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Last Minute Cottages for October Half Term

Sunday, October 16th, 2016
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Still not made plans for October half term yet? Luckily for you, Sykes Cottages still has some beautiful properties available across the UK and Ireland that are just perfect for a family getaway during the school holidays. Take a look below at a few handpicked cottages still available over October half term.

Hayloft Cottage, Cumbria

Holiday cottage in Yorkshire

This peaceful cottage is located on a family-run farm in the Cumbrian countryside. Hayloft Cottage has been carefully created from an old farm building, retaining its character; the upside down style of the accommodation takes full advantage of the lovely views of the surrounding countryside. The property enjoys shared use of all the lawned and terraced areas on the farm which includes a fantastic children’s play area. The real pull for families is that the owners offer guided tours around the farm and are full of fascinating stories about what it’s like to be a farmer in the countryside.

The Dovecote, North Wales

Holiday cottage in Wales

The Dovecote is a pretty first floor apartment in the charming harbour village of Abersoch. Set in a Grade II listed house surrounded by -tropical Italianate gardens, this spacious holiday home also offers panoramic sea views. Abersoch’s harbour, shops and restaurants are just a short stroll away and the property benefits from private access to the beach- it may not be sunbathing weather but beaches in autumn are beautiful places to walk and play family games of football. Other brilliant half term activities nearby include the The Children’s Farm Park, Criccieth Castle and Llanfair Slate Caverns.

44 Lower Lake, Sussex

Holiday cottage in Sussex

For a historical half term holiday, why not pay a visit to 44 Lower Lake. This traditional, Grade II listed 17 century cottage is located in the medieval town of Battle, where the Battle of Hastings took place. This quaint town with its cobbled streets and narrow alleys is bursting with history. Visit Battle Abbey, indulge an a high tea at Mrs Burton’s or step back in time and explore mysterious tunnels and caves at Smugglers Adventure. The property itself is charming with a cosy woodburning stove, beamed ceilings and plenty of space for a family to spread out in.

To see our full range of holiday cottages for October half term, you can visit our website or give our expert reservations team a call. They’re on hand to help seven days a week from 9am until 8pm and will be more than happy to help you find the right property for your family 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.

Introducing: The West Bay Club & Spa, Isle of Wight

Friday, October 7th, 2016
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Sykes Cottages is delighted to introduce you to The West Bay Club & Spa on the beautiful Isle of Wight. As of today, you will now be able to book their stunning holiday homes through the Sykes Cottages website.

The West Bay Club & Spa provides family friendly self-catering accommodation set within 15 acres of landscaped grounds, just outside the picturesque village of Yarmouth. As soon as you set foot in these picture-perfect surroundings, you’ll feel your mind clear and your body unwind as you embark on your exploration of Island life.

Designed with comfort and relaxation in mind

Sleeping between two and nine guests, their New England-style houses have been designed with comfort and relaxation in mind. The West Bay Club & Spa is the perfect place from which to discover all that the exquisite Isle of Wight has to offer, whether you’re looking for a weekend escape from the city or a family holiday by the sea.

West Bay holiday homes

Something to suit everyone

Guests will enjoy access to the indulgent Island Wellness Spa which offers natural and holistic therapies to help you feel relaxed, rested and restored. You can also make the most of the Club with its 20 metre swimming pool, top-of-the-range gym and fitness suite, tennis coaching and over 60 studio classes.

Families will love the bespoke activity programme on offer for children, as well as the on-site play area and splash pool, which ensures that there’s something to suit even the youngest members of your party. Membership to The Club, its facilities and many of the activities at West Bay are included in the price of your stay as is the ferry transfer, making a holiday to The West Bay Club & Spa as carefree as possible.

Family on walking route

Explore the spectacular Isle of Wight

The Island itself is full of history and has over 50 miles of spectacular unspoilt coastline with more Blue Flag beaches than any other destination in England. Though it’s famous for its traditional seaside towns, you’ll also find sprawling sandy shorelines, rugged cliffs and hidden coves just waiting to be explored. For the more adventurous, the Isle of Wight is also a brilliant choice for an action-packed holiday. Whether you fancy sailing, cycling or surfing, there’s something for everyone and there are plenty of scenic walking opportunities that the whole family can get involved in.

To book your holiday at The West Bay Club & Spa, please visit our website where you’ll find a wide variety of properties to choose from. If you need help finding the perfect property for your getaway then you can give us a call on 01244356695 and our friendly reservations experts will be able to advise on the right property for you. Our phone lines are open seven days a week from 9am until 8pm.

