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Why our holiday homes are ideal for the elderly

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
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Today in the United States, communities are coming together to celebrate Senior Citizens Day, a national event which honours the country’s elderly population. Established in 1988 by then President Ronald Reagan, the day encourages people to spend time with elderly relatives and show appreciation for the value and contribution that they have made.

Not wanting to miss out on this worthwhile event, we’ve hopped on the American bandwagon and come up with five reasons why our cottage holidays are ideal for elderly holidaymakers.

Reason 1: Choice

With over 5,000 holiday cottages to rent from coast to country throughout the UK and Ireland, the choice really is yours. Travelling with friends? Then try one of our large cottages, whose roomy interiors provide space and comfort for any party size. Or, perhaps you’re ferrying the grandkids away for a long weekend away? If so, our holiday cottages on working farms are sure to keep everyone entertained. Alternatively, if it’s just the two of you, our cottages for two provide an affordable base for a holiday without compromising on comfort.

Reason 2: Locations

Thanks to our vast array of holiday homes, we’re able to offer cottage holidays in virtually every nook and cranny of the UK, giving you an amazing choice of locations to choose from. Seaside breaks remain a popular choice, and we offer cottages to rent near many of the country’s most popular coastal resorts, including Great Yarmouth, Bridlington and Whitby. Country escapes are very popular too, particularly in areas like the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, where we offer over 1,000 self-catering holiday cottages to rent.

Reason 3: Facilities

As a rule, self-catering holiday homes offer an extra level of comfort that you simply wouldn’t find in a hotel, and often provide a better range of facilities that can potentially make them more suitable for elderly or disabled guests. Here at Sykes Cottages, we offer a good selection of holiday cottages that are equipped with facilities that may make them suitable for guests who are less mobile, including features like ground floor bedrooms, wet rooms and access ramps. If you’d like to find out more about our range of accommodation for less mobile or disabled guests, please visit our disabled friendly properties page or contact us on 01244 356695.

Reason 4: On your doorstep

For some people, one of the many factors which could prevent them from going on holiday after reaching a certain age is travelling. Thankfully, due to our impressive range of holiday homes, you don’t need to travel far to get away from it all. If you’re not one for a long car, rail or bus journey, simply search for a holiday home in your area. Our cottages are dotted across the length and breadth of Britain, so there’s sure to be one not far away. Whether you want to travel twenty five miles or two-hundred, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy a UK holiday.

Reason 5: Affordability

If you fancy a holiday but are worried about breaking the bank, don’t fret, because you can enjoy a self-catering cottage holiday in the UK for a lot less than you might think. With prices starting from just £124 for a 7 night break, it won’t cost you the earth to experience the joy of a UK holiday. What’s more, we also offer several great short break discounts, so if you’d prefer to travel for just 3 or 4 nights, you could get a great discount off the total price of your holiday. To find out more about the eligibility of our short break discounts, click here.

So there you have it, five reasons why our self-catering cottages make a great base for a holiday no matter what your age. If you’d like more information on our cottage holidays, or would like us to send you a free brochure, please contact us on 01244 356695 and our friendly and helpful reservations department will be happy to help.

 

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.

Britain’s Top 10 Scenic Drives

Sunday, August 17th, 2014
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Here in Britain, we’re a nation of motorists. Our roads are some of the busiest in Europe, and overall, there’s almost a quarter of a million miles of roadway in the UK. Impressive though this is, it doesn’t change the fact that for many, driving in Britain is a tiresome task, reminiscent of long delays, pesky speed cameras and dull scenery.

If you’re heading on a UK holiday this year, I’d wager that you’re dreading the drive. But fear not fellow motorist, for all is not lost. Should you choose to bypass the motorway and opt for a minor A or B road, you’ll often be met with charming views, sweeping bends and an endless supply of fascinating villages, hamlets and towns that you wouldn’t know existed from the comfort of the fast lane.

So if you love driving and want to escape the tedium of the motorway, take a look at our shortlist of the best scenic drives in the UK below.

Kendal to Keswick, the Lake District

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

The A591 is one of England’s favourite scenic routes, and can be busy at times; after all, it does link Keswick and Kendal, two of the Lake District’s most popular towns. Don’t let that put you off though, because this isn’t a drive you’ll want to rush. Must sees along the route include Grasmere, Ullswater and Glenridding.

Black Mountain Road, Powys

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Meandering through the Brecon Beacons, the Black Mountain road has long been popular amongst motorists, and featured on an episode of the popular motoring show, Top Gear. Here, amid the timeless beauty of the Beacons, this glorious 27 mile road offers exhilarating bends, fast straights and plenty of scenic eye candy for both driver and passenger.

