Christmas Gift Ideas

Posted on December 14th, 2016

Christmas is fast approaching and while we’d all love to be one of those people who has long since done all their present shopping and has everything wrapped, it can sometimes be hard to know what to buy for everyone! Do you have a loved one or a family member who you seem to draw a blank with every year? Or perhaps you feel like you’re always buying toiletries, perfumes and aftershaves and would really like to treat someone to something a bit different or unique this Christmas? Why not consider treating them to some sort of activity or event, rather than thinking too hard about a physical present? For example……

Self-catering holiday cottage with hot tub







A holiday or a weekend away

Here at Remarkable Holidays, we obviously can’t think of a better way of treating someone than to whisk them away! If you think your significant other would love a cosy cottage holiday, why not search the Remarkable Holidays website to find your perfect retreat? Many of the cottages listed on our website are perfect for couples, and several even have their own hot tub for that extra touch of Romance. Or perhaps you fancy a weekend city break in a hotel, a spa break or even a trip abroad – the possibilities are endless! And if the idea of going away seems a bit extravagant, perhaps as a couple you could agree to buy it as a joint present to each other; sometimes your other half may be struggling to think of a present for you as much as you are for them!


Car driving experience

Do you know a car fanatic who would just love to experience driving a Ferrari, Lamborghini or Aston Martin for example? Many companies offer the chance to do just that! Or perhaps if off-road driving is more their thing, you could consider a 4 x 4 driving session. Whatever their dream driving experience, you’re sure to be able to find something to suit with a simple search of the web.

Concert or gig tickets

How about getting somebody tickets to see their favourite band or comedian? A quick search on ticket/event websites will bring up any upcoming tour dates.

Sporting experiences

Most of us know someone who just loves their football! What better gift than to treat them to a tour of their favourite team’s stadium? Or for the golf fans out there, you could pay for them a round at their favourite course, or perhaps a course they have previously expressed an interest in playing on. Of course, these ideas could be extended to many other sports!  

Beautiful woman receiving hotstone massage at spa

Spa gifts

Endless options are available when thinking about spa gifts. You could opt for a treatment such as a facial, an Indian head massage, or a full body massage, book a half or full spa day or even stop over for a full on spa mini-break. This would be a lovely gift to buy for someone special in your life, or anyone that you feel deserves a bit of relaxation. Many spas also offer relaxing treatments which are specially designed for mums to be, which could be a perfect gift for a loved one, family member or a friend who is pregnant – a last bit of ‘me time’ before their bundle of joy arrives!

Jan 09-01 031

Hair and beauty vouchers

This could be the ideal gift for someone who loves nothing more than an afternoon in a hair or beauty salon, or just anyone who would love a bit of pampering. For example you could buy them a voucher for a manicure, pedicure, hair cut, or even all three if you’re feeling generous! Many big name salons will offer vouchers on their website, or you could simply pop into somewhere local to you and ask if they sell gift vouchers.

Restaurant vouchers

Is there someone you need to buy a gift for who loves a nice meal out with a lovely bottle of wine? Whatever their preference, whether it’s a rustic Italian, a nice juicy steak or a spicy curry, you’re sure to be able to pick up some gift vouchers at a restaurant they would enjoy. Maybe there’s somewhere they visit time and time again, perhaps you have been somewhere recently that you enjoyed or has a new restaurant opened in your area that you think they would love? This could be a brilliant gift for a couple with children who would love some quality time together, especially if you throw in the offer to babysit for the evening while they do some wining and dining!  


Alcohol experience

Most of us have a favourite tipple and whether it’s beer, wine, gin or champagne, there are numerous experiences on offer involving a drink of choice. These may be a tasting experience, a tasting experience with for example, a vineyard or brewery tour, or may include a food element such as champagne tasting with afternoon tea or beer tasting with a pub lunch – there are so many options to choose from.

