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Welcome to my blog from the Peak District - a few nuggets from my holiday cottages at Riverside House and Valley View.

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Some great family entertainment this summer at Matlock Farm Park including:

  • Teddy Bear's picnic 22-28 July
  • Glewy the Alien and Friends starting 29 July
  • Seaside week 12 - 25 August
  • Peak District Highland Games 27 August
  • Pirates Week 28 Aug - 3 Sept

Such great family fun this summer holiday in the Peak District at Matlock Farm Park.

Check the website for more information www.matlockfarmpark.co.uk

 

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Travelling with you dog and taking them on holiday with you is great fun.  After all why should your pet be left at home or left in kennels?  That's the beauty of self catering holiday cottages like Visit Peaks, as up to five dogs are welcome when you stay with us.  

There are some things you need to bear in mind though when travelling with your dog.   Hot weather is an issue for dogs as they are unable to cool off as easily as we can.  Dehydration, heat stroke and sunbrun can be the result of overheating.

When travelling by car with your dog make sure that your pet is not thirsty and stop at regular intervals to give him water. Frozen food is also ideal to help them cool down, why not try freezing bananas? Also make sure your car is well ventillated and that your dog is not shut up in a stuffy boot.  You dog will need to be securely fastened with a dog seat belt or in a crate, but do make sure they can move and change positions too.

Look out for signs of heat stroke; lethargy, rapid panting, lack of coordination, vomiting and diarrhoea and possibly seizures. If you see any of these symptoms take your dog straight away to see a vet.

Do not leave your dog in a hot car, even if you have parked in the shade or with the windows open.  It can take a few minutes for your dog to overheat.  Make sure you take your dog out of the car when you are stopping for a break and take him with you.

Walk your dog at cooler times of the day, first thing in the morning is ideal and avoid 11 am to 3 pm on hot days.  And walk on the grass rather than tarmac as it can get very hot.

Why not plan your journey for earlier in the day when it is cooler?  Even if you arrive before check in time you could go for a walk with your dog (if not too hot) or stop in a shady spot where you can all relax.  Why not pack a picnic for you and your dog?  Remember to take plenty of water for your dog!  

If you want more information on our dog friendly holiday cottages contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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We are delighted to welcome a guest blogger this week, Roz Lishak of ByBenji dog treats.  Riverside House and Valley View holiday cottages in the Peak District have been trialling these dog treats and we will shortly be supplying them for our dog visitors as a healthy holiday snack!

ByBenji

If your usual choice of dog treat has a list of questionable added ingredients listed on the plastic wrapper they are found in, you clearly haven't discovered the unique and healthy option offered by Biltong treat specialists ByBenji!

Why ByBenji? They care enough to use only pure sliverside beef, no sinews, no tendons, wheat/gluten free too, but then, wouldn't you expect that from a meat treat?  The clue is in the word meat, and, not every "meat treat" has the authenticity of ByBenji, who uses only the best Silverside of Premium Beef.

So what is Biltong, and why is this traditional South African delicacy creating a roar in the Raw treat world?

The word Biltong comes from the Dutch work "bil", meaning "meat buttock" or "hind quarters" and "tong" which means "strip", so it's just that, a strip of meat.

No surprise that meat has been preserved by our ancestors for many, many generations.  Biltong is airdried, not cooked like Jerky, so no goodness has been oven heated out, Biltong is nothing but pure raw protein.  Til now, only appropriate for humans, as it's the salt level that helps the marinating process. The ByBenji Pet Treat process creates a pet friendly Biltong collection, balancing the unique mix and blend of herbs to bring together a healthy mix with three different taste ranges; Training Treats, Super Sticks and Biltong Sausage.

Making a big impression with many training schools, as an unequalled reward and recall treat, validated by vet and industry professionals, ByBenji treats can now be seen sitting on the shelves of many exclusive canine boutiques and establishments, ordering online is also as easy as a click, but whereever or however you discover the power of ByBenji, you won't spend too long compairing the quality, as it's all in the taste and reaction of your dog, and if it's good enough for the pet parents it's certainly the best you can give them?

www.bybenji.com

 

 
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Surrounded by lovely scenery, walks and with views to soothe our holiday cottages in the Peak District will help you relax, unwind and getaway from it all. 

Our cosy cottages are well-equipped so there is very little you need to take with you.  We also know an organic mobile spa and caterers for that ultimate break away.  

Holidays should be about special and treasured memories with loved ones and friends.  So start collecting those special moments and not things with a holiday cottage break in the Peak District.

Take a look at Riverside House and Valley View holiday cottages for more information.

Or contact Wendy Boast: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

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With spring and Easter just around the corner, there's plenty of things to do in the Peak District in March.

