Archive for the ‘Bank Holidays’ Category

Escape to the Country this Bank Holiday

Monday, May 5th, 2014
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As another Bank Holiday weekend comes to an end, many of us will be thinking of the impending working week and the early morning start of the school run. But it’s not all doom and gloom as in just two weeks we will be treated to yet another Bank Holiday; Monday May 26th. In order to make the most of your three day weekend, we would suggest escaping the busy city and heading out for a much needed short break in the country.

Shrugging off the murky city atmosphere and embracing the fresh county air couldn’t be easier or more fulfilling. From any location in the UK you simply need to jump in the car, hop on a train or shuffle onto a bus and no more than an hour later you’ll be surrounded by lush green meadows and open blue skies.  If you’re looking to escape the UK’s major cities for your next Bank Holiday getaway then keep reading as we have a few hints and tips for top country locations you can easily reach from your city home.

Glasgow to Loch Lomond in 45 minutes

From the bright city lights of Glasgow to the tranquil waters of Loch Lomond, you and your family can be out of the car, unpacked and into a canoe in just 45 minutes! Ideal for a family holiday Loch Lomond has an array of outdoor activities available, from kayaking on the Loch to horseback riding through the woods there is something to suit all tastes.  If you’re making the trip to Loch Lomond National Park this May then make sure to check out the MHOR food and drink festival on Sunday 24th. They’ll have a wide selection of events taking place from a farmers markets to dance lessons and of course plenty of delicious mouth-watering food on offer!

Newcastle to the Northumberland National Park in 50 minutes

From the urban jungle of Newcastle to the enchanting forests of Northumberland National Park you could be relaxing under the forests cool canopy in just 50 minutes. The ideal location for wilderness explorers everywhere, this park is home to a number of cunning badgers, endangered red squirrels and even the humble mountain bumblebee. Let your imagination run wild as you re-enact historic battle scenes in the shadows of Langle Castle or delve deep into Kielder forest following the trail of the Gruffalo; the possibilities are endless for an imaginative child or whimsical adult.

Cardiff to the Brecon Beacons National Park in 1 hour

Escape the hectic city streets of Cardiff by heading out to the tranquil forests of Brecon Beacons National Park. This historic park is easily reached from Cardiff’s busy city centre; in just 1 hour you’ll be hiking through the woods, losing yourself amongst the wild flowers and tall trees. The weather is nothing to be feared this Bank Holiday as when visiting the Brecon Beacons rain only adds to the experience. Filling up the rivers, rain expands the beautiful cascading waterfalls and trickles down the mountain side, adding a musical echo throughout the many deep caves; you may even find yourself wishing for rain this May!

London to the South Downs National Park in 1 hour

If London’s cramped city streets and towering sky scrapers have left you feeling claustrophobic then pack your bags, hop in the car and whiz yourself off for a relaxing break at South Downs National Park. In just over an hour you could be gliding across the water at Swanbourne Lake or admiring the panoramic views from one of the many chalk hills. Famed for its fresh local produce and award winning restaurants, South Downs National Park is a foodie’s paradise. For a truly scrumptious experience make sure to treat yourself with a large slice of Banoffee Pie in Jevington, the birth place of this delectable pastry.

I hope this list of potential country escapes has got you thinking of the next Bank Holiday weekend and a relaxing break in the British countryside. If you’d like more information on our charming country cottages or for a little assistance in finding your nearest country escape, then please feel free to contact our reservations staff on 01244 356695.


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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.

May Day Traditions

Thursday, May 1st, 2014
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Believe it or not, today is the first day of May and I for one cannot believe how quickly the year is flying by! In honour of it being the first of May and there being just one working day left before yet another three day weekend, we thought that it would be a good idea to take a look at some of the traditional ways that May Day is celebrated, with a couple of facts thrown in!

1. May Day is traditionally thought of as being a celebration of summer and the beginning of nicer weather.

Image via Flickr

2. Padstow’s May Day tradition is the procession of the ‘Obby ‘Oss (Hobby Horse). It is one of the oldest traditions of its kind and up to 30,000 people visit Padstow on May Day to join in the festivities!

Image via Flickr

3. Traditionally a May Queen would be crowned, and the chosen young female would begin the celebrations and lead the parade. She wears a white dress and a flower crown to symbolise purity and spring.

