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5 places to stay in Poldark Country

Sunday, March 29th, 2015
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Historical BBC drama Poldark has arrived on the small screen for the first time since 1977, with a string of eight, hour long episodes. The drama follows the ill-fated tale of Ross Poldark, a British officer who returns to his beloved Cornwall after fighting in the American War of Independence. Starring Aidan Turner, Eleanour Tomlinson and Heida Reed, Poldark tells a story of love, loss and redemption amid the stunning backdrop of the Cornish Coast.

Aside from Turner’s portrayal of Poldark, Cornwall has grabbed much of the limelight, with many wondering if the show’s astonishing backdrop is real or computer generated. To prove Poldark’s backdrop is indeed real, we took to the airwaves to find the places behind the programme. So without further ado, here’s a shortlist of the ten best places to stay in Poldark Country.

Bodmin Moor

Image by Neil Howard is licensed under CC 2.0

Image by Neil Howard is licensed under CC 2.0

With its brooding good looks, Bodmin Moor is a fitting setting for Poldark’s cottage, Nampara. Many of the exterior shots were filmed amid this vast moorland; its ruggedness providing a wild, ruminating backdrop to convey Poldark’s passion and menace. In the Bodmin Moor of today, visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor pursuits, including horse riding, mountain biking and walking.

Find out more about our cottage breaks in Bodmin Moor.

Padstow & the Camel Estuary

Sunset & Sea by Andreas Overland is licensed under CC 2.0

Sunset & Sea by Andreas Overland is licensed under CC 2.0

For lovers of North Cornwall, the appearance of beauty spots like the Camel Estuary in Poldark will have left them weak at the knee and raring for a return to this wild, untamed coast. The Padstow area features some of Cornwall’s most beautiful pockets of coastline, much of which is battered by stirring Atlantic swells. The area proves perfect for Poldark’s clifftop shots, with some of the region’s best loved landscapes on display, including Porthcothan and Tregirls Beach. For windswept, sea air strolls, there’s no better place.

Find out more about our cottage breaks in Padstow.

Porthgwarra

Porthgwarra by Joan Sol is licensed under CC 2.0

Porthgwarra by Joan Sol is licensed under CC 2.0

Azure waters and tropical flora make Porthgwarra look more like a pirate cove on the Spanish Main than a Cornish fishing village. This undisturbed cove was a hotspot for fisherman during the 17th and 18th century, and now offers a charming place for a private sunbathe or quick dip. Lying on Cornwall’s romantic west coast, Porthgwarra is accessed the South West Coast Path, which links the cove with some of the region’s other top beaches, including Porthcurno.

Find out more about our cottage breaks near Porthgwarra.

Charlestown

Charlestown by Gary Tanner is licensed under CC 2.0

Charlestown by Gary Tanner is licensed under CC 2.0

The historic town of Charlestown near St Austell is renowned for its collection of tall, aged ships and olde worlde appearance, making it the perfect location to film parts of Poldark supposedly set in the Cornish capital of Truro. Charlestown’s grade II listed harbour features in the drama on a number of occasions, and perfectly captures the spirit of the age. At Sykes, we offer a number of cottages to rent in and around Charlestown, so you can take a walk in Poldark’s shoes.

Find out more about our cottage breaks in Charlestown.

Botallack and Levant

Levant Mine by Miranda Wood is licensed under CC 2.0

Levant Mine by Miranda Wood is licensed under CC 2.0

As a Cornish tin miner by trade, it was important for Poldark’s location team to come up with a location that echoes the county’s evocative mining heritage. Enter Botallack and Levant, an area quite literally strewn with the carcasses of several historic tin mines. From coast to country, this wild region is peppered with disused Wheals, making it the perfect place to highlight the Poldark family’s failing trade. Take a walk near the Levant Mine in West Cornwall, and be transported to the show’s fictional Tressiders Rolling Mill.

Find out more about our cottage breaks in West Cornwall.

Book a self-catering cottage break in Poldark Country

Become a passionate Poldark fan overnight? You’re not alone. Poldark fever is sweeping the nation, with many in awe of the show’s striking cast and inspiring locations. Book a cottage break in Cornwall with Sykes Cottages this summer, and you can trace the steps of the drama’s brooding protagonist – what are you waiting for?

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Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.

5 fun-filled family days out this Easter

Saturday, March 28th, 2015
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Believe it or not, the Easter holidays are fast approaching. For the parents taking time off to spend with the kids, keeping to an itinerary is key to ensuring a tedium free break. To help fill your diary with boredom-busting day out ideas, we’ve come up with a to-do list of ten fun-filled family days out. Let’s get to it.

