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Off the Beaten Track: Destinations for Couples

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
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Deciding on a destination for a romantic getaway in summer can be hard. You want to go somewhere pretty and where there’s a lot to do, but you also want to pick somewhere where you’re not surrounded by tourists so that you can fully enjoy each other’s company. Here at Sykes Cottages, we’ve come up with some ideas for off the beaten track destinations in the UK, which are perfect for lovebirds who want to spend some quality time together away from the usual tourist hotspots.

Exmoor National Park

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Exmoor National Park, on the West-Somerset/Dorset border, is one of the lesser-visited National Parks in the UK but is nevertheless, one of the most beautiful. This peaceful part of the country is ideal for couples who want to take advantage of the warm temperatures and stunning coastline of the South-West of England without the crowded beaches of the usual tourist hotspots. The romantic heather-covered moorlands, shaded wooded valleys, plunging cliffs and secluded beaches of Exmoor are truly special and recently, Exmoor has been named the first International Dark Sky Reserve in Europe. The park is home to some of the darkest skies in the country, making it the perfect place to gaze at the stars.

Llyn Peninsula

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

For an off the beaten track holiday in Wales, take a look at the Llyn Peninsula in the North-West corner of the country. Although still a popular tourist destination, this picturesque peninsula remains unspoilt and is considered less ‘touristy’ than other areas; around a quarter of the peninsula is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Couples can stroll along the beaches of the laid-back coastal towns with clear blue waters, experience the delights of the charming fishing villages and visit the ancient pilgrimage site of Bardsey Island, which also includes the chance to spot dolphins and grey seals in the surrounding waters.

Eden Valley

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Nestled in between the tourist hotspots of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, the stunning Eden Valley is often overlooked and has long been regarded as one of Cumbria’s best kept secrets. The charming traditional villages and sprawling countryside encompass one of the UK’s most unspoilt landscapes. Couples should head to the ancient market town of Kirkby Stephen for a touch of history. This bustling town also has a station on the picturesque Settle to Carlisle railway line or if you’re so inclined, the areas surrounding the town are ideal for cycling and walking. The valley also offers a wide range of attractions for couples to visit, including historical houses, gardens, museums restaurants and pubs.

If you’re looking for a romantic holiday away from crowds of tourists, then why not let us help! We have a wonderful selection of romantic cottages across the UK and Ireland and a dedicated reservations team, who are on hand to help you 7 days a week, from 9.00am- 9.30pm. Get in touch today!

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 Our New Coastal Cottages

Monday, August 18th, 2014
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As summer gets into full swing, here at Sykes Cottages, we’re spending our days dreaming of lying on the beach in Cornwall, eating ice cream by the tonne on the North Yorkshire Coast and making sandcastles in Suffolk. To aid us in our British seaside daydreams, we’re taking a look at some of the fantastic new coastal cottages that have come on board with us recently; but we must warn you, it might make you want to grab your bucket and spade and book a holiday as soon as possible!

4 Croft House, Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Holiday cottage in Tenby

4 Croft House, Tenby, Ref. 913260

This delightful property in the South Wales seaside town of Tenby is just one minutes’ walk from the beach.  4 Croft House is a spacious self-catering apartment in a Georgian terrace, offering two bedrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows and WiFi. However, the real jewel in the crown of this property is the shared terraced garden located just across the road. This picturesque terrace is the perfect place to watch the sun go down and boasts one of the best views in the UK. The garden offers unrivalled views of Tenby Harbour, North Beach and Harbour Beach, which was recently voted the best beach in Europe.

Seashell Cottage, Amble-by-the-Sea, Northumberland

Holiday cottage in Amble-on-the-Sea

Seashell Cottage, Amble-by-the-Sea, Ref. 31213

Seashell Cottage is located in the picturesque fishing port of Amble, just 400 yards from the shore. This cute cottage has a quirky style and sleeps 4 people in 2 bedrooms. It boasts all the modern conveniences you could need as well as more traditional features such as an open fire and rear yard with alfresco dining area. The surrounding area is home to some wonderful beaches, restaurants and pubs where you can while away the hours on your Northumberland holiday.

