RCI Opening Doors Throughout the UK – The Holiday Cottages Group

Holiday Cottages Group is made up of over 30 brands, such as well-established names like Blakes, English Country Cottages and Country Holidays, and has more than 60,000 rental properties in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and beyond.

The UK’s landscapes and heritage make it a much demanded destination – RCI is bringing its members accommodation options at home, writes Sarah Lee.

Whether you look for a place rich in history or famed for its wild and intoxicating natural beauty, the UK makes a fantastic destination. It’s no surprise then that UK resorts are always much in demand with RCI members.

So RCI has teamed up with its sister company, Holiday Cottages Group to offer members more accommodation choices in the UK, through the Owner Exchange Club.

The Owner Exchange Club was recently launched to offer RCI members access to quality cottage and villa accommodation. Meanwhile Holiday Cottages Group owners, who deposit two weeks with the club, are given RCI Points for Exchange into properties in RCI’s global network.

RCI members can Exchange into an Owner Exchange Club property in the same way as they do normally. Just deposit your week, then go to www.rci.com to find your perfect UK getaway, alternatively you can contact an RCI Guide for assistance.

Holiday Cottages Group is made up of over 30 brands, such as well-established names like Blakes, English Country Cottages and Country Holidays, and has more than 60,000 rental properties in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and beyond.

A spokesperson for RCI’s customer services said: “RCI’s scale and diversity means it can bring more benefits and holiday accommodation options to its timeshare members and rental owners.

“Access to the Owner Exchange Club is free, but it offers RCI members and Holiday Cottages Group owners alike, fantastic exchange options and quality accommodation. All UK Owner Exchange Club properties are inspected to VisitBritain’s Quality Standards so club members are assured great accommodation.”

Holiday Cottages Group owners have so far deposited 532 UK properties into the Owner Exchange Club – a total of 1,400 weeks.

A DESTINATION FOR EVERYONE

Experience the UK’s rich and diverse heritage at an Owner Exchange Club cottage in one of the following destinations:


DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY

The poet Robert Burns made the Scottish border town of Dumfries his home in later life and there are many Burns museums and historical sites among the town’s Georgian and Victorian buildings, such as the Globe Inn where Burns enjoyed drinks with friends.

Dumfries is great for shopping and has a good selection of restaurants, while the wider area of Dumfries and Galloway offers some of Scotland’s most spectacular coastline. Other attractions include the Sweetheart Abbey at New Abbey, or the impressive triangular Caerlaverock Castle.

Caerlaverock’s Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust bird sanctuary is the perfect place for twitchers as it hosts some 12,000 barnacle geese in the winter months, as well as pintails, sheldrakes and oyster catchers. While those that love the great outdoors can chose from a fantastic cycle path network, fishing, golf and walking paths.


YORKSHIRE

As varied as it is large the county of Yorkshire offers something for every visitor – from the vibrant city centres of Leeds, Sheffield and York, to the quaint fishing harbour of Whitby.

Yorkshire’s earned its place in the UK’s history books and this can be explored among the grandeur of York Minster and the county’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The first, the mill village of Saltaire, near Bradford, is a unique way to experience the history of the Industrial Revolution as you can see how 19th century workers lived, while enjoying the mill’s arts and crafts gallery. Then head for the stately ruins of the 700-year-old Fountains Abbey, north of Leeds and wander the romantic stone ruins of this vast 12th century abbey, set among Studley Royal Water Garden – a delightful 18th century embellishment.

Yorkshire’s windswept moors provided the backdrop for Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. In fact ‘wuthering’ is a Yorkshire word that means turbulent weather. But whatever the weather the views across the moors are simply beautiful.


PEAK DISTRICT

One look at the awe-inspiring Peak District and it’s clear why Britain’s first national park was established here. This area of Derbyshire simply takes your breath away, as rolling hills and moorlands meet lush valleys, limestone gorges, stone villages and quaint market towns.

The perfect destination for those who love the great outdoors, the Peak District offers fabulous walking and cycling routes, especially around the Derbyshire Dales.

And, when you’ve worked up an appetite, head to one of the area’s market towns for a bite to eat. The town of Bakewell is best known for Bakewell tarts but the first one was made by mistake. In the 19th century a cook at the Rutland Arms who was baking a jam tart misunderstood the recipe and the humble Bakewell was born. It is still served today in the town’s traditional tea shops.

Another Peak District town famous for its culinary delights is Ashbourne, where Ashbourne Gingerbread Men were produced. The original shop front is still there, although it’s now a bakers. The town’s other attractions include Tudor and Georgian buildings, the impressive Parish Church of St Oswald and antique shops. It is also close to Alton Towers theme park.

NORFOLK AND SUFFOLK

Relaxation is the only thing possible as you watch boats chug along on the 125 miles of tidal rivers that make up the Norfolk Broads.

It is an area of restored windmills, medieval churches and beautiful gardens while the Broads themselves are home to an array of unique wildlife.

Barton and Hickling Broads are just two of the many nature reserves where you can follow walking trails and take boat trips to see local wildlife.

Many of Norfolk’s historic sites date to the Romans, including the ancient port at Caister-on-Sea and Burgh Castle, the remains of a fort. While the gardens, maze and miniature railway at Somerleyton Hall make it one of the region’s must-sees.

The wild east coast features some beautiful beaches that are the perfect place to get away from it all.

The Suffolk towns of Lowestoft and Southwold are located on what’s known as the Sunrise Coast – the driest regional climate in the UK – so you can be assured some breath-taking morning walks along golden sandy beaches.

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