Discover the Second World War at Eden Camp

Whoever said history was dull forgot to tell that to the creators of Eden Camp. This fascinating visitor centre tells the story of the Second World War through a series of life-like attractions, many of which certain to scare the bejesus out of your little ones. The centre itself is housed in an original WW2 prisoner of war camp, with all thirty-two of the former prison huts incorporated into the site. Of these, The U-Boat Menace and The Blitz are particularly harrowing.

Opening times: 10am – 5pm, Monday to Sunday

Admission fees: Adults £6.50; children £5.50

Address:

Contact: 01653 698243; www.edencamp.co.uk

Take the plunge at Bude Sea pool

Sea Pool, Bude by Lee is licensed under CC 2.0

Sea Pool, Bude by Lee is licensed under CC 2.0

With forecasters predicting higher than average temperatures for the Easter weekend and beyond, you and the kids might need somewhere to cool off during the holidays. And where better to do so than at the Bude Sea pool, a salt water swimming pool topped up twice daily by the refreshing Atlantic swell. This unusual part natural, part manmade lido is situated beneath the cliffs of Summerleaze Beach, providing a safe place for sunbathers to cool off without straying into North Cornwall’s choppy seas.

Opening times: Open all year round; best times to swim are one hour before or after high tide

Admission fees: Free to all

Address: Bude Sea Pool, Summerleaze Beach, Cornwall

Contact: www.budeseapool.net

Walk with T-Rex in Tenby

Image by Dan Thornton is licensed under CC 2.0

Image by Dan Thornton is licensed under CC 2.0

Like Spielberg’s Jurassic Park but with less death and no Jeff (Goldblum), The Dinosaur Park is every youngster’s dream day out. With a cornucopia of bad-ass dinosaurs nestled among the trees, as well as several rides and attractions including pint-sized 4×4 Off Roaders, Super Bouncer Trampolines and Disco Boats, The Dinosaur Park is a top day out for those holidaying in Pembrokeshire. But be warned: some of the exhibits are animatronic, so naturally they’re quite scary – isn’t that right, Mum?

Opening times: 10am – 5pm, Monday to Sunday

Admission fees: Adults £9.95; children £9.25

Address: Great Wedlock Dinosaur Experience, Gumfreston, Tenby, Pembrokeshire, SA70 8RB

Contact: 01834 845272; www.thedinosaurpark.co.uk

Visit the witch of Wookey Hole

Image by M is licensed under CC 2.0

Image by M is licensed under CC 2.0

Witches, caverns and a Victorian Penny Arcade – what more could you want from a family day out? Wookey Hole is the UK’s most popular show cave, with thousands disappearing below Somerset’s surface each year. Aside from being a popular tourist attraction, Wookey Hole is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and features a number of rare geological features. But enough about that, let’s talk attractions. From the subterranean wonders of the cave itself to the crazy golf course, fairy garden and handmade paper mill, there’s a world of things to do at Wookey Hole.

Opening times: 10am – 4pm, Monday to Sunday (Winter); 10am – 5pm, Monday to Sunday

Admission fees: Adults £18.00; Children £12.00

Address: Wookey Hole Caves, The Mill, Wells, Somerset, BA5 1BB

Contact: 01749 677749; www.wookey.co.uk

Take flight at the Yorkshire Dales Falconry Centre

Image by Paul Pierce is licensed under CC 2.0

Image by Paul Pierce is licensed under CC 2.0

Get up close and personal to some of the nation’s most beautiful, albeit deadly, birds at the Yorkshire Dales Falconry Centre. Established in 1991, the centre offers up close experiences with a number of magnificent birds of prey, and is also part of an international bird conservation programme. Visitors can take a walk among the birds before seeing them in-flight at one of three falconry displays taking place throughout the day. Personal falconry experiences are also available for those looking for a more immersive experience.

Opening times: 10am – 4pm, Monday to Sunday; Displays at 12pm, 2pm, 3.30pm

Admission fees: Adults £7; Children £5

Address: The Yorkshire Dales Falconry Centre, Crows Nest Road, Nr. Giggleswick, Settle, North Yorkshire, LA2 8AS

Contact: 01729 822832; www.falconryandwildlife.com

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Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.

Step to it: 10 of Britain’s best spring walks

Friday, March 20th, 2015
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Feared walking through the winter? You’ve no excuse but to don the booties and take a hike now spring has arrived. With cheerier temperatures and the sun’s overdue comeback, spring is the perfect time to dust down your wayfaring kit and get and about once more.

