The nation might have taken a battering from the weather this winter – but the country is still open for business. So, why not show your support for B&Bs, cottages and hotels in rain-hit Britain by taking a break in the beautiful countryside. Take a look at these fabulous breaks:
Lake District: A few yards away from poet William Wordsworth’s former home in Grasmere, Dove Holme Cottage is a traditional Lakeland stone retreat for two. Ancient oak beams, comfy sofas and a wood burning stove make a warm welcome after a day out on the fells, while the village centre shops, restaurants and country pubs are also within an easy walk. The cottage is priced at £450 per week from Saturday 8, 15 and 22 March. See www.lakelovers.co.uk, ref 160.
Devon: Catch a bargain – as well as some trout – on a break at a North Devon farm. Sleeping four people, the annexe at Bellbrook Farm Fishery near Tiverton overlooks one of six lakes within a 40-acre valley site and is reduced by 30% until the end of March to £138 for three nights (saving £59) and £184 per week (saving £79). There is great trout fishing for all abilities and tuition is available, while Exmoor National Park, the coast, and the cathedral city of Exeter are within an easy drive. Also, with a saving over the same period are three smart, contemporary-style apartments on the esplanade overlooking the award-winning sands at Woolacombe. Each sleep four, with prices now starting at £240 for three nights (saving £46) and £320 for seven (saving £61). See www.northdevonholidays.co.uk
Worcestershire: If you didn’t get away on Valentine’s night, then this is for you – beautiful Brockencote Hall in Worcestershire. Set beside a lake in the picturesque village of Chaddesley Corbett, the French chateau-style Victorian hotel has a romantic winter break available until March 31. Couples are welcomed with a glass of champagne and chocolates, and each enjoy a relaxing massage in their room before a superb seven-course tasting menu accompanied by matched wines in the restaurant – recently awarded its third AA rosette. The price of £550 per couple also includes an overnight stay in a feature room with breakfast. See www.fihotels.com
Isle of Wight: Celebrate Spring…by treating yourselves to a stay at The Hambrough on the Isle of Wight. With its luxurious rooms, fabulous sea views and fine dining restaurant it makes the perfect base to explore the stunning Island. Hambrough Dine & Stay – one night midweek breaks from £95 per person or two nights from £135 per person. Includes bed, breakfast and dinner for two. Or combine a stay at The Hambrough with a romantic dinner for two at its sister restaurant The Pond Cafe in the nearby village of Bonchurch – from £79.50 per person for a one night stay. See www.thehambrough.com
Northern Ireland: Book a two-night weekend break and receive Sunday night free – or stay Sunday night and enjoy Monday night free – this spring at the Marine Hotel in Ballycastle on Northern Ireland’s Antrim coastline. The deal runs until March 30 and means a three-night weekend break (Friday arrivals) now costs from £75 per person (twin share) inclusive of accommodation with breakfast. The hotel is just yards from the beach and has a bar and restaurant. The ferry terminal to Rathin Island, renowned for its breathtaking scenery, wildlife and seabird breeding colonies is close by. For low cost flights, check out easyJet and ferry crossings from Cairnryan in Scotland to Larne or Belfast are also available. See www.marinehotelballycastle.com
North Devon: Enjoy a stay in a cottage on a working farm – where children can meet the animals as well as experiencing rural life and the British countryside. Independent UK cottage agency, holidaycottages.co.uk has a great choice of working farm holiday cottages nationwide including Puffin House Blegberry Farm. The four-bedroom 17C farmhouse wing (sleeps eight) in North Devon costs from £410 for three nights this spring, while a week is from the reduced price of £510 (saving £60). Up to two well behaved dogs are welcome for a supplement of £3 per dog, per day or £20 each per week. See www.holidaycottages.co.uk
North Devon: Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks has special deals on spring breaks. The area is perfect walking country – either for gentle rambles exploring small coves, picturesque villages and dramatic seascapes – or for more demanding routes such as a 10-mile circular walk from Woolacombe to Baggy Point passing through pretty countryside and on dramatic cliff tops with panoramic sea views. Stay in centrally-heated Silver and Gold Lodges (sleeping up to six). Four-night midweek breaks during March £139 per party (saving up to £150) in a Silver Lodge or £169 per party (a reduction of up to £160) in a Gold Lodge. See www.woolacombe.com/bp
East Devon: There’s a farm here too you can help out on. Take a spring break in a farm cottage near Honiton, East Devon from £332 per week for four between late February and early April, rising to £456 over the Easter break. Guests are welcome to help where possible on the environmentally-friendly 135 acre working farm, home to Devon cattle, chickens and horses and sheep and lambs in season. The former stone barn has been made into two holiday homes, Whitcombe Cottage and Swallows Cottage. There are fabulous country views from the cottages, while the beaches at Sidmouth and cathedral city of Exeter are within each reach. See www.helpfulholidays.com, ref G77 and G78, pets welcome.
Suffolk: Start spring with a relaxing treat at the four-star Brudenell Hotel on Suffolk’s stunning coast at Aldeburgh and book a dinner, B&B stay from £75 per person per night between February 23 and April 17. The special Bounce into Spring break also includes a gift to take back and brighten up your home. Available Sunday to Thursday, the offer is based on two sharing an inland facing room, sea-view rooms are available at a supplement; it also includes a £30 allocation per person for dinner in the sea-view restaurant, awarded two AA rosettes for its excellent cuisine. Privately owned, the Brudenell is a step away from Aldeburgh’s shingle beach. Its tranquil situation, coastal themed decor and fresh, locally sourced food provide an ideal setting for a spring break. See www.brudenellhotel.co.uk
Norfolk: Haven are offering four nights’ self-catering at Caister holiday park near Great Yarmouth – prices from £69 per family (saving £49), based on a family of six sharing Standard accommodation from March 31. Includes kids’ clubs and family entertainment.
North Wales: Haven are offering four nights’ self-catering at the Hafan Y Mor holiday park in Pwllheli – prices from £158 per family (saving £57.34). Price based on a family of six sharing Deluxe plus accommodation from March 31. Includes kids’ clubs and family entertainment. See www.haven.com