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Keeping your availability calendar up to date with iCal.

It’s important to keep your rates and availability calendars up to date, to make sure that you show for searches and don’t receive booking requests for periods you don’t have available to book.

It can be quite a chore to maintain multiple availability calendars, so we have enabled iCal on our site. iCal allows you to import or export availability calendars, allowing you to maintain availability in one place. We have prepared the above video as a brief explanation of how this can work.

If you need any help to set up your iCal feed, please get in touch with us: contact@pureholidayhomes.com

May the best house win – The Olive Tree Spain on ITV

Direct from owner holiday homes on pureholidayhomes.com are owned by proud owners, who take time to create their ideal vision of a dream holiday escape.

ITV’s May the best house win is a great opportunity for the proud owners of fantastic homes to show off their property and compete for a cash prize.

Today’s show saw the gorgeous property 28212 aka The Olive Tree, and it’s owners, showing off their hard work and the stunning property  – watch the show online.

Escape to the island of Ireland

Dolphins in Cork

You don't need to head to exotic destinations to see Dolphins.

Going away for a summer holiday is great, but there are always a few frustrations – squeezing 2 weeks of clothing into your suitcase, queues at immigration, fighting for a seat on that cheap flight… Well here is a holiday suggestion that simply involves chucking your stuff into the car and taking a ferry!

The Republic of Ireland is a country on the island of Ireland, which it shares with the Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK. The country has a long coastline and fantastic inland scenery, creating dozens of spots for walking and enjoying the landscape. Ireland also has lots of culture, heritage and nightlife to explore, so lets take a deeper look.

On the west coast, Galway is a cultural city – a destination that combines modern dining, pubs, theater and clubbing with historical features like the medieval town house ‘Lynch’s Castle’.

Guinness Storehouse DublinOne the East coat, Dublin invites you to a huge range of experiences. You have Dublin Zoo, and lots of opportunities to learn about Dublin’s history and heritage. An experience not to miss is the Guinness Storehouse, where you learn how to brew, pour, cook with and also drink Guinness!

Cork to the south is a historically important seaport, and the nearby Cobh was the last port of call of the RMS Titanic – as you’d expect there are opportunities to learn more at the local museums. Other attractions in Cork are the Market, Cathedral, and Fota Wildlife park. From Cork harbour you can also take a Dolphin watching tour!

Sligo is one of the northernmost popular destinations in Ireland, as with the destinations above Sligo has some great golf courses, and breathtaking landscapes. There are also Theaters, museums, and of course great local food.

Not to mention – Donegal, Westport, Connemara, Lakelands, Clare, Limerick, Kilkenny, Wexford, Kerry, Waterford – Ireland has many great destinations to explore – and all of this is so close to the UK!

If you’re looking for accommodation in Ireland, special deals on accommodation, B&Bs off the beaten path – take a look a Places to Stay in Ireland. All featured accommodation on their site, is inspected by them!

Are you keeping your cool in this heat?

I’m certainly struggling!

Elgar here, reporting on my latest holiday tips.

I’ve been in the UK, and it’s been pretty hot! Good old Mr Sunshine, the King of hot weather, has made a royal visit and is performing his duties here in the UK- long may he… make it not rain! But with all this warmth and sun comes a dilemma, how to cool off! My research has been thorough and scientific, involving many melted ice-creams and a basecall cap with cutting edge built in cooling device. I narrowed the viable options down to two – taking trip to Iceland, or finding a nice cool pool!

You don’t need to head abroad to find a holiday rental with a swimming pool, we’ve got them right here in the UK. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the gorgeous weather without boiling over! I suggest you explore the range of UK holiday homes with outdoor pools, so that you can enjoy this jubilee weekend, or any UK holiday this summer, with my scientifically proven, fun way to cool down!

Oh, and if you get bored of cannonballing, doing laps, or breath-holding competitions – here are some suggestions for games to play in the swimming pool.

As you can see from this photograph, my leisurely weekend trying out pools in the UK without sun-cream means I’m looking very patriotic in red white and blue – not the most fetching look (and very unhealthy) but quite appropriate for next weekend’s jubilee!

