A Weekend For Two For £65

The Peak District is a great place to come for a weekend- and we decided to set ourselves a real challenge, getting it as close to £50 each for two people as we could for the barren month of January. After the celebrations have been detoxed and the Christmas decorations taken down, you need something to tide you over. Asking for tropical sunshine and a week away from the office might be too much- so why not spend your weekend in England on a cheap UK getaway instead? Pick the Peak District for your January pick-me-up.

On the menu is: 

  • A 3* Hotel with Breakfast – £40 for 2
  • A morning of paintballing – £15 for two
  • An afternoon of bike hire (£28) or tandem (£20)  plus a stop at a tea room  (£10 for two cream teas) 
  • A morning of abseiling – £50 for two 
Total = £130/ £65 Per Person

Sat 

On your drive up from the South, why not drop your bags at Rangemoor Park Hotel in Derby before heading on to paintballing? The Rangemoor is a family run hotel in Derby City Centre. Complete with a TV, radio, hairdryer, ironing facilities and hospitality trays and a large, free private car park located at the rear, your stay also includes a Continental Breakfast or a  Full English breakfast on a Sunday!

At £40 a night for two you can also stay there a day early for an extra £20 each.

9am – Paintballing 

Time to get your Ready Brek in early and to set that alarm, because we want you to arrive early in your grubby gear for a morning wake up call of paintballing!

Based in Sheffield at The Strines with 100 acres of leafy woodland on the edge of the Peak District to play with, you will have a chance to play war games, to shoot opponents  and to unleash all your energy from the drive onto your competitors!

If you are coming from the North, head to paintballing first before taking the final leg down to Derby. If you have come from the South or from the hotel, The Strines is an hour and a half away.

After your paintablling why not explore the peaks some more?

Why not stop off at Hassop after and hire a bike from the Monsal Trail?

Half a day will only cost £14 per bike- or you can try persuade your other half onto a tandem for £20 all in!

The trail will take you from Hassop towards Buxton, following the River Wye, and you can also hire an electric bike for a new exprience (great if you got a paint ball bullet to the thigh!)

When in Buxton stop off at No6 The Square Tea rooms for some amazing hot food for the energy on the way back or a cream tea for around £5 each complete with jam, clotted cream, a scone and a pot of Yorkshire Tea.

Sunday

9.30am – Abseiling

It’s an early start today for some Abseiling in Millers Dale, the Peak District at 9.30am. Check out and take the half hour drive to the Miller’s Dale Bridge.

The Millers Dale Bridge, carrying the Monsal Trail over the beautiful River Wye provides a spectacular Peak District abseiling location for your next adrenaline rush. You can even take a bike to walk or cycle to the bridge. You will have 2 hours with an instructor to lead you through your adventure.

You will have a minimum of 3 abseils each down a pillarwith your feet in contact with the brickwork all the way down, or over the arch above the River Wye with an 80 foot abseil (of which 65 feet is free hanging!)

Fitness levels do not need to be anything special either. The hardest physical activity by far is the walk back up the steps to the top of the bridge after your first go when your legs are still a bit wobbly!

Stop off for a Sunday lunch and a Yorkshire Ale before heading back into the car and off home!

As you can see from the planner below- this weekend has been created for January 2012, but you can apply your own interests!

Book a spa day or a helicopter ride, a day or segway riding to 4 x 4 off roading or clay pigeon shooting! You can also give a relative or friend gift vouchers, making this a great idea for those friends who you can never buy for! With activities from £5 – what will you choose?

Cycling For Cancer

If you get bored after 30 minutes on a stationary bike, or if you’re looking to put money behind a worthy cause, you have to give props to Chris Gruar, a 25 year old Australian who has lived here for the past year, working as an English teacher in a school in Leeds with an aim to cycle back to Australia over the next 2 years.

(Yes, you read that correctly.)

Taking a mammoth two years via Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, China, South East Asia and finally through to Australia from one short flight, Chris isn’t only cycling for fun, but for cancer, or specifically, to raise £10,000 for the cancer research charity The Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) via www.cycling4cancer.com

(Again, you read that correctly.)