Go Ape Cannock Chase - Site 3

Active experiences

Have you got a partner, relative or friend who can only be described as an adrenaline junkie? Or do you know someone who has previously said they would love to try a certain activity? How about booking a bungee jump or a skydive? Of course you would have to be very certain that this would be welcomed by your chosen recipient! If jumping from a great height seems a bit full on, you could always opt for an indoor skydiving session. If you think they would prefer to stay a little closer to the ground you could buy a day at Go Ape; there are numerous locations across the UK which offer a very enjoyable tree top adventure including zip wires and Tarzan swings and also have segway experiences – a great day out for children and adults alike. Other ideas for an active gift include zorbing, paintballing, white water rafting, kayaking, abseiling or trampolining – phew, we’re feeling exhilarated just thinking about it! Whatever you decide for them, you can be certain you’re buying a unique gift which they’d be very unlikely to get in duplicate.

Falconry experience

A gift which would appeal to many people is the chance to get up close and personal with some magnificent birds of prey such as falcons. Many venues offer half or full day experiences; they give you the chance to learn all about these beautiful birds and fly them in stunning countryside.

Remember the above list could also apply for birthdays, anniversaries or Valentine’s day. If you still think the idea of not physically having a present to hand over on the big day feels strange, remember that most of the ideas we have suggested will come with some sort of gift voucher, or failing that why not get creative and design your own?
These sorts of ideas often appeal to people much more than giving and receiving wrapped presents, especially if the recipient’s hobbies or interests are really considered carefully. It takes away the stress of trailing round the shops looking for that perfect something, the recipient is less likely to get something they don’t like, need or have the room for, and they’ll more than likely end up with memories to cherish and talk about for years to come!

Pick your own pumpkins October 2016

Posted on October 28th, 2016

Halloween is upon us once again and children and adults alike love nothing more than getting creative and carving pumpkins. While you could easily buy your pumpkins from the supermarket, why not try something a bit different this year and pick your own while having a fun family day out? Numerous farms have ‘pick your own’ pumpkin patches; you may live close to one or be looking for a family activity to do whilst on a cottage holiday. Here are just a few for some inspiration:

Pumpkins in a field at Beluncle Farm, Kent

Image source:

Beluncle Farm, Rochester, Kent

This family owned farm holds an annual Pick Your Own Pumpkin event, taking place until 30th October. Here, you will be able to find a large variety of different types of pumpkins and squashes. The event allows the farm to support their chosen charities of Crohn’s and Colitis UK (CCUK) and Crohn’s in Childhood Research Association (CICRA).

Piglets Adventure Farm, York, North Yorkshire

This farm park in York is holding a Pumpkin Festival until the 30th October. There is a free pumpkin for every child and various activities taking place such as Trick or Treat Tales, a trailer ride to the pumpkin patch and pumpkin carving.

Crockford Bridge Farm, Surrey

The pumpkin patch at this farm has a varied selection of pumpkins to pick from and there is a variety of activities for children such as apple bobbing, face painting and pumpkin carving over half term.

Kenyon Hall Farm, Warrington

This working family farm hosts an annual Pumpkin Festival until 31st October. Pick pumpkins of different shapes, sizes and colours and enjoy activities such as pumpkin carving and spooky story time. There will also be Halloween themed food and drinks to enjoy.

Cannon Hall Farm, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

The annual Pumpkin Festival at Cannon Hall Farm takes place until 31st October. Children can pick and carve a pumpkin and enjoy many other activities available on the farm such as outdoor adventure play, indoor soft play and tractor rides.

Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Essex

The pumpkin patch is open until 31st October; each paying child gets a free pumpkin to pick and carve and tickets also include entry to Witches and Wizards Week.

Over Farm Market, Over, Gloucester

The Spookyard Daytime Family Fun Event at Over Farm is running until 31st October and includes pumpkin picking, carving and quad train rides.

There are so many more “pick your own” farms available, and remember, pumpkins are not just for carving, they are also great to cook with; use them in soups, stews, curries and much more – yummy for the cooler Autumn nights!

Visit A Farm Park For A Fun Family Day Out!

Posted on August 31st, 2016

Entertaining the kids during weekends and the school holidays can be a challenging task, especially when it comes to finding something the whole family can enjoy! A visit to a farm park can provide a fantastic and memorable day out; children and adults alike will love the opportunity to interact with the animals, not to mention all the other facilities these venues provide. You may be lucky enough to live locally to a farm park or be planning a holiday close to one; we have gathered a list of some the UK and Ireland have to offer.

