Our favourite reasons to visit Costa Brava this summer

Costa Brava Ocean View

Costa Brava Ocean ViewOne of the many benefits of caravan ownership is getting to know the places that the tourists don’t see. And nowhere is that truer than on Spain’s Costa Brava. This stunning 200 km long stretch of coastline is famed for its crystal clear waters and golden sandy beaches but there’s plenty more to explore.

This spectacular coast offers great food, fascinating history and incredible art alongside those fabulous lazy beach days. Those of us with holiday homes on the Costa Brava already know some of its best-kept secrets. Isn’t it time you found out more?

Fascinating history

Walk among the Greek and Roman ruins of Empuries and you’re walking in the footsteps of Emperors. Plus the views of the sparkling seas of the Mediterranean are spectacular.

But the Costa Brava isn’t all ancient history; medieval towns such as Peratallada and Besalù are filled with charm while Game of Thrones fans won’t want to miss the medieval quarter of beautiful Girona where the series was filmed.

Incredible weather

The Costa Brava can be slightly cooler than some of Spain’s southern beaches, but that means you can enjoy them all year round. The climate is mild and warm with plenty of sunshine for enjoying the legendary shoreline.

You could spend ages exploring these stretches of wide golden sands from the trendy town beaches to unspoiled and hidden coves. We love Tossa de Mar for its spectacular scenery and choice of three superb beaches with great facilities. Plus the old town itself is absolutely unmissable.

Superb sport

If sport’s your thing then there’s no better place than the Costa Brava. Whether you fancy a round of golf on a world-class course, superb kayaking and snorkelling or some of the best cycling country in the world (Girona is where the professionals live and train) there’s no better part of Spain.

Amazing art

One of Catalan’s most famous sons is Salvador Dali, the surrealist who made a sofa out of Mae West’s lips and turned melted clocks into desirable objects. The Dali Theatre and Museum in his hometown of Figueras is the largest surrealist monument in the world and is packed full of his weird and wonderful artworks.

Marvellous mountains

You might come to the Costa Brava for the beaches but you won’t want to miss the mountains. Discover gorgeous Pyreneean villages such as Beget and Oix and peaks up to 3,000 metres with commanding views of the surrounding area. Visit in the winter months and enjoy some super skiing at Vallter 2000 and La Molina. Explore by foot or on an e-bike to enjoy the spectacular scenery.

Gorgeous gastronomy

No trip to this part of the world is complete without exploring the local gastronomy. The Costa Brava is one of the most gastronomic destinations in Spain, with traditional cafes and Michelin-starred restaurants to tempt you.

You won’t want to miss a fully loaded paella with delicious local seafood, but you’ll also want to try other surf and turf dishes and local specialities including Xai Rostit Amb 12 Cabeçes d’All or lamb cooked with 12 heads of garlic and Suquet de Peix the traditional seafood stew that changes with the seasons. And no visitor should leave without tasting pata negra ham, pan con tomate or creme catalane!

Adding an outside room to your mobile home with a porch

Mobile home with porch

One of the best additions you can make to your mobile home is a porch. More than just somewhere to sit and sip a glass of wine when the sun goes down, a porch adds an entire outdoor room, giving you some incredible extra living space.

It’s easy enough to plan a deck, although you’re likely to need permission from your park management. Once you get the green light, the only limit to what you can create is your imagination – and your budget!

Mobile home with porchAn open and shut case

The biggest design decision you’ll need to make is whether you want to leave your porch open to the elements or you intend to add some kind of roof. This doesn’t have to be a permanent structure; you could add an awning in the summer when you need the shade, or even a pergola that plants can scramble over for an attractive cottagey look. Perhaps you want to add some glazing so that you can use your outdoor room throughout the year.

For holiday homes abroad, the option of creating a roof makes a lot of sense as you’ll value the shade at the height of the summer. And when the weather turns miserable, you can still enjoy the view from your porch. But be warned, a conservatory-style glazed structure can get incredibly hot in the summer. Be prepared to add blinds or even consider a lightweight tiled roof.

