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why should i book direct

We all go to the large booking sites to look for accommodation, however I add another step and I think you should to.  I use the booking sites to find suitable available accommodation, then I google the accommodation name and place my booking direct. This has led to some startling results over the years. 

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Why you should Book Direct

Gower Peninsula, Beaches and Castles

The Gower Peninsula juts out of the south Wales coastline, westwards from Swansea. It was the very first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is well know for the many beaches along its coastline. I have also discovered a handful of glorious castles , much less well known, but brilliantly adapted for visitors. This combination of good facilities and emptiness make these castles feel like a personal discovery, set as they are in atmospheric rural locations.

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Rhossili Bunkhouse Gower Beaches

Fresh air holiday on the Isle of Mull

An opportunity for me and my family to spend five super days on a fresh air holiday on Mull, which is fast becoming my favourite island. We did see Eagles on three separate occasions but sadly, look as we did, the shy elusive otters evaded our attention. What better reason to come back.

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famous tobermory Cat Isle of Mull

Holy Island of Lindisfarne

On a summer holiday in Northumberland we were staying at The Hides in Seahouses and had taken our bikes across the causeway to Holy Island. The tide was coming in but the romance of the island was luring us to stay longer.

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Falmouth Hostel Holiday

I plan on spending around 6/7 days on my Falmouth Hostel holiday. My intention is to explore this area of the Cornish Riviera by walking, assisted by various train journeys where and whenever required. My base is Falmouth Backpackers Hostel five minutes stroll from the town’s rail station.

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boats in the river harbour viewed on a Falmouth hostel holiday

North Norfolk Coast in a self catering bunkhouse

The North Norfolk Coast belongs to the sky. It is filled with coastal wildlife, salt mashes and picaresque villages with ancient roots. There are stunning seascapes, seaside towns and not much evidence of the hurley burly of modern life. That is why Deepdale is such a useful find, unusual in rural North Norfolk, there is tourist information, shopping with great food available, camping and hostel accommodation all in the authentic relaxed village of Deepdale.

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Deepdale Granary

A romantic getaway to Aberystwyth

Brian Shaefer-Dryer spent an afternoon and evening in Aberyswyth staying at Maes Y Mor hostel. He found this seaside town full of interesting venues, great sea views and full of entertainment some even from the acrobatic displays of the local avian wildlife which all together added up to the perfect romantic getaway to Aberystwyth.

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getaway to aberystwyth

Wild and Wonderful Scottish North Coast Accommodation

The Highland Haven feels like it is at the edge of the world right up on the Scottish North Coast. Brian Sutherland visited with his family and experienced a warm welcome to this newly renovated innovative hostel. A must visit if you are looking for Scottish north coast accommodation.

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bb bunkhouse east mey

Greenhead to Bellingham: Pennine Way meets Hadrians Wall

Almost immediately after leaving Greenhead on the way to Bellingham, the Pennine Way path joins the ruins of Hadrian’s Wall. It continues along this extremely well preserved section of the wall for the next 8 miles. As soon as it turned away from Hadrian’s Wall I felt like I was back where I belonged. After 200 miles, I felt connected to the Pennine Way. It hadn’t always been kind to me but I didn’t take it personally, because this is part of what it means to walk any long-distance path.

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Greenhead to Bellingham Pennine Way meets Hadrians wall

Wildlife at the Ross of Mull

Mull is a Hebridean island with few settlements and large areas of open wilderness populated by both rare and common wildlife.  During our few winter days on the island we spotted Otters playing in the bright waters of a sea loch, Whooper Swans, Deer, a Hen Harrier, and a Heron, not to mention the free roaming sheep and Hairy Coos.

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whooper swans wildlife on mull

Woodys Top and the history of walking in the Lincolnshire Wolds

I first heard of the Lincolnshire Wolds as a member of the YHA, hearing talk of the iconic Woodys Top Youth Hostel. It took another 20 year to get around to visiting this quiet and beautiful area, by which time Woodys Top hostel had closed. However I soon found, hidden amidst the beautiful countryside, other remnants from the iconic era of rambling that founded the YHA.

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Walking in the Lincolnshire Wolds history

The Wicked Ways of the OTA’s

If I could only say one thing in this blog, I would say beware of booking.com.  Be aware that the minute you list a single bed with them, direct bookings from returning guests and word of mouth referrals will start to come to via booking.com.  You lose 15% and booking.com gets the upper hand.   

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Why not to book on booking.com

Wild and Wonderful Scottish North Coast Accommodation

The Highland Haven feels like it is at the edge of the world right up on the Scottish North Coast. Brian Sutherland visited with his family and experienced a warm welcome to this newly renovated innovative hostel. A must visit if you are looking for Scottish north coast accommodation.

Read more

bb bunkhouse east mey

South Lincolnshire Walking Festival

Following the successful Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival this spring,  it’s now time to get your boots on for the return of the popular South Lincolnshire Walking Festival in October.

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Independent Hostels Stand at the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival

Greenhead to Bellingham: Pennine Way meets Hadrians Wall

Almost immediately after leaving Greenhead on the way to Bellingham, the Pennine Way path joins the ruins of Hadrian’s Wall. It continues along this extremely well preserved section of the wall for the next 8 miles. As soon as it turned away from Hadrian’s Wall I felt like I was back where I belonged. After 200 miles, I felt connected to the Pennine Way. It hadn’t always been kind to me but I didn’t take it personally, because this is part of what it means to walk any long-distance path.

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Greenhead to Bellingham Pennine Way meets Hadrians wall

Hebden Bridge Hostel Accommodation on the Pennine Way

After walking my third day of the Pennine Way my destination was Hebden Bridge Eco-Hostel, and my friend decided to join me there. The hostel is located on the east end of town and up a hill, but this gave us the advantage of being able to pass by the artisanal shops, sidewalk cafes, and art galleries that lined the streets.

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hebden bridge close to the pennine way