The View of the Atlantic, Knightstown, County Kerry

Holiday cottage in Knightstown

The View Of The Atlantic, Knightstown, Ref. 912674

How about The View of the Atlantic for a holiday home with a view? The views from the balcony at this property look across the Atlantic towards Cahersiveen and are truly incredible. If you can tear yourself away from the balcony for long enough, then this duplex apartment is the perfect base for those who want to explore Valentia Island. The island is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Ireland and a real hidden gem with plenty of walking opportunities and the awe-inspiring Fogher Cliffs.

If you’d like to take a look at more of the latest editions to the Sykes Cottages portfolio then you can visit the new cottages page on our website; or visit our coastal cottages page to find more holiday cottages by the sea.

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 Breaks for August Bank Holiday

Saturday, August 16th, 2014
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Can we tempt you with a last minute getaway? We still have some lovely cottages with availability over the August Bank Holiday so if you’re in the mood for taking a break over the long weekend, we have just the ticket! Take a look at some of our available cottages below. To view the full list of August bank holiday cottages then please visit our website.

Robin’s Nest, Shropshire

Holiday cottage in Shropshire

Robin’s Nest, Ref. 24739

This charming first-floor apartment is located in a picturesque location at the foot of Wenlock Edge, on a large working farm in the Shropshire countryside. Robin’s Nest boasts a plethora of original features including exposed stone walls, beams and trusses. With the market town of Craven Arms close by, Robin’s Nest is ideally situated for a couple who want a getaway with plenty of character and things to do in the surrounding area. There are also plenty of walking trails on the doorstep and many National Trust properties close by.

The Log Cabin, Argyll and Bute

Holiday cottage in Scotland

The Log Cabin, Ref. 12682

If you want to take advantage of the long weekend to book a romantic break away with your loved one, take a look at The Log Cabin. This secluded lodge is nestled amongst stunning scenery, offering fantastic views across the surrounding countryside and mountains. Guests can take advantage of these views on the peaceful decked area where you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the views, making it a truly unique experience. This charming log cabin is the perfect romantic bolthole, where you’ll be able to relax and enjoy each other’s company. If you fancy venturing out, the bustling town of Oban is just a short drive away, along with the Oban Distillery and the Scottish Sea Life Centre.

Fairy Bank Cottage, Peak District

Holiday cottage in Peak District

Fairy Bank Cottage, Ref. 30062

For a summer getaway in the Peak District, Fairy Bank Cottage is the perfect place to lay your head. This delightful cottage is nestled in the High Peak village of Hayfield and boasts stunning views across the surrounding countryside and hills. Nearby, you’ll find traditional country pubs, walking routes such as Lantern Pike, as well as the start of the Pennine Trail and of course, the Peak District National Park. Fairy Bank Cottage sleeps 4 guests and is ideal for those looking for a last minute getaway in the countryside this August Bank Holiday.

Last Minute Short Breaks

Holiday cottage in Shropshire

Oakeley Mynd Lodge, Ref. 20308

From today, you can also take advantage of our last minute short break discount, with 35% off short breaks at selected cottages this bank holiday. These short breaks are bookable from one week before your arrival date so head over to our last minute cottages page and get booking!

If you are tempted to book a last minute holiday then please either give us an email or call us on 01244 356 695. Our reservations team are on hand 7 days a week, from 9am until 9.30pm and will be able to help you find your perfect cottage for your last minute bank holiday getaway.

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.

UK Food Festivals in August

Saturday, August 9th, 2014
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As a nation of food lovers, it’s no surprise that there are few things more appealing to us Brits than a food festival. Whether it’s a modest local event with a few stalls or a more extravagant affair with live kitchens and entertainment, a British food festival is a fantastic day out for young and old alike. To whet your appetite for the many food festivals taking place this summer, we’ve compiled a shortlist of our favourites.

Oxfordshire Chilli Festival, 16th August

Chillis at a food festival

Via Flickr

If you’re into spicy food then one food festival you don’t want to miss this summer is the Oxfordshire Chilli Festival. Located in the historic market town of Abingdon, this festival promises to be a fun and unique day out for all the family! Follow the Chilli Trail around this beautiful Oxfordshire town and discover stalls from the best chilli products on offer in the UK. There’s also set to be chilli cook-offs, and one for the brave- a chilli eating competition. For a food festival with a difference, the Oxfordshire Chilli Festival is sure to get your taste-buds tingling!

