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World Book Day 2015: Properties for Bookworms

Thursday, March 5th, 2015
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Whether its right before bed, snuggled up in an arm chair or lounging in the sun, there is nothing like a good book! As you may know today is World Book Day, a day marked by over 100 countries around the world to celebrate books and reading. Whilst we can’t dress up to celebrate the day as we would have done as nippers* we can still appreciate the joy of books! So, if you are the kind of person who loves to find a new book to read when going on holiday then you’re in the right place, as we’re putting the spotlight on some of our properties with full bookshelves that you can delve into whilst you’re away.

*Although do read on if you would like to see what some members of the Sykes team would dress up as this World Book Day.

Properties Perfect For Bookworms

This wonderful property is located in Killarney, County Kerry and is located ideally for exploring all that the local area has to offer. Although, you will have to drag yourself away from all those books first!

This unique and quirky property is a book lover’s paradise, with three large bookshelves covering the walls in the living area and comfortable sofas so that you can really get stuck into one of those books!

With a wall full of books, you will be spoilt for choice of what to get stuck into during your stay at Manor Farmhouse! If the weather is sunny, why not take your book outside to lounge by the pool? Although, if it is a little chilly there is no need to worry, as you will be spoilt for choice of comfy places to sit indoors!

Our World Book Day Costumes

Whilst we can’t wear a costume for World Book Day, that hasn’t stopped us from wishing that we could! Bearing this in mind, I had a quick ask around the team to see what costumes they would be wearing today if we could turn back the clocks to when we were back in school. Nicole would dress up as the eccentric and well-dressed Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games Trilogy; Jamie would go for Captain Pugwash as he loved the books as a child; our king of suave Jonathan would be dressed up as Fantastic Mr Fox; Louise would go for the spellbinding Hermione Grainger; and I would go for The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland – what a nice excuse to drink copious amounts of tea!

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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.

Luxury Properties for A Romantic Getaway in Cornwall

Saturday, February 28th, 2015
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With its beaches, award winning restaurants and generally good weather, it comes as no surprise that Cornwall tops the list of holiday destinations for many of our guests at Sykes Cottages. Whilst your first thoughts of Cornwall may be that of a family holiday destination – and you would be right – it is also a fantastic place to go for a romantic break! If you’re a couple who like a bit of luxury, you’re in the right place, as we’re taking a look at some of our most luxurious Cornish properties that are perfect for two.

Palmers Lodge

Located near Launceston, this Egloskerry property is idyllic and the perfect place for a couple to unwind and spend some quality time together! Whether you want to go out and enjoy all that the local area has to offer, stay in and get comfortable on the sofa or enjoy a glass of fizz on the patio this property is ideal.

Mount View

Mount View in Cornwall

Mount View | 918890

One of our newest properties in Penzance is the stunning Mount View. Being situated within a Grade II listed building ensures that this property is certainly not lacking in character! It’s location on the first floor gives the apartment beautiful views over the harbour towards Mounts Bay and St Michael’s Mount; the perfect romantic view.

Swallow Cottage

Big comfortable sofas, beamed ceilings and a beautifully designed garden, Swallow Cottage just asks guests to snuggle up together! It’s location near to Truro makes this cottage an ideal touring base, if you can drag yourself away that is.

Badger Cottage

With a huge number of local amenities and things to do just a short drive away, Badger Cottage is ideal for exploring all that the area has to offer! Whether you fancy spending the day at the beach, enjoying a country walk or heading a little further afield to see all that Cornwall has to offer, you will look forward to heading back to your holiday cottage and snuggling with your loved one!

 

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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.

Sykes’ Spotlight: Kinsale, County Cork

Friday, February 27th, 2015
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Located on the south west coast of Ireland and often referred to as ‘Ireland’s Riviera’ is the town of Kinsale; a town filled with history, beauty and a whole host of things to do! Whether you want to have a thrill filled holiday, get some rest and relaxation or just want to indulge in delicious foodie delights, Kinsale is the ideal location for you. Today we’re putting the spotlight on this lovely town and sharing some of the things you can get up to whilst you’re there.

Have Fun Offshore

Being a coastal town, it will come as no surprise that there are a host of water related activities available for you to enjoy in Kinsale. If you’re bit of a thrill seeker you could try your hand at kayaking, wind surfing or even diving. If you fancy something a little slower paced but still just as exciting why not go Dolphin and Whale watching, or charter a yacht and explore Kinsale’s harbour? Whatever you choose to do you’ll have an incredible time!

Stay on Land

As much as there is to do offshore in Kinsale, it would be a shame not to indulge in the many land-based activities that are available in this lovely town. You could practice your aim with clay pigeon shooting or archery, try for a hole in one at the pitch and putt club, or conquer the Old Head of Kinsale by abseiling down the cliffs before climbing back up. If you’re after something a little more relaxing, Kinsale’s pottery school is the place for you!

Go Walking

I know, I know. Whenever we feature a destination on the Sykes Cottages blog we always suggest ‘walking’ but it truly is the best way to see a place. Walking gets you away from the honks and horns of traffic whilst allowing you to explore a new place at your own pace. If you like something a little more structured you will be spoilt for choice amongst Kinsale’s walking tours; get spooked on a ghost tour, learn all about the history of the town on a historic tour and see its natural beauty for yourself on a coastal nature tour.

Indulge in Gourmet Food

Kinsale’s accolades are never ending, as it is also regarded as the ‘Gourmet Capital of Ireland’. Whilst the town celebrates its annual Gourmet Festival in October, you will not be short of delightful delicacies to indulge in whenever in the year you decide to visit! Being a coastal town it will come as no surprise that many of the restaurants specialise in freshly caught, local seafood however not to worry as even if you’re not a fish fan, you’ll still have bundles of options of things to eat.

Get Involved in the Nightlife

Ireland is well-known for its fantastic nightlife and Kinsale is no exception. Start your evening off in one of the town’s wine bars or pubs and treat yourself to a pint or two whilst you listen to Irish music, before heading off to a club to dance the night away!

Book a Self Catering Holiday Cottage in Kinsale

Listed above is truly just the tip of the iceberg of things you can get up to in this fantastic part of Ireland. Experience Kinsale for yourself by booking a self-catering holiday cottage in the town; you can see properties and availability on the Sykes Cottages website.

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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.

Ten Facts about Pancakes

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
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It’s here, it’s here! After a bit of a false start when one of the Sykes team thought Pancake Day was last week (there was an upsetting moment of realisation and then a lot of consoling…) Shrove Tuesday is really here and of course we can’t let one of the tastiest days of the year go by without a blog post. We’re serving up a stack of pancake facts, drizzling them with mouthwatering images and spreading some topping ideas.

Ten Flippin’ Good Pancake Facts

  1. Pancakes were originally created as a way to use up the leftover fatty and rich foods before the beginning of lent.
  2. In Britain we use an estimated 55 million eggs on Pancake Day, which is around 22 million more than usual.
  3. The number of pancakes tossed in the quickest time is 349 tosses in 2 minutes. The accolade is held by Dean Gould of Suffolk.
  4. On average, we each eat two pancakes on Shrove Tuesday in Britain. This totals a huge 117 million pancakes consumed in Britain.
  5. In France, you would often make a wish whilst flipping the pancake during cooking whilst holding a coin in the other hand.
  6. It seems that Shakespeare was quite a fan of pancakes, as they feature in his plays. Most notably Act 1 Scene 2 of As You Like It. To flip or not to flip… that is the question.
  7. Supposedly, before baking soda was created, cooks used to use freshly fallen snow as an ingredient in pancakes to ensure they were soft and fluffy.
  8. The largest stack of pancakes was 76cm tall and was created by a pile of 60 pancakes. This broke the world record in 2012.
  9. Russian Andrei Smirnov once ate 73 pancakes in one hour.
  10. The highest pancake toss recorded reached 329cm high.

