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British Walking Festivals in 2015

Monday, April 13th, 2015
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Walking Festivals are a fantastic way to explore new areas, meet new people and enjoy being active in the outdoors. There are over 150 walking festivals taking place across Britain in 2015 so wherever you’re from and whenever you’re free, there’s probably an event or two that you can get involved in! We’ve found some of the best walking festivals still to take place this year to get you inspired:

Ride2Stride: The Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival

The Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival aims to celebrate the spectacular scenery of the Yorkshire Dales and Eden Valley through a week-long programme of walks, talks and music. The walks are led by experienced tour guides full of knowledge on the local area and when you get thirsty, the local pubs will welcome you in to enjoy a cold pint and some music. It’s a great way to experience the Settle-Carlisle railway line from a different perspective.

Event dates: 24th April- 4th May 2015

Website: www.skyware.co.uk/scwf

Scottish Borders Walking Festival

2015 marks the 21st Scottish Borders Walking Festival and this year, it’s being held in one of the Borders’ biggest towns, Galashiels. There are 28 walks taking place throughout the event that cater for all different ages and abilities. It’s not just about walking though as these festivals are a great place to meet new people- there are nearly always social events on offer and this festival is no different with concerts, ceilidhs and quiz nights.

Event dates: 6th- 12th September 2015

Website: www.borderswalking.com

Ironbridge Walking Festival

The tenth annual Ironbridge Walking Festival is being held this year in and around the World Heritage Site and it’s sure to be a fantastic event for all! What makes this festival special is the chance to learn more about the history of Ironbridge and the Industrial Revolution as you walk, making it perfect for history buffs. The walks are all free and are split into themed walks for families and young children, and long walks for more regular walkers.

Event dates: 1st- 10th May 2015

Website: www.visitironbridge.co.uk/walkingfestival

Boscastle Walking Festival

The picturesque harbour village of Boscastle is an idyllic setting for a walking festival with plenty to see and admire. The Walking Festival offers a little something for everyone with walks ranging from strolls along the spectacular Cornish coastline to rambles in the woods; for the more experienced walkers there are more challenging routes. Other activities planned include cream teas, barn dances and poetry readings.

Event dates: 18th- 25th April 2015

Website: www.boscastlefestival.co.uk

Isle of Anglesey Walking and Outdoor Festival

The Anglesey Walking Festival encourages participants to learn more about the stunning island of Anglesey with its quaint villages, pretty beaches and many myths and legends. As well as lots of fantastic walks taking in Anglesey’s scenery, other events taking place at the festival include challenge runs and bike rides, ‘bike and seek’, kayaking, dry stone walling and food foraging.

Event dates: 23rd May- 7th June 2015

Website: www.angleseywalkingfestival.com

If you’re heading to a walking festival that you think will be just as good then please do let us know- we’d love to hear from you! You can contact us either via our Twitter or Facebook page.

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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.

Sykes’ Spotlight on: Laugharne Weekend

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015
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If you fancy doing something a little different at the end of this week, then Laugharne Weekend is definitely worth looking into. This arts festival is held in the pretty Welsh town of Laugharne every spring and offers a fantastic mix of musicians, authors and comedians.

Laugharne Weekend

What makes Laugharne Weekend really special is the eccentricity of Laugharne itself. This West Wales town embodies all that is wonderful about Welsh creativity and helps bring together extraordinary talent from all over the world to celebrate the arts. Deliberately small-scale, Laugharne Weekend maintains an intimacy and quirkiness that eludes many other famous arts events, making a point to include the locality. Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, who lived in Laugharne and who is a key inspiration for the festival, affectionately described the town as “timeless, beautiful, barmy”. Indeed, Laugharne has barely changed since he lived there and it is often said that if he were ever to return, he would recognise it immediately.

Laugharne Weekend Event Information

Dates:  10th- 12th April 2015

Website: www.thelaugharneweekend.com

Prices: Weekend tickets cost £75.00 or you can buy single event tickets here

Line-up includes: Omid Djalili, Meic Stevens, Jenny Colgan, Eddie Butler, Topper Headon and Terry Williams

Cottage accommodation available for Laugharne Weekend

If you are planning on heading to Laugharne Weekend and you need accommodation, we do have some lovely holiday cottages close to Laugharne still available. See below for more details!

