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Sykes Cottages’ Changeover Checklist

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
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Nothing beats a first impression right? Well we’re more than aware of the fact that the same thing goes for a holiday cottage! You want to make a good impression when the guests arrive at the property and have their very first look around, and there is nothing more important for doing this than making sure that you get everything sorted out during the changeover. Having said this, at the peak periods things can get a bit hectic and this can occasionally lead to the odd little job slipping the mind. And this is why we’ve put together a checklist of the jobs that when done will make any holiday cottage feel like a true home from home!

Kitchen

Kitchen of Stable Cottage

Stable Cottage, East Anglia, ref. 3505

  • Check inside the dishwasher in case any dishes have been left in there, if so put them away.
  • Clean the fridge and freezer inside and out, removing any items left behind. The freezer may need defrosting and so it is worth doing this early on in the clean.
  • Give the counters (including under any work-top appliances) and cupboard doors a good wipe down.
  • Clean both the microwave and oven inside and out. Empty any crumbs out of the toaster.
  • Vacuum and mop the floors.

Living Areas

Living room of Grove Cottage

Grove Cottage, North Yorkshire Moors, ref. 12465

  • Clean and vacuum/mop the floors, make sure to do under the furniture as well.
  • Give the surfaces, window sills,  the TV, e.t.c. a dust.
  • Remove any magazines, newspapers that might have been left behind.
  • Make sure that things like fuel for fires e.t.c. are stocked up.

Bedrooms

Bedroom of Willow Garth

Willow Garth, North Yorkshire Moors, ref. 27571

  • Remove all of the bedding from the used beds, check the mattresses.
  • Dust the surfaces and check all of the wardrobes and drawers for any personal items that might have been left behind.
  • Clean all of the mirrors.
  • Give the floors a good vacuum, making sure to get right under the beds and behind any furniture.
  • Make all of the beds up with clean bedding.

Bathrooms

Bathroom of The Paddock

The Paddock, The Lake District, ref. 11219

  • Vacuum and then mop the floors.
  • Clean the showers, bath tubs and sinks, throwing away any soaps, shampoos, etc. left behind by guests.
  • Clean the toilets thoroughly.
  • Clean the mirrors.

We hope that you all find this to be a handy little resource, but you should also remember that there are plenty of little touches around the house that you can do to make your guests feel more at home. From just checking the light bulbs to replacing any dud batteries, they might not seem that important but guests will definitely notice if they’re left undone! But if you do any changeover jobs that seem to go down well and aren’t on our checklist then do let us know, either over Twitter or via Facebook and we’ll pass the tips on!

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.

Scottish Sport This Summer

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
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I think it’s safe to say that the eyes of the sporting world will have well and truly descended on Scotland as the Commonwealth Games finally get up and running. Over the next ten days, thousands of athletes will be competing across seventeen different sporting events from cycling right the way through to squash. However, it’s well worth remembering that it’s not just about the Commonwealth Games up in Scotland, in fact there are plenty of other sporting activities that you could try your hand at, so read on and see if there’s anything that you fancy.

Extreme Sports

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie then Scotland is most definitely where you want to be, after all there are so many options open to you! For example you could have a go at the ultimate thrill, a Bungee Jump! Bungee Jump Scotland offer you two options, the Highland Fling up in the beautiful Pass of Killiecrankie or the Urban Bungee which will have you leaping off the cantilever of the Titan Crane in Glasgow. Or, alternatively, you could always take in some of the beautiful countryside with a spot of mountain biking. If you’re a fan of cycling then Scotland is the place for you! No matter where you are you’ll be able to find a cycling paradise, from the borders right up to the Highlands, there’s always somewhere for you!

Water Sports

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Then there’s the water sports! With over 10,000 miles of coastline it comes as little surprise that Scotland is a haven for all types of water sports enthusiasts, from surfers to sailors, paddleboarders to canoeists, the list goes on. The rougher seas of the North coast have put places like Thurso well and truly on the surfing map, however if you’re a beginner you might be better suited to the slightly calmer waters further down the coastline. Or if you’re inland you can take a advantage of some of the fantastic white water rapids dotted around the country and have a go at one of the latest crazes, river bugging!

The Highland Games

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Or if you don’t fancy either of them then, why don’t you pop down to one of the Highland Games! Truly showcasing Scottish heritage at its finest from traditional sports such as the caber toss and the hammer throw, to bagpipe playing and highland dancing, the games make for a spectacle like no other! With events ranging from smaller, local affairs right the way through to the massive Cowal Gathering which brings together three and a half thousand competitors from all over the world, as well as countless spectators you’ll surely be able to find one for you!

So there we have it, some of the fantastic sports and events taking place around Scotland! If any of them have piqued your interest why not take a look at our Scottish cottages so that you have somewhere to put your feet up after a long day, or if you have any suggestions of activities that people should try out north of the border then let us know either over Twitter of Facebook!

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 Britain’s Best Quiet Beaches

Sunday, July 20th, 2014
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When the sun is shining, there aren’t many things better than heading down to the seaside for an afternoon at the beach. However, more often than not, near enough everybody seems to have the same idea. So, we’ve scoured the shores of dear old Blighty in search of quieter beaches for you to go and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet beside the sea.

Druridge Bay, Northumberland

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Druridge Bay is a delightful 7 mile long sweeping beach on the Northumberland Coast. Often overshadowed by it’s local rivals such as Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh, Druridge Bay is often seen as a haven for bird watchers thanks to the several nature reserves hidden away behind its dunes. Then there’s also the vast country park complete with a hundred acre lake all within walking distance of the beach itself; perfect for when you fancy a change of scenery.

Luskentyre Sands, Isle of Harris

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

With its seemingly endless white sands and beautiful turquoise waters you’d be forgive if you didn’t believe that Luskentyre was tucked away on the Atlantic coast of Scotland. It’s often voted as one of the best beaches in the world, let alone in the UK, but Luskentyre remains relatively quiet although this could be due to the fact that it is quite off the beaten track. However don’t let this stop you from heading up there as Luskentyre is well worth a visit!

Roanhead Beach, Cumbria

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Another of our favourites is Roanhead Beach. Now the old industrial hub of Barrow probably isn’t the type of place that you’d imagine on a shortlist of the UK’s best beaches, but the huge tidal ranges expose a hidden gem daily. Roanhead is the home of massive sandy expanses that are perfect for stretching the legs, and what’s more it’s right on the doorstep of the Lake District!

Oxwich Bay, Swansea County

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Then there’s always Oxwich Bay, one of the beautiful beaches that make up the stunning Gower Peninsula in South Wales. It’s absolutely perfect for walkers and water-sport enthusiasts, and the beach is more than large enough to accommodate all of the visitors comfortable. Also be sure to remember that dogs are welcome all year round which makes Oxwich a top destination for the whole family.

Hopefully you’ll have enjoyed reading this, and if it’s made you pine for a taste of the seaside then why don’t you take a look at our wide selection of beach cottages? Or if you’ve got any ideas of some other beaches that should be on this list then do let us know!

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 UK and Ireland’s Best Historical Sites

Saturday, July 12th, 2014
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For such a small place, the UK is certainly brimming with history. Having said this, it can be difficult to know where to go to experience this for yourself. Of course you can always while away an afternoon in one of our fantastic  museums, but if you want to get a true taste of history, then you can’t beat a visit to one of the country’s historic sites! So that’s why, we’ve put together a checklist of some of the best spots that you can visit in order to get a sense of the history behind these islands.

Stonehenge

stonehenge

via. Flickr

OK, this one might be quite obvious, however it doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth its spot on this list. Stonehenge was built at least 4,000 years ago and still stands proudly amid the Wiltshire countryside to this day. Although no one is quite sure why or how the structure was built, we do know it would have involved the transportation of stones that weigh up to 50 tons each! With its brand new £27 million visitor centre featuring over 250 objects, it’s little wonder Stonehenge attracts over 800,000 visitors a year!

