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Top Three: Roman Attractions in Britain

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
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Although The Romans’ invasion ended thousands of years ago, their evidence can still be seen in Britain today with many towns and cities having a Roman site or ruin. Most of these ruins are now used as attractions, showing visitors just what life was like in Roman Britain. Monty Python raised the question ‘what did the Romans ever do for us?’ and these attractions prove that the simple answer to that question is a lot! Read on to discover just three of the best Roman attractions that we have here in the UK.

The Roman Baths, Bath

Located in the heart of the stunning city of Bath, is the Roman Baths; a well-preserved Roman Bathhouse allowing visitors to explore Roman history, how the baths were built, who used them and even try a taste of the naturally warm spring water. The main draw of the Baths is of course the bath itself, which takes pride of place in the centre of the museum and is one of the final exhibits that you come to.

Roman Amphitheatre, Chester

Chester is not only the home of Sykes Cottages, but the city is also home to the largest Roman amphitheatre in Britain. A focal point of modern Chester since being excavated in 2005, the amphitheatre – which is now used for outdoor events and is a stop off point on many tours of the city – would have been used by the Romans for military training and for entertaining. If you’re enjoying a family holiday in Chester, we recommend a visit to the Dewa Roman Experience, where tours include allowing children to experience being in the Roman military by marching through Chester city centre.

Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum, Northumberland

If you find yourself around Hadrian’s Wall Country, Vindolanda is definitely worth a visit. Featuring two sites – the Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum, there is plenty to see and do at this wonderful attraction. The Roman Army museum is all indoors and its exhibitions allow visitors to step into the lives of Roman soldiers. A fifteen minute drive through the beautiful Northumberland countryside from The Roman Army Museum will bring you to the Roman Vindolanda, home to the Vindolanda Writing Tablets. During summer, visitors are treated to live excavations meaning you can see the Roman history being uncovered during your visit.

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Holiday Cottages For Walking In The Lake District

Sunday, April 19th, 2015
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The Lake District is perfect for walkers of all abilities. Whether you just fancy a short stroll to the nearest pub, a wander down the river or to take on a more challenging trail, the Lake District caters to ramblers of all styles! We have a huge number of properties in the Lake District that are the perfect bases for your walking holiday and today we’re going to point the spotlight on just five of them.

Dufton Hall Cottage, Dufton

Being located close to open countryside makes this Dufton property the ideal base for a romantic rambling getaway. Couples can enjoy a walk along the river, through the countryside or wander alongside Dufton Fell. Wherever your feet take you, you’ll be glad that they will lead you back to this wonderful studio accommodation.

Jitty Cottage, Appleby-in-Westmorland

If you can bear to leave this stunning Lake District property – which holds an Appleby-in-Westmorland’s Society Award for its stunning restoration – you are only a hop, skip and a jump away from wonderful riverside walks along the River Eden. The Lakeland Fells are also just a short distance away and certainly worth spending some time exploring! At the end of a lovely day, you can get some well-deserved rest and relaxation in one of the town’s restaurants, which are located just a short walk from Jitty Cottage.

Drakes Cottage, Cartmel

For a relaxing Lake District break, Drakes Cottage is perfect. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the grounds surrounding the property, or wander a little further to the historic village of Cartmel. In summer, welcome the day with a cup of coffee on the patio and in the colder seasons warm up after a wintry walk in front of the wood-burner. If you want to travel slightly further and see more of this wonderful part of the country, Lake Windermere is just six miles away and definitely worth a visit, with more stunning views to enjoy as you wander.

Hunter’s Moon, Skelwith Bridge

With instant access to the great outdoors and plenty of walking and cycling routes, Hunter’s Moon in Skelwith Bridge is the ideal property for those wanting to get away from it all. Stay in Skelwith Bridge for a wander along the walking route that runs beside the River Brathay or head just slightly further afield to Ambleside or Grasmere and enjoy wonderful walks in some of the Lake District’s most popular areas.

Springfield Cottage, Little Clifton

As a brilliant base for hill walking, taking in the sights of the Lake District or just for relaxing, Springfield Cottage has it all! If you just want to stretch your legs, walking trails can be found right from the doorstep of this Little Clifton property, whereas more challenging routes can be easily accessed in other areas such as Buttermere or Loweswater. Whatever the difficulty of your ramble, Springfield Cottage will be a very welcome retreat at the end of a day exploring.

Book a Self Catering Holiday Cottage

Lake District

Image from Springfield Cottage in Little Clifton

These are just five of the many self catering holiday cottages that we have in the Lake District. If you’re inspired to head off on a walking holiday in the Lakes then visit the Sykes Cottages website to see what we have available for you – we’re sure that we have the perfect holiday cottage for you! Don’t fancy the Lake District right now? Don’t worry as we have a huge number of properties across the United Kingdom and Ireland that are perfect for walking holidays, you can see them all on our website here.

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Best Places to Photograph in the Lake District

Thursday, April 16th, 2015
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Wherever you are in the Lake District you are bound to be surrounded by stunning natural beauty, so it is no surprise that amateur and professional photographers alike get a bit snap happy in the area! To inspire you to do the same, I have browsed through Flickr and found ten stunning photographs of some of the Lake District’s awe-inspiring landscapes. As they say, a picture says a thousand words, so I’m going to cut this one short and let these lovely images do all the talking.

Bassenthwaite Lake

Bassenthwaite Lake

Image taken by Stacey MacNaught | CC 2.0

Brantwood Jetty

Haweswater

Tarn Hows Lake

Lake Coniston

Thirlmere

Skiddaw from Derwentwater

Ullswater

Windermere

Keswick

If you’re feeling inspired by these photographs but you’re not too sure where to start, take a look at our Beginner’s Guide to Photography for some useful tips for beginners on getting the most out of your camera!

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Best Bread Baking Courses

Friday, April 10th, 2015
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Freshly baked bread is one of life’s little luxuries. From the whole house being filled with the warming doughy scent to slathering some butter or jam on a slice of fresh-out-of-the-oven bread, there is nothing better! If you’re a bread fan who is in the mood to learn a new skill on your next UK cottage holiday, why not mix both together and book yourself on a bread baking course whilst you’re away? If this sounds like the perfect holiday activity then read on as we look at four of the best bread baking courses around.

The Thoughtful Bread Company, Bath

If you’re in Bath and fancy getting stuck in to some bread making, The Thoughtful Bread Company is the place to go! Join the company’s founder, Duncan Glendinning, on one of their fantastic baking courses to learn all the skills you need to bake your own perfect loaf from scratch! Their introduction to bread baking course takes both beginners and amateurs on a baking journey through three recipes that are created entirely by hand. You can see more information about their bakery courses on their website.

The Epsom Bakehouse, Epsom

Whether you’re a beginner wanting to learn the basics, or a seasoned baker looking to expand your repertoire to include Italian breads or sourdough, The Epsom Bakehouse has something perfect for you! Classes last for roughly four hours and include a light lunch, plus you get to take the bread you make home – perfect for sharing (or keeping to yourself!) For dates and times of upcoming courses visit The Epsom Bakehouse website.

River Cottage, Devon

With courses running throughout the year, River Cottage is the place to visit if you’d like to increase your culinary knowledge when on holiday in Devon. During the full-day bread making course at River Cottage, you will not only learn the basics of bread making but also be able to indulge in your own freshly made pizza during your lunch break. Yum! See more about this bread making course on the River Cottage website.

The Bakehouse, West Yorkshire

The Bakehouse operates as a workers’ cooperative and aims to provide Real Bread whilst providing food to the community in an ethical way. Not only this, but if you’re holidaying in West Yorkshire and fancy working on your kneading skills, The Bakehouse is the ideal location. With a choice of Basic Bread Making or Simply Sourdough, you will be able to work on existing skills or create entirely new ones! Find out more about the cooperative on their website or find course dates here.

Book a UK Self Catering Holiday

Norbury self catering holiday lodge, Peak District

Image of the kitchen in Norbury, near Alton Towers in the Peak District.

After all that kneading, proving and eating, you’ll probably want somewhere comfortable to rest your head and enjoy your baked goods! Our selection of lovely holiday cottages across the UK are perfect resting places for weary bakers who need a good night’s sleep before waking up and indulging in a toasted slab of homemade bread. Plus, all of our properties have fully stocked kitchens so you can practice your new skills from the comfort of your holiday cottage. Visit the Sykes Cottages website to browse our selection of holiday properties across the UK and Ireland.

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Why Choose A UK Short Break

Monday, March 30th, 2015
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I think I speak for most of us here when I say that we’re busy. Whether we’re at work or at home there always seems like there’s something we need to do and sometimes the fun things in life get put on the back burner. This is where short breaks come in. Whether it’s a weekend of rest and relaxation you need, or you just fancy checking out a new destination; a short break is the perfect excuse to get away from the day-to-day. Read on to see just a few of the reasons we think three night short breaks are brilliant!

Utilise Your Weekend

Seaview Apartment

Image from Seaview Apartment, Northumbria

In an ideal world we would work for two days and have a five day weekend but unfortunately, that isn’t the case! Short breaks allow you to use up just one or two days holiday and use your weekend days to enjoy a getaway. You could head away on Friday after work and use a day’s holiday allowance on the Monday; meaning you can enjoy the whole weekend away whilst using just one day of your annual leave, allowing you to head back to work on the Tuesday feeling refreshed and ready to take on a four day week!

Explore Your Own Doorstep

Image taken from The Abbey

Image taken from The Abbey

If you’re heading away for just a few nights, the chances are you won’t want to travel too far, particularly if you’ll be travelling after a day at work. This in itself will allow you to visit a destination a little closer to home that you might not usually think of visiting and who knows, you might discover you absolutely love it!

Meet up with Friends and Family

A huge number of enquiries that we received here at Sykes Cottages are from groups of families or friends who, due to time restraints and opposing schedules, may not be able to spend time together as frequently as they would like to. A three night short break is much more likely to be able to fit into a number of busy schedules than a week-long break would. If you’re struggling to fit in a week-long holiday with your friends or extended family this year, why not try a shorter weekend break?

Quality over Quantity

Image from Telford House in Bangor.

Image from Telford House in Bangor.

The only downside to a shorter break is that it’s, well, it’s shorter. Whilst you may spread out activities over a week-long holiday, a three night break means you need to pack in the things you do a little more tightly to make the most of your weekend. This is definitely not a bad thing as it means you can choose to do those things you really want to do and see what you really want to see.

Book a Short Break at a Holiday Cottage

Image from Meadow View in Cornwall

Image from Meadow View in Cornwall

At Sykes Cottages, we have three night short breaks available throughout the year as long as they fit within our properties standard changeover days (usually a Friday or Saturday). Whether you want a city break, weekend by the coast or a romantic getaway we have a huge selection of holiday cottages available in fabulous locations across the UK and Ireland. Send us an email or give us a call on 01244 356695 and we will be happy to help you choose your perfect property for a UK short break!

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.