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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 Jones-Gerrard

By Nicole Jones-Gerrard

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 husband.

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 Jones-Gerrard

By Nicole Jones-Gerrard

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 husband.

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 Jones-Gerrard

By Nicole Jones-Gerrard

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 husband.

Dog Owner’s Guide to Anglesey

Thursday, March 31st, 2016
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Planning your next pet friendly getaway? How does a morning exploring ancient woodland sound, or how about an afternoon playing in the surf on a golden sandy beach? Perhaps we can interest you in locally sourced, award winning food served in a warm dog friendly environment? If this sounds like your idea of heaven then you and your four legged friend would love a trip to Anglesey!

Ynys Llanddwyn  Off Anglesey, North Wales

The beautiful Ynys Llanddwyn. Image by tekaybeCC 2.0

Located in North Wales, this picturesque Welsh island is ideal for a dog friendly holiday at any time of year. To help you get to know the island a little better, we’ve included everything a dog owner will need to know before holidaying on Anglesey. You can use this guide to plan your getaway or even inspire future holidays, either way we’re sure you’ll love the island as much as we do!

Getting around Anglesey

Anglesey isn’t a very big island, in fact those travelling by car are able to get from one side of the island to the other in less than one hour! For those of you that don’t drive, Anglesey offers a fantastic range of public transport options to suit you and your dog. Here are just a few ways in which you and your dog can get around the island;

Menai Bridge with couple walking under.

The Menai Bridge connects Anglesey to the mainland. Image by Denis EganCC 2.0

Train

Did you know that one of Anglesey’s most popular tourist spots is a train station? It’s the one located in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Visitors love to stop here and pose for a picture with the station sign. If you fancy taking the train to Anglesey then both Arriva Trains Wales and Virgin Trains offer services to the island. The train is a great way to get on and off Anglesey, but once you arrive we suggest using the local bus service to reach some of the smaller villages, hamlets and popular tourist attractions.

Bus

The bus service on Anglesey is very good and welcomes dogs of all shapes and sizes. You can get just about anywhere on Anglesey by bus so it’s more than worth taking this approach to travelling. The Isle of Anglesey County Council lists all the available services on their website along with bus times, simply click here for more information.

Taxi

Many of the taxi firms on Anglesey would be happy to take you and your pooch around the island, however prices can be on the expensive side. We would advise only using a taxi if there are no bus services running.  A full list of the taxi firms on Anglesey can be found here.

Cycling

Anglesey is a haven for cyclists as you can get anywhere by bike! This is a fantastic way to travel around the island and we highly suggest this option as not only will you get to see some of Anglesey’s best scenery, but you’ll also be doing wonders for your carbon footprint. If you don’t have a bike but fancy cycling round the island then you can hire a bike from Cybi Bikes.

Days out with your dog

There are plenty of dog friendly things to do on Anglesey from exploring the sandy beach to discovering dense forests. To help inspire your day out selection, we’re put together a list of some of our favourite pastimes for dogs and their owners on the island.

Golden sandy beach with a blue sky and fisherman near the sea

Image of Trearddur Bay by Edward ReynoldsCC 2.0

Walking

Anglesey is great for dog owners looking to stretch their legs with plenty of open spaces for you and your energetic pet to explore. The Anglesey Coastal Path is a great route to get you started, however at 127.5 miles long, we suggest only taking up one or two routes and not the whole circular trail! The sandy marshes at Red Wharf Bay, tall pine forest at Newborough beach and stunning Beaumaris Castle are all great places to start!

Beaches

As an island, Anglesey is not short of beaches but if you’re worried about seasonal restrictions then don’t be, as Anglesey has many beaches that welcome dogs all year round. You’ll find a full list of Anglesey’s dog friendly beaches by visiting thebeachguide.co.uk.

Forests

Does your dog like to pay fetch? A visit to one of Anglesey’s forests could see you coming back with a few new sticks for your next game! Newborough Forest is probably the most well-known forest on the island and definitely worth the trip; with its tall pine trees and moss covered mounds the atmosphere here is truly magical.

Dog friendly pubs

Anglesey is known for its friendly hospitality towards both visitors and their dogs. If you’re looking for a somewhere to wet your whistle, enjoy a nice pub dinner and even a biscuit for the pooch, then here is our selection of the best pet friendly pubs on Anglesey.

Pub with white tones walls and blue trim around the doors and windows

The Black Lion, a dog friendly pub in Llanfaethlu. Image by David CottamCC 2.0

Ty Dderw

Located in a converted farm house with panoramic views towards the sea and over the countryside, Ty Dderw is fantastic for a pick me up when out exploring The Anglesey Coastal Path. The Ty Dderw offers a wonderful menu if you’re looking for a bite to eat and as dogs are welcome in the bar area there is no need to leave your four-legged friend behind come dinner time.

Contact: 01248 410777 / tydderw@gmail.com / www.tydderwinn.moonfruit.com

The White Eagle

The White Eagle in Rhoscolyn is well-known for its friendly hospitality. The pub famously welcomes both owners and their dogs and even has a special doggy dining room where you can enjoy a bite to eat and the dog can enjoy a biscuit or two.

Contact: 01407 860267 / www.white-eagle.co.uk

The Black Lion

If you’re looking for locally sourced produce then The Black Lion is the pub for you. This establishment prides itself on showcasing the best that Anglesey has to offer. Team their fantastic food and ale with a dog friendly bar and you have the makings of a fantastic night out.

Contact: 01407 730718 / info@blacklionanglesey.co.uk / blacklionanglesey.com

The Tavern on the Bay

Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Tavern on the Bay can’t be beat when it comes to dining with a view. This very special gastro-pub not only offers wonderful scenery, but a fantastic menu and dog friendly atmosphere too!

