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Refresh Your Holiday Cottage For 2016

Friday, January 8th, 2016
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So the first week of January has already been and gone – how time flies eh? And this means we’ll be back in the peak season for holiday cottages before you know it, so we’ve been doing some thinking about what you can do to refresh your cottage for the New Year. So if you think that your holiday home could do with a bit of a spruce for guests in 2016, take a look and see what you think.

The Kitchen

Now is a great time to take a look through the kitchen and see what might need replacing. It’s inevitable that there will be a few accidents and breakages and some crockery will have gone missing, but have you checked for cracks and chips in all of your plates and mugs?

Then there are the appliances. You’ll want to have a check of all of the appliances in the kitchen and make sure that they’re in working order, from the toaster all the way through to the oven. And you might want to take the chance to replace things like tea towels and oven gloves that might have got a bit stained over the course of 2015.

The Bedroom

And what about the bedroom? Well the of course the easiest place to start is with the bedding. You’ll want to have a quick check and make sure that none of the bedding is too tired looking and maybe even invest in some new sets if you think it might be necessary – remember you’ve got the January sales to take advantage of!

The Living Areas

Now the living areas are probably where your guests are going to spending the most amount of time during their stay, so you want them looking spick and span! Tasks here can range from making sure that everything is shipshape with the soft furnishings, all the way through to making sure that the information pack (if your cottage has one) is fully to up to date with all the best events and attractions for the year ahead.

Hopefully you’ll find this useful when it comes to getting your cottage ready and raring to go for 2016, but we may well have missed a few things out. So if you know of any little tricks of the trade that you think you fellow cottage owners might be able to use then do let us know and we’ll pass it on!

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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.

Introducing… The Tube Map: Reimagined

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
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London is big. Really, really big. So big, in fact, that when you’re in the metropolis, it’s all-too-easy to forget that there are fields and quaint villages just a hop, skip and a jump away. This is what we want to remind the city-dwellers of. Great Britain is far more than a series of cities. We’re a country of stunning countryside, so let’s escape and explore it!

To highlight some of the loveliest places that are only two hours away from the heart of London by train, we’ve created a tube map-inspired graphic that illustrates the kinds of rural locations that are, in the grand scheme of things, really quite close to the city.

Sykes_Tube_Map-V2 (1)

Our map takes you from Liverpool St. through Manningtree, Ipswich and Stowmarket to arrive in Norwich, the centre point of Norfolk – home to a beautiful coastline, the Norfolk Broads, and miles of untouched countryside.

In the other direction, two hours could see you depart from Paddington and arrive in Taunton, through Reading and Castle Cary on the Stone and Tor train route. Once you arrive in Taunton, you have the entirety of beautiful Somerset stretching out before you! Visit Glastonbury and climb the Tor, drive through the awe-inspiring Cheddar Gorge, or indulge at a local cheese or cider farm.

Though we’ve featured six routes here, there are an endless number of places you can easily venture to from the capital – we’ve just got to get out there and explore them!

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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’ Spotlight on 2016

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016
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How the time flies eh? It might seem like only yesterday that we were ushering in 2015 with great excitement, and what a year it was for the UK! From new princesses to big birthdays for the W.I and, of course, the Rugby World Cup, we had it all – you can see the Sykes Cottages roundup of 2015 here – but what about the year ahead? Well we’ve picked out just a few of the things that we’re looking forward to over the next twelve months, why don’t you take a look and see what you think?

Famous Dates in 2016

Where else could we start but with Her Majesty’s birthday? That’s right, 2016 will see Queen Elizabeth II turn 90 years old amidst a whole host of celebrations, including a party at Windsor Castle featuring more than 1500 participants. But it doesn’t stop there for 2016, it will also be the 400th anniversary of the death of one of the nation’s most famous literary figures, William Shakespeare, not to mention landmark anniversaries of Roald Dahl’s, Beatrix Potter’s and Charlotte Bronte’s births. And for all of the history buffs out there, this year will also see the anniversaries of two of the country’s major historical events: The Great Fire of London and The Battle of Hastings, so keep your eyes peeled for the events being planned to celebrate these iconic moments!

2016 In Sport

I think it’s safe to say that 2016 promises to be a massive year in the world of sport with the undeniable highlight of the calendar being the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. It might seem only yesterday that Greg, Jessica and Mo inspired all of us on that amazing Super Saturday but they’re all ready to defend their medals come August, and who knows, maybe some up and coming stars such as Max Whitlock and Adam Peaty will be able join them in taking gold for Team GB. And then there’s of course Euro 2016 in Paris, where the home nations will be well represented with Wales, England , Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland all making their way across the channel to compete.

Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

Or if you’re North of the Border, you might want to get involved in the Scottish Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Aimed at celebrating the work of celebrated Scottish inventors, architects and designers, from John Logie Baird to Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Alexander Fleming to John Boyd Dunlop and of course, Alexander Graham Bell. 2016 will see a plethora of events taking place all around Scotland from the 2016 Festival of Architecture through to Hinterland, an amazing light and sound show in the ruins of St Peter’s Seminary.

So there you go, just some of the fantastic events that we’re looking forward to here at Sykes HQ! It was a struggle cutting the list down to fit it in to just the one post, so do let us know if we’ve missed anything out, but most importantly here’s to another great year!

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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.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 25th, 2015
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We’d like to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas from all of the Sykes Cottages staff! We hope that you all have a fantastic day with your loved ones, complete with copious amounts of Christmas grub and maybe even a tipple or two!

We’ve got a whole host of further festive theme blog posts coming up over the next few days, from some handy recipes to help use up all that leftover turkey through to a roundup of our Walk of the Month series that will help you burn off some of the holiday calories, so keep your eyes peeled!

 

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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.

How To Make Your Cottage More Festive

Thursday, December 17th, 2015
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Today on the Sykes blog we’re taking a look at Christmas from a cottage owner’s point of view. It’s always a busy time of year for holiday lets thanks to the countless large family get-togethers and people looking for a quiet break over the hectic festive period. But one thing that might cause a bit of confusion is whether or not you should decorate your cottage. Here at Sykes HQ, we’d always says that it’s a nice idea to have some bits and pieces handy for the holiday period so that your cottage has that festive feel, ready for when your guests arrive.

Welcome Pack

One thing that quite a lot of owners will do throughout the year is leave a welcome pack ready for their new guests. Normally, they’ll contain some essentials such as milk and eggs, but some owners go the whole hog and leave the odd treat in the pack ranging from a bottle of wine through to some cake or chocolates. So over the Christmas period, why don’t you have a think of adding in a Christmas card, some mince pies or maybe even a few Christmas crackers?

Decorations

Of course, decorations are always a nice touch over the festive period but it’s probably best not to go overboard with it all. You want to keep them so that it’s relatively easy to take them down and put them back up depending on your guests’ preferences, which could differ from booking to booking.

The Tree

And of course there’s the pièce de résistance – the tree! Let’s be honest, no set of Christmas decorations would be complete without a tree but what would be suitable for a holiday let? Well you might want to have a think about an artificial tree, there won’t be the same problems with dropping needles and the clean up afterwards will be easier. And what’s more you can keep hold of it to use again the next year!

So there you go, a few little hints and tips on how you can make your cottages a touch more festive this Christmas. However, we would strongly advise checking with the guests before you put anything up, just to make sure that they’d want the decorations up. Remember to keep your eyes open for more helpful pointers for cottage owners.

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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.