Alnwick to Kielder Water, Northumberland

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Northumberland is home to one of England’s most dramatic coastlines, and thankfully, much of it is discoverable by car. By far the best route to take along the coast is the B-road between Alnwick and Kielder Water, which features evocative views over the coast, as well as a series of brilliant twists and turns through the Cheviot and Simonside Hills.

Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Thanks to its undulating terrain, North Yorkshire is a dream for motorists. Consequently, all that rolling countryside caused a real headache for Victorian railway builders, who were forced to tunnel and bridge their way across the county. Their most iconic construction is easily the Ribblehead Viaduct, a 400m bridge featuring no less than 24 stone arches; have your passenger snap a shot or two as you speed on by.

St Ives to Land’s End, Cornwall

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

The coast road from the cultural hub of St Ives to the striking spit of Land’s End is an evocative and dramatic route, taking in much of Cornwall’s untouched western territory. This is a place where deserted tin mines rise from rugged heathlands and craggy sea cliffs stand tall above the powerful Atlantic Ocean.

Cat and Fiddle, Peak District

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

The Cat and Fiddle scenic drive, aka, Buxton to Macclesfield, takes its name from a rustic country pub that just happens to be the second highest public house in the UK. This famously bendy route is hotspot for motorcyclists, but drivers will be in their element too thanks to the routes stunning views over Greater Manchester, the Cheshire Plain and the Peak District National Park.

Chedder Gorge, Somerset

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Chiselling through the Mendip Hills, Cheddar Gorge is widely considered to be one of the Britain’s greatest natural wonders. By far the best way to see this majestic limestone pass is via the meandering stretch of tarmac that runs through its centre; just watch out for slow lorries when you’re heading uphill.

Buttertubs Pass, Yorkshire Dales

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Featured in the Grand Depárt of the Tour De France 2014, Buttertubs Pass is a very popular scenic road winding through the beloved Yorkshire Dales. This picturesque carriageway takes its name from the neighbouring potholes where dairy farmers would rest on their way to market, and features some superb sweeping bends.

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

At 1,500 miles, the Wild Atlantic Way is the longest touring route on our shortlist, but can easily be divided into shorter drives. For a dramatic snapshot of the Atlantic Seaboard, head for Donegal, whose coast features a mix of towering sea cliffs and sweeping beaches. Alternatively, take to the asphalt in Galway, where the mountainous landscapes of Connemara await.

Glasgow to Fort William, Scotland

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Leave the city lights of Glasgow behind you and make for the wonderfully scenic Scottish Highlands, home to some of Britain’s favourite roads. The A82 from Glasgow to Fort William passes through the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, so expect sensational views and plenty of windy tarmac. To extend the route, make for Inverness, passing the iconic Loch Ness along the way.

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.

Teenage Survival Guide: Keep the kids entertained in the UK

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
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Teens, we’ve all been there. The social awkwardness, the weird haircuts, the endless backchat- or perhaps that was just me. Without making too many sweeping generalisations, I’d say your teenage years are some of the weirdest, and nothing was weirder as a teen than having to holiday with your parents.

If you’ve got a sullen youngster in your brood that won’t put down the smartphone, why not coerce them with a cottage holiday in the UK? Britain offers plenty to occupy the grumpy adolescent, and there’s no chance of getting stung with a nasty phone bill should they refuse to log out of Facebook.

Not convinced? Then check out our shortlist of teen friendly attractions below.

Scare them senseless in York

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Do your teens love horror flicks? Then treat them to a city break in York, reputably Europe’s most haunted city. Here, amongst the ancient, gabled streets, over 500 restless spirits are said to wander. For predetermined terror, make for the York Dungeon, a blood curdling house of horrors complete with a resident plague doctor and murderous Viking bloke. Alternatively, if you’re feeling really brave, head to 35 Stonegate, a 700 year old haunted house where a ghastly ghoul is said to have put Derek Acorah in a strangle hold.

Surf’s up in the South West

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Even if they’re useless at it, we guarantee that surfing will put a smile on their face. One of the best places to try this invigorating water sport is in the south west, where the wave battered beaches of Cornwall and Devon await. If they’re wave riding newbies, we’d recommend enrolling them in a surf school at least for a day. The South West is home to loads of affordable surf training centres, so they could be hanging ten before you know it! To find out more about surfing in the UK, check out our blog on the UK’s best surf spots.

