Purchase your dream holiday home at Aberconwy Resort & Spa in North Wales before 17th December and get up to £1000 in high street vouchers

Aberconwy Resort & Spa is a beautiful destination along the coastline in North Wales, located only 5 minutes from the picturesque Conwy Marina, as well as being a short drive from the traditional seaside town of Llandudno. Llandudno offers a shoppers heaven, as well as hosting countless national and international performers, stage shows and comedy acts at the renowned Venue Cymru. Aberconwy is also home to the Michelin Recommended Signatures Restaurant, where Jimmy, his wife Louise and their team, cook up a storm of mouth-watering meals and offer wonderfully friendly service. Join the community of owners and grab a slice of the Aberconwy Experience for yourself!

have christmas on us with your own holiday home

If you’ve been thinking of buying your very own holiday home in North Wales, now is the ideal time to take the plunge, with up to £1000 in high street vouchers on offer and site fees included until March 2019 when you buy before 17th December!

Our wide range of static caravans at Aberconwy offer everything you could need for a holiday home in North Wales. Including open plan living areas, with sumptuous seating and dinette spaces, and a fitted kitchen with top of the range appliances, they also host stunning bedrooms and family bathrooms, with plenty of storage throughout! When you buy your static caravan before 17th December, you’ll get £500 in high street vouchers to go towards your Christmas dinner and some fabulous presents, as well as your site fees included until March 2019!

If you’ve been looking at our range of luxurious lodges on offer at Aberconwy, now is the time to buy, with £1000 in high street vouchers to put towards a spectacular Christmas dinner and help you splurge on some extra special presents, plus your site fees included until March 2019 when you buy before 17th December. Our lodges offer all the must-haves of self-catering holiday homes, with some added luxurious extras, including large open plan living space with floor to ceiling windows bathing the room in natural light, and space for a separate dining area, as well as a fully fitted kitchen which includes state of the appliances. The luxurious bedrooms offer the best night’s sleep, as well as beautiful ensuties and family sized bathrooms to keep everyone happy during your holiday breaks.

what’s Aberconwy all about?

This stunning 5 star destination is nestled in the Conwy valley, with the magical Snowdonia Mountain Range as a backdrop and the stunning Conwy Morfa Beach will be on your doorstep. Offering the best of both worlds, being able to explore the historic mountain range and taking a slow stroll down the beach and soaking up the atmosphere.

Signatures Restaurant is the winner of the Best Restaurant in Wales 2017 Award, as well as winning 2 AA Rosettes and a slew of other awards too! Owned and run by husband and wife team, Jimmy and Louise, Signatures has gone from strength to strength in recent years due to their hard work and talent. They also have a friendly and professional team around them helping to serve the most delicious meals on an ever changing menu, so no matter how many times you visit, there will always be something new to try.

Along with Signatures Restaurant, there is also the Langley’s Lounge where you can grab a cup of Costa Coffee or delicious smoothie and a light snack after your workout or spa treatment. There is also the onsite Mali’s Hair Salon, where the expert hair technicians will be able to make you feel refreshed and help you put a spring back in your step with some soothing hair treatments.

Our amazing onsite facilities including, a stunning indoor tropically heated swimming pool, with Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room all designed to help you unwind and relax. You’ll have unlimited access to the state of the art Langley’s Country Club & Gym, with a whole range of cardio equipment, weight machines, free weights and deadlift facilities, as well as a spate Contours gym which also hosts a programme of fitness classes. So no matter your fitness level or workout regime, Langley’s will have what you need to keep up with your healthy lifestyle, including personal trainers on hand to tailor your workout with you.

And if you’re looking for something to help you unwind, the Aberconwy Spa is the perfect place for you visit. Offering indulgent Aromatherapy Associates treatments from fully trained therapists, you can take advantage of a fully body treatment such as a hot stone massage or make your skin smooth with a bespoke skin polish. Opt for a rejuvenating facial to make your skin shine, or choose a Jessica Nails and GELeration hand treatment, with a waxing or tinting treatment, to feel refreshed and ready for anything!