You could also consider extending the roof to create a carport. And don’t forget the underside of your deck; this makes a great storage area for all your summer furniture and other seasonal gear.

Budgeting for materials

Once you’ve made your design decisions, you’ll need to set a budget. It’s advisable not to skimp on materials unless you want your deck to need major repairs within a few years. Always buy the best materials you can afford because cutting costs at this stage can be expensive in the long run.

Composite decking may be the most expensive option but it outlasts both hard and softwood decking and stays looking good without treatment for years. Hardwood is a longer lasting option than softwood such as pine but both will need treating to stay looking their best. And don’t forget to factor in the cost of fixings and creating a concrete foundation at least 12 inches thick.

Keep it safe

Whether you’re a young family or an older couple, there are some safety considerations you’ll need to take into account. You’ll need to create either steps or a ramp to the door of your home so the budget needs to include a sturdy grab rail and posts.

You might also want to consider fencing and safety gates for animals and young children. And always use a non-slip material to prevent accidents in the wet.

Get creative

It’s the finishing touches that give your deck personality and make it a defining feature of your holiday home. Decks are made for outdoor living and can really add value when it comes to those long lazy summer evenings.

Furniture and lighting are a must, so invest in some LED or solar powered lights to create the right atmosphere. Then kick back and relax in your new garden room!

Why Millennials are flocking to relocate in Lisbon

woman in Lisbon holding shoes

There are currently 1.1 million people working in the gig economy in the UK alone. But because of the flexibility of their work, many millennials are upping sticks and heading for the sun. After all, if your office is your laptop, all you need is an internet connection – and who wouldn’t want to work somewhere sunnier and more affordable?

That’s why millennials have been flocking to Lisbon since 2014, when it started appearing on lists of must-visit destinations. Since then, tourists have come flocking. Whether you’re thinking of relocating abroad or you’re looking for great value holiday homes, there are plenty of reasons why you should head for the Portuguese capital too!

The weather
Lisbon enjoys a subtropical climate, with balmy average winter temperatures of 14C and just a few months of rainfall. The last time it snowed was back in 1945, so if you’re looking for the endless sun to enjoy Lisbon’s incredible white sandy beaches, you’re in luck. Who wouldn’t want to go to work every day under a deep blue sky?

The history
Steeped in heritage and history, there’s so much to see in Lisbon. Join a walking tour or hop on one of the distinctive yellow trams – number 28 takes you through the picturesque Alfama district. There’s so much to see and do, you won’t want to leave.

You can’t miss the defensive tower of Belem that stands guard over the quayside, an incredible blend of architectural styles that reflect Lisbon’s long history. Take a day trip to beautiful Sintra and see the battlements of St George’s Castle, then finish your day underwater at the incredible Oceanarium.

The food
If you love Nandos, then you’ll love Lisbon. It’s the home of Piri Piri chicken and those moreish custard tarts known as Pasteis de Nata. But there’s so much more on offer when you visit Portugal, and Lisbon’s oceanside location means the fish and seafood are to die for – don’t miss superb crab and June’s sardine festival!

For superior street food try Bifana, garlic and white wine marinaded pork, slapped in a bun and served with hot sauce and ice cold beer. Or feast on Arroz De Marisco packed with herbs, vegetables, and spanking fresh seafood. Portuguese food is fresh and packed with flavour – just right for the climate!

The hospitality
The Portuguese are some of the most laid back people in Europe and are famed for their hospitality. If you’re a millennial wanting to go city hopping it has a wonderful laid back vibe that’s very welcoming. If you’re on holiday you’ll enjoy a charming experience in one of the safest cities in Europe.

