Packing Tips for a Christmas Break
Good holiday packing is a form of art. Sadly, we don’t have the same skills (or bag!) as Mary Poppins...
As almost all of our holiday cottages come complete with private and secluded hot tubs, we thought we would share three of our favourite wildlife-packed walks with you, perfect for exploring local nature reserves over a long weekend or mid-week mini-break.
After a wintery walk in these wonderful locations you can look forward to reclining in the contoured seating of one of our hot tubs, allowing your body to achieve true relaxation, and enjoy the massaging qualities of the warm water all around you! Just what you need after a day out in the countryside.
Church Road, Layer-de-la-Haye, Colchester, Essex, CO2 0EU
Abberton Reservoir is one of the top wetland sites in the whole of Europe — and it isn't hard to see why! Plenty is on offer at this protected location, but the fantastic views alone should have you sold. Huge expanses of water reflect the impressive natural surroundings, which are home to numerous birds and other wildlife. If birdwatching is something that interests you, Abberton Reservoir plays host to tens of thousands each year. Take a walk, inhale the cooling air, and learn a little as you go.
Abberton also adds to its repertoire a new woodland, perfect for immersing yourself in the outdoor atmosphere.
There is also a visitor centre to rest your feet and enjoy fantastic country views, watch the local wildlife and browse the gift shop, which is packed with fun treats for kids, books for birdwatchers and some high end bird watching equipment too! There are some ovely home-made treats available at the weekend, and the gift shop also sells refreshements.
South Green Road, Fingringhoe, Colchester, Essex, CO5 7DN
Overlooking the stunning Colne Estuary, Fingringhoe Wick is ideally suited for those with an eye for beauty! Adorned with a wonderful history, the Wick is a fantastic opportunity to learn a little about the countryside near your stay. Formerly used as a site for gravel extraction, the National Trust have done wonders in saving this site and bringing back its natural atmosphere. Home to an extraordinary variety of wildlife, each turn on your walk could well offer you something new. The autumn/winter season is the best time to catch a glimpse of the estuary birds, so don't forget your binoculars! There are several routes available to visitors, so suitable for all ages and abilities.
At the end of your walk, don't forget to pop into the visitor centre — grab yourself some light refreshments, take a look at the viewing tower, or stop by the gift shop for a postcard to send home.
Felsham Road, Bradfield St George, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP30 0AQ
Bradfield Woods is just the place to visit if you're looking to burn off a little energy, meander through tranquil settings, and find out some interesting facts while you're at it. With three wonderful trails to choose from, you can explore to your heart's content. Pick up a guide at the entrance, which will help you uncover some of the fascinating history surrounding this reserve. Bradfield Woods has been a site of coppicing since 1252, making it a true historic location.
There is also plenty in the way of wildlife, be it migrant songbirds nestling in the bushes or badgers ambling through the trees — the noises of nature will be sure to relax you!
We hope that you find time to explore all these wonderful walks during your stay at Gladwins, and we hope that you thoroughly enjoy dipping your toes in the hot tub when you get back to the farm!