Becoming an owner at Aberconwy Resort & Spa is easier than you may think, our friendly Ownership Team will be on hand to walk you through the buying journey step by step, and will always be on hand to answer any questions you may have. They are also to introduce you to financial advisors who will be able to help you spread the coast of your dream holiday home if you wanted to.

There really has never been a better time to buy your dream holiday home at Aberconwy Resort & Spa, if you purchase before 17th December you’ll get up to £1000 in high street vouchers to put towards a fantastic Christmas, plus you’ll have your site fees included until March 2019!

Call our dedicated Ownership Team on 01745858010, or talk to an advisor via our Live Chat service to find out more information today. Or book your park tour and come see what we are all about first hand!

Enjoy Christmas on us at Aberconwy Resort & Spa!

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New Pines Holiday Home Park is home to a brand new play park for children of all ages!

New Pines Holiday Home Park offers luxurious holidays and holiday home ownership nestled in the North Wales countryside, but only a short 5 minute drive to the beach. Having the best of both worlds at New Pines means you can choose how to spend your endless holidays with us, with so much do on park, including a full entertainments programme organised by our fabulously talented Charlie Bear and his team of Rangers, as well as a tropically heated swimming pool and two entertainments room for children of all ages available.

New Pines is now home to a brand new play park, located on the large playing field, all ready for the coming summer! Take a look at the gallery images below for a sneak peek before you book!

Photo of New Pines' brand new play park

How beautiful are the images of the new play park? As well as the children’s soft play area and very cool teenagers’ space to play games and pool. With so much on offer here at New Pines, it’s easy to see why we are one of the most popular holiday home owners’ destinations in North Wales.

If you’re interested in learning more about holiday home ownership at New Pines Holiday Home Park, call our dedicated Ownership Team on 01745858010, or talk to an adviser via our live chat service now.

Get Ready for Summer with New Pines’ New Park!

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Take Exercise Outdoors for Additional Health Benefits! It’s often a lot more appealing and generally a lot more convenient to head to the temperature-controlled gym, than for the nearest field, forest or beach; especially in the winter. A growing body of research however, suggests that if we choose to hit the treadmill rather than the hill, we might be missing out on a number of physical and mental health benefits…

mental health & outdoor exercise

The mental health benefits of exercise have been established for some time now. Scientific research dating back to the start of the 1980s has concluded that regular exercise can improve mood in the vast majority of people.

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 1999, examined the impact of aerobic exercise on men and women with major depression. Exercise was so effective, that the study concluded that an exercise training programme may be considered an alternative treatment to antidepressants. In addition, a follow up study conducted six months later found that exercise was a more robust treatment than antidepressants, with the ‘exercise group’, less likely to relapse.

What is perhaps, less well known, is that the benefits of exercise can be enhanced by exercising outdoors.

A study conducted in 2010 assessed the effect of nature and ‘green exercise’ (outdoor exercise) on mental wellbeing. Researchers collected information from 10 different studies carried out in the UK. They concluded that exercise in an outdoor environment improved both self-esteem and mood; and that the presence of water generated even greater effects in terms of mental wellbeing. So, a run on the beach might be one of the best overall forms of exercise you can do, if you’re looking for a boost to your mood and general wellbeing.

Additional research has also shown that exercising outdoors results in lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol, when compared with exercising indoors. Exposure to sunlight too, can lead to the production of more of the mood-lifting chemical – serotonin.

Even in the absence of strenuous exercise, being in the outdoors has a range of mental health benefits, including enhanced clarity and focus. Author & journalist Richard Louv coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” in his 2008 book Last Child in the Woods based on nature’s ability to calm the mind and improve self-control in some people. In addition, just visiting the seaside has been proven to enhance mood & wellbeing, whilst living by the coast is associated with improved general health.

physical benefits of outdoor exercise

To magnify the benefits of running, go outside!

Running outside is more difficult than running on a treadmill down at the local gym. Studies have shown that treadmill runners expend less energy covering the same distance. This is thought to be due to the air/wind resistance experienced outdoors, a well as the changes in terrain and in gradient.

