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Some of England’s Most Scenic Spots

Monday, April 18th, 2016
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Now it’s not like you need an excuse to celebrate England’s beauty, however with St George’s Day just around the corner we thought it was too good an opportunity to miss out on! Between the sweeping beaches, verdant green countryside and of course the quaint towns and villages, there are few places quite like England. So we’ve been taking a look to see whether we could pick out a few of the most scenic spots, why don’t you check them out and see if you agree with our choices?

Windermere, The Lake District

Durdle Door, Dorset

Holy Island, Northumberland

Malham Cove, Yorkshire

Whitby, Yorkshire

The Malvern Hills, The Heart of England

Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

Flamborough Head, Yorkshire

Well there you go, some of the Sykes team’s favourite scenic spots in England. Hopefully you’ll appreciate them as much as we do but we’d love to hear about your favourite places in England, so give us a Tweet or let us know over Facebook! Or maybe these stunning shots have even tempted you into experiencing England’s amazing scenery for yourself? Well if that’s the case you’re in the right place, just take a look at our English Cottages or give us a call on 0124 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.

Fantastic Cottages Near Theme Parks

Monday, April 11th, 2016
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With the weather starting to turn for the better, it’s only natural that people want to start spending a bit more time in the great outdoors, and there are few better things for that than a summer’s day at a theme park. Between the exhilarating rides and the fun-filled attractions, they’re one of the ultimate days out. Whilst it’s ok for those who are lucky enough to live near to a theme park and only have a short trip home afterwards, it can be a bit trickier for the rest of us. Happily however, we’ve got a wide selection of holiday cottages that are right by a theme park! We’ve picked out a few of our favourites, so take a look and see if any of them catch your eye!

Ash House  (ref. 922587). near Alton Towers

We’re starting off with Ash House, a stunning Grade II listed cottage that just so happens to be little more than a mile from the famous Alton Towers. As the biggest and most famous of all the UK’s theme parks, Alton Towers is best known for its dizzying array of adrenaline rush-inducing rides, from old favourites such as Oblivion and Nemesis, through to the newly redeveloped Galactica – the word’s first virtual reality based rollercoaster!

Ash House itself is a cosy property right in the heart of the village of Alton, that sleeps six people through three bedrooms, meaning that it’s the perfect base for a family trip. But it’s not all about Alton Towers! Ash House’s enviable position means that it’s also great for making the most of Alton’s selection of pubs, cafes and shops, as well as exploring the rest of the Peak District!

Granite House (ref. 927754), near Flambards

Next up we’re taking a trip down to the South West and an old favourite here in the Sykes Office – Flambards. Set just outside of the village of Helston, Flambards is one of Cornwall’s premier family-based theme parks and offers an unbelievable variety of attractions. You can travel back in time in the Victorian Village, or get a taste of WW2 with Britain in the Blitz, and of course there’s the selection of rides including the Hornet and SkyRaker. not to mention the brand new Jurassic Journey.

Happily, here at Sykes we’ve got a selection of properties down in Cornwall that would be perfect for staying in whilst visiting Flambards, including the picturesque Granite House. Sleeping four people, it’s the perfect size for a family trip to Cornwall and there’s only 10 miles between the front door and the entrance to Flambards!

Alpine House (ref. 912910), near Flamingo Land

Finally we’ve got Yorkshire’s finest theme park – Flamingo Land! It might have started off life as a zoo back in the late 1950’s but over the years, more than 50 rides such as Hero, Pterodactyl and Kumalie, have been added to the hundreds of animals to turn it into one of the most unique attractions in the United Kingdom. And we’re happy to say that we’ve got some great cottages that are within easy reach of Flamingo Land, such as Alpine House which is less than five miles away in Pickering. Comfortably housing four people, it’s a traditional mid-terraced cottage that offers plenty of character features including beamed ceilings and traditional wooden floors, making it the perfect place to relax after a fun-filled day out.

Hopefully that’s piqued your interest in visiting one of the UK’s fantastic theme parks in 2016 but don’t worry if you’ve still not made your mind up about which one you want to visit, we put together a guide that you might find useful. Or maybe you’ve decided but still need to find somewhere to stay? If that’s the case then feel free to give us a call on 01244 356695 and one of our holiday advisors will be able to help you find the perfect property.

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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.

10 of the Best Beaches in the UK

Thursday, April 7th, 2016
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Looking out of the window on a grey afternoon here at Sykes HQ, it does seem like I might be a touch premature in saying this, but we’re well on the way to summer! And in my eyes there are few better things than spending a day in the summer sun at the seaside! The thing is that here in the UK we’re blessed with so many fantastic beaches that it can be tough deciding which to go to. Happily however, TripAdvisor has recently decided to lend us a hand in announcing the winners of their Traveller’s Choice Awards which picked out the Top 25 beaches in the United Kingdom. Overall it was Woolacombe Beach in Devon which won the gong, however it must have been a close run thing judging by the quality of all of the entries!