BBC Good Food Festival, 23rd- 25th August

Churros at a food festival

Via Flickr

This August bank holiday weekend, Hampton Court Palace is hosting the very first BBC Good Food Festival. This festival is sure to be a real treat for foodies, promising artisan produce and street food, along with family entertainment including cookery lessons for kids, chocolate kitchens and a maze! You can also watch some top chefs cooking live on the Summer Kitchen stage, with demonstrations from the likes of Gregg Wallace, Shelina Permalloo and Lisa Faulkner to name just a few. Throw in some live music and book signings for good measure, and visitors are sure to have a fantastic weekend.

Newlyn Fish Festival, 25th August

Fish food festival

Via Flickr

The annual Newlyn Fish Festival is taking place for the 25th time this August and promises to be a fabulous celebration of Cornish seafood. Newlyn is one of Cornwall’s oldest and most distinctive fishing ports and is the perfect place to explore the incredible seafood culture that Cornwall has to offer. The festival itself offers a great variety of things to keep you entertained including a fish auction, Great Cornish Fish Off, fish display and plenty of cooking demonstrations. In addition, there’s also live music and entry is free for children under 16!

If you’re heading to a food festival this summer and need somewhere to stay, then look no further than our wide range of holiday cottages across the UK and Ireland. We now have over 5,000 self catering cottages to choose from!

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.

Autumn Sale Now On!

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014
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The Sykes Cottages fantastic Autumn Sale has now begun! Save up to 20% on participating cottages for a holiday between 29th August and 25th October 2014! Autumn is a great time to take a holiday; the kids are back in school, the evenings are still light and the temperatures are still warm, so why not make the most of it?! Book your cottage in our Autumn Sale today for a great value holiday to remember! On today’s blog, we’re taking a look at some of the fabulous cottages participating in the sale and highlighting the savings you could make! Make sure you book your favourite cottage as soon as possible as our Autumn Sale is very popular and you don’t want someone else to get there first!

Mountain View, Lake District

Holiday cottage in Lake District

Mountain View, Lake District, Ref. 20672

This beautiful self-catering holiday home is situated in the heart of the picturesque village of Arnside, at the southernmost tip of the Lake District. Offering panoramic views over the estuary and Coniston Fells, Mountain View is the perfect retreat for a relaxing getaway with family or friends. From the apartment, you can easily reach the Lake District National Park and hot spots such as Windermere; or if you prefer to stay a little closer to home, the charming café culture of Arnside is more than enough to keep you occupied. Mountain View is offering a discount of 10% off the rental price for weeks between Friday 29th August to Friday 26th September 2014 and 20% off the rental price for weeks between Friday 26th September and Monday 27th October 2014.

Yate Cottage, Yorkshire Dales

Holiday cottage in Yorkshire

Yate Cottage, Yorkshire Dales, Ref. 913883

If you’re thinking of booking a romantic break with your loved one this autumn, then look no further than Yate Cottage in Oxenhope. This Grade II listed cottage is nestled in a stunning countryside location but still within 5 minutes’ walk of the nearest shop and pub. This characterful holiday cottage boasts plenty of original features and there are many scenic walks that you can embark on from your doorstep. Guests can also explore the spacious formal gardens belonging to the owners and roam their woodland, where you can often see red deer. Yate Cottage is also close to the historic town of Haworth, which was once home to the Brontë sisters and was where they wrote their most celebrated novels. This lovely cottage is offering a discount of 10% off the rental price for weeks between Saturday 27th September and Tuesday 28th October 2014.

Bay View, Devon

Holiday cottage in Devon

Bay View, Devon, Ref. 30926

Ensure that you make the most of the autumn sunshine and book a stay in this fabulous holiday cottage on the English Riviera. Sleeping 6, Bay View is a bright and airy holiday home that’s ideal for a family or group of friends looking to enjoy the delights of the south coast of Devon. Bay View has sea views from most of its rooms and a wide veranda which overlooks the coastline; perfect for relaxing with a glass of wine on a balmy autumn evening! This seaside cottage is offering 10% off the rental price for weeks between Saturday 30th August and Tuesday 28th October 2014.

To see the full selection of cottages taking part in our Autumn Sale, please visit our website. Alternatively, you can give our reservations specialists a call on 01244 356 695. They’re on hand 7 days a week from 9am until 9.30pm and will be only too happy to help you find your perfect cottage in this year’s Autumn Sale.

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.