Speaking of declines, downhill running is also associated with increases in strength and speed. Often difficult to carry out on a treadmill, downhill running places a greater ‘eccentric load’ on the leg muscles, resulting in significant gains in muscle & tendon strength. Proceed with caution however, as a large volume of downhill running can result in a correspondingly large amount of muscle and joint soreness.

Sessions of outdoor exercise, also tend to last longer. If you choose to primarily exercise outdoors – you may find that you enjoy it so much, that you do a lot more of it than you would if you went to the gym. A study conducted in 2012, reported that older adults who exercised outdoors, would exercise for longer, and would also exercise more frequently than their peers who exercised indoors.

So, next time you head to the coast for your family holiday, remember to take your running shoes and enjoy the benefits of exercising outdoors.

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Entering a gym for the first time can be very intimidating and often stops people from joining one, here’s our jargon buster to help!

It can be frightening when you do anything for the first time, because you ultimately entering the unknown and putting yourself in a vulnerable position. However, it is important to remember that going outside of your comfort zone is a great way to build confidence and joining a gym can be the start of a new healthy lifestyle, as well as a great way of blowing off some steam.

So to help we have taken a look at some of the common questions and issues a gym newcomers may have to face, settle down with a smoothie and have a read…

gym jargon

Jargon often makes it difficult to understand what people are talking about and referring to in many instances, particularly if it is your first visit to the gym. Let us help you get the gist of what is being said with our handy jargon buster:

Cardio Equipment

Cardio equipment in a gym typically includes stationary bikes, treadmills/running machines, cross trainers and rowing machines. “cardio” is short for cardiovascular and relates to equipment which primarily workout the lungs and heart. People will often use cardio equipment for the fitness benefits and for fat loss.

Free Weights

Include dumbbells, barbells and medicine balls; often used in conjunction with a bench. They are called ‘free’ because users are not constrained to specific exercises or movements. You can do dozens of exercises with each piece of equipment. They are primarily used to build strength and muscle. The free weight area is often the most intimidating for beginners, which is unfortunate as free weights offer a range of health and fitness benefits. Free weights are often touted as superior to resistance machines.

Resistance Machines

Include chest press and leg press. These are machines that are used to build strength and muscle. Most resistance machines only perform one movement and one exercise (with the notable exception of the cable machine and the smith machine). This generally makes them easier to use than free weights.

Sets & Reps

Primarily relate to a way of organising weightlifting and resistance exercises. A rep is short for “repetition” and refers to the number of times that you perform an exercise. For example – if you do 20 press ups, you have done 20 reps. Sets are a collection of reps. If you did 20 press ups, once – this would be 1 set of 20 reps. If you do 20 press ups, then rested for a minute, and did 20 more press ups – you have done 2 sets of 20 reps. A typical weight training workout will consist of 10-20 sets. Interestingly, research has shown that perform just 1 set of resistance exercise can produce substantial benefits in terms of strength development.

Isolation & Compound Exercises

A weight training programme will normally focus on compound exercises. These are exercises which utilise a large number of muscles. Compound exercises include squats, leg press, chin ups, bench press and deadlifts. Compound exercises are also regarded as more ‘functional’ as they transfer more effectively to real-life scenarios such as moving heavy objects. Isolation exercises focus on smaller muscle groups or muscles. These include exercises such as tricep extensions, bicep curls and calf raises.

gym faqs

Now you have the gym lingo down, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions relating to the gym:

Should I do Cardio or Weights?

It is generally best to do both but the amount of time dedicated to each type of exercise will depend on your goals and baseline level of fitness. For more information about goals, see our previous blog post on the topic.

Both cardio based exercise and weight training can be used to improve fitness and reduce body fat. Although it is a lot easier to get started using machines such as the cross trainer or treadmill which can provide a challenging workout with limited risk of injury or requiring any technical proficiency. Cardio machines can help you to build a base of all round fitness, before attempting more advanced, high intensity training protocols that incorporate weights (such as ‘supersets’).

