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

What your annual ground rent covers

What Your Ground Rent Covers

Annual Ground Rent (Plot Fee)

The annual fee paid to the park owner is to cover the many costs incurred in order to keep the park and its facilities safely maintained for the benefit of park home owners and visitors. This includes not only the provision of water and mains drainage to each plot but also the maintenance of the grounds, roads, communal lighting and fire and security equipment – all at the required standards.

Facilities provided by the parks vary – your annual plot fee also includes the cost to maintain all of the outdoor and indoor leisure facilities. Outdoor facilities can include a swimming pool (some with a lifeguard during peak season), a jacuzzi, sports pitches for football, tennis, badminton, basketball, petanque and table tennis and most parks also have an outdoor play area for children. Indoor facilities can include a gym, club house, laundrette, play room or library.

All parks will have a reception area – the need for more staff will depend on whether or not the park has a bar, restaurant, take away or shop (many have all of these). Some parks also provide evening entertainment and run a Kid’s Club during the summer months. Most parks will also have the benefit of permanent staff so that you can visit your home at any time of the year.

There will be no local council tax to be paid on your home and many parks allow home owners to sublet – an opportunity to offset the additional income against part or all of the cost of the annual plot fee.

Summary of typical services included (vary for each park)

Facilities

  • swimming pool

  • sports courts / leisure facilities

  • children’s play area

  • entertainment

  • reception service

Site maintenance

  • outdoor lighting

  • roads and access maintenance

Services

  • refuse collection

  • site security

Utilities

  • connection to drainage/sewerage

  • connection to water supply (Generally metered for usage so you only pay for what you use)

  • connection to electricity (Generally metered for usage so you only pay for what you use)

Things to do in Crete this February

Things to do in Crete over a rocky ocean image

There’s no doubt some winter sun is a great way of recharging your batteries. And what better place to enjoy a break or even to think about relocating abroad than Crete? This stunningly beautiful island in the Eastern Mediterranean is a land of myths and legends with miles of white sandy beaches and breathtaking mountain scenery. Said to be the birthplace of Zeus and home to the fabled Minotaur, there’s so much to see and do throughout the year you’ll never want to leave!

Why you need to be in Crete in February

If you want to explore this beautiful island in peace, then February is the perfect time to rent holiday homes or static caravans as a base while you get out and about as many parks remain open all year round. Out of season you’ll pay much less for your accommodation and avoid the crowds for a truly personalised experience. You’ll experience all the sights and sounds of Crete without the crowds for truly relaxing days.

You may need to pack a rain jacket and you could experience some truly incredible thunderstorms over the island, but a few days of wet weather are a small price to pay for the experience of absolute peace and tranquillity. And with high temperatures up to 16 C, you’ll enjoy some sunny afternoons lazing on the gorgeous beaches! If you love wave sports, then the winter is the best time to catch some surf at Falassarna where the waves can hit three metres and more.

Enjoy unique experiences

February is a wonderful time to explore the hinterland of this magical island, and there’s some superb hiking and cycling country to explore. It’s worth hiking into the hills to see the amazing displays of wildflowers and enjoy the intoxicating scent of the wild narcissus. Temperatures are ideal for exploring the ancient trails or even enjoying some winter sports as the magnificent Cretan mountains sparkle with snow throughout the winter.

If you want to experience the unique Cretan way of life then February is the ideal time to do it. Enjoy the sights and sounds of a traditional olive harvest. Visit a rakokazana to enjoy the new season’s raki or enjoy the competition between the many bars and cafes to create the best hot chocolate! If you love birding then you’ll fall in love with the dawn chorus as the almond trees come alive with the song of blue tits, chaffinches and goldfinches.

Unmissable attractions

No visit to Crete is complete without a visit to the historical and cultural treasures of this dazzling island. Knossos is the most famous Minoan site and is the home of the palace of King Minos and rumoured site of the Minotaur’s labyrinth. A little further away are the impressive sites of Phaistos and Agía Triáda where discoveries dating from Neolithic to Roman times have been found. Enjoy it all without the crowds and heat.