The culture
Lisbon’s culture is unlike that of any other country. Fado, the traditional folk music, has no equivalent anywhere in the world. This unique entertainment embraces love, longing, and loss and usually takes place after a good dinner. If visual arts are your thing the national museums house fantastic jewelry, fine porcelain, the famous azulejo tiles and works by Warhol and Bacon.

Lisbon boasts Livraria Bertrand, the world’s oldest bookshop built in the 1700s alongside some stunning modern architecture. It’s the way that the old and the new coexist so seamlessly that makes Lisbon such a fascinating city to visit – or make your home!

View our homes available in Lisbon and Portugal – https://shortly.cc/CSDh

Which Greek islands are best for a spring visit?

Greek Islands

Spring is the perfect time to head for the Mediterranean and the beauty of the Greek islands. Renting holiday homes and immersing yourself in the culture is the best way to really experience this stunning part of the world. With summer temperatures climbing into the mid 30C, the climate in springtime lets you explore the real Greece.

Head for the Ionian islands

These islands just off the mainland have long been a popular destination, thanks to their lush green landscape and easy flight times from the UK. If you loved The Durrells on TV, then you’ll head straight for glorious Corfu, but if you want to avoid the crowds, then the southern islands of Zante and Kefalonia simply have it all.

If you dream of white sandy beaches and turquoise seas, then the beaches on Kefalonia are some of the most beautiful in Greece – in fact, Myrtos beach has been voted the best in Greece 12 times.

Visit in spring and you won’t want to miss the incredible May Day festival, when the entire island celebrates the coming of summer. Holiday homes are available across the island, so you can choose whether to stay in one of the elegant towns or head for a beachside apartment.

Beautiful climate

Zante, or Zakynthos as it is sometimes known, is just a boat ride from Kefalonia and it shares the same beautiful springtime climate. Enjoy swimming and sunbathing on the beautiful beaches including the stunning Navagio beach in Shipwreck Bay, which can only be reached by boat.

Explore the incredible blue caves or the cultural treasures of Zakynthos Town, with its superb Venetian architecture. Zante has a reputation as a party island during the summer, so if you want to enjoy everything it has to offer without the crowds, visit in spring and have the beaches and museums to yourself.

Must see sights

If Greek culture is high on your list of must-sees, then Crete is unmissable. The Palace of Knossos, site of the fabled labyrinth with the Minotaur at its centre, is a World Heritage site for good reason. Believed to be Europe’s oldest city, and mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, there’s been a settlement here since the Bronze Age.

Crete is packed with treasures, many of which can be found in the Heraklion Archeological Museum. But for real drama and mystery, head for the birthplace of Zeus, high on the slopes of Mount Ida. The hike to the Dikteon Cave, like the Samaria Gorge, features breathtaking scenery and is not to be missed.

Why you need to head for Greece in the spring

Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoors type or you just need to feel the sun on your skin, the Greek islands have it all. From the incredible beaches to mountain meadows filled with wildflowers, the landscapes are never less than stunning. And with fewer people around, you can afford to relax and take your time, immersing yourself in the beauty and culture of your surroundings.

Enjoying these beautiful islands without the crowds is a special experience and you’ll find that off-season prices are incredibly affordable. So which Greek islands are best for a spring visit? We’ve shared our choices, but there are so many islands to enjoy, you’ll want to return every year!

How do the French celebrate Easter?

Eiffel tower

An Easter break across the Channel is the perfect way to recharge your batteries. But it’s also an opportunity to experience some very different Easter customs. So whether you plump for holiday homes in Brittany or lodges in the Dordogne, here’s our guide to celebrating Easter the French way!

The legend of the bells

The French think of chocolate as the ‘food of happiness’ and each Easter 13,000 tonnes of it are sold across the country. In every chocolatier’s window you’ll see incredible eggs of all shapes and sizes. But you’ll also see bells fashioned from delicious chocolate and praline waiting to be gobbled up at Easter time. Legend has it that all the church bells in France fly to Rome on Maundy Thursday to be blessed by the Pope, before flying home and dropping eggs and other Easter treats in the gardens of lucky French children.

