Author Archive

Alternative Holiday Destinations in the UK

Saturday, July 25th, 2015
Pin It

At this time of year, it can be hard to find a holiday in the location you want. The most popular destinations get booked up early on in the year and if you’ve had to leave it until the last minute, it can be frustrating when you can’t find what you’re looking for. Here at Sykes, we know everything there is to know about holidaying in the UK. If there isn’t an available holiday in the area you wanted, we’ll use our expert knowledge to provide you with some alternative options in an area that will match all of your holiday requirements but that you may not have previously considered. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Instead of Cornwall… try Dorset

Cornwall is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK but with popularity comes a shortage of last-minute options. We do still have some fantastic cottages in Cornwall with availability for this summer but if you can’t find what you’re looking for in Cornwall, have you thought about Dorset instead? Like Cornwall, Dorset also offers spectacular coastline (think Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove), sweeping countryside, charming villages and plenty of walking and cycling opportunities. There are family attractions aplenty here and there’s lots of history and heritage to discover. Don’t miss out on a fantastic holiday spot just because you weren’t as familiar with it as other South West destinations!

Instead of the Lake District… try the Eden Valley

We’ve all heard of the Lake District, but have you heard about Cumbria’s best kept secret, the Eden Valley? The Eden Valley is a real hidden gem, situated between the Lakes and the Yorkshire Dales. It has all the sweeping valleys, lush green countryside and characterful villages of the Lakes, as well as being located along Britain’s most scenic railway line, from Carlisle to Settle. Its quieter status means that you’re more likely to find some availability here and what’s more, the Eden Valley offers the best of both worlds as you’re still within driving distance of the Lakes if you had your heart set on venturing there.

Instead of the North Cotswolds… try the South Cotswolds

The Cotswolds are one of the most charming places in the country with picturesque, quintessentially English villages, quaint country pubs and bags of history. Most visitors to this area flock to the North Cotswolds, where you’ll find villages such as Broadway, Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water. However, last year, the Lonely Planet listed the South Cotswolds as one of the Top 50 ‘secret’ holiday destinations in Europe. The South Cotswolds are just as beautiful as the North and don’t come with the same level of tourist footfall, offering a slower pace of life and often a more authentic feel. Villages such as Castle Combe, Malmesbury and Lacock are perfect spots for a South Cotswolds holiday.

To see our full range of holiday cottages, please visit our website. We have over 5,500 fantastic self-catering cottages for you to choose from across the UK and Ireland and we’ll do our very best to find you the perfect holiday for your trip.

Pin It
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.

5 Last Minute Summer Holidays for Families

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
Pin It

Decided to book a last minute summer holiday but not sure where to start? Below, we’ve listed five fantastic holiday cottages in the UK that still have availability in the school summer holidays; from Cornwall to the Lake District, these cottages lovely cottages are perfect for a family getaway. Act quickly though, as they’re sure to be snapped up soon!

12 Deva Terrace, Cheshire

Beautiful Georgian terraced property in Chester, overlooking the River Dee. Just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of Chester with its shops and restaurants, as well as family attractions including Chester Zoo, Blue Planet Aquarium and the Roman Dewa Experience.

Price: 7 nights in the summer holidays from £750. Sleeps 4.

Read more here: 12 Deva Terrace, Chester, Cheshire

Fairoak, Lake District

Victorian Lakeland terrace just 1.5 miles from Lake Windermere. Located at the heart of the popular Lake District town of Windermere, this pretty cottage is perfect for families looking for a getaway in the Lakes this summer, with spectacular scenery just a short drive away and fantastic family attractions on your doorstep.

Price: 7 nights in the summer holidays from £766. Sleeps 5.