To stir you from inertia, we’ve assembled ten of the best spring walks across the UK and Ireland. So what are you waiting for? Lace-up those boots, craft the perfect curbside buttie and get set for an invigorating springtime walk. Oh, and don’t forget the pac-a-mac.

The Quiraing, Isle of Skye

Partial to a hill walk? Test those winter weary thighs with a bracing saunter around the Quiraing; a theatrical series of hillocks on the Isle of Skye. The Quiraing features a number of serrated rock spurs that rise vertically out of emerald grassland, making for a breath-catching backdrop to an invigorating Scotch walk.

Download a comprehensive map and route for this walk.

Tennyson Down, Isle of Wight

Tennyson Down by Tame Allen is licensed under CC 2.0

Tennyson Down by Tame Allen is licensed under CC 2.0

Taking its name from bearded Victorian bard, Alfred Lord Tennyson, the Needles Headland and Tennyson Down is the prettiest spot for a walk on the Isle of Wight. This majestic chalk bluff is topped with lush, buttercup laden grasslands, and the ebb of the Solent is never out of view. Take a walk at sunset if you want to be properly wooed.

Download a comprehensive map and route for this walk.

Looe, Talland & the Giant’s Hedge, Cornwall

Hulking great hedges perked your interest? Sorry to disappoint, but this particular Giant’s Hedge is actually just a big old earthwork – damn. Regardless, this wooded wander along the banks of the West Looe River is a top spot for a springtime stroll. Mixing beaches, woodland and wildlife, this is one for the little’uns.

Download a comprehensive map and route for this walk.

Upper Wharfedale Wildlife Walk, Yorkshire Dales

Upper Wharfedale by John Sargant is licensed under CC 2.0

Upper Wharfedale by John Sargant is licensed under CC 2.0

Ah the Dales, darling of long legged fell walkers the world over. But fear not average Joe, for this glorious wilderness offers easy walking too; take the Upper Wharfedale Wildlife Walk, for example. This six to nine mile walk is classified as “moderate”, so while it’s by no means a walk in the park, it shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge for amateur weekend hikers.

Download a comprehensive map and route for this walk.

Kilham Hill Trail, Northumberland

One route better suited to the seasoned billy goat is the Kilham Hill Trail, a 3.5 mile circular trail summiting Northumberland’s Kilham Hill. Despite the meagre distance, the Kilham Hill Trail gains its challenging classification from its steep climbs and daunting descents. Those bold enough to tackle the walk will be rewarded with goose bump inducing views over the Northumberland National Park.

Download a comprehensive map and route for this walk.

Torc Mountain Walking Route, County Kerry

With a name like Torc Mountain, hikers might assume they’ll be joined by a band of Shire folk on their way to the summit. But this is Ireland, and there be no dragons or Mordor nasties here – just great views and leg-cramping ascents. There’s a number of waymarked trails to the top, but our favourite is a 2.5 hr, easy going jaunt offering majestic views over the Killarney National Park.

Download a comprehensive map and route for this walk.

Paston way – Cromer to Southrepps, Norfolk

Cromer by David Allan is licensed under CC 2.0

Cromer by David Allan is licensed under CC 2.0

Norfolk’s flat, and flat is good – for those that don’t want to break a sweat, that is. Regardless of this lack of gradient, Norfolk racks up the pretty points along its coast. From timeless resorts to deserted dunes, this Anglian county boasts one of England’s loveliest seaboards. The Paston Way offers the best of coast and country – try the Cromer to Southrepps stretch.

Download a comprehensive map and route for this walk.

Holyhead Mountain, Anglesey

Sunlit Stacks by Kris Williams is licensed under CC 2.0

Sunlit Stacks by Kris Williams is licensed under CC 2.0

Feeling lethargic? Sluggish? Altogether lazy? Give yourself a slap round the chops with an invigorating mooch to the top of Holyhead Mountain. This 5 mile walk features over 300m of ascent, so prepare for aches and pains the morning after. Those up to the challenge will enjoy views of the iconic South Stack Lighthouse, not to mention a 360-degree panorama over much of Anglesey.

Download a comprehensive map and route for this walk.

Scafell Pike, Lake District

Stock up on bragging rights this weekend by summiting Scafell Pike, the biggest and best mountain in England. At 978 metres, Scafell makes a mockery of England’s wannabe mountains, and offers views stretching from Scotland to the Isle of Man. Despite the height, Scafell is reasonably accessible, but don’t tell your colleagues that; come break time Monday, they’ll be bowled over by your triumphant feat of human endeavour. Trust us.