Hesketh Farm Near Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire






Hesketh Farm Park, North Yorkshire, England –

Thornton Hall Country Park, North Yorkshire, England –

Odds Farm Park, Buckinghamshire, England –

Walby Farm Park, Cumbria, England –

Stockley Farm Park, Cheshire, England –

Park Hall, Shropshire, England –

Bocketts Farm Park, Surrey, England –

Easton Farm Park, Suffolk, England –

Little Owl Farm Park, Worcestershire, England –

Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park, Dorset, England –

Fishers Adventure Farm Park, Sussex, England –

Melsop Farm Park, Norfolk, England –

Bucklebury Farm Park, Berkshire, England –

Monk Park Farm, North Yorkshire, England –

Hall Farm Park, Lincolnshire, England –

Mabie Farm Park, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland –

Wellsfield Farm, Stirling, Scotland –

Dalscone Farm Fun, Dumfries, Scotland –

Briarlands Farm, Stirling, Scotland –

East Links Family Park, East Lothian, Scotland –

Heads of Ayr Farm Park, Ayr, Scotland –

Walnut Tree Farm Park, Newport, Wales –

Folly Farm, Pembrokeshire, Wales –

Cefn Mably Farm Park, Cardiff, Wales –

Cantref Adventure Farm, Powys, Wales –

Foel Farm Park, Anglesey, Wales –

Bodafon Farm Park, Llandudno, Wales –

Streamvale Open Farm, Belfast, Northern Ireland –

The Ark Open Farm, Newtownards, Northern Ireland –

Loughwell Farm Park, Co. Galway, Ireland –

Turoe Pet Farm, Co. Galway, Ireland –

Leahy’s Open Farm, Co. Cork, Ireland –

Secret Valley Wildlife Park, Co. Wexford, Ireland –

Glendeer Pet Farm, Co. Roscommon, Ireland –

Ardmore Open Farm, Co. Waterford, Ireland –

Stonehall Visitor Farm & Wildlife Park, Co. Limerick, Ireland –

Clonfert Pet Farm, Co. Kildare, Ireland –

Ghost Walks In The UK

Posted on October 29th, 2015

It’s almost that time of year again so why not do something a bit different for Halloween and take part in one of the many ghost walks that are available throughout the UK. If you have a cottage holiday coming up or are planning to book a last minute break, this could also be a great way to explore your destination by night and hear some spooky stories or discover fascinating local secrets and myths.


The city of York is a popular destination for ghost walks with several on offer, some of which run almost every day; learn all about the ghoulish tales of a city steeped in history. Most tours are on foot but there is also a Ghost Bus Tour on offer – a sightseeing tour with a difference! The coastal towns of Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay are great opportunities to explore the winding alleyways and hear of tales of shipwrecks, smugglers and local folklore. Or visit the market town of Skipton and pay a visit to the ghosts of Sheep Street; tours are available around the year and there are also Halloween tours available – these tours are for over 16s only but there are also separate children’s Halloween tours available.


Ghost walks take place in the Cornish destinations of St Ives and Penzance and take you through alleyways and graveyards where paranormal activity is still said to be witnessed. One of the tours on offer is led by ghost expert and author Ian Addicoat.


Not for the faint hearted, here’s something a bit different – an overnight ghost walk in Bodmin Jail! Take part in group workshops in different areas of the prison after receiving training in energy management and Reiki, then in the morning, enjoy a full English breakfast included in the price. Definitely not your average evening! Other options for ghost walks in Devon include a tour around the ancient cobbled streets of Plymouth and Brixham, which is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in Britain.


Many of the pubs and stately homes in the county of Dorset are all home to a ghoulish resident; the towns of Dorchester, Weymouth and Bridport all offer ghost walks covering their ancient streets.


Explore the ancient streets of the Roman city of Bath while hearing many haunting stories; one of the most sighted ghosts is the Man in The Black Hat at the Assembly Rooms. Take a ghost walk in Wells, England’s smallest city or for something different, take a tour of the Wookey Hole Caves and unearth the hidden secrets of Halloween.

Cumbria and the Lake District

Enjoy a guided tour and hear many a ghostly tale in the historic city of Carlisle and finish with a Cumberland sausage and mash supper. Or experience the darker side of Cockermouth or the legend and mystery of Keswick – follow ‘The Lady’ if you’re brave!

