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Easter Egg Hunting With Sykes Cottages

Sunday, April 20th, 2014
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Seeing as Easter weekend has finally arrived, we thought that we should do a little Easter themed special about the best way to keep the kids occupied. Forget about sticking on a DVD and leaving them to it, why not try out the old family favourite, the Easter Egg Hunt. They may seem like a bit of a logistical nightmare especially if the whole family is coming round, however we’ve come up with a few hints and tips that should keep everyone happy.

The Hunt

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

This obviously depends upon the age of the children. If they are a bit older then you can start to think of giving them more cryptic clues, things like riddles and little poems work well and certainly get those mental cogs whirring. Or if the hunt is for younger kids then you could think about using more visual clues, maybe drawing pictures of the locations or just making sure that they are in more easily visible places will make it more accessible, and more fun for them! For when there are a variety of ages it might be worth separating them out so there is a designated area for both the older and the younger groups so that everybody gets a fair shot at finding the eggs and that any little squabbles are avoided.

The Prizes

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Of course the obvious choice would be the classic chocolate egg, however we know that it is likely that you’ll already be up to your ears in them over the Easter period and so we’ve had a think to see if we could come up with some alternatives. One option would be to hide some sort of token (maybe some plastic coins or even the little chick shaped decorations that you see in the supermarkets at this time of year) rather than eggs. These can then be exchanged at the end of the hunt for some sort of treat or present, things like colouring books or maybe a little toy always go down well and they also allow you to limit the chocolate intake.

Some Fun Alternatives

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Even though the kids are sure to love the hunt they might get a bit of overkill, especially if they have already done some in school or pre-school so we’ve come up with a couple of ideas to keep them interested. You could always let them turn the tables and hide some eggs for the adults to find with a prize going to the person who thought of the best hiding place. Or you could add in a few extra challenges midway through the hunt, things like a classic egg and spoon race always works well and help to tire out the little tykes.

Hopefully the little ones will enjoy some of our ideas but if you’re thinking of making the hunt extra special why not think about going away and holding it in one of our big cottages, you’re sure to be able to find plenty of nooks and crannies to tuck away those eggs.

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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.

Get running with Sykes Cottages

Sunday, April 13th, 2014
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By now I’m sure that many of you are well aware that this morning saw the 2014 edition of the London Marathon. The event has been going since 1981 with countless runners taking part, right the way from the professional who complete the 26 miles in just over 2 hours to the fancy dress wearing fundraisers who can sometimes take several days to finish. Maybe watching the runners race their way around London has inspired you to try out a little bit of running yourself; if so you’re in the right place because we’ve tried to think of some little hints and tips for aspiring runners.

Get the gear

Running Shoes

Via. Flickr

One of the most important things when you start running is making sure that you have the right shoes. Although you might be tempted just to dig out that pair of vaguely sporty looking shoes that have been gathering dust at the back of the wardrobe and lace them on, you’d do well to remember that the wrong shoes are one of the biggest causes of injury to runners. A good pair of running shoes might seem a bit pricey but they will help avoid the classic runner’s blister as well as other unpleasant things!

Find a Route

Running Route

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One of the best things about running is that you can pretty much do it anywhere. Roads, parks, canal towpaths… they all make perfect running routes. All you have to do is decide on a sensible distance and get out there! However, there’s nothing better than a bit of scenery when it comes to going out for a run and luckily that’s one thing that we aren’t short of in this country! One option is to head out to one of our national parks and if you’re feeling adventurous you could even try out one of these fantastic routes, although some of them are rather daunting.

Get Racing

finish line

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No matter what distance you are comfortable with I can guarantee that you’ll find a race or event for you, from short and casual fun-runs to gruelling ultra marathons and everything in between. Races are the perfect way to challenge yourself and you’ll be surprised at the feeling of satisfaction you get when you cross that finish line.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy getting out and about running, and if you really get in to it you might even think about going on a little running holiday. If so we’ve got cottages with all sorts of features that might be perfect for you, whether it’s our cottages in the countryside for a scenic run or even our hot tub cottages which are perfect for soothing those aching legs.