So in anticipation of a (hopefully) sunny summer, we’ve been through TripAdvisor’s Top 25 beaches in the UK and picked out our favourites, so why don’t you take a look and see what you think of our choices?

Woolacombe Beach

Weymouth Beach

Barafundle Bay

Filey Beach

Luskentyre Sands

Porthgwidden Beach

Porthmeor Beach

Rhossili Bay

Wells-Next-the-Sea Beach

Whitby Beach

So there you, ten of our favourites from TripAdvisor’s 25 beaches in the United Kingdom, but which would get your vote? Let us know, either over Twitter or Facebook – we’d love to know! Or maybe seeing all of these glorious beaches might even have tempted you into booking yourself a seaside cottage? If so make sure you take a look at our wide selection of Beachside Cottages, we’re sure that you’ll be able to find something perfect!

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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.

Outlander Filming Locations

Monday, April 4th, 2016
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There’s some great news for all of the Outlander fans out there, as the much awaited second season is due to premiere later on this week. For those of you who aren’t too familiar with the show, it’s a whirlwind historical drama based on Diana Gabaldon’s famous books that follow the story of Claire Randall, a World War Two nurse who gets transported back to the mid-18th century whilst celebrating her honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands.

Season 1 of the hit show was filmed entirely North of the Border and showcased some of the finest scenery and monuments that Scotland has to offer. So to celebrate the impending release of the second series we’ve been taking a look at some of these stunning filming locations.

Castle Doune

Where else is there to start than with Doune Castle, the setting of Castle Leoch. As the home of Colum and the ancestral seat of Clan Mackenzie, it’s one of the central locations of Season 1. In reality, Doune is not too far from Stirling in Central Scotland and much like the fictional Leoch, it boasts a colourful story or two having played major roles in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and the Glencairn and Jacobite Uprisings. And as it happens, Doune is no stranger to the limelight with Outlander being the latest in a long line of productions that have been filmed there, alongside big names including Monty Python and Game of Thrones.

Culross

Next up we’ve got Culross. Arguably the most complete example of a 17th or 18th Century burgh in Scotland, Culross is a medley of winding cobbled streets and quaint traditional buildings. The eagle eyed amongst you will recognise it as the village of Cranesmuir, with the Mercat Cross area pictured above probably being the most familiar spot from the show. But that’s not it! The walled gardens at Culross Palace were also used as Claire’s herb garden and the town’s West Kirk doubled as the Black Kirk in episode 3.

Blackness Castle

Then there’s the imposing Blackness Castle in West Lothian. Overlooking the Firth of Forth, its unique appearance earned the castle its nickname of “The Ship That Never Sailed” and I think it’s fair to say that Blackness has had a fairly eventful life. Built way back in the 15th century, it has served as The Royal Burgh of Linlithgow, an official residence of the Scottish Monarchy, a state prison and an ammunition depot in World War One. In Outlander however it only has the one role, that of Fort William, the brooding base of operations for the evil Black Jack Randall and the location of Jamie’s heart-rending incarceration.

Hopefully that’s got you in the mood to tune in when Outlander finally hits the screens again later this week? Or who knows, maybe it’s even tempted you into going for your own Outlander adventure, albeit hopefully without the time travel, murder and intrigue? If that’s the case then you’ll want to take a look through our selection of Highland Cottages! They’ll give you the perfect place to unwind after a day spent following in the footsteps of Claire, Jamie and all the other Outlander characters.

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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.

Holiday Cottages With Stunning Views

Thursday, March 24th, 2016
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Let’s be honest, one of the best things about taking a break in the United Kingdom or Ireland is some of the stunning scenery that you’ll be able to enjoy. No matter whether it’s the lush woodlands of the Lake District, Cornwall’s golden beaches or the rolling hills of the Emerald Isle, it’s all breathtaking! And we’re delighted to be able to say that we’ve got a wide range of holiday cottages that make the most of these spectacular sights! A while back we picked out a few of our favourites here and they seemed to go down a storm, so we’ve been keeping an eye out for other properties with amazing views – take a look at some of our picks and see which is your favourite.

Red House Farm, Mid Wales

The Lookout, Northumberland

Glebe Farm Cottage, South Wales

Pulrose, Anglesey

Looe Island View, Cornwall

The Patio Apartment, North Wales

Groffa Crag Farmhouse, The Lake District

Cnoc Suain, County Mayo

So there you go, just a small taster of the beautiful views that you can experience in a Sykes Cottage. Make sure you click on the link below the photo if any of them have really caught your eye, or give us a call on 01244 356695 if you’d like some help finding the perfect holiday cottage.

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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.