Manor Farmhouse outdoor pool

Me by the pool

Woodland wonders in Norfolk…

Norfolk is known for its rural nature and can provide the perfect setting for a family holiday in the country. But there is more to this English county than relaxing strolls across fields and through trees – as lovely as this is. In fact, the rural character of Norfolk lends itself to being a great place for fun family activities, and you will find lots to do here if you’re planning a holiday in the area.

Norfolk has some historic and beautiful scenery, so it is no surprise that some of this land is used for outdoor activities. Here are some of the best activities set amongst rich Norfolk greenery. There’s nothing like a bit of fresh air…

-         Hilltop Outdoor Centre.

This centre is perfect for a day spent in the lush outdoors, and provides a great alternative to a walk in the woods. With activities such as climbing, a tree top trail, biking and archery, there is something for every member of the family.

-         Extreme Adventure.

Extreme Adventure is a park set in the Weasenham Woods, which prides itself on having some of the tallest trees in England. And it certainly makes the most of those trees, with activities such as jumping, swinging from the trees, climbing and a high ropes course on offer. Be warned, Extreme Adventure is meant for children and adults ten years or older.

-         BeWILDerwood.

This magical outdoor space is brilliant for children of all ages, and is constructed as a fascinating fantasy adventure land. Set in the Norfolk Broads, above marshland, you and your children can explore enchanted tree houses and make your way across walkways entwined through the woods. Attractions are suitable for all ages, and include things such as the Broken Bridge – a walk pver a glass bridge, seven metres in the air. You can enter this world of imagined creatures and places by taking a relaxing boat ride to the marshes, making your visit even more special.

-         Combat Paintball Ltd.

Combat Paintball Ltd is set in the Thetford Forest, and has two venues – one in Norfolk and the other in Suffolk. Both have a war adventure film set feel, with trenches, tunnels and tanks galore. And you can avoid those hard core paint-ballers by attending their weekend sessions specifically aimed at younger audiences.

If you’re after some suitably lovely accommodation to rest in after a busy day in the great outdoors, then look no further than pureholidayhomes.com, with a great variety of Norfolk holiday cottages and rural Norfolk converted barns on offer!

The most picturesque lakes in the world.

One of the big checkpoints to tick on a dream holiday for many is a dream view. And what better to provide a tick in this checkbox than a bit of lakeside scenery? There is nothing better than staying in your own self catered property, and being near enough to a beautiful lake to enjoy the fresh air and sights of crisp glass waters. With that image in mind, here are a few ideas of some of the most picturesque lakes around the world – a bit of inspiration for your next getaway!

Crater Lake, Oregon.

Crater lake in Oregon is the first on this short list of lovely lakes. Located in Crater Lake National Park, it is a great place for a day-long exploration. The crater is about 7,700 years old, and the water in it circulates about once every 250 years. Created from the explosion of the Mount Mazama volcano, Crater Lake provides an awe-inspiring scene.

Holiday homes in Oregon

Loch Lomond, Scotland.

And now for something fairly different to the former, but matching in beauty, is Scotland’s Loch Lomond. Measuring by surface area, this is the largest lake in Britain, and is surrounded by the pictorial area of Stirling, Argyll and Bute. Standing by Loch Lomond is the perfect place to see rugged and dramatic Scottish scenery. And if you’re in the area you should certainly sample the produce in local restaurants, caught from this freshwater lake.

Holiday homes in Scotland

Lake Garda, Italy.

Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and it flows between Verona, Brescia and Trentino. Alongside the length of this lake you will find several beaches, beautiful towns and great places to eat. An entire holiday can in fact be formed around this lake!

Holiday homes in Italy

Lake Annecy, French Alps.

Lake Annecy is a popular tourist destination, and it’s easy to see why. The lake is surrounded by plenty of quaint and pretty villages and towns, and there is a lot to do in the area. Discover a variety of activities from water sports to cruises, or discover the lake’s heritage. It’s almost enough to distract you from the beautiful lake scenery.

Holiday homes in the French Alps

Lake Matheson, New Zealand.

New Zealand is a beautiful country as it is, so it is no surprise that one of the most picturesque lakes in the world can be located here. Formed over 14,000 years ago, the lake is home to lots of interesting wildlife, including native eels and several species of water birds. The lake is also renowned for its mirror like surface which reflects views of the nearby Mount Cook.