Eggcellent Topping Suggestions

We seem to be quite a traditional bunch here at Sykes Cottages, as a quick ask around the team revealed that the majority of us stick to the typical lemon and sugar on our pancakes (although a few of us did say that it has to be Nutella, yum!) In order to spread some inspiration, we thought sharing a couple of alternative toppings would be a good idea to get your creative juices flowing. Plus, they each sound flipping good if you ask me…

If you have a sweet tooth why not try banana and honey, fruit and whipped cream or the ultimate winter warmer of fried apples, cinnamon and honey.

If savoury is more your thing, why not treat yourself to an American brunch style pancake by having it with crispy bacon and fried eggs or fully indulge with scrambled eggs and salmon.

So, when it comes to pancakes… how do you eat yours? Tweet us and let us know!

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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.

Enjoy an Eco-Friendly Holiday in the UK

Monday, February 9th, 2015
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Being environmentally conscious is something we all try to do at home, but why should it stop on holiday? Sure, we still recycle and may do a little more walking and less driving, but most of the time being eco-friendly is not at the front of our minds when going on holiday. You may be surprised at how easy it is to continue to be environmentally conscious when you’re away and today we’re giving a couple of hints and tips of things you can do to help this planet of ours whilst you’re away from home.

Eat Local Food

Eating local does not only make your holiday food taste so much better, it is also friendlier for the environment. Did you know that on average food travels 1,500 miles to get from farm to plate? That’s a lot of mileage! But by eating locally produced fare you can reduce your food’s carbon footprint, help local farmers and support sustainable growing.

Travel by Bike… or Foot

When you’re in a new location, sometimes there is no better way to explore than by foot or by bike. This way you can get off the beaten track, move away from the motorway and explore the true beauty of an area! Not only will it do our planet some good, the fresh air and exercise will do you some good, too! Plus, then you can make a stop off at the local watering hole for a pint or two of local ale.

Visit a Nature Reserve

We’re going a little cuckoo over our native wildlife at the moment, and for good reason; the UK is full of fantastic wildlife and we think it is something that we should all enjoy whilst helping to preserve. The Wildlife Trust has sites across the UK and hosts a variety of events, so wherever you’re holidaying, you won’t be too far from being able to learn more about how to help British wildlife!

Fun Eco-Friendly Days Out

You may not even realise, but the UK is home to a huge number of eco-friendly days out that the whole family can enjoy. Here are our top three:

The Eden Project

There is a whole lot of environmentally friendly fun beneath those biomes in Cornwall. Not only is The Eden Project a brilliant day out but they run a number of social and environmental projects, host music festivals and other live events and continually conduct research into plans and the environment. All whilst running their operations as green as they possibly can. Plus, dogs are welcome at Eden, too!

BeWILDerwood

Not only does this Norfolk based theme park have more activities than you can shake a stick at, they also take their environmental impact very seriously. The food that you eat at BeWILDerwood will be locally sourced where possible, 70% of their waste is recycled and they work hard in protecting the local area as well as their own; they have planted more than 14,000 trees and helped to upgrade local footpaths, making it easier for visitors to travel by bike or foot to the park. Brilliant!

Finlay’s Cream o’ Galloway Farm

Whether you visit Cream o’ Galloway for the flying fox, to try boinging or for a scoop of delicious ice cream, you can enjoy your day knowing that you are in an environmentally conscious environment. The team at Finlay’s Farm have begun a farming revolution that has been simplified and has a focus on waste reduction. In fact, at Finlay’s they have an anaerobic digester – no, I’m not too sure what that is either – but it takes waste from the farm and turns it into electricity, which is pretty nifty if you ask me!

Stay in an Eco Friendly Holiday Cottage

Our love of all things environmental extends throughout the Sykes Cottages family and as such we have a number of eco-friendly properties so that you can enjoy your holiday whilst doing your bit for the environment.

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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.