Contact: 01248 582751 / info@thetavernonthebay.co.uk / thetavernonthebay.co.uk

The Anglesey Arms

With a beautiful garden and wonderful views of Menai Bridge, the Anglesey Arms is the perfect place for a relaxing pint with your dog. This venue’s atmosphere is second to none and they even have a fantastic events calendar featuring live music and quiz nights

Contact: 01248 712305 / www.anglesey-arms.co.uk

Owain Glyndwr

The Owain Glyndwr welcomes owners and their pets into the pub when they stop in on their way to or from the beach. The pub serves a superb variety of local cask ales and there is also a lovely selection of homemade meals and snacks on the menu – perfect!

Contact: 01928 810710 / contact@ogdllanddona.co.uk / www.ogdllanddona.co.uk

Dog supplies

It happens to us all; you arrive at your holiday accommodation only to find you left an essential item at home! If this happens to you when you visit Anglesey with your dog then don’t worry as there are plenty of pet stores on the island. We’ve listed some good to know pet stores and services below just in case of emergencies.

Food and toys

For a fantastic selection of food and toys we suggest visiting Farm and Pet Place in Llangefni. This large store has everything you need in one place, from tasty treats to squeaky balls! So if you’ve forgotten your dog’s favourite toy or food, then we suggest visiting this one stop shop.

Vets

We don’t want to think about it, but you can never be too prepared for an accident. If your four legged friend gets themselves in to trouble whilst visiting Anglesey then help is at hand as there are a number of vets located on the island who can help you. You’ll find a full list of Anglesey vets here.

Dog sitting service

The whole point of a dog friendly holiday is to enjoy time with your pet, but if you fancy a night out or visiting an attraction that doesn’t welcome dogs then we suggest investing in a pet sitter. For a small fee, you’ll be able to leave your dog with a friendly professional who will keep them entertained whilst you explore the island. You can find a great selection of pet sitters on Anglesey by visiting Yelp.

Dog friendly accommodation

The West Wing 918878

The spectacular view from The West Wing (Ref, 918878), a dog friendly property in Rhosneigr, Anglesey.

When visiting Anglesey with your pooch you’re going to need somewhere to stay, luckily here at Sykes Cottages we have a selection of nearly 90 dog friendly cottages to choose from on the island. Our pet friendly cottages are more than happy to welcome your four legged friend to stay and with many of these cottages located next to great walking routes, we’re sure your dog will approve.

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Nicole Jones-Gerrard

By Nicole Jones-Gerrard

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 husband.

Walk of the Month: Llanberis Lake

Saturday, March 26th, 2016
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Can you believe we’re on our third Walk of the Month of 2016 already? In just a few days’ time it will be April and then summer will be here before you know it! To help make the most of the crisp spring weather whilst it lasts, we’ve pulled together a fantastic walk around the iconic Llanberis Lake in North Wales.

Clear blue lake reflecting the green mountains and clear blue sky above.

A fantastic image of Llyn Padarn taken by Hefin OwenCC 2.0

Llanberis Lake, known as Llyn Padarn, is approximately two miles long and 94 feet at its deepest point. Surrounded by some of the best scenery in Snowdonia, this picturesque walk offers plenty of opportunity for pictures, wildlife spotting and even a dip in the lake if you’re feeling adventurous!

The Walk

This walk follows a circular route around Llyn Padarn and will take between two and three hours to complete, depending on your level of fitness. The majority of the walk is over level ground, however the path can be loose underfoot in areas and there are some tricky stone steps along the way. It can be a little windy down by the lake so we suggest a warm jacket and sensible shoes for this walk.

The Route

Park in the car park (there is a small charge) then make your way north along the A4086. You will soon come to a fork in the road, at this point head right toward the track bed of an abandoned railway. Follow this track as far as the railway tunnel and take the steps to the right of the tunnel entrance to the upper level. From here, follow the path through a set of wooded gates and continue along the lakeside trail.

Silhouette of a lonely tree infront of a reflective lake with mountains and blue sky

Image of Llyn Padarn at sunset by Hefin OwenCC 2.0

Continue along the lakeside trail until you reach the head of the lake; at this point cross over the River Rhythallt making sure to admire the spectacular backdrop. Follow the road as it climbs towards the village of Fachwen, make your way through Fachwen keeping your eye out for a blue telephone kiosk. Take the path opposite the phone kiosk and descend the steps to the road below. The trail continues along the lane passing through wonderful woodlands before descending to a low point at a river crossing.

Cross the stream and follow the path until you come to a fork, take the left fork that ascends some rough stone steps. The path will take you back up through the woodland before exiting the trees at its highest point and offering amazing views.

From here it’s all downhill paths; continue along your path through the woods and into the old hospital grounds and gardens. Leave the hospital grounds via the wooden steps down to another lakeside car park. Here you will see the Welsh National Slate Museum, take the road that leaves the south eastern point of the museum area and cross the bridge towards the fields. Continue through the fields until you reach the A4086 and then your car park.

To view the route map and original walk please click here.

Rent a Cottage in Llanberis with Sykes Cottages

Modern kitchen/living space with over hanging light

The living space at Beudy Hywel (Ref. 6145) in Llanrug near Llanberis

If this walk has inspired you to visit North Wales this year then why not book a stay in one of our Llanberis holiday cottages? With nearly 30 holiday lets located within five miles of Llanberis, we’re sure to have something to suit your requirements. From large stylish properties sleeping 16 to small intimate cottages for two, these holiday homes are ideal for exploring Llanberis and the rest of the Snowdonia National Park.

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Nicole Jones-Gerrard

By Nicole Jones-Gerrard

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 husband.