If you missed the boat this year and won’t be spending Christmas in a luxury large group holiday home with your nearest and dearest, well, more’s the pity, because that certainly is a fantastic way to celebrate this wonderful time of year, especially if you have children in your party; they just make it all so magical, don’t they? It’s such a joy to be a part of their excitement and to remember how we were all like that once upon a time….
Anyway, there’s always next year, if you’re quick. We’ve already taken several bookings for Christmas 2019 but there’s still some availability, so have a look and find the perfect property for some festive fun with your large group. Most of our large group holiday houses are set in beautiful rural locations in Somerset, Devon, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Hampshire, which makes it even more special; you’ll get all those wonderful happy yuletide feels with a Christmas in the country. Imagine if it snows! It couldn’t get much more perfect than that, could it?! Just a sprinkling on Christmas Day, even a hard frost would do, it would add to the ambience and be the icing on the cake to a festive break with Group Stays!
Our lovely property owners will have decked the halls for your arrival; maybe a bunch of mistletoe above the doorway, a nice big tree with twinkly fairy lights reflected in shimmering baubles… go on in, slip off your shoes and settle down in a comfy chair with a hot toddy. Light the fire and spend the evening playing board games together, maybe watch a Christmas movie, swap stories, read festive poems, sing carols. Put a big plate of mince pies and a bowl of nuts and tangerines on the table, pass the Quality Street round; oh, it will be so perfect!
Just imagine opening presents around the tree, Christmas music on, and you’ll all be snug in your festive jumpers! Put the bird in the oven and get wrapped up, hats and gloves and everything, and go for a walk. You can’t beat a good country walk on Christmas morning, and what a treat to come back to the delicious aroma of dinner cooking. And what a feast it will be! It’s such a pleasure to be gathered round a huge dining table laden with food; you’ll all be wearing party hats, pulling crackers and telling cheesy jokes! When you’ve had your fill you can flop down on the big fat sofas and catch the Queen’s Speech – well, there are some traditions that have to be maintained! No need to worry about whether the turkey will fit in the oven – the kitchens are all very well equipped and you’ll find plenty of everything, plus there’s usually a drinks fridge for your fizz.
Whether you stay for the whole week or a midweek break (Christmas Day falls on a Wednesday next year) there’ll be plenty for everyone to do, no matter how young or old. The majority of our big holiday homes and country cottages have swimming pools, mostly indoors, so you can all get in and lark around, and if you’re brave enough you can sit out in the hot tub and raise a (plastic) glass – several of the hot tubs at Group Stays’ properties are covered, and once you’re in the water you soon warm up. If there’s a BBQ lodge you can all snuggle together beneath the fairy lights, toast marshmallows, play cards, and natter away till the small hours, it’ll be so toasty and cosy out there. Of course there are games rooms where you can have an in-house pool challenge, or play table football, and you can dress the little ones in warm coats and hats and let them run around in the garden; there’s usually play equipment for them to clamber on; go and join in, give them a push on the swing, catch them at the bottom of the slide.
On Boxing Day you could have another walk; fresh air and exercise are amazing for perking you up when you’ve over indulged – you could even pop down to the coast, it’s usually within easy reach, and you might see the locals going for a swim in the sea – mad as it is, it’s something of a tradition in the West Country! If you go to one of the little market towns you'll probably find a big crowd gathered out supporting the local hunt, riders having a sherry on horseback when they’re all gathered in the square, hounds all excited and eager to set off. The Boxing Day hunt is an age old custom that’s still a big attraction in rural areas. Then you might fancy a pint of the local brew in one of the village pubs where the atmosphere will be merry, lots of happy smiling faces, cheeks all rosy from the winter cold.
Don’t miss out next year, book a large group stay and spend Christmas in the Country; bring friends and family all – aunties, uncles, cousins, Granny and Grandad, even the pet pooch; yep, you’ll be glad to know that most of our big country cottages are dog friendly too! If you like the idea of something different, go for a French country Christmas at our chateau near Poitiers; if you’re a staunch townie, pick Pitmaston House in Worcester for a city stay. Whatever you choose, it’ll be a good ‘un; make it happen, make next Christmas merry and bright.