Haddon Hall gardens re-open on 25 March and these really are well-worth a visit (any time of year).  There's also a special Easter celebration and family events too.  

Chatsworth House re-opens on 19 March and there's plenty of Easter fun too! 

If you love food then the Leek Food and Drink Festival is for you.  Held on 19 March, there will be plenty to sample! 

On the foodie theme why not visit one of the many farmer's markets in the Peak District?  We love the Bakewell farmer's market held on the last Saturday in the month.  

A great family day out over Easter is the Heights of Abraham.  Take a cable car ride and enjoy lots of family activities including; Easter egg hunt, make your own daffodil, Easter animals and see the 60,000 daffodils that will burst into flower.   

And for the younger family members, Matlock Farm Park at Easter is ideal.  There's a special meet the Meerkat day, or maybe you'd like to see Mambu the gorilla, or be a pirate for the day on Easter Monday?   

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A lot of guests bring their dogs to our holiday cottages - we welcome up to five dogs. Our dog travels with us when we visit our cottages and we've got a few tips to help the journey go well for you and your dog.

*  Check your dog is secure in the car, either use a dog seat belt harness or crate.  

*  Make sure the dog crate is big enough for your dog to be able to stand, sit, turn around and lie down.  

*  The dog crate must be secure so that it doesn't slide around in the car.  

*  Remove all hazards from the dog crate and don't leave your dog on the lead when he is crated it could be a strangling hazard.

*  Bring along your dog's favourite blankie and dog toys for the journey.  Something familiar will make them feel safer.  

*  Take some water, a dog bowl, and some snacks for your dog.

*  Make regular stops, especially if it is a long car journey.  Take your dog out of the car and let him have a walk on the lead.

*  We've found that our dog is a bit prone to motion sickness so we don't feed him a lot before the journey.  This really helps.  

*  Never leave your dog alone in a parked car, especially when warm, but just don't do it anyway.

*  We also give our dog a really good walk before we start the journey, that way he is more relaxed and does quickly settle down.

For more information about staying at our dog friendly holiday cottages, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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Do you love a good picture?  Would you like to see more pictures of our holiday cottages and the Peak District?  

Well you can on our Pinterest boards.

We've posted lots of great photos with different boards of the holiday cottages, places to visit, dogs on holiday in the Peak District, family activities and much more.

Why not check us out and get pinning?  Do add your own holiday photos to our boards, pin our photos and like us too.

Pinterest is great fun and is a good way to see more of the Peak District and the holiday cottages.

https://www.pinterest.com/visitpeaks/

 

 

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Did you know that you can walk through railway tunnels on the traffic free Monsal Trail in the Peak District?  It is an ideal family day out with over 8 miles of the trail to discover.  As you can see from the picture the railway tunnels are lit and make great fun for kids.  There is cycle hire on the route including electric bikes, and the Monsal Trail is also ideal for a dog walk or a horse ride!  You can walk or cycle to Bakewell and in the other direction towards Buxton.

There are plenty of footpaths that you can take off the Monsal Trail too which will extend the walk to some of the Peak District's loveliest dales and valleys. Look out for wild flowers such as the rare Tansley Orchid.

Do stop off at the Monsal Viaduct to enjoy the views and after that some steep steps will take you to the Stable's Bar for a refreshing pint or two and some lovely food.  It's dog friendly too.

Our holiday cottage Riverside House is only a stone's throw from the Monsal Trail and many of our guests have enjoyed the traffic free route for walking and cycling in the Peak District.   

 

 

 

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Never get bored at our self catering holiday cottages!  Just in case there's some rain out there we make sure that there's plenty of fun going on inside.  So we provide board games for all ages, young and old, for all the family or for adult groups.  There's some puzzles too, even a murder mystery game.  And if that's not enough Riverside House holiday cottage has its' very own games room.  

So there's no excuse not to enjoy yourself when visiting our Peak District self catering holiday cottages.

Tell us about your favourite board game and we will see if we can include it at the holiday cottages.

Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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“Are we there yet?”
 
It’s the old cliché but everybody who has been there, parents, carers, grandparents, uncles, aunties know that feeling when you are travelling with your child and they become restless, irritable and hungry.
 
With the summer holidays just around the corner, it’s good to prepare for journeys whether it be trains, planes or automobiles.
There are of course toys, colouring, sing alongs that can help keep your child(ren) entertained but snacks can also help occupy the time.
 
Infact research shows that snacks are important to children as their stomachs are small and they need to eat regularly to provide them with the energy they need throughout the day.  Packing healthy snacks will also mean that you will not be forced to make frequent stops and be tempted with the unhealthy fast food options or snacks such as crisps and chocolate bars which will actually make the children more irritable and fussy in the car.
 
