Archive for the ‘Autumn Holidays’ Category

Get Creative this Autumn!

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
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With magical colours, crisp air and crunchy leaves underfoot, autumn is one of the most attractive times of year but as the hours of sunshine dwindle, there’s a gaping hole left in our evenings that was once dedicated to summer sports, gardening and barbecues. If you don’t want to spend every evening of autumn watching TV then a great idea is to get creative. Autumn is the ideal time to let your inner artist out and with so many beautiful colours surrounding you, if autumn doesn’t inspire you to get creative then nothing will!

Whether you’re looking to dabble in some arts and crafts yourself or whether you’d prefer to admire what others have already done, Sykes Cottages have put together a few of our top picks for arts and crafts days out this autumn.

Walford Mill Crafts, Wimborne Minster

Photos of Walford Mill Crafts, Wimborne
This photo of Walford Mill Crafts is courtesy of TripAdvisor

This contemporary arts and crafts centre is situated in a beautiful listed mill building on the outskirts of the Dorset market town. Here you can enjoy a stunning display of both local and national artists and a regularly changing programme of exhibitions. The current exhibition runs until October 27th and is a collection of work exploring of the concept of ‘mending’. The collection aims to influence attitudes towards repair and show that mended items can be just as attractive as new ones. Walford Mill also has its own bistro and delivers crafts workshops for both adults and children.

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, Manchester

Craft Fair

Via Flickr

The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair is being held in Spinningfields, Manchester for the sixth year in a row this weekend, running from 10th- 13th October. Widely recognised as a leading retail event in the craft calendar, this fair is a brilliant idea for those who are wondering what to do this weekend. There are over 150 designers exhibiting at the fair and visitors will be able to browse jewellery, textiles, ceramics and much more. If you’re organised, you could even pick up a few of your Christmas presents! The atmosphere is very relaxed and the makers are more than happy to have a chat about their work and offer tips. If you can’t make this weekend, don’t worry, there is a mini version of the event, with around 40 designers, taking place on 8th December at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, so you won’t miss out.

St Ives Society of Artists, St Ives

St. Ives, Cornwall

Via Flickr

The St Ives Society of Artists was founded in 1927 and is one of the oldest of its kind in Cornwall. The society works tirelessly to promote the work of artists in the St Ives area and has two large public galleries situated in the former Mariners Church. The Main Gallery houses the society’s annual exhibition of local artists and is open from the beginning of March until early January. The second gallery is located in the former crypt of the church and is available to rent by artists who want to showcase their work.  The Crypt Gallery is currently showcasing its Members Festival Show until 26th November and is well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

The Donkey Sanctuary’s Autumn Craft Fair, Sidmouth

Donkey Sanctuary

Via Flickr

This Sunday, The Donkey Sanctuary is hosting an Autumn Craft Fair starting from 10am in Sidmouth, Devon. Costing just £2.00 for adults and with under 12s going free, this event will make a great day out for all the family with a wide range of crafts on sale and the added bonus of meeting some very cute donkeys! The Donkey Sanctuary has helped over 14,000 donkeys since its opening its gates and is a very worthy cause.

If you’re travelling to visit a craft fair or planning to visit any of the attractions and galleries mentioned, why not consider making a long weekend of it and book a holiday cottage? Our dedicated holiday advisers are on hand to help until 9.30pm tonight!

Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Sunday Snapshots: Westonbirt Arboretum

Sunday, September 29th, 2013
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With the smell of autumn in the air, there’s no better way to embrace the new season than with a walk in the great outdoors. As a child, I spent numerous happy hours at Westonbirt, home to the National Arboretum and some 16,000 trees! Planting began here during the 1850s and today the site has gained international importance not to mention the fact that it is home to 80 champion trees! There are 17 miles of accessible paths to discover at Westonbirt as well as numerous ways to explore the forest with guided walks, photography workshops and arts and crafts suitable for all ages. Westonbirt is a feast for the senses throughout the year but never more so than during the autumn when leaves of every hue imaginable provide a backdrop to the stunning vistas at every turn. This week’s Sunday Snapshot is best enjoyed with a cup of tea and, for me, at least, a dose of nostalgia. Don’t forget to explore the charming market town of Tetbury, located just three miles from Westonbirt. With numerous antique shops, delis and cafes to linger over, I can’t think of a better way to while away a Sunday afternoon. If this has got you thinking about an autumn holiday, why not take a look at our Cotswolds cottages and experience the colours of the season for yourself?

