Archive for the ‘Cornwall’ Category

Discover Cornwall with Sykes Cottages

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
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As one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations, Cornwall has a lot to offer visitors. From its beautiful beaches and rugged moorlands to its unique towns, villages, pubs and eateries, those visiting the county will certainly have a packed itinerary.

Discover Cornwall

To make it easier for holidaymakers to decide what to get up to during their self-catering break in Cornwall, we’ve created an in-depth visitors guide to the region. Aptly named Discover Cornwall, the guide covers all of the county’s main areas – North Cornwall, South Cornwall, West Cornwall and Bodmin Moor & Tamar Valley – detailing what each of these regions has to offer.

You’ll find lots of great advice in the guide, from information about Cornwall’s flourishing wine trade to a list of the county’s curious, little-known cafés. There’s some fantastic video guides too, revealing the beauty of Cornwall in all its glory.

Whether you’ve booked a holiday in Cornwall or want to find out more about what the county has to offer, visit Discover Cornwall today, or read on for a sneak peek!

Cornish Food

The Lost and Found Café

Wherever you choose to stay in Cornwall, rest-assured the local cuisine will be top-notch. The county prides itself on its distinct, independent eateries and cafés, with hundreds to choose from across the region, including affordable roadside diners and Michelin-star restaurants. Discover Cornwall highlights the county’s most popular and lesser known eateries, so whatever your taste, you’re sure to find a Cornish café, bistro or restaurant that’s right for you.

Cornish Drink

Kynance Cafe

For some, knowing where to enjoy a drink on your holiday is important. Lucky for you, we’ve done all the legwork, listing many of Cornwall’s best pubs, breweries and vineyards in our visitor guide. Whether you’d like to sink a pint in a traditional Cornish tavern, sip Prosecco in a contemporary, coastal café bar or sample Cornish ale in one of the county’s independent breweries, you’ll find lots of great places to drink in Cornwall.

Activities

Discover Cornwall 3

Whether you’re planning an active, all-adult getaway or a sunny summer holiday with your kids, Cornwall offers an abundance of activities to enjoy. Thanks to its sprawling coastline and array of world-class beaches, the county is a mecca for surfing, so if you like to ‘hang-ten’ there’s no better place. The same can be said for walkers; Cornwall’s varied landscapes provide a natural playground for those spending their break in the walking boots, and features a number of picturesque way marked trails.

Discover Cornwall today

Discover Cornwall 4

Discover Cornwall allows you to plan your trip to Cornwall before you arrive, ensuring you make the most of time spent in this unique and charming English county. Whether you’re searching for places to eat and drink or filling your itinerary with day-out ideas, Discover Cornwall is there to help you get the most from your cottage holiday in Cornwall.

For more inspiration, check out #discovercornwall on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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.

Cornwall Scoops Destination Award

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
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Cornwall has received yet another accolade after it was named top holiday destination by Countryfile Magazine, pushing the Peak District and the Lake District into second and third place respectively. The award, given in recognition of the quality of Cornwall’s natural landscape and rural communities, highlights the public’s affection for this pristine county in the South West, with  Countryfile describing Cornwall as ‘the land of magical coves, enchanting fishing villages, sandy beaches and many myths and legends’. But with winter on its way, what – aside from its swathes of soft sand, lagoon like waters and rugged landscapes – can you discover in Cornwall? Well we’re here to let you know, with our guide to what to you can do on a cold, rainy day in Cornwall.

History & Heritage

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Via Flickr

Rain a fallin’? Don’t fret. If soaking up some history and heritage is on your Cornish holiday agenda, there’s plenty to see without having to take a literal soaking. If it’s horrible history you’re yearning for, pluck up some courage and take a stroll around the forgotten cells of Bodmin Jail, a grizzly yet fascinating 18th century lockup located amid the barren wilderness of Bodmin Moor. Or, wet your whistle, not your hair, with a tour around St Austell’s award winning brewery. Boasting traditional Victorian brewing equipment and a plethora of Cornish pints for you to sample, the St Austell Brewery is a great place to warm the cockles when the weather takes a turn. Alternatively, visit the World Heritage Site of the Heartlands Mine in West Cornwall, which offers a day’s worth of undercover and open-air activities for young and old!

Shopping & Culture

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Via Flickr

Husbands relax, I’m not talking high street shopping. Fortunately for you, Cornwall is famed more for its independent wares and the convenience of its fresh, local produce than its overfilled high streets. Whether you’re looking to stock the larder of your Cornish holiday cottage with tasty home-grown titbits or pick up a few trinkets to take home for the kids, a great place to flutter away some of your hard-earned is at the Cornish Market World in St Austell; an indoor market comprising over 300 stalls and eateries. Alternatively, part with some of your holiday spends taking in some of Cornwall’s vibrant culture. The Millenium Gallery in St Ives remains a great place to see exhibitions by both local and national artists, whilst a matinee show at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth proves perfect for a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Other things to do on a rainy day in Cornwall

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

With the bases now covered, I have just three more suggestions of what you can do in Cornwall should the rain fall. Escape the dark clouds with a subterranean stroll around the beautiful Carnglaze Caverns; an enormous man-made cave system featuring a striking underground lake. Hop aboard the Launceston Steam Railway, and relish a respite from the weather as you travel through the picturesque Kensey Valley. Or, take the tykes to Cornwall’s Seal Sanctury, where they’ll experience first-hand the nurture and care of Cornwall’s vulnerable marine life.

Come rain or shine, the attractions mentioned in this post are worthy of a visit whatever the weather. For your chance to make the most of a holiday in Cornwall, choose a cottage holiday in Cornwall today with Sykes Cottages.

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.

Cornish Culture Granted Minority Status

Friday, May 16th, 2014
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The future of Cornwall’s unique culture and heritage looks bright after it was announced that Cornish people have been granted minority status within the UK. Joining compatriot Celts from across the British Isles, the county will receive the same rights and protections as other national minorities in Britain, including those of the Scottish, Welsh and Irish. But what prompted the decision to grant Cornwall this momentous accolade? Sykes investigates!

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Reason 1: Cornwall has its own language

1,200 years ago, Kernowek, better known as Cornish, was spoken by over 40,000 people in the region that we now know as Cornwall. The language, which evolved during the Iron Age, virtually died out during the 19th century after older generations failed to pass it a long. In recent years however, Kernowek has experienced a sort of renaissance, and now around 500 Cornish citizens consider this their first language!

Reason 2: It’s also got lots of saints

47 to be precise including Saint Austell, Saint Nectan, Neot and Michael, whose name is also given to Cornwall’s well-known tidal island, St Michael’s Mount. Perhaps the most famous of Cornwall’s saints however is Saint Piran, the patron saint of tin mining, who supposedly arrived in the county lashed to a mill stone after being ousted from his homeland by Irish heathens.

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Reason 3: It provides lots of foodie exports

As a county, Cornwall has provided some of the UK’s favourite foods, including the immortal Cornish Pasty. Brimming with meat and vegetables, the humble pasty was originally produced for miners who would throw away the trademark knotted crust lest it be covered with poisonous arsenic from their hands. Other Cornish foods that have sparked national interest include Stargazey Pie and Cornish Ice Cream, which is now sold throughout the UK.

Reason 4: Cornwall has its own distinct identity

It’s not just the Scots who are partial to a touch of tartan. As one of Britain’s ancient Celtic communities, Cornwall also has its own brand of this timeless tribal pattern. Comprising a fetching blend of red, yellow and black, Cornish tartan isn’t as readily available as that from north of the border, but we reckon you Cornish chaps could pull it off just as well.

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Reason 5: It’s in their blood

Supposedly, Cornish people have more DNA linking them to the first tribes of Britain than any other region in the UK.  Indeed, the name itself is derived from the word Cornovii, meaning hill dwellers, and Waelas, meaning strangers, a title which reflects Cornwall’s history of cultural segregation from the rest of the country.

Luckily, you won’t need a passport to gain entry to this wonderful county anytime soon, so if you haven’t already done so, head on over to our Cornish cottages page, where we’ve over 180 wonderful self-catering holiday homes waiting for you.

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.

Planning A Getaway To Cornwall

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
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With its striking coastline, evocative culture and fascinating history, there’s a lot to see and do in Cornwall. In fact, some might be quite overwhelmed by the choice of attractions, events and days out that are available in this popular southern county. So to make it easier for you to decide what to include in your Cornish cottage holiday itinerary, we’ve created this quick guide on what and not to see on your next trip to Cornwall.

Must-See Attractions

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Via Flickr

Type Cornish attractions into any search engine and you’ll be dazed by the variety and choice, which is of course, not a bad thing. In Cornwall there really is something for everyone, but some attractions are simply more worth seeing than others. Here’s our top three must-see attractions in Cornwall:

  1. The Eden Project
    We’ve all heard of it, but until you’ve seen it for yourself, it’s difficult to imagine this otherworldly visitor attraction. Comprising two artificial biomes brimming with rare, tropical plants as well as extensive vibrant gardens, the Eden Project is an extraordinary place to spend the day.
  2. The Minack Theatre
    Looking more like something from ancient Greece than a relatively modern piece of Cornish architecture, the Minack Theatre is an open-air theatre built into the granite gully above Porthcurno bay. During the summer months, the Minack Theatre plays host to a plethora of plays and performances, so be sure to catch a show if you’re in the area.
  3. The Lost Gardens of Heligan
    Take a break from the beach with a peaceful stroll around the Lost Gardens of Heligan, the UK’s most popular and expansive Botanical Gardens. Here, Italian parterre gardens stand beside sub-tropical thickets of fern, and ancient Rhododendrons tower over hidden lakes and pools. The Lost Gardens of Heligan are open daily all year round, so pencil them into your holiday itinerary.

