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Travel Trumps: Cornwall Vs Norfolk

Saturday, March 29th, 2014
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You’ve probably noticed that we’ve got a bit of a soft spot for Cornwall and Norfolk, what with our constant blog badgering and our unhealthy obsession with Cornish pasties and Cromer Crab. We even went as far as launching two campaigns in homage to these remarkable counties, including our lovely Hidden Cornwall video and our rather useful Norfolk Visitor Guide. Yep, it’s safe to say we’re besotted with these two English gems, but which is best? There’s only one way to find out…

Travel Trumps!

In our first ever edition of Travel Trumps, we’ll be pitting Cornwall against Norfolk in a battle of facts and figures to try work out which is best. Of course, they’ll both always be winners to us, but we thought it would be interesting to compare the two anyway! So pick a side, sit back and see which of our favourite counties merits the mantel of England’s best summer holiday destination.

Coast Vs Coast

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Speaking of coastlines, which has the longest?

Norfolk’s coastline is 93 miles long and is famed for its safe, clean beaches and traditional seaside resorts like Great Yarmouth, Cromer and Sheringham.

Cornwall trumps Norfolk here. Its coast is 422 miles long, making it the longest coastline in the UK. Overall, 80% of Cornwall is enveloped by the sea, making it one of the most water-locked regions in Great Britain.

Ok, so which has the most Blue Flag Beaches?

(The Blue Flag is awarded to beaches which offer the highest levels of water cleanliness and safety- you can read more about Blue Flag by clicking here)

Well actually, this one’s a draw. As of 2014, both counties have five Blue Flag beaches, which is impressive considering there are only 55 in England. Cornwall’s Blue Flag beaches include Porthmeor, Polzeath, Porthtowan, Gyllngvase and Porthminster, whilst Norfolk’s include Cromer, Sheringham, Sea Palling, Mundesley and Hunstanton- keep these in mind when planning your next family holiday by the sea!

Food Vs Food

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

We’ve all heard of the infamous Cornish Pasty, but what does Norfolk bring to the table?

Norfolk’s most famous foodie export is perhaps the Black Turkey, a rare breed that was imported from Mexico in the 16th century. It’s said that Black Turkeys were so popular when they were first introduced, they were walked all the way to London in time for Christmas- a journey that could take 3 months!

Another Norfolk delicacy is the Cromer Crab, a brown crab with a sweet taste which thrives in great numbers on Norfolk’s chalk reef. Fishermen have been catching Cromer Crab for centuries, making it as distinctive to Norfolk as the pasty is to Cornwall.

But just how popular is the Cornish pasty?

Very. Sales of the Cornish Pasty are worth £150 million a year to the Cornish economy and on average, 5 million are eaten annually- that’s over 13,500 a day!

History Vs History

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

From the historic city of Norwich to the mill-strewn wetlands of the Broads, there’s lots of history to discover in Norfolk- let’s nerd out and learn about some…

History buffs will love Norfolk. The county is home to 659 medieval churches- more than anywhere else in the world- and the Domesday Day book cites Norfolk as the most heavily populated county in England. For centuries, Norwich was the second largest city in the country and it’s now thought that the world-famous Broads aren’t actually a natural feature at all, but were manmade by medieval farmers over 700 years ago.

We’ve heard all about the beauty of the Cornish Coast, but what’s the story of inland Cornwall?

For over 2,000 years, Cornwall was a major player in the tin mining industry. It’s thought that Cornish tin has been exported throughout Europe since the birth of Christ, with a vast quantity going to the Roman Empire. Due to the subterranean nature of the county’s main trade, Cornwall soon grew a reputation for being mysterious and strange. Cornish folk were thought of as outlandish hill dwellers, and its folklore is still rife with tales of mine-dwelling imps and spriggans to this day.

And the winner is…

Norfolk & Cornwall

Cley Windmill, Via Flickr

Oh we can’t decide! They’re both brilliant in their own unique way. And that’s the beauty of England; wherever you are and whatever you’re up to, there’s always more to see and more to discover. So what are you waiting for? Rent a self-catering holiday home in England, and get set for an invigorating getaway to this remarkable country.

One more thing before you go: don’t forget to check out our Norfolk Visitor Guide and Hidden Cornwall short film. We’re also giving away three family memberships to the National Trust as part of our Hidden Cornwall competition, so tune in and watch the video today.

