Romantic Lesbian Holidays
Very little seems to be written about romantic vacations for lesbians, so here are a few ideas for some romantic gay holidays in the UK.
The venues have been chosen for their quality, comfort and service, or a particularly beautiful location. The list is by no means exhaustive, and if anyone wishes to contact me with ideas of lesbian holidays to review, I'm open to suggestion.
These are the places that won't disappoint:
Romantic Lesbian Holidays
The Knoll, Lake Windemere
This guest house meets all of the requirements; it's in a glorious location at the southern tip of Lake Windemere in The Lake District, so the scenery is superb and there are loads of outdoor activities for you to participate in. The mountains and valleys of The Lake District offer some of the best hiking in the UK, with spectacular views and wild, romantic beauty.
The Knoll has it's own grounds, surrounded by woodland and offers eight rooms, with complimentary toiletries and all sorts of extras. The food is superb and caters for all tastes. On request you can also have afternoon tea, or have a packed lunch or picnic made up for you.
Rooms are very comfortable and stylish with all modern facilities. You could choose a sumptuous four-poster bed, or a lit-bateau (French sleigh bed). There are holistic therapies for hire, so you could book yourself a little pure indulgence.
The Knoll caters for parties and weddings, and is licensed for Civil Partnerships, so you can become woman and wife here, and the whole guest house may be hired if you wish.
The Lake District
The Norfolk Broads
Ollands Farm Barn, Norfolk
Ollands Farm Barn nestles in sleepy Norfolk, close to the seaside resort of Happisburgh (pronounced hayesboro - I know, it's nothing like it!). The farm was built in the 1700s and the Barn has been lovingly restored.
The main focus of this holiday is comfort, relaxation and peace and quiet. The barn is situated within a cluster of houses along quiet Norfolk Lanes. It has a beamed cathedral ceiling, a woodburner, so you can cosy up together, central heating, a kitchen and shower room. The king-size double bed is on a mezzanine above the main living area, and can be reached by a set of paddle stairs (there's a sofa bed downstairs too).
If you've never come accross paddle stairs before, they're an ancient, quaint method of transporting you upstairs where space is at a premium. Often used in little cottages, the treads are steep and offset, so that you place one foot to the left and one to the right. They're easy to use if you're human, but not if you're a dog (and dogs are welcome here), although, you can't change your mind half way up the stairs and turn around.
The barn also offers TV & satellite, with CD/DVD and surround sound, plus Molton Brown toiletries in the bathroom. Guests have use of the pretty little courtyard and the gardens, whilst the owners invite you to visit their kitchen garden, complete with hens. Seasonal fresh produce is available for you to buy.
The beaches in Norfolk are huge tracts of white sand, and there are several close by, such as those at Sea Palling and Waxham. Happisburgh coast is 30-40 minutes walk away, and there is a lighthouse too, whilst you are only a short drive from the Norfolk Broads stretch of waterways, where you can hire a boat and putter along to your heart's content. You are also close to the Lavender fields of Norfolk, which are worth a visit for the smell alone in summer.
One of the joys of a tranquill holiday such as this is that you have plenty of time to relax. Ollands Farm Barn has a small library of books for you to read, but why not treat yourself and take a supply with you. Magenta Frog is a new website specialising in Lesbian Books - ideal for any time of the year. They even sell lesbian books for children! Click here to visit the store - to return, hit your back button.
Wells Next The Sea, Norfolk
Star Cottage, Wells Next the Sea, Norfolk
Staying with Norfolk for a while, Wells Next the Sea is a traditional Norfolk fishing village and seaside resort.
Star Cottage is located in a quiet courtyard just 20 yards from the harbour. It was originally a 16th century Alehouse, which has been lovingly restored with two double guest rooms, decorated in a traditional English style. Children and dogs are welcome by prior arrangement.
Close by is another one of those endless white sandy beaches, backed by pine woods, where Star Cottage owns a beach hut which you may hire. These colourful little huts are a real boon if you're spending the day at the beach, and this one contains deckchairs, crockery and a primus stove.
The cottage is also close to the resort's centre, with it's shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants. If you want to sample proper fish and chips, try French's, where you can sit inside and watch the boats come and go in the harbour. If you want something a little more up market, try The Crown with it's Michelin stars. If all this is too hectic, why not sit on the harbour wall with your bucket and bait and go crabbing.
Crabbing is the essentially pointless, yet surprisingly relaxing, pastime of catching numerous small crabs using bacon pieces and a line, putting them in a bucket of water, then letting them all go again when you've had your fun. By then end of the week you may be on first name terms with some of the crabs you catch over again.
From the harbour, you can hire a boat to go seal watching; the Norfolk and Lincolnshire coasts being excellent places to find grey seals, or visit the salt marches. Check out the Albatross, a Dutch Schooner moored in the bay that offers live music, pancakes and sailing trips. Wells has poetry and maritime festivals, whilst carnival week is in August.
If you want BIG seaside resort, Hunstanton is not too far to drive.
Teifi Valley, Wales
Lanlas Farm, Wales
Lanlas Farm is another haven of peace and quiet. Located in the Teifi Valley, West Wales, it is a 20 acre smallholding close to the village of Cellon. There are two stone cottages for hire, both have modern facilities like wi-fi, but have kept their original features such as stone walls and exposed beams. One of the cottages is around half a mile from the Farm, situated in secluded woodland.
The Farm is close to the Cambrian Mountains, with lots of outdoor activities, and also close to the Teifi River where you can fish for Salmon. Cardigan Bay and the pembrokeshire Coast Path are nearby.
The farm raises rare breed pigs, and you are invited to visit the animals. Dogs are welcome.
One Broad Street, Brighton
I couldn't write an article on romantic lesbian holidays without mentioning Brighton. Arguably the Gay Capital of the UK, there are more gay guest houses, bars, restaurants and hotels than you can shake a stick at. Brighton is also party capital, and a mecca for stag and hen parties, so brace yourself.
One Broad Street, offers an escape from the maelstrom of Brighton's streets. It's situated in the Kemptown district, close to the famed Brighton Pier, and the Guest House ranks well in Tripadviser. The rooms are decorated in bright white with a splash of colour and have all modern facilities. You can choose from smaller quieter rooms, or those at the front which have partial sea views.
For 2010, the guest house has teamed up with local artists to offer courses in stained glass, photography and wine tasting, should you run out of things to see and do in the town.
A Day In Brighton
Try out some of the above and have a romantic lavender time. Websites are here in the link box: