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Why the Lake District is the Perfect Place for Solo Travel

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015
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Whilst many people chose to travel in groups with friends or family, there are still a large number of us that prefer our own company and the peace and quiet that comes with solo travel. With that being said, we have decided to focus today’s blog post on solo travel, and where better in the UK to do some solitary exploring than the Lake District. Why the Lake District I hear you ask, well along with the obvious natural beauty of the region, the Lakes have quite a lot to offer single travellers. Keep reading to find out more and to discover why we think the Lake District is the ideal place for solo travels.

It’s oh so quiet

As England’s largest National Park, the Lake District covers 2,292 square kilometres of land and pretty much guarantees you a quiet spot to relax in. With green fields stretching as far as the eye can see, towering mountain ranges and miles of still lake water, the area just oozes tranquillity and on a crisp summer morning there is nothing better than an alfresco breakfast with only bird song to disturb the otherwise silent atmosphere.

There’s a welcoming atmosphere

Although holidaying alone, it doesn’t mean you have to be reclusive; in fact many solo travellers make lifelong friends with people they encounter on their journeys and enjoy meeting new people from all walks of life. The Lake District’s friendly atmosphere makes it the perfect place to meet new people, with friendly locals offering great advice on places to see and things to do; you never know they may even point you in the direction of a hidden gem away from the normal tourist routes!

Plenty of wildlife

When exploring as part of a group, sometimes the noise of the party can scare away local wildlife. You are far more likely to see animals in their natural habitats if you’re travelling alone. The Lake District is home to a vast array of wildlife from birds to small mammals, in fact it’s one of the few places in the UK where you can see red squirrels. The next time you visit, head out on a solo woodland walk and you’ll soon find yourself with a selection of wildlife photography to share with the people back home.

A variety of events

There is always something going on in the Lake District, from guided walks to food festivals you’re sure to find an event or two to fill up your days. Whether you’re a foodie or an exercise fanatic, you’re sure to find a like-minded soul in the Lake District. If you’re looking for a good all-rounder event, then our choice is the Cartmel Show; this traditional country show features carriage driving, a dog show, food hall and much more.

We hope this post has convinced you that the Lake District is the ideal place for solo travellers. If so, then be sure to check out our selection of Lake District holiday cottages, perfect for relaxing and making the most of that quality ‘me time’ we all crave.

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nicole.westley

By Nicole Westley

As a food lover Nicole can often be found in the kitchen, covered in flour and experimenting with new tastes! When not making a mess she loves to explore her Celtic roots by roaming the Scottish countryside or exploring the bays along the Anglesey coast with her fiancé.

Britain’s Best Motorcycle Routes

Saturday, April 11th, 2015
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Now that the weather is finally looking up, we’ve started to notice an increased number of motorcyclists out on the road- speeding past our cars and showing us how to get from A to B in style! But where is it these bikers go to make the most of the elusive summer sunshine? Here at Sykes Cottages, we’ve discovered the secret and we’re going to share it with you. So whether you’re new to motorcycling or you’re an experienced biker, keep reading as we list some of the best roads in Britain.

A82, Loch Lomond to Loch Ness

Scotland

As the second longest A-road in Scotland, the A82 provides 140 miles of breath taking scenery, large stretches of strait road and numerous bends and turns to keep you amused. We highly recommend that you have a camera handy on this drive as you’ll be passing no less than 10 lochs as well as the iconic Ben Nevis!

Cat and Fiddle Run

England

Care definitely needs to be taken on this road but just one trip down Cat and Fiddle will see you returning for more. The road consists of a number of tight corners and turns and of course glorious Peak District scenery making it a dream for experienced bikers. If you’re new to motorcycling then take things a little slower, we promise it will still be just as good!

Bwlch y Groes – Pass of the Cross

Wales

Bwlch y Groes is a minor road that runs from the village of Llanuwchllyn to Lake Vyrnwy but at 1,800 feet above sea level this is the highest pass in Wales! The views from this road have not to be missed and although the road dates back to medieval times you are now guaranteed a smooth tarmacked ride.

