Get set for summer

Kate Simon finds some extremely appealing getaway ideas

Center Parcs opens its new £250m resort in Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire on 6 June (03448 267 723; It will feature 625 forest lodges, a 75-room hotel, two leisure buildings, and a shopping village that includes designer names such as Lulu Guinness and Bulgari. New for the brand is the The Shearing House restaurant, that will serve seasonal, "contemporary" cooking. A four-night midweek break in a two-bedroom woodland lodge costs £1,299 in August.

Young children go free on HF Holidays' (0345 470 7558; new self-guided cycling and walking breaks in the UK this summer. There's a free place for children aged under 11 with every adult booking, plus children aged between 11 and 17 pay half price on the same basis.

Stay in country houses, many in areas of outstanding natural beauty, run by managers who can advise on what to do in the local area and supply Ordnance Survey maps and notes on recommended walking and cycling routes. For example, a week at Abingworth Hall in Sussex, with pool, putting green and croquet lawn, secure bike storage and boot room, costs £650 per adult, including breakfast, picnic lunch and three-course dinner each day.

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Get set for summer: Slow

Get the white sand between your toes on the west coast of Ireland on a two-week holiday that takes in a stretch of the new Wild Atlantic Way, the 2,400km coastal driving route from Donegal to Cork that launched earlier this year. Irish Ferries Holidays (08717 300 400; is offering 14-night, two-centre tours in Galway and Kerry, staying at Spiddal Holiday Homes in Galway, a collection of whitewashed cottages newly built in traditional style, with access to a games room, tennis courts and play area, and Dingle Harbour Cottages, a complex of pretty holiday homes set above the sea. It costs £1,614 in total for two adults and two children, including cottage rental and return car ferry crossings. Departs 26 July, 2 and 9 August.

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