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January 2023 Newsletter

Greetings from Dorset, England and welcome to our new subscribers, followers and those interested in coming to stay with us in the near or far future! We love and appreciate you all and we hope you had a wonderful start to 2023!

Here at Well Cottage, we have been easing into the new year, with January typically being our quietest month. While the weather may still be chilly, sometimes wet and even a little bit snowy, we know you are starting to think about your 2023 and 2024 vacations!

There are those that like to book well in advance and those who like to book last minute and we have something for everyone! No matter when you are looking to travel to our beautiful cottage, we have the opportunity for you to save $1,000.00 USD/$1,350.00 CAD just by completing our quick survey!

Not only will your feedback help us continue to improve and grow but it will also give you the chance to save on your luxury, all inclusive holiday with us here in England.

We still have availability in 2023 but you can use your $1,000.00 USD/$1,350.00 CAD voucher for whenever you would like and for all of the following all inclusive packages (minimum stay, 7 nights).

  • Our Completely Tailor-made Package
  • 7 night, Set Itinerary Package
  • 7 night, Walking and Hiking Package
  • 7 night, Festive Pre Christmas Package

To complete our quick survey and automatically receive $1,000.00 USD/$1,350.00 CAD OFF your first booking with us – CLICK HERE!

When Guests Become Fast Friends!

Guests of 2022, you all brought Nathan and I so much joy and such a wonderful energy to our 18th Century English cottage, filling this home-away-from-home for many with laughter and happiness – a feeling that continues to be felt by us and will be felt by every future guest that comes to stay with us here in Dorset, England!

In this month’s newsletter…

  • Cinema to Cottage: The Holiday’s influence on our luxury escape
  • Royal Riffs: Prince Harry’s book and the King’s Coronation
  • Wellies On: Our Walking/Hiking Itinerary Package launch
  • Book Now: Single room, 7 night set itinerary, August 2023 dates
  • Fun Facts about Dorset and English Cottage Vacation
  • Continuing Down Memory Lane: Part 10 – Moving to the ‘dark side’.
  • Guest Voices: Reviews & testimonials
  • Featured FAQ: Can you help us with our onward travel arrangements?
  • Last Word: Our final thought

How ‘The Holiday’ Inspired Our Countryside Haven

The little cottage from the hit romcom The Holiday, starring Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Kate Winslet, gave much inspiration for many of the choices we made as we turned our vision into reality back in 2019!

The quaint cottage from the movie 'The Holiday'

Prince Harry’s Book and HM King Charles III Coronation

If you are hands down obsessed with the royals, you will already know that HM King Charles’s Coronation is planned for May this year and that Prince Harry has recently been causing quite a stir in the British tabloids with the release of his new book!!!

A Right Royal Week at Well Cottage!

May 1st – 9th 2023

The King’s Coronation is not only a fantastic time to visit the UK, it’s also, unbelievably, still available here at Well Cottage!!

We have some brilliant activities and surprises for the lucky bunch who decide to book this fabulous Royal week! Could it be you? The whole country will be in a patriotic mood, expect to see lots of Union Jacks, families and friends getting together and towns and villages putting on special events that YOU can be involved in! Remember, most folks in the UK (and the world) have never witnessed the coronation of a British monarch!

If you love the Royals, it’s definitely one not to miss! Get in touch today so we can give you more information about our right Royal holiday week! CLICK HERE!

ecv Coronation 1 Prince Harry's Spare

Prince Harry’s Spare Makes Waves!

Prince Harry’s explosive new book, ‘Spare‘, was finally released on January 10, 2023, and it is causing a sensation here in the UK, to say the least! The book delves deep into the inner workings of the British royal family, revealing intimate details that are both shocking and fascinating. Harry offers an insight into his relationships with certain family members, including his brother, Prince William, and how they have become estranged since his marriage to Meghan Markle.

But it’s not just the juicy details that are making waves – it’s the honest and raw way that Harry describes the dysfunction (and sometimes even physical violence!) within the Royal Family.