Read more here:  Fairoak, Windermere, Lake District

Rose Cottage, Devon

Pretty holiday cottage on a non-working farm amongst tranquil, rolling countryside and meadows, yet not far from the Devon coastline. Rose Cottage is lovely and cosy; perfect for relaxing after a day on the beach! There’s a private, sun-trap garden boasting spectacular sea views and the property also offers direct access to a footpath leading to Hallsands beach and the South West Coast Path.

Price: 7 nights in the summer holidays from £842. Sleeps 4.

Read more here: Rose Cottage, Hallsands, Devon

The Station Flat, Cornwall

Wonderfully unique holiday apartment situated above the ticket office alongside the Lappa Valley Steam Railway, just 4.5 miles from the popular holiday destination of Newquay. Guests at The Station Flat can enjoy all the on-site facilities at at the Lappa Valley Steam Railway -a fantastic family day out- including steam train rides, canoeing and miniature golf.

Price: 7 nights in the summer holidays from £787. Sleeps 4.

Read more here: The Station Flat, St Newlyn East, Cornwall

St Edmunds, Norfolk

Located just 150 yards from the beach in the seaside town of Mundesley, St Edmunds is a brilliant choice for a coastal family holiday. The property is modern, bright and airy with plenty of room for everyone, and with its beautiful sandy beach and colourful beach huts, Mundesley makes for a traditional seaside holiday on the Norfolk coastline.

Price: 7 nights in the summer holidays from £1185. Sleeps 8.

Read more here: St Edmunds, Mundesley, Norfolk

If you want to see our full list of holiday cottages still available for the school summer holidays, you can do so by visiting our website or by giving our team of holiday advisors a call on 01244 356 695.

Pin It
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.

Holiday Cottages for Animal Lovers

Sunday, July 12th, 2015
Pin It

If you’re an animal lover then you should definitely consider taking a holiday on one of the UK’s many farms. We have holiday cottages on everything from smallholdings to working farms and many of our properties have the option to meet the animals, take tours around the farm and even play at being a farmer for a day! Read on to discover which of our cottages are perfect for animal lovers of all ages.

Hill Top Farm Cottage, Pembrokeshire

This lovely family holiday cottage is set on the owner’s smallholding just 6 miles outside of Narbeth. The picturesque, countryside location makes Hill Top Farm Cottage perfect for a relaxing, rural getaway but it’s also just a short drive from many of Pembrokeshire’s attractions including Folly Farm, Oakwood Theme Park and the Welsh Zoo. At this property, you can really experience the smallholding way of life- everything from visiting the animals at their paddocks, to adopting your own chickens! If you want to adopt your own chickens, the owner will provide everything for you so that you can feed them and collect their eggs for the duration of your stay.

The Corn Store, Cornwall

The Corn Store is a traditional farm cottage on a working farm in Menheniot, ideally located for exploring the south coast of Cornwall. This pretty cottage offers stunning countryside views and is surrounded by woods and meadows, which guests are welcome to explore. On the farm, there are plenty of activities for children to get involved in, including collecting fresh eggs from the hens and meeting some of the smaller animals in the farm’s very own pet corner! The pet corner includes cute and cuddly animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs, as well as birds and hand-reared owls.

Turnip House, Shropshire

Turnip House is one of four wonderful, Grade II barn conversions on a 700 acre farm in Plaish, amongst the rolling countryside of south Shropshire. Guests at the cottage are able to thoroughly explore the farm with its 1.5 mile woodland walk and conservation area with natural pools, as well as a full-size tennis court, children’s play area and games rooms. Animal lovers can also get up close to some of the farm’s residents, as the owners can arrange for you to feed the chickens and also embark on a few pony rides (children only!)

Hayloft Cottage, Cumbria

At Hayloft Cottage, guests have the chance to be a farmer for the day, by prior arrangement with the owner! The friendly owners are more than happy to give you a tour around the farm, including meeting the animals, and tell stories about what it’s like to be a farmer in the countryside! This cottage itself offers lots of characterful original features including oak beams and exposed stonework; it’s perfect for a family holiday in Cumbria with easy access to both the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.

