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Our top 10 responses to “What does the beach mean to you?”

Sunday, March 1st, 2015
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Last week, we were inspired by manonabeach.com to ask what the beach means to you. Manonabeach has conducted over 988 interviews all around the UK, asking people this very question – you can read last week’s blog post all about manonabeach and his work by clicking here. This week, we’ve compiled a top ten of some the answers we received when we asked this question. The responses are from our customers on social media and also from members of staff here at Sykes. So sit back, relax and prepare to be transported to the beach…

“Peace, relaxing, makes me happy”

Beach in Scotland

Clachtoll, Scottish Highlands. Image via manonabeach.com

“Sunny days lying in the sun and swimming in the sea…heaven”

Beach in Cornwall

Roseland, Cornwall. Image via manonabeach.com

“Beautiful, tranquil – most of all, at peace”

Beach in Cornwall

Pendower, Cornwall. Image via manonabeach.com

“Afternoons in the sun and plenty of happy memories”

Beach in Cornwall

Little Fistral, Cornwall. Image via manonabeach.com

“Wholesomeness”

Beach in Cornwall

Great Lantic, Cornwall. Image via manonabeach.com

“Beautiful and sunbathing”

Beach in Devon

Mill Bay, Devon. Image via manonabeach.com

“Peace and nostalgia; the beach is timeless”

Beach in Cornwall

Godrevy, Cornwall. Image via manonabeach.com

“Durdle Door, happy holiday and Dave’s first boat”

Beach in Dorset

Durdle Door, Dorset. Image via manonabeach.com

“Childhood memories, playing in the rock pools with my little sister”

Beach in Cornwall

Falmouth, Cornwall. Image via manonabeach.com

“To me, the beach means freedom, relaxation, fun and beauty”

Beach in Dorset

Ringstead Bay, Dorset. Image via manonabeach.com

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this blog post. We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing what the beach means to some of the Sykes Cottages staff and customers and we hope that we’ve inspired you to head to the beach in the not too distant future!

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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.

Cottages along the Tour de Yorkshire route

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015
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Here at Sykes Cottages, we were extremely excited to learn that the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire will be taking place from 1st-3rd May 2015. The event follows on from the success of last year’s Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire and the immense surge in popularity of the sport across the country! The race begins in Bridlington on 1st May and runs in three stages before finally finishing up in Leeds on 3rd. For more information on the route, you can see each stage in detail on the Tour de Yorkshire website.  If you’re planning on heading to see the Tour de Yorkshire then luckily for you, we still have some lovely holiday cottages available along the route…

Stage 1 – Bridlington to Scarborough, Friday 1st May 2015

Holiday cottage on Tour de Yorkshire route

Amber Cottage, Whitby, Ref. 22180

This pretty former fisherman’s cottage is situated in the heart of Whitby, hidden away along a traditional, narrow yard. Amber Cottage has plenty of character with many charming original features including aged timber floors, beamed ceilings and a cast iron fireplace. Whitby’s amenities are right on the doorstep with the nearest pub just 1 minute walk away and the beach a 5 minute walk. Stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire will be passing directly through Whitby along the coast and then south to Robin Hood’s Bay, so guests at Amber Cottage will have a front row seat to this exciting event!

Stage 2 – Selby to York, Saturday 2nd May 2015

Holiday cottage on Tour de Yorkshire route

Barn Owl Cottage, Stamford Bridge, Ref. 15874

Barn Owl Cottage is a luxury barn conversion on an arable farm just 2 miles outside of Stamford Bridge, near York. Set in a picturesque courtyard and boasting its own private decked area and hot tub, Barn Owl Cottage is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway in Yorkshire. The surrounding area is peaceful and rural but you’re only a short drive from the many facilities of Stamford Bridge and just over 8 miles from the delightful city of York. If you’re in Stamford Bridge for the second stage of the Tour de Yorkshire then you won’t be disappointed as the route for the race runs straight past the farm that Barn Owl Cottage is situated on – you’ll barely even need to leave the front door to catch a glimpse of the cyclists!

