Travel in the UK doesn't have to be expensive no matter what you've heard. And there are some very good deals around almost all the time if you know where to look.
Because everybody loves a bargain and because I think there's a difference between traveling on a budget (nothing wrong with that, of course) and traveling in style, I'm always looking out for luxury treats at affordable prices.
Every week, I'll bring you the latest goodies I've found - great value deals for getaways, accommodations, dining out, special sales, attractions around the UK and transportation. Don't expect a comprehensive list of everything on offer but rather my recommended selection of what looks fresh and good this week. Here we go
Hot Deals Fresh on May 16, 2013
One Time Only Bank Holiday Bargain
Stay at the The Angel Hotel, a 4-star boutique hotel in historic Bury St Edmunds on end of May Bank Holiday Monday (May 27) and get a special one-day only rate of £95 - a savings of £15. The rate includes a stay in one of the hotel's "Originals" rooms, with full Suffolk Breakfast, parking and unlimited WiFi. The rate is VAT inclusive as well. Visit the hotel website to book this deal.
Take a Crowd for New York Style in Brighton
The Vine Street Studios, in Brighton's North Laines area, bills itself as a New York Loft-style accommodation - all post-industrial chic, with flying staircases, huge windows, stainless steel baths. It sleeps 10 comfortably in its four bedrooms - and in a pinch, with fold out this and that can accommodate 16. And its on sale for the Brighton Festival and beyond. Take it mid-week, until the end of May and 10 Festival goers can stay for a one-night rate of £500. Buy two nights for ten at £750 per night and the third night is free. And two June weekends still remain (June 7-9 and 21-23) and ten of you can party for £1500 instead of the normal weekend price of £1875. Visit their website to see pictures of the loft and for booking details.
Older and Still Valid
Money Off and a Free Bank Holiday Night
That can't be bad. Breaks in Cornwall is knocking £50 off the price of short stays in some of their cottages for the end of May Bank Holiday weekend. Even better, book three nights and they will also throw in the forth night for free. Typical of cottages available for this offer are Juliots Well cottages, outside Camelford, where a four night stay in a two bedroom cottage will cost from £370 for stays between May 24 and 31. The group of five two-bedroom stone-built Cornish cottages is located in the grounds of Juliot's Well Holiday Park in north Cornwall, a family run park with pool playing field, and children's play area. Cottages are equipped with log burners - just in case- and some are dog friendly for a small fee. To book this deal call +44 (0)1621 784666 or book online at their website, using reference earlybooking3.
Save on Half-Term Near the Eden Project
Bay Retreat Villas, a development of 28 self-catering villas on the outskirts of St Merryn is close to lots of great attractions in Cornwall. It's three miles from Padstow, close to seven spectacular bays and within easy reach of the Eden Project. Stay for half-term - between May 28 and June 2 and they'll known £200 off the price. Those dates coincide, as it happens, with the Eden Project's "Freaky Nature with Bugs" half term events. Each house in the development has widescreen TV, including Sky Sports and dvd, central heating and a private garden with terrace and lawn. Four of the villas also welcome dogs. A seven-night stay will cost £750 for up to six sharing. The price of entry to the Eden Project is not included. To book +44 (0)1621 784 666 or book online.
Save on London During Chelsea
If you are planning a London visit for the Chelsea Flower Show, May 21 to 25, why not rent a Chelsea Flat? Hoseasons have some well placed West London studio apartments for two people, near the Earls Court and West Kensington Tube stations and (only a little more than a mile from the show). The cost for two nights, starting on May 21, is just £150. I make that a pretty good per person deal. And think of what you can save on eating out. To book, visit their website or telephone +44(0)844 847 1100.
Plan a Long Weekend Getaway for the Price of a Short One
The London Bridge Hotel is offering three nights for the price of two on weekend breaks through the summer. The 4-star hotel, south of the Thames near London Bridge, is in the heart of some of London's trendiest new districts. The deal includes accommodation, full buffet breakfast each morning and free internet access. To find out about the 3 for 2 deals and other specials, visit the hotel website.
Seaside Breaks for a Steal
A family of four, or two couples, can enjoy an early season, 4-night beach holiday near Cornwall's Porth Beach for just £69 per person (for all four nights!). Actually, make that £39 per person because the deal includes a three course dinner at a nearby restaurant worth £29.95.
