Finding the perfect read for you

How long has it been since you’ve read a book? In this day and age, most of us can confess to spending hours on social media, without meaning too. It’s not very often that many of us pick up a book in our free time, even though it has so many benefits for us.

Benefits of reading

  • Improves brain connectivity
  • Increases your vocabulary and comprehension
  • Empowers you to empathize with other people
  • Aids in sleep readiness
  • Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
  • Fights depression symptoms
  • Prevents cognitive decline as you age

Book recommendations & reviews

  • Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman – This is a current international bestseller. Rutger Bregman takes some of the worlds most famous studies and events and reframes them, providing a new perspective on the last 200,000 years of human history. Review – One of the most powerful books I have read for a long time, and a book I have absolutely no hesitation about saying everyone needs to read, and that it will change your life if you do so – Matthew Taylor, RSA
  • Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari – This is the million copy seller. In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we’re going. Review – One of the best books I’ve read recently. Gives an excellent overview of how our species has developed – Lily Cole
  • 12 rules for life: An antidote to chaos by Jordan B. Peterson – This is a multi-million copy seller. Using his own work as a clinical psychologist and on lessons from humanity’s oldest myths and stories. Peterson offers twelve profound and realistic principles to live by. He reminds us we each have a vital role to play in this world. Review – Definitely gives this one a chance. This man’s work has completely altered my entire way of looking at the world, and my place in it – Jonny McDobbsy

In most of our accommodations we have a corner for you to wind down with a cup of tea or wine, and a book. We know sitting on the sofa when there is the distraction of a TV that you could switch on can be frustrating. Alternatively If you would prefer to relax in bed before going to sleep, then we do have bedside table lamps too!

What’s your favourite book?!


Waking up early has so many benefits

A guide to how you can improve your sleep schedule for the better…

I think we can all agree that with our phones, long working hours and our current heatwave in the UK, it’s not easy getting to sleep early, which would help the process of waking up early.

Make sure you wind down

Winding down is a critical part in preparing for bed. There are lots of ways to relax yourself, you just need to find the method that works best for you! Here are a few ways you can wind down:

  • A warm bath (not hot) this will help your body reach the right temperature for rest.
  • Pre prepare for the next day.
  • Relaxation exercises (e.g: Yoga).
  • Reading a book.
  • Avoid using smart phones.

Tips on waking up early

  • Get on a sleep schedule.
  • Improve your bedtime routine.
  • Move your alarm to avoid hitting snooze.
  • Eat better.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Enjoy the daylight (daylight helps regulate circadian rhythms & improve your sleep)
  • Get a sleep study if the above doesn’t help.

Waking up early is not only healthier for you, but you will feel so much happier and be much more productive. Overall you will get so much more out of your day, as it helps improve your mental health due to the fact it enhances concentration and productivity.

All of our accommodations include some amazing products by Millie’s Organics, which are award winning luxury home spa gifts focusing on quality organic ingredients, made totally off grid and cruelty free. Their pillow mist is a personal favourite of ours and will ensure you a great nights sleep! We also keep a few mini indoor plants in our accommodations as these are proven to boost your mood, productivity, concentration and creativity.


World Ocean Day; Dive Deep into the Crystal Clear Water

Being by the ocean is one of the most calming, therapeutic and tranquil places you can visit. The prominent smell of the salty sapphire sea and the warm sand crunching between your toes is a priceless memory. We all appreciate the breathtaking, majestic and harmonious scenery which makes our soul feel free, thus we should take the time to appreciate what the ocean does for us as humans. This is what World Ocean Day is all about.

“Dance with the waves, Move like the sea. Let the rhythm of the water set your soul free”

Why the ocean matters and all it does for us:

The ocean is our planets life support system. It covers 72 percent of the earth and scientists estimate that 50-80 percent of the oxygen production comes from the ocean. Our planet depends on the vitality and strength of the ocean to support and sustain it. The blue beating heart at the centre of our earth absorbs over 90 percent of heat along with almost a third of all carbon dioxide that humans have ever produced. it even produces the air we breathe. The importance is fascinating isn’t it?

The ocean and its benefits:

  1. The air we breathe: The ocean produces over half of the worlds oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide that our atmosphere.
  2. Food: The ocean provides more than just seafood, ingredients from the ocean are found in foods like peanut butter.
  3. Transportation: Marine transportation provides around 80 percent of global trade by volume.
  4. Medicine : Many medicinal products come from the ocean, including ingredients that help fight cancer, arthritis , Alzheimers disease and heart disease.
  5. Economic benefits: One of every 6 jobs in the U.S. is marine related.

