#DiscoverCornwall: Win a £500 Sykes Cottages Voucher

October 9th, 2015
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Share your 2015 #discovercornwall holiday snaps with us to win a selection of prizes, including a £500 Sykes voucher to spend on a cottage of your choice.

How to enter

To celebrate the launch of three brand new areas of the Discover Cornwall website: Attractions, Outdoor Activities and Beaches we want to see your 2015 photos from Cornwall.

Share your photos with us via our Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram by simply including #discovercornwall and the location of your picture before 1pm on Friday 30th October.

What you can win

We’ll enter you into a draw for the chance to win a £500 Sykes Cottages voucher to spend on a holiday cottage of your choice, plus a family ticket to The Eden Project and a luxury Picnic Cornwall Cornish hamper.

One lucky person will win this prize and one lucky runner up will win a Cornish Bubbly & Cream Tea hamper from Picnic Cornwall.

For more details on how to enter and to see the current entries visit the competition page

#discovercornwall photo

*Images tagged with #discovercornwall and submitted between 1st October 2015 and 30th October 2015 will qualify for the competition. See our terms and conditions for further details.

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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.

Macbeth: Filming Locations

October 8th, 2015
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Justin Kurzel’s spectacular adaptation of Shakespeare’s revered tragedy, Macbeth, hit cinemas on 2nd October and true to form, Scotland plays a starring role. Its dramatic, moody landscapes help bring this timeless classic to life on screen in a dark and powerful film that is already being hailed a success. If you enjoyed the film then here are the filming locations you won’t want to miss:

Quiraing, Isle of Skye

It is the Isle of Skye that takes on the protagonist role in this adaptation. Filmed in the depths of winter during its most wild and unforgiving hour, the shots of the island reflect perfectly the merciless nature of the play. The Quiraing, with its distinctive rock formations, is a spectacular sight. It is here that Macbeth returns from battle and is awarded the title, Thane of Cawdor. Lady Macbeth also passes through on her journey back to Inverness.

Glen Brittle Forest & the Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye

Another Isle of Skye location, it is here in the woodland, overlooking Cuillin Ridge, that Banquo is killed on Macbeth’s orders- a pivotal scene in the film. The crystal clear waters at the Fairy Pools are close by; their sparkling blue waters and waterfalls are mesmerising and well worth the visit.

Sligachan Glen, Isle of Skye

This extraordinary Skye landscape is where Lady Macduff and her children are murdered on Macbeth’s orders. Sligachan Glen is a magnificent spectacle to behold and though beautiful, its imposing, isolated position does offer a sense of foreboding befitting of the play and the events that take place here in the film.

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Just outside Scotland, the magnificent Bamburgh Castle lies on the rugged Northumberland coastline and appears in the film as Macbeth’s stronghold at Dunsinane. It is here that Macbeth is eventually defeated by Malcolm who takes his place as King. In real life, the castle is a fantastic tourist attraction with 14 rooms open to the public and over 2,000 artefacts to discover.

To embark on your own Macbeth-themed getaway, take a look at our cottages in the Isle of Skye, Northumberland and Angus.

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Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Some Autumn Snaps

October 6th, 2015
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It’s all suddenly feeling a bit autumnal here at Sykes HQ. Between the chill in the air on the morning commute and the steadily thickening carpet of golden leaves, all of the signs are there. But instead of being a bit glum about the passing of summer, we thought we’d celebrate autumn and have tried to track down some photos that we think best showcase the season in all of its glory. So why don’t you take a look and see which is your favourite?

So there you go, just a few of the things that we think best showcase autumn in all of its glory. But we’d love to know what you guys would pick! You can tweet us your choices here, or if you’d prefer you can send them over via Facebook! If these snaps have got you tempted why don’t you sneak in an autumn break? We’ve still got plenty of cottages available to book just take a look here and let us know when you find one that suits!

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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.

The Best Places for an Autumn Break

October 4th, 2015
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Nothing quite beats an autumnal break, between the crisp morning walks and the hearty portions of comfort food, it just doesn’t get much better. Seeing as it’s that time of year again, we thought we’d give you all a bit of a helping hand and list out some of the best spots in the UK to sneak in an autumnal break, take a look and see which one you fancy.

