Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Christmas | English Getaway

I'm sure that all of you will agree with me when I say that I love a good holiday and for me this has always meant hopping on a plane and travelling somewhere many miles from the UK. This time however I decided to do something a little different to what I'm used to. As ignorant as this may sound, other than weekends away visiting various different family members, going on holiday in England is something that I haven't ever really done before but when me and James both had  a week off work last week we wanted to use it wisely rather than just wasting it away doing nothing.
Being so close to Christmas we didn't want to spend a lot of money on going abroad so we decided to stay in England and James came up with a really nice idea of staying in a little cottage somewhere. After spending a long time scouring the internet to find somewhere within our budget that also had lots of things to do in the area, we found the most beautiful country house in Oswestry, Shropshire. The week turned out be wonderful and was the perfect chance to relax and recuperate. We had the most lovely time exploring typically British towns, going on countryside walks and taking pictures of the beautiful views. It has definitely made me want to make this an annual thing so that I can spend more time appreciating the gorgeous towns that sit within the UK! And whilst this in absolutely no way means that I will stop going on holiday abroad, it has most definitely broadened my horizons.
As we live a 3 and a half hour drive from Oswestry it's not somewhere that I had actually heard of before but despite not knowing much about the area, the reviews were brilliant and the house in Henlle Hall looked lovely with everything that we needed including a very appealing hot tub; so we decided to take the risk and booked it- and it definitely lived up to expectations. As soon as we arrived we were immediately impressed with the beautiful grounds of the house and it surroundings. It looked even more spectacular in person! Within minutes of getting out of the car we met with the lovely owner Keeta who showed us to our part of the house that we would be staying in. As much as I would have loved to have had the whole building to ourselves, I think it would have been just slightly too big for the 2 of us. Can you imagine? We would have kept losing each other all the time! The part that we were staying in though was called The East Wing which was just as lovely and we were even more excited to see that our private hot tub was right outside the  front door making it so convenient! Once we stepped inside our amazement just kept on continuing.  We couldn't believe  how well thought out everything was. The owners had considered every little detail and it really showed. It had a kitchen, dining room, lounge, a giant bathroom and 2 large bedrooms. Each  spacious room had everything that we could have needed to make us feel as at home as possible and we were even given a lovely little greeting hamper containing a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine which went down a treat.

There was absolutely nothing that I could fault; it was just the perfect place to have a chilled week. Our favourite thing to do was sit outside in the hot tub with an ice cold glass of wine looking over the beautiful views towards Wales- it was so lovely!
The surrounding areas of Henlle Hall were just as beautiful and on our first day we went on a walk to find the local spa 'Lion Quays'; we walked through the golf course and along the canal which was nice to have a look around the area that we were staying in. I really enjoyed getting all wrapped up in my winter warmers with my wellies, scarf and gloves. It made me feel really Christmassy! The spa looked very inviting too and we couldn't wait to try it out. As it was just a stones throw away from Henlle Hall, Keeta had organised for any guests to be given discounted entry to the spa as a nice little bonus. We had a choice of paying £30 each for a 7 day pass or £10 each for a 1 day pass. We  decided just to go for the one day pass  as we had our own hot tub anyway and there were lots of other things that we wanted to do during the week rather than spending it in the spa every day- as lovely as that sounds!  The one day that we did spend there though was so nice and relaxing. It had all the usual facilities including a pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna and it was just such a peaceful environment to be in. We spent lots of time sitting back and unwinding in each one and really making the most of it. We had considered getting a treatment but it wasn't really James' sort of thing so we decided not to in the end. I think I'll save that for a girls day out with some friends instead as I know they would appreciate it a lot more!
The rest of the week consisted of visiting nearby towns including Chester and the Welsh border town Chirk, where of course I loved looking around all of the little exclusive shops. There was a small shop in Chirk called Fine Things which was so cute. I love little niche shops like this, particularly at this time of the year as they always sell lots of lovely Christmas bits. I'm trying to be good with money so I didn't actually buy anything but I enjoyed window shopping! I also really loved spending the week just being able to sit and relax with a  film, making home-cooked meals and getting extremely competitive over Monopoly!
The holiday was exactly what I needed and I felt so refreshed on my return to work. I would love to go back to Henlle Hall again some time and maybe next time bring some more friends along. Drinking wine in the hot tub every evening sounds even better with other people to share it with!
Have you been on a holiday in the UK? Where's your favourite place to go?

love Katya x

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