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Last Minute Cottages for Mother’s Day

Monday, February 29th, 2016
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Mother’s Day is just around the corner and here at Sykes Cottages, we can think of no better treat for our mums than spending some quality time together. After all, isn’t that what Mother’s Day is really about? To make sure you give your mum the time and attention she deserves, we suggest booking a Mother’s Day break in one of our cottages. With under a week to go until the big day, we’ve listed a selection of stylish holiday cottages which would be perfect for your Mother’s Day celebrations, so keep reading and see if we can convince you to take your mum away this March.

Engine Room Cottage

Dinning table and chairs, set up ready for a meal with daffodils on the table.

The dinning area at Engine Room Cottage, set up ready for Mother’s Day lunch

Located in charming village of Sledmere, this idyllic cottage once acted as the fire station for the Yorkshire Wolds. The cottage has since been lovingly converted to offer stylish accommodation for up to six people and one well behaved dog. The property’s fantastic views over the Yorkshire countryside and spacious dining area create the ideal atmosphere for a Mother’s Day lunch.

Nethergill Farm Byre

Open living area with exposed beams, brick work, comfortable furnishings and an openfire

The cosy living area at Nethergill Farm Byre

Dating back to 1871, Nethergill Farm Byre can be found nestled into the Yorkshire countryside in the hamlet of Oughtershaw. This property accommodates a party of four with one dog, so it’s great for older families who enjoy walking and wildlife spotting. In the evenings, you’ll find the property’s cosy living area with wood burning stove a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a glass of red wine.

The Dairy

Hot tub view looking out over the country at sun set

The spectacular view from the hot tub at The Dairy

If you’re thinking of bringing the whole family together this Mother’s Day, then The Dairy in Llandysul will accommodate a group of eight and up to six well behaved dogs. This stylish property comes with plenty of outdoor space as well as sole use of an eight seater hot tub! This cottage is perfect for any dog lover, so if your mum refuses to holiday without her pooch then The Dairy is the cottage for you.

Croft Cottage

Open plan living area with wood burning stove and character features including exposed beams

The fantastic open plan living area at Croft Cottage

Does your mum have a stressful job, or perhaps a hectic social schedule? If so a trip to the peaceful Croft Cottage in Embleton is sure to provide her with plenty of rest and relaxation this Mother’s Day. Quietly situated in the Northumbria countryside, this property’s stylish décor and plush furnishings create a wonderfully tranquil atmosphere, but be careful your mum may never want to leave.

The Farmhouse

White country cottage surrounded by trees, greenery and a blue sky

The Farm House in Coverack, perfect for a beach getaway!

Located on the Lizard Peninsula, The Farmhouse is the perfect Mother’s Day escape for beach lovers. Just a short drive from this Coverack cottage, you’ll find a handful of amazing beaches to explore including Coverack Beach, Porthbeer Cove and Kynance Cove. When you return from your day on the sands, The Farmhouse provides a warm welcome for up to six people, with a spacious kitchen and inviting living area.

Bank House Mews

Open plan living area complete with modern kitchen, farmhouse dinning and comfy living area

The stylish décor at Bank House Mews

If your mum is a fan of the finer things in life then she’ll love Bank House Mews. Converted from a stone barn and workshop mews, this property now has everything your mum will need for a luxury getaway. Accommodating up to eight people, this property boasts three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a gorgeous open plan living area with wood burning stove and plenty of character features.

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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.

Walk of the Month: Trevose Head

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016
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We’re fast approaching the end of the month and that can only mean one thing, it’s time for February’s instalment of Walk of the Month! In this edition, we’re heading south to the coastal county of Cornwall, where we’ll be taking on the South West Coast Path. As the whole 630 mile walk was a bit too much for us to handle, we’ve decided to break the route down and focus on the beautiful Trevose Head circular walk instead.

Trevose Head is a fantastic section of coastline located in North Cornwall. The area is widely known for its fantastic wildlife, great hiking, birdwatching spots and picturesque lighthouse. During this circular walk, you’ll be able to take in all of these fantastic sights as well as sensational views of the Cornish coast.

The Walk

The circular route around Trevose Head covers 6.1 miles and should take experienced walkers just over an hour and a half to complete. The walk has an easy gradient so isn’t too difficult for beginners, but we would advise wearing trainers or walking shoes. You can stop off for food in Constantine Bay or stock up on picnic supplies at the local shop before heading out.

The Route

Start at the Constantine car park and walk down towards the beach, turn right and walk along the back of the beach until you reach the steps at the far end. Walk up the steps and follow the cliff behind Bobby’s Bay until the path meets some tracks that head inland.

Keep left along the coastal path until you come across some kissing gates. Go through the kissing gates and bear left to keep on the coastal path. Follow the path onto the headland; you’ll pass a stile which you can walk past before coming to a huge collapsed cave on the right. Take some time to marvel at the cave before continuing along the path, you will soon come across a second stile which you will need to cross.

