Visit South Devon for a Mother’s Day break

This year Mothering Sunday is on 3rd April. If you want to do something special for your Mum, why not treat her to a fantastic week or short break in the South Hams with Coast & Country Cottages. Bring the whole family, and gather together in one of our larger properties to celebrate… with elegant country houses and luxury converted barns, stylish seaside homes, and spacious ‘chocolate box’ cottages in rural locations, you will be spoilt for choice.

Enjoy the spectacular scenery walking on the South Devon Coast Path, spend time on one of the unspoilt sandy beaches in the spring sunshine or try a delicious locally made ice cream. With a selection of pet friendly properties available, you can even bring your dog on holiday!

For an extra special treat, why not pre-book some pampering for your Mum at Haven Spa & Therapy in Kingsbridge, book a table at Riverford Field Kitchen for a delicious special Sunday lunch, or even order flowers to be delivered direct to your holiday home for her. Coast & Country Cottages have a fantastic ‘Planning Your Stay’ guide filled with local companies that could be useful during your stay. Why not call 01548 843773 and request a copy, or ask one of our experienced team for some guidance and assistance.

If you’re not sure when your Mum might like to go on holiday, why not buy some holiday gift vouchers for a present with a difference…Coast & Country Cottages can provide these to any value. Let your Mum choose her dream holiday property, for a time most convenient for her. These holiday vouchers are a perfect gift for a special mum, who deserves a break away with some well-earned rest and relaxation! Make your Mother’s Day gift this year one to remember.


Another One Bites The Dust: UK Travel Firm ‘Kiss’ Closes

An estimated seventy-thousand travellers could face cancellation or holiday disruption after travel agency Kiss Flights announced it would cease operations. The firm is one of Britain’s biggest fare and holiday comparison companies, employing several hundred employees and holding accounts for tens-of-thousands of British holidayers, many of whom are currently stuck overseas.

It’s the third bankruptcy of its type this month, with rival travel firm Sun 4 U announcing the end of its consumer travel operations just over a week ago. Both companies have encountered problems in managing cash flow, despite the influx of bookings due to Britain’s peak tourism season. Those with bookings made through Kiss are advised to contact airlines and hotels within the next two days.

While the end of trading is consistent with industry trends, it’s certainly an unusual case. Just under one year ago the company had reported strong financial results, with the first-quarter report posting an operating profit of almost £500,000. Travel industry experts have declared the collapse a failure of strategy, claiming that online bookings have cut into the firm’s profit margin over the last year.

Many of the affected holidayers have experienced this situation before, as Kiss operates using many of the same service providers as now-bust rival Goldtrail. For an unfortunate few, the closure could mean a second holiday cancellation. The majority of travelling families will be covered under credit card insurance programs, although those that spread payments may not receive a complete refund.

The closure of Britain’s leading holiday firms is likely to hurt the sector’s marketability, as travellers lose faith in major operations and take up travel planning independently. Statistics show an increase in the number of Britons booking their holidays without the assistance of a travel firm – almost 90% of holidays were booked through an agent in 1998, compared to just 45% over the last six months.

Newquay’s Wild Summer: Quiet Resort Town or Bar Central?

One of the UK’s top tourism spots could be in the middle of an unwelcome re-branding effort. The town of Newquay, renowned as Britain’s surf capital, is growing increasingly popular with students and recent graduates, particularly those looking for a place to party. The small Cornish resort town has also grown popular with school students at year end as a beach party destination.

While its new popularity certainly pleases some, many locals aren’t so impressed with the town’s new audience. Underage drinking has become fairly common in the town, with a typical night in Newquay revealing drunken tourists, unconscious underage visitors, and an inflow of illegal drug use. Approximately sixty-thousand underage visitors arrived in Newquay throughout July 2010.

It’s a phenomenon that’s causing problems for local residents. The city’s main promenade is home to several major bars and clubs, many of which are located within reach of townhouses and apartments belonging to city residents. While most nights are uneventful and relatively peaceful, during tourist season the noise from bars and nightclubs can routinely continue until 4AM or later.

The prevalence of drunken teens is also a safety concern. Newquay’s cliffs are a hazard, although they are easily avoided by most visitors. Throughout the past twelve months, three teens fell from the city’s cliffs, two of whom died. Parents of those involved in the incidents have blamed simple access to alcohol for the deaths, claiming that the teens wouldn’t be admitted to bars elsewhere.

While the surge in underage drinking is certainly alarming, the town remains one of the UK’s top tourist attractions, and for good reason. With calm summertime weather and some of the country’s best surf beaches, it’s unlikely that Newquay’s reputation for fun will disappear. Residents, however, are hopeful that the town’s fun atmosphere will be met with slightly less reckless abandon.


57% of Britons Would Like to Retire Overseas, Survey Data Shows

Just over forty percent of Britons would like to retire within the United Kingdom, data from a new survey by Aon Consulting has revealed. Over half of those consulted would prefer to retire outside of the UK, with high-temperature countries such as Spain and Greece winning the popular vote. A smaller number of Britons have also demonstrated interest in retiring to the South Pacific.

Britain’s retirement choices are at odds with those demonstrated in other European countries. Over eighty percent of Spanish workers plan to retire within their own country, claiming that they will be cared for within their own borders. Weather and liveability are the driving factors behind retirement locations, with the majority of Britons opting to live outside of temperate climate zones.

Not surprisingly, Spain was the top choice for British expat retirees, who claimed that the country’s combination of warm weather and vibrant culture make it an ideal place to live. The United States took second place on the list, with Britons opting to live in high-temperature zones such as Florida and California for their retirement years, eschewing other options in temperate states.

While international retirements are a popular desire amongst working Britons, they come with risks that often don’t factor into traditional retirement planning. Due to the variable value of our currency, the cost of living overseas can often balloon after expatriate retirees have left the country. Expats in countries such as Spain and France may have lost up to 30% of their spending power this year.

Other inconveniences such as excess taxation and raised insurance costs can also put a damper on a tropical retirement. While thousands of Britons leave the country every year for sunnier pastures, it appears that many are doing so without giving proper thought to their finances. Enjoy the sun, but be sure to do so with a stable bank balance.