That’s why you’ll never hear church bells ringing in France between Good Friday and Easter Day, when they ring out joyfully across the country. That’s the sign for French children to run outside and grab the goodies!

An Easter feast

Wherever your holiday home is located, you’ll be in for a treat when it comes to the Easter feast. In Brittany, the end of the scallop season is celebrated in style around Easter time in the beautiful port towns of Pampol and Saint-Quay-Portrieux. With oysters still just in season, what better way to celebrate Easter in Brittany than with a fruits de mer feast followed by the famous salt marsh lamb?

In the Vendee, you can enjoy a host of regional dishes like prefou – a type of garlic bread often stuffed with cheese and meat – and the famous mogettes, a type of white bean, cooked with ham. Accompany your meal with the famous troussepinette, the appropriately named ‘wine of thorns’, flavoured with the young shoots of blackthorn or hawthorn.

If you’re staying in the Dordogne, a visit to the town of Bessieres on Easter Monday is well worth it to participate in the world’s biggest omelette! This strange tradition celebrates the night that Napoleon Bonaparte and his army passed through the town. Having enjoyed an omelette for his dinner, Napoleon ordered that all the eggs in town be used to create a giant omelette for his troops to enjoy. Nowadays, around 15,000 eggs are cracked into a huge dish and stirred by over a dozen chefs before being devoured by the hungry crowd!

Go on an Easter egg hunt

Just like in the UK, this is a hugely popular activity over Easter. The greatest of them all takes place at the Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte where the kids can search for some of the tens of thousands of eggs hidden in the formal gardens while adults can enjoy a tour of this stunning chateau – the inspiration for Versailles. Situated just outside Paris, it’s worth popping over for the weekend to experience the Easter egg fever!

If you prefer an Easter egg hunt with a difference, then try the annual hunt at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Another incredible hunt takes place in the majestic world heritage site of Provins, while dinosaur lovers will adore the hunt through the Jurassic World inspired grounds of the Chateau des Aventuriers in the Vendee.

These Tenerife visitor activities are completely free!

Tenerife beach

There’s so much more to Tenerife than most tourists realise. Far from just a party island, there’s so much to see and do, and all for free! So whether you’re recharging your batteries or contemplating relocating abroad, here are the best free activities in beautiful Tenerife.

See some architectural wonders

What do a Trojan helmet, a cobra and a wave have in common? The answer is they’re all different interpretations of the magnificent Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín that nestles near the harbour in Santa Cruz.

The work of one of Spain’s most famous architects, Santiago Calatrava, it’s a world-class venue, but you don’t have to pay to enjoy the stunning exterior. If you do want to catch some free music, there are free festivals all over the island. Ask for details at the nearest cultural centre.

In total contrast, a visit to the tiny hamlet of Masca involves stepping back in time. Tucked away in the ancient Teno mountains, you’ll ascend and descend by a narrow, winding mountain road that just adds to the sense of discovery.

Enjoy the carnival!

Whether you roam around with a Romaria or land in Santa Cruz for the bright and brash carnival, there are plenty of incredible fiestas throughout the year and they’re all free to attend. Don’t miss out on local delicacies like Gofio Amasado, little savoury cakes with honey and almonds, or one of the great barbecues that’s always on the go. Wash it down with plenty of country wine and don’t forget your fancy dress!

Visit a volcano

Tenerife is dominated by the incredible sight of Mount Teide. At 3,718 metres, it’s the highest mountain in Spain. This slumbering volcano presides over some of the most amazing landscapes you’ll ever see – if you loved Clash of the Titans or wonder where scientists test their space vehicles, you’ve come to the right place. It’s also a spot that’s long been a favourite training ground for professional cyclists, so look out for a Tour de France winner on your travels.

