Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013
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Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from everyone at Sykes Cottages! We hope your day is brimming with family, friends and festive cheer (plus a mince pie or two).  Tune in to the Sykes Blog tomorrow for some foody tips on what to do with that leftover Turkey, as well as a lowdown on our last minute holiday cottages for the New Year!

Have a wonderful Christmas!

christmas tree 2004

Via Flickr

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.

Festive Films for Christmas Eve

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
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Here at Sykes, we think that there is no better Christmas Eve activity than getting cosy in front of the TV with your favourite Christmas film and a hot chocolate (or for the adults, a festive tipple!) Apparently we’re not alone in this, as we each watch an average of 13 films over the festive period. In honour of it being Christmas Eve, we thought we’d do something a little different this Tuesday and share with you our favourite Christmas films from a few of us here in the office at Sykes HQ.

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

“I like to dust off my copy of ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ during the festive season as it provides a brilliant alternative to your ordinary Christmas film, with  skeletons, monsters, ghosts and of course Father Christmas, this is definitely an unusual film. Along with fantastic animation, inspiring music and lovable characters this film has a real feel-good meaning, well that is after Jack has destroyed Christmas. The Pumpkin King realises the way to make himself truly happy is just to be himself and I feel, with the rise of bullying in schools, this is a lesson that we all should learn and appreciate.” Nikki

It’s a Wonderful Life

“Choosing my favourite Christmas film actually proved to be quite a difficult task, however I finally settled on It’s a Wonderful Life. I only saw it for the first time a few years back after my Dad came home with the DVD but since then it has become a household tradition to watch it together – maybe it’s a sign of how good it is that we can all sit down and watch it without bickering. It may sound a bit cliché but It’s a Wonderful Life really has everything that you could want from a festive film with one of the most uplifting endings and as far as I’m concerned should be compulsory Christmas viewing for everyone!” Jamie

Father Christmas

Father Christmas

“For me, Christmas isn’t complete without watching Father Christmas. Being released the same year I was born means that I have literally grown up with this brilliant short film, and it is as much a part of my annual Christmas festivities as crackers and twinkly lights. This film shows Father Christmas in a different light to what we’re used to: living in the suburbs, going on holiday and getting ready for ‘another bloomin’ Christmas’ rather than the usual jolly Lapland –inhabitant we’re used to seeing in festive films. If possible, I find this Father Christmas more endearing than the typical jolly Santa image and his grumpy attitude makes for a few laughs along the way. The cynical Santa, wonderful animation and excellent story line is what makes this my must-watch Christmas film every year!” Leanne

The Santa Clause

“What more could you ask for: Tim Allen, a flaming turkey and a band of flying “elves with attitude”. Yes, this is 1994’s The Santa Clause, a wacky portrayal of one divorcee’s transformation into Santa Claus. After inadvertently murdering Little Saint Nick on Christmas Eve (awkward), advertising exec Scott Calvin embarks on a mind-bending festive odyssey which sees him gain weight, grow a beard and convince the world that he is indeed Father Christmas. This enchanting tale offers up a good dollop of old fashioned Christmas cheer without being overly demanding, so is sure to be a hit with the little ones.” Jonathan

Home Alone

Home Alone

“There are so many amazing Christmas films but when it comes down to it I think my favourite has to be Home Alone. I watch this film at least once every Christmas and no matter how many times I see it, it never gets old. The story is undeniably a bit crazy but who cares! For me, Macaulay Culkin is absolutely perfect and his ridiculous facial expressions still make me laugh every time I watch it. There are so many classic one-liners to join in with and it invokes a real sense of nostalgia from having grown up watching it. It’s hilarious, heart-warming and Christmassy all in one, what more could you want!” Louise

If having a festive film marathon is one of your favourite Christmas Eve pastimes, why not shake things up a bit next year and cosy up in a holiday cottage with your DVDs and Christmas snacks? It’s never too early to book a Christmas holiday cottage for 2014!

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.

Top Locations for Christmas Eve Celebrations

Friday, December 20th, 2013
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With the children now finished school for the holidays and adults leaving work early there is no night as special or as magical than Christmas Eve. With an early finish and the children full of excitement there is time to spare on festive activities before retreating to a warm and welcoming home to sip hot chocolate and wait for the arrival of Father Christmas and his reindeer. The UK is filled with beautiful places to visit and our local towns and villages seem to take on a mystical glow in the cool frosty air, so here at Sykes Cottages we have compiled a list of our favourite festive places for you and your family to visit this Christmas Eve.


stratford upon avon

Via. Flickr

The town famously known as the birth place of William Shakespeare is awash with festive activities this Christmas; visitors search the shops for unique Christmas gifts and photographers scurry around in search of the perfect festive photo. For an alternative to watching movies we would suggest that this Christmas Eve you wrap up warm and pull on your walking boots to take part in the award winning town walk. This invigorating walk guides you through the town’s main attractions, divulging exciting history and sharing the town’s loving ties to William Shakespeare. We have a superb selection of Stratford-Upon-Avon holiday cottages perfect for resting your tired legs after your exhilarating walk and ideal for a family getaway over the Christmas period.