The royal family has responded to Harry’s book with radio silence in a supposed calculated strategy to protect the Royal brand. However, it isn’t stopping the media from whipping up a storm – if you haven’t yet read the news on this one, it’s a rabbit hole – and if you are interested in the Royals and the inner workings of one of the world’s most well-known and iconic families, this is definitely a must-read!

Get Your Wellies On For Our Brand New 7 night, Hiking/Walking Package!

ecv hiking and walking package 1 ecv hiking and walking package 2

Bluebells can be enjoyed from April through May.
Photo: Ashmore Woods, an enormous bluebell-carpeted woodland area very close to Well Cottage

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our English Countryside Hiking/Walking 7 Night Set Itinerary!

We are so excited to launch this package because we both enjoy being active and spending time outdoors, breathing in the fresh countryside air. The cottage is situated in a beautiful area of England, it is simply a stunning area to explore. In addition to this, the views are absolutely breath-taking and there is a lot of history including Thomas Hardy’s Cottage, Iron Age hill forts, ancient castles and so much more!

As with all of our packages, we provide a service you will not find anywhere else – we can be with you every step of the way, guiding you across fields and over styles, on standby with our luxury vehicle for collection at any given mile, or waiting for you at the cottage with a warm cup of tea, freshly baked scone or well deserved glass of wine.

Unlike some tour packages, there is no packing bags and changing accommodation every day! You are settled in our cottage for your entire stay yet you can enjoy a different walk/hike every day.

Should you wish to go off and explore unguided by yourselves – then of course, we provide maps and instructions and we always provide a UK cell phone in case you take a wrong turn!!

Click here to view our brand new itinerary and start thinking about how your week with us will look!

ecv hiking and walking package 3 ecv walking and hiking package 4 ecv walking and hiking package 5

This package still offers our usual high end, luxurious services – the exclusive use of the cottage for you and your party (up to 6 guests), all meals and drinks prepared and served by your live-in hosts Nathan and Laura. You get your very own personal gourmet chef in Laura, and Nathan will be your private driver in our executive Mercedes V Class, plus your walking guide and so much more!

Don’t forget also that we are always flexible, so if there was something that you wanted to swap, for example visit Stonehenge one day, (there is a nice hike there by the way!) then this can always be arranged.

The price for this luxury, all-inclusive 7 Night, Set Itinerary Package is extremely competitive and starts at just $3,500.00 USD per person.

Walking in England in the spring, summer or autumn cannot be matched. The landscapes are simply beautiful and the temperatures are perfect for walking. So what are you waiting for?? Let us know which month you would prefer to travel and we can let you know availability!

ecv walking and hiking package 6 ecv walking and hiking package 7 ecv walking and hiking package 8 ecv walking and hiking package 9 ordnance survey map

We have a local Ordnance Survey map framed and hung in our garden room so
it’s easy to plan countryside walks no matter how short or long you want it to be!

Single room, 7 night, set itinerary, mixed retreat!!

Are you looking to travel by yourself or with a companion, friend or spouse to England this year?

Are you still interested in our luxurious, all-inclusive packages?

New dates for our ‘Single Room’ bookings are still available! Here is all the information!

DATES: August 15th – 22nd 2023


Our Single Room, 7 Night, Set Itinerary, Mixed Retreat style packages offer singles or couples a cost effective way to enjoy our mind blowing service, including private chef, private driver, itinerary planning and booking, our gorgeous 18th century thatched cottage, its gardens and surroundings and no end of VIP pampering during your stay!

Please check the itinerary out by clicking HERE!

How does it work?

This is done by booking one room for 1-2 people who will share the room instead of our usual entire cottage booking.
Other singles or couples will book the other 2 rooms and you will all spend time together visiting sites. with plenty of alone time whenever you choose back at our luxurious, spacious cottage!

As we have 3 different rooms available and we offer single and double occupancy pricing, we have 6 different options for you to choose from.

(You can check out all 3 bedrooms and the rest of the cottage by clicking HERE!)