Holiday homes in New Zealand

These are just a few of the beautiful lakes that are there to be seen all around the world, but perhaps they have provided some inspiration for your next holiday. Views of a lake are great for providing a sense of calm and relaxation- just what you need for your next break. And for places to stay, self catered holiday accommodation provides just the right balance between luxury and freedom- and gives you the flexibility you need to explore a beautiful lake side area.

Elgar in London

Elgar by Big Ben

Me by Big Ben

Hello! Elgar here, again.

I thought you’d all be very interested to know that I’m just back from a trip to good old London, and jolly good it was too. I had a fun filled day and got up to loads of stuff. Here’s a little low down of my day…

9am. Had breakfast in a café. Had some morning champagne. That’s not a thing, you say? It is when you’re on holiday.

10.30am.Thought I’d have a little walk by the river and take in all the sights and sounds.

12pm. This prompted me to take a look at the sights of London town from a height, so I had a go on the London Eye. Very pleasing view from the top. Felt a little queasy, but that’s nothing that the thought of a nice London lunch can’t cure.

1.30pm. I may have visited the Rainforest Café for lunch. Yes, it is set in a rainforest, and it might not be aimed at the adult clientele, but the food was very sophisticated, actually.

3pm. Went to the Tate Modern- it’s free, you know! Just what I like to hear. They’ve got some interesting things in there. I stared at a fire extinguisher for half an hour trying to figure out its meaning. It was just to extinguish fire, as it happens.

5.30pm. After being all thoughtful at the Tate, I just had to go and relax in the Ritz. Just in time for the 5.30 afternoon tea, which was delicious. And very fancy indeed.

7.00pm. After filling up on sandwiches and scones I decided to go to the theatre in Broadway. I opted for a showing of the brilliant Chicago (a little saucier than I expected, but I enjoyed a good sing along!)

10pm. When Chicago finished I met some friends and we danced the night away in some trendy club. It was all a bit of a daze after the first two cocktails I’m afraid- but luckily I have remembered my entire London itinerary, and had a great time in this wonderful city!

Sincerely,
Elgar.

Brighton; a great place for family activities.

Brighton is trendy, with many bars, restaurants and shops, and it is home to young and fashionable professionals. But at the heart of Brighton there is still a seaside town, and if you’re looking for a family orientated break in the UK, a trip to Brighton could be just the ticket.

Here’s a short list of some of the best things to do and see if you are planning a holiday in the area…

Brighton Marina

Brighton Marina is a hub of activity all year round, so there’s bound to be something to do, whatever date you’re planning your holiday. There are seasonal events such as Brighton Festival, and it’s also the place to go for year round activities like bowling, swimming, the cinema and an impressive array of restaurants and eateries…activities sure to keep everyone happy!

Brighton Sea Life Centre

Continuing along the sealife strand, the aquarium always makes a great family day out.

It is no surprise that this coastal location has a brilliant sea-life centre, and 2012 has a lot in store for visitors to this attraction. This year marks the 140th anniversary of the centre, and so the building is being restored back to its all its original Victorian glory. And two new sections are also open in 2012, including the ‘Jelly Disco’, which will showcase many species of jellyfish, and a ‘behind the scenes’ tour which will let families see what goes on backstage at the aquarium.

Volks Railway

The Volks Railway is a must see for a family holiday in Brighton. It is the oldest electric railway in the world, dating back to around 1883. And you can still have a ride on it today! It is usually open for visitors between March and September, and carries a total of eight passengers at a time. Take a trip back in time and ride with your family between Black Rock and Brighton Pier. Trips occur regularly, at four times an hour between 10am-5pm on weekdays and until 6pm on the weekend.

Nearby Sussex countryside

One of the great things about Brighton is its brilliant location. Drive out of the central city location to find beautiful historical castles, intriguing country houses and rolling green fields. Explore the countryside, take in some history and perhaps pack a picnic for a memorable family day out! Alfriston Clergy House and Arundel Castle are particular highlights.

The Royal Pavilion

This is another captivating and well-loved Brighton attraction, ideal for a family day out. This former royal residence to figures such as King George IV and King William IV is now a popular place for a day visit, with an interesting exterior influenced by an Indian architectural style. The property houses a large collection of royal objects and works of art, and also has some stunning Pavilion gardens. This is a great day out, and a magical way to explore history and culture with the family.