Weight training is also an integral part of any thorough fitness programme – providing great benefits in terms of increased bone density, controlled blood sugar levels and improvement or maintenance of physical strength. Many people avoid weight training as the are afraid of getting too ‘bulky’. This really is a fitness myth – it is extremely difficult to build muscle. If you are still concerned however, many of the benefits of weight training can be experienced with body weight exercises like press ups and free standing squats.

What is the fat burning zone?

“The fat burning zone”, refers to low intensity exercise, such as a light jog on the treadmill. It is generally considered to be an out of date concept in relation to weight loss. To calculate whether or not you are in the fat burning zone, there are a number of mobile phone apps which can determine the correct heart rate.

Fat stores in the body supply a high percentage of energy when we exercise at a low intensity. As we work harder, the body will tend to use more carbohydrates. Low intensity exercise does have many health benefits, however it burns relatively few calories. In addition, training for 30 minutes in the fat burning zone, will also tend to burn less absolute calories from both fat and carbohydrate, compared to training for 30 minutes at a high intensity.

High intensity exercise, such as sprints, burn a relatively high number of calories during, and for hours after, an exercise session. There are also greater cardiovascular health benefits associated with training at a higher intensity.

What is HIIT training?

High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT, consists of bursts of maximum intensity exercises, followed by a short rest period. HIIT is great because it burns so many calories in a short space of time, it is also great for fitness and overall health. Due to the high intensity, it can help to build or maintain muscle & strength, as well as improve cardiovascular health and sports performance.

Before attempting HIIT, it is generally recommended that you build a base of fitness with some lower intensity cardio. HIIT is a fantastic way to get in good physical shape, fast, but be warned that the first few sessions may produce a large amount of muscle soreness.

How Long Should I rest in Between Sets?

This depends on your goals. In relation to weight training:

  • Rest periods of 3 to 5 minutes are generally recommended for those looking to build strength.
  • Rest periods of 90 seconds to 2 minutes are recommended for building muscle size
  • Rest periods of 45 to 90 seconds are recommended for building muscular endurance

Will Sit Ups Tone my Stomach?

Not really. Performing sit ups will not do much about any body fat which may be covering your abdominal muscles. The best way to get a toned stomach is to undertake a tailored exercise programme and to eat a healthy, balanced diet. The only way to reduce belly fat, is to reduce overall body fat by burning more calories and/or consuming less. In addition, sit ups are not usually recommended anymore due to strain that they can put on the lower back – opt for crunches.

We hope this blog post has been of some use to you are you gear up for your new exercise regime, remember to set realistic goals and don’t compare yourself to others, and strive for improvement & happiness, never perfection.

If you are lucky enough to own one of the holiday homes at Aberconwy Resort & Spa, remember that the staff at Langley’s Country Club are more than happy to help discuss your fitness needs and show you the ropes. We also have gyms at Talacre Beach Holiday Park, Swanage Bay View Holiday Home Park and the brand new Lake District resort – Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat.

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Last night the Hoseasons 2016 Awards Ceremony took place, and Darwin Escapes came out top again! Every year the Hoseasons Conference and Awards ceremony takes place, with UK holiday companies from all over the country donning their best black tie suits and sparkly dresses for the prestigious event…

Darwin Escapes has a history of success at the awards, with Cheddar Woods Resort & Spa winning Best in Britain 2014 and Piran Meadows taking the crown in 2015. And this year Beach Cove Coastal Retreat managed to take home the Best in Britain 2016 for Small Parks & Lodges Award! As well as Darwin Escapes managing to take home 7 other Diamond Hoseasons 2016 Awards!

There was a change at the Hoseasons 2016 Awards this year, instead of one category fits all they went with large park and small park categories, so here are the Darwin Escapes Winners…

2016 winner of family fun for cornwall is sandymouth holiday home park

2016 winner of relax & explore for large parks in cornwall is piran meadows resort & spa

2016 winner of relax & explore for small parks in devon, somerset & dorset is beach cove coastal retreat

2016 winner of relax & explore for large parks in devon, somerset & dorset is cheddar woods resort & spa

2016 winner of large parks in wales is new pines holiday home park

(this is the first year that New Pines has entered the competition, and what a fantastic result!)