And the volcanic activity doesn’t stop in the astonishing Teide National Park. A trip to the rock pools at Garachico is also not to be missed. Formed by volcanic activity in 1706 when the harbour filled with lava, these pools vary in size and depth, from those that are safe for toddlers to others that are tens of feet deep. The water is a beautiful aquamarine and the pools are filled with subtropical fish – perfect for a lazy afternoon of free fun!

Enjoy the trees

From a picnic among the peaceful pines to a visit to the Dragon Tree, Tenerife is filled with foliage that you can enjoy for nothing. Icod De Los Vinos is a pretty town, but its big attraction is the ancient Millennium Drago tree. This multi-trunked and many crowned wonder of a tree is said to have sprung from the blood of dragons.

For total relaxation, bag your place at a picnic table in one of the Zonas Recreativas in the heart of the Pines. This is where Tinerfeños spend their Sundays, eating, drinking and singing. You’ll have access to a barbecue and fresh water from a spring – the perfect family day out and it won’t cost you a penny!

These ideas will spruce up your mobile holiday home

Linwood 2019 Lounge 4

Whether you’re on a staycation or thinking about relocating abroad, static caravans make great holiday homes while you find your feet and get out exploring. But what if your mobile holiday home is less than inviting? Here are a few ways to spruce up your caravan and make it a cosy bolthole that you’ll want to come back to!

Keep it simple

Don’t bite off more than you can chew! There are some jobs you’ll definitely need to get an expert to do, but you’d be surprised what a difference some simple DIY can make to your holiday home. A coat of paint or some wallpaper on the walls, and some straightforward reupholstery can freshen the place up without costing a fortune. A bold new colour scheme and a change of curtains can quickly spruce up your home.

Update your floors

This is a really quick and easy way to spruce things up and can be quite easy to achieve, depending on the flooring you use. Hard wearing laminates can look far more expensive than they are, while luxury vinyl tile is great for bathrooms and kitchens and looks just like stone or wood. There’s nothing like the luxury feel of carpet in the bedroom, try to look for some bargains at your local carpet centre.

Research the latest trends

Sprucing up your interiors might be as simple as adding a new rug and some cushions, but have you considered the exterior too? Do some research into the latest mobile home trends and think about what might work for your holiday home. Exterior cladding and different roofing can give the place an uplift for relatively little outlay, while efficient glazing and insulation are improvements worth making if you’re thinking of a permanent relocation abroad.

Upgrade your kitchen and bathroom

Just like in your bricks and mortar home, a new kitchen and/or bathroom can really boost the overall appeal of your home. And it needn’t cost a fortune. Local DIY stores can have end of line cabinets and offcuts of work surfaces that are just right for your mobile home kitchen. You may need to shop at specialist retailers for your bathroom, but you can pick up new accessories and wall finishes cheaply when you shop around online. Just a change of tiles and a good clean can really freshen up a white bathroom suite.

Don’t forget the outside

Whether you invest in a full-scale deck or a new set of garden furniture, optimising the outside space is a brilliant way to make your holiday home more appealing. Plant up pots and window boxes with flowers, vegetables or herbs and add a parasol or put up a pergola to provide a shady nook. Adding a veranda is a great way to really maximise your space and add outdoor room – you could even add a hot tub!

Spring clean

If your holiday home hasn’t been used in a while, then a good spring clean is the fastest and cheapest way to spruce it up. All you need are some household cleaning products and plenty of elbow grease. Wash curtains and other soft furnishings, sweep the floors and clean the windows and give everywhere a good airing. It’ll soon look as good as new and ready for you to enjoy another wonderful holiday!

Events Still To Come!