Download a comprehensive map and route for this walk.

Matlock Bath, High Tor and Heights of Abraham, Peak District

The Peak District, like the Yorkshire Dales, is among an elite group of counties favoured by serious walkers – but what routes are there for the rest of us? One such trail is the Matlock Bath circular, a five mile tour of deciduous woodlands, lofty peaks and charming townships. The terrain offers a good ascent to descent ratio, making the route a fair challenge for the untested daytripper.

Download a comprehensive map and route for this walk.

Book a self-catering walking holiday with Sykes Cottages

Spring Walks 11

Ready to hit spring where it hurts? Then why not rent a cottage for an invigorating walking break? We’ve got loads of holiday rentals that would be perfect for a walking holiday, from log cabins in Scotland to coastal cottages in Norfolk. Plus, we’re currently offering discounts of up to 25% in the Sykes Spring Sale, so there’s never been a better time to strap on the walking boots.

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Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.

Visit Ireland in the year of Yeats

Monday, March 16th, 2015
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Heard of W.B. Yeats? If not, you’re about to. That’s because 2015 is the year Ireland will celebrate the 150th Birthday of one of their most famous literary sons.

W.B Yeats was a poet and staunch advocate for literary reform in Ireland. Born in County Dublin in 1865, Yeats spent much of his childhood in County Sligo, whose natural beauty influenced much of his early work. Towards the end of his life, Yeats held a place on the Irish senate, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923.

Yeats 2015 is a yearlong programme of events celebrating the 150th anniversary of the poet. From Sligo to Galway, Dublin to London, a variety of artistic and cultural events are planned to honour this Irish icon, as well as showcase the Emerald Isle’s creative, vibrant and contemporary culture.

Should you be planning a holiday to Ireland this year, Yeats 2015 provides a great opportunity to discover more about this extraordinary man and his extraordinary home country. Here’s a brief guide to some of the events taking place for Yeats 2015.

Yeats At One, Hargadon Bros, Sligo

Hargadon Bros by Author is licensed under CC 2.0

Hargadon Bros by Author is licensed under CC 2.0

As Sligo’s oldest drinking den, Hargadon Bros seems the most obvious place to host daily readings of Yeats’ verse. Though it’s not known whether Yeats knocked any back in this charming wee tavern, the poet paid frequent visits to Sligo throughout his life, so it’s plausible he could have had a boozy sesh here. Regardless, Hargadon’s poetry readings prove an enchanting spectacle. Taking place at 1pm EVERYDAY throughout the year, the readings offer punters an opportunity to listen to Yeats’ poems in their intended form; spoken aloud in an ancient tavern for proper Irish folk to mull over. You can find out more about Hargadon Bros in our top ten pubs in Ireland post.

Find out more about Yeats At One.

Cuirt International Festival of Literature, County Galway

Established in 1985, The Cuirt International Festival of Literature has become one of Ireland’s most renowned literary and cultural events, attracting visitors from around the globe. Taking place at numerous sites across County Galway, the week-long festival has a rich and diverse programme of speakers and events, including an evening with Irvine Welsh, best-selling author of novels including Trainspotting, Glue and Filth. Despite being a celebration of modern and emerging literature, Cuirt pays homage to older writers too; on 21st April, Cuirt will celebrate the life of Yeats in Galway City, with a special concert and plague unveiling. Well worth a visit for literature aficionados.

Find out more about Cuirt International Literary Festival.

Where Benbulben Sets the Scene, County Sligo

Benbulben by Arbo Moosberg is licensed under CC 2.0

Benbulben by Arbo Moosberg is licensed under CC 2.0

Head to Hawk’s Well Theatre in Sligo town on Sunday 14th June and witness the wonderful Where Benbulben Sets the Scene; a theatrical full-length show charting the life of WB Yeats from breezy young writer to wistful, mature poet. County Sligo had a massive influence on Yeats’ work, and the name Benbulben is taken from an imposing mountain where Yeats’ is said to have hiked. With a soundtrack of charming Irish trad and a backdrop of stunning Sligo landscapes shot by photography Damien Stenson, this is a must-see event for lovers of poetry, music and theatre. Tickets are available from the Hawk’s Well Theatre website.

Find out more about Where Benbulben Sets the Scene.