Below we have listed a few snack ideas for any journey which are practical (not messy) and healthy:
 
Popcorn:  Depending on how it is prepared, popcorn is an ideal snack. It can be low calorie, is a whole-grain and on its own has no artificial additives or preservatives and is sugar free.  Oli and Zoe’s popcorn has been designed to retain the healthy advantages popcorn offers as a snack for children.  It comes in 12g packets which is an ideal portion size for children, and is flavoured with either slight sugar or slightly salt and sugar.  Each packet is only 55 calories.  To make it more fun for the journey, perhaps get the children to make the popcorn into necklaces? 
Or use the popcorn as part of a trail mix.  Get the children involved in making their own trail mix for the journey with popcorn, oats, dried fruit and a small handful of chocolate chips
Cereal:  Cereals are a low calorie option.  They also offer a wide range of vitamins and minerals but try and choose a cereal that is not full of sugar.  Nestle’s have bought out a low sugar version of their cheerios which is ideal. Both my daughters (aged 7 and 4) have tried and enjoyed it. 
Sandwiches: If you think you will be in transit during your child’s usual lunch time, you may want to make sandwiches for a more substantial snack.  Try not to use white bread.  Multi-grain bread, pita pockets or bagels are all great alternatives.  Be creative but watch the fat content of products such as the meat slices, lean is best and try to avoid/ to keep dressing to a minimum. 
Fruit and Vegetables:  Sliced fruit and vegetables such as cucumber, carrots, apples and pears are a great idea.  This is also a good way to ensure your child is getting their 5 a day whilst travelling. 
Yogurts and cheese – good source of calcium. Yogurts that you can buy in the tubes are a great choice for practicality.  Whole-grain crackers to accompany the cheese. 
Fluid: Water is best but if you are going to use fruit juice make sure they are 100 percent juice or better still dilute the fruit juice with water.   Remember though, it is important to stay hydrated but the more they drink, the more toilet breaks will be needed

Always remember to:
Supervise your children whilst they are eating.  Any food has the potential of being a choking hazard. 
Look at the sugar and salt content even if the label says no added sugar, natural . 
Keep litter to a minimum, use re-usuable containers where possible and take a carrier bag for any rubbish. 
Hygiene: Keep children’s hands clean with hand sanitiser, baby wipes or where possible water and soap. Use ice-packs to keep food fresh
Take kitchen roll for any accidents that do happen
Depending on how long your journey is, do take regular breaks (at least every 3 hours)– not only is it unfair and unrealistic to expect your child(ren) to sit still for a long period of time YOU need those breaks too to keep you sane and allow you to enjoy the journey.
 
Oli and Zoe wish you a safe and happy journey.
 
Guest blog by Penny Koulias:  Co-owner of Oli and Zoe’s Food Co. 
facebook.com/oliandzoe
twitter:  @oliandzoe

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A bit of a different blog this week, introducing Julie who paints and draw portraits of dogs, as well as other pets and people.
 
We thought this would be a good link for our dog friendly holiday cottages, so if any of you want to take your dog on holiday and get their portrait done, why not get in touch with Julie?  
 
Working in watercolour and graphite pencil Julie can capture the character of your beloved dog, cat, horses or rabbits!.  All she needs you to do is to send her some good quality photos and she can then discuss which one would work best for your portrait.
 
Please feel free to contact Julie for a no obligation chat, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call her on 07956 393324

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When you book a large holiday cottage rental, you want to be sure that everything is provided to create memorable meals together.  

As holiday cottage owners we stay in our self catering cottages and invite our friends and family to stay with us.  That way we know what is needed to create family meals or cater for groups of friends.

Our last visit was this month and we've checked through all our kitchen supplies.  We've now added a wok to the list of items supplied.   Here's a few other kitchen items that we supply that other holiday cottages may not:
 
• Pizza cutter
• Chopping boards in a range of different sizes
• Cookery books
• Spices, herbs, oil, and other handy cooking essentials
• Two fridges
• Knife sharpener
• Cake tins
We could go on, but I guess you get the message?  Our holiday cottage kitchens are fully equipped and will have everything you need for a large group self catering rental.

For more information contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.visitpeaks.co.uk

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What are the most discerning of dogs longing to eat these days?  Well in some cases, I'll admit, the answer is "practically anything" but in all seriousness and in all cases, the sweet teatime cakes and bakes we ourselves devour, are simply not suitable and can be quite dangerous for our four-legged friends.

Take the traditional Bakewell Tart for instance, famed of the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District, with its almond, jam and shortcrust sponge combination it calls to you from the cake counter any time of the day, let along tea time ...... but knowing that nuts and sugar are two of the biggest "No No" ingredients in canine culinary terms, I set about creating a delight for our dogs that could rival this most traditional of treats!

