Archive for the ‘Autumn Holidays’ Category

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.

Sunday Snapshots: Autumn in the Lake District

Sunday, September 8th, 2013
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The nights are drawing in, pavements are littered with crunchy leaves in a multitude of hues and there is the undeniable nip in the air which can only mean one thing; autumn is fast approaching. With the children back to school this week, now is a great time for a few days away.  Fewer holidaymakers, the promise of an Indian summer and lower prices to boot means you couldn’t choose a better time than autumn for a relaxing break.  So, where to enjoy a few days away?  You’ll struggle to find anywhere better than the Lake District with its simply breathtaking combination of rolling hills and mirror-like lakes to watch the seasons change.  With just too many fantastic photos to choose just one, for this week’s Sunday Snapshot, we’re treating you to a cornucopia of autumnal delights…

Autumn in the lakes 2

Once you’ve admired the scenery, you’ll find plenty more to keep you entertained whether you’re looking for an active or relaxing break.  Fans of the former should try the Glenridding Sailing Centre located on Ullswater, the area’s second largest lake, which offers a great selection of dinghies, boats, canoes and kayaks to hire.  Their experienced staff also offer training courses throughout the year and are on hand to answer our sailing-related queries!  Once on the water, I’m sure you’ll agree that the view from your boat is second to none.

Lake Ullswater, Glenridding

Foodies have been flocking to the Lakes for decades and autumn with its seasonal abundance of tasty treats is no exception to the region’s popularity.  Make sure to try the damson, in season during September and grown in Westmorland since the early 1700s, which appears in everything from jams to wines, chocolate and even beer!  To make your holiday a truly special one, why not treat yourselves to a Michelin starred meal at L’Enclume in Cartmel, recently crowned the best restaurant in the UK?

Course 8: Herdwick Lamb Flank, Sweetbread, Salsify, Hedge Garlic & Blewitts (3)

Take a walk on the wild side this autumn

Friday, September 6th, 2013
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Here in the UK, we love our walking. We walk with friends and family, we walk with dogs (and cats…), but most importantly, we walk with ourselves. Or so I thought!  Last week, The Independent published an article testifying that a fifth of British adults never venture over 500 metres from their car! Safe to say, this statistic got me worried. Thankfully however, a wealth of tenacious wayfaring folk are set to change all this, by organising annual walking festivals up and down the UK dedicated to dragging us Brits out of the driving seat and back into the great outdoors. So if you’re interested in rediscovering the wonders of the humble walk for yourself, read on for a shortlist of the top walking festivals taking place across the UK this September.

 Welsh Valleys Walking Festival

Welsh Valleys

Via Flickr

Taking place between 7th and 22nd September, the Welsh Valleys Walking Festival offers the chance to traverse some of the best landscapes in Wales under the guidance of a knowledgeable and friendly guide. You’ll find an excellent range of walks catering to prospective hikers of any age or ability, helpfully colour coded on the event’s website so that you’re able to easily choose the walk that’s right for you. The event kicks off officially tomorrow, with walks happening in the Gelligaer & Methyr Commons, and will continue over the next two weeks at different locations throughout Wales. So if you’ve been pining for the chance to explore the Welsh valleys via walking boots, why not take a look at our range of last minute holiday cottages in Wales? You could be within a mile of your car a lot sooner than you think!

 South Pennines Walk & Ride Festival

Pennine Way

Via Flickr

The South Pennines Walk & Ride Festival is a bit of an oddity. This sixteen-day event (also starting tomorrow—7/09/2013) gives budding gadabouts the opportunity to explore the pastoral wilderness of the South Pennines by foot, bike or horse!  The festival includes events such as, ‘Between a Rock and a hard place’, an arty walk with visual artist Angie Rogers, as well as specialist Sky Ride cycling routes, making it one of the most fun and free-spirited events in the country.  Experience it for yourself with a self-catering stay at one of our nearby Yorkshire Dales cottages; the ideal place to put your feet up after a day in the walking boots!

 South East Cornwall Walking Fest

South East Cornwall

Via Flickr

If you’re ready to explore the delightful South East Cornwall on foot, keep reading. The South East Cornwall Walking Fest provides the perfect opportunity to stretch out those weary, pedal pushing limbs and learn a lot about this captivating region while you mooch. The event, which has been running for over a decade, features walks in some of Cornwall’s most coveted regions including the Tamar Valley, Bodmin Moor and the beautiful South Cornish coastline. Take a 2 mile stroll past the granite tors of Bodmin before stopping off at one of Cornwall’s top pubs for a well-earned pint. Or pack a lunch and prepare a flask for a 7 mile hike along the coast where you’ll discover quaint villages and mile after mile of stunning Cornish coastline. If you need accommodation during your visit, choose one of our self-catering holiday cottages in Cornwall. We’ve a number of great Cornish cottages for you to choose from, so you’ve no excuse but to get out and get walking in this magnificent region!

Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.