Once you’ve crossed the stile, keep following the path until you come across a track. Bear left onto the track and follow it down into the quarry. Dinas Head is located on the left so you could take a detour to explore the area before coming back to the quarry. Cross the quarry and follow the path along the other side and up the steps towards to road.

Looking down at the ocean from cliff top.. Grey stone, green grass and dark turquoise waters with white sea foam

Image taken by Mike KnappCC 2.0

Turn left and walk down the side of the road towards the lighthouse. When you reach a path turning right, follow it up the steps and onto the coast path around Trevose Head. When the path reaches the corner of a wall and forks at a waymark, follow the path to the left to a cairn between the two benches on the skyline.

From the cairn, bear right to a stile in the corner and cross the stile to the lane that leads to the lifeboat station. Cross the stile opposite onto a path and follow it until you reach another stile. Cross the stile onto a track and turn left, then immediately right over the stile which is indicated by the coast path sign. Follow this path until it comes out at a waymark on a track next to Mother Ivy’s Cottage.

At the waymark, pass the path to the beach and head on towards the gate for Mother Ivy’s Cottage. Go through the kissing gate which is on the right of the cottage gate and follow the path until you reach the main track onto the beach at the holiday park. When you reach the track, turn immediately right and up the steps, following the coast path until you reach another gate.

Go through the gate and follow the path until you reach the track. Cross the track and continue along the path opposite the coast path and around the headline, until you reach a stile in front of a house at Onjohn Cove. Cross the stile and keep left on the path, walking past the house to a kissing gate.

Go through the kissing gate and take the second path leading left (avoid the first path which leads to the beach), follow the coast path until you reach a waymark at Haryln Bay. Turn left at the waymark, go down the steps and follow the path onto the beach. Once on the beach, turn right and hug the cliff until it brings you out onto a lane at the side of the bridge.

At this lane, turn right and follow it until it brings you to a junction. Turn right at the junction and follow the lane around the bend until you reach another junction signposted to the lifeboat station. Continue ahead at the junction and stay on the lane as it crosses the Trevose Head golf course.

At the junction by the club house, turn right and follow the public footpath signposted to the coast path. Follow this footpath until you reach the top of a flight of steps from the dunes to the beach. Instead of taking the path down the steps, turn left and follow the path along the edge of the dunes until you reach the track to the car park.

To view the route map please click here.

Rent a cottage in Cornwall with Sykes Cottages

Property with solar panels and lots of greenery.

Colhay Studio in Downinney near Launceston, Cornwall

If you feel like trying this walk or any of the walks listed on the South West Coast Path website then why not team your activity with a stay in one of our Cornish cottages? With over 320 properties in Cornwall to choose from, you’ll be sure to find a property to accommodate your needs.

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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.

Great Walks for Dogs

Saturday, February 20th, 2016
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It’s no secret that us Brits love our dogs; from the Queen’s corgis to the hit TV show “Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs”, we are a nation obsessed with furry muzzles and wet noses! On today’s blog, we’re celebrating our fondness for dogs with a selection of dog friendly UK walks. These walks offer plenty of open spaces and new smells to discover, which are sure to get your dog’s tail wagging as you enjoy some quality time with your four-legged chum.

Mullion and Poldhu, Cornwall

This spectacular 4.5 mile walk along the Cornish coast is a real treat for dog walkers, combining both easy cliff top walking and captivating coastal views. At just an hour and a half long, this route is perfect for less experienced walkers. There are even dog friendly pubs dotted about the route where you can stop off for refreshments. As well as the dog friendly pubs, this walk also passes a dog friendly beach where your pooch can run along the shore and stretch their legs.

For full details on this walk please visit

Lamachan Hill and Curleywee, Dumfries and Galloway

At an impressive 10.25 miles, this walk is best suited to experienced walkers and dogs that are used to long treks. The walk takes six to seven hours to complete and covers a rough terrain with some over grown paths. Although challenging this walk is more than worth the effort with extensive views over Wigtown Bay and plenty of open spaces for your dog to explore. Along the way, we suggest stopping for a picnic and allowing your dog time to discover the sights and sounds of the Scottish countryside.

For full details on this walk please visit

Aberffraw to Porth Cwyfan, Anglesey

This coastal Welsh walk is ideal for dogs that like to dip their paws in the ocean and sniff the salty sea air. At just 4.3 miles long, this route should take dog walkers no more than an hour and a half to complete and as it covers a relatively easy terrain, it’s suitable for all skill levels. The route boasts fantastic cliff top views and a number of great spots to let your dog run free off the lead. If you feel like extending the walk then we suggest a walk across to Cwyfan Church, which is situated on its own little island.

For full details on this walk please visit

Flamborough Head, Yorkshire

If you’re new to walking or have an older dog that needs to take things a little slower, this one hour walk is perfect for you. Following a clear grassy path, this route benefits from amazing views of the lighthouse and surrounding countryside as well as plenty of space for your dog to explore off the lead. This area is rich with wildlife so although you can let your dog off the lead, there will be areas where you need to keep your pooch under tight control.