With fundraising already underway for his departure in 4 months, Chris is planning to leave and is already getting ready for his biggest adventure yet. We spoke to Chris about how and why he is keen to do this.
Hi Chris- so firstly, why the cycle trip?

I love both travelling and cycling, so I decided to combine the two and go on a challenging and rewarding adventure across the world. The bicycle also gives me a lot of independence to experience the places I’m lucky enough to visit, as well as expose me to the diverse cultures between England and Australia. It’s really satisfying not relying on the tourist trail for transport, food and shelter.

Why have you chosen AICR in particular?

They are an international charity who chooses the best cancer research around the world. My family has also been directly affected by cancer so it is something that is very important to me.

Tell us about the challenge. Where will you be staying?

I will be completely unsupported throughout the 30 000km trip. All of my gear is squeezed into five bags which are attached to the bike. To keep costs down I will be stealth camping most evenings. I prepare my own meals with my multi-fuel stove, and keep clean with bucket showers or by washing in rivers or beaches. Hopefully I will be lucky enough to stay with locals along the way too. So far on my cycling trips I have slept in a Roman Bathhouse, in wheat and corn fields, next to rivers, on mountain tops, and by the beach.

This isn’t the first time you have done this it?

That’s right. While I was backpacking in Asia a few years ago I twice decided to get myself on a bicycle, and the rice fields of Bangladesh and volcanoes of Indonesia got me hooked on cycle-touring. Earlier this year I cycled about 500km of Northern England along the Hadrian’s Wall, The Lakes District and Yorkshire Dales. In summer I pedaled to Portugal which took me 34 days to cover the 2500km. I stayed over in hostels probably twice, so the rest was camping and being independent!

Have you always been so keen on adventure?

Not really. I think I just believe in experiencing the most out of life, especially on weekends and holidays. It definitely helps being a foreigner, knowing that I have only eighteen months in England to get out and explore the beauty of the countryside.

Have you tried GO Activities?

Since the launch of GO Activities I frequently visit the site with my friends to plan for the weekend. I find it really inspiring reading from other peoples experiences. I think it’s great for those lesser known activities like gorge or ghyll scrambling. Without the push to do more stuff I’d probably just go on cycling forever!

You spend a lot of time cycling out of the UK – what do you like about it here?

I love how close things are. In Australia everything is so spread out, but here you can jump on the train and in twenty minutes you can be surrounded by different landscapes and cultures! Living in Yorkshire I try to get out into The Peak District most weekends for walking, cycling, scrambling, caving or wild swimming. In Australia the roads (and drivers) are not as cycle friendly.

What about the accents here? Have you got used to them?

Oh yeah, because I teach English in Leeds I’m often left just stumped with what they are saying. There’s a lot of ‘I didn’t do owt’ to contend with! But the kids are just as bewildered, with my ‘thongs’, ‘textures’ and ‘mufti days’. I do feel sorry for my classes when they do miserable in the spelling test because of my pronunciation. I am getting there but… at the fish shop I now know what scraps are, and to order a ‘pop’ when I want a drink.

£10,000 is a lot to raise. How do you hope to go about it?

I think it’s a cause plenty of people are passionate about. The staff and pupils in my school have been absolutely fantastic so far, and together we are organising events over the coming months. While on the trip I will be able to raise money and awareness by talking in schools and contacting local radio and newspapers. By having a website I hope to maintain people’s interest throughout the journey.

So, I’m sure every girl will want to know what you are packing for a 2 year trip on the road. What’s in your pack?

(Laughs) I have a picture!

The Luggage!

What about challenges? Any fears of loneliness?

It’s going to be tough going, especially being by myself for such long periods. I hope I’m a strong enough person to get through the difficult times, and with plenty of books and music I should be able to stop my mind from getting the better of me!

I am actually hoping to have other cycle-tourers join me on route… so if you’re reading this and interested in coming along with your bike let me know!

What would you say to people who could only throw in a pound or so?

I know times are hard, but even a pound would make a huge difference. Just Giving makes it really easy to do, and you can read all about me and my journey on my website – www.cycling4cancer.com

So if you, by chance are on Chris’s route and want to meet up, or if you want to donate, you can head to his site here.

What’s the furthest you have cycled? Do you have any tips for Chris?

