In term time it’s important for me to stay healthy and well in order to do my job properly. I do this by eating my greens, getting as much sleep as I can, and making the most of time off. Since starting teaching I haven’t had a day off poorly, and I attribute this partly to the fact that I enjoy my holidays. I always wish I was organised enough to get work out of the way earlier, and though that rarely happens it is always done in time.
This post is about two places I have visited this summer. They are both owned by the same company but in different, but both beautiful, parts of the UK.
In early August I spent a week on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales. The cottage slept two, plus dogs, and was the last available on the small site. It was one of around eight cottages in a horse shoe shape around a courtyard.
The cottage was comfortable, clean and well equipped. It was utterly peaceful and I slept so soundly that it was actually a disappointment to come back to my own bed. There was a field separating the cottage from the cliffs, where the dogs could have a quick run early in the mornings and last thing at night, though we were warned that adders had been spotted basking there in the sunshine.
I always feel that Wales can be overlooked as a holiday destination, but I found the people pleasant and welcoming, the landscape majestic and the beaches golden, sandy and in most cases, crucially, dog-friendly. Whilst the forecast had given nothing but rain, it seemed the sun somehow shone on the peninsula, meaning there was all but one day of glorious weather.
Almost three weeks later it was the final weekend of the holidays and somewhat impulsively, I decided a little trip to the Yorkshire Dales would be a relaxing end to the summer. The cost was higher than I would have liked, but having visited the site before I knew that even if it rained for the three days it would be dry, warm and ideal for the dogs. I could take my laptop, sewing machine (which I regretted not taking to Wales) and with a few bits of shopping there would be more than enough supplies, not least because a small hamper of local produce is provided, as it was in Wales. There are dog walks on the door step, and the beauty of this site is that the lodges are cleverly positioned so you feel like you’re pretty much alone. At night the site echoes with silence, and there are so many stars there is barely room for the night sky.
A few lucky people OWN a lodge here, and the setting is perfect. A mile or so above Richmond there are unspoilt views of trees and fields. The glass wall along the side of the ‘residence’ opens up and there’s a wood burner for the chillier months – my previous visits were in a fabulously frosty November and a very bleak January. There’s a small pond which currently houses a cluster of squeaking baby moorhens, and all around the site, at all times of the day and night, there are hundreds of rabbits. Driving down the slope from the road, you are met with too many pairs of sparkling eyes and cotton tails to count. They are, of course, of particular interest to the dogs.
Richmond is a pleasant Georgian market town, with lots of shops and pubs, a castle and river. Wensleydale is celebrated though it’s from a little way away.
Residences here have 2 or 3 bedrooms. Despite securing a heavily discounted rate (we booked on the morning we arrived) we ended up in a 3 bed, 2 bath one – masses of space for 2 people and 2 dogs. The point of this post is that I would recommend this place to anyone. It’s not cheap but it’s worth it. My third visit will not be my last. Since arriving I’ve sewn some beyond simple curtains and a ‘jackrabbit softie’. I’ve blogged, read and planned some lessons. I’ve watched a lot of episodes of Breaking Bad and trudged across fields over hill and dale. I’m finally feeling rested, refreshed and ready to begin the new school year.