These are just three of the many fantastic motorbike routes in the UK, if you know of a great route that hasn’t been mentioned then please feel free to share it with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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nicole.westley

By Nicole Westley

As a food lover Nicole can often be found in the kitchen, covered in flour and experimenting with new tastes! When not making a mess she loves to explore her Celtic roots by roaming the Scottish countryside or exploring the bays along the Anglesey coast with her fiancé.

Sykes’ Spotlight on Yurts

Monday, April 6th, 2015
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If you’re looking for a holiday let that offers a little something different but is still luxurious and romantic, then we have just the thing: yurts! Here at Sykes Cottages, we have a stylish selection of yurts, which year after year prove to be extremely popular with customers and it’s not very hard to see why!

The Rowan Yurt | Ref: 917044

The Rowan Yurt | Ref: 917044

With comfortable furnishings, spectacular views and an array of facilities on offer, these yurts are ideal for a special occasion or romantic getaway. We’ve included some more information on three of our yurts below but for details and availability on all of our yurts, make sure to visit our UK Holiday Yurts Page.

The Lakeside Yurt

Beckford, Heart of England

The Lakeside Yurt - Ref 6017

The Lakeside Yurt | Ref: 6017

Along with Island Yurt and Lakeview Yurt, The Lakeside Yurt is located on the shores of a picturesque fishing lake surrounded by the Gloucestershire countryside. Each yurt is completely private and comes with a fantastic outdoor area complete with BBQ and hot tub. Sleeping just two people, these yurts are prefect for couples looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life for a few days or a week.

The Roundhouse

Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Dorset and Somerset

The Roundhouse | Ref: 14576

The Roundhouse | Ref: 14576

Set on the grounds of a 40-acre organic farm, The Roundhouse offers guests a completely different holiday experience. Not only are there numerous walks from the doorstep and great cycle paths nearby but on a rainy day the yurt itself provides top quality accommodation. Within the yurt you will find a handmade four poster bed, roll-top bath, comfortable sitting area and dining area complete with chandelier!

The Rowan Yurt

Hepworth, Yorkshire Dales

The Rowan Yurt | Ref: 917044

The Rowan Yurt | Ref: 917044

The Rowan Yurt is ideally situated, close to both the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, making it the perfect spot for walking, sightseeing or even just a peaceful escape. Secluded without being isolated, this is our top pick for a romantic getaway as the yurt has been thoughtfully decorated to include a king-size double bed, wood burning stove and fabulous outdoor decked area featuring a BBQ and hot tub.

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nicole.westley

By Nicole Westley

As a food lover Nicole can often be found in the kitchen, covered in flour and experimenting with new tastes! When not making a mess she loves to explore her Celtic roots by roaming the Scottish countryside or exploring the bays along the Anglesey coast with her fiancé.

Britain’s Best Gardens

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
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The Easter weekend is finally here and with an impressive four days of sunshine to fill, we’ve decided it’s time for our first garden visit of the year. With numerous botanic gardens located throughout the UK, choosing one to visit has been rather difficult but we’ve managed to narrow the search down to four outstanding attractions. Keep reading to discover which gardens have made it onto our list of Britain’s best gardens and see if you can help us decided which garden is best for our Easter visit.

National Botanic Gardens of Wales

As the most visited gardens in Wales, it is no wonder that this spectacular garden has made it to the top of our list. Opened in May 2000, the National Botanic Gardens of Wales takes up 568 acres of Carmarthenshire countryside and was the first botanic garden to be created in the new millennium. The gardens are now home to over 8,000 plant varieties with the staff working hard to conserve and protect some of the world’s rarest plants.

Ness Botanic Gardens

Situated on the Wirral Peninsula and boasting spectacular views over the Dee Estuary, visitors to Ness Botanic Gardens are rewarded with 64 acres of beautiful gardens to explore. Ness is known for its 120 metre herbaceous border, stunning wisteria tunnel and award-winning show gardens, making it the ideal stop for an Easter picnic or a light lunch in The Garden Kitchen. If you’d rather have a guided tour of the garden then don’t worry as staff provide regular walks to see the garden’s seasonal delights!