Upcoming Events list

A PLACE IN THE SUN SHOW, MANCHESTER CENTRAL, MANCHESTER – For more info click here
Friday 15th March to Sunday 17th March 2019 (3 days)

WILLERBY SHOWGROUND, HULL, EAST YORKSHIRE –  For more info click here 
Saturday 23rd March and Sunday 24th March 2019 (2 days)

WILLERBY SHOWGROUND, CARLUKE, SCOTLAND –  For more info click here 
Saturday 23rd March and Sunday 24th 2019 (2 days)

THE FRENCH PROPERTY, BUSINESS & LIFESTYLE SHOW – ST HELIER, JERSEY, RADISSON BLU HOTEL Saturday 13th April and Sunday 14th April 2019 (2 days)

WILLERBY SHOWGROUND, CARLUKE, SCOTLAND (S Lanarkshire)
Friday 19th April to Monday 22nd April 2019 (Easter Weekend) (4 days)

A PLACE IN THE SUN SHOW, London Olympia (Kensington)
Friday 10th May to Sunday 12th May 2019 (3 days)

Check out our Facebook Page with More details of all the events!

6 signs that you’re ready to relocate abroad

6 Signs That You're Ready To Relocate Abroad

Have you dreamed of making a life in another country? For most of us, those dreams remain unfulfilled as we choose a family and career over making a big leap. Suddenly, we feel we’re getting too old to try something new. Time may be short, but it’s never too late to take the plunge and make the move.

Ready to try relocating abroad? Here’s how you’ll know when you’re ready to go.

There’s an itch you just can’t scratch

When you’re on holiday, do you have an insatiable desire to see and do everything? Do you have a huge appetite for trying different foods? Do you want to experience different cultures and see the real country?

If your curiosity drives you to want to experience life from another perspective, then you’re ready to move beyond those holiday homes and make the move to another country.

You’re an adventure junkie

Your job is unfulfilling. You don’t want to look back on your life with regret. You’re ready to step outside your comfort zone and experience a real adventure in a new country.

If you want those new experiences that make you feel truly alive, then you’re ready for a move abroad. If you want to live that fuller and richer life that you’ve dreamed of, you need to start planning your move now.

You want to discover the real you

There’s nothing better than the ultimate challenge of moving abroad to help you discover who you really are. When you step away from everything familiar, you have the chance to reassess what’s truly important.

If you want to make the first step, why not look at static caravans in the country you want to move to? You’ll have a base from which to really get to know the culture, without spending too much of your relocation budget.

You don’t want to live with regrets

If you feel strongly that you’ll regret never trying to make the move abroad, it’s time to think seriously about the risk and the reward, and to balance the stress you feel now with the fulfillment of making the change. Long stay holiday homes are a great way to start experiencing a life with no regrets, to find out if it really is for you.

It’s not about the money

If you’re serious about making the move, money doesn’t have to be an issue. Renting static caravans as a base is a good way to keep costs low, and eating, travelling and shopping like the locals will help you to stick to a budget. The trick is to be clear on your goals and then create a plan that won’t break the bank.

Because you’re worth it

Whether you look at relocating abroad as a permanent move or a prolonged break, there can be downsides. You may struggle financially or feel uneasy in your new home. You might feel homesick and hate the experience.

But the chances are you won’t. It’s likely that the opportunity to fulfil your lifelong dream will override any obstacles and you’ll find yourself meeting and overcoming challenges with ease. What matters is that you take control of your life and act on the opportunities that are out there.

If relocating abroad is the lifestyle you’ve always wanted, now’s the time!

Tingdene Harrington Video Tour

Tingdene Harrington lodge front

The Brand New Tingdene Harrington is a modern, Nordic-style home available in both leisure and residential models.

The Harrington is a modern, Nordic-style home available in both leisure and residential models. The open plan layout combines clean and light spaces with large windows to the lounge and dining area. Elegant Scandinavian design offers an inherent cosiness with a calming grey, taupe and linen colour scheme. The Harrington is available in two and three bedroom options with en-suite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe to the master bedroom. A layout with separate kitchen is also available. The holiday lodge is built to BS3632 standards.

For more information on this please contact us on UK Freephone: 0800 644 4546