2016 winner of lodge escapes for large parks in devon, somerset & dorset is bath mill lodge retreat

(another first time winner, Bath Mill only opened its doors in 2015!)

2016 winner of lodge escapes for large parks in the south of england is woodside bay lodge retreat

(the home of our quirky tree house accommodation, and another first time winner after opening its doors in 2016!)

best in britain for small parks & lodges 2016 winner is… beach cove coastal retreat!

Beach Cove Coastal Retreat first opened its doors in 2013, and stood out from the crowd straight away with the quirky beach huts, all painted in pastel colours. The park itself is outstanding and has fast gained the reputation of one of the most romantic places in the UK, with countless engagement proposals taking place there. The location is jaw droppingly stunning, sitting on the Cliffside overlooking Hele Bay and just a two minute walk away from the beautiful Devonshire beach and sea. Well Done to the whole team at Beach Cove for this fantastic achievement!

And a huge Well Done to the whole Darwin Escapes team across all of our UK holiday parks for helping us win 8 Diamond Hoseasons 2016 Awards! A massive achievement and very well deserved after everyone working so hard all year round!

Happy Hoseasons 2016 Awards Ladies & Gents!

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Nestled in the North Wales countryside is the stunning New Pines Holiday Home Park, the perfect place for your holiday home. New Pines is a place you can retreat to every weekend for a nice relaxing break away from your day to day life. With a fantastic entertainments programme, including Charlie Bear for the children, as well as fabulous shows for the adults too, plenty of activities to suit all ages as well 5 star facilities on site, you will want for nothing while at your home away from home.

Now is the perfect time to visit and book a park tour around New Pines with the Willbery Vogue available to buy as soon as you see it if you wish! This 2 bed holiday home is in fabulous condition, with a fitted kitchen, sumptuous lounge and warm colour palette, the Willerby Vogue is a hugely popular model that stands out from the crowd, check out the pictures below…

Interior shot of the lounge in the Willerby Vogue

Interior shot of the kitchen in the Willerby VogueInterior shot of the dining area in the Willerby Vogue

Interior shot of the master bedroom in the Willerby Vogue

interior shot of the twin bedroom in the Willerby Vogue

New Pines Holiday Home Park is the perfect place for owning your very own holiday home along the North Wales coastline, New Pines is close to both the traditional seaside town of Rhyl and the up and coming Prestatyn town, there are lots of things to keep you busy in the local area too. But with a restaurant, gym, two bars, indoor swimming pool, sauna and steam room all on site you may not even want to leave the wonderful gated community!

Loved the look of this beautiful holiday home? Book a park tour now, or speak to our dedicated Ownership team via our Live Chat service, or give them a call on 01745858010 for more information!

Happy Holiday Home Ownership Ladies & Gents!

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With a region steeped in so much history some of it has to be spooky, which is perfect for this Halloween Half Term. With four locations to choose from along the North Wales coastline you will be spoilt for choice for fun and spooky half term events. Here are our top picks…

the crocky horror show at the crocky trail

When: 27th Oct – 5th Nov. Time: 6pm Start. Prices: £11

The Crocky Trail has pulled out all the stops for Halloween Half Term, making it the most scary and fun Halloween show yet! A 600 yard creepy crawl through the woodland, packed with zombies and monsters, you can venture down into the Catacombs if you dare, brand new for 2016, this dark, claustrophobic and deep place, where there is no escape from what will find you there. The Catacombs is a live action horror event, with talented and spooky actors, not the faint hearted or children. There are 4 nights of amazing firework show, Ken Fox and his daring Wall of Death of show as well as Titanic and the all the normal attractions being open too.