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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.

Sykes’ Best Places for a Pet Friendly Holiday

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
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You might not be aware of it but this month is all about our four legged friends. That’s right, from the first of April right the way through to the fifth of May it’s officially National Pet Month, and what’s more it’s the 25th edition of the event with a special theme of ‘celebrating our pets’ and this is exactly what we’ll be doing here at Sykes.

For our first National Pet Month we’ll be looking at one of the best ways to treat your dogs: taking them away with you next time you go on holiday. Here at Sykes, we have over 2,000 pet friendly holiday cottages for you to pick from and whilst this number gives you plenty of options we know that it can be difficult to find the right place to plan your getaway. So, we’ve had a look to see if we could narrow it down a bit by finding some of the best areas to go away with your dog.

Lake District

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If you’re looking for the perfect pet’s playground then the Lake District could well be the place for you! With beautiful woodlands, mountains and more lakes than you could shake a stick at, ‘Scamp’ will well and truly be in his element. You could maybe treat your pooch to a walk in Grizedale Forest or even go on a little cruise on Lake Windermere, and if your furry friend starts to run out of steam then I’m sure you’ll be able to find a tasty snack in a country pub or tea room. So take a look at our pet friendly properties in the Lake District as you’ll need somewhere for a bit of R&R after all those long walks in the country.

Norfolk

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Another old favourite for a dog friendly holiday is Norfolk. Whilst you’re there you’ll never struggle to find a beautiful beach where the pooch can stretch his legs, with Old Hunstanton and Holkham Bay both coming highly recommended. Or if you fancy heading inland you’ll be able to find miles and miles of beautiful woodlands, pay a visit to one of the counties fantastic country estates or even take a little boat trip along the Norfolk Broads. So what are you waiting for? Book yourself a pet friendly cottage in Norfolk and get packing!

South West

cornwall

via Flickr

For a long time the South West has been one of our more popular holiday destinations with its pristine beaches and beautiful countryside but both of these things also make it an absolute haven for our four legged friends. Cornwall makes for the ultimate doggy holiday destination with its miles of sandy beaches and open grasslands that are perfect for stretching those legs. Or there’s also the Exmoor National Park in Devon where you’ll find over 250 square miles of moorland, woodland, valleys and cliffs for ‘Fido’ to explore. What’s more, we have over 200 cottages in the South West of the country that welcome pets, so there’s no excuse for you to leave the pooch in kennels whilst you’re living it up.

So there you go, some of the best places in the country to go away with a dog, and what’s more all three of them feature in our very own dog walking guide containing the best routes for you and your four legged friends to stretch your legs together. But don’t forget that there are plenty of other options open to you, just take a look at our full selection of dog friendly cottages and wait for one to catch your eye.

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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.

Some of Sykes’ New English Cottages

Saturday, April 5th, 2014
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Here at Sykes HQ we love having a little nose at the new cottages every now and then. As you would probably expect we get a massive variety come through the doors, from mansions up in Scotland to cosy romantic retreats in Wales. However in light of the fact that it is English Tourism week we’ve decided to give you the low-down on a few of our favourite new cottages in England along with what makes them special.

The Chapel, Lowgill, Yorkshire Dales

the chapel

The Chapel, ref. 903991

If you’re after a quiet break in the North of England then the Chapel is the place for you! Tucked away in the village of Lowgill near Wear, just 40 minutes drive away from the natural beauty of the Lake District this delightful Chapel conversion would be perfect for a group of friends or a family looking for a week away from it all. With four double bedrooms, including a King Size and a Super King Size, each of which have their own en suite bathroom, an open plan living space and a second sitting room complete with wood burning stove you’ll be able to spend a week in luxury. Then there’s also the not so small matter of the designer kitchen and the beautiful garden tailor made for a bit of outdoor dining in the summer months that will make any holiday spent in the Chapel a good one.

