near the beach there (also clean public loos – a must near a beach) – and great surfing right the way along Horsey, Waxham and Sea Palling beaches (they all join up so you can walk for miles). Because it's a bit further from Sea Palling, the Waxham section of beach opposite Frenches farm is very unpopulated – you've got big skies and stretches of sand all to yourself and can just look out over the water and focus your mind as the sun sets. I found two substantial pieces of amber - the light hits at an angle in the evening which makes it relatively easy to spot.
Got to mention the rock pools on Sea Palling beach near lifeguard's hut; where my little girl gleefully fished whitebait out in the 'Great Fish Rescue' trying to get the baby fish back to the sea in a bucket before the Seagulls ate them all! There were millions of fish stranded by the tide, easy to catch in nets - and lots of friends helped - great fun was had by all and many fish were saved; total cute fest. Other marine life abounds - crabs, starfishes, shellfish - it is the beach of choice for Marine nature trips by local schools – and now I see why! Rock pools are not just good for pond dipping for minibeasts and marine life – they are great for toddlers with inflatables, boats and mini-surfboards or younglings just learning to swim, and are very, very safe. They are Nature's warm, shallow swimming pools for children.
A spacious, airy and impeccably tasteful bedroom at Frenches farm looks out over beautiful tranquil fields, silence is broken only by the gentle swooping of summer swallows as they dart amid the eaves. But wait – you are the guest of Ruth, Henry and their family – so just a room? No – you get an entire annex to yourself, with beautifully appointed bathroom, living room – two huge flatscreen TVs in bedroom and another in the spacious living room, bookshelf-stacked library, period furnishings and every little thing thought of – chocolates on arrival, biscuit tin with yummy biccies, bottle of water to fill the kettle, a full-size fridge in the room to keep milk fresh or any other food you've brought, box of tissues, clean fluffy bathrobes to borrow, soap, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, hair mousse, toothpaste, just in case you forget yours, and towels and linen all provided, tea, coffee, hot-chocolate, a fresh jug of milk every day (and the mugs match the rose-theme in the room) and lots of friendly banter with a traditional Norfolk welcome. Really nice touches.
It is also in the same grounds as the historic site of Waxham barns - the largest Tudor barn in the county, well worth a visit.
Ruth and Henry at Frenches farm do Norfolk proud. They would have to invent a new star rating; it's an eight-star experience. They are so kind and genuine, a really lovely family.
Newly-opened (June 2012) bed and breakfast in a hamlet in the south Lakes. Watch the weather change over Blackcombe, stroll down to the standing stones pictured on their website before dinner cooked with ingredients from the garden or other local sources, or head off to the beach. This is walking, cycling, riding territory. Oh, and there's a good pub in Kirksanton too. Run by Kev and Rachelle, who know how to put you at ease. Lovely, comfortable bedroom, instant relaxation. Close to Muncaster Castle, Ravenglass and other Lakes attractions.
A delightful little B&B (only three rooms), the decor is superb (we stayed for an extended weekend in the Suite Framboise, meaning the Raspberry Suite!) with breakfast on the sunny private terrace. The hosts are really lovely and can tell you a thing or two about antiques and collectables, which was very handy as we came down to Provence also to look at antiques for our house back in England. A really lovely place to stay and not too expensive as I recall.
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