Bedroom One
Master Bedroom, Tall Ceilings, Double Aspect, King Size Bed, Ensuite Shower Room.
Single $8000 USD PP
Double $6000 USD PP

ecv bedroom1 aug23

Bedroom Two
Middle Bedroom, Double Aspect, Countryside Views, Queen Size Bed, Ensuite Shower Room.
Single $6750 USD PP
Double $5000 USD PP

ecv bedroom 2

Bedroom Three
Smallest Bedroom, Single Aspect, Countryside Views, Queen Size Bed or 2 Singles, Adjoining Bathroom. The kingsize bed in this room can also be converted into two singles, creating a ‘twin’ room.
Single $5250 USD PP
Double $4000 USD PP

bedroom 3

Please note: Pricing can be offered in other currencies

Email and book your desired room today! Reach out on

‘Better The Dorset You Know!’ Fascinating Facts About Dorset!

  • 10% of all thatched cottages in England are found in Dorset, and we are one of them
  • The Jurassic Coast was the first natural location in the UK to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001
  • We have 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites on our Standard Itinerary
  • Dorset is home to the most winding road in the UK- Zig Zag Hill
  • Dorset has inspired many authors including Thomas Hardy and Enid Blyton
  • A village in Dorset is home to the oldest working post box in the UK, dating back to 1853 with Queen Victoria’s initials on it
  • There are only 5 counties in England that do not have a motorway (freeway) and Dorset is one of them
  • Mary Anning, the famous fossil collector and inspiration behind the tongue twister ‘She sells sea shells’, spent most of her time at the Dorset coastal village of Lyme Regis where she made most of her famous discoveries
  • It is stated that the character Basil Fawlty, the hotel proprietor of Fawlty Towers, was originally from Dorset
  • It is speculated that the Badbury Rings (less than 10 miles from the cottage), the location of the great battle of Badon, is where King Arthur killed 160 Saxon men single handed to win the crown in the late 5th or early 6th century
  • Poole Harbour in the south of Dorset is one of the worlds largest natural harbours
  • Sandbanks, in Poole, is said to have the most expensive land value in the UK and the 4th highest in the world
  • Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Tower of London and various other places in London are all built using Portland Stone, from the island of Portland on the Jurassic Coast
  • The English architect Sir Christopher Wren, who famously designed St Paul’s Cathedral in London, was born just 7 miles from Well Cottage in East Knoyle
  • Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour was the birthplace of the scouts in the early 20th century
  • The Dorset Naga chilli is named as one of the hottest chilli’s in the world!

Continuing Down Memory Lane: Part 10
– Transitioning to the ‘Dark Side’

Laura & Nathan memory lane

After avoiding hurricane season once again, we arrived back to Twin in Grenada in October 2018 after a wonderful vacation and started making preparations to sail back to the BVI in time for the annual ‘Broker Yacht Show’ in Tortola – the first one since before hurricane Irma. This is a show similar to the Antigua show we did the year before. It’s a chance for Brokers to meet and get to know crew and boats so that they can sell charters to their guests with confidence.

We arrived well prepared and in good time from Grenada, which made for an excellent show. We presented ourselves very well and hosted a very successful ‘Yacht Hop’ evening based on the theme of James Bond. At the award ceremony on the final evening we were celebrating as Laura won an award in the culinary competition.
This concluded the boat show and the season was officially up and running…

Laura & Nathan Memory Lane 2 Laura & Nathan Memory Lane 3

As we progressed through the season we were in discussion about the future plans of Twin with our owners and it became apparent that they wanted to change the dynamic of the programme, by relocating the yacht to Croatia in May on a full time basis.

Now of course Croatia is an absolutely stunning place to sail and island-hop; however this change was not right for us at the time. We were settled in the Caribbean and wanted to remain there. The new setup also included being under the wing of a management company in which Twin would be heavily chartered for 6 months of the summer and then off for the winter which also did not suit us – so, we began looking for a new job…

Approximately 3 months later we found our dream job as a Captain/Chef couple of a 60ft Horizon Power Cat.
The career transition from sailing yacht to motor yacht is lovingly referred to in the industry as moving to the ‘dark side’. As you’ll see from our photos, there appears to be very little that’s dark about it!

ecv Motor Yacht 1 ecv Motor Yacht 2 ecv Motor Yacht 3

We hit the ground running on our new yacht, Sea Boss. We had 6 days to ‘move home’ and settle in and get Sea Boss ready for charter, but this was no ordinary 6 days. Sea Boss had just been purchased by the owners and had just arrived in the BVI, so there was an unprecedented list of jobs to complete – including completely provisioning with food and drinks, cleaning and maintenance.

