Self-Catering in Derbyshire: The Perfect Holiday in the UK

Last Easter was fantastic. It was the first year I decided to take the family away at that time of year. We normally have one summer holiday but the children have now reached the age where they prefer to spend time with their mates than with us so I thought an Easter holiday would work better. We decided to go self-catering in Derbyshire and I was blown away.

There are so many types of holidays, we have camped in tents, stayed in caravans and apartments and sometimes we have had all inclusive holidays in hotels with everything you need. Last year we finally tried self-catering and I have to say I loved the flexibility it provided me. I didn’t feel like I needed to be back at our accommodation at a set time, we had the option to eat as and where we pleased if we were out and about. Finally, if I did decide to cook (about four nights out of the seven I did cook) I didn’t have to do it on an open fire or a disposable barbeque. I had everything I needed in a fully functional kitchen. It was a brilliant way to go on holiday and it is something I will be doing again.

Choosing Where to Stay

There was a lot of choice when it came to self-catering. We decided to go for a cottage over the holiday parks and it was such a good choice. The accommodation really was divine. We arrived to a picture card cottage set in the most glorious scenery. We had unobstructed views and we were even able to bring our dog!

Our children were even impressed even though they thought they might find it a bit boring – being teenagers this is usually the case when you present them with the countryside. However, with the stresses they are both under at school and with the social pressures kids seem to suffer with these days they both really seemed to relax, which was wonderful. We did have access to the Internet but we only allowed them to bring one laptop and we surprised that it hardly got a look in during the entire week. They took the time to simply enjoy spending time with us (shocking but true), with each other and even went off to explore the area and take the dog for walks. I really believe it was exactly what they needed, some good old rest and relaxation.

Action Packed Part of the Country

The area has plenty on offer so we spent a lot of time exploring Derbyshire. We took a day to explore Matlock Bath which was full with brilliant shops, a gorgeous river with boat rides to enjoy and there is a theme park there. My husband and I spent time looking for antiques in the quaint antique shops while our two kids went off to Gulliver’s Kingdom for the afternoon. It was a great day and we all slept well that night I can tell you.

There are plenty of theme parks nearby so if you have children that get bored easily or animal mad family members you will find plenty of choice. The countryside itself is brilliant to sit back and enjoy with a glass of wine in the evenings or if you love walking like we do then you will be in your element.

Overall I was won over by our self-catering experience. The location was spot on, the cottage was breath-taking and the freedom self-catering gives you was just perfect. I have actually booked my husband and I another holiday there in September and plan to take the kids back next Easter too.

About the Writer

Frankie Hughes loves holidaying in the UK. Self-catering Derbyshire holidays are one of the options that are available to those looking for rest and relaxation, just like Frankie.

World’s Five Best Airports for Duty Free Shopping

See, buy, fly! Savvy retailers have made their goods available to be browsed and purchased at airports around the world, offering desirable items at tempting tax-free prices. Duty-free shopping debuted in 1947 at Ireland’s Shannon Airport, providing travellers with access to untaxed tobacco and alcohol. Today, with millions of people finding themselves with hours to kill before or between flights, the duty-free retain industry has evolved into a $37 billion global industry.

Dubai International Airport
The winner of over 250 awards in the retail industry, Dubai Duty Free has become one of the most lucrative duty-free shops on the planet. In 2012 alone, Dubai Duty Free performed an incredible 23.5 million transactions, averaging 64,300 per day in it’s 26,000 square metres of space. Apparently delighted with the ironic placement of one of the world’s largest selections of spirits in a country where alcohol is often criminalized, travellers passing through Dubai International purchase over 15 million bottles per year.

Heathrow Airport – London
Providing anything a traveller could ever need with emphasis on fragrance and fashion, the 48,000 square metres of retail space in London’s Heathrow Airport sprawls across five terminals. Everything from skin-care products and tasty treats to books, booze and British memorabilia can be found throughout the airport, but those who seek significant savings on designer items head to Terminals 3 and 5. Terminal 3 hosts globally recognized designers such as Armani, Cartier and Gucci as well as some of Chanel’s most rare and exclusive perfumes. Those who seek the best in British fashion and craftsmanship will find Links of London, Paul Smith and Smythson among the offerings of Terminal 5.