Cambridge University Botanic Gardens

With a collection of over 8,000 plants gathered from all over the world the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens is a horticulturist’s dream. As well as providing a peaceful space for visitors to relax in, the gardens pride themselves on offering fantastic teaching and research opportunities. Both lectures and research workers flock to the gardens to make use of the staff’s horticultural expertise and study the plant materials on offer.

Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh | by Nicole

Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh | by Nicole Westley

With a rich history dating back to the 17th century, the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh have made their home in Scotland’s capital, offering visitors a green oasis in the heart of the city. Renowned for their plant science and education, the garden offers a number of daily tours specialising in seasonal plants. The garden also has numerous glasshouses on site which are used to create the tropical climate that over 80% of the world’s flora requires to grow.

And there you have it, our choice of Britain’s best gardens. Which is your favourite garden to visit? Get in touch with us via Twitter or Facebook and let us know!

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nicole.westley

By Nicole Westley

As a food lover Nicole can often be found in the kitchen, covered in flour and experimenting with new tastes! When not making a mess she loves to explore her Celtic roots by roaming the Scottish countryside or exploring the bays along the Anglesey coast with her fiancé.

10 Ways to Make Your Cottage Walker Friendly

Thursday, March 26th, 2015
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Whether you’re an experienced rambler or just enjoy a casual stroll, we all know one of the best ways to see the UK is by foot; climbing the hills for aerial views of the countryside or hiking one of the many coastal paths for spectacular seaside scenery. With so much of Britain to explore, it’s no wonder one of our top requests here at Sykes Cottages is for walking holidays.

If you think your holiday home would make a welcome heaven for tired boots then why not advertise as walker friendly? To make sure you’re providing everything a walker requires from their holiday, keep reading as we suggest ten things you can supply to make your cottage more walker friendly.

1. Outdoor hose. Every seasoned walker knows it’s important to keep your boots clean as mud and dirt can be surprisingly abrasive. By installing an outdoor hose, guests can wash down their boots after every outing.

2. Boot scraper and/or brush. Whether you’re able to supply an outdoor hose or not, a good boot scraper and brush can go a long way in keeping your visitors’ walking boots clean.

3. Drying area. The British weather is never that reliable so after a long hike in the rain, walkers require a warm area where they can dry their cloths and boots – preferably somewhere that’s not too hot.

4. First aid kit. When stocking your first aid kit, make sure to consider any additional supplies a walker may need like Vaseline for chafing, tweezers for pulling out thorns and small sachets of Dioralyte for dehydration.

5. Local walking routes. Does your cottage offer fantastic walks from the doorstep? If so, make sure to leave a guide or map for your guests along with the routes difficulty level and timing.

6. Public transport information. When on a walking holiday, many people leave the car at home. Because of this, a list of local taxi providers and a bus time table can come in handy.

7. Local information. Chances are your guests are new to the area, so details on local eateries, pubs, tourist information centres and attractions will help them get a feel for the area and what’s available.

8. Emergency contacts. If your guests become ill or get injured, they’ll need to know who to contact. We advise supplying details of the local doctor, dentist and, if your property is pet friendly, vet.

9. Internet access. Having internet access at your property will allow your visitors to check weather conditions, discover new walking routes and even order food without leaving the cottage.

10. Country code. Most walkers will know the country code but by displaying it at your cottage, you can gently remind your guests of the rules and keep your neighbours happy at the same time.

And there you have it, 10 ways to make your holiday home walker friendly. If you need more information on kitting out your holiday cottage for walkers or if you have a new holiday rental you’d like to advertise through Sykes Cottages then either visit our website or give our owner team a call on 01244 356 695.

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nicole.westley

By Nicole Westley

As a food lover Nicole can often be found in the kitchen, covered in flour and experimenting with new tastes! When not making a mess she loves to explore her Celtic roots by roaming the Scottish countryside or exploring the bays along the Anglesey coast with her fiancé.