self-catering holiday cottage, holiday rental near Alton Towers and Peak District

Self-catering near Alton Towers and Peak District - Call Barks Holiday Cottage 01538 703436 email or book online.


Last minute Alton Towers accommodation

AUGUST availability

We have only two self catering mini breaks available during the school summer holidays.  The perfect way for a family of five to enjoy a couple of days at Alton Towers and some lovely Staffordshire countryside.  Tidy rural cottage just a couple of miles to Alton  Towers.

7 - 9 August: Weekend 3 night mini-break: arriving Saturday 7th and departing Tuesday 10th is £295.

10 - 13 August: DISCOUNT OFFER: Mid week 3 night mini-break arriving Tuesday 10th and departing Fri 13th is 15% off - now £240.

For more availability later in the season please check the Availability page.


Rural Holiday Cottage - nature update

A near tragic event became a very moving experience yesterday.  I heard a thump at the front of the house and recognised the sound immediately.  A young bird had flown into the front window, the third to do so this season.

Previously a finch went crash, gave itself a headache and flew away, somewhat wiser I hope.  Later a recently fledged woodpecker did the same, but it didn't make it.  I felt its little heart beat its last beat, and my own heart break just a little.  I kept one of its feathers for sentimental reasons.

So yesterday I wandered round to the front of the house to check what had misjudged its flightpath and was horrified to see it was another of the woodpecker brood.  Without letting it see me I quietly picked it up and felt its heart was beating.  Beak open and eyes closed, I didn't really fancy its chances and wasn't surprised when its heart starting beating less vigorously.  I sat still and kept it warm to give it some recovery time.  I was there for quite a long time and worried when it didn't react to the chirp of another passing woodpecker.  I felt hopeful when it started shaking its head.  Its heart beat firmly again. Then it sneezed.  Clawed feet suddenly gripped my finger firmly, although there was no sign of it wanting to fly away.  On the contrary it twisted its head round and hid it under its wing.  Ah, the restoring powers of sleep!

I wanted to summon assistance for the camera, but couldn't call out.  I needed to search online for what to do when you have a sleeping woodpecker in your hands - Chris Packham must have mentioned it somewhere - but my hands were full.  I needed to go on the school run . . .

Little woodpecker stayed sleeping when I transferred him to the covered birdtable.  I was away on the school run for half an hour and by the time I was back the little woodpecker had gone from the bird table.  Clinging to the birdfeeder outside the holiday cottage bedroom window, however, was a young woodpecker.  Normally so keen to fly away at the slightest movement this bird hid around the pole and bravely took its time.  I like to think it was the same woodpecker having a peanut breakfast after a restoring snooze. 

Meanwhile, Ashes, one of last years chicks, has become broody and has been given an enormous new and expensive hen house all to herself.  She is now sitting comfortably and is recovered from her initial separation anxiety.  If I remember correctly eggs take 19 - 21 days to hatch so expect a blog update on this subject in about 3 weeks if she stays the distance.


Last minute August self catering holiday near Alton Towers

My goodness what has happened this week to make everyone pick up the phone and make enquiries?  World cup over, sun went in for moment so people were forced to come inside maybe.  Who know?!  Trouble is that we don't have very much availability left for our self catering cottage in August so it is first come, first served.

7 - 12 August:  We now have 6 nights available for £405 in Barks Holiday Cottage to sleep up to 5 people
Plus the Annex suite is perfect for another couple to join you on your holiday if required for 3 nights at £150 or £225 for all 6 nights.

28 - 31 August Bank Holiday:  £295 for 3 nights plus £50 for extra night.
September is quiet for now, as always.  When the children have gone back to school I expect we will see some exhausted parents recharging their batteries.  I recommend some good country air and scenery, then maybe an evening session in the spa followed by a lovely meal out.  Doesn't that sound relaxing?


A special July welcome to the holiday cottage

I just feel like showing off a little bit! I hope that is allowed. We have a family of five arriving shortly for a week's self catering holiday and I have just put the finishing touches to the holiday cottage ready for their arrival. They are coming from Sussex which is a fair old trek. I just had to take a photo because the seasonal touch for July included some strawberries from our garden. Love July!

I had a Nigella moment and thought I'd pick some strawberries to go with the choc chip muffins I made using eggs from our free range hens. Fresh coffee and a cafetiere, a tea pot with some Earl Grey, a jug of milk in the fridge and some fragrant flowers from the garden; what could be lovelier on a sunny July day? Well . . . they can take their afternoon tea into the garden if they so choose.

We still have a July weekend available - 10, 11, 12th July.
And there is another July gap that I'd love to fill with a short or long break anytime between 20th - 26th. Can't promise strawberries though!

01538 703436
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