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Charles de Gaulle – Paris
Paris has cultivated a reputation of class and sophistication and those who visit the “City of Lights” can never seem to get enough. The duty-free shops at Charles de Gaulle offer tasty French delicacies and luscious lines of skin-care products and cosmetics. Of course, the best savings to be had in duty-free facilities are on the most heavily taxed items, so smart shoppers wait until they reach the airport to splurge on fine wines or a bottle of Courvoisier.

Chek Lap Kok – Hong Kong
Some of the world’s best shopping can be found in Hong Kong and the duty-free shops of Chek Lap Kok Airport are no exception. This airport offers the impressive variety of electronics, cosmetics and other consumer goods that travellers expect to see during a visit to Hong Kong and match prices with retail outlets throughout the city. Quality items are available in every price range and shopping can be done both in person and online prior to arrival.

Incheon – Seoul
After Dubai and Heathrow, Incheon serves as the world’s third-largest duty-free shopping facility. Along with the usual savings on alcohol and cigarettes, shoppers at Incheon will find that the stars of the South Korean skies are cosmetics and fragrances. This airport offers several beauty lines that are exclusive to the country, and features the world’s only duty-free Louis Vuitton boutique.

Written by Kyla Houston

Kyla prides herself as a frugal mom and a smart shopping queen. She loves to stock up on cheap duty free beauty products when she travels. She also loves spotting good deals from Kmart catalogue for cheap products that work as good as the high-end brands.

Five Fun Family Days Out in Merseyside


Sometimes, when you’re looking for a fun place to take the whole family, you can think and think and not come up with anything you’ve not done before. And at other times, you can list a load of great ideas, but they’re all miles away – Legoland Windsor or Edinburgh Zoo, for example, or maybe even Disney World Florida!

Fortunately, there are a lot more places and activities on your doorstep than you might think. And luckily for you, we’ve compiled this nifty little list of suggestions, so if you’re in Merseyside, here are some great ideas that won’t burn the petrol!

Knowsley Safari Park, Prescot

If you take a trip to Knowsley Safari Park, you’re in for a wild day out! With more than 700 different exotic animals from all over the world, there is plenty to keep you and the kids entertained. Awesome sights such as Siberian tigers and African elephants are mixed with some lesser-known ones, like the Cape buffalo and Pere Davids’s deer.

There’s also a birds of prey experience and a bat forest, and for a bit of fun you can go wild on the many amusement rides like the Jungle Dodgems, or even watch the cheeky sea lion show!

The Beatles Story, Liverpool

For a bit of local (and global!) cultural history with a groovy twist, look no further than the Beatles Story. Nestled in the Albert Dock, the Story transports visitors on a trippy trip through the life and music of The Beatles (what else?).

From the Cavern Club to Sgt Pepper’s, the Beatles Story covers it all, lovingly narrated by Julia Lennon. There’s even a Fab 4D ride, so come on down for a psychedelically good day out!

Spaceport, Wirral

Blast off to the Spaceport at Seacombe Ferry Terminal for an adventure that is truly out of this world! Covering the Solar System, the Milky Way and the Final Frontier, plus a HUGE exhibition space on the first floor, kids and adults alike will be seeing stars.

Also, for a really Grand Day Out, there’s currently a cracking Wallace & Gromit in Space exhibition!

Ness Botanic Gardens, Neston

For a change of pace, visit Ness Gardens and have a leisurely, relaxing day amongst the lush greenery. With thousands of different types of plants, there’s loads to see – bring the grandparents along too! There are some carnivorous plants as well, to keep the little ones fascinated.

Visit the website for the plants of the month, but make sure you don’t miss having a picnic overlooking the lovely Dee estuary!

Wowballs, Liverpool

This is another attraction down on the famed Albert Dock, but don’t let that cause you to think it’s more of the same – this is anything but middle of the road! Wowballs are walk on water inflatable balls: you get in and start running, becoming a hamster on the water!

Try playing your own game of water ball dodgems – you’ll have a whale of a time and without getting wet!



About the author:
Post by Jack Nilson a family man from North West England.