And so, the Barkwell Tart was born (well, baked!) a peanut butter cookie base covered in a layer of liver parfait, and topped with mini tasty cookies!!

It's not a sweet tart but a pooch party favourite, where we can even replace the topped mini bones with a name or message, but in the dog world, it is certainly matching the popularity of it's human "name sake" the Bakewell, so perhaps they are both the perfect selections to have with you as all six legs enjoy a wonderful walk around the Derbyshire countryside!

Find us at www.charactercookies.co.uk or

https://www.facebook.com/wwwcharactercaninecookies.biz

Character Bakes

........our edibles are incredibles! 

Tel 07769776843 

 

 

 

 

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So, you’re thinking of letting out a holiday cottage? Or maybe you’ve just bought one, and you’re ready to get it into shape for your first guests. Here are my top tips for furnishings…

 

  1. Safety the most important consideration. And particularly if your cottage is designed for families, make sure that your fixtures and furnishings are child safe.
  2. Durability youll want to buy furniture that can stand up to receiving (hopefully) hundreds of guests each year. Items that are easy to clean will make life a lot easier! Think about flooring too – carpets will need cleaning regularly, particularly if you choose light colours.
  3. Comfort a holiday should always feel like a holiday, so make sure you choose things that add comfort – wooden furniture looks great, but don’t forget cushions!
  4. Quality this one is a balancing act. Quality furniture will be more durable, and provide a nicer environment, but don’t break the bank either – accidents do happen, and you don’t want to be worrying about a treasured or valuable piece of furniture.  
  5. Match your location if you have a seafront cottage, consider reflecting that in your décor and furnishings. If you’re in a rural location, traditional looks will be more fitting than contemporary styles.

 

Furniture and décor can make or break the feel of a holiday cottage, so it’s definitely worth giving some thought to your style. Don’t forget to reflect the price and target audience of your cottage too – if you’re

charging a high-end price, your guests will expect a high-end experience!

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If you run a holiday cottage, you’ll know the importance of keeping on top of things and making sure that the cottage is presented at its absolute best so that your guests enjoy their stay.   

People often ask me how I keep things so nice, and make my guests so happy, especially when I live a fair distance away from my cottages. So I thought I’d share some of my top housekeeping tips.

For me, nothing works better than staying there myself. I have a wonderful cleaner who keeps things in tip top shape between guests, but there are a few things that it’s important to experience for yourself, and see from a “guest’s eye view!”

1. Check the visitors book and, if need be, respond to any comments in there.

2.  Check the BBQ – especially now we are coming to the end of the summer season. Is it still in good working order? Does it need a clean?  

3. Remove marks from the walls and skirting boards, especially in the heavy traffic areas such as kitchens and halls.

4. Check batteries in smoke detectors, replace if needed. No one wants to be interrupted by a beeping smoke alarm when they’re on holiday.  

5. Do you have a log fire?  If you do, you need to supply a carbon monoxide detector!  Order one if you haven't already got one.

6. Are fire extinguishers and fire blankets still in date?  Replace as necessary.

7. Check nooks and crannies for spider webs, dead flies and detritus – and then clean them up.  Our holiday cottages are very rural and those little 8-legged beasties are always looking for a warm home.  

Just a few of my top tips - keep an eye out for more! 

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Riverside House : BOOK NOW

Riverside House
   Sleeps up to 12
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Valley View : BOOK NOW

Valley View
   Sleeps up to 15
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HOLIDAY COTTAGE LATE DEALS

Riverside House

Another great deal!  Sat 8 to Thurs 13 June 2019, was £1163, now £1013, save £150!

Sleeps 9 + 2 + 5 dogs (£15 per pet) in 4 bedrooms, plus huge games room!

Call 07980 390 520 or send an email:

wendyboast@visitpeaks.co.uk

 

WHY BOOK WITH US....

  • spacious accommodation
  • 4-star standard
  • dog and pet-friendly
  • flexible booking
  • short breaks available
  • deal direct with the owner Wendy Boast
Visit Peaks

Valley View

Valley View

Valley View is a self catering holiday cottage for up to 15 people in Milldale (right in Dovedale - within 100 yards of the River Dove) in the Peak District.

Click HERE for the Valley View web site.

Visit Peaks

Riverside House

Riverside House

Riverside House is a self catering holiday cottage for up to 12 people in Litton Mill (close to Millers Dale and Tideswell) in the Peak District.

Click HERE for the Riverside House web site (complete with its own video).

My Personal Sanctuary

While you are here why not pamper yourself with the services of our business partner 'My Personal Sanctuary'.
Click on the logo below for more information.

My Personal Sanctuary