For full details on this walk please visit

For more UK dog walks make sure to check out our Take the Lead guide. This guide is packed full of fantastic walking routes and as the guides have been written from a dog’s point of view, they make for a very interesting and funny read!

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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.

Days Out For Children This Half Term

Saturday, February 13th, 2016
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It’s the first day of the February half term and if you’re anything like us you’ll be scratching your head, wondering where the time’s gone. It feels like only yesterday we were sending the kids off to school for their first class of 2016 and now they’re home for a whole week of family fun. If this school holiday has snuck up on you, then make sure to keep reading as we suggest four fantastic days out for the kids this half term.

Go on a family walk

A family of four walking in the country

Family Outing” taken by Greg ClarkeCC 2.0

With thousands of walking routes across the UK, it’s easy to get kids out of the house this half term. Explore the British coast and collect drift wood and shells for home art projects, or trek across the country and come face to face with nature. We have a fantastic selection of walks available on the blog, to find one that’s right for you and your family simply search our Walk of the Month category. Alternatively, we’ve listed three child friendly walks for you to try out below:

  1. Box Hill Stepping Stones Walk, Surrey
  2. Lochore Meadows Country Park, Fife
  3. Friar’s Crag, Cumbria

Explore a historic house or castle

Corfe Castle in the sunlight

Castle” taken by Jim ChampionCC 2.0

The UK is covered with castles and historic houses which are not only exciting to explore but can teach children a great deal about Britain’s history. Historic houses and castle are a perfect day out no matter what the weather; you can spend rainy mornings discovering the property’s history and sunny afternoons admiring the gardens and grounds. For an extra special day out, you’ll find a selection of half term events happening at the following properties:

  1. Corfe Castle, Dorset
  2. Gibside, Tyne and Wear
  3. Beningbrough Hall, North Yorkshire

Take a trip to your local zoo

Mother and baby rhino eating hay at Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo” taken by Nigel SwalesCC 2.0

The UK has a number of fantastic zoos to discover this half term. With plenty of ground to cover, as well as an extraordinary array of animals, a trip to the zoo is not only fantastic exercise but very educational too. If you’ve decided to visit your local zoo this half term them we highly suggest attending one of the zoo’s animal talks, as they will really help you learn more about the zoo and the conservation work they do.

You can find your closest zoo by visiting

Visit an indoor play centre

Colourful balls from a children's ball pit

Ballpit” taken by Jeremy KeithCC 2.0

Do your kids have a lot of energy? If so, an indoor play centre could provide the perfect release. The UK’s indoor play centres have been specially designed to allow children to run around, explore their surroundings and meet new friends in a safe environment. These play centres also offer parents a moment or two to relax with comfortable seating and handy cafés selling a much needed coffee booster.

Visit to find your closest indoor play centre


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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.

UK Wetlands In Pictures

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016
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On today’s blog, we’re celebrating World Wetland Day, a fantastic event that celebrates the signing of the conservation of wetlands. The UK boasts a fantastic selection of wetlands, all of which make for a wonderful day out whatever the weather. In celebration of this special day, we’ve pulled together a selection of pictures from our favourite UK wetlands to show you just how wonderful British wetlands can be!

Whooper swan landing on the water amoungst ducks at the Slimbridge WWT

Bewick in Flight” taken by Jacob Spinks at Slimbridge WWT – CC 2.0

Close up of a Red Crested Pochard on the water at the Slimbridge WWT

Red-Crested Pochard” taken by Lauren Tucker at the Slimbridge WWT – CC 2.0

Water Volve washing in the water at Welney WWT

Water Vole” taken by Tony Court at Welney WWT – CC 2.0

Two white faced whistling duck walking along the pavement by some greenery at Arundel WWT

white faced whistling duck” taken by Jason Thompson at Arundel WWT – CC 2.0

13 swans swimming upriver near Shapwick Church in Somerset

Swans upriver” taken by Jim Champion near Shapwick Church in Somerset – CC 2.0

Close up of a crane at the Slimbridge WWT

Mr Crane” taken by Richard Cocks at Slimbridge WWT – CC 2.0

Five Ruddy shellducks chicks playing at the waters edge at Martin Mere WWT

Ruddy shellducks chicks” taken by distillated at Martin Mere WWT – CC 2.0

Wetlands at Shapwick in Somerset at dusk

05-Fkr-Somerset-Shapwick” taken by JoN in Shapwick, Somerset – CC 2.0

Two white crested ducks swimming on the water at Martin Mere WWT

Martin Mere Birds” taken by Pete Birkinshaw at Martin Mere WWT – CC 2.0

Green tree frog resting on a log at the Slimbridge WWT

Green Tree Frog” taken by Lauren Tucker at Slimbridge WWT – CC 2.0

Water Vole resting on a log amongst greenery by the side of the water near Arundel WWT

Vole on Boot Hill” taken by Peter Trimming near Arundel WWT – CC 2.0

Have you visited one of the UK’s many wetlands? If so, make sure to share your pictures with us on Facebook and Twitter, we’d love to see them!

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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.