THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED - WE WILL BE ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS HERE. 

Congratulations to all! Here are our winners - 

Kelly Gilmartin from East Sussex who will stay at Belle Tout Lighthouse

Catherine Morris from Cardiff who will stay at Riverscapes 

Helen Bulford from Surrey who will stay at the treehouse at Blackberry Wood

Ami Langridge from West Yorkshire will stay at Hotel Pelirocco in Brighton

And many thanks to the rest of you - Keep signing up in 2019. Your turn may come!

Our QuirkyAccom Autumn Competition is now open! And this time we are not only offering great prizes but also have agreed to support Right to Play UK (registered charity number (1112404) - an inspiring charity supporting children in difficult situations in the Middle East, Asia and Africa through play, sport and education. We will donate to them £1 per competition entrant. So do tell you friends and family to sign up too!

Take a look at our Competition video which gives you a glimpse at all the possible prize locations you could end up visiting if you are selected to be one of our 4 lucky winners. All locations are in the South East this time - great for Londoners - but all the places are so unique and would make brilliant stays for anyone. Do add extra nights (at extra cost) if you are coming from further afield and if you wish to stay longer.

IMG 1331COPPER POT BARN (with hot tub!) is perfectly located for a get together as its central within England, in countryside near Leamington Spa. If your guests are coming from different directions, everyone should be able to reach it without much trouble. The top quality barn conversion sleeps 8+2 in total, but as Tiny Wood Homes is at the same address, a stroll away, extra cabins could be booked if your numbers roll over that. These also feature hot tubs, and clever use of space and views over the fields.

There are some very appealing features to Copper Pot Barn that should make this a great option for your next get together.

The outdoor space with large hot tub, seating and lawn is a big plus. The hot tub works efficiently - just press a button an hour before you want to take the plunge to give it a boost. As its under cover it isn't weather dependent either. The garden is great if you want to bring along your dog too.

IMG 0851I do like to share my travel experiences with you! This is how we discover new places to explore that perhaps you wouldn't have considered before. A friend was raving about the Azores, hence we booked our trip there this summer, and now I in turn want to spread the word. It is possible to fly direct from Gatwick or Stanstead to Sao Miguel in summer. This is the largest island and, although you could explore others, actually this island has so much to offer you could easily just stick with that.

Not sure where the Azores are? I needed to check a map too. They do belong to Portugal but are out in the Atlantic and therefore can have a bit of a changeable climate - but we found the weather very pleasant in July despite the occasional drizzle and cloud. This is an adventureous holiday afterall with volcano hikes, crater lakes and waterfalls, thermal springs to dip in and black sand beaches to be explored. If you are a real foody you will need to plan a bit. There are not so many good restaurants on the island so work your trips around the ones with good reviews.

As the island is fairly small you can do pretty extensive exploring in a week. We started in Ponta Delgada for a couple of nights - but found the town pretty deserted on a Sunday. I suggest you pick up a car at the airport and avoid the taxi queue. There is so much to see around the island you need to get out there as soon as possible. From here, after our first sleep and delicious breakfast at historic boutique hotel Casa das Palmeiras, we took off to the East to visit Sete Cidades - a blue and green lake next to each other. 

 

PHOTO 2018 09 21 20 23 13 1Glamping is an important part of our business so we were keen to show our faces at The Glamping Show in Birmingham this September to keep our finger on the pulse. What is trending, what will come next, what are people talking about?

I went with my niece Elena, who works with us at QuirkyAccom.com, and we wore our sweatshirts proudly announcing our directory of unusual places to stay and took our time meandering between stalls and installations and chatting to people.

What is Glamping?

Not just yurts and tipis and other innovative canvas creations. Glamping pods, cabins, shepherd huts and treehouses - in fact any innovative space that brings some home comforts to a stay close to nature. A sector of the glamping market has certainly moved towards the top end with many places undeniably luxurious, and aimed at those on a high budget, or with celebrations to be marked. But it is possible to Glamp on a lower budget too.

At QuirkyAccom we have several accommodation types which cover not just Glamping under canvas. I have added other links here that will help you select exactly what you are looking for under the same umbrella.

 

Screen Shot 2018 08 28 at 22.00.35Hi there, it’s Annie! I work on the Marketing team here at QuirkyAccom.com. I hope you’ve all had a lovely Summer. I’m lucky enough to go on a family holiday most years. This year we visited a well-known holiday destination; Venice in Italy, as well as Lake Bled in Slovenia, a less popular destination.

We flew into Venice Treviso airport, which is slightly further away than the Marco Polo airport, however, flights are usually much cheaper. As soon as we arrived in the city centre, I fell in love. The place is unlike anywhere I’ve ever been; The architecture, the narrow windy streets, the overall vibe of the city. We hopped on the waterbus and travelled to our hotel.  I will keep my accounts of Venice short and sweet, as there are so many travel blogs and advice pages on this city floating around the internet.

 


 

 

Here are my top ten tips/must-do's:

1. Buy a waterbus ticket in advance. Each journey is around 8 euros, and the waterbus ticket for 3 days is around 22 euros (for under 29-year-olds). They are called Venezia Unica tickets and can be purchased on the website (https://www.veneziaunica.it/en/e-commerce/services) You can also add discounted museum and tours onto this pass.