Comment below!

3 Day Weekend For Two -£208

December is one of the better months of the year. Presents, Christmas cheer, mince pies and heartbreaking TV adverts that could melt the coldest heart. (Looking at you, John Lewis.)

What better way to use up your holiday than with a long weekend for two on a cheap UK break?  You don’t need a voucher deal with strings attached either, just use our planner on http://www.goactivities.co.uk to book your own weekend and watch as it slots into your own timetable, with the price updating as you go.

From paintballing and walks to spa days or quad biking – it’s your weekend- so what will you plan?

Here’s our selection of a long weekend in the Lakes- complete with Gorge Scrambling, Archery, Photography, Canoeing, as well as 3 nights in a lovely hotel for just over £200 per person!

Plan your own activities with GO Activities unique planner!

Thursday Night

Check in at the lovely Briery Wood Hotel in Windermere.
Right next to Cumbria’s National Park and surrounded by lakes, fells, valleys and coastline between Windermere and Ambleside, this is a stones throw from Lake Windermere.

Enjoy a stay at Briery Wood Hotel, Windermere

Set in 7 acres of secluded gardens and woodland you can have dinner, bed and breakfast, and enjoy the licenced bar or you can wander around Bowness, Windermere and Ambleside in the evening for some food

Friday

9 am – A half day of photography, Keswick

Rise and shine for some photography with the Half Day Photography Course. Great for beginner or advanced students, you can work with the latest Digital SLR’s. With 4 hours of practical work starting at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, you move slowly along the shoreline learning to see and select aspects of the landscape from which to make great pictures.

After an hour or two, you head to a cafe for a working break to discuss elements relating to accomplishment and areas to improve.
It’s then hands on again for the remainder of the course, with time to practice individually supported by our staff photographer!

With your photos in hand, why not explore the nearby restaurants and shops of Ambleside?

Saturday

Shake off the cobwebs with a dive into the waters of the Lake District!

Try Gorge Scrambling for the first time

Gorge Scrambling – 9.30 am , Church Beck, Coniston

Try leaping from waterfalls- all watched by an instructor for a safe yet exhilarating thrill like no other with Gorge Scrambling – no experience needed!

You will meet the instructor close to the venue; amid the stunning Lake District mountain scenery. Here you will be kitted out with wetsuits, wetsuit socks, boots, helmets and buoyancy aids ready for your adventure! Start crossing small pools and boulder hopping, then head to the waterfalls. Climb, traverse , crawls under logs, swims across the pools and leaps from rocks into the water!

Next up – it’s time to get dry, kitted out in a wetsuit and to head to Derwentwater for canoeing!

Canoeing Adventure at Derwentwater – 1.30pm

The rest of the day will be spent Canoeing in the Canoeing Adventure sessions around Derwentwater, one of the most picturesque lakes in the Lake District.

‘Canadian Canoeing’ or ‘Open Canoeing’, is easily mastered with a crew of two or more and your canoeing adventure starts with a brief paddling introduction, followed by a journey around the lake, exploring the beaches, islands and bays, and if the wind gets up you can raft the canoes together creating more stability, ‘perfect for sailing down the lake’.

Try your hand at canoeing!

Sunday

Today is a day of Archery at the Archery Target Shooting Day Try your hand at target shooting challenges in Bassenthwaite, starting at 09:30am. You can learn to safely use the equipment and when to retrieve arrows. Then it will be over to you to have a go, instructors on hand to help you get the most out of the session.

Run outdoors in a Lake District Farmer’s field you will have a 10 to 15 minute brief on range safety, equipment and bow handling, followed by target challenges, archery games and more, all before packing up and dismantling the bows.

Then it’s back to the hotel to grab your gear and hit the road!

What did you do on your last trip to The Lakes? Did you manage to pack in as much adventure? What else would you recommend? Comment below!

Discover Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian’s wall. Battered, a bit broken, but in the most part still standing this is a very beautiful walk for any keen walker, historian, or anyone keen to walk a set route for a good period of time. Some routes are easy, some, harder, making Hadrian’s wall a wall for almost everyone.