Southern Scotland and Borders

Edinburgh has several ghost experiences on offer and with some being for adults only, they’re definitely not for the faint hearted! Discover the legendary underground city or take part in a graveyard tour and experience an encounter with The MacKenzie Poltergeist. Learn all about Edinburgh’s grisly past and the infamous characters that once roamed the cobbled streets of the “Old Town.” The hidden history of Dumfries is also waiting to be discovered on a ghost walk that reveals stories such as headless horsemen and tragic spirits. The city of Stirling also has a successful and long standing ghost walk; it’s Old Town being once described as ‘the most densely populated supernatural square mile in all of Scotland.’

So why not partake in a little ghost hunting this Halloween? Go on, we dare you! Search for a Halloween holiday cottage today.

Days Out With Toddlers

Posted on September 18th, 2015

Many of you may be breathing a sigh of relief now that the school holidays are over but for those of you with toddlers, you may still be in need of some inspiration for days out with the little ones.

Zoos and Aquariums

Children and adults alike will enjoy a day out to one of the numerous zoos and aquariums located across the UK and Ireland. The kids will be fascinated by all the different species of animals, birds, insects and sea creatures; many places even provide the opportunity to get up close and personal with the wildlife. Not only will they have a day out to remember, they may even learn a thing or two along the way!


Farm parks   A great way for children to interact with animals is to visit a farm park; they will love petting and even feeding the animals. Many farm parks have a number of other activities and facilities too, for example adventure playgrounds, tractor rides, go karts, cafes and gift shops.  

Seaside On a dry, sunny day, a trip to the seaside provides the perfect day out. Plenty of fresh air, walks on the beach, ice cream, rides…what’s not to enjoy!
The Height of Excitement

Picnics in the park

A fun day out doesn’t need to cost the earth, most of us live within a short distance of a local park; children love to play outside and the fresh air will do them the world of good. Or if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous and fancy a change or scene, pack a picnic, hop in the car and head out further afield for a woodland walk or to a nature park. You may even spot some woodland critters!

Indoor/soft play centres

If the weather is not on your side, fear not! There are many indoor activities you can do which the weather can’t spoil. Search for your nearest indoor play centre for an excellent source of stimulation for kids and watch them delight in running round.

Swimming pools

Swimming is not only an important life skill and a great source of exercise but also a very enjoyable activity. Many swimming pools offer parent and toddler, or even baby swimming lessons – a great way to bond while getting them used to the water. Contact your local pool for details or simply go for a splash about! Why not go with a friend then you can even take it in turns to fit in a few lengths.

Children’s centres

Local children’s centres have a variety of sessions for young children which help to stimulate their senses and let their imaginations grow; many of the sessions do not require booking, run even week and provide a great way for both parents and children to socialise. Contact your nearest centre for details of activities.

The school holidays may be over for now but…

The next one will be here before you know it, why not start planning a break away for the family? A trip away will provide a change of scene for all the family and could provide the opportunity for some of the activities listed above if they are not available in your local area.

Click here to search for your perfect break.

Spooky York!

Posted on October 20th, 2013

York Minster by nightHalloween is almost upon us, so what better time of year for a ghost walk in the ever fascinating city of York?  There are several to choose from, each offering a collection of spooky tales in their own unique way. York is a city famous for being steeped in history and a ghost walk will offer you a wonderful opportunity to uncover the legends which you never knew existed.  Follow the links below to find out more about each tour:-


York DungeonIf you want an even more memorable Halloween, completing your trip with a visit to The York Dungeon is a must. With a variety of shows, there are plenty of scary stories to keep you entertained and for Halloween 2013, there will be even more surprises in store. For more details or to book your tickets, visit

Have a spooky time!

School Summer Holidays 2013!

Posted on July 23rd, 2013

Looking for ideas to entertain the kids over the summer holidays? Why not have a day out to one of the many UK theme parks? Here are a few of our suggestions:


  • Lightwater Valley – Ripon, North Yorkshire
  • Flamingo Land – Malton, North Yorkshire
  • Blackpool Pleasure Beach – Lancashire
  • Alton Towers – Staffordshire
  • Thorpe Park – Surrey
  • Legoland – Berkshire


Alton Towers