2. You will do lots and lots and lots of walking. Even if you’re not planning to, as it is inevitable that you will get lost. It’s all part of the fun of it though, and we found some of our favourite little areas by wandering around and getting lost. Wear trainers/comfy shoes!

3. Don’t be put off my scary long queues. The one for the Doge’s Palace was really long, but if you buy your tickets in advance online it’s cut almost in half. And it’s worth it!

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4. Make the most of the reasonably priced Aperol Spritz! The best ones we had were the ones where the bar had a branded plaque up, which meant they’d been credited by Aperol for knowing how to make one properly. Alternatively, if you find them a bit bitter, go for the Hugo! A sweeter version with elderflower and mint.

5. There are a lot of Venice travel app’s, and the best one I found was Venice Travel Guide Online by Gonzalo Juarez. I wouldn’t say it’s life-changing, but there is basic history about all the major landmarks, and you can pop your headphones in and listen to an audio version. I spent £1 more on a more in-depth version of the Doge’s Palace which saved me spending £5 on the audio guide you can rent in the Palace.

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6. We ate well, however, it is expensive and we had some not so great meals. The first restaurant we ate in was called Il Calice in the San Marco area, and this was by far our best meal. I would also recommend stopping off at the “Pasta to Go/Pasta in a Box” places if you get stuck, as they are cheap, made with fresh pasta and really yummy.

7. Watch out for service charge/cover charge! There are a lot of places (normally right in tourist hot spots) that charge around 15% service charge, and then a 2€-4€ cover charge, which in one place was per person (so x4 for 4 people) and in one of the places it was per every single thing we ordered. However, a lot of places don’t charge these, and normally advertise it when they don’t.

 

8. Squeeze in a trip to Murano or Burano (or both)! They’re only about 30-40 mins away on the waterbus and included in your normal Venezia Unica pass. Murano is famous for its glass, and Burano is famous for its multi-coloured houses, as you can see below.

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9. Don’t take a rose from anyone. In the evenings, there are men on every single corner that give you a rose “for free”, however, they will then follow you and pester you until you pay them. They will try and force them into your hands, into your pockets, your bag etc.

10. Finally, try the gelato! The best one we had was somewhere called La Boutique Del Gelato. We went three times!

On our fourth day, we boarded the train to Trieste, where we stayed for one night, picked up a hire care and crossed the border into Slovenia.

We were in Lake Bled for 5 days and planned to use it as a base as well to visit more places in Slovenia. However, we ended up staying there the whole time as there was a lot more to do and see than we thought. We ended up filling up the days just in and around the area.

I was so surprised by the number of young people that were visiting. There were a lot of young, active families, and a lot of people passing through whilst interrailing too. For this bit, I will split it into our days.

Day 1

So, the lake is obviously the main attraction of Bled. The picturesque forests surrounding it, as well as the Island with the church in the middle of the lake, make for a fairytale-like landscape. We looped the whole lake on the first day, which is only has a ratio of 6 km. We chose to do this by foot, although many people had bikes or rollerblades. There were also the options of a little tourist train or horse-drawn carriage.

We did the loop slowly, stopping off for a few grapefruit shandys on the way!

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Day 2

We booked the Emerald River Adventure Trip with the 3Glav Adventures Tour Group, who in our experience, was amazing! It was the four of us and four other people on the trip, and the guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. The tour consisted of a few hikes around the local mountain ranges, as well as visiting some historic landmarks. We also went white water rafting which was so much fun. We ended the day with a unique train journey that you boarded in your car. You weren’t confined to a carriage and you could have all the windows and doors open, which proved for an exhilarating ride.

Screen Shot 2018 08 28 at 22.36.10Day 3

On the 3rd day, we walked halfway around the lake, to a spot we’d visited on the first day. We went swimming, sunbathed and relaxed. The lake is very clean and not too busy, proving for a really relaxing experience.

 

 

 

Day 4

We booked another adventure with 3Glav, this time, we opted for canyoning! This was less of a full day, with an all round trip of 4 hours. I highly recommend canyoning for anybody who is looking for an adrenaline rush and to be pushed out of their comfort zone. It's an exhilarating and different way to immerse yourself into nature. Unfortunately, the water levels were lower than ideal as there had not been as much rain as normal, so I would recommend checking the water levels in the area before you go. 

My favourite part of canyoning was the abseiling. The guides were so great and made you feel really comfortable. 

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Day 5

On our final day, we jumped in a rowing boat and headed off to Bled Island, located right in the middle of the lake. It is small but worth wandering around. There was actually a wedding on in the church on the island, which was a lovely little touch. We jumped off the docking bays there to have a swim in the lake, as were a lot of people. Rowing boat seemed to be the most relaxing and one of the most economically-friendly ways to reach the island, however, you could get a communal boat that was rowed for you, a kayak, a paddle board, or some people even opted to swim! 

 

 

Overall, Venice was as beautiful as I expected (and nowhere near as smelly as everybody made out!), and Slovenia surpassed all our expectations. I highly recommend both locations. If you want to make your trip a quirky one, check out these hotel suggestions:

danieli

Hotel Danieli - Venice. It's grand and impressive and in a prime spot! Or Ai Mori d'Oriente Hotel is also gorgeous, waterside but costs a lot less as it is not so centrally located.

 

At Lake Bled - if bold wallpaper is quirky this is! Penzion Vila Prešerenat a lovely spot on the edge of the lake. Or Old Bled House is rustic and quaint and has great reviews.

Thanks for reading!