At Sykes Cottages, we have over 5,500 cottages across the UK and Ireland so we’re sure to have somewhere to suit you and your holiday plans. For more information on the properties that we have available, please visit our website or give us a call on 01244 356695.

Holiday cottage with farm animals

Animals at Hayloft Cottage

Pin It
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.

Visit the Northumberland Coast this Summer

Saturday, July 4th, 2015
Pin It

Renowned for its unspoilt beaches and dramatic coastlines, the Northumberland coast is one of the most striking and spectacular parts of the UK. As a coastal destination it can sometimes receive less attention than others, for example those in the South West, but this is a real shame as Northumberland has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country and deserves to spend more time in the spotlight. It’s a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and covers over 39 miles of coastline but below are just some of the highlights of the Northumberland coast.

Bamburgh Castle

One of Northumberland’s most iconic landmarks, Bamburgh Castle stands proudly on the coastline at Bamburgh looking out across the North Sea. Although the castle itself is a relatively new structure, restored during the Victorian era, there has been a defensive structure here since the 11th century. It’s certainly an impressive sight to behold and definitely worth a visit.

Seahouses

This bustling and colourful fishing village is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Northumberland coastline. Well known for its pretty harbour and retro seaside atmosphere, Seahouses is perfect for a holiday with family or friends. Seahouses boasts an Aladdin’s cave of interesting shops, an abundance of real ale pubs offering nearby Farne Island Ale and plenty of opportunity to experience nature with boat trips out to the Farne Islands to see seabirds and seals.

Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Holy Island Northumberland coast

Holy Island of Lindisfarne

A real treasure in the part of the country, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne is like entering another world. Cut off from the Northumberland coast by the tide twice a day, this serene island is a place of pilgrimage for over 650,000 visitors a year. Although it’s not just religion that brings people here, but nature too as here you can see rare plants, birds and also seals; the tranquillity and spectacular views might also add to its popularity! Visitors can either walk the ‘Pilgrim Path’ at low tide or take the ferry across during high tide. Please plan your visit carefully and check the tide times before you set off.

Newton-by-the-Sea

Newton-by-the-Sea, or Low Newton as it’s known to locals, is considered by many to be one of the prettiest places in Northumberland. The National Trust owns most of the village, which consists of picturesque white-washed cottages located around an open-ended square, looking out onto the delightful sandy beach and the sea. In the middle of the square is The Ship Inn, which offers delicious food and real ales from its own microbrewery. Tucked away from the main tourist hotspots, Newton-by-the-Sea is a real hidden gem of the Northumberland’s Heritage Coast.

Cottages on the Northumberland Coast

At Sykes Cottages, we have a large number of holiday cottages along the Northumberland coastline for you to choose from. From cosy hideaways for a romantic getaway, to spacious and homely cottages for a family break, we’ll endeavour to find the perfect self-catering cottage in Northumberland to suit you. To get in touch with our holiday advisors today, please call 01244 356 695 or send us an email.

Pin It
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 Coastal Views

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
Pin It

In the UK, we’re incredibly lucky to be blessed with an abundance of stunning sea views; there’s no denying that as an island nation, our views are hard to beat.  So if you’re in need of a pick-me-up this Wednesday evening, grab a brew and settle down to discover Britain’s top 10 coastal views.

Seven Sisters, East Sussex

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Durdle Door, Dorset

Antony Gormley’s Another Place, Merseyside

Three Cliffs Bay, Gower

Lundy Island, Devon

Seilebost, Outer Hebrides

St Ives Harbour, Cornwall

Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire

Robin Hood's Bay

Robin Hood’s Bay

Neist Point, Isle of Skye

If our blog on Britain’s best coastal views has whet your appetite for a seaside holiday in the UK then make sure you visit our page on coastal holiday cottages, there are plenty of incredible views out there for you to explore!

Pin It
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.