Author Archive

Making Your Cottage Guests Feel Welcome

Thursday, May 5th, 2016
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First impressions count and here at Sykes Cottages, we want to help you make the best first impression possible when new customers arrive at your holiday let. From a friendly welcome to a cup of tea, we’ve listed some basics below that are sure to make your guest feel welcome on arrival.

A warm welcome awaits guests at Springle Barn (Ref. 5469) in Monyash

A warm welcome awaits guests at Springle Barn (Ref. 5469) in Monyash

Provide a warm welcome

If you’re around to greet your guests in person then this is a great opportunity to make them feel welcome – a smile and friendly handshake can go a long way! If you’re not able to greet your guests in person then never underestimate the power of a handwritten note. Providing a small handwritten welcome in your cottage is a lovely touch and lets your guests know that you care about their stay.

Introduce the property

Make sure your guests get the most from their stay by providing them with a little back ground information on the property, how long you’ve had it and its best features – this works especially well if your holiday let is older or has an interesting history. The property’s introduction can be done in person when your guests arrive or as part of your welcome pack in the cottage.

Welcome basket at Yate Cottage (Ref. 913883) in Oxenhope

Welcome basket at Yate Cottage (Ref. 913883) in Oxenhope

Stock up on the basics

An easy way to make your guests feel welcome is to provide a few basics like tea bags, milk and sugar so your guests can have a nice cup of tea after their journey. Cooking essentials like salt, pepper and cooking oil are common items you’d find in your own home but may forget to take to a holiday let, so don’t forget to provide these for your guests. These homely touches will go a long way in making your guests feel comfortable.

Little extras

As well as the basics, you may want to look at included some little extras to make your guests feel special on arrival. A bunch of fresh flowers in the property or a nice cake can really impress your visitors and encourage them to share their experience at your cottage with others, increasing word of mouth and encouraging new potential customers.

A little dog made feel very welcome at Greenway (Ref. 930748) in Kilve.

A little dog made feel very welcome at Greenway (Ref. 930748) in Kilve.

Consider the whole party

Children and pets can often be overlooked as we try to please the adults, but taking the time to point out any child friendly attractions or good dog walking routes can really help your guests feel welcome. For an extra special touch, try leaving out some games for children or a dog toy ready for your guests’ arrival.

A guide to the local area

Providing your guests with expert knowledge of the area like where to eat and local days out will let your guests know that you care about their stay. Try to including include this information in your welcome pack or let your visitors know that they can contact you for advice on places to visit and restaurants to eat at during their stay. Make sure to avoid telling your guests what they can’t do in the area and focus on the things they can do.

And there you have it, our guide to making your guests feel welcome. Have you tried any of these tips? If so did they work? Let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook or Twitter page.

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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.

5 Things to Love about the Peak District

Sunday, May 1st, 2016
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If your idea of a dream getaway is to a destination rich in natural beauty, heritage and attractions, then look no further than the Peak District. The area’s spectacular moors, dales, rivers and springs have been attracting visitors for years and make the region ideal for a UK getaway. There are a million reasons to love the Peak District but to help you get a better feel for the area, we’ve listed our five favourite reasons to love the Peaks below. Take a look and see if we can convince you to visit the Peak District this year.

1. Historic Houses and Castles

From Chatsworth House to Bolsover Castle, the Peak District has its fair share of historic houses and castles to explore. These grand attractions are perfect for groups of all ages and with an exciting calendar of events at each location, you won’t be short of things to see and do.

2. Cycling

The Peak District’s easy going bike trails make for an idyllic day out amongst the English countryside. This is a fantastic way to discover more of the Peaks and to keep the children active, and for those of us that don’t fancy travelling with our bikes, the Peak District has a number of hire shops available where you can rent a bike for the day.

3. Journey Back in Time

Experience the Peak District’s rich history by taking a trip on one of the region’s period steam trains or trams. The Crich Tramway Village is a great place to start your journey, here you can take a trip on one of the many vintage trams and enjoy a light lunch in the tearooms as you enjoy breath-taking views.

4.Walking

With its romantic landscape,uncluttered trails and far reaching views, it’s no wonder the Peak District is one of the UK’s favourite walking destinations. There are plenty of walks to choose from but for the more experienced walkers, we would highly suggest taking on the Limestone Way; at 46 miles long this route is not for the faint-hearted!

5. Caves and Caverns

The Peak District offers a huge variety of underground attractions to explore, with luminous caverns, deep caves and exciting underground boat trips. These caves and caverns are perfect for a day out at any time of year and provide the perfect rainy day activity for families looking to escape the weather.

So what do you think? If you’re ready to book your Peak District getaway then make sure to check out our Peak District Cottages page. With over 500 properties located throughout the Peaks, we’re sure to have something to suit your holiday needs. Visit our website or give our team a call on 01244 356695 to find out more!

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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.

Walk of the Month: Box Hill Stepping Stones

Sunday, April 24th, 2016
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It’s time for another instalment of Walk of the Month and for April’s edition, we’ve decided to feature a family friendly walk which makes the most of the warmer weather and extra hours of sunlight. The Box Hill Stepping Stones walk can be found in Tadworth and has the most wonderful views of the Surrey Hills.

This walk is great for active families who enjoy nature; the route is even dog friendly meaning you don’t have to leave the family pet behind. During this walk you and your family will be treated to amazing views of the Surrey countryside as well as glimpses of the area’s local wildlife. Be sure to keep an eye out for Adonis Blue butterflies and Bee Orchids hiding amongst the grass and if you’re quiet, you may even spot a kingfisher down by the River Mole!

The walk

This month’s route is two miles long and takes around an hour and half to complete, although please allow extra time if you plan on stopping off for a picnic. The route covers a moderate terrain but please be mindful that there is a steep descent with 275 steps and a long ascent to consider. Dogs are welcome on this route but must be kept on a lead due to grazing livestock. The visitor centre stocks drinks and snacks and is a great place to stop off before starting your walk. If you plan on arriving by car, then the car park has a small fee of £4, but it is free for National Trust members.

The route

Start your journey from the National Trust visitor centre, next to the car park. From here follow the surfaced pathway which runs parallel to the road (make sure to avoid the track going off to the right). You’ll soon see the fantastic view of the Surrey Hills opening out in front of you from Salomon’s Memorial. Stop here to admire the view or enjoy a tasty family picnic before continuing on the walk.

From Salomon’s Memorial, continue your walk down the sloped path under the viewpoint. Take a right and continue along this path until you see some steps cut into the ground on your left. Follow these steps down hill and through the Yew Woods, there are a total of 275 steps here so make sure to take care as they can sometimes be slippery.

Once you reach the bottom of the steps, continue along the path making sure to keep an eye out on your left for glimpses of the River Mole. When the path starts to flatten out you’ll come to a fork in the path, take the route to the left, the one with the sign for the Stepping Stones. You will now see the River Mole and the Stepping Stones in front of you.

From here you can either continue across the Stepping Stones before turning right and following the river, or take a right at the river’s edge and follow the path, crossing at the bridge a little further along. Once you’ve reached the bridge, continue through the gate which brings you out into a large open space called Burford Meadow.

Continue through Burford Meadow until you reach the road bridge. Just to the left of the bridge there is a path leading upwards, follow this path until you come out on the pavement next to the A24. Turn right here and cross the river. Continue along the pavement, passing a hotel on your right hand side.

Take the path on your right which comes up immediately after the Hotel. Follow this path until you reach a fork, take the left path and continue along the grassy track heading uphill. When you reach the ridge of the hill, join the wide grassy path and continue uphill as the path becomes a white chalk path.

You will soon see a pathway on your left, follow this path until it joins a stony path and the take a right continuing uphill. You’ll soon pass a building on your right; this is Box Hill Fort and one of the oldest buildings in the area. Take your time to explore the Fort before continuing up the stony track and turning right at the road to reach the visitor centre.

To view the route map please click here.

Rent a cottage in the Tadworth area with Sykes Cottages

Mannor house surrounded by greenery and flowers.

Hoath House (Ref. 22743) will accommodate up to 26 people and is located just 29 miles from Box Hill.

Here at Sykes Cottages we have a lovely selection of holiday lets available within a 30 mile radius of Tadworth, any of which would be perfect for day trips to Box Hill. Our cottages come in all shapes and sizes and there is even a property large enough to accommodate a party of 26! With plenty of extras including swimming pools, open fires, gardens and WiFi, we’re sure to have a property in this selection to suit your holiday requirements. To see our full range of cottages in the Tadworth area please click here, alternatively please feel free to give our team a call on 01244 356695 for more information.

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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.

Check Out Our New Let Your Cottage Page

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016
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Over the past few weeks we’ve been working hard to improve our Let Your Cottage page and we are pleased to say it’s now ready to explore! With its snazzy new look, our Let Your Cottage page is dedicated to providing holiday cottage owners with the information they need to successfully let their property.

LYC Main

On the new home page, owners will find all the information they need about letting your property with Sykes Cottages; from our marketing strategy right down to the people you’ll be working with. The new website even has a handy estimator so you can see how much you could earn when letting your property with Sykes.

Everything you need to know about holiday lettings

LYC Info

As well as a new look, the website has also been packed full of useful information! You’ll find advice on a variety of holiday letting topics including investment advice, legal regulations, advertising and marketing, and even tax information! We’ve made it so that everything you need to know about holiday lettings can now be found in one easily accessible place.

Expert advice on your local area

LYC Region

Own a holiday let in the South West? How about a Peak District cottage? Wherever your property is located, Sykes Cottages will have a local expert on hand to offer you advice. By visiting your region-specific pages, you can get to know the Sykes Expert in your area and take a look at some of our existing properties nearby. These pages also provide another opportunity to use our estimator and find out how much you could earn with Sykes based on historical booking data.

We hope you enjoy exploring our new Let Your Cottage page and if you have any questions regarding holiday lets in the UK then please feel free to give our team a call on 01244 356695.

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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.

Celebrate Earth Day at One of These Scenic Spots

Sunday, April 10th, 2016
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On Friday April 22nd the world will celebrate Earth Day, an event which allows people to demonstrate their support for the environment. If you feel like joining in the celebrations this year, then why not venture to one of the UK’s many beauty spots where you can admire the fantastic scenery Britain has to offer? We’ve put together a list of scenic spots with fantastic views which will help you appreciate the environment this coming Earth Day.

Richmond Park

A group on deer in long grass with trees in the distance and a blue sky overhead.

Deer in Richmond Park. Image by SLR JesterCC 2.0

Located in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Richmond Park is the largest of the capital’s eight royal parks. The park was created by Charles I in the 17th century as a deer park and is still of great importance to international wildlife conservation today. The park’s open spaces and calming atmosphere is perfect for a quite stroll this Earth Day.

Glen Nevis

Highland scener with hills, mountains and rolling clouds

View from Glen Nevis. Image by KrondolCC 2.0

This iconic Highland glen offers some of the best views in Britain, from the towering Ben Nevis to the captivating waterfalls of the River Nevis. This area is a favourite among walkers and with its inspiring views and fascinating history, it’s not hard to see why. If you fancy a family walk through Glen Nevis this Earth Day we suggest the Achriabhach Forest Walk.

Hope Valley

Rural England. Green fields, soft hills and blue sky.

A wonderful view over Hope Valley. Image by Olga PavlovskyCC 2.0

The ancient landscape of Hope Valley in the Peak District is a perfect example of rural England. With enchanting views and plenty of historic ruins to discover, you could spend days exploring the Hope Valley and never get bored. For an alternative view of the Hope Valley we suggest hang-gliding, an activity the area is rather famous for and a great way to spend Earth Day.

Snowdonia

Clear lake with the snow capped mountains reflected in the waters

Sunrise in Snowdonia National Park. Image by Hefin OwenCC 2.0

Home to Wales’ highest mountain, Snowdonia National Park covers an area of 2,170 square kilometres and encompasses some of Wales’ best natural scenery. The park recently received the title of International Dark Sky Reserve, and because of this it is the ideal location for a little star gazing come nightfall on Earth Day.

Jurassic Coast

Golden sandy beach with unique rock formation, blue sky and turquoise sea.

The iconic Durdle Door beach. Image by Mark TowningCC 2.0

The Jurassic Coast is a world heritage site which covers 95 miles of coastline from Devon to Dorset. Along the Jurassic Coast, visitors may be surprised to discover 185 million years of history in the form of fossils, dramatic cliffs and hidden caves. The area also has a number of soft, sandy beaches which are great for families who want to get out and about this Earth Day.

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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.