Disclaimer- Of course, we’ve got plenty of other favourite destinations in England- the Lake District for example, or the Cotswolds, Northumberland, Yorkshire & the West Country. But as it’s nearly summer, we wanted to focus on two places that are famed for their respective coastlines- and where better than Cornwall & Norfolk?

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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.

Things to see & do in the UK this summer

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
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Good news! This summer looks set to be one of the hottest on record, making it the perfect time to pump up the lilo, blather on the sun cream and soak up some Vitamin D right here in the UK. Sceptical? You’ve every right to be. The British weather is hardly reliable, and nothing’s more likely to dampen your summer spirits than a six week downpour. Luckily, there are plenty of other reasons (aside from the promise of a bit of sunshine) why you should stay in the UK for your summer holiday this year. From the Commonwealth Games and the Tour de France, to the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare, there’s a myriad of things to see and do in the UK that’ll help you overlook the occasional shower- here’s a quick guide to what you can expect on your British summer holiday in 2014.

Celebrate sport in Scotland

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

From the 23rd July to 3rd August, the spotlight will be firmly fixed on Glasgow as it hosts the twentieth Commonwealth Games, a celebration of sport and culture that welcomes athletes and sportsman from 53 states of the Commonwealth. If you’re visiting Scotland during the games, you’re bound to get caught up in the action, with some events such as cycling and running spilling beyond Glasgow’s borders. If you’re one of the lucky few who has a ticket for the games, take some time to explore some other parts of the country during your stay. Scotland is famed for its beautiful scenery, so get out of the city and enjoy a pleasant summer’s picnic when the sun starts shining!

Get on your bike in Yorkshire

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Le Grand Départ: granted it’s not a phrase many Yorkshire folk will have heard before, but after this summer it’ll be ingrained in their memory for evermore. That’s because Yorkshire is hosting the start of the Tour de France, a prestigious cycle race covering a total distance of 3,656 kilometres. The race starts in the city of Leeds before winding its way North through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, stopping off in Harrogate and York and meandering South over the Pennines and into the Peak District National Park. Cyclists of all ages and abilities will be able to tackle the route once the pros have ploughed through, making Yorkshire the premier cycling destination for summer 2014. If you’d like to take on the Yorkshire leg of the Tour De France for yourself, take a look at our cottages for cycling.

Enjoy a classic summer holiday in Cornwall

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

After suffering its worst winter on record, Cornwall deserves its best ever summer. Now that the floodwaters have receded and the clean-up operation has begun, Cornwall’s residents and businesses will be relying on a bumper summer to help rebuild Cornwall’s reputation as Britain’s favourite holiday destination, something we think was never in doubt. The beauty of Cornwall is the array of different holidays that are on offer here. Whether you’re looking for a family beach holiday, a surfing getaway or a sightseeing break, there really is something for everyone in this stunning corner of South West England. Try it for yourself this summer, and I think you’ll understand what we’re getting at.

Rent a self-catering holiday home this summer!

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

 With tabloids promising that summer 2014 will be the hottest on record, and the cost of overseas travel putting the pinch on the holiday saving pot, there’s never been a better time to book a holiday rental in the UK or Ireland for a balmy summer’s break. Why go anywhere else for your dose of sunshine when the predicted summer temperatures look so promising right here in the UK? From the Lake District to the Dorset Coast, everyone has their favourite places in Britain; so forget the Algarve and choose to revisit your favourite UK haunts this summer.

 

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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.

Hidden Cornwall- Win a National Trust Family Membership!

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
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Fancy getting your hands on a National Trust family membership? Then enter our Hidden Cornwall competition today! We’re giving away three annual family memberships (two adults and their children or grandchildren) for the National Trust, worth £98.

Hidden Cornwall

Watch & Win!

To be in with a chance of winning this great prize, simply watch our Hidden Cornwall short film, answer the questions and submit your responses. Three winners will be selected at random from the correct answers we receive. To enter the competition, visit our Hidden Cornwall page or click the banner above.

For full competition terms and conditions, please visit our Hidden Cornwall Facebook page by clicking here.

Good Luck & enjoy the the video!

 

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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.

