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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.

Easter Baking With The Kids

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016
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Who can believe that Easter is just around the corner? Besides this signalling how quickly 2016 seems to be flying by, it also means that in a few days the kids will be off school and there will probably be an abundance of chocolate lying around the house. Well we’ve decided to combine these two things and have found some recipes for some brilliant Easter themed treats that you’ll be able to rustle up with the help of the little ones, take a look and see which one you fancy trying out.

Easter Fairy Cakes

Where else could we start but with a classic fairy cake topped by one of the best Easter themed sweets? These gorgeous little fairy cakes courtesy of AllRecipes should only take around half an hour from start to finish and there are plenty of jobs for the little ones to help out with!


For the cakes

  • 120g of butter
  • 140g of self raising flour
  • 85g of caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbspns of cocoa powder

For the icing

  • 100g of milk chocolate
  • 120g of butter
  • 120g of icing sugar

For the decoration

  • Large bag of mini eggs
  • A couple of flake bars


  1. First of all preheat your oven to 190 degrees centigrade and line 3 muffin trays with paper cases.
  2. Using a electric hand beater you’ll then want to mix together all of the cake ingredients in a large bowl until it makes a nice, smooth batter.
  3. Then spoon the mixture into the cases and bake for around 10 minutes, remove when the cakes feel fairly firm and leave to cool.
  4. Whilst they’re baking you’ll want to make the icing mixture. To do this you should melt the chocolate. Add this to the butter and icing sugar and beat them together.
  5. When the cakes are cool, spread the icing over the top and decorate with a couple of mini eggs and some crumbled flake.

Jam Tarts

And of course we’ve got the classic Jam Tart. Quick, easy and yet delicious – what more could you want? This recipe from BBC Goodfood will show you how you can make your own pastry from scratch, or you can always buy some pre-made (don’t worry we won’t tell anyone!) Again it should only take you half an hour and will produce some tasty and colourful delights.


  • 170g of self raising flour
  • 85g of unsalted butter
  • An assortment of jams for the fillings


  1. To start off you should preheat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
  2. To make your pastry you’ll want to rub the butter and flour together in a large bowl, eventually it will start to look like breadcrumbs. When you’ve reached this stage you should then mix in a few tablespoons of water until it forms a dough.
  3. Roll this dough out until it is relatively thin and using a pastry cutter cut out 15 or so circles of pastry.
  4. Add these circles into cupcake trays and then put a teaspoon of your jam on top.
  5. Put them in the oven and bake for around half an hour or until the pastry is a good golden-brown colour.

Rocky Road

Ok we realise that this recipe is bake free, but we couldn’t really leave out a rocky road could we? Taking an Easter twist with some good old mini eggs – or of course you could use some leftover Easter eggs – this BBC Goodfood recipe will be ready to eat in about an hour and a half and keeps for about 10 days – perfect for the school holidays!


  • 225g of dark chocolate
  • 100g of unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp of cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp of golden syrup
  • 100g of rich tea biscuits
  • 50g of marshmallows
  • 50g of dried cranberries
  • 200g of mini eggs.


  1. First of all you should melt your chocolate and butter together in a large bowl over the top of a saucepan of boiling water. Whilst they are melting you should line a baking tin using clingfilm.
  2. Once the chocolate/butter mixture is melted and glossy, remove from the heat and mix in the syrup and cocoa then allow to cool slightly.
  3. Break up your rich tea biscuits (putting them in a freezer bag and hitting them with a rolling pin is a good way to do this) then stir into the chocolate mix along with the the marshmallows, cranberries and about three quarters of the mini eggs.
  4. Pour the mixture into the lined dish and smooth out. Put the remaining eggs on top and put in the fridge to set – this should only take an hour or so.

So there are three recipes perfect for when you’re struggling to find something that will keep the kids occupied whilst they’re off school over the next couple of weeks. We hope they’re as tasty as they look but do let us know how it goes if you’re going to try any of them out!

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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.

Book a Last Minute Easter Holiday

Sunday, March 20th, 2016
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Now there might only be a few days to go but, believe it or not, there’s still time for you to treat yourself to an Easter break! Whilst a lot of our cottages have been booking up fast, we still have availability in some fantastic properties all around the UK and Ireland, from the Cornish coast all the way through to County Donegal. We’ve picked out a few of our favourite holiday homes that are still available to book over Easter so take a look and see if you fancy any of them.

Warbrook (ref. 931691), Bradworthy in Devon

A detached barn conversion found in the midst of the Devonshire countryside, Warbrook is a great option for those looking to take a few days away with the kids over Easter. Being located on the owner’s working smallholding means that there’s plenty of outdoor space for the children to take advantage of and there’s even a fully enclosed garden complete with its own play area that promises hours of entertainment. The cottage itself is beautifully decorated throughout with an open plan living area, a modern kitchen and two superbly finished bedrooms. And if that wasn’t enough, the South West Coastal path is just a short drive away should you fancy a scenic walk during your break.

Jet Cottage (ref. 5268), Whitby in North Yorkshire

Or alternatively there’s Jet Cottage in Whitby. The property is located right in the town centre meaning that you’d have easy access to all of the hustle and bustle but you’ll still get plenty of peace and quiet due to the fact that it’s set back in a quaint yard away from the roads. Jet Cottage is full to the rafters with characterful features, from the original exposed beams through to the winding staircase and these are all married in beautifully with the modern décor. With Whitby’s harbour, shops and of course Abbey all right on the doorstep, there’s no chance of guests running out of things to do, so what are you waiting for?