Ways we can help the ocean:

One of the main ways to save our planet and our ocean is to reduce plastic usage. Every year, millions of tons of plastic enters our beautiful ocean putting the marine animals at large risk. Birds, dolphins, whales and turtles become entangled in the plastic and their lives are threatened when they become trapped resulting in suffocation or drowning. Doing these things will help contribute and reduce the use of plastic;

  1. Refuse plastic straws.
  2. Don’t ask for plastic cutlery when ordering takeaway food.
  3. Recycle your waste at home and work.
  4. Participate in clean ups and litter picking in your neighbourhood.
  5. Carry reusable water bottles.

Other ways we can contribute to helping the ocean us to use less water so excess runoff and waste water will not flow into the ocean. This can be done by having shorter showers and not leaving the tap on for long durations.

10 interesting facts about the ocean:

  1. Less than five percent of the planet’s ocean have been explored.
  2. We still only know a fraction of the marine species in our ocean.
  3. It’s possible to find rivers and lakes beneath the ocean.
  4. The Pacific Ocean is the Worlds Largest Ocean and contains around 25,000 islands.
  5. around 50 percent of the U.S. lies beneath the ocean.
  6. Most of earths volcanic activity happens in the ocean.
  7. There are 3 million shipwrecks in the ocean.
  8. The ocean has more artefacts than all the words museums combined.
  9. More than 90 percent of the planets lifeforms are undiscovered and underwater.
  10. 1 percent of the ocean floor is covered by coral reef.

Have you learnt something after reading this?


Get your daily dose of dozing; Why sleeping is important

Are you dreaming of a full nights sleep?

Windlass House

Sleep is an crucial function which allows your body and mind to recharge, refresh and revive. Without enough sleep the brain is unable to operate. Sleep is vital for a human being and if you aren’t getting enough, your body can start to shut down. Lack of sleep can include side effects such as; reduced concentration, slower thinking, mood changes, high blood pressure and weakened immunity. In addition to this, sleep deprivation can cause even more healths serious health issues such as; diabetes and heart disease.

10 benefits of a good night sleep

  1. Can improve concentration and productivity
  2. Improves your immune function
  3. Improves memory
  4. Keeps your heart healthy
  5. Gives your mood a boost
  6. Reduces stress
  7. May reduce risk of depression
  8. Increases knowledge retention
  9. Lower risk of heart disease
  10. Help you maintain a healthy weight

How can I get my full nights beauty sleep?

National Sleep Foundation Guidelines advise that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Do you struggle to fall asleep? Fear not, we have all the tips and advice in order to snooze and snore the night away.

  1. Lower the temperature – Taking a warm bath or shower could help speed up the body temperature changes. As your body cools down afterward, this can send a signal to your brain to go to sleep
  2. Schedule – Waking up and going to bed at the same times each day can help your internal clock keep a regular schedule.
  3. Daylight and darkness- Expose your body to sunlight in the day and at night the darkness will promote sleepiness.
  4. Relaxing music- Listening to relaxing music can improving quality of sleep and allows you to unwind , drift of and go into a deep sleep.
  5. Exercise – Exercise is key to that beautiful night sleep. Studies show working out in the morning is better than working out later in the day.
  6. Visualising- This can help before going to sleep as it occupies your mind. Fill your brain with happy thoughts that make you feel calm and at peace!

“Sleep is like the golden chain that binds our health and body together”Thomas Dekker.


Here at Free Range Stays, we want you to have a great nights sleep so we leave a little gift for you to use during your stay.  Millie’s Organics is a luxury, organic, handmade in Bedfordshire spa brand that has created bespoke sleep blends that include lavender, geranium and bergamot to help you have a great nights sleep.  You can fill your room with a pillow mist, sink into a relaxing bath or soothe your skin with their organic rescue balm.

How do you relax and unwind? Leave a comment below


Are you hankering for a hamburger?

To celebrate hamburger day, we’re here to tell you all about fat cap smokehouse and their flavoursome food

Fat cap smokehouse is home to Bedfords authentic barbecue smokehouse and bar. Whether it’s their baby back ribs, pulled Boston pork butt or the classic fat cap burger; there is something for you.

Why is hamburger day celebrated?

The word hamburger originally came from Hamburg, Germany. Some believe that hamburgers were created in 1881 by a gentleman named Otto Kuase, on the other hand the US audience favour the story of Louis Lassen in 1900. Louis is said to have placed a piece of grilled meat in between two pieces of toast, thus invented the burger. Hamburgers are a universal food and it is a food that comes in many forms. Regardless of who invented it, it is one of the worlds greatest creations. Who doesn’t love a hamburger?