The wall was built to divide Scotland and the invading Romans. It also makes a fantastic walk for anyone keen for a (scenic) challenge over around 4 days. 73 miles long, which would have been 80 roman miles long as they did things a bit differently then, this is a challenge well worth undertaking!

Hadrian’s wall is not intact for the whole distance and means that you can walk along stretches of it. There is a trail which is 84 miles long which can be walked along most of the wall. This is clearly sign posted and can be followed from east to west , or west to east, Eastbound means you start in quiet Solway and end up in the city, and vice versa.

Hadrian’s Wall Accommodation

Camping can be difficult and local hostel and hotels are often used instead. A guided walk will arrange all your accomodation for you, and the price is usually included. The bonus of  a walking holiday is that your food, luugage, snacks and transport is all taken care of- meaning all you do is walk.

The River Tyne

Rules of Hadrian’s Wall

It’s a bit of a grim point but if you do camp, or if you are out walking need to ‘go’ out on the trail, you can’t dig a hole – you must use a bag. You can then put this in a bin.
Legally, dogs can come with you but be aware that the sheep aren’t as keen on man’s best friend as you are, and that some guesthouses might not be either. Make sure you pack enough water for both of you in case of a lack of taps.

Hadrian’s Wall – The Walks and Routes

Hadrian’s Wall National Trail Path can be walked and it usually takes around 4 days, accounting for sleeping time. You can walk the trail for a certificate, but this needs to be stamped at stamping stations en route- but this only runs from 1st May to 31st October.

The wall (depending which way you walk it!) runs from Raven glass, from the side of the Irish Sea, the home of a Roman Bath. The end point is the Roman Fort Museum in South Shields.

Ravenglass when the tide is out

You can get a map which shows the walks gradients and you can take a strenuous path, or an easier route.
There are a number of other walks that could be done that can incorporate Carlisle or Newcastle so you can see the city.

5 days (3 walking days) from Carlisle

• Day one : Carlisle- explore

• Day two: Take the 93 bus to Bowness. (15 miles) and back to Carlisle.

• Day three: Carlisle to Walton (11 miles)

• Day four: Walton to Gilsland (8 miles)

• Day 5 – Sightseeing in Carlisle – catch Carlisle castle or cathedral

Carlisle Castle

What to see:

Carlisle offers a variety of things to do and see from the New mills trout farm in Brampton, Gretna green shopping, Carlisle racecourse, as well as Solway coast area, Solway Aviation museum and the Walby Farm park.

5 days – (3 walking days) – Corbridge to Gisland

Day 1: Arrive Corbridge/Overnight

Day 2: Walk to Chollerford/Wall: 10m

Day 3: Walk to Once Brewed: 12m

Day 4: Walk to Gilsland: 9m

Day 5: Onward Travel

What to see:

The picturesque village of Corbridge is located just south of the wall, and leads you to the Roman Wall. The walk takes you through the wonderful empty landscapes of Northumberland into Cumbria, finishing in Gilsland. See forts, milecastles and turrets, museums, visitor centres and more.

Houstead's Roman Fort

6 days (4 walking days) from Newcastle upon Tyne

• Day one: Arrive in Newcastle and take a tour!
• Day two: Take the metro to Wallsend and walk to Newburn (12 miles) return to Newcastle
• Day three: Wall Newburn to Chollerford (17 miles)
• Day four- Walk from Chollerford to Steel Rigg (12.5 miles)

What to see:

Newcastle city offers Chinatown. Grey street known as ‘the loveliest street in England’ the quayside, The Biscuit Factory art gallery, the BALTIC centre of contemporary art, Hatton gallery, Seven stories, the centre for children’s books, Theatre Royal, the Tyne bridges and more.

 

On the Road

8 days (7 walking days) Newcastle to Bowness

Day 1: Arrive Newcastle/Overnight

Day 2: Walk to Heddon: 15m

Day 3: Walk to Chollerford/Wall: 15m

Day 4: Walk to Once Brewed: 12m

Day 5: Walk to Walton/Brampton: 16m

Day 6: Walk to Carlisle: 11m

Day 7: Walk to Bowness: 15m

Day 8: Onward Travel

What to see:

Discover the vibrant city of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne leading into Northumberland and then on into Cumbria, finishing at the mouth of the River Solway. See the Solway Firth, forts, milecastles and turrets as well, and take photos of the beautiful landscapes along the way.