Stage 3- Wakefield to Leeds, Sunday 3rd May 2015

Holiday cottage on Tour de Yorkshire route

Holme House Cottage, Oakworth, Ref. 919042

For a first class holiday cottage packed with character and charm, look no further than Holme House Cottage in Oakworth. This beautiful 17th century cottage offers everything you could want from a holiday in the countryside with stunning meadow views, a traditional country pub a short walk away, wonderful walks from your doorstep and a cosy wood-burning stove to sit down and relax in front of! The Tour de Yorkshire cyclists will be racing through Oakworth village during the third stage of the event, just a couple of minutes’ walk from this lovely cottage. Or alternatively, you can travel the 2 miles to Haworth, where the cyclists will be making the climb up Main Street, which was an iconic moment of the Tour de France Grand Depart.

Book a holiday cottage along the Tour de Yorkshire route

You can see our full range of holiday cottages available for the Tour de Yorkshire 2015 by visiting our website. Cottages along the route are already booking up quickly so we definitely advise thinking about booking your accommodation sooner rather than later!

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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.

What Does the Beach Mean to You?

Sunday, February 15th, 2015
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What does the beach mean to you? It’s a simple question but one that requires a bit of thought. The beach means many things to many people and different things to each person during different periods of their life. This is the question that manonabeach tries to answer.

Beach in Suffolk

Walberswick, Suffolk. Image via Manonabeach.com

What is manonabeach?

Manonabeach is a website dedicated to exploring and celebrating the beaches of the UK, and the significance of them to the people that visit them. It began in December 2011, starting with just Cornwall and has now gone national, covering many other areas of the UK including Devon, Norfolk, Aberdeenshire and Pembrokeshire. Manonabeach’s objective is to bring the beach to you; whether you’re 1 mile or 100 miles from the coast, you can bring the beach to life on your screen and enjoy the emotions of being there, even when you can’t be. He does this by conducting short interviews with beach-goers, filming short clips and taking pictures of the scene. Every season, he attempts to return to each region to film and take photographs so that visitors to the site can build a picture of beach life throughout the year, not just in the summer months.  What makes manonabeach interesting is his anonymity, which makes it feel like the beach-goers are talking directly to you as a viewer. There are now over 2,000 films on the website and over 988 interviews in which beach-goers are asked the question, ‘What does the beach mean to you?’

Beach in Dorset

Durdle Door, Dorset. Image via Manonabeach.com

What are his findings?

Manonabeach has had hundreds of different responses during his interviews, with the top 5 recurring themes as follows:

  1. Childhood
  2. Beauty
  3. Dog walking
  4. Family
  5. Livelihood
Beach in Angus

Lunan Bay, Angus. Image via Manonabeach.com

It’s clear from his findings that the beach has many different effects on its visitors. Many people felt an emotional connection to the beach and could recall happy memories and days spent there with friends and family, while others just enjoyed being near the sea. Interestingly, over 26% of the site’s visitors are from London suggesting that many see the website as an escape from the busy city and an opportunity to enjoy a flavour of the beach every now and then. Some respondents felt that to them, the beach meant freedom – the wide, open spaces and peaceful nature appeals to them when they want some calm or tranquillity. In contrast to this, lots of the people he asked saw the beach as a place for activities; dog-walking, swimming, fishing and walking were some of the most common answers. For others, the beach was their livelihood and connoted routine and economic benefit.

Beach in East Sussex

Birling Gap, East Sussex. Image via Manonabeach.com

What does the beach mean to Sykes Cottages’ customers?

So what we want to know, is what does the beach mean to Sykes Cottages’ customers? You can let us know either by sending us a tweet or by leaving a comment on our Facebook page. We’re conducting our own mini manonabeach project and will be compiling some of the answers into a blog post next week so keep your eyes peeled!

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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 last-minute Valentine’s break in the Lake District

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015
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If you’ve still not thought of a plan to spoil your loved one this Valentine’s Day, then might we suggest a romantic cottage getaway in one of the most beautiful parts of the country: the Lake District. We still have some lovely cottages available for Valentine’s weekend and personally, I can’t think of a better present than announcing that you’ve booked your partner a surprise weekend away in the countryside! These pretty cottages in the Lakes are still available so take a look and get booking:

Rose Cottage, Great Urswick

Holiday cottage in the Lake District

Rose Cottage, Great Urswick, Ref. 912713

For a getaway at a picture-perfect English cottage, look no further than Rose Cottage. This charming country cottage comes complete with oak beams, woodburning stove and a lovely village pub at the bottom of the road. The village of Great Urswick is just 3 miles from Ulverston and is often considered to be a hidden gem. There are plenty of scenic walks (with village pub pit-stops!) around the nearby tarn and all of the Lake District’s attractions are within easy driving distance, including the Haverthwaite and Lakeside Steam Railway and the South Lakes Safari Zoo.