Image via Flickr

4. Whilst the origins of May Day are somewhat unknown, many believe that it originated as a pagan fertility festival.

Image via Flickr

5. The 1st May is also International Workers Day, which was created to celebrate the working class and the labour market. It is often marked with organised street demonstrations and marches.

Image via Flickr

6. Possibly the most well known May Day tradition is that of dancing around the May Pole; a ceremonial dance around a tall pole that is decorated with flowers and often has ribbons tied to it which the dancers weave into patterns.

Image via Flickr

7. Traditionally, girls would head out before dawn on May Day and wash their faces with the morning dew. They believed that doing this would keep them beautiful for the rest of the year.

Image via Flickr

8. Morris Dancing is also a customary way to celebrate May Day, with groups of men or women dressing in traditional costumes and performing energetic routines. The type of costume worn by Morris Dancers depends on which part of the country they are dancing in.

Image via Flickr

9. Although May Day has been celebrated for hundreds of years, it was only designated a bank holiday in 1978. This early May bank holiday always takes place on the first Monday of May, however the 1st May is still recognised as May Day.

Image via Flickr

10. On May Eve in Wales, ‘Spirit nights’ would take place as it was believed that it was one of the three nights of the year when the supernatural world was closest to the real world.

Image via Flickr


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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.

Making the most of the Bank Holiday weekend!

Monday, August 26th, 2013
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Today marks the final Bank Holiday before Christmas, which is a pretty good reason in my books to enjoy a long weekend. And, with weather forecasters predicting a return to the blazing temperatures of earlier in the year, there’s no excuse not to make the most the extra day off. You’ll find plenty of events organised up and down the country whether you’re on holiday or just looking for inspiration for a day out with the family. Meet Peter Rabbit at The World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windermere, visit TreeFest at Wiltshire’s Westonbirt Arboretum or take part in the Seaside Carnival in Llanelli. Or, if you’re after a relaxing day, simply lace up your walking boots and enjoy the breathtaking beauty on offer in the UK, breathe in lungfuls of fresh sea air along the South West Coastal Path or explore the rolling green hills of North Wales. The choice is yours!

Talland Bay, Cornwall

carousel on the beach

westonbirt arboretum

Fear not, we have a very dedicated team of holiday cottage advisors here at Sykes so if you’re wanting to plan a last minute break or make a booking for next summer, there’ll be one of our advisors waiting to take your call until 9.30pm tonight.

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Book Your Last Minute Bank Holiday Today!

Friday, August 16th, 2013
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No one likes to think about it, but sadly the summer is coming to and end. The nights have begun to cool and cravings for warming comfort food are setting in. Children in Scotland have already headed back to school for goodness sake, so there really is no getting away from it, summer 2013 is coming to a close.

late summer beach

There is still time to squeeze a last little bit of fun and sun out of the summer though with the final bank holiday of the season coming up from 24-26th of August. That means that starting today you can book a last minute break for the long weekend starting today for cottages with a Friday changeover day, and tomorrow for those with a Saturday changeover.

Booking a Last Minute Holiday

Never booked a last minute break before? There’s nothing to it. Just browse our selection of last minute holiday cottages, make your selection, and either call our friendly reservations team to secure the booking via our website. You’ll have to make the full payment at the time of booking, but once that is all settled you can start planning your end of summer getaway!

So what are you waiting for? Get browsing the cottages today for next weekend’s last minute getaway! The early bird catches the worm so the earlier you make the decision the greater selection of cottages you’ll have.

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Get Away For the May Day Bank Holiday!

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
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The first bank holiday of the summer season is nearly upon us and what better way to celebrate than getting away on a cottage holiday. You don’t need to jet off to Europe to have a great time, especially with a weather report for the UK as glorious as the one for this weekend. We still have a wonderful selection of holiday cottages available for the weekend, and with Last Minute Breaks being only 65% of the regular weekly rental rate for a minimum of three nights, you can grab a great deal!

Here are a selection of cottages that are still available to rent over the May Bank Holiday, but get in quickly because once they are gone, they are gone!

For more great cottages that are still available for the 2013 May bank holiday weekend follow the links and see what kinds of deals you will find.

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