How you can celebrate hamburger day?

Fat cap is one of the best burger bars in Bedford, selling good old fashioned American appetisers, sides and deserts. This is a brilliant way to celebrate this special day. Even better they also offer delivery, so if you’d prefer to have a quiet night in one of our luxurious properties, this is an option for you.

Want to make your own burger instead?

If you would like to make use out of our kitchen, you could try making your own burgers to celebrate this special day! Our kitchen is well equipped, with modern appliances so you can create your own delicious dinner.

Ways to celebrate hamburger day

  • Visit Fat Cap
  • Have a BBQ in the garden
  • Try a new burger
  • Invite friends over for a burger

Comment down below your plans for hamburger day


Celebrating World Bee Day and acknowledging the role of these bee-autiful insects.

Are you buzzing to learn about how bees play a part in every aspect of the ecosystem?

May 20, celebrates and glorifies the humble bee. Here at Free Range Stays we have committed to being eco-conscious. We pride ourselves on having a positive impact not only on people but also the planet. Celebrating this day is important to us as they provide one of the most recognisable ecosystem services; pollination. Did you know one third of our global food supply is pollinated by bees? It takes a lot more than sunshine, soil and water to make the world green. 

Where did the World Bee Day stem from?

The pioneer of beekeeping, Anton Janša was born in 1734 in Breznica, Slovenia. Growing up his family owned more than one hundred beehives. Due to this he developed a huge facinstation for the insects and decided he wanted it to be his career. His innovative approach and passion made an immense impact within the industry and his experiments even ended up him changing the setup of hive. After changing the size and shape of the hive resulted in them being able to be stacked up on eachother like blocks. The holes in the top and bottom enabled simple movement for the bees, which allowed countries to grow all year round. His work was extremely influential and he is considered “one of the fathers of european agriculture”.

Ways to celebrate World Bee Day.

  • Plant bee friendly plants
  • Enjoy some honey
  • Go to the park and throw a fris-bee
  • Talk to at least 10 people about bees during the day
  • Organise a bee joke competition

Bee our guest?

Please contact us on 01234 519790 for more information on our properties.


Fancy an adventure? Let’s celebrate Museum Day

Every year since 1977, International organisation of Museums (ICOM) has organised International Museum Day. On this day, participating museums plan creative events and activities related to the international Museum Day theme, engage with their public and highlight the importance of the role of Museums as institutions that serve society and its development.

Top 10 Museums in Bedford

  • The Panacea Museum
  • The Higgins Bedford
  • Art centre & gallery
  • 306th bombardment group museum
  • Twinwood Museum
  • The Glenn Millar Museum
  • Wood end gallery
  • Bromham Mill Museum
  • St Neots Museum
  • John Bunyan meeting house Museum

Reviews

Panacea Museum: “Absolute gem of a museum… thought provoking, whacky, beautiful setting, historic time capsule… our guide was full of knowledge and bought the whole experience to life”

The Higgins Museum: “This beautifully arranged museum is full to bursting with local treasures and information about how Bedford has developed over the years, it’s fascinating and because it is free you can visit as many times as you like focusing on different aspects each time”

306th Bombardment Museum:”This museum is a classic hidden gem with a superb collection of WWII memorabilia related to the 306th air operations from thurleigh. It also has very good displays of home front artefacts. The volunteers are so welcoming, informative and can make a very good cup of tea.”

Comment down below what Museum you will be visiting!


You’re not alone; Let’s talk mental health

Mental health is such a taboo topic to talk about in todays society, however it is important to not only speak up this week, but every week. It is so important to talk to someone, whether it be a family member, friend, therapist, teacher etc. There is always someone who cares about you and wants to help you.

Your anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD etc, none of what you are feeling defines you as a person. You are not your emotions. It is tough feeling this way but you are strong for continuing through to the other side.

How we can benefit your mental health

We care a lot about mental health as a company. We want you to be able to feel relaxed, recharged and refreshed when staying in one of our properties. We have a simple work station allowing you to clear your mind and reach your deadlines. As part of your stay we also include award winning, luxury home spa gifts by Millies organics, made totally off grid and cruelty free. The simple, airy environment allows you to declutter your brain and feel revived.

If you feel you can’t talk to somebody you know, then that is completely fine. We all deal with our emotions differently. There are plenty of helplines you are able to call.