Upper Tweenways, Ambleside

Holiday cottage in Lake District

Upper Tweenways, Ambleside, Ref. 24671

Upper Tweenways is positioned in the heart of the pretty village of Ambleside, with Lake Windermere just a few minutes’ walk away. This lovely cottage is very close to all the local amenities and the nearest village pub is just a 2 minute walk from the door. Ambleside is the perfect base when visiting the Lake District; guests can easily explore the surrounding fells and mountains and there are fantastic walking and mountain biking opportunities onto Loughrigg or Wansfell available from the doorstep! The picturesque towns of Grasmere and Hawkshead are also nearby for a change of scenery, where you can wander around the many charming shops and pubs.

Oaks Apartment, Newlands

Holiday cottage in Lake District

Oaks Apartment, Newlands, Ref. 4451

This first-floor apartment in an 18th century farmhouse lies just 3 miles from Keswick and 4 miles from Braithwaite. Its high position in a relatively remote part of the Lakes means that Oaks Apartment benefits from stunning panoramic views across the surrounding countryside and fells, including Catbells and Robinson. Oaks Apartment is perfect for a peaceful, get-away-from-it-all Valentine’s break where you can spend some real quality time with your partner in a magical, rural setting.

If you’re still searching for the perfect romantic cottage for your Valentine’s getaway, you can find our full range of available cottages on our Valentine’s Day page. We still have beautiful cottages across the UK and Ireland that are not yet booked for Valentine’s but act quickly to make sure that you aren’t disappointed; these lovely cottages are sure to make for a Valentine’s Day to remember!

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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.

Spend summer in a coastal cottage in Norfolk!

Sunday, February 8th, 2015
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For a holiday by the seaside this summer, take a look at Norfolk; its vibrant coastal villages and soft, sandy beaches are helping this wonderful part of the country emerge as one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations! Here at Sykes, we already know how special Norfolk is and that’s why we created our Visitor’s Guide to Norfolk last year, which was compiled from the responses of 1,000 of Norfolk’s residents and visitors, who were asked what they love most about the county. Their passion, pride and affection for Norfolk was evident and enough to anyone reading to pack their bags and head for East Anglia! If you’ve been likewise persuaded, then make sure you have a look at these coastal cottages perfect for your summer holiday in Norfolk.

Kath’s Cottage, Heacham

Coastal holiday cottage in Norfolk

Kath’s Cottage, Heacham, Ref. 4040

This pretty terraced cottage on the West Norfolk coastline makes for a charming bolthole for a romantic getaway with your partner. Nestled in the heart of the picturesque village of Heacham, Kath’s Cottage is spacious and modern, with a lovely country kitchen and its own private courtyard, perfect for alfresco dining on sunny evenings! The cottage is just 3 minutes’ walk from one of the village’s many traditional pubs and a 15 minute stroll to the delightful sandy beach. The world famous Norfolk Lavender is also within walking distance, as is Heacham Hall, where John Rolfe brought his new bride, Pocahontas, on her arrival to England.

Samphire House, Mundesley

Coastal holiday cottage in Norfolk

Samphire House, Mundesley, Ref. 20834

If you’re planning on spending your summer holidays having fun with friends and family, then Samphire House in Mundesley is a fantastic choice! This stunning Edwardian townhouse is ideally located within walking distance to all that this beautiful coastal village has to offer, including shops, cafes and a wonderful beach lined with brightly-coloured beach huts. Samphire House can sleep up to 10 guests in five spacious bedrooms and there’s also room for 2 dogs downstairs! The property is full of attractive period features and even has its own roof terrace with BBQ!

Brook Cottage, Sheringham

Coastal holiday cottage in Norfolk

Brook Cottage, Sheringham, Ref. 18465

Sheringham, on the North Norfolk coastline, is a fantastic choice for a summer holiday with its Blue Flag beach, traditional promenades and pretty tea rooms and cafes. This charming cottage is just a few minutes’ walk from Sheringham town centre and beach, with wonderful views overlooking Beeston Back Common. Brook Cottage is particularly perfect for families with dogs as the Common is just across from the property and there are several lovely dog-friendly pubs in the vicinity.

If you’re considering spending some time in beautiful Norfolk this summer, don’t forget to check out our entire range of holiday cottages in Norfolk. We’ve everything from cosy cottages for couples to spacious, family-friendly properties for you to choose from!

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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.