How to buy:

The link to our Hadrian’s wall tours can be found here.

Have you tackled Hadrians Wall? What route did you take?

Comment below!

Christmas Present Ideas

Santa Claus has it alright doesn’t he? Fuelled by Kit Kats and Coca Cola he compacts a year’s worth of work into one night, making him the ultimate flexi time worker.

The best way of ensuring St Nick doesn’t get bogged down is to have a clear list of what you want. However, some adults aren’t as thoughtful as they used to be and leave you to buy gifts unaided- with cries of ‘oh, I’m sure whatever you get I will love!’ A likely tale, as you discovered that year you got them that foot lotion set and saw their face plummet lower than the mercury. But November is coming to an end and it’s time to crack on. So scrap the gift boxes and the ‘humorous’ socks, pick an experience or activity this year that they are sure to love and remember. You can find and browse on www.goactivities.co.uk or you can click on the direct links. Easy.

Christmas presents for the family with young children

Families are usually a tricky set of customers, requiring multiple gifts (toys for the kids, something for the mum and dad- too much.)

You can skip the pain of multiple shopping with a family day out. Why not try a High Ropes Course for a family, a day out learning bushcraft skills, a day on a kayak or canoe or a day of archery, karting or clay pigeon shooting?

The reclusive uncle

He’s been a bit down ever since he lost that winning lottery ticket last year. Turn that frown upside down and get him meeting people with a walking holiday. Get him booked on for a long trek, the 3 peaks challenge or a cycling tour and watch as he comes back out of his shell, or hand him an axe for an ‘axe workshop’ day to get that stress out!

Christmas gifts for teenagers and big kids

What better way to get some of that heavy body spray off a teenager or to get a big kid grinning than by getting them dispatched from a plane on a skydive, a parachute jump or a day of skiing?

Presents for your step dad and step mum

A holiday is in order for the stepdad and step mums of the world. Show your affection for them in the crazy world of step brothers, half sisters and multiple divorces by paying for an overnight stay for them both in the woods on a guided walk away or a day spa trip. 

For the outdoorsy couple

You can’t pay for them to jet off anywhere fancy, but what about a session of zorbing – they can even go in as a tandem together!

For your fashionable sister

If your sister wouldn’t be seen dead in a canoe and thinks that quad biking is against the laws of style, then the only way to travel is by hot air balloon.

Otherwise, why not choose a spa day or send her to a fabric spinning course to learn about the fashion industry from the bottom up (she’ll be weaving you scarves in no time….)

For your trendy brother

He’s got his The North Face gilet and his boots, now get them put to the test. Why not book a weekend away learning bushcraft and navigation skills, or bring on that suppressed sibling rivalry again with quad biking or go karting!

For the gap year student

She’s heading off on the adventure of a lifetime next summer with some A-levels and a conditional offer to Dartmoor. Make sure she has a great time by booking some scuba diving courses before she goes!

For the kids

Most kids love animals. Why not go otter spotting, bird watching or on an Autumn forage? Or if you’re forseeing chaos over Christmas, you can always let them pump out that E number stocking fodder energy with a day of clay pigeon shooting!

For your mum

If your mum is the John Lewis type (happy to browse homewares for multiple days without any sustenance) then you need to look into booking her on a weaving, photography or pottery course.

If she puts your Dad to shame with her bicep curls and tricep dips at cardio combat classes, then why not get her on an activity day or high ropes course with her friends? And finally, if she’s always pranging the Audi when she reverses it- get her up to speed with a day of 4 x 4 driving lessons in the mud!

For your dad

What man wouldn’t love the idea of chartering a crew for a boat? Whatever you can get, from a canoe experience or a  trip on a kayak or a day on a dinghy, let Dad be king of the waters on a boating holiday!

For your loved one

To show your love, what could be better than a walking weekend away? Book some lovely accommodation, get exhausted from your day out of walking and then book your lady in for spa day – or your man in for some bushcraft and foraging skills for some ‘me Tarzan, you Jane’ style romance.