The Sett, Beelsby, Lincolnshire

the sett

The Sett, ref. 26355

The Sett in the village of Beelsby is the perfect cottage for a little romantic break. Nestled in amongst the Lincolnshire Wolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and not too far from the the seaside resorts of Cleethorpes and Maplethorpe the Sett is perfect for making the most of both worlds. The cottage itself  is a delightful little detached bungalow that is beautifully decorated and well appointed throughout. It comes with a contemporary and stylish kitchen perfect for rustling up a delicious treat, a cosy bedroom with French doors leading out to the patio in the back garden and an en suite bathroom with a stunning free standing bath.

Beningborough, Middleham, Yorkshire Dales

beningborough

Beningborough, ref. 905078

Or maybe you’re looking for something a bit bigger? Well if so then this brand new cottage might be perfect for you! Situated in the picturesque Wensleydale town of Middleham, Beningborough is a fantastic property for a slightly larger group with its four double bedrooms and two sofa beds (it’s also next door to cottage 905077 if there’s a particularly large group looking to stay). The property itself is a barn conversion hidden away amongst the Dales countryside which the owners have recently renovated to a very high standard. Outstanding features include a modern take on the traditional farmhouse kitchen with a centrepiece island and also the beautiful two-tiered garden out back.

Hopefully after reading that you’ll agree with me when I say that we’ve had some cracking cottages joining the Sykes fold recently so make sure you keep checking the New Cottages page just in case your dream holiday home turns up.

 

 

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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 to Enjoy an Easter Break

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
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There are few things better than a nice little Easter trip, even though they do normally involve having to put up with an unpleasantly bracing wind. Happily however, Easter falls so late this year that we’ll hopefully be able to soak up a bit of sunshine, and maybe even remove a couple of layers in the process. Here at Sykes, we’re looking forward to Easter as much as anyone and have decided to take a look and see what places promise to be the best for making the most out of this year’s (hopefully) sunny Easter break.

Norfolk

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

For some reason, Norfolk is never given the credit it deserves as a holiday destination. However, with its countless quaint country villages, bustling towns and beaches that rival any in the UK, it could be just the ticket for a perfect Easter Break. You could easily spend a day making the most of some sunshine on one of the area’s seemingly never-ending beaches, or if the seaside isn’t quite your thing then the world famous Norfolk Broads may well be the answer. Then there is always the hustle and bustle of the city of Norwich where you can step back in time with a trip to the Colmans Shop, designed as an exact replica of their Victorian premises, or get to grips with the city’s heritage with a tour of the Norwich 12.

County Clare

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

County Clare in Ireland makes for another brilliant Easter destination, especially if you’re looking to get out and about. You could try a little trip to the coastal town of Lahinch and sneak in a round of golf on its world renowned links course. Whilst you’re there, you could also try your hand at a multitude of water-sports including things like kite-surfing that are bound to get the adrenaline pumping. If you’re looking for something a bit more sedate then you could pay a visit to the world famous Cliffs of Moher, although be prepared to have your breath taken as you look down upon the Atlantic Ocean over 200m below. Then there’s also the eerie Burren, a 250km² limestone pavement etched into the rolling hills which draws visitors from all over the world and is the perfect location for a long walk.

Pembrokeshire

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Nothing says spring sunshine like the sight of a Daffodil in bloom, and where better to see them than in Wales itself? With this in mind, we’ve decided to have a look at what you could get up to in the county of Pembrokeshire. The fabulous Pembrokeshire Coast Path and the Pembrokeshire National Park both provide you with the perfect excuse to lace up the old walking boots and enjoy a breath of fresh air. Or you could always hop on the bike and enjoy a leisurely ride through the welsh hills comfortable in the knowledge that you’ll never be too far away from a nice country pub or café for a little a refuel.

So there are a few ideas on where you could go for a little break this Easter, but don’t forget that there are loads of alternatives if you don’t fancy any of them. All you have to do is take a look at our Easter Holiday Cottages and find one that is perfect for you!

 

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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.