Treat them to a day of retail therapy in Chester

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

One thing that’s certain to rouse the attention of your teen is the prospect of a shopping trip and where better to spend some dollar than in the fabulous city of Chester. Home to a dazzling array of historic architecture, this picturesque city is the perfect place to treat the kids to some new threads. One of the city’s most interesting features is its Rows, a series of medieval walkways which effectively create an upper and lower level to the High Street, doubling the amount of space for all those lovely shops and eateries.

Scare them senseless in Snowdonia

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

The Snowdonia National Park is home to a plethora of teen friendly attractions including a massive mountain, lots of extreme sports and of course, plenty of good looking Welsh folk. And, as of 2013, it’s also home to the longest zip line in the northern hemisphere- cool, they will mutter. Stretching for over a mile, this record breaking zip will carry riders over the dizzying heights of Penrhyn Quarry at speeds of over 100mph, providing a bird’s eye view of the spectacular North Wales coastline. To find out more about Snowdonia’s Zip World, click here.

Rent a teen friendly holiday home

Here at Sykes Cottages, we’re convinced that we’ve got a holiday cottage to suit everyone, including cantankerous teenagers. If you’re planning a UK holiday with your young adults, why not take a look at our cottages with a games room, which feature a pool, snooker or foosball table? Or, try our cottages with swimming pools or hot tubs; they’re sure to keep the kids content for hours!

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.

Fun in the sun: Britain’s safest beaches

Thursday, August 7th, 2014
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Safe isn’t a word you’d normally associate with beauty, but when it comes to the coast, thankfully, the two go hand in hand. Clean water, litter free sand and pristine natural surroundings are just some of the things which make a beach ‘safe’, and naturally, these factors make them beautiful too.

With the school summer holidays in full swing, a time when parents must face the task of finding child friendly places to take the kids, we thought it prudent to highlight some of the UK’s safest and prettiest beaches. So grab the frisbee, blather on the sun cream and make for one of these safe, stunning, and hopefully sunny, UK beaches.

Scarborough North Bay, North Yorkshire

Scarborough North Bay- Via Flickr

Scarborough North Bay- Via Flickr

If you want to enjoy the nostalgia of a seaside resort without having to put up with mounds of litter, head to Scarborough’s North Bay. This large beach offers a good stretch of sand that’s ideal for a father and son kick-about, plus its patrolled by the RNLI during the summer months- spot on!

Colwell Bay, Isle of Wight

Colwell Bay- Via Flickr

Colwell Bay- Via Flickr

Situated on the Isle of Wight’s quieter west coast is Colwell Bay, a sand and shingle beach offering panoramic views over the turquoise waters of the Solent. The sands at Colwell remain totally unspoilt, making it the perfect place to spend a tranquil summer’s afternoon.

Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire

Saundersfoot- Via Flickr

Saundersfoot- Via Flickr

Located in the UK’s only marine national park, Saundersfoot is one of the country’s best loved beaches. This swathe of Welsh coast is perfect for young bathers thanks to its remarkably shallow waters and softer than soft sand.

Kilkee Beach, County Clare, Ireland

Kilkee- Via Flickr

Kilkee- Via Flickr

Shelving gently towards the Atlantic, the crescent shaped beach of Kilkee is one of the Emerald Isle’s true wonders. Patrolled by a lifeguard during the summer months, this pretty beach is extremely safe, despite its location on Ireland’s wave battered Atlantic seaboard.

Salcombe South Sands, Devon

Salcombe South Sands- Via Flickr

Salcombe South Sands- Via Flickr

Science, nature and wonder await at Salcombe South Sands. This pretty cove on Devon’s coveted southern shore is right next to a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a nature reserve, so you’ll have somewhere to cool off when the kids have had a little too much sun.

Aberdour Silver Sand, Fife Coast

Aberdour Silver Sand- Via Flickr

Aberdour Silver Sand- Via Flickr

Scotland’s beaches are renowned for their big swells, making the country very popular with surfers. If you’re looking something more serene and safe however, opt for Aberdour Silver Sand on the Fife coast. Boasting a blue flag and patrolled by lifeguards, there’s no safer sand in bonnie wee Scotland.

Sheringham, Norfolk

Sheringham Beach- Via Flickr

Sheringham Beach- Via Flickr

The Norfolk coast has long been one of the UK’s best loved destinations for family holidays, and for good reason. One of our favourite beaches in the county is Sheringham, which offers plenty of sand as well as a picturesque promenade leading to the town.

Poppit Sands, Pembrokeshire

Poppit Sands- Via Flickr

Poppit Sands- Via Flickr

Don’t let its cutesy name fool you; Poppit Sands means business. With its extensive dunes and clean, shallow waters, this is the perfect beach for little adventurers who will love paddling about amongst the beaches many rock pools. There’s seals, dolphins and porpoises aplenty here too, so keep your eyes peeled!