Skara Brae

Skara Brae

via. Flickr

If you want to go back even further than Stonehenge, Skara Brae is the place for you. Older than both the famous stone circle and the great pyramids of Egypt, the site was found by chance back in 1850 when a powerful storm stripped away the turf that had almost perfectly preserved the buildings for thousands of years. The level of preservation is so complete that you can still see, not only the original belongings of the site, but also much of the furniture that was used by the inhabitants over four and a half thousand years ago!

Newgrange

Newgrange

via. Flickr

Then there’s also the massive site of Newgrange in County Meath, Ireland. Again over 5,000 years old, the mound covers an area over an acre in size and appears to have been built in order to capture a beam of light at sunrise on the winter solstice every year. With over 200,00 visitors every year, Newgrange is the most popular of Ireland’s prehistoric attractions and is complemented by it’s very own visitor centre which contains a full scale replica of the mysterious central chamber of the site.

So there you have it, the Sykes checklist of the best ancient sites to visit on the British Isles. Hopefully all you history buffs out there will enjoy having  little look around, and if you manage to take any photos of the places, then we’d love to see them! Just send them over, either via Facebook or Twitter.

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’ Quintessential British Towns

Friday, July 11th, 2014
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For this blog post, we wanted to find the most quintessentially British places in the country and share them with you. However, this was no easy task, after all, what actually makes a place quintessentially British? Is it quaint little streets or rolling hills? Red telephone boxes or cosy tea rooms? Seafront piers or fish and chips? See it’s not all that easy, but here’s what we’ve come up with.

Rye, East Sussex

Rye

via. Flickr

First up we’ve got Rye in East Sussex. A sleepy little town right down by the south coast, Rye is famous for its cobbled streets and the Mermaid Inn, once the haunt of highwaymen and notorious smuggling group, the Hawkshead Gang. If you plan to visit Rye, make sure you go up the tower of the Church of St Mary in order to experience the stunning panoramas over the town and its neighbouring nature reserve.

Bibury, Gloucestershire

Bibury

via. Flickr

It would have been impossible to put this list together without including at least one of the Cotswolds charming villages, and so here we have Bibury, an ancient village situated on the River Coln. Dubbed “the most beautiful village in England” by famous  19th Century Artist William Morris,  if you’re ever in Bibury, remember to have a look at Arlington Row, a group of beautiful cottages dating back hundreds of years.

Polperro, Cornwall

Polperro

via. Flickr

Polperro is one of the gems of the Cornish coast. Made up almost exclusively of cottages built by the fisherman of days gone by, the town retains much of its old charm in spite of the large number of people who flock there each year. Be sure to pay a visit to the Polperro Heritage Museum where you can learn all about Polperro’s past, from the humble fishermen to the infamous smugglers

Clevedon, Somerset

If you’re after a traditional seaside town, Clevedon is the spot for you. With the oldest surviving example of a Victorian pier (it was opened way back in 1869), ornamental gardens, a bandstand and even donkey rides, you can’t get much more quintessentially British! If you think you recognise the town then it will most likely be from the hit ITV show Broadchurch, where it featured as one of the main filming locations.

Haworth, West Yorkshire

Haworth

via. Flickr

Alternatively, if you’re holidaying up north, then Howarth is the place for you! Tucked away amongst the South Pennines, Haworth is best known for its affiliation with the Brontes, who used to call the town home. Make sure you have a look at our very own guide to the perfect day trip if you’re ever planning an excursion there!

Edale, Derbyshire

Edale

via. Flickr

Finally we’ve got Edale, a traditional escape from the industrial centres of Manchester and Sheffield. Edale is situated at the starting point of the famous Pennine Way, making it a haven for walkers, cyclists and other folk with a penchant for the great outdoors. Couple this with Edale’s  plentiful choice of pubs and eateries, and there are few places better for enjoying a taste of the British countryside.

Hopefully you agree with our choices but if you have any suggestions then do let us know, either on Twitter or Facebook.  Alternatively, if reading this has got you in the mood for a little break in a quiet British town, have a look at our traditional cottages- I’m sure you’ll be able to find something to your liking!

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.