Book Your Easter Holiday Today!

January 24th, 2015
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Come March you can pretty much guarantee that here at Sykes we’ll get absolutely bombarded by requests for a last minute Easter break. As much as we’d love to be able to help everyone the sad truth is that quite often the requests come in too late and that one cottage that people have had their eye on has already been booked up. This all means that in order to get your dream Easter holiday you’ll have to beat the rush and get in early! Handily we’ve put together a page that lists all of our cottages still available for Easter so take a look and see if one catches your eye. Or, if you still need convincing as to why you should book yourself a break, read on as we’ve listed some of the fantastic things that you could do on your Easter cottage holiday!

Celebrate Spring

Easter always seems to be a bit of a watershed moment in the year. The winter chills have vanished, summer is inching its way closer and of course there are signs of new life everywhere that you look. Here at Sykes we’re lucky enough to have a wide range of properties situated right on the owners farmlands! And if you want, many of our owners will happily take guests out on the rounds with them, something that always goes down a treat with the little ones as it let’s them get closer than ever to all of the baby animals!

Fantastic Easter Events

There are so many things that you could get up to come Easter time. Pretty much every attraction will put on a special event that the whole family will love, and surprise surprise the vast majority of them involve copious amounts of chocolate! In recent years the National Trust and Cadburys have worked together to put on a series of Easter Egg Hunts throughout many of the beautiful Trust owned properties around the country. Or maybe you fancy having a go at making chocolate yourself? If so have a look at our guide on the best chocolate workshops around the UK and you’ll be a master chocolatier before you know it!

Kick Back and Relax

Or maybe you’d just like a little R&R? Well who can blame you, by that time Christmas is a distant memory and it seems like a long time since you’ve had a decent break. Our cottages come in all shapes and sizes from cosy bolt-holes perfect for couples to properties big enough to house the whole extended family. And with features ranging from open fires to swimming pools and even hot tubs you’d be forgiven for just wanting to take it easy.

So if you want to enjoy this Easter in one of our cottages you’d better get booking! You can either do it online from the Sykes website or if you’d rather do it over the phone our Holiday Cottage Advisors are on hand 7 days a week, all you have to do is give us a call on 01244 356695!

 

 

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Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.

Britain vs. the World: Choose Britain for your next break

January 23rd, 2015
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Oi you! Yes, you! Where are you heading for your 2015 summer holiday? Spain?! France?! Italy?! Well what if I told you you’re making a bad decision? What if I said you should be staying right here, on the shores of dear old Blighty?

Think about it: we’ve got more beaches than the Bahamas; a longer history than Hungary; prettier countryside than Croatia; and some of the best bars, restaurants and cafes this side of the Atlantic.

To prove Britain ought to be 2015’s most popular holiday destination in, I’ve pitted it against some of its closest rivals to see how it fairs in a battle of facts and figures. So let’s get down to business.

Coast, coast and more coast

Jurassic Coast, Dorset - Via Flickr

Jurassic Coast, Dorset – Via Flickr

Plenty of folk are lured to the Mediterranean by the promise of sun kissed beaches and turquoise waters, but is the coastline of the Costa del Sol and the South of France really all that better than the beaches of Britain?

Coastline lengths certainly suggest otherwise. The UK’s coast is approximately 12,429km, whilst the French and Spanish coasts are considerably smaller, at 3,470km and 4,964km respectively.

Yes, the UK may have fewer Blue Flag beaches than France and Spain, but it makes up for it in its sheer number of secluded coves, windswept bays, and vertigo-inducing seacliffs. There’s literally thousands of miles of coastal walks available in the UK too, where you, the sand and the sea can be almost completely alone – beat that, Espagne.

