Self-catering specialist Travel Chapter reports upward trend in families, friends, couples & singles spending the festive season away from home…
According to the latest stats from self-catering specialist Travel Chapter, more and more of us are opting to spend Christmas away from home.
- Travel Chapter’s Christmas bookings are currently up 26% on this time last year, and 68% compared with two years ago
- The company’s customers are securing their Christmas break bookings almost two weeks earlier than they have in previous years
- The demand for dog-friendly properties has increased dramatically. Bookings with a dog included have increased 27% on this time last year, and a huge 81% compared with two years ago
Says Travel Chapter’s Marketing Director, James Starkey: “While spending Christmas in your own home or at a family member’s home has, historically, been the norm, we’re seeing a significant rise in people opting to celebrate elsewhere. Often it’s in order to accommodate a larger group or to create a more convenient meeting point for all parties, but sometimes it’s simply to do Christmas differently. Plus, people are feeling the need more than ever to make the most of their holiday time, to see somewhere new, and to give themselves and their families a treat.”
Whether it’s to lift the mood, to lighten the load, to scale down to a cosy twosome or to gather friends and family on a grander scale than can be accommodated at home, the advantages of hiring somewhere extra special over the festive season are many. Having a new environment to explore, both indoors and outdoors, adds a different dimension to the usual Christmas break, guaranteeing there will be more than just Santa’s arrival to look forward to come late December!
And, of course, there’s no need for a massive spring-clean before the arrival of Christmas guests followed by a huge amount of laundry, etc., post-Christmas – good news all round.
Travel Chapter – the UK’s leading self-catering company with brands that include holidaycottages.co.uk, Canine Cottages, Big Domain, Little Domain and Sheepskin – offers a fabulous collection of city, coast and countryside retreats, ranging from cosy seaside cottages and quirky rustic glamping pods to grand country houses and stylish modern apartments.
Says James Starkey: “While we have properties to suit every requirement and budget, be warned: they are being snapped up faster than ever this year.”
Here are some of Travel Chapter’s top suggestions with festive availability for families of all sizes, couples, canines, big groups and those with limited mobility:
Best for multi-generation gatherings: renovated farmhouse near Lake Windermere
Damson Retreat (sleeps 14, plus two dogs) is one of the finest holiday homes in the Lake District, and somewhere extra special for a get-together of family members from young to old. Ideally located close to Lake Windermere and Ambleside, the property has two wood-burners and a large wine fridge. The large dining room has a cosy snug area centred around a wood burner and Smart TV – perfect for children who might not be able to stomach sitting still through several courses. Tidying away after meals is made easy with a second dishwasher, and beds are provided for your four-legged friends.
Arriving Friday 20 December, a seven-night stay costs £327 pp (£4,571 total). Call Sheepskin on 01865 594349 (www.sheepskinlife.com).
Damson Retreat, Lake District
Best for families with tots: seaside cottage with indoor swimming pool and on-site playground
Christmas can be magical for people with young children – but tiring too, so having plenty of on-site facilities to keep them busy and wear them out is key. Sunset Cottage (sleeps four, plus two dogs) is a contemporary property within a popular holiday cottage village near Filey in North Yorkshire. Shared leisure facilities include a spa, an indoor swimming pool, an on-site playground, tennis courts and a football pitch. Historic Whitby is 18 miles away with its Blue Flag beaches and world-famous North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which runs a Santa Special (21 & 22 December). The coastal towns of Scarborough and Bridlington, plus the glorious view across Robin Hood’s Bay, are within an hour’s drive, too.
Sunset Cottage, North Yorkshire
Best for families with teens: luxe coastal home with lockable wetsuit facility
The Light House (sleeps eight, plus two dogs) located in Bude, North East Cornwall, has been designed and built to high sustainability standards by a couple whose own home has featured on Grand Designs. Entered via the second floor, the property’s open-plan, contemporary character will appeal to older, style-savvy children in particular. The views across the Atlantic are inspiring and walkers can enjoy nearby access to the South West Coast Path. For seasoned surfers there is a lockable wetsuit facility and outdoor shower.
Arriving Saturday 21 December, a seven-night stay now costs £254 pp (£2,026 total). Two dogs are welcome (£20 supplement each). Call holidaycottages.co.uk on 01237 459 888 (www.holidaycottages.co.uk).
The Light House, Cornwall
Best for bright young things: trendy riverside bunkhouse with quick exit indoor slide
Ideal for a group of young adults wanting to spend Christmas entre amis rather than en famille, The Beautiful Bunkhouse (sleeps 14) is a sleekly-styled converted chapel right beside the River Wye in the Brecon Beacons. Ceilings are high, spaces are huge and there’s just one bedroom, which has a super-king-sized bed and 12 single pod bunks. An indoor tubular slide shoots you from upstairs to the ground floor, fireman-style, in seconds. Meals can be pre-ordered direct with the owner and delivered to the door.
Arriving Sunday 22 December, a five-night stay costs £193 pp (£2,702 total). Call The Big Domain on 01237 426777 (www.thebigdomain.com).
The Beautiful Bunkhouse, Brecon Beacons
Best for couples and their dogs: cosy nest with contemporary style and sand dunes nearby
Sandy Vista (sleeps two, plus two dogs) is an irresistible petite retreat offering guests a self-contained and very snug Christmas. Centrally located in the quaint coastal village of Instow in Devon, the property has efficient underfloor heating and a large split-level studio-style room which has a double bed at one end and a stylish lounge area at the other. The sandy estuary beach and its sand dunes (which dogs adore) is just a short stroll to the end of the road.
Arriving Saturday 21 December, a seven-night stay costs £375 pp (£750 total). Two dogs are welcome (£20 supplement each). Call Canine Cottages on 01237 459821 (www.caninecottages.co.uk).
Sandy Vista, Devon
Best for couples with limited mobility: studio accommodation with lovely Lymington nearby
Long to be away for Christmas but don’t want to sacrifice the accessibility you’re used to at home? Jobber’s Retreat (sleeps two, plus one dog) is a thoughtfully-planned annexe in a leafy location within the delightful New Forest National Park. Contained within one spacious and easy area is an open-plan studio-style room with the sitting room / kitchen / diner, leading on to a king-sized bedroom area and connecting shower room and loo.When you’ve had enough of cracker-pulling and card-playing, head into nearby Lymington to enjoy an afternoon exploring its many boutique shops, cafés and restaurants.
Jobber’s Retreat, New Forest
Available in any value from £50, the vouchers are valid for two years from the date of purchase and can be redeemed against the cost of a stay at any time of the year, subject to availability.