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Spotlight On: New Cottages In Ireland

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015
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At Sykes Cottages, we’re adding new holiday rentals to our portfolio every day. From grand country houses to cosy romantic boltholes, we’re working hard to ensure that you always have an extensive selection of properties to choose from. Today, we’re shining our spotlight on the Emerald Isle and the fantastic new properties that have come on board with us recently. So grab a brew and have a browse through these beautiful Irish cottages.

Seascapes, Co. Kerry – Ref. 929629

Just outside of lively Cahersiveen with its bustling restaurants, pubs and shops, this immaculate cottage is the ideal spot for a coastal getaway with friends or family. Look out the windows and you’ll find panoramic sea views of the Portmagee harbour and Valentia Island, with the Wild Atlantic Way also within easy reach. Seascapes is a wonderful touring base for the south west coast; from here, you can take day trips to Skelligs, Killarney National Park and walk the Kerry Way.

Ait Eile, Co. Wicklow – Ref. 923798

This spacious holiday home in the Garden of Ireland has everything you need for a fun-filled family getaway. Situated in a peaceful development near the seaside town of Greystones, Ait Eile is cosy and inviting with a lovely woodburner to curl up in front of after a long day exploring. There’s a private, enclosed garden for children to play in safely and if you fancy an evening out, Greystones offers plenty of charming pubs and seafood restaurants. Spend your days at the beach or take advantage of the frequent connections to Dublin and explore Ireland’s capital.

Lovers’ Lodge, Co. Kilkenny- Ref. 927006

Lovers’ Lodge is a pretty, detached cottage, just ten minutes’ walk from Kilkenny. The cottage is a haven for families with a sociable farmhouse-style kitchen where you can rustle up delicious home-made meals, an enclosed patio area for safe playing, as well as a park, children’s playground and games area across the road. Lovers’ Lodge also provides bikes for guests’ use, with plenty of scenic cycling routes nearby to try out. From here, you can easily wander into the historic Kilkenny with its vibrant array of restaurants, pubs and shops, as well as the famous Kilkenny Castle.

Seagaze, Co. Cork- Ref. 927782

This dog friendly cottage is just a stone’s throw from the beach so expect a holiday with lots of days at the seaside and refreshing walks along the coast. Seagaze itself is spacious with a large garden, giving you all the space you’d want from a holiday home. It’s in a fantastic location near the beach, whilst the seaside resort of Youghal is also less than five miles away- here you can stroll along the promenade, take a boat ride or settle down in a traditional tavern to listen to some live Irish music.

Book a holiday cottage in Ireland

Browse our fantastic collection of holiday cottages in Ireland, with over 800 hand-picked properties for you to choose from. From Kerry to Donegal, we’ve cottages across the Emerald Isle and we’d be delighted to help find you the perfect cottage for your holiday.

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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.

Solo Travellers: Recipes For One

Sunday, November 15th, 2015
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Whether you’re holidaying alone or travelling for business, it can be hard to know what to cook for just one person in self-catering accommodation. To help you out, we’ve included below three quick and easy recipes which are all perfect for a solo meal. None of the recipes take longer than 20 minutes and they’re all super tasty- you need never stress about making a meal for one again!

Spicy Chicken Stir Fry with Peanuts

Time to make:  15 minutes  Recipe via:

Recipes for one person

Image via


  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • 1 chicken breast, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ jalepeño
  • 110g snow peas
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp roasted peanuts, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to season


  1. Heat oil over a medium temperature and fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes until browned.
  2. Add the garlic, peas, jalapeño and 2 tbsp water and cook for 3 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, stir in lime juice and peanuts.


Bean and red pepper burritos

Time to make: 13 minutes  Recipe via:


  • 1 flour tortilla
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • ¼ red pepper, chopped
  • ½ tsp garlic, chopped
  • 200g pinto beans
  • ½ jalepeño, chopped
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped


  1. Heat oven to 180C, wrap tortilla in tin foil and place in oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat oil over medium temperature. Add red pepper, onion, jalapeño and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add beans, stirring occasionally for a further 3 minutes.
  4. Add cream cheese and salt. Cook for 2 minutes then add coriander.
  5. Serve by spooning mixture down the centre of the tortilla and then roll up.


Salami and courgette flatbread

Time to make:  17 minutes  Recipe via:

Recipe for one person

Image via


  • 1 flatbread or Mediterranean wrap
  • 1 courgette, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp chilli and tomato pasta sauce
  • 2 slices of salami
  • 25g emmental cheese, grated


  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan and place griddle pan over high heat. In a bowl, toss courgette, olive oil, oregano and salt. Cook courgette slices on griddle for 2-3 minutes on each side or until tender.
  2. Place flatbread on a baking sheet and spread pasta sauce evenly. Scatter courgette, salami and cheese on top. Toppings can be changed to suit your preferences!
  3. Bake in oven for 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is crisp.
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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.

10 Cosy Cottages With Open Fires

Thursday, November 5th, 2015
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At this time of year, we all dream of having a roaring fire to cuddle up in front of. After a long day exploring the local town or roaming through the countryside, there’s nothing better than stoking up the fire and relaxing in its glow. For a cosy winter getaway this year, take a look at these stunning cottages with glorious open fires.

Oughtershaw Hall, Yorkshire Dales

See it here: Ref. 921374

For a grand getaway with family and friends, look no further than this splendid country estate in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with no fewer than three open fires!

The Lodge, Lake District

See it here: Ref 911747

The Lodge is the perfect romantic bolthole for a winter getaway. Just picture yourself snuggling up with your loved one in front of the warming woodburner with a glass of wine!