History aplenty

Stonehenge, Wiltshire - Via Flickr

Stonehenge, Wiltshire – Via Flickr

Whether sightseeing in an ancient city or exploring a dusty old museum, historic attractions play a huge part in most people’s summer getaways. Visit any country in the world, and you’ll likely find yourself drawn to the discovery of its ancient treasures. Here in the UK, we’re swamped in relics dating back thousands of years, and our history is one of the most diverse in Europe.

From the Vikings to the Victorians, hundreds of cultures have shaped the history of Britain, and there’s a stack load of evidence to prove it. Visit any of the historic attractions of England, Scotland or Wales and you’ll uncover the country’s glorious, turbulent and often violent past.

Sure, most European countries have a long and interesting history, but wouldn’t you prefer to discover your own?

Towns and cities? That’s covered, too

Castle Combe, Cotswolds - Via Flickr

Castle Combe, Cotswolds – Via Flickr

There’s an annoying assumption among those visiting the UK from overseas that London’s the be-all-and-end-all of this fair isle. How wrong they are. Yes, the capital’s a delightful place to visit for a day or two, but escape the M25 and there’s so much more to see. We’ve got an uncountable selection of top cities – Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, York, Chester – to name but a few. Then of course, there’s the towns and villages: Straford-Upon-Avon, with its ties to Shakespeare; Harrogate, with its charming storefronts; Haworth, which gave us the Bronte sisters; and Whitby, whose ancient cobbles hark back to yesteryear – need I say more?

Book a break in Britain in 2015

Brits do it best, so if you’re looking for an easy and affordable escape this summer, why not book a cottage break in the UK? There’s never been a better time to enjoy a home-away-from-home holiday, with thousands of self-catering holiday homes to choose from in coast and country destinations throughout Britain. Click here to view our complete range of British holiday accommodation.

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Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.

What to pack for a UK walking holiday

January 22nd, 2015
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Walking is one of the UK’s most popular outdoor pursuits, with millions partaking in this wayfaring pastime each year. Whether setting out on an intrepid walking break or taking a stroll in the local park on a Sunday afternoon, we Brits love to pound the pavement – or trail – on our own two feet.

If, like me, you like the sound of a walking break but aren’t sure what kit you’ll need to enjoy doing it, have a read of our guide on what to pack for a UK walking holiday.

Clothing

Image by Andrew Bowden is licensed under CC 2.0

Image by Andrew Bowden is licensed under CC 2.0

Walking Boots: The most important piece of kit you’ll need to enjoy a comfortable walking break is a decent pair of boots. Invest in a quality pair, and you’ll be rewarded with years of pain-free walking. If you don’t plan to do a lot of off-road hiking, walking shoes or trainers might be a better choice thanks to their weight and breathability.

Waterproofs: No walk, no matter its length, should be attempted in Britain without some trustee waterproofs in tow. Essential waterproofs include a jacket and over-trousers, both of which should be carried with you even during the summer months. When choosing an outdoor jacket, opt for one with a hood – you never know when the heavens may open.

Base Layers: Keeping your core warm is essential when out in the sticks, so start your walking attire with a good quality, skin fitting base layer. Depending on the temperatures, a long sleeve thermal base layer is a great choice, but may get a little sticky during the summer months. If it’s warm, wear a short sleeve synthetic base layer to help you stay cool and dry.

Hat & Gloves: Having numb fingers and throbbing ears is never fun, especially when you’re miles from the nearest source of heat. That’s why, it’s important to wear a pair of gloves and a hat when you’re out walking in the winter months. If it’s warm, ditch the gloves and woolly hat for a sun-hat that’ll keep the midday sun off your face and head.

Hiking Socks: Don’t plumb for any old pair of socks when packing for your walking holiday. Instead, buy a few pairs of top-notch hiking socks, that’ll keep your toes warm and wick moisture away. Walking socks also provide extra cushioning, so if you can’t afford a new pair of boots, a snug pair of socks could do the trick.

