Archive for the ‘Autumn Holidays’ Category

Where to See Autumn Colours in the UK

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016
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Cosy jumpers, roaring fires and pumpkin-spiced… well, everything! These are just some of the things that make autumn my favourite time of the year, but there is something else that makes autumn top of my seasons list and that’s the colours! Warm browns, rich oranges and deep reds are all around us at this time of year and here at Sykes Cottages, we just can’t get enough of them. In fact we’re so in love with autumn colours that we’ve put together a fantastic list of the best places to see autumn colours in the UK. So lace up your boots and pop on your woolly hat, it’s time to visit one of these scenic locations before the autumn colours are gone for another year.

Bedgebury Forest, Kent

Bedgebury Forest

Image of Bedgebury by Albert KubxcaCC 2.0

Located close to the Sussex border in Kent, you’ll find Bedgebury Forest. Here you can ride your bike across the numerous cycle paths and gaze up at the changing canopy as the wind rustles through the golden leaves. Bedgebury Forest also welcomes dogs and with plenty of trees to sniff and fallen leaves to roll in, your four-legged friend is sure to enjoy the day out! Please be aware that dogs are allowed off the lead in the forest but must be kept on the lead at all times when in The National Pinetum, around the children’s play area and on the red mountain-bike route.

Prices: If arriving by car the cost is £10 Monday to Friday and £12 at weekends and bank holidays.
Opening times: 8am to 6pm until October 28th then 8am to 5pm until November 30th.
More information: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/bedgebury

Dyffryn Gardens, the Vale of Glamorgan

Dyffryn Gardens

Image of Dyffryn Gardens by Ben SalterCC 2.0

Located in the Vale of Glamorgan, Dyffryn Gardens cover over 55 acres with formal and informal gardens, providing plenty of space for an autumnal adventure. It’s a very exciting time at the gardens this autumn as it marks the start of a five year project which will help protect the beautiful trees within their Arboretum. Why not make your trip to Dyffryn Gardens an annual one? This way you’ll be able to monitor the progress of the project and capture the true beauty of their woody collection.

Prices: £8.80 for adults, £4.40 for children and £22 for families.
Opening times: 10am to 5pm until October 30th then 10am to 4pm until November 30th.
More information: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dyffryn-gardens

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Gloucestershire

Westonbirt

Image of Westonbirt by Mark KentCC 2.0

Westonbirt is possibly the best place in the UK to view autumn colours as their Arboretum is home to over 15,000 tree specimens from all over the world! Here you can follow one of the Arboretum’s many walkways or take to the skies and look down over the colourful foliage from the STIHL Treetop Walkway. October highlights at Westonbirt include the Japanese maples, Cappadocian maple and Sweet gum where as in November, visitors should look out for the Nikko maple, Native oak and Paperbark maple.

Prices: £9 for adults and £4 for children.
Opening times: 9am to 5pm, last admission is 4:30pm.
More Information: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt

Bodnant Gardens, Conwy

Bodnant gardens

Image of Bodnant Gardens by Paul PierceCC 2.0

The world-famous Bodnant Gardens cover over 80 acres of land above the River Conwy. Home to National Collections and Campion Trees, guests could spend hours exploring the variety of exotic and colourful plants on display. There is a wonderful selection of events taking place at Bodnant this autumn, including a specialist walk to see the autumn colours on October 12th and the ‘Head Gardener’s Walk’ on November 16th where guests can find out all about the gardens’ history and development.

Prices: £12.38 for adults and £6.20 for children.
Opening times: 10am to 5pm until November 1st then 10am until 4pm until the end of December.
More information: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden

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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.

Some Autumn Snaps

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
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It’s all suddenly feeling a bit autumnal here at Sykes HQ. Between the chill in the air on the morning commute and the steadily thickening carpet of golden leaves, all of the signs are there. But instead of being a bit glum about the passing of summer, we thought we’d celebrate autumn and have tried to track down some photos that we think best showcase the season in all of its glory. So why don’t you take a look and see which is your favourite?

So there you go, just a few of the things that we think best showcase autumn in all of its glory. But we’d love to know what you guys would pick! You can tweet us your choices here, or if you’d prefer you can send them over via Facebook! If these snaps have got you tempted why don’t you sneak in an autumn break? We’ve still got plenty of cottages available to book just take a look here and let us know when you find one that suits!

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Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.

The Best Places for an Autumn Break

Sunday, October 4th, 2015
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Nothing quite beats an autumnal break, between the crisp morning walks and the hearty portions of comfort food, it just doesn’t get much better. Seeing as it’s that time of year again, we thought we’d give you all a bit of a helping hand and list out some of the best spots in the UK to sneak in an autumnal break, take a look and see which one you fancy.

Lake District

Of course we couldn’t leave the Lake District out could we? The Lake District is widely accepted as one of the most beautiful areas in the UK with the landscape inspiring famous figures such as Wordsworth and it only gets better in Autumn! The scenery makes the perfect backdrop for an afternoon stroll and you’ll never be short of a good country pub for a refuel.

Forest of Dean

Autumn is all about the fantastic colours on show and there’s nowhere better for that than the Forest of Dean. With seemingly endless rows of beech, oak and larch trees all steadily turning a rich golden colour, you’ll be spoilt for choice in finding the perfect photo opportunity.

Dorset

And last up we’ve got a bit of a curveball. Always overshadowed by its more famous neighbours, Dorset is actually one of the best destinations for an autumn break. Its stunning coastline will give you ample opportunity for a bracing walk taking in the sights, such as the Jurassic Coast and Durdle Door, that inspired Broadchurch.

So there you go, three of our favourite areas when it comes to autumn breaks; but don’t worry if you’ve already got somewhere else in mind, we’ve got holiday cottages dotted all around the UK and Ireland, just take a look here and you’ll be able to find all of the properties available for an autumn break.

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Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.

The Very Best Bits of Autumn

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014
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If you follow Sykes Cottages on any of our social media channels, you may have noticed that for the past two months we have been running a competition for bloggers regarding what they think is the best bit of the autumn season. Now, we love a nice image here at Sykes, so we turned it into a photography competition. We asked those entering to share a picture of what they think is the best bit of autumn and accompany it with a blog post telling us why this is the best bit.

We had a really tough time choosing the winners as there were so many fantastic entries, but after a full afternoon (and morning) of deciding, we finally had our first place winner, second place winner and five runners up. Read on to see the wonderful pictures from our seven winners and see what they like best about autumn!

First Place: Autumn’s Natural Treasures

Autumn's Best Bit Snowing Indoors

The first place winner of the competition was this stunning photograph from Em at Snowing Indoors. As Em says in her post, “there is something so magical about opening a prickly conker shell and finding a shiny brown conker nestled inside, whether you’re 2 or 34!” We certainly agree and this photograph encapsulates that magic perfectly.

Second Place: Getting Ready for Halloween

My Family Ties

The second place winner of the competition was Caroline from My Family Ties. In the My Family Ties household, Halloween excitement and preparation gets under way in early October. This picture shows both the fun and spooky elements of Halloween and we just love it! See Caroline’s full post here.

The Runners Up

Autumns Best Bits Runners Up

One thing apparent from all of the competition entries was that autumn means so many different things to everyone. Lucinda from Bakes, Books & My Boys says that her favourite bit of her favourite season is just being outside! She shared with us this wonderful picture of her son enjoying the empty autumnal beach. Claire from Ninja Killer Cat shared with us some incredible pictures of the leaves and colours of autumn. Similarly, at Dragons and Fairy Dust,the best bit of autumn is the glorious colours of the sky, including a stunning picture of the sunrise. Jenn from Photo-Jenn-Ic shared with us how since having her son she has come to embrace autumn and just loves heading outside for autumnal wanders. Susan at Mess in The ‘Ness shared this incredible photo of pumpkins from a recent trip to the US – her favourite part of autumn is the emergence of pumpkins!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered this competition, we really were blown away! To see all of the entries, take a look at our pinterest board.

 

Follow Sykes Cottages’s board Autumn’s Best Bits on Pinterest.

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Where to Celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK

Sunday, November 16th, 2014
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For most of us in Britain, November 27nd will be just another day; a day spent either at work or Christmas shopping. However for the thousands of American expats living, working and studying in the UK, Thanksgiving is a day for Celebration. Living away from home in a country that doesn’t celebrate one of your favourite holidays can be hard, but not to worry as here at Sykes Cottages we know there are many places across the UK offering special Thanksgiving celebration. If you’re an American living in the UK or a Brit looking to join in the celebrations, keep reading as we highlight our favourite places to celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK.

Visit the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth

Image from Flickr.

Image from Flickr.

In 1620, the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth Barbican, carrying 102 passengers and 30 crew members across the Atlantic Ocean on a 66 day voyage to America. These pilgrims eventually settled in Plymouth Massachusetts, an area of America famous for being the birth place of Thanksgiving. Plymouth still maintains strong ties with America and every Thanksgiving hosts a special service and wreath lying on the Mayflower steps. With local pubs and restaurants offering traditional Thanksgiving dishes, it’s the ideal location to spend Thanksgiving weekend.

Enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner

Image from Flickr.

Image from Flickr.

Thanksgiving dinner is one of the highlights of the day, where families come together and share a fantastic meal which includes turkey, mashed potato, squash soup, green bean casserole and a variety of pies! There are a number of restaurants and pubs located throughout the UK taking part in the Thanksgiving celebrations by putting on special menus filled with all our favourite American dishes, so get yourself online and find your nearest participating eatery.

Attend the Thanksgiving Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral

Image from Flickr.

Image from Flickr.

London is home to a large number of American expats, so it should come as no surprise to find a number of events taking place in the capital on Thanksgiving. One of the longest running traditions in London is the Thanksgiving service hosted at St. Paul’s Cathedral every year. At the service the American Ambassador to the UK will make a speech before reading out a message from President Obama himself. It’s a wonderful event to be part of and a great way to meet new friends.

Rent a family cottage

Tan Llan in LLanelltyd, Wales. Reference 917340.

Tan Llan in LLanelltyd, Wales. Reference 917340.

Thanksgiving is all about family and being thankful for all that we have, so what better way to celebrate the holidays than to treat the family to a week or weekend away? Here at Sykes Cottages we have a number of large group properties that are perfect for a celebration at this time of year; with beautiful open fires, large dining rooms, and plenty of space in the fridge for all your Thanksgiving treats. For more information on our large cottages simply visit this page.

And there you have it, our guide to Thanksgiving in the UK. We would love to know what you’ll be getting up to this Thanksgiving so be sure to send us a tweet or comment on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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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.