Meadow View

Holiday cottage in Laugharne

Meadow View, Laugharne, Ref. 4088

Pretty holiday cottage on the owner’s smallholding where you can be at one with nature and get up close to the many animals kept on the farm, including owls, ducks, horses, cows and geese. Meadow View is perfect for a family holiday and children will love the access to the cottage’s large meadow area with swings and slides for them to play on!

Dylan’s Court

Holiday cottage in Laugharne

Dylan’s Court, Laugharne, Ref. 4135

Dylan’s Court is a spacious, modern holiday home located just 2 miles from the Laugharne Weekend site. There are plenty of lovely walks from the doorstep of this cottage, where you can enjoy spectacular views of both the countryside and coast. The beautiful 7-mile stretch of sandy beach at Pendine is also close by.

Barn Cottage

Holiday cottage in Laugharne

Barn Cottage, Laugharne, Ref. 4184

If you’re looking for accommodation for Laugharne Weekend then Barn Cottage is a brilliant choice. Situated just a short drive from Laugharne, this bright and airy cottage also boasts plenty of great facilities including a storage unit for bikes and a games room with pool table and darts.

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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.

5 of the best Easter events for families

Friday, April 3rd, 2015
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Here at Sykes Cottages, we’ve scoured all the events taking place over Easter weekend and come up with five fun-filled days out that the whole family will enjoy. From Easter egg hunts to pirate treasure trails, these family events will help you to invest in some real quality time with your family this Easter.

English Heritage Adventure Quest

English Heritage are piling on the fun this Easter with their adventure quests located at historical places all across the country. Children will need to crack clues with the help of historical characters from the past in order to complete the quest and receive their chocolate reward! Prices and locations can be found at the English Heritage website: english-heritage.co.uk.

National Trust Cadbury Easter Egg Trails

For the eighth year in a row, the National Trust and National Trust Scotland have partnered with Cadbury to give families the ultimate Easter day out. Across the UK, there are over 300 locations hosting adventure Easter egg trails. Children will receive a Trail Journal with plenty of clues to help them on their way and on completing the trail, they’ll receive a Cadbury’s Egghead as a reward. You can see more information on the National Trust website here or to find the nearest trail to you, visit eastereggtrail.com

Easter Bonnet Parade at Claremont Landscape Garden

A traditional Easter Bonnet Parade at Surrey’s Claremont Landscape Garden is being held on Saturday 4th April from 3pm. Put on your best bonnet and head down to the garden for a fun afternoon; there are even prizes for the best entries! Normal admission charges apply- £7.25 for adults and £3.60 for children. For more information see nationaltrust.org.uk.

Chester Food and Drink Festival

One Easter event that many of us here at Sykes HQ are planning to indulge in this weekend is the Chester Food and Drink Festival. Taking place from 4th-6th April at Chester Racecourse, the Food and Drink Festival promises to be a fun event for all the family. As well as delicious foodie exhibitors, there are demonstrations from top chefs including Gregg Wallace and free kids’ cooking workshops! On the door prices are charged at £8 for adults and children 12 go free. For more information see chesterfoodanddrink.co.uk.

Pirate’s Quest Easter Treasure Trail

Kids are bound to love this swash-buckling visitor attraction in Newquay where you can travel back in time to eighteenth century Cornwall. Using real actors, intricate sets and incredible special effects, visitors can experience the Golden Age of Piracy in an hour-long tour packed full of legends, adventure and story-telling. This Easter, you can also take part in their Easter Treasure Trail- pick up a treasure map on your way in and follow the clues to help find your prize! Prices are £9.95 for adults, £6.95 for children and those under 3 go free! For more information see piratesquest.co.uk.

Will you be attending any of these events over the Easter holidays? Let us know how much fun you had via our Facebook or Twitter- we always love to hear about our customers’ days out and holidays!

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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.