For your mad aunt

She wears bindis after that trip to India and has a wardrobe of floaty multicoloured things. Appeal to her sense of adventure with a trip to enjoy segways, or get her zorbing, climbing or the more gentle leisure cycling

Your grandma and grandad

Grannies and grandpas aren’t as old as they used to be. If yours have plenty of get up and go, then book them in for a guided walk around some of the UK’s most beautiful hotspots. From parts of Hadrian’s wall to walks near the Lakes and beyond, spoil her with a trip full of likeminded people.

Check that the walk is suited to their fitness and includes some nice accommodation or pack them an air bed– they didn’t work for 50 years to have to sleep on a hard mattress! If they are up for even more adrenaline, then consider an aeroplane flight – where they get to control the machine! Chocks away!

Christmas presents for your friends

Get the lads together for a day of indoor paintballing (or outdoor paintballing), lazer shooting or tank driving. Still not adrenaline fuelled enough? Try a monster truck driving day. For the ladies, we can recommend a spa day, a day of surfing on the beach, or a trip camping to catch up together.

Christmas team building for the colleagues

If you’re lucky enough to be a manager then we know what your staff want. A pay rise. Failing that, a day of raft building, archery, or team canoeing will be far better than a yawn inducing trust exercises. Be the good boss!

Marketing waited patiently for the chance to sink their MD- and thanks to raft building it was all completely legal.

The History of Segway

The History of Segway

One of the many experiences we offer are Segway riding days. Although segways are an interesting and unusual sight bumbling along, you might not know too much about them. Here’s the low down on Segway.

What are segways?

Segways are electric transportation devices that have wheels, mudguards, a stand and a steering handle. Confimed as ‘motorised vehicles’ by law, they are made using gyroscopic technology, with speeds of 12mph and a decent max weight linit of about 180lbs. The Segway works on what they call LeanSteer™ Technology, which means the segway can be used like gears and brakes, whereby leaning on the handlebars increases the spead, leaning back decreases it and moving side to side can help move it. It has a design based on ‘five micro-machined angular rate sensors and two accelerometers that sense the changing terrain and your body position at 100 times per second.’ According to segway, which moves in a way that feels natural to us. Invented in 2001, Dean Kamen announced the arrival of the segways as ‘the first self-balancing, zero emissions personal transportation vehicle:’.

Why were segways designed?

The segway was designed to run off a charge, meaning zero carbon emissions that could work on pavements. Although this is legal in America, home of the segway…In Britain, things are a little less straight forward for Segway user.

So are segways legal to ride on the road?

Sadly it was ruled in early 2011 that in Britain the segways are not to be ridden on public roads or pavements, due to the Highways Act 1835 ( a year when segways probably weren’t a viable dream, never mind a consideration fit for law.) This means private land based segway use is the only option right now. You can always zip off to America or visit some of our European friends to enjoy them, but until then, a day out on a segway is the best way to get to grips with them.

Where can I ride a segway?

You can ride segways across the UK in big parks and woodland trails, perfect for those chunky tyres. At present we have segway rides at: Atherstone, Warwickshire East Grinstead Helston Cornwall, South Mims, Hertfordshire Hexham, Northumberland Macclesfield and Seighford, both in Staffordshire, so hopefully there’s a segway near you!

Have you been on a segway? What was your experience like?

Discover Newquay

Enjoy the beaches Newquay has to offer!

Best known for gnarly surf dudes, awesome abs and creamy ice creams (what a contradiction!)  Newquay has a definite beach culture.  It might be autumn as I write, but as the rest of the country huddles indoors lamenting the end of another British summertime (what a contradiction!) the outdoor mecca that is Newquay, Cornwall is always there for activity lovers.

Once the summer crowds have gone, Newquay’s seven town beaches are wide open and both sea and land are full of ideal autumn activities. Accompanied by spectacular surf, rejuvenating beach and riverside walks and a diverse choice of some of the very best dining, accommodation and activity options that Cornwall has to offer, there couldn’t be a better time to explore the town’s hidden gems.

Friday Night:

We know that you might have had to make a bit of a mission to get down to the coast and perhaps you want the choice of doing it by rail. For that reason, we recommend staying close to the Newquay railway station so you can get to and from the coast with ease and for the option of inviting people up to stay with you from other parts of Britain. You can also come in to the nearby stations of Quintrell Downs or St Columb Road.