ghost city tour at Chester

When: everyday. Time: 6pm – 9pm. Price: £10

A night time journey around the eerie haunts of Chester, steeped in 2000 years worth of very sketchy history with hundreds of reported ghost sightings. Your ghost hunter guide will take you to revisit scenes of supernatural happenings and macabre events from Chester’s mysterious and pretty murky past. It’s best to book your tour to avoid disappointment over half term and Halloween night as the tours do fill up fast, don’t miss out on this spooky tour!

torchlight tours at Seaquarium Rhyl

When: 22nd – 31st. Time: 5:15 – 8pm. Prices: £11.99

During the day SeaQuarium Rhyl will play host to the Spooky Spectacular Halloween Half Term Week, where family fun is to be had with a spooky seal shows, crafts and games and a variety of spooky characters and ghostly figures tell scary stories, everyone is encouraged to dress up and help Jasper the Jellyfish find his friends who are all under a spooky spell! But at night things start to go bump and squeal during the Torchlight Tours! You’ll see the darker side and unearth some of SeaQuarium’s eerie tales, visit the seals for their night time feed, face your fears and meet the rats and spiders and learn creepy and fascinating facts during the Touch Pool talk. A trick or treat goodie bag for everyone at the end, the torchlight tours are by booking only, if you are looking for an extra spooky experience, the later slot is best.

Our very own Talacre Beach and New Pines Holiday Home Park’s will have their own Halloween Spooktacular events over Half Term, with fun games, spooky face painting and lots of silly shenanigans from Charlie Bear himself! Don’t miss out on these amazing and fun events, pop into reception for a ticket today!

Happy Halloween Ghosts and Ghouls!

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Stay at Cheddar Woods Resort & Spa and explore beautiful Somerset by foot, Darwin Escapes offers the top 10 gadgets for a walkers holiday! Somerset is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the UK, a true nature lovers dream. With a huge range of day walks, from short jaunts to long distance rambles, you can the perfect pace for you using our wonderful Cheddar Woods Resort & Spa as a relaxing base while you explore the region. Everything on the below list can be found on the Go Outdoors website, and the prices have been taken from certain stock items. So Frodo go and grab your Samwise and take a look at these must-have gadgets for a trek through Middle Earth (or Somerset…).

Smartphone Dry Bag

Cost £17.99

This bad is amazing and worth every penny, with foam on the back for extra protection and a clear touch screen front for ease of use. It even comes with attachments, including a belt clip, to help protect and keep your precious close!

Turbo Flame Ranger Lighter

Cost £9.90

Perfect for those times you need a mini blow torch on your travels. It has two high powered blue flames (yellow is so last season) that are strong enough to burn in high winds (like at the top of Mordor). Be careful, this puppy is strong and can be dangerous!

Veho MUVI ™ Atom Micro Camcorder

Cost £69.99

This is a super small alternative to the GoPro, it’s one of the smallest camcorders in the world and easily clips to your helmet or belt. Perfect to document your Lord of the Rings journey, although with 90 minutes it’s more like the Fellowship of the Ring.

Emergency Whistle

Cost £1.99

This isn’t technically a gadget, but you can’t beat getting someone’s attention with an old fashioned sharp whistle – it’ll definitely get you noticed if you’re in need of help.

Key Rack Locker

Cost £4.49

A hand walking hack, it can hold up to 6 keys on funky coloured racks, perfect for secure and easily accessible keys. Never worry about losing the one ring to rule them all again (or just your car keys…)

Emergency Phone Charger

Cost £5.99

This is the ideal pocket size and charges via a simple USB cable. Perfect to give your phone that hit of juice when out and about, and in need of giving Gandalf a call.

Keychain Compass & Thermometer

Cost £1.49

Perfectly sized to be handy, but not get in the way. A mini compass in case you get lost (and know how to use one) and a thermometer just to let you know how cold it really is on your wanders.

Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Cost £22.50

Because who doesn’t want some tunes to enjoy on your journey? Either crank it up on your walk, or relax when you find that outstanding elevenses spot!

Handwarmer Gel Packs

Cost £3.99

Little pack of loveliness on a winter’s walk! One for each pocket, these clever little blighters will toast your digits in the chilly weather.