Isle of Wight

Sykes Cottages staff recommendations

Some of the Sykes Cottages team recently had the opportunity to visit The West Bay Club & Spa where they stayed for two nights, trying their hand at the activities on offer and being pampered at the Island Wellness Spa. Here are just a few testimonials from our team about their stay:

“I thought The West Bay Club & Spa was a serene, relaxing and friendly place. The grounds and facilities were extremely well-kept and the staff were incredibly welcoming and helpful- nothing was too much trouble for them. I loved the spa, it was beautifully designed and the treatments on offer were really unique, I chose the Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage which was amazing! ”- Alice Barnett, Revenue Management Team

What struck me most was the chilled out atmosphere. It’s such a relaxing haven and the ferry crossing was quick and simple. My tennis lesson was with an enthusiastic and friendly coach who improved my game immensely”- Max Bailey, Key Account Manager

I had a wonderful time at West Bay. I found the staff to be warm and attentive and I would recommend this to family and friends in a shot”- Leanne Cotton, Reservations Agent

“What a welcoming place. Love an active holiday. Love being pampered. Love food. Just a few reasons why I enjoyed, and would happily recommend The West Bay Club to my closest friends. But experiences aside, what really made West Bay for me was the wonderful staff who were genuinely friendly. I look forward to heading back to the beautiful Isle of Wight, with a group of friends and road bikes in tow”- Laura Champion, CRM Marketing Manager

Sykes staff on Isle of Wight

Sykes staff on their visit to The West Bay Club & Spa


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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.

Walk of the Month: Tom Gill to Tarn Hows

Sunday, September 18th, 2016
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For September’s edition of Walk of the Month, we’re heading to the mesmerising landscape of the Lake District to one of the most-visited beauty spots in the area, Tarn Hows. Many holidaymakers drive to Tarn Hows but if you’re a seasoned walker and fancy a bit of a challenge, this route will reward you with spectacular scenery and views across Wetherlam and Coniston Old Man too.

The walk:

This dog-friendly 1.6 mile route will take around an hour to complete. Although don’t be fooled by the short length of time it takes- this route is demanding with steep terrain, some uneven paths and rock scrambling required. It is not suitable for those with limited mobility or novice fell-walkers but it is well worth the challenge for the more experienced.

The route:

The route begins at the car park at Tom Gill, Mary Glen Bridge. From here, head past the ticket machine and cross the wooden bridge. Go through the gate and follow the narrow path alongside the gill. Here, the path climbs up a rocky section before crossing the gill-side with the beck below. The Tom Gill waterfall is best viewed from the path as it ascends on the left-hand side.

Stay on the left-hand side of the gill, passing a gate and following the path. Make sure you take due care on the rocky sections as you approach Tarn Hows. Then take a right on the main track through the gates.

As you reach this majestic lake, stop in front of the bench at the three-way junction and take the path on the far left along the edge of the tarn. Follow the path as it ascends uphill and past some trees on your left. When you reach a T junction, head right continuing uphill towards the road. Follow the path alongside the road, bearing left until you reach the junction with the road, opposite the car park.

Here, turn right and head along the road towards Coniston, passing a cattle grid. Follow this round for a quarter of a mile as it winds its way down, offering stunning views across Yewdale. At the junction, take the track on the right through the gates marked ‘Tarn Hows Cottage’. With the wall on your left and the views on your right, continue to follow the track towards the cottage.

As the track bends to the right, go through the gate past the front of the cottage and out through another gate into the fields. Turn left and follow the wall downhill. At the end of the wall, go through the small gate and continue down the slope keeping the hedge to your right. You’ll then need to go through another small gate in the hedgerow and turn left downhill.

Once you’ve reached the bottom of the hill, turn right along the edge of the field with Yew Tree Farm (which was used in the film, Miss Potter) on the opposite side of the road. Head out of the field, through the gate and over the wooden bridge back into the car park.

To view the full route map, please click here.

Book a holiday cottage in the Lake District

If you’re planning your own trip to Tarn Hows, make sure you take a look at our handpicked collection of holiday cottages in the Lake District. We’ve over 850 cottages to choose from and we’d be delighted to help you find the perfect property 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.