Extras

Image by Tony Roberts is licensed under CC 2.0

Image by Tony Roberts is licensed under CC 2.0

First Aid Kit: Walking may not be the most strenuous of outdoor pursuits, but as they say, accidents can happen. That’s why, it’s important to carry a first aid kit whenever you go walking, even if you never have to use it. From grazed knees and migraines to bumps and blisters, ailments can crop up at any moment, and you’ll be relieved you remembered the first aid kit when they do.

Food & Drink: You should carry water whenever you go out for a walk, but it’s particularly important to do so if you’re planning a long day’s hike. Food is just as important for longer walks, and a flask of your favourite hot beverage is sure to put a smile on your face after a gruelling ascent. If you plan to eat, eat little but often throughout the day.

Rucksack: A rucksack is the perfect partner for a long walk in the wilderness, helping you carry your kit efficiently and comfortably. If you plan to buy one especially for future hikes, make sure it’s waterproof and big enough for all your gear.

Walking Poles: An optional extra; walking poles are a godsend for some and an irritant for others. If you’re not sure whether to invest in a pair, there are things you ought to know before you make a decision. Firstly, they can make you walk faster and increase your overall speed. Secondly, they’re great for providing extra stability. And thirdly, they allow you to walk further in a day than you otherwise could – what’s not to like?

Maps & Navigation: How’s your sense of direction? If like me you’re prone to getting temporality lost during your travels (I stress temporarily), carry a map or a GPS device. OS remain king of the maps among amateur and pro walkers, and their large, easy to use regional maps now feature a waterproof coating, making them ideal for walkers whatever the weather. Alternatively, trust technology and use your phone’s built in GPS to help you navigate from A-B.

Book an invigorating walking holiday with Sykes Cottages

What to pack 3

Like the sound of a walking break? Then why not check our range of cottages that are perfectly placed for a hiking holiday. We have self-catering holiday rentals in some of the UK and Ireland’s best-loved walking spots, including the Peak District, the Scottish Highlands and North Wales, so browse our selection today!

Prefer pedal-power? Here’s an in-depth guide into what to pack for a UK cycling holiday.

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Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.

Book a 2015 summer holiday in Yorkshire

January 21st, 2015
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Yorkshire is the ideal destination at any of time year, including the summer. From stunning golden beaches flanked by wildlife-rich cliffs to sprawling purple heathlands that stretch as far as the eye can see, England’s largest county is one destination you can’t afford to miss.

Whether you choose a contemporary holiday home in one Yorkshire’s coastal resorts or a traditional cottage amid the county’s wonderful countryside, a summer holiday in Yorkshire offers something for everyone. Here’s a whistle-stop tour of god’s own county to demonstrate just how bloomin’ lovely it is.

Coast

Image by Thomas Tolkien is licensed under CC 2.0

Image by Thomas Tolkien is licensed under CC 2.0

Blow out the cobwebs or soak up the sunshine: the Yorkshire Coast is a wonderful place to be whatever the weather. Stretching from the dunes of Spurn Point to the Jurassic Cliffs of Staithes, the Yorkshire seaboard is home to everything from windswept bays and secluded coves to bustling seaside towns and cobbled coastal villages time almost forgot.

Rent a self-catering cottage in North Yorkshire, and brace yourself for some epic coastal grandeur. This is a place where purple moorlands nudge chalk clifftops, and age-old villages cling to the rocks metres from the bracing tide. One of the most popular destinations on the North Yorkshire seaboard is Whitby, a town famed for its ties to Dracula, which happens to be one of Yorkshire’s most stylish and desirable destinations. Just a few miles south, you’ll find Robin Hood’s Bay, whose cobbles, pubs and fossil strewn beach make for an enchanting daytrip destination.

Continue south and things get more traditional, with classic seaside resorts like Scarborough, Bridlington and Filey providing plenty of nostalgic family fun. For sunseekers, this area of the Yorkshire Coast is for you thanks to its fabulous selection of beaches, which include Bridlington’s Blue Flag North Beach and the secluded sands of Dane’s Dyke.