Lake District

Of course we couldn’t leave the Lake District out could we? The Lake District is widely accepted as one of the most beautiful areas in the UK with the landscape inspiring famous figures such as Wordsworth and it only gets better in Autumn! The scenery makes the perfect backdrop for an afternoon stroll and you’ll never be short of a good country pub for a refuel.

Forest of Dean

Autumn is all about the fantastic colours on show and there’s nowhere better for that than the Forest of Dean. With seemingly endless rows of beech, oak and larch trees all steadily turning a rich golden colour, you’ll be spoilt for choice in finding the perfect photo opportunity.


And last up we’ve got a bit of a curveball. Always overshadowed by its more famous neighbours, Dorset is actually one of the best destinations for an autumn break. Its stunning coastline will give you ample opportunity for a bracing walk taking in the sights, such as the Jurassic Coast and Durdle Door, that inspired Broadchurch.

So there you go, three of our favourite areas when it comes to autumn breaks; but don’t worry if you’ve already got somewhere else in mind, we’ve got holiday cottages dotted all around the UK and Ireland, just take a look here and you’ll be able to find all of the properties available for an autumn break.

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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.

Luxury Days Out

October 2nd, 2015
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Here at Sykes Cottages, we have a wonderful selection of luxury properties ideal for special occasions, family events and romantic escapes. If you’re planning on renting one of these high-end properties for your next getaway then why not combine your stay with a luxury day out? From horse riding to day spas, the UK has a great choice of luxury activities sure to make your holiday extra special. Keep reading for a selection of these luxury days which will hopefully inspire your next getaway.

Horse riding in the New Forest

With spectacular views, open pastures and beautiful forests, the New Forest is one of Britain’s most spectacular National Parks. To make the most of this impressive park, we would suggest exploring the area on horseback.  Ride out over the open heathland at a pace that suits your skill level before your instructor guides you through leafy glades and past wild ponies and foals.

The Burley Villa School of Riding offers fantastic forest hacks for beginners and experienced riders, as well as private hacks and a variety of Western Style riding experiences. Prices start from just £40 and are suitable for riders aged seven and over.

Afternoon tea at the Barmoral

As a country obsessed with a good brew, it should come as no surprise that we’ve turned the humble cup of tea into a lavish affair. A good afternoon tea is a highly social event where friends and family can get together to have a good catch up over a pot of tea and a selection of delicious sandwiches, cakes and scones.

The Palm Court restaurant at the Barmoral in Edinburgh provides an award-winning cream tea daily, between noon and 5.30pm, with prices starting from just £35. The restaurant’s lavish interior and vintage Champagne create a wonderful atmosphere for any occasion.

Falconry in Cheshire

Falconry is a historic sport, one that takes a lot of time, knowledge and money to keep up full time. Because of this it’s not suitable for everyone but if you really love birds and want to spend the day getting to know some of nature’s most skilled hunters, then why not try a falconry experience? Learn all about birds as you come face to face with popular birds of prey used for the sport and have a go at flying them as they soar high above the wonderful Cheshire countryside.

Cheshire Falconry offer a fantastic selection of flying experiences from raptor encounters to walks through the Cheshire countryside with a team of hawks. Experiences start from just £39 and there are special junior experiences available for children aged 4-14 for just £29.

Day spa in Wales

Image provided by Tre-Ysgawen Hall

Image provided by Tre-Ysgawen Hall

With its wide open spaces, inspiring mountains and peaceful lakes, Wales really is the perfect place for a relaxing holiday. To help you unwind on your next Welsh getaway, we suggest taking a trip to one of the region’s many day spas. Indulge in a soothing back massage that targets areas prone to stress and anxiety, or simply relax in the sauna or at the pool side with a glass of bubbly; whatever you need to feel at ease, a Welsh day spa is sure to cater to your needs.

Tre-Ysgawen Hall on Anglesey has a range of day spa packages to choose from so whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or looking to escape the everyday, you’re sure to find a package to suit you. Prices start from as little as £49 and treatments are available throughout the week.

To take a look at our selection of high-end properties and start planning your next luxury getaway please click here.

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By Nicole Westley

As a food lover Nicole can often be found in the kitchen, covered in flour and experimenting with new tastes! When not making a mess she loves to explore her Celtic roots by roaming the Scottish countryside or exploring the bays along the Anglesey coast with her fiancé.