Visit the Emerald Isle in the year of Yeats

Strandhill, Co. Sligo by Becky is licensed under CC 2.0

Strandhill, Co. Sligo by Becky is licensed under CC 2.0

Whether you’re a fan of W.B. Yeats and want to partake in some of the events celebrating his life or are interested in visiting the places where the writer found his inspiration, book a self-catering cottage break in Ireland and get set for a magical getaway to the Emerald Isle.

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Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.

The Tour de Yorkshire is coming – is your cottage ready?

Sunday, March 15th, 2015
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Lest you’d forgotten: the opening stages of the 2014 Tour De France took place in Yorkshire, and to all intents and purposes, the Grand Depart was an unequivocal success.

Tour de France by Bryan Ledgard is licensed under CC 2.0

Tour de France by Bryan Ledgard is licensed under CC 2.0

Over 2.5 million spectators took to Yorkshire’s green and pleasant pastures to witness the peloton pass, and race director, Christian Prudhomme, called the event “very, very special”.

Tour de France by Bryan Ledgard is licensed under CC 2.0

Tour de France by Bryan Ledgard is licensed under CC 2.0

So successful was Le Tour Yorkshire that a sequel has been planned for 2015; the Tour de Yorkshire will take place from 1-3 May and sees riders put through their paces on a gruelling 520km route through some of the county’s most beloved landscapes, towns and cities. The event is a great opportunity for businesses in the area, with 2014’s Grand Depart raising over £80 million for the local economy.

Prior to last year’s Grand Depart, we were inundated with requests for cottages near the race route, and this year is no exception – cue gleeful hand rubbing from those lucky enough to own a holiday home on or near the Tour de Yorkshire route.

If you are the owner of a Yorkshire holiday cottage and would like to find out how best to prepare your property for this year’s event, we’ve come up with a few hints and tips on how to ready your holiday cottage for the Tour de Yorkshire 2015.

Is your cottage close to the action?

The Tour de Yorkshire takes place over three days, with each race split into three 170km routes. The first leg will take place on May 1st in North Yorkshire; the second sees riders winding through the Yorkshire Wolds en route to York; and the final stage steers racers deep into the Yorkshire Dales for a strenuous finale.

Tour de Yorkshire 4

Image by Sue Jackson is licensed under CC 2.0

A comprehensive map of the route can be found on the Tour de Yorkshire website, but here’s a list of some of the towns and villages that the contest passes.

Stage 1 – Brid to Scarborough

  • Bridlington
  • Pickering
  • Danby
  • Whitby & Robin Hood’s Bay
  • Scarborough

Stage 2 – Selby to York

  • Beverley
  • Wetwang
  • Malton
  • Stamford Bridge
  • York

Stage 3 – Wakefield to Leeds

  • Ripponden
  • Hebden Bridge
  • Haworth
  • Addingham
  • Ilkley

Make changes to your welcome pack

Adding Tour de Yorkshire information to your welcome pack is a great idea if you have a booking over the race weekend as, chances are, those guests will be coming to watch the event; here’s a few things you may like to add to your welcome pack before the event.

  • Time, date and place information: Guests will be impressed you’ve gone the extra mile to find this for them, particularly those with poor mobile reception. In-depth race details can be found here.
  • List local events: On the run-up to and during the race, there’ll doubtless be a host of cycling themed events taking place, so be sure to list these in your welcome pack.
  • Suggest best places to spectate: Your local knowledge could prove invaluable for those hoping for a front row seat as the riders pass. If you’re familiar with the race route, list places where your guests can get a good view of the action – think lesser known cubby holes and quiet nooks and crannies.
  • Provide details of other cycle routes in the area: It may be that you already have this information in your welcome pack, but if not, now is a good time to include it. The Tour de Yorkshire is likely to attract some serious cycle-heads, so any information on cycling opportunities in the area will go down a treat.

Things to consider

Le Tour Yorkshire by Paul is licensed under CC 2.0

Le Tour Yorkshire by Paul is licensed under CC 2.0

Beyond customising your welcome pack, there are a few other things to consider before the tour comes to town on May 1st. Firstly, you may like to make a few changes to your property to make it more appealing to cyclists, such as providing adequate washing facilities and plenty of secure storage space – for further tips, check out our blog on how to make your cottage bike friendly.

Another thing to consider before the Tour de Yorkshire is adding deck or portable chairs to your property. Although the majority of spectators will bring their own, providing moveable chairs would be a nice touch – particularly if you’re property is close to the race route.

If you’d like any further help and advice on marketing your property for the Tour de Yorkshire, call our owner team today on 01244 356695.

Stumbled upon this post in search of accommodation for the Tour de Yorkshire? Check out our cottages for the Tour de Yorkshire blog.

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Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.