Preparing Sea Boss for her first charter that season was possibly one of the most stressful weeks of our lives as Yacht Charter Crew! Yet at the same time it was an amazing and exciting part of our lives as we proudly crewed this magnificent and luxurious mini super yacht. With a few hours to spare before guests arrived there was just enough time to fuel up and freshen up as we welcomed our first guests onboard for their luxury vacation!

The season flew by with us loving Sea Boss in every way, even when she was naughty! Nathan was kept extremely busy, changing filters, servicing the generators and engines and fixing breakages along the way. Staying in the BVI’s meant we were able to spend more time with our friends when we didn’t have guests, offering a little normality to our lives. It really was a beautiful yacht to live and provide charters on, and moving around the BVI at 18kts instead of 8kts was brilliant as it gave our guests much more time to explore the islands and enjoy life at anchor to visit beaches and swim/snorkel.

Motor Yacht 4 Motor Yacht 5 Motor Yacht 6 Motor Yacht 7

We finished off the 2018-2019 Caribbean season by taking Sea Boss to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, via Turks & Caicos and The Bahamas. It was an interesting trip as it was uncharted water for us, we had our owners (who we absolutely loved) on board and we did a bit of exploring and some fishing. After a quick stop in Turks, we arrived in The Bahamas in the far south east islands, fairly untouched from tourists which was a real experience.

We then moved up through Long Island, Great Exuma and into the Exuma Islands which were absolutely stunning. We honestly believe the Exuma Islands are one of the most picturesque places we visited in our time on yachts, so much better than photos can do justice, the sea is gin clear in most places and the beaches are like walking through flour. Sea life is abundant and we felt like we had literally experienced paradise on another level! We arrived in Fort Lauderdale, and started making our preparations to leave Sea Boss all nice and safe while we went away for our summer vacation.

If you missed any of the other chapters in our previous newsletters, you can check them out here!

Guest Voices: Reviews and Testimonials

First hand reviews from our guests who have stayed with us at the cottage are so powerful! They confirm our promise and trust for our future guests. Here are a few links to various sources of where guests are leaving glowing reviews about their time spent at Well Cottage here in the English countryside.

Website Reviews
Google Reviews
Tripadvisor Reviews

Please remember that we offer much security and flexibility within our agreement, including our cancellation and rescheduling policy. You can even find our business – Appanage Vacations Ltd – on the UK Government Website “Companies House” if you would like a little further peace of mind.

Watch This Space For Laura’s Recipe Of The Month!

Laura’s featured recipe will return in February! Get a sneak peek at some of the most delicious dishes that she regularly makes for her guests at Well Cottage.

Laura's jam and cream sponge cake

Featured FAQ: Can You Help Us With Our Onward Travel Arrangements?

Of course we can! We have our finger on the pulse with all the popular onward destinations like London, Cornwall, Scotland, Europe and many others. It goes without saying that Nathan can drop you in the vehicle pretty much anywhere in England providing it is physically possible to get home the same day.

That being said our train network in normal circumstances is very good and one can usually get from London to Edinburgh in less than 5 hours or to Paris on the Eurostar in a little over 2 hours.

For more specific requirements simply get in touch!

To view our other Frequently Asked Questions, CLICK HERE!

Our Final Thought…

Come stay with us! From yachts to countryside, we know everything there is to know about taking care of you, your family, friends and your needs!

Speak to us! If you have questions or there’s one thing stopping you from booking your dates, let us know! We’ll do anything in our power to have you stay!

We can’t do this without you, our guests, our friends! It doesn’t work without you!

Come fill our cottage with laughter and fun and happiness and memories! You can even take some home with you!

Laura and Nathan 3