The Dandelion Hideaway
Set on a working farm teeming with livestock (goats, hens & Shetland ponies are your new neighbours), the site's five canvas cottages are thoughtfully located in the heart of the farm, all with far reaching countryside views. The interiors have a wonderfully earthy feel, enhancing the site's natural concept. A traditional farmhouse kitchen and wood burning fire adorn the cottages, whilst country furniture, faded linens and a whistling kettle are lovely little touches that add to the rustic yet romantic atmosphere. In keeping with the splendid setting, each cottage comes armed with a luxurious free standing roll-top bath (with chrome shower), flushing loo and separate sink; perfect for those not fancying the dreaded morning trudge to the shower block!
The Dandelion Hideaway is perfectly located to discover The National Forest (11 miles), an ambitious project to generate new spaces of sustainable woodland across Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire. More than eight million saplings have taken root, and all sorts of visitor attractions are also sprouting up, including Conkers, an award-winning nature centre. However, the forest's real draw has to be its abundance of walks and bike trails. Summer afternoons can be spent exploring the endless acres (193,000 to be precise) of colourful heathlands, imposing woodlands and bubbling streams.
Back at The Dandelion Hideaway, guests are invited to get involved. Woodland survival courses run throughout the summer, educational farm tours are taken by John, whilst kids can help milk the goats, collect eggs and groom the friendly Shetland ponies. One animal less likely to make an appearance is the badger, however the site has its very own watching hide. Take the unique opportunity to get up close to these night-loving creatures, before heading back to your oh-so-cosy canvas cottage.
5 luxury canvas cottages (Rabbit’s Warren, Mole’s Hill, Fox’s Den, Hare’s Form and Badgers) sleeping six, complete with: farmhouse furniture, living area, kitchen dresser, butler’s sink with brass taps, chunky wooden work tops, fridge, wood burning fire (with oven & stove) and whistling kettle! 1 romantic cottage (Bluebells) with roomy bedroom, sitting & dining room, nostalgic toys & books, French day bed, leather chesterfield, antique gramophone and large veranda, sleeping two. With the adjacent Bluebells Nest an elevated tree house that sleeps two, with antique iron beds, loo and sink. Ideal for youngsters for an adventure. The eco-friendly wood burner hot tub hosts four guests and adds the icing on the cake to the romance and sheer luxury of The Dandelion Hideaway's most romantic canvas cottage, Bluebells. Relax under the stars in the hot tub; it's a delightful way to relax; dark skies sprinkled with stars, owl hoots from the woods, peace & quiet, a chilled glass of wine and a hot, hot tub! All accommodation has constant hot water in the kitchen and bathroom, which has a roll top bath & shower.
Glampers, couples, groups (the site sleeps up to 36 guests), animal lovers and dogs – yes. Tents, caravans and motorhomes – no.
Re-live a major turning point in British history at one of England’s most important historical sites, Bosworth Battlefield and its educational heritage centre (01455 290429.) Spectator to the death of a king, Bosworth was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses and saw the end of a three-decade power struggle for the throne. Learn about Henry Tudor, whose victory gave birth to the powerful Tudor dynasty, bringing two of England's most famous monarchs, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Kids can test their archery skills, or dress themselves in some traditional (but very heavy!) medieval armour. The National Space Centre (0116 261 0261) contains interactive displays covering the history of astronomy, space travel development and the very cool Space Now!, where you can check on all the latest missions. Films in the Space Theatre (no extra charge) launch you to the outer reaches of or solar system, but you can come back to earth with a sandwich and brew at the onsite Boosters Café. Leicester (11 miles) is one of England’s oldest cities, having been founded by the Romans back in 50 CE. In November 1940 the town suffered badly at the hands of the Luftwaffe, however since the 1960's a huge influx of workers from across the globe transformed the city into a universal melting pot, establishing dozens of temples and mosques. Today, top tourist attractions include the Golden Mile, Newarke Houses Museum and Gardens (0116 225 4980) and the medieval Leicester Cathedral (0116 261 5200), the final resting place of Richard III. Discover the National Forest on two wheels by renting a bike from Hicks Lodge Cycle Centre (01530 274533.)
Food & Drink
The converted ‘Old Cow Shed’ is open exclusively for guests, offering a wide range of meals, drinks and snacks. Be tempted by the cakes, cheeses and quiches as well as the honey, jams and pickles. There’s a choice of chilled drinks, sweets and other goodies, not to mention the chilled fridge jammed full of delicious local sausages and bacon for your wood-burning stove. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are available, and you’ll also find a store cupboard with pasta, muesli and readymade meals. Guests are invited to help themselves and make a note of their purchases on the account tab. The Gate Inn (01455 290502) is only a 15 minute walk away and boasts a range of classic dishes, together with a range of specials. If you’re dining during the week take advantage of the “2 for £10” offer. The Gate Hangs Well pub (01455 291845) in neighbouring Syston is perfect if you fancy some liquid refreshment. Market Bosworth also boasts a decent array of cafes, restaurants and traditional pubs. In the corner of Market Place is the very lovely, and very old (the property dates back to 1640) Thistle Cottage Tea Rooms (01455 292406.) Offering a wide selection of freshly cooked fare in a traditional setting, Thistle Cottage bakes fresh scones and tasty quiches daily. Also on offer is the hearty all day breakfast, freshly made panini’s and a traditional ploughman’s lunch.
March – November.
From M1/The North: leave the M1 at Junction 23A, taking the A42. Continue for 8 miles, before joining the A511 (following signs for Coalville.) Follow for 3 miles and at the roundabout junction with the A447 turn right (towards Hinckley) and follow for 6 miles. Turn right onto Lount Road and the site is on the left hand side. From M1/The South: leave the M1 at Junction 18 (signposted Hinckley) and join the A5, continuing for 17 miles until reaching the roundabout junction with the A47. Exit onto Dodwells Road, continue for 3 miles (passing over 3 roundabouts) and turn left onto the A447. Drive for 7 miles then turn left onto Lount Road, the site is on your left hand side. From M42: leave the M42 at Junction 10 (signposted Tamworth & Nuneaton.) Join the A5 towards Atherstone and continue for 11 miles until the roundabout junction with the A47. Then, follow the above directions “from M1/The South.” From M69: leave the M69 at Junction 1 (signposted Hinckley & Nuneaton) and join the A5 towards Atherstone. Continue for 3 miles until the roundabout junction with the A47. Then, follow the above directions “from M1/The South.”
Main line train services into Leicester (11 miles away) are operated by East Midlands Trains (08457 125 678), with regular services to London, Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby and limited services to/from Leeds, Lincoln and York. Regional services from Birmingham to Cambridge and Stansted Airport (via Peterborough) are provided by CrossCountry (0844 811 0124.) Nuneaton serves as the sites nearest train station (10 miles), with London Midland (0844 811 0133 or 0121 634 2040 from a mobile) providing an hourly London Euston to Crewe service, which operates via Milton Keynes, Stafford, Rugby and Stoke-on-Trent.
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