There are few words to do justice to this week’s Sunday Snapshot, which comes from the Burrator Reservoir in Dartmoor. This is one of the fifty (not to mention one of the most beautiful) inland waterways managed by the South West Lakes Trust. With landscapes as breathtaking as this, it’s little wonder that the charity’s sites welcome some two million visitors a year from fishermen to dog walkers, families and watersports enthusiasts. If this has inspired you to visit Dartmoor, why not take a look at our holiday cottages in the National Park? A fantastic selection of self-catering cottages located in one of the most stunning parts of the UK; what more could you want?
We’re celebrating here at Sykes Cottages HQ after winning a weekly competition organised by the Travel Trade Gazette (TTG). TTG is the UK’s leading publication for travel agents and those in the tourism industry, so it’s a pretty big deal for us at Sykes!
Each week TTG selects a number of high street and internet companies at random and conducts a mystery shop where they seek information about a holiday. This week’s customer was searching for a short break in October for a group of six female friends working to a budget of £650. Ed, one of our holiday cottage advisors who joined the company in October 2012, was the lucky one who picked up the mystery call. We’re pleased to say we scored really well in each of the four categories to achieve a final score of 94%, a significant margin ahead of the other companies who were also mystery shopped. So, it’s a big congratulations to the reservations and training team from everyone here at Sykes!
Before our holiday cottage advisors are let loose on the general public, they undergo atraining course led by our team of experienced trainers. During that time, our new members of staff learn all about the company and the best way to take a telephone call from our customers looking for a cottage holiday. It’s this commitment to quality training that we feel sets us apart from our competitors and sets a fantastic standard within the call centre.
We’re sure one of our holiday cottage advisors will be able to dazzle you too; why not give us a call and put us to the test? Our call centre is open between 9am and 9.30pm seven days a week and we can even call you!
Though it seems like one holiday has just finished, there is another one just around the corner. The school half-term holiday is only a few weeks away, with most schools being off from 27th-31st May, and all you parents need to start planning soon. There are worse concerns to have than what you’re going to do on your second holiday in a month!
Don’t bother yourself with heading overseas, dealing with packed airports, and changing your currency. People from the world over dream for a lifetime about visiting England, Scotland, and Wales, and with so much to see and do right here, there is no reason to deal with all the hassle of going overseas.
Here at Sykes Cottages we still have a great selection of cottages to rent for the half-term holiday, and if the weather is anything like this past bank holiday, there will be no better place to be!
Half-Term Family Fun in Cornwall
If you’re looking for golden beaches, dramatic coastline, an abundance of natural wildlife, and a wealth of family friendly attractions, then Cornwall is for you. Spend sunny days paddling on the beach, and evenings relaxing in the back garden of your holiday cottage while you fire up the barbeque and enjoy a cold drink. Half-term holidays don’t get much better than that!
Browse our holiday cottages in Cornwall today!
Get Learning in Wales on Half-Term
For those who prefer to keep the kids learning while on holiday, why not head to Wales and have a cultural experience right here in the UK. There are still many areas of the country that speak predominantly Welsh, and with a plethora of museums that seek to teach visitors about the unique culture of Wales, there is not shortage of learning experiences to be had. The whole family will love a visit to St. Fagan’s Museum just outside of Cardiff, where history is brought to life at Europe’s leading open-air museum.
Find a half-term holiday cottage in Wales now.
Be at One With Nature on Half-Term in Scotland
For families that are looking to get back to nature while on holiday, Scotland is the place to go in the UK. While Edinburgh and Glasgow are lovely, if you head up beyond the two major cities you will be wowed by the stark beauty of the Highlands of Scotland, one of the most untouched areas left in the UK. Take the kids on a bush craft course and learn how to live off the land, or simply spend your days relaxing in the tranquility of the natural area.
Take a look at our selection of holiday cottages in Scotland and find the perfect one for you and the family.
No matter where you head in the UK, city or country, wild or cosmopolitan, you’re sure to have a wonderful time. Start planning the perfect family half-term holiday today and have your pick of accommodation – don’t delay, it’s sure to book up fast!
While the small town of Hay-on-Wye may be known as the ‘Town of Books’, this borderland town offers a wealth of attractions for the holidaymaker, book lover or not. Here’s our guide to this small but charming town located in the very north of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Curl up with a good book on holiday
No mention of Hay-on-Wye would be complete without reference to the town’s literary connections. The town itself has more than thirty second-hand bookshops, that’s a human to shop ratio of about 50:1, making it the perfect place to rummage around for that prized first edition. The town comes alive in early summer when thousands of bookworms descend for the famous literary festival. This year’s Hay Festival begins on 23rd June and promises 11 days of talks and workshops covering topics from science through to philosophy and everything in between. In addition to literary favourites such as Quentin Blake, Irvine Welsh and Caitlin Moran, there is also a walking festival and a wealth of children’s activities from cooking to vocal coaching.
Experience the great outdoors from your holiday cottage
Given that Hay-on-Wye lies in the Brecon Beacons National Park, it comes as little surprise that the surrounding area is equally fantastic for those looking for an active break. Offa’s Dyke, a 177 mile national trail, passes through Hay-on-Wye and offers keen walkers an opportunity to walk on a path with more than 1200 years of history. The National Park Authority arranges guided walks suitable for all abilities through the Brecons and the area is also popular with mountain bikers. You can even try your hand at gorge walking and hang gliding from the Hay Bluff! For budding astronomers, the National Park is also one of the only dark sky reserves in the world; where better to train your telescope on a dark night and relax under a blanket of stars? You could also take a look at our selection of cottages in the Brecon Beacons, ideally located for an active holiday.
Great days out near Hay-on-Wye
It’s not just old and dusty books you’ll find in Hay-on-Wye but a number of crumbling castles and pretty churches just a short drive away from the town. Arthur’s Stone is a fantastic family day for those with an active imagination. This Neolithic burial chamber is more than 5000 years old and is said that King Arthur slew a giant here. Given Hay’s position on the English and Welsh border, it’s little wonder that this area has seen a very bloody history. Very little remains of the town’s castle today but the habitable sections are today the home of numerous second-hand books; what better marriage of history and books in this literary town?
Inspired to make the literary pilgrimage to Hay for the festival? Why not take a look at our holiday cottages which are perfectly located for the festival and the surrounding borderlands. You could even choose the aptly-named Poet’s Corner for your holiday to Hay!
Today’s Sunday Snapshot is of a rather cute beaver swimming in Knapdale in the Scottish Highlands. After being extinct for more than 400 years, wild beavers have been gradually reintroduced since 2009 in this part of Scotland in a trial which is the first of its kind in the UK. The Scottish Beaver Trial is a partnership between the Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and Forest Commission Scotland and is well supported by local businesses. Four beaver families were introduced in 2009 and there are signs of beaver activity throughout Knapdale Forest. Signs of beaver activity are evident as you stroll through the forest from gnawed trees to a beaver dam. Time your visit before sunrise or after sunset for the best chance of spotting beavers in this beautiful habitat. More information about the trial itself can be found by visiting the Scottish Beaver Trial website where you can also find out about guided walks and download children’s activities.
If this has got you thinking about taking a trip to see the beavers in Knapdale, why not take a look at our Argyll cottages?