Loistin Coimin (ref. 913526), Comeen in County Donegal

But what if you’re thinking of taking a trip over to Ireland over Easter? Well that’s where Loisin Coimin in County Donegal comes into it! Situated in the foothills of the Bluestacks, it offers stunning views out over the local countryside with both the Reelin River and the mountains taking starring roles. The interior of the cottage is bright and airy and comes with a lovely modern finish that really caps it all off, especially in the fully equipped kitchen that’s perfect for rustling up a good old roast on Easter Sunday!

Chestnut Cottage (ref. 2846), near Aberystwyth in Mid Wales

Part of a Grade II listed former dairy barn in the Welsh countryside, around 8 miles from Aberystwyth, Chestnut Cottage has been sympathetically converted by the owners into a luxury holiday let. With three bedrooms that comfortably sleep six people between them, there’s plenty of space if you’re looking to take a break with the family over Easter. What’s more you’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of things to do, with the Welsh coast and the Ystwyth trail just down the road, there’s walks galore and the seaside town of Aberystwyth offers countless attractions.

Home Farm Cottage (ref. 920461), Boscastle in Cornwall

And finally we’ve got Home Farm Cottage, another great family cottage. Just a short distance from the beautiful village of Boscastle, the property is situated on the owner’s working National Trust farm and enjoys phenomenal views out over the nearby Cornish Coastline. But that’s not it! Home Farm Cottage also boasts character features ranging from the exposed beams to the classic slate floors and a woodburner, as well as a fully enclosed garden for the little ones to play in.

So there you go, just a few of the superb cottages still available to book for Easter. If you’re interested in booking any of them make sure you click on the links below the photos to find some more information, but don’t worry if none of them have caught your eye – there are plenty of other properties still free over Easter, take a look here to find 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.

Capability Brown’s Best Gardens

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016
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Did you know that 2016 is officially the Year of the English Garden? Ok we haven’t really had the weather to make the most of it so far but hopefully that will all change as we get closer and closer to the summer months. The Year of the English Garden was thought up by the good folk over at Visit England in order to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot “Capability” Brown, England’s best ever gardener.

Back in the 18th century, Brown ushered in a whole new era for the English garden. Rather than following the accepted methods of the time, he decided to go in a completely different direction with his designs. This meant that gone were the days of the continental inspired formal gardens with neat rows of flower beds and complicated geometric shapes, instead Brown tried to replicate the feel of the surrounding countryside in his works, using wide open parklands, rolling hills and picturesque lakes – all of which had to be constructed by hand!

To do our bit in commemorating one of Britain’s best ever artistic minds, we’ve tracked down some of the best places that you can visit to see his work with your own eyes, so take a look and see what you think.

Blenheim Palace

The birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire is one of the finest country houses going. Capability Brown was commissioned to work on the grounds by the 4th Duke of Marlborough in 1763 and over the course of an 11 year project, he oversaw the landscaping of around 200 acres of parkland. This involved the creation of a massive man-made lake and the uprooting and re-location of thousands of mature trees – some feat without any heavy machinery!

Much of this work survives to this day meaning that Blenheim remains one of the best places to witness Brown’s designs at their finest, and there’s even a Capability Brown Trail through the estate that shows off the best bits!

Chatsworth House

It is at Chatsworth House in the Peak District that you can arguably see the best example of the sweeping changes that Brown brought to the estates that he worked on. Before his arrival, Chatsworth was the site of classical formal gardens made up of straight lines and organised flower beds, however he soon changed this! They ended being swept under his trademark rolling parkland designs that at one point even required altering the natural course of the River Derwent!

Highclere Castle

And finally we’ve also picked Highclere Castle. Now there’s a good chance that these sweeping parklands will ring a bell to all the Downton Abbey fans out there as the scene of hunts, garden parties and gentle strolls through the grounds. This is because Highclere landed one of the leading roles in the program, playing the seat of the Grantham family. Whilst this might have catapulted Highclere back into the spotlight, it’s not its only claim to fame – it’s also the site of some of Capability Brown’s finest work. He was commissioned by the 1st Earl of Carnarvon in 1774 and drew up the plans for what would eventually develop into one of England’s finest gardens which are well worth a visit!

So there you go, three of the finest surviving example of Capability Brown’s works to commemorate the tercentenary of his birth. We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about them, and who knows maybe you even fancy paying them a visit? If that’s the case then make sure you take a look at our holiday cottages so that you’ve got somewhere to put up your feet after a long day exploring!

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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 Cornwall’s Most Beautiful Spots

Saturday, March 5th, 2016
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He may have been born in Ireland, but following a run in with the local rulers that saw him cast into the sea, Piran found his way over to Cornwall and that was where he found his true calling. Performing a number of miracles during his time including rediscovering how to smelt tin, something that would go on to become the backbone of Cornish industry through the centuries. So to do our bit in honouring Cornwall’s patron saint, we’ve been trying to track down the photos that we felt showcased Cornwall at its best, from the major landmarks through to our favourite beauty spots, take a look and see which one is your favourite.

The Eden Project


Kynance Cove

Land’s End

Mullion Cove


Lantic Bay

Pedn Vounder

St Ives

St Michael’s Mount

So there you go, just a few pictures that we think capture Cornwall at its finest for St Piran’s Day. Hopefully it might have persuaded you to try and learn a bit more about this beautiful corner of the United Kingdom, if so you’ll want to check out the Discover Cornwall section of our website. Or who knows, maybe the thought of seeing some of these places in the flesh might have tempted you into taking a trip down there? Let us know if that is the case, as we’ll be able to help you find your dream Cornish cottage for your trip!

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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.