This quaint area of Newquay is home to gorgeous beaches, wonderful sandy shores, cafes and restaurants as well as the nearby Newquay zoo, blue reef aquarium and St Agnes leisure park so it’s a great place for stag and hen parties, family trips, romantic breaks or just for activity lovers who want something to do for a whole weekend.

Rest assured you will have plenty to do. First, let’s talk accomodation. We say you should stay at one of these lovely hotels- we’ve taken a bit of a luxury edge for this one, but after a day of surfing, kayaking or potholing, we think you’ll probably appreciate it. (You’re welcome.)

The Esplande's lounge

Esplanade Hotel is a premier hotel, so smash that credit card out of it’s icy hiding place or moth filled wallet for this one. It’s good though. Awarded 80% by the AA, this is the highest rates 3 star in Newquay.With 90 en-suite rooms with panoramic views over Fistral Beach (which made an appearance on Don’t Tell The Bride, should you watch BBC3 of an evening) with satellite television for when nature loses its sheen, this is a luxury lodging ideal for couples wanting to recreate the days before wet towels on the floor, council tax and hairs in the tub.

If you like luxury but aren’t 100% sold on a hotel, or have luggage with you to put Elton John to shame, look at an apartment.

The views from Esplande

You could have a lovely weekend in the Tolcarne Beach Apartments.

These are undeniably lovely luxury apartments with sea balconies, self-contained facilities , and access to the Tolcarne beach by foot from just  130 cliff steps (You can count them.)

The Tolcarne Beach Apartments

Tolcarne

You can hire out surf equipment, wetsuits and surf lessons as well as that British favourite- a beach hut and a deck chair when you get to the beach. Tea and scones need to be brought with you though.

If that’s all a bit relient on you talking to your guests and you want plenty of time to escape your loved ones or beat them in competive games, then you need to try out the all singing, all dancing, all swimming and all bowling Hotel California.

Oh yes.

“Welcome to the Hotel California….Such a lovely place… ” Sorry. No more singing for us. Not after the last incident with that double glazing. Anyway, this is a 10 minute walk away from the main town of Newquay, so is great for being near the heart of everything and is an excellent choice for families who want kids to be able to run free and wild (within safe, pre agreed boundaries, obviously).

This is a family run hotel which boasts a restaurant, bar, indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools and a 4 lane American Ten Pin Bowling Alley. You will go to sleep in the views of the Gannel Estuary towards Crantock Beach. Pets are welcome too, so Lassie can come.

Saturday:

We recommend that you check out the wonderful Crantock beach.  A wide expanse of golden beach 15 minutes drive from Newquay Town Centre with a National Trust operated car park this is a great way to spend a day.

Alternatively, it’s well worth taking a trip down to the lusciously named Lusty Glaze Beach, a sandy beach shaped like a horseshoe with high cliffs  and beautiful views of the sea. With a 125 foot zip wire. You can also enjoy a day of  abseiling, surfing, coasterring, kitesurfing, jet skiing, mountain biking or walking.

The surf in Newquay is almost unrivalled, which means you definitely need to get out there and try your hand at it.

You can pick from any number of surf schools and look out, as many people find they spot dolphins, seals and any number of marine bird species out in the waters, especially in the quieter coves.

Afterwards head to The Fort Inn– Newquay’s family pub overlooking Newquay bay and Harbour.  Adults can relax with a drink and some food  whilst the children can run amock soft play area inside or on the safe climbing fort outside.

If you’re without kids then you can always head to the Beach Club Nightclub on beach road for a dance (expect the Baywatch theme), unless the surfings ‘wiped you out’. (Sorry.)

Sunday

The cliffs of Newquay are wonderful peaks, and can be conquered by scrambling them. As well as scrambling, coasteering is easy to do in Newquay, with plenty of experts able to take families, groups or couples.

Secret caves, blowholes and plunge pools can all be explored around the Crantock beach in the morning, followed by a Cornish breakfast at the local Cafe Irie before you hit the road!

What are your secret spots in Newquay?