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Prepare your holiday cottage for winter

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Winter is a magical time; family reunions, indulgent food, warm drinks, crisp blue skies and fresh frosts framing the landscape. It’s a time of year that is full of atmosphere and cheer, but winter can also bring with it some harsh realities. Looking after your holiday home and implementing the correct safety measures will ensure that you and your guests will be able to enjoy this wonderful time of year without incident.

Winter wonderland, Newquay, Cornwall

Here are some of our suggestions to help you look after your holiday home this year:



Winter sometimes sees extensive flooding in many areas, causing significant damage to thousands of homes. Start your preparation by considering your home’s vulnerability to floods, and implement measures accordingly. A good flood plan will save you a lot of energy and costs. Visit websites such as for ideas on how to protect your home.


Frozen pipes

Frozen pipes are the second greatest cause of unanticipated and unwelcome flooding in our homes. If you don’t plan on using your home this winter, make sure you have turned the water off at the stopcock. Additionally, if you’d rather not turn off your heating altogether, drain your heating system and maintain a regulated temperature in your holiday home to ensure that pipes do not freeze over. You can monitor this by regularly inspecting your home, and also by employing a professional to check things over. Finally, it’s a good idea to insulate pipes and storage systems in your holiday home, particularly if they are out in the elements.



Statistically, the South West of England is lucky enough to be one of the wettest places in the country. Inevitably that means we should be prepared for a lot of rain. If drains and guttering become blocked it can create a whole host of problems – but problems that can easily be avoided by frequently assessing your home.


Loose Slates and Garden Furniture

For holiday home owners, strong winds can cause extensive destruction but with simple measures damage can be controlled. Check for loose roof slates and tiles, and any potential problems to chimneys. Remove any outside furniture or equipment that isn’t totally secure, and also check gates and fencing. Additionally, make sure you inspect any trees around your property to avoid dead branches coming down and wreaking havoc on your home.


Chimney Safety

With everyone coveting images of toasty, warming fires this winter, now’s the time to run some routine checks on your fireplace and chimney. Read our blog on chimney maintenance for top tips and advice on how to keep safe.



It’s better to be safe than sorry. By doing your research and taking out good insurance, you cover yourself in case your home does get damaged this winter.

Here are some insurance companies we recommend:

Boshers Limited
14 Habat Enterprise Park, Bideford, EX39 3HN
01237 429 444

Holiday Cottages Insurance
Woodlands House, The Avenue, Cliftonville, Northampton
08707 707183

Schofields Ltd/Underwriting Agencies
Trinity House, 7 Institute Street, Bolton, BL1 1PZ
01204 365080

Warm up by the fire

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