Hi Gear Ridgeback 20 Daypack

Cost £8

This is quite specific, there are literally thousands of back packs out there to chose from. It will hold all your goodies for your walk, with padded shoulder straps, an adjustable chest strap and side bottle storage! Have everything you need but still be comfortable on your rambling!

Now you’re ready for the journey ahead Frodo! Visit Somerset County Council website and download some maps or use their journey planner to help on your trip too!

Happy Adventuring (and watch out for Golem!)

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This award winning deli & canteen in Axminster has something to offer everyone, and the HQ has even more!


River Cottage is owned by multi-award winning writer and broadcaster Hugh Fearney–Whittingstall, known for his commitment to seasonal and ethically sourced food. This commitment helped establish River Cottage and the ethos flows through all four of the locations, from Bristol and Plymouth to Winchester and Axminster. The River Cottage Deli & Canteen in Axminster is only a short distance from our own Hawkchurch Resort & Spa, with the River Cottage HQ being only a short drive away in the stunning Axe Valley.


River Cottage HQ

Located between Lyme Regis and Axminster, River Cottage HQ offers a fantastic Cooking School with something for everyone. So if you are (like me) a newbie to the cooking world, enthusiastic about food, or even a full blown Jamie Oliver, there will be a course to inspire you! The hands on school has specialist fish or meat courses, bread making and baking classes, as well as how to courses on gardening, fishing and even seashore foraging!


award winning chefs

The HQ also offers fabulous food all locally sourced in line with the sustainability ethos of the company, at the recent Footprint Awards this was celebrated with head chef Gelf Anderson winning the prestigious award! Chef Anderson runs the kitchens, as well as the ever busy cooking school, and is key to guests gaining insight on River Cottage’s sustainable credentials, the Footprint Award recognises an individual’s contribution to environmental, social and economical sustainability. Gelf Anderson not only practices this at River Cottage, but through his enthusiasm and engagement with clients, excites them and leaves them buzzing and full of ideas about ethical sustainability. Congratulation Chef Anderson, a well deserved winner!


the River Cottage festival

Taking place over a weekend in September (17th & 18th Sept) this festival is the first ever music festival to be held at River Cottage HQ! This family fun weekend will have the farm house buzzing with fun activities, fantastic music and, of course, mind blowing food. Marvel at the falconry and horse displays, see these magical animals up close and personal, pick up tips from the demonstrations by local crafts people and grab a locally brewed beverage from the drinks tent! Kids will have an amazing weekend from performing their own puppet show to mastering spectacular circus tricks! There are day and weekend tickets available, so let your inner hippie out for brilliant music, fun activities, Devonshire treasure and mouth watering food!

River Cottage HQ has loads on offer, and the Axminster Deli & Canteen offers a delicious meal, glorious sweets and live music, all with the same sustainable, locally sourced produces ethos of the company. So why not pop in and say hello, grab a bite and a drink in the atmosphere!

Happy Adventuring Foodies!

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We love some good scenery here at Darwin Escapes, and there is no striking landscape quite like Cumbria!


Thanet Well Lodge Retreat is located just minutes away from beautiful Penrith, the scenery around Cumbria and waking in your holiday lodge to the mountains is like no other. Here are our favourite instagram posts from around Thanet Well and the Penrith area…


1. imagine waking up to this

A post shared by Gibson90 (@bhoygibson21) on

2. secret hideaways

A post shared by Faith (@abbey_yorks) on

3. stunning mountain scenery

4. heaven in a hot tub

A post shared by Darwin Escapes (@darwinescapes) on

5. a surprise around every corner

6. animal friendly areas

7. peaceful personified

A photo posted by Emma (@emma_1091) on Jun 9, 2016 at 2:03pm PDT

8. explore the region your way

A post shared by Geoff Moorhouse (@headbadge) on

9. wonderful wildlife (that’s one way to keep cool)

10. surrounded by history

Thank you to everyone for their stunning images! Remember the next you’re visiting Thanet Well to use the #thanetwell or #thanetwelllodges and we could be using your images in out next post!

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