Westonbirt Arboretum

Westonbirt Arboretum

Westonbirt Arboretum

Westonbirt Arboretum

Cracking Up

Autumn Walk

The Great British Walk: Get Walking This Autumn

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
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This autumn, the National Trust is encouraging us to get some fresh air, stretch our legs and make the most of the beautiful British scenery that we so often take for granted. As the air starts to cool, it’s easy to enter hibernation mode and only venture outside when absolutely necessary. The National Trust aims to help us resist this temptation with their Great British Walk annual walking festival, which celebrates the outdoors and the wealth of natural beauty that Britain has on offer. With its cooler temperatures and vibrant colours, autumn is the perfect walking season so what are you waiting for? The festival runs from 1st September through to 3rd November so dig out your walking boots and head for the hills! Just in case you need some more inspiration, Sykes have compiled a short-list of some of our favourite British walks.

Snowdonia, Wales


Via Flickr

Snowdonia is an exciting and inviting prospect to walkers of all abilities. Located in North Wales, this National Park has a vast and diverse landscape filled with rugged mountains, rolling countryside, serene beaches and imposing lakes. Walks vary from the opportunity to climb Mount Snowden, the highest mountain in Wales to a leisurely meander along the Welsh coastline. Walkers will be rewarded with stunning vistas and on higher ground, you can see as far as the Lake District. Attracting over six million visitors a year, the Snowdonia National Park should be on everyone’s to-do list and in our opinion, there’s no better way to experience the beauty of Snowdonia than by staying locally.

The South West Coastal Path

South West Coastal Path

Via Flickr

Covering over 630 miles, the South West Coastal Path boasts some of the UK’s most spectacular scenery, running from Somerset, along the breathtakingly beautiful coastlines of Devon and Cornwall and finishing in Dorset. Of course, 630 miles is no mean feat and if you’re up for the challenge it could take around 8 weeks to complete the entire trail, but for the less hardy walker there are a range of shorter routes within the Coastal Path that can be completed over a weekend or a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon. The Coastal Path is like no other walk in the UK and combines stunning scenery, heritage, wildlife and geology. Embrace the spirit of the Great British Walk and experience the beauty of South West England at the same time! If you’re looking to pay a visit to the Coastal Path, why not book one of our holiday cottages in the South West to rest your tired feet at the end of the day.

The Sandstone Trail, Cheshire

Sandstone Trail, Bickerton, Cheshire Plain

Via Flickr

The Sandstone Trail is one of North England’s most popular walks running from the pretty Cheshire market town of Frodsham through to the Georgian town of Whitchurch in Shropshire. The trail itself covers 34 miles of Cheshire’s finest countryside and offers panoramic views across to Wales and the Pennines. Along the way you’ll encounter the dramatic sandstone ridge of the Cheshire plain; the majestic, medieval Beeston Castle; picturesque black-and-white houses and wildlife galore. The trail can be joined at any point along the way and is split up into seven manageable sections if you’d prefer to cover a shorter distance. There are also many circular routes that you can follow which are ideal for families and those who are driving to the trail. Widely recognised as one of the best family walking routes in the North West, the Sandstone Trail caters for every kind of walker and offers routes to suit every ability and time scale. It’s also perfect for dogs!

Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Livin’ it up with the Lads in Cornwall

Monday, September 23rd, 2013
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Romantic weekend away with the one you love are always nice; long walks on the beach, candle lit dinners, and lazy Sunday mornings in bed are some of the simple pleasures of life. Every so often however, a guy just needs to get away with the lads to fill up on testosterone, beer and laughs.

Now that the kids are back in school and life is beginning to settle back into a regular pace there is no better time to plan a lads weekend away. It doesn’t need to be an elaborate overseas affair that breaks the bank, there are plenty of great ways to spend time with your mates right here in the UK and Cornwall takes the cake. With something for everyone, from golf to fishing, walking to coasteering, as well as some of the best pubs in the country, there are few better places to get back in touch with your masculine side.

Golfin’ with the Guys at Launceston Golf Club


Via. Flickr

The town of Launceston, right on the edge of the Cornwall/Devon border, makes a perfect place to start your weekend away. First stop, Launceston Golf Club. Originating in earnest in 1927, Launceston Golf Club is a challenging 6385 yard par 70 parkland course which boasts spectacular countryside views over both Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor. Not only is Launceston the first golf club that you’ll come across when you cross the Cornwall border, but it’s also a steal of a deal for Sykes Cottages customers – just mention Sykes when making your booking and the regular £30 cost for a round will be discounted to £18. Just call the Club House on 01566 773442 to take advantage of this great offer!

Leg it with the Lads at the Fal River Autumn Walking Festival

St Mawes Castle. Nikon D3100. DSC_0590.

Via. Flickr

If you, like Mark Twain, think that golf is “a good walk spoiled”, then why not just take the walk. From 18 October to 3 November, 2013 the Fal River Autumn Walking Festival will be taking place and offers the opportunity to perambulate through some of the most beautiful landscapes that Cornwall has to offer. The walks that are organized for the festival offer something for every ability level and interest, from all day hikes that take you on a journey around the Roseland Peninsula, to short town and country walks that factor in time for a pint and a pasty! Visit the website to find a selection of walking guides and festival events.

Beer with your Buddies at the Falmouth Beer Festival

King of Pints!

Via. Flickr

A lads weekend just wouldn’t be a lads weekend without a healthy dose of the amber nectar, and where better to get your fill than at the Falmouth Beer Festival? This is an event entered into the diaries of all Real Ale lovers across Cornwall, with it being the biggest Real Ale event in the county. This year’s event will host more than 200 of the most mouth-watering real ales, ciders and perries that the local area has to offer. For a mere £4 (or £2.50 with a CAMRA membership card), gets you entry to the event at Princess Pavillion, Falmouth, as well as a festival programme and a souvenir glass, after that it’s just £1.50 per half pint. The festival rins from 11am-11pm both days and if you set yourself up in a local Falmouth holiday cottage you won’t have far to walk, or stumble, home! Visit the festival Twitter or Facebook for full details.

Back To School: A Great Time for a Cottage Holiday

Thursday, September 12th, 2013
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When I was at school, September meant a lot of new; a new season, a new school year and a new pair of school shoes. Now I’m a little older, my view of September has altered. Whilst I still head into the month feeling the chill of a new season, and – most likely – with a new pair of shoes, I now also savour the quietness that the new school year brings. Shops, parks, beaches and theme parks are less busy than they were in August. Whilst this is bad news for those who are spending their time in Maths and English lessons, it is great news for anyone wanting a quieter – and cheaper – holiday.

Beat The Queues

Less people means less queues, which means the school term is a great time to take an activity packed holiday. Head to somewhere like Great Yarmouth in Norfolk and be able to enjoy the vast amount of activities on offer without the usual hustle and bustle of the summer holidays.

Great Yarmouth

Photo via Flickr

Enjoy the Peace and Quiet

Alternatively, head to somewhere like the Welsh coast and spend your days walking along one of the vast beaches Wales has to offer. Make the most of the quiet period by spending some time browsing the usually busy pier or head over to Conwy to explore the magnificent Conwy Castle.

View from the train on the Cambrian Coast Line near Llanaber

Photo via Flickr

Save Money on Your Holiday

Holidaying during term time can often mean a drop in the price of holidays, meaning you can enjoy the same high quality cottage holiday for a decrease in price, leaving you with more money to spend enjoying your holiday. Browse the Sykes Cottages Autumn Sale now for special offers on some of our properties throughout September and October.

Photo of Penmaen Cottage. Reference 24258. Click here to view.

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.