As a child we were lucky to have some amazing Summer holidays over the years, right across the UK and over to Europe, and yet some of my favourite memories will always be of our time spent over on the Isle of Man. Despite thirty years passing since those holidays, I can remember so many moments in vivid detail – climbing to the top of Laxey Wheel, visiting Fairy Glen, Peel Castle, riding along the sea front at Douglas in an old horse and cart. To me, it felt like the most magical place I had ever been to and, despite being just off the mainland, it felt like a whole new world. And I knew that one day, when I had children of my own, I wanted to go back and show them all of those places and make memories to treasure of our own.
And so earlier this month when we were invited over to the Isle of Man for the weekend it felt like the perfect opportunity to do just that, and I’m not sure who was more excited – me or the kids! The quickest way to reach the Isle of Man for us was to fly, just a twenty minute flight from Liverpool which, for someone who is as anxious about flying as I am, is just long enough! By the time we hit the sky it was time to come back down and as we circled above the island ready to land, I felt a rush of emotion at all that lay ahead.
After picking up our hire car we headed over to our home for the week at Ballavartyn Holiday Homes, Santon, just a short drive away from the airport. Set within the grounds of an exclusive equestrian centre, there are nine beautiful holiday homes catering for between one and eight people, all of which accept pets and are disabled friendly. We were lucky enough to stay in Hedgehunter and as we pulled up at the front we were all really impressed!
The children instantly noticed the large stone horses at the front of the house, something I thought was such a fun way to incorporate the equestrian centre into the holiday homes.
The first thing I noticed was how lovely and airy the house was with so much space for the six of us to really spread out and make ourselves at home. There’s nothing worse than arriving at a holiday home to discover it is far smaller than we anticipated – a holiday can feel like an eternity when we’re all on top of each other and so having a large, spacious place to enjoy is a real bonus.
At the back of the house is a gorgeous open plan living room, dining room and kitchen, with double doors out to a private patio area overlooking a field where the children were delighted to discover horses!
I loved the homely feel of the living area with a huge corner couch, a cosy armchair and a pouffe. The children were happy to discover a television and DVD player which in the end, we barely even had time to watch due to being so active over the course of the weekend!
The dining area was particularly lovely as it meant that we could enjoy the view as we ate breakfast each morning. I imagine that in the warmer weather it would be a gorgeous spot with the patio doors open, enjoying a glass of wine whilst we watched the children playing on the patio, enjoying the last of the sunshine after a long Summer’s day.
The kitchen was lovely and modern and well equipped with everything we needed to enjoy our stay. It was great to see a washing machine in the property, a real must during longer stays, alongside a dishwasher, microwave, full size fridge freezer, and oven and hob.
On the ground floor there is also a twin bedroom which was a great size with ample storage to really make ourselves at home. Each bed had towels for use during our stay and all beds were made up ready and waiting.
Also on the ground floor was a large disabled friendly bathroom, something I think every holiday property should have, which had a toilet, sink and shower and was fully tiled throughout. It was really useful for us to have two bathrooms, particularly a downstairs toilet for the children, and Lewis was more than happy to have his own room on the ground floor where he could escape the youngest three for a little while at bedtime!
Upstairs were three more bedrooms and Gaz and I took the master bedroom which was really spacious and well furnished. One of the biggest worries I have about going away are whether the beds will be comfortable and yet thankfully the beds at Hedgehunter were lovely and cosy and we all slept really well the whole weekend!
The girls claimed the second double room, purely for the pretty floral bedding, and had lots of space to unpack their many, many toys and teddies they had stuffed into their back packs, as well as film the most adorable “house tour vlog” which those of you who watch my instastories may have seen!
And in the last bedroom, another double, Harry was excited to have a big bed to himself for the first time! I was so grateful that each room had bedside lights, something which is a real must for us when we are away. It’s important for me that the children feel safe and secure in unfamiliar properties and leaving a small nightlight on can make a real difference.
Across the hall was another large family bathroom with toilet, sink and cubicle shower. There is no bath at all in Hedgehunter which was fine for us as our children are old enough to shower, but this may pose an issue for those with young children who do require a bath.
Each of the rooms had lovely views out across the equestrian centre and countryside and it was so lovely to wake up each morning, open the curtains, and be greeted by blue skies and green countryside.
We absolutely loved our stay at Ballavartyn Holiday Homes and found the location perfect for exploring the island. We would definitely recommend them to anyone looking to visit the Isle of Man, particularly those like us with a large family and needing a spacious home away from home. You can check out Hedgehunter and the other eight holiday homes here.
Make sure you check back in tomorrow to see what we got up to during our stay on the Isle of Man and why, when all too soon it was time to go home, we left a little piece of our hearts right here on the island.
** We were invited to stay at Ballavartyn Holiday homes for the purpose of an honest review. All words and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated **