Family travel: 'We want a rural, festive weekend'


Q. Our extended family is unable to spend Christmas together, so we're hoping to get together for a weekend in the next few weeks. However, we're finding availability difficult for 12 of us. Since we will be travelling from various parts of the country, somewhere in the middle would be ideal, as would somewhere with facilities and/or activities for children and some scenic country walks. Any ideas? F Worth, via email

A.There is still some availability for holiday rentals in the run-up to the festive break. While the Christmas and new year period is traditionally as busy as the summer break, the weeks preceding 25 December often experience a slowdown in bookings.

Rural Retreats (01386 701 177; ruralretreats.co.uk) still has a decent number of large properties available until the week before Christmas, from Cornwall and Kent, to Scotland, Norfolk and Pembrokeshire.

Fairly central is The White House in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire. The detached Georgian property sleeps 12 guests in six handsomely decorated rooms, each with an en-suite bathroom or shower. The farmhouse kitchen is supplemented by a dining room with seating for 12 and there's a spacious garden with car parking available. While there aren't specific facilities for children, cots and high chairs can be provided. If there aren't cooks among you, then the gourmet market town of Ludlow is also just 15 minutes away.

On the weekend of 13 December, the Ludlow Choral Society is hosting a Christmas concert and there's a Christmas Festival at the Bull Hotel (01584 875 053; ludlow.org.uk). Three nights' rental of The White House, from 12-14 December, costs £1,155.

The Big Domain (01326 240028; thebigdomain.com), which specialises in larger rentals, has availability in a dozen of its properties before Christmas, ranging from a vicarage in Devon to a manor house in Herefordshire, with some discounts available. Some of its houses accommodate up to 30 guests, but one of the smaller lodgings available is Brockington Hall in Bodenham, Herefordshire, which sleeps 18 and can provide cots.

With a golf course, library, computer room and games room complete with pool table, juke box and table tennis, there's little reason to leave the recently renovated house. However, the towns of Hereford and Worcester are a short drive away, with the Worcestershire countryside providing opportunities for bracing winter walks (01905 728787; visitworcestershire.org).

From 12-21 December, Spetchley Park Gardens near Worcester is staging a family Christmas winter walk event (01453 810 303; spetchleygardens.co.uk). Two nights' rental of Brockington Hall over the weekends of 6-7 or 13-14 December, taking into account a special 25 per cent discount, is £1,987, which includes a breakfast hamper.

English Country Cottages (0845 268 0788; english-country-cottages.co.uk) has a crop of big houses available in early December, including a grade II-listed farmhouse near Halifax in West Yorkshire. Lower Moulson Place has retained original features and sleeps up to 13 guests in bright, modern bedrooms. There is a games room, plasma screen TV and a dining room and a large lawned garden with an unfenced pond. The house is situated on the edge of the Pennines, so ramblers would be well catered for. Two nights' rental from 6-7 December is a very reasonable £741.

Send your family travel queries to The Independent Parent, Travel Desk, The Independent, Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, or e-mail crusoe@independent.co.uk

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm actor was just 68
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Day In a Page

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices