Archive for the ‘Autumn Holidays’ Category

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.

Favourite Films for Halloween

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
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Here at Sykes Cottages, we love Halloween. When the wind is rattling at your door and the rain is pounding against your window, we know there is no better feeling then snuggling up on the sofa with a warm blanket and a cauldron of sweets. If you’re planning to stay home this Halloween, the team here at Sykes HQ have some great suggestions for your viewing pleasure; from family friendly movies to horror films, our selection is sure to offer plenty of inspiration this Halloween.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Image provided by Leanne

A heart-warming story with a loveable protagonist may not be your first thought when it comes to Halloween, but it’s exactly what you get with The Nightmare Before Christmas. The film follows the Pumpkin King Jack Skellington and his dog Zero as they try to spread Christmas cheer across Halloweentown with disastrous consequences. The spectacular storyline and characterisation combined with the incredible soundtrack and stunning visuals of the film is what makes it not only my favourite Halloween watch, but also a favourite to watch throughout the year! – Leanne

Labyrinth

Image via Flickr.

Image via Flickr.

As one of my favourite fantasy films, Labyrinth takes top spot on my Halloween movie playlist. Not only is the film filled with fantasy creatures, magic and adventure, but with the added bonus of musical numbers – many involving the legendary David Bowie – there really is something for the whole family to enjoy.  The film follows Sarah’s adventures in an otherworldly maze as she overcomes the Goblin King’s challenges to save her baby brother Toby. This is a classic film and one you won’t regret watching even if you’re stuck singing the tunes until next Halloween. – Nicole

Casper

Image taken from IMDb.

Image taken from IMDb.

If I’m honest, I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to watching horror films! This meant picking my favourite Halloween film was always going to be a struggle, but after some thought I picked Casper. It tells the tale of a young ghost who – along with his three ghoulish uncles Fatso, Stretch and Stinkie – lives in a rickety mansion called Whipstaff Manor. The film is about Casper moving on to “the other side” whilst dealing with a greedy heiress, the affections of a young girl, and even attempted exorcisms – not to mention all sorts of mischief from his uncles. All in all, Casper makes the perfect alternative to the usual Halloween fare, and is definitely a film that the whole family will enjoy over the Halloween period! – Jamie

Hocus Pocus

Image via Flickr.

Image via Flickr.

For me, it’s not Halloween unless I’ve watched the early 90’s gem that is Hocus Pocus. The obsession started as a kid, when my sister and I would sit down and watch it on Disney Channel every year; it’s a tradition that I’ve never quite grown out of. You can put my love affair with this film largely down to Winifred, Sarah and Mary Sanderson who are evil witches raised from the dead. They are comedy genius and I’ll never get tired of their hilarious catchphrases, withering glares and of course, their rendition of ‘I Put a Spell on You’. Throw in a talking cat, a zombie who constantly loses his head and a trio of unlikely heroes, and you have everything you could ever want from a Halloween cult classic. – Lousie

Sleepy Hollow

Image via IMDb.

Image via IMDb.

The tagline ‘Heads will roll’ tells you all you need to know about Sleepy Hollow, a 1999 horror film directed by Tim Burton. Sleepy Hollow was the first film that frightened me; I spent weeks – nay, months – after watching it scurrying down the stairs, afraid that a headless, axe-wielding Hessian was hot on my tail. Though damn-scary, the eccentricity of Johnny Depp’s character, Ichabod Crane, adds some comic relief, whilst Tim Burton’s enchanting creations will feel familiar to anyone who’s seen The Nightmare Before Christmas. In short, Sleepy Hollow is a great introduction to horror for younger viewers – just be sure to have hide-cushions at hand! – Jonathan.

So what do you think? Will you be adding our frightful list of movies to your Halloween night viewing, or do you have your own ‘must watch’ movie for All Hallows Eve? Either way, we would love to know which films you’ll be watching this weekend, so make sure to let us know via our Facebook or Twitter page.

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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.