Country

Yorkshire 2

Image by chantrybee is licensed under CC 2.0

There’s a chance I could waffle all day about the Yorkshire countryside, so I’ll try keep it brief. Whichever direction you turn in this mighty county, you’ll encounter some of England’s prettiest pockets of countryside. From the Dales to the Moors, this is a region of blustery peaks and peaceful valleys, interrupted now and again by the odd village, hamlet or town.

Rent a holiday cottage in the Yorkshire Dales this summer, and remember to pack the walking boots. Whether tackling the infamous three peaks or taking a stroll around one of the region’s many historic villages, you’ll no doubt be using your feet. Sights not to be missed in the Yorkshire Dales include the Ribblehead Viaduct, the peak of Pen Y Ghent, Aysgarth Falls, and the villages of Hawes, Settle and Grassington.

Book a break in North Yorkshire, and explore some of the most popular valleys in England, including Wensleydale, Swaledale and Coverdale. Tucked between these picturesque vales are some wonderfully charming villages, whose histories date back to Viking times. Destinations not to be missed in the region include Richmond, Leyburn, and Middleham, as well as the historic sights of Bolton Castle, Studley Royal and Rievaulx Abbey.

You’ll love a summer break in Yorkshire

North, south, east, west – wherever you choose to stay, a cottage holiday in Yorkshire is a great choice for families and couples looking for that perfect blend of coast and country. So don’t wait around; if Yorkshire’s the place for you this summer, check out our huge range of Yorkshire holiday homes that are available to rent for a sunny break in 2015.

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Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.

Holiday Cottages with a Hot Tub in Ireland

January 20th, 2015
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Just imagine: you’ve spent the day exploring all the delights that your chosen county of Ireland has to offer, your legs are sore and you’re tired from your busy day. You get back to your holiday cottage and straight into the warm bubbles of your own hot tub. You pour yourself a glass of fizz and feel your body relax as you discuss all you got up to with your holiday companions, ready for more exploring the next day. Bliss!

Bearing in mind how blissful this sounds, we’re dedicating today’s post to our properties in Ireland where you can fully relax and indulge in a hot tub. After all, a hot tub is one of our most requested amenities, so if a tub features on your wish list for your holiday in Ireland this year read on to see which properties we have that will make all your holiday dreams come true.

 Kyle Cottage, County Tipperary

reference 917103

reference 917103

Three miles from Roscrea in County Tipperary you will find Kyle Cottage, a wonderful detached holiday cottage sleeping twelve people in five bedrooms. Roscrea provides visitors with a wealth of things to do, whilst Kyle Cottage provides its guests with lots of opportunities to relax.

1 Ard Carraig, County Donegal

reference 917354

reference 917354

Guests of the wonderful 1 Ard Carraig are spoilt inside and outside the property; with tasteful seaside themed décor internally as well as stunning views of the Ballymastocker Bay. Enjoy these views from the hot tub housed on the patio outside the property.

The Studio, County Mayo

reference 8329

reference 8329

If it’s a romantic trip you’re after then The Studio in County Mayo might be just what you need! Sleeping just two, this quaint property benefits from a secluded patio with its own hot tub – perfect for dining alfresco in the summer months!

Castlekevin House, County Cork

reference 21971

reference 21971

In the description of Castlekevin House it states that ‘The jewel in the crown of this cottage is the indoor hot tub’ and I agree! Enjoy all that this house has to offer by cooking up a storm in the well-equipped kitchen, make the most of the large garden or head for a day out in the surrounding area before heading back and relaxing in the jewel of the property!

Ballyblood Lodge, County Clare

Ballyblood Lodge

reference 4570

This lovely barn conversion in County Clare is the perfect place for a family or group of friends to unwind. With spacious rooms, rural views and a mezzanine reading area (don’t forget the hot tub!) You will never want to leave.

 

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.