With this year drawing to a close, we wanted to take this time to indulge in our fondest holiday memories, and share our favourite tales – from the heart-warming to the downright daft. Be it a beach retreat in Bali or a barn in Bude, we simply love to escape to all corners of the globe…
Isles of Scilly, UK
Melissa, Assistant Editor
The memory that springs to mind is kayaking around the Isles of Scilly this September. Holidaying at the Flying Boat Cottages, on Tresco Island, made a wonderful change of pace from city life, plus I had my entire family with me, making it extra special. One particular day, I spent 5 hours paddling the glass-still waters between Tresco and St Martin’s. We came face to face with seals, watched puffins swoop over protected islets and picnicked on a deserted white-sand beach. When we finally completed our circuit, my arms were aching and my skin was reddened from the sun. Luckily the spa soothed my muscles and The Ruin Beach Café provided well-earned pizzas. Needless to say, I was in little hurry to return to the mainland.
Michael, Director of Hotel Partnerships
My favourite memories are from my childhood holidays on the Greek island of Andros, which was a 2-hour boat ride from where I grew up in Athens. It seems like only yesterday I was running down the sand dunes at Fellos beach, only to crash into the sea and explore. The clear water and sunlight from above helped me to discover an underwater tunnel that lead to a cave within the rocky peninsula. It was quite the treat back then for an adventurous 7-year old boy, but even now I still long to be in that water again.
Ben, Bookings Consultant
Spending my birthday at the horizontally chilled-out Beach Houses in Goa was a dream come true – waking up with the sun peeking through the shutters and watching honeybee birds play on the windowsill. After a morning swim, the lovely staff arrived with a delicious chocolate cake big enough to feed the village, which kept me going until the evening. A seaside stroll along the beach took us to the amazing La Plage beach restaurant for a meal to remember. Nothing says perfection quite like enjoying a glass of wine with the sand between your toes.
Mossel Bay, South Africa
Emma, Editorial Assistant
My time spent in South Africa this summer spoilt me with a plethora of memories that I will keep close to my heart forever. Away from my nearest and dearest for a month, I was determined not to let a little homesickness get in the way of my adventure. Next thing I knew, I was on my way to go shark cage diving with some Australian backpackers I had just met. As our boat sped away from the dock, I grew more fearful of floating in the icy water than of the great whites themselves. Like dangling a carrot on a stick, the boatmen lured the sharks in with a tuna head. All of a sudden, they shouted, “get down, get down!”. Grabbing the cage bars, I was submerged underwater and swiftly found myself face-to-face with Jaws. As the shark soared past us, I felt ecstatic to be in the presence of these magnificent mammals in their natural habitat – a truly remarkable day.
My memories of a family getaway to rural Cornwall last year never fail to put a smile on my face. We stayed at the chic barn conversion, Bude Hideaways, where they have the most amusing free-range chickens which come and call at your door. My then 2-year-old Saphie was enchanted by them, and spent hours toddling about after them in her nappy, through daisy-strewn fields.
Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India
Sarah, Marketing Manager
Some of my most cherished memories are from a camel safari I went on in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. We spent three nights riding through the desert with just a few goat herds for company. In the evenings, we set up fireside camps and slept on blankets under the starriest skies I’ve ever seen. The exhilarating feeling of roaming through the wilderness and watching the sun setting over the sandbanks will stay with me forever.
The Gili Islands, Bali, Indonesia
Kate, Head of Reservations
While on a holiday in Bali a few years ago, my husband and I were making our way to the Gili Islands on a tiny skippered boat when these majestic sea turtles glided past us. Just when I thought the moment couldn’t get any more perfect, the most incredible blood-red sunset flooded the sky. I am still waiting for a chance to go back so I can go snorkelling again amongst in these enchanting white-sand islands.