Archive for the ‘City Breaks’ Category

Sunday Snapshots: Illuminating York

Sunday, October 27th, 2013
Pin It

If you’re anything like the majority of 9 to 5ers across the UK, it can feel like you live life in perpetual darkness when the clocks go back and the dim mornings and dusky evenings of winter take hold. But fear not my fellow diurnals, because some cunning folk in the grand old city of York have come up with a twinkling solution to our woe. Taking place between 30th October and the 2nd November (so only a temporary fix; apologies for inappropriate spirit raising), this bunch of bright brainiacs will be illuminating York as part of their aptly named annual festival, Illuminating York! Visit the city any evening on the above dates and feast your eyes on an iridescent medley of dazzling digital light shows, cast on to some of York’s most esteemed landmarks in recognition of the city’s unique culture and heritage. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Illuminating the Past, Enlightening the Future’, allegedly chosen to celebrate the deep connection that the city has had to incoming cultures throughout its 2,000 year history.

So embrace the darkness and be enthralled by the enlightening artworks that will shine from Clifford’s Tower to the imposing Minster, before taking to the cobbled streets to enjoy a candlelit ghost tour on All Hallows’ eve; can you think of a better way to enjoy some good old darkness this autumn?

Take a look at last year’s lavish light show below!

Illuminating York installation 'Rose' on the South Transept

Via Flickr

York Minster

Via Flickr

Accendo

Via Flickr

Illuminating York 2009

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Illuminating York 2010 [365 - day 303]

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.

Enjoy a self-catering city break this autumn

Friday, September 27th, 2013
Pin It

With the onset of autumn and the sun’s increasing absenteeism, swap flip flops for ankle boots and put a smile on the other half’s face this season with an impromptu weekend city break from Sykes Cottages. We’ve a growing number of super inner-city cottages, entrenched within the borders of some of the UK’s most palatial metropolises, including York, Chester, Edinburgh and Lincoln, which provide the perfect base for a spot of urban exploration! With fewer tourists and cooler temperatures, there’s really no better time to pound the pavements of your favourite city than autumn, but if you’re still in need of a little inspiration, read our handy guide to three of the UK’s top stops for a self-catering city break.

Step back in time on a cottage break in York

The Shambles, York

Via Flickr

We’re sure you’ve read about York in one history book or another, but until you’ve paid it a visit yourself it’s difficult to appreciate the scope of history that is encased within the city’s ancient walls. Speaking of walls, that’s where we’ll begin. Take a lap around the city of York from the vantage point of this spectacular roman-age structure to get a feel for the panorama of this archaic city, before stooping into The Shambles to pick up a trinket or some local produce from one of the street’s original oak fronted medieval shops. Swap the modern age for the Viking age in the JORVIK centre, home to an interactive Viking city as well as a deluge of funky Nordic odours! Or, terrorize yourself at the York Dungeon, where you’ll be petrified by the Plague Doctor and witness the sticky end of Guy Fawkes. Take a tumble back to yesteryear for yourself with one of our self-catering cottages in York; who knows what you’ll uncover on your weekend escape in this age-old city!

Eat well in Edinburgh on your next city break

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh

Via Flickr

Edinburgh, birthplace of Hogmanay, haggis and Sean Connery, and now the jewel in the UK’s culinary crown. If you’re out to indulge on your next city break, there’s really no better place. You’ll find all manner of Scottish gastronomy amongst the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants, food markets and specialist delicatessens, making Edinburgh an outright mecca for foodies. Gorge on Highland Bay langoustine and Aberdeen steak in the city’s top restaurants; sip warming Scotch over a plate of hearty fare on the Royal Mile, or cook up a storm in your Edinburgh cottage kitchen with ingredients sourced from the weekly farmer’s market, before snuggling up for a supper of oatcakes and chutney in front of your cottage’s open log fire. Can you think of a better way to spend a sumptuous weekend away?

Soak up some city culture in Plymouth

Plymouth Barbican, Plymouth

Via Flickr

With a pseudonym like ‘Britain’s Ocean City’, it’s easy to assume that the only thing on offer in Plymouth is its maritime heritage and golden Devonshire shoreline. But don’t rule out the culture of this South coast city just yet! As it turns out, Plymouth offers a plethora of cultural activities for the urban gadabout, including exhibitions, concerts and regional fêtes, making it the perfect place for an enriching city getaway. Scrutinise the work of top UK artists at the Artist’s Make Faces exhibition, commissioned by Monika Kinley; enter the ‘live studio’ of Edward Waite as you sidle through his Urban Architecture; fill your Plymouth holiday cottage with homely antiques and kitchenalia acquired at the city’s annual Vintage Fair, before heading to Café Acoustica, an evening of unplugged music and performance poetry at Plymouth’s B-Bar.

Our short city breaks are available on a last minute basis, so why not spice up your weekend with a spontaneous urban getaway? To find out more, take a look at our self-catering city breaks page today.

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.