Britain’s Best Safari Parks

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
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One of the best things about the arrival of spring is that there are so many opportunities for fun days out! If you’re looking for ideas for family days out this Easter then a safari park is a brilliant option. The kids will love seeing all the animals up close, especially if you can bring yourself to drive through the monkey enclosure- this was always my favourite part as a child! To help you out, we’ve done a bit of research and come up with three of the best safari parks in the UK to visit this Easter:

Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside

If you’re after a bargain this Easter then the fantastic Knowsley Safari Park in Prescot, Merseyside is offering 20% off tickets when you book online! Voted the UK’s number one safari park on TripAdvisor, Knowsley has over 700 exotic animals including all the usual favourites and some more unusual, including Iberian wolves, Californian sea lions and white rhinos. There’s no need to stay in the car all day either as the park offers a walkabout area where you can take a stroll through Bat Forest, take part in the High Ropes Challenge and watch a birds of prey display!

Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire

Longleat was the first safari park of its kind outside Africa and at the time, was considered ground-breaking for the way in which it let its animals roam free. Today, it’s one of the biggest family-friendly attractions in the UK, spanning over 9,000 acres and boasting over 500 animals. With animals including gorillas, lions, elephants, cheetahs and tigers, you’re in for a fantastic experience when you visit Longleat. Aside from the safari there are also plenty of other fun-filled attractions to keep the whole family entertained; get lost in the incredible hedge maze, get wet at Splashpad and journey into the world of Postman Pat at Postman Pat Village!

Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park, Stirling

Did you know that Blair Drummond is the only place in Scotland where you can see elephants and giraffes? As well as these two African giants, this family-friendly safari park offers a fantastic array of other animals for visitors to get up close to in their cars, including rhinos, tigers, chimpanzees and penguins. There’s also an optional monkey drive through for those who aren’t too precious about their car! After driving through the animal reserves, families can park up and take part in other activities including feeding animals at the petting zoo, watching demonstrations from keepers, taking a boat safari out to Chimp Island and enjoying the rides at the funfair.

Where’s your favourite safari park? We’d love to have your input so please let us know via our Facebook or Twitter page if there are any incredible safari parks that you think we’ve missed out!

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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.

There’s a heatwave forecast for Easter weekend!

Monday, March 23rd, 2015
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Great news for anyone planning an Easter getaway this year: we’ve been forecast an Easter heatwave! According to some forecasters, we’re in for one of the warmest Easters ever, with some even predicting temperatures to tip the 26C mark. So dust off your barbeques as fingers crossed, the four day weekend is going to be perfect BBQ weather! If the promise of some sunshine is enough to tempt you into booking a last-minute Easter break, here are the top 3 best places to book a getaway where you’ll be best placed to enjoy the heatwave!

Isle of Wight

Well-known for being one of the warmest and sunniest places in the UK, the Isle of Wight is a good bet if you want to soak up the sun this Easter. The south of the island in particular sees the best weather, with the picturesque seaside village of Shanklin seeing over 2,018.7 hours of sunshine in 2012 – significantly more than the UK average of 1492.7! Much of the southern areas of the island even have their own microclimate with milder temperatures, more sunshine hours and sub-tropical vegetation.

Kent

The south coast of England will always come up on lists of the warmest places in the UK but we’re looking specifically at Kent, which is the current record holder for the hottest temperature ever recorded in Britain. Brogdale, near Faversham, holds the record at a staggering 38.5C on 10th August 2003. To put this in perspective, the average August temperature in Spain is 25C! This part of the country consistently registers some of the highest British temperatures throughout the year and so if we’re in for a heatwave, Kent is a good place to make the most of it!

Cornwall

Statistically, Cornwall has the mildest climate in the UK as a result of the Gulf Stream bringing with it warm, moist air from the Caribbean. The average annual temperature here ranges from 11.6C to 9.8C, so when the rest of the country is shivering, Cornwall is still usually quite mild, making it the perfect place to visit on a break to take advantage of a heatwave. Cornwall is sure to be just that little bit hotter than the rest of the country!

We still have some lovely holiday cottages available over Easter if you’re looking for accommodation for your getaway; you can see the full list of available cottages on our website. In the meantime, we’re keeping everything crossed that this wonderful heatwave comes into fruition!

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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.