Last Minute Cottages for August Bank Holiday

Sunday, August 21st, 2016
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If you’ve no plans for the August bank holiday yet, have you considered booking a last minute getaway? We still have some fantastic holiday cottages available over the bank holiday weekend that would be the perfect places to make the most of your time off. Take a look at some of our available properties below:

Fell View Stables Cottage, Yorkshire Dales

Holiday cottage in Yorkshire

This pretty upside-down cottage, renovated from old farm buildings, is nestled in the beautiful old village of East Witton in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Fell View Stables Cottage sleeps up to for guests, making it perfect for two couples or a small family to enjoy the bank holiday in. There are plenty of scenic walks from the doorstep and an award-winning gastro pub serving real ales and good food is just two minutes’ walk from the property.

Elephant House, Scottish Highlands

Holiday cottage in Scotland

Elephant House is an architect-designed property built using locally-sourced and sustainable materials. This lovely cottage is bright and spacious with beautiful woodland views from many of the windows. The surrounding land has its own wildlife pond and a fantastic converted bus which acts as a wonderfully quirky summerhouse. The property owners provide a daily supply of fresh produce including homemade bread and freshly-laid eggs meaning that you can spend a relaxing weekend holed up here with your loved one, without even having to leave the house!

Hook Norton Barn, Oxfordshire

Holiday cottage in Oxfordshire

This idyllic barn conversion will make for a wonderful romantic retreat this bank holiday. Close to the picturesque village of Hook Norton with its thatched cottages, historic buildings and real ale brewery, Hook Norton Barn is a luxury bolthole for those looking for a countryside break. The property itself has plenty of stunning original features such as beams, exposed stone walls and a fascinating glass-covered well in the floor of the living area. The Cotswolds are on your doorstep and the striking city of Oxford is just 25 miles away.

To view all of our self catering cottages available for the August bank holiday weekend, please visit our website. Alternatively, you can give our expert holiday advisors a call on 01244 356695 and they’ll help you find the perfect property to spend your bank holiday in.

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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.

Discover: BFG UK Filming Locations

Sunday, July 24th, 2016
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2016 marks 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl, one of the greatest storytellers Britain has ever seen. There are events happening across the world this year to celebrate and one of the biggest celebrations is Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of one of Dahl’s most famous stories, The BFG, which was released earlier this week. The BFG tells the story of a Big Friendly Giant who is different to all the other human-eating giants. He lives in Giant Country and captures dreams in bottles for children to enjoy while they’re asleep. Roald Dahl revealed in several interviews before he died that the BFG was one of his favourite stories that he’d written.

Filmed in Scotland, Spielberg’s adaptation brings the magic of Giant Country to life using spectacular locations across the country. If you want to experience Giant Country for yourself, then here’s where you need to head:

The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye

One of the most iconic features of the Isle of Skye, the Old Man of Storr has its own place in giant mythology, making it the perfect location to portray Giant Country. Legend has it that the Isle of Skye was once overrun by giants, of which the Old Man of Storr was one. When he died, he is said to have been buried with his finger sticking out of the ground pointing at the sky.

The Quiraing, Isle of Skye

Located on the Trotternish peninsula, the Quiraing is arguably one of the most striking landscapes in Scotland. It also plays host to its own mythology and folklore as it’s said to be a meeting place for fairies, as well as once being home to the dragons that used to guard the island from invaders.

Shiant Islands, Outer Hebrides

Also known as the Enchanted Isles, the Shiant Islands are well known for being one of the biggest bird stations in the northern hemisphere. These remote and rugged isles are something of a hidden gem and well worth the trip. However take care, in the nineteenth century, the strait next to the Shiant Isles was said to be inhabited by strange creatures and was referred to as ‘the stream of the Blue Men’.

Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye

With no road signs to direct visitors here, this part of the Isle of Skye isn’t particularly well known. This unspoilt landscape is strikingly different to others surrounding it with lush emerald mounds, twisted moss-coloured trees and cool, clear waters. It’s a truly stunning place to visit.

Old Man of Hoy, Orkney Islands

The Old Man of Hoy is one of Orkney’s most famous landmarks. This 449 foot sea stack is one of the tallest in Britain although at a few hundred years old, it’s possible that this stack may collapse relatively soon so make sure you visit before it does!

If you’re thinking of visiting these filming locations, don’t forget to take a look at our wide range of holiday cottages in Scotland. We’ve over 750 cottages across this beautiful country that make perfect bases for exploring.

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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.