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Your Guide to the UK’s Best Christmas Events

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
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It might be a little early, but here at Sykes Cottages we’re already getting into the Christmas spirit. Lucky for you, this means we’ve already scouted out some of the best Christmas events taking place across the UK this festive season, so you don’t have to! We’ve listed three of our favourites below for you to have a look at.

Lantern Magic, Chester Zoo

Christmas at Chester Zoo

Via Flickr

Chester Zoo’s Lantern Magic event is one of the most unique and interesting events taking place in the run up to Christmas this year, and it promises to be fun for all the family. Lantern Magic is running from Thursday 4th December until Tuesday 23rd December but places are limited and tickets are selling out fast so make sure you visit their website to secure yourself a spot. After dark, you can embark on an ‘enchanted’ illuminated trail around the zoo, which leads to a spectacular display of animal lanterns. Children can also get involved in writing a letter to Santa, taking part in a lantern-making workshop, making a wish on the Giant Wishing Tree, and even visit some of the animals.

Christmas at Chatsworth

Christmas at Chatsworth

Via Flickr

Christmas at Chatsworth is always one of the most wonderful events of the year with lots of activities and events to get you in the Christmas spirit. The festivities started on 8th November and will run through until 4th January. Chatsworth’s theme this year is Alice’s Wonderland; visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the vibrant, fantastical world brought to life by Lewis Carroll. You can attend the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, meet characters such as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and play games of croquet. There’s even ‘drink me’ and ‘eat me’ refreshments!  Other Christmas events taking place at Chatsworth include wreath making, a Christmas market and Christmas twilight evenings.

Santa’s Grotto at Bounce Below

Christmas grotto

Via Flickr

Bounce Below is the world’s first underground playground of its kind and is one of the UK’s best new days out. Located in a disused slate cavern in North Wales, Bounce Below consists of large bouncy nets hung between the caverns, linked together with walkways and giant slides. It’s incredible fun for all the family and this December, Bounce Below will be hosting a magical Christmas grotto where children will get the chance to bounce about amongst a spectacular light display and festive decorations, before meeting Father Christmas himself. It is recommended that you pre-book for this event.

We’d love to hear about the events you’re going to this Christmas! You can let us know where you’re off to by leaving us a comment on Facebook or by sending us a tweet.

Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Book a cottage getaway over New Year

Monday, November 17th, 2014
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If you’re planning to get away over New Year then you need to act fast! Our holiday cottages are booking up for the festive season so you need to move quickly if you want to get somewhere sorted. To give you a bit of inspiration, we’ve listed just some of the fantastic properties still available over New Year’s Eve. Don’t miss out!

The Byre, Northumbria

Holiday cottage in Northumbria

The Byre, Northumbria, Ref. 1783

The Byre is a characterful barn conversion in the heart of the beautiful Northumbrian countryside, offering cosy open plan accommodation for a couple or small family. If you fancy a quiet, peaceful New Year this year, then The Byre is the cottage for you, located in a small hamlet surrounded by a tranquil, rural landscape. The roaring open fire is perfect for relaxing in front of and the panoramic views across the stunning countryside will make your New Year’s Eve seem miles away from the usual crowded bars and never-ending taxi queues.

The Roundhouse, Somerset

Holiday cottage in Somerset

The Roundhouse, Somerset, Ref. 14576

If you’re looking for a truly romantic getaway over New Year then look no further than this stunning wooden roundhouse nestled amongst the grounds of an organic farm. This unusual cottage has been lovingly handcrafted to create a snug holiday home near Stratton-on-Fosse. The Roundhouse is the perfect place to get away from it all for New Year’s Eve with no WiFi or TV to distract you from each other’s company, and with luxury features including a four-poster bed, roll-top bath and 1940’s MK1 Rayburn to keep you warm and cosy. The grounds surrounding this cottage boast geese, ducks, cows, chickens, pigs and sheep, and guests are welcome to purchase free-range eggs and pork from the farm.

Craig Y Don, Anglesey

Holiday cottage on Anglesey

Craig Y Don, Anglesey, Ref. 3775

This spacious, seaside property is ideal for large groups looking for somewhere to get-together this New Year’s Eve. Sleeping 10, the 5 star Craig Y Don is situated in a breath-taking position overlooking the beach at Rhosneigr on Anglesey and offers the perfect place to spend a memorable New Year with friends and family. Book this property and you could bring in the New Year on Craig Y Don’s spectacular roof terrace, admiring its stunning beach and sea views.

You can see our full range of holiday cottages still available for New Year’s Eve 2014 by clicking here. For help in finding your perfect New Year’s cottage, you can also give our reservations team a call on 01244 356 695 or send us an email.

Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Log Cabins: Perfect for an Adventure Break

Saturday, November 15th, 2014
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The crisp climate of autumn is one of the best times of year to take an adventure break in the UK, and where better to get outdoors than by booking a holiday in a log cabin! Our lodges and log cabins are ideal for those looking for some adventure during the autumn, so we’ve come up with just a few suggestions on the perfect lodges for your next adventure holiday.

Lodge on the Lake, Lake District

Log cabin in Lake District

Lodge on the Lake, Lake District, Ref. 31127

Lodge on the Lake is a stunning property in a quiet holiday park on the shores of Windermere. Sleeping 6, this luxury log cabin offers unrivalled views across the lake, which you can take advantage of from many of the rooms and also the spectacular deck to the front and side of the cabin. At Lodge on the Lake, you can enjoy many activities just a stone’s throw from your log cabin! The decking offers access to your own private beach area, where guests can enjoy swimming and fishing. More active guests can also use the holiday park’s facilities to explore Windermere by boat or try their hand at water-skiing or kayaking. Of course, if you travel outside the holiday park, the spectacular landscape of the Lake District is also on your doorstep, with endless opportunities for walking, cycling and hiking.

The Beeches, Pembrokeshire

Log cabin in Pembrokeshire

The Beeches, Pembrokeshire, Ref. 23608

The Beeches is a 5 star log cabin nestled among 30 acres of ancient woodland near Narbeth, with plenty of scope for an unforgettable adventure break. From here, you’ll have access to Pembrokeshire’s beautiful coastline with mile after mile of quiet sandy beaches to explore and you’ll also be able to walk as much of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Path as you please! The Beeches offers the perfect base for an active holiday with cosy, comfortable accommodation sleeping 4, WiFi to keep in touch with the outside world and plan the next day’s adventures, and an outdoor Jacuzzi to relax in.

No. 4 Elm Drive, Lincolnshire

Log cabin in Lincolnshire

No. 4 Elm Drive, Lincolnshire, Ref. 916145

Set within the tranquil Tattershall Lakes County Park, No. 4 Elm Drive is surrounded by 365 acres of woodland and lakes. The accommodation is bright and airy with patio doors leading to a decked veranda overlooking one of the many lakes in the park. After a day of adventurous activities, guests will also find a bubbling hot tub waiting for them on the veranda, where they can relax and soak their tired muscles! The many facilities in the park include a gym, swimming pool and spa, whilst also offering visitors the opportunity to try watersports such as jet-skiing in the dedicated 45 acre jet-skiing lake and wakeboarding in the park’s 60 acre water-skiing and wakeboarding lake.

Here at Sykes, we have a fantastic range of cottages for walking holidays and cottages suitable for cycling holidays so if you’re interested in learning more then please contact our dedicated reservations team on 01244 356 695. You can also see our full range of lodges and log cabins by visiting our website.

Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Britain’s Best Bonfire Night Celebrations

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
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Are you bored of the same-old, average, local bonfire night?  For something a bit special this firework season, check out our pick of the best bonfire night celebrations happening around the UK; we’ve got displays in zoos, castles, theme parks and even on the beach!

Roundhay Park, Yorkshire

Fireworks

Via Flickr

The delightful Roundhay Park is one of the biggest city parks in Europe and is also home to Leeds’ biggest bonfire and fireworks display. Tens of thousands of people turn up to the event every year and this year, it’ll be taking place on Wednesday 5th November. The bonfire is scheduled to be lit at 7.30pm on the Soldiers Field and the fireworks will be starting at 8pm so make sure you get there early to get a good space!

Alton Towers, Staffordshire

Fireworks

Via Flickr

Alton Towers combine their bonfire night celebrations with their end of season festivities and the result is an event not to be missed! Thrill-seekers can spend the day riding the many fantastic attractions at the theme park before enjoying the spectacular fireworks display after dark. The displays take place on the 7th, 8th and 9th November and promise to tell a unique story with breath-taking fireworks, music, lasers and special effects.

Lyme Regis, Dorset

Fireworks

Via Flickr

Fancy watching fireworks on the beach? That’s exactly what you can do at Lyme Regis’ annual firework display taking place at The Harbour. This event is completely free and taking place on Saturday 8th November at 6.30pm. Head down to the beach to enjoy the incredible array of fireworks and warm yourself by the bonfire.

Leeds Castle, Kent

Fireworks

Via Flickr

If you’re in Kent this bonfire night, then head to Leeds Castle to see one of the best fireworks extravaganzas in the country. This year’s theme is ‘Go Wild’ with events inspired by animals from around the world. During the day, there’s entertainment, food and drinks on offer and after dark, the fireworks will light up the sky! This fabulous display will take place on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th November, although tickets for Saturday night have already sold out so book quickly to avoid missing out.

Bristol Zoo, Somerset

Fireworks

Via Flickr

Every year, Bristol Zoo holds a spectacular fireworks event that promises to be a great night out for all the family. This fantastic event uses specially designed low-noise fireworks that are both toddler and animal friendly, meaning the loud bangs and whizzes that would normally scare young children are a thing of the past! This family-friendly session is set to take place on 4th, 5th and 6th November.

If you know of any other magical bonfire night celebrations in the UK that we’ve missed out, please get in touch and let us know! You can do this by either leaving a comment on our Facebook page or by sending us a tweet.

Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Book a cosy cottage over Christmas

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014
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Sometimes, it’s just nice to get away over Christmas; it gives you the opportunity to do something a little different, or spend time with loved ones that you wouldn’t normally see. You might be looking for a large property to fit the whole extended family, or a snug bolthole to spend a romantic Christmas with your partner. Maybe you’re visiting family somewhere in the UK and want a home-from-home whilst you’re away. Whatever you’re doing, we want to help make Christmas special. Our holiday cottages do book up quickly over the festive period, but we still have some fantastic cottages left; act fast to make sure you don’t miss out!

Adfer, Pembrokeshire

Holiday cottage in Pembrokshire

Adfer, Pembrokeshire, Ref. 28219

This characterful cottage on the west coast of Wales is perfect for a cosy Christmas getaway with family. Adfer offers spacious accommodation for 6 guests and boasts fantastic views of the Welsh countryside from many of the windows. The house is comfortably furnished with a large sofa and woodburner to cuddle up in front of, as well as TV with freeview and WiFi to keep the kids entertained. Adfer is just a short stroll from the village of St Dogmaels, where you’ll find several pubs, a tea room and a small museum. The surrounding area is picturesque with the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path close by.

Christmas Cottage, North Yorkshire

Holiday cottage in Yorkshire

Christmas Cottage, Yorkshire, Ref. 26993

Where better to spend Christmas week than the aptly-named Christmas Cottage? This stone cottage in Glaisdale is quaint and cosy without compromising on luxury and comfort. The cottage boasts lots of quirky original features including bespoke wooden window shutters and timber flooring, whilst the living area with its roaring woodburner and inviting sofas would be the perfect setting for opening Christmas presents. Glaisdale is a delightful village nestled in the Ersk Valley; while you’re there, make sure you check out the local butcher who is famed for his pork pies!

Tan Llan, Snowdonia National Park

Holiday cottage in Snowdonia

Tan Llan, Snowdonia, Ref. 917340

Looking for a large property to accommodate the whole family? Take a look at Tan Llan, one of the newest additions to the Sykes Cottages portfolio. This luxurious property is located in the peaceful Snowdonia village of Llanelltyd, in 15 acres of its own grounds. It sleeps up to 16 guests in 8 bedrooms and boasts a large dining area that would be perfect for a big family Christmas dinner. There are plenty of stunning walking opportunities nearby, as well as being a short drive from the picturesque town of Dolgellau, where you’ll find an abundance of cafes, pubs and restaurants.

To see the rest of our self-catering cottages available for Christmas, visit our website. Our dedicated reservations specialists will be more than happy to help find your perfect Christmas cottage; you can get in touch by giving us a call on 01244 356 695 or sending us an email.

Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.