Best of all is the Mardi Gras parade in Rethymnon, an unmissable procession of incredible carnival floats to celebrate the end of Lent and the arrival of Easter. This is Crete at its very best and the sights, sounds, smells and incredible food are simply unmissable. To see the real Crete book holiday lodges now and soak up the atmosphere!

Bargain loving Brits – Featuring Saydo Park

Saydo Park - Mollina

Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun is back tomorrow (Thursday 31st January) on Channel 5 at 8pm!

This series will feature Saydo Park and Caravans in the Sun’s representative at Saydo Park – Bambi Dhami.

Bambi came to Mainland Spain to view Saydo Park, and immediately fell in love with the park and life style. Bambi then made the move in September 2016 and spent a year settling in before started work with Caravans in the Sun.

A POPULAR series charting the lives of Britons who swapped high UK price for a new, cheaper life on the Costa del Sol is back for its fourth season.

It’s on every Thursday at 8pm for six episodes of shining a spotlight on the many expatriates who choose Spain to pursue a low-cost lifestyle.

#Bargainlovingbrits #channel5 #bargain

There’s more to Pisa than the leaning tower! Top tourist attractions to see.

pisa

Are you dreaming of spending the miserable winter months in romantic and vibrant Italy? It’s the ideal time to see everything that this beautiful country has to offer, without the crowds. And whether you rent a holiday home or mobile home with low ground rent, there’s so much to see you may want to move in all year round.

Another advantage of off-season Italy is the opportunity to really explore some of its iconic places. Take Pisa – there’s so much more to this beautiful town and area than just the tower. So whether you visit in winter or at any other time of year, here are the unmissable attractions that aren’t the fairytale leaning tower!

Explore the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

In fact, the famous leaning tower is really the bell tower of the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. This visually stunning basilica is built from the local white marble and has a fairytale facade with unmissable bronze doors. The Porta di San Ranieri is embellished with scenes from the life of Christ and is just unmissable.

Standing a little further away is the baptistry with its distinctive red-tiled onion dome which stands on a series of pillars and columns. Inside, the acoustics are extraordinary and the font with its portraits of the saints is a must see.

Enjoy the world-class museums

You might be considering the off season in Spain or Portugal but Pisa is incredibly easy to get to and lies at the heart of the incredible region of Tuscany. Packed with cultural treasures, the Cathedral Museum and the National Museum are both world class. You’ll instantly recognise the bust of Julius Caesar as the most common depiction of the Roman emperor.

The National Museum may not quite beat the Louvre in Paris, France but it has some exquisite illuminated manuscripts dating back to the 12th century. And both museums have astounding views over the town and the leaning tower.

See the real Pisa

At night Pisa is all about the many beautiful palazzos and the riverside walk to the south of town. Grab a gelato and join the crowds taking in sights like the old arsenal at the Torre Guelfa and the Piazza dei Cavalieri, home to Italy’s top university.

You won’t want to miss the best restaurants, either. Seafood is often the dish of the day thanks to Pisa’s coastal roots. That means spanking fresh seafood like oysters and crustaceans. For something more earthy, this region also boasts some wonderful game dishes.

Caravans flock here in the summer and no wonder – the banks of the Arno river become one big outdoor party with microbrewery beers, cocktails and a fabulous aperitivo buffet, while DJs spin banging tunes and bars stay open until 3am. Not your scene? Then opt for a trip to the walled town of Lucca or the majesty of Florence. Or escape to the coast at Viareggio to enjoy some of Italy’s very best beaches.

Head to Italy

Don’t follow the crowds to Portugal and France. Head for Italy in any season and there’s so much to explore, especially when you look beyond the tourist attractions to the real Italy. There’s so much more to Pisa than the leaning tower and any time is the best time to enjoy it!