Carbis Bay, Cornwall

Carbis Bay- Via Flickr

Carbis Bay- Via Flickr

One mile of wonderfully white sand awaits at Carbis Bay on Cornwall’s north coast. This family friendly beach is famed for its turquoise waters and lack of surf, making it the ideal choice for weary young swimmers looking to take their debut dip in the Atlantic Ocean.

Curracloe Beach, County Wexford, Ireland

Curracloe- Via Flickr

Curracloe- Via Flickr

Ireland is teeming with beautiful, safe beaches, so choosing from the bunch was particularly difficult. One of the most accessible beaches on the Emerald Isle is Curracloe, a wide sandy beach in Ireland’s popular sunny south east region, just an hour’s drive from Dublin.

Rent a coastal holiday home with Sykes Cottages

So there you have it, our shortlist of the UK’s safest and most beautiful beaches. If you think your family deserves a seaside holiday this summer, why not treat them to a 7 night break in one of our wonderful coastal holiday rentals? We offer affordable cottages to rent along much of the British coastline, so you can enjoy a seaside holiday for a lot less than you might think. Click here to find out more.

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.

Grow your own for National Allotment Week!

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
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What makes a great garden? Swathes of bright, fragrant flowers? A tranquil water feature, perhaps? Or an emerald lawn that stretches as far as the eye can see? Whatever your opinion on horticulture, we think that any great garden just isn’t complete without a good old veggie patch.

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Since humankind began, we’ve been blooming good at growing stuff- just ask Titchmarsh. But in recent times, vegetable patch numbers have dwindled, replaced by convenient, cheap produce from the supermarket. A real shame, no doubt about it, but all is not lost.

This week is National Allotments Week, an event which encourages allotment sites across the country to open their gates to allow the public to witness the benefits of growing their own fresh produce. Throughout the week, plot holders will be putting on a range of fun events, including garden parties, barbecues and food markets, with plenty of fresh produce to sample! To find out more about the National Allotment Week events taking place in your area, click here.

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

In honour of NAW 2014, we wanted to champion the veggie patch by letting our green-fingered property owners know just how easy it is to grow and maintain a vegetable patch. Many of our cottages already have a plot of earth dedicated to growing wholesome, home grown produce, but to those that don’t, here’s a brief guide on how to get started.

How to grow your own vegetable patch

Step 1: Choosing the perfect spot for your patch

Choose a spot in your garden that receives at least five hours of sunlight a day. Veggies hate the dark, so it’s crucial that you keep them out of the shade.

Top tip: Dig your patch well away from other foliage such as trees and shrubs. This will prevent pesky slugs snacking on your hard-fought crop.

Step 2: Put your back into some serious digging

Bust up your patch by digging down at least a spade’s depth. This will give your plants a better chance of forming a good foothold, as well as oust any weeds which could attack the roots of your veg.

Top tip: Don’t go crazy. If your patch is too big, weeds will soon advance, rendering your patch useless. Plan what you want to plant and where before you start digging.

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Step 3: Create your very own super soil

Now you’ve got your hole in the ground, you need to create the perfect environment for your veg. Dug earth is all well and good, but you’ll need to add compost to make it a haven for growth.

Top tip: Don’t be shy- adding manure can be a game changer for your patch. The nutritious value of cultivated poop far outweighs your opinion of this smelly substance, so get your hands dirty.

Step 4: It’s all about space

Like us, plants need their personal space. If your patch is lacking in room, your veg will grow to be weak and small rather than hearty and tall. Try to leave 20cm to 70 cm around each plant to make sure it has enough room to spread its wings.

Top tip: If you’re growing lanky plants like beans, don’t forget to give them a trellis or stake to climb so that they can reach for the stars.

Step 5: You don’t need a garden to grow your own patch

Think you need to be lord of the manor to grow a successful veggie patch? Think again. Some of the best produce plots can be found in green houses, balconies, terraces and, believe it or not, window sills. As a matter of fact, some plants, particularly those native to warmer climates, prefer growing indoors. So before you start sulking about the size of your garden, size up your sill, grab a few pots and start growing your own little patch today.

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Here at Sykes Cottages, our owner care department is here to help with any and all queries you might have about managing your holiday home, whether it be advise about what to do in emergencies or, growing your own veggie patch! Whether you already advertise your property with us or not, our owner department are here to help, so give us a call today on 01244 356695 or visit our designated owner page for more information.

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.