  • CALM 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm-midnight)
  • Mind 0300 123 3393 (Monday-friday 9am-6pm)
  • Samaritans 116 123 (free 24 hours)
  • SANE visit to fill out the form: www.sane.org.uk/textcare (text only)
  • YoungMinds 0808 802 5544 (Monday-friday 9:30am-4pm)

Shop till you drop; Find the latest trends at Intu Milton Keynes

Are you a shopaholic? Need an outfit now lockdown restrictions are lifting? Or are you simply a window shopper? Intu Milton Keynes is the right place to meet your needs in that department. From shops like Zara, to Moss Bros, to Debenhams, to John Lewis and many more… From restaurants such as Ask Italian, to Harrods champagne bar, to pizza express, to Wagamama and many more. Intu has something for everyone and can make a jam packed day out.

The opening times of the shopping centre is Monday-Friday 9am-8pm, Saturdays 9am-7pm and Sundays 11am-5pm. This enables you to visit at anytime that suits you.

Reviews

“This is a wonderful shopping centre with Victoria Secret, Apple, Debenhams, Five Guys and so much more”

“Can’t say enough how amazing this centre and all its workers have done! Everything was thought about so well, it felt safe and all the workers were so positive and friendly. It felt calm and made everything seem normal. What a way to rock this new lifestyle, well done MK Intu”

“High class place. You can find anything you want”

Which store are you most excited to visit?


Wonderful walks in Wrest Park

Nature is something we as a company love to incorporate in our brand. We are an eco accommodation service, and understand the importance of being kind to the planet. We believe nature is one of the best forms of therapy. Whether it’s exploring open spaces, going on long walks, or using the outside as a way to clear our heads after a long working week, we all know oxygen is good for our brains and is a great way to get prepared for another week of ticking things off our checklist.

Wrest park is perfect for a family excursion, a couples day out or just to get some alone time. Visits must be booked in advance, If any dates are changed, bookings will automatically be cancelled and refunded, there is no need to contact Wrest Park. The gardens and grounds of Wrest Park are now open. Takeaway catering is available, but all indoor areas remain closed, and safety measures are in place to keep everyone safe.

Wrest Park will be open Saturdays – Sundays, with last entries at 3pm. Located in Silsoe, Bedfordshire.

Will you be visiting Wrest Park?


Biscuits and brownies this bank holiday

Fancy afternoon tea in your garden this long weekend?

Do you enjoy relaxing out in the fresh air whilst delving into sweet treats?! Want to invite some friends over in the garden and indulge in some heavenly delights? Or just relax with with a loved one and tuck into some homemade pizza? Emma is the owner and creator for Poste Cottage Bakes, specialising in sweet and savoury delights all nut free! Emma does things from caramelised onion Chelsea buns to Tiramisu Cheesecake to Jaffacake Millionaire Shortbread.

Emma’s garlic and herb butter, tear and share loaf is a firm favourite in her household and it compliments a range of dishes, especially Italian cuisine. Emma says Buttery soft rolls with a garlic butter topping makes the loaf incredibly addictive.

Whether you want to treat yourself this bank holiday, someone else or you’re hosting for guests, make sure to DM Emma on instagram @postecottagebakes , based in Bedfordshire to put your orders in and enjoy all these delicious recipes!

What will you be doing this bank holiday?


NHS Superheroes

Not all Heroes wear capes, some wear scrubs

Today is International Superhero Day, our Superheroes are the NHS, who are yours? The NHS has been around since 1948! In Britain, there is a state-funded system called the NHS (national health service), which guarantees care for all. That means everything from ambulance rides, to emergency room visits, to long hospital stays, complex surgery, chemotherapy etc, are all free. They’re paid for with payroll taxes.

Bedford Hospital opened back in 1803, by the Duke of Bedford, Lord John Russell, the Brewers son and Samuel Whitbread. Major recent developments have included the Cygnet wing, which provides paediatric, maternity and Gynaecology, and which was opened by the Queen back in 1996.

Every year the NHS go above and beyond for us all. Working long hours, at times having no breaks. Everyday we should appreciate and be grateful to all of our NHS workers, not just today.

Over the past year we have had some NHS doctors and nurses come and stay with us, during everything going on with COVID-19. It is rewarding being able to give back and support the community. Use today to shoutout your NHS hero!


Video walk-through of: Bedford Rd Serviced Apartment

Take a look inside our Modern Maisonette on Bedford Road. With a large double bedroom and sofa bed it can sleep 4. Beautiful bay windows make the lounge/diner airy and spacious. Fully equipped galley kitchen and large modern shower room makes this a perfect little bolt-hold.