Peterborough Cathedral

Via. Flickr

This wonderful Cambridgeshire city makes for a delightful Christmas break, with merry locals spreading the joy and good cheer so commonly associated with the festive season. This Christmas Eve, The Peterborough Cathedral will entertain crowds of all ages with carols performed by the Salvation Army, a service of readings and a midnight Eucharist. If you are still in search of the dream Christmas cottage to escape to during the upcoming week then why not visit one of our charming Cambridgeshire holiday cottages; with beautiful open fires and far reaching views these cottages paint the perfect picture for a warm and cosy Christmas.


Venue Cymru, Llandudno

Via. Flickr

The coastal town of Llandudno is a fantastic destination for picking up that last minute Christmas gift; the town offers everything from high-street brands to quirky independent craft stores, so you’ll be sure to find everything you need for your loved ones this year. We would encourage a trip to the magnificent Venue Cymru where families will be entertained with a wonderful rendition of Sleeping Beauty; the show is perfect for a Christmas Eve treat, showing at 1pm and again at 5pm. The salty sea air and the cool breeze coming over the mountains makes Llandudno a favourite amongst holiday makers, so take advantage of our Llandudno holiday cottages this year and spoil the family with a wonderful welsh Christmas!

Here at Sykes Cottages we feel truly blessed to live in a country as fair as the United Kingdom, so take some time out this Christmas and explore a new town or city with the people you love. If you are stuck for ideas or need help planning your dream Christmas getaway then why not contact us? Our team of merry helpers would love to hear from you, and have expert advice on the best places to visit this Christmas Eve!


By Nicole Westley

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 fiancé.

Get Your Loved Ones a Sykes Gift Voucher this Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
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Christmas really is starting to bear down on us. There is just one week to go until the big day and I’m sure that stress levels are building all around the country. If you’re anything like me then it is likely that this is compounded by the ever more desperate attempts to get the Christmas shopping done.

Let’s be honest we’ve all been in that awkward situation before; everything seems to be going well but there is that one tricky person who you just can’t think of a present for, or maybe you just can’t bring yourself to venture out into the wilds of the pre-Christmas shopping mayhem. Well here at Sykes we can offer you the chance to treat someone special to a luxury break in the UK with a Sykes Cottages gift voucher.

Why you should get a Sykes Holiday Gift Voucher!

Holly Tree Cottage, ref no. 25436

Last Christmas, the gift vouchers proved to be a bit of a hit, and since then we have added even more cottages to the selection meaning that the lucky recipient would have over 4,000 beautiful holiday homes to pick from throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. Think about it, they really are a sensible option. Not only are they an unusual and welcome gift to receive, there are no issues with buying something in the wrong size or in a colour that they don’t like; after all they get to pick the holiday themselves!

The gift that keeps on giving!

Little Thatch, ref no. 4270

The vouchers are available in denominations of £25, allowing you the utmost in terms of flexibility and they can be used as part or full payment for any purchase from Sykes Cottages, from a half-term break for the whole family to a winter weekend away or maybe even a little romantic retreat, the possibilities are endless!  What’s more the vouchers are redeemable for up to two years after the purchase date and so could be used to book a holiday at any point right up to December 2015! All it takes is one phone call and we will send the vouchers out to you, either personalised or left blank for you to complete and pass on to the lucky person come Christmas day.

So if you think that a Sykes’ gift voucher may well be the answer to your Christmas issues, or maybe you would just like a little bit more information about them, then visit the Sykes website or give us a call on 01244 356695 where we will be happy to answer any questions that you might have.

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.

Last Minute Christmas Cottages

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
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You better believe it, this year has absolutely whizzed by and we are now a mere week away from Christmas Eve! If the festive season has crept up on you like it has us here and your plans for the big day are still not set in stone, it’s not too late to book a last minute holiday cottage in time for Christmas. They’re filling up fast, but we do still have some lovely cottages available to rent over the festive season.

Room for Everyone

Image via Flickr.

Christmas is about family and spending time with loved ones, although sometimes it can be difficult getting everyone together particularly if your family spans the breadth of the UK. If you’re still having a worry of how you’ll get everyone together then booking a cottage that’s easy for everyone to get to could be a great idea, we still have cottages available at last minute prices across the UK that will make spending time with your nearest and dearest a doddle! Booking a holiday cottage with enough rooms and beds for the whole family can also cut down on expensive hotel costs, and ensure everyone is together when Father Christmas comes down the chimney.

Cook up a Christmas Feast

Manor Farm. Property reference: 15822

Our cottages are all fully equipped for the number of people staying in them, so say goodbye to family members bringing their own fold out chairs and having to bring in the garden furniture to ensure everyone has a seat. All of our cottages have enough seats and space for everyone, making them perfect for the whole family to enjoy Christmas dinner together! The kitchens are also fully equipped with all you need to whip up a Christmas feast to remember. Plus with all the family around, help is surely at hand for preparing food and setting the table.

Book Today!

Hunting Lodge. Property reference: 381

With booking last minute comes great prices. Our last minute Christmas cottages will now be available with a brilliant discount, so what are you waiting for – sort out your Christmas planning woes and book a brilliant last minute cottage today.

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.