Wenning Bank, Yorkshire Dales

See it here: Ref 904721

Wenning Bank is a picturesque Grade II listed country house in the heart of Three Peaks Country; ideal for a small family or two couples looking for a rural retreat with a roaring fire.

Old Chapel, Devon

See it here: Ref. 919297

This spectacular chapel conversion is nestled near the North Devon coastline. With a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, wonderful sea views and ten acres of grounds, this holiday home is truly impressive.

Driftwood, Anglesey

See it here: Ref 4196

Just 150 yards from the beach, Driftwood is bright and airy with stripped pine floors, contemporary décor and a wonderful cosy woodburner.

Nethergill Farm Byre, Yorkshire Dales

See it here: Ref 22132

Head to Nethergill Farm Byre for a peaceful holiday away from the hustle and bustle. With a tranquil farm location and no phone signal, you’re sure to come home refreshed and rejuvenated.

Afallon, Gwynedd

See it here: Ref 926773

This lovely period town house, just a few minutes’ walk from Porthmadog harbour, is a shabby chic dream with beautiful original features and striking feature fireplaces.

San Therese, County Clare

See it here: Ref 4645

San Therese is a fantastic property for holidays with family or friends, enjoying breath-taking views out across the Clare coastline and just two miles from the famous Flaggy Shore.

Idlers Cottage, Somerset

See it here: Ref 3516

This charming romantic retreat is like something from a story book with its quaint décor and snug woodburner- spend the morning in bed watching the flames dance.

17 The Cliff, Cornwall

See it here: Ref 26244

Perched on the cliff above Mevagissey, this inviting cottage is located close to the South West Coast Path and just five minutes’ walk from the harbour with its shops, pubs and restaurants.

Rent a holiday cottage with a log fire

We’ve over 2,900 cottages with open fires for you to choose from so if you’re looking for a cosy cottage where you can relax in front of a roaring fire, please visit our website and take your pick!

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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.

Forget the tea round- only 1% of tea-loving Brits say colleagues make the best tea!

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
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Recently, we commissioned a YouGov survey into British tea drinking habits. It revealed that the majority of British people who like tea, think that they make the best cup of tea from a list of people including their colleagues.

In total, 2,026 British adults took part and only 1% of those who liked tea rated their colleagues as making the best cup of tea. So if you make tea rounds at work to boost your popularity or get ahead, you may as well hang up your teaspoon now!

Over half (59%) of all the participants who liked tea, said that they make the best cups of tea, with their partner coming in second (14%) and their mum third (9%) from a list.

Even marriage doesn’t much improve your chances, as only 25% of married people who liked tea said their partner made the best cup, whilst 60% still claimed their own tea making skills were the best. Clearly for the British, even committing yourself to someone for life doesn’t mean that you’ll admit they make a better cuppa than you do!

Cup of tea

Image by Leanne Dempsey

Interestingly, the percentages of people who think they make the best tea also rises with age (41% of 18-24s who liked tea claimed to make the best tea, in comparison to 68% of those aged 55+), suggesting that we perfect our technique over time and become more confident in our method the older we get.

Findings from the survey also showed that 84% of Brits said they liked tea, and a further 84% of those who liked tea said they drink at least one cup per day. The most popular way to take English Breakfast tea was white with milk and no sugar (48%).

You can find out more of our survey results, as well as some other titbits of information around the British love affair with the brew by taking a look at our tea based infographic.

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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.

Spotlight On: Dracula’s Whitby

Saturday, October 31st, 2015
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Happy Halloween from everyone at Sykes Cottages! As it’s Halloween, we thought we’d take the opportunity to celebrate Whitby, where Bram Stoker was inspired to write Dracula. Bram stayed here in 1890 whilst trying to decide if it was a good place to bring his family for a holiday. However, he became particularly taken with the Gothic charm of the town and was moved to write what has become one of most well-known Gothic novels in the world. So today, we’re looking at some of the best Dracula-related attractions you can visit in this picturesque Yorkshire town.

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey, in all its Gothic grandeur, was instrumental in helping inspire Stoker to write Dracula. He loved the atmosphere that the imposing, ruined abbey created, perched on top of the hill overlooking the town. Though the abbey is in ruins, it’s still enchantingly beautiful and you can still visit it today. Take the 199 steps up from the town (the same steps that the shadowy animal ran up in Dracula, after it came ashore from the deserted ship) and soak up the same majestic landscape that inspired one of the best Gothic novels of all time.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula Experience

This family-friendly tour is a lovely way to spend an afternoon in Whitby. Bram Stoker’s Dracula Experience tells the tale of Dracula and his connections to Whitby. Using special effects, live actors and animated scenes, this tour is guaranteed to send a chill down your spine and at just £9.00 for a family of four, you can’t go wrong. If you really feel like scaring yourself, why not book yourself onto one of their Paranormal Investigations Nights which are available on the first Saturday of each month. The building in which the experience is located is often said to be haunted, with a rich and eclectic history dating back hundreds of years- even the staff are said to have witnesses bizarre goings on. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

In Search of Dracula Walk

To learn even more about how Whitby inspired Stoker to write Dracula, try the In Search of Dracula walk. Run by ‘The Man in Black’, Harry Collett, these tours come well recommended on TripAdvisor where they’re described as creepy, entertaining and informative. Harry will guide you through the back streets of Whitby, telling stories of the local folklore and myths that inspired Stoker to write his masterpiece, and walking you through the streets that Dracula stalked in the novel.

To browse our full collection of cottages in Whitby, please visit our website! Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway with your loved one or a fun-filled family holiday on the Yorkshire coast, we’ve holiday homes to suit everyone.

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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.