Good on street parking and close to A421 with quick access to M1, A1, Milton Keynes and Bedford Town.

7mins walk to Bedford Hospital and 10mins to the Riverside for restaurants and bars

What do you think?


Best Take-Away Service in Bedford: The New Bombay

Mark Chamberlin voted for the New Bombay as the best Take-Away Restaurant in Bedford as part of our ‘Best Of Bedford’ campaign & won a slapped up take-away on us!

He went for the hot vegetarian dishes; as he and his daughter are both veggies 

  • Veg Vindaloo & Pilau Rice
  • Bargies, popadoms and chutneys
  • Garlic Nan
  • Veg Jalfrazie with rice and plain Nan

The prospective son on-law went for:

  • Chicken Boona
  • Chips 
  • Cheesy Nan

All only come to £47 and worth every penny 

Mark says…
“All the dishes have layers of flavour and as always the service was excellent”

Our monthly competition aims to support local businesses and gives you the inside track to a unique stay in Bedford. 


Video Walk-Through of our: Riverside Penthouse Apartment in Bedford

This is our premium location and our signature Executive Eco-Serviced Apartment in Bedford

With 3 Double Bedrooms and 3 Verandas and great views our the river, train station and town.

Located opposite the Hospital in a new development the location is ideal.

A quick 7 minute riverside walk will bring you to the Embankment where there are restaurants, bars and coffee houses. To view more images of our eco-serviced accommodation and to book your stay click here


Video walk-through of: Horse Croft Executive Serviced House

Take a look inside our new build executive house in Marston Mortaine Bedford. With two double bedrooms and an additional single room plenty of space for 5 people. There is a sofa bed for extra sleeping requirements.

Secure gated parking and close to A421 with quick access to M1, A1, Milton Keynes and Bedford Town

What do you think? To view more images of the accommodation and to book your stay click here


Best Italian Restaurant in Bedford: Cappuccino Bar

Paulette Denton voted for the Cappuccino Bar on Newnham Street as the best Italian Restaurant in Bedford as part of our ‘Best Of Bedford’ campaign & won a slapped up meal for 2 on us!

She went for the Valpocello, Garlic Mushrooms, Penne Polpette and salad and the famous Tiramisu

Her hubby went for the Whitebaits, Spagehetti Mariarna with salad and a delicious Cheescake.

“Everything was delicious as usual” she said 

Our monthly competition aims to support local businesses and gives you the inside track to a unique stay in Bedford. 

Other nominations were:

Bon appetito x 


Our ‘Best Stay Promise’

The following describes what we promise to deliver to each guest 

  1. Great communication – quick, friendly, adaptable and multi-channel 
  2. Personal space and professional service –  the team are there to support you and your stay, not manage you into time slots.
  3. Specifically designed decor – For a sense of calm and freedom; a great place to retreat too and recharge.
  4. Great night’s sleep – Using luxury organic Spa Products (Coming soon) designed to improve sleep and invigorate the body coupled with fresh, luxury and comfortable beds… you will have a great night’s sleep.
  5. Local knowledge and recommendations – promoter of local produce, businesses and lifestyle to get a unique Bedford stay.

Scott and Jax Hodson have proudly designed Free Range Stays to meet your needs and the modern day demand for flexible lifestyles.

They understand what you need; as they too were the discerning professional that wanted a premium and affordable accommodation that inspires and invigorates them… But most of the time they couldnt find them.

Scotty and Jax genuinely want you to feel amazing and that is why all the personal little details have been designed just to give you that edge you need.

What do you look for when booking Serviced Accommodation?

Please leave a comment below to let us know


How do Hotel prices compare to Serviced Accommodation? This may surprise you…

When you start searching for accommodation do you think ‘local hotel’ or do you think ‘serviced accommodation’?

Hotels are accessible, easy to book with, clean, comfortable and provide a private space…

But so does Serviced Accommodation; and you get a whole lot more for a whole less cash.

Not only do you get more for less but you will also get a personal service designed around you rather than you fitting into hotel procedures and policies.

Let’s compare Hotel with Serviced Accommodation price and facilities…

If you travel often for business (or pleasure) think of how much money you could save by thinking about serviced accommodation before a local hotel…

If you would like to view accommodation availability and book click here

If you would like to discuss your travel arrangements and save a shed load of cash whilst improving your quality of life contact us here to arrange a call back

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