The two-bedroom, seaside Porth Veor Villa and Apartments, on the grounds of the Porth Veor Manor Hotel, are a short walk from the beach and either overlook the pool or have beach views. Both bedrooms have TVs and DVDs and their's a widescreen TV in the living room, so after a tiring day in the salty air, everyone can enjoy their own private entertainment. The holiday starts at £69 per person and includes a dinner at Beaucliffe's, a nearby fine dining restaurant. There's also central heating if the weather turns chilly, free wifi and either a private patio or balcony.
The holiday is being offered by Breaks in Cornwall on stays up to May 21. To book, visit their website or telephone +44 (0)1621 784666, quoting reference PRL/35C.
Chatsworth and Luxury, What a Combo
Chatsworth, one of England's most popular stately homes, is noted for its fabulous art collection, its gardens and the 30 rooms you can explore for a glimpse at some truly historic bling.
Take a luxury Derbyshire break at East Lodge, Chatsworth's nearest hotel neighbor, and they'll throw in tickets for a day's visit to Chatsworth - that's a £38 value for the two of you. East Lodge is a privately owned, 12-bedroom country house hotel on the River Derwent. The two-night, Chatsworth House offer includes dinner (in the hotel's 3 AA-rosette restaurant) bed and breakfast both days and a bottle of champagne on arrival. The cost for the break is £240 per person sharing a superior room. To book, ring +44(0)1629-734474.
Walking With a Difference
Champneys Forest Mere, the popular luxury spa, has teemed up with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays to offer a 5-night walking break in the South Downs that looks like very good value to me. For £569 per person, you get:
- five nights dinner, bed&breakfast accommodation
- a welcome reception
- a choice of four daily guided walks
- up to 20 different fitness classes per day to choose from
- unlimited use of all facilities
- and a thalassotherapy pool session
They've packed quite a lot into a price that's less than an average hotel room in Britain. The vacation is being offered on a variety of different dates between May and October. To book, visit the Ramblers Worldwide Holidays website.
Mystery and Murder in the Lakes
The Castle Inn Hotel in the Lake District, near Bassenthwaite Lake plans murder most foul on June 15. Guests will play detective and solve a murder mystery while partaking of a special three course dinner. The biggest mystery is how the hotel is offering dinner, bed and breakfast starting at £52.50 per person. Tickets for the murder mystery evening cost £27.50 per person, with rooms starting at £25 per person for two sharing including breakfast. Besides the mystery evening, guests can use all the hotel facilities during their stay including the indoor pool, sauna, steam room, gym,games room, tennis court, putting green and a pub. To book, visit the hotel website or telephone +44(0)17687 76401
Last Minute Sale
Lastminute.com has teamed up with VisitEngland to offer some very good city breaks. Visit the lastminute.com/VisitEngland website for bargains that could include 4 star hotels in Brighton (from £62), London (from £79), Stratford upon Avon (from £65) and York (£65). As usual with these kinds of offers, a bit of persistence is usually required to score a really good deal
Go Ghost Hunting with This Exclusive Offer
Ghosts are not just for Halloween you know. We're offering an exclusive deal, available only to visitors to this page, for a 5% discount on all ghost hunting events - including but not limited to Halloween events - offered by Haunted Rooms. The company specializes in amazing haunted places to stay, including castles and haunted hotels all over the UK. Check out their schedule of ghost hunting events and their Halloween ghost hunting events. Quote the exclusive About.com United Kingdom Travel code - HRABOUT13 - when booking a ghost hunting event from the website.
Dine and Stay for £99
The Sunday night deal at the Magdalen Chapter Hotel in Exeter includes a room stay for two for just £24 when you spend £75 for dinner in the hotel restaurant. And this not just any hotel restaurant. Chef Ben Bulger was named Devon Life Chef of the Year in 2012. The Sunday night deal is available until December 15, 2013. Book this deal Online or telephone +44 01392 281 000.
If you'd like to polish up your game before Wimbledon leaves you feeling totally inadequate, Champneys Tring, the luxury spa resort in Hertfordshire has spring tennis breaks with Kate Borthwick, founder of Tennis Angels and well known private tennis coach. For £199 per person per night, you get accommodation and full board in the stately home health club - plus a lot of tennis: 50 minutes of cardio coaching, four 50 minute tennis coaching sessions, two 50 minute match play sessions, a personal Q&A seminar session, a lifestyle evening talk and unlimited use of the pool and spa facilities - if you have time to use them between tennis sessions. To book, visit the Champneys website or telephone +44 (0)843 316 2222.