These are just some of the best attractions and activities in Brighton, and there’s more than enough going on to help plan a fun filled family adventure! And if you’re looking for places to stay in the area, www.pureholidayhomes.com offers a wide variety of self catered holiday accommodation, to suit families of all sizes. Whatever your plans, Brighton is a brilliant place for a family getaway, with lots to do and plenty to see.

Great honeymoon destinations.

As far as holidays go, this is a pretty important one, and you probably want to get it just right. What do you want out of a honeymoon? A relaxing break or a cultural adventure? Whatever you’re doing, it should be as memorable and special as you can make it. Here are a few ideas of places to go and places to stay- if you’re currently planning for your holiday after the big day.

Dubai is a destination of both luxury and local cultures. Visit top restaurants and enjoy champagne brunches, or explore traditional Dubai in the Bastakia Quarter of sandy buildings, trendy art galleries and cafes. Visit the textile souk for some beautiful fabrics and Dubai Museum to learn about what this now modern city used to be like. Sunbathe on one of the many beautiful sandy beaches, and spend the day exploring the desert in a hired four by four…with so much choice you can have the best of both worlds; a relaxing honeymoon with activity days out. This one bedroom apartment in the marina has beautiful views of both water and city, in Marine Terrace Towers. On site there is a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and tennis court, and the balcony is lovely place to have a romantic breakfast.

Barbados

Barbados is another great beach location, and you could if you wanted spend an entire honeymoon taking hand in hand strolls along sandy beaches. Other popular activities include snorkelling and scuba-diving, and horse riding. A great mix of the romantic and the adventurous. This unique and beautiful apartment in Mullins Bay would make an ideal honeymoon base. This airy home is set in an acre of tropical gardens and is only a stroll away Mullins beach and the beach restaurant. Perfect.

Hawaii

In terms of activities, Hawaii has a long list of active pursuits, from horseriding, to all sorts of watersports and cycling. Yet again, this is another destination known for its beautiful white sandy beaches…but this is one of the reasons it is such a great romantic honeymoon destination. And here’s something a little bit different in terms of accommodation. This magical and spacious tree-house in the Puna District is built within giant fern trees, offering you the opportunity to be truly immersed in nature, whilst also providing the modern conveniences of a full kitchen, bath and TV and DVD facilities.

New York

It seemed only right to throw a city break into the mix of honeymoon destinations, and in terms of romantic getaways, New York is right up at the top. Stroll through Central Park, see the city at night from the Empire State Building, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and eat in an amazing New York restaurant. This modern and stylish house in Brooklyn has a beautiful and peaceful garden right on its doorstep, and is just minutes away from the subway, so you can explore the city as and when you like.

These four destinations are just a small taster of some great places to go for your honeymoon, whether you’re adventurous or laid back. And remember to choose the perfect accommodation for your break; going self catered makes your stay that bit more personal!

Elgar in Egypt

Elgar here. Welcome to my second travel update! I’ve just been fortunate enough to embark upon a trip to wonderful Egypt, and now that I’m back you lucky people get to hear about everything I’ve been up to. So here goes…

My first Egyptian escapade was of course to see the pyramids, and the Sphinx (like a huge lion/human/cat, pretty gorgeous too for her age). They were a pretty awe inspiring sight, and I took quite a few of pictures of myself in front of them. I just couldn’t get enough of Egypt’s historical wonders, so I then took a trip to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to peruse its many curiosities (in awe of the Pharaohs and Tutankhamun!)…

Pyramids in Egypt

It's your favourite Giza!

But after saturating all that history, I thought it might be nice to get out and about and active, so I had a go at a spot of snorkeling, and then some diving in the Red Sea. And then some scuba diving. Truly, all once in a lifetime experiences, and very refreshing! I then visited the Suez Canal and saw some beautiful sights from the bridge over the Nile in Cairo. Stunning.

These were probably the highlights of my trip, but I also enjoyed indulging in endless plates of local cuisine, hired a jeep to explore the desert, had a camel ride (travellers tip, the jeep was a tad more cosy on the old rump!) and went to lots of local markets.

So, all in all I’ve been rather busy, but I had a fantastic time in Egypt! And because I’m still getting used to all this travelling and it’s proving to be rather strenuous, I thought I’d treat myself to a luxurious holiday home with my very own pool – find your own.

So long for now, I’ll be in touch!

Sincerely,
Elgar.

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