Britain’s Best Bike Rides

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014
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After Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy and Laura Trott cemented cycling in British hearts at the London 2012 Olympics, pedalling fever has swept the nation. Now more than ever, us Brits are taking to two wheels to commute, exercise or get out into the countryside with our kids- which is great news for both the health of ourselves and the environment. If like us you love your cycling, take a look at our guide to the best bike rides in Britain. We’ve scoured the internet to bring you three of the most rewarding routes on offer in the UK, all of which have received Sustrans ‘safe cycling’ seal of approval. Take a look at our short list below, or leave your cycling route recommendations on our Facebook or Twitter page.

Celtic Trail West

Carmarthenshire- Via Flickr

Carmarthenshire- Via Flickr

Careering a long coastal paths and quiet country lanes, the Celtic Trail gives cyclists of all levels of experience and fitness the opportunity to take in one of the UK’s most beautiful coastlines: Pembrokeshire. At 143 miles, the route is a little lengthy for a day’s ride, but would make for an excellent multi-day tour. The ride dips into some of Pembrokeshire’s most popular seaside towns-Saundersfoot and Tenby- before winding down traffic-tree coastal paths such as the Brunel Trail and onwards towards the charming towns of Laugharne and Kidwelly on the Carmarthenshire coast. All in all, the Celtic Trail is an invigorating ride and one that would be ideal for a sunny weekend this spring.

For more information about the Celtic Trail, or to download a map of the route, click here.

Devon Coast to Coast

Meldon Viaduct- Via Flickr

Meldon Viaduct- Via Flickr

Combining exquisite coast, charming Victorian bridges and untamed countryside, Devon Coast to Coast is a fascinating bike ride which gives cyclists a taster of some of the South West’s most attention-grabbing scenery. The overall length of the route is 99 miles- a challenging day’s ride for the keen cyclist- but can easily be broken up into bitesize family friendly sections. Much of the ride uses disused railway lines where inexperienced cyclists can enjoy some easy going, whilst other sections of the route pose a decent challenge for veterans. Sights to look out for a long the route include Ilfracombe Quay, Gem Bridge and the Plym Valley’s Ham Green Viaduct, where cyclists can stop and enjoy excellent views over Dartmoor.

For more information about Devon Coast to Coast, or to download a map of the route, click here.

Lochs & Glens North

Drumochter Pass- Via Flickr

Drumochter Pass- Via Flickr

Traversing two stunning National Parks, the Lochs & Glens ride is perhaps the most challenging and rewarding route on our shortlist. Stretching for 214 miles from Inverness to Glasgow, the route transports riders through much of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery, including the Cairngorms National Park and the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. Here, ancient pine forests cover mountainous slopes, heather pecked moorlands stretch to the horizon and vibrant townships offer a warm welcome to the weary traveller. The route also descends onto the rolling plains of Perthshire and Stirling, where courageous highlanders saw off the invading English in the 13th century. Lochs & Glens North is a joy of a route, and one that riders of all ages will never forget.

For more information about Lochs & Glens North, or to download a map of the route, click here.

Enjoy a cycling holiday with Sykes Cottages

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

So there you have it, three great cycle routes that are sure to get you back in the saddle now that the weather is improving and the days are getting longer. But don’t forget, the UK is awash with superb cycle routes that offer safe cycling for all ages which can all be found on the Sustrans website, so choose your favourite and get pedalling!

If you like the sound of any of the above routes then why not rent a cottage for cyclists from us? Our holiday homes for cyclists feature excellent cyclist-friendly amenities such as secure bike storage and outdoor ‘clean-off’ facilities, giving you a great base for your next two-wheel adventure.

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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.

Britain or Abroad? Take the quiz!

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
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Think you know your Cornwall from your Corfu?  Prove you’re genned up on all things British by trying your hand at our latest quiz, Britain or Abroad. We wanted to find out how good us Brits are at identifying home from abroad, so we created this fun test to see just how well you know the landscapes and vistas of dear old blighty.

Britain or Abroad

Featuring a series of images that’ll get your cogs turning, the quiz is designed to show off bits of Britain that you won’t believe can be found right on your door step. With coastlines that are confused with the Caribbean and mountains that mirror Mont Blanc, there’s really no reason to go to foreign parts on your next holiday- not convinced? Then take the quiz and discover some of the stunning sights that you might have missed- we think you’ll be surprised by the results!

To take the quiz, click the giant logo above and let us know how you got on via Facebook or Twitter.

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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.