Sports & Recreation

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Via Flickr

If you’re an active person, we understand that a large part of your holiday will be given over to the pursuit of your favourite sport or recreational activity. Luckily, Cornwall is a utopia for the energetic, thanks in part to its invigorating coastline and undulating inland areas. From cycling and golf, to surfing and kayaking, there are facilities to suit all manner of activities in Cornwall.

If you’re worried about giving up your usual fitness regime during your trip to Cornwall, fear not, because we’re here to tell you about Sofa Dodger, a brilliant new online service that lets you know about all the great activities that are taking place in your area. Whether you’re after yoga or tennis, squash or Zumba, Sofa Dodger will provide you with up to the minute info on all of the activities taking place near you, so you need never miss out on a chance to burn some calories on your holidays again.

Cornish Food

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

If you’d prefer your holiday to be centred more around food than fitness, don’t fret, because Cornwall’s got you covered. The county is awash with award-winning eateries, delicious seafood and rather famous pasties, so you certainly won’t go hungry during your stay.

For those of you looking to splash out on some truly top nosh during your stay in Cornwall, head to one of four of Rick Stein’s award-winning restaurants in Padstow, where you can try some of Cornwall’s most sought-after seafood and delicious regional produce. Alternatively, grab food on the move and opt for the humble Cornish Pasty; a national staple whose origins can be traced back through centuries of Cornish history.

Rent a Cornish holiday home with Sykes Cottages

Foxgloves, Upton Cross, Cornwall. Ref. 18318

Foxgloves, Upton Cross, Cornwall. Ref. 18318

What you want from your holiday in Cornwall will greatly affect the type of accommodation that’s right for you. Thankfully, we have holiday cottages in Cornwall to suit a multitude of different breaks, including luxury cottages for couples, country cottages for active folk and coastal holiday lets for family holidays on the beach. So choose your favourite today and make the most of your time in this remarkable county!

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.

Ten Things Couples Should do in Cornwall

Friday, January 17th, 2014
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I’ve always thought of Cornwall as the quintessential UK family holiday destination. Perhaps it’s because of the county’s plethora of safe, family friendly beaches or its multitude of award winning visitor attractions. Or, maybe it’s just the weather. Either way, if you’re thinking of booking a summer holiday in Cornwall with the kids, there’ll be plenty of child friendly activities for you to discover. But what does Cornwall have to offer couples? If like me, you quite like the idea of a romantic sojourn down to the South West with your beloved, then I’m here to let you know about all the great things that every couple should do on their Cornish cottage holiday.

1. Go Wild Swimming at Golitha Falls

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Looking to take the plunge on your cottage holiday in Cornwall? Forget the public swimming baths and opt for a wild swim at the Golitha Falls. This serene stretch of water is the ideal place for an all- natural dunk thanks to its accompanying ancient woodland, secret plunge pool and sandy riverbed.

2. Take a stroll on the South West Coast Path

Frequently described as the ‘walk of a lifetime’, Cornwall’s South West Coast Path is unlike any other walking route in the UK. Covering 630 miles, this cliff top path offers spirit lifting vistas, limitless heritage and enough wildlife to keep even the most devoted twitcher happy.

3. Uncover the history of Prideaux Place

Get your Cornish culture fix with a daytrip to Prideaux Place, a four hundred year old country house overlooking the charming fishing harbour of Padstow. Built in the Elizabethan style, this wonderful old shack boasts sumptuous interiors and peaceful gardens which inspired the writings of wistful romance author, Rosamunde Pilcher.

4. Eat Stargazey Pie in Mousehole

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Visiting the coastal village of Mousehole has been a dream of mine since reading The Mousehole Cat as a young’un, so naturally it had to make the shortlist. Loiter amongst the village’s cobbled byways, spread your beach towel on the harbour’s soft sands, or tuck into a portion of Stargazey Pie as you uncover the delights of this historic Cornish village.

5. Set Sail off Tresco Island

Lying 30 miles off the Cornish Coast, Tresco is one of five inhabited islands of the Isle of Scilly. This beautiful little isle is famed for its tropical flora, sandy beaches and crystal clear azure waters, which make it the perfect place to learn how to sail.

6. Hate Walking? Try a Cornish heritage Safari

From St Nectan’s Glen to Tintagel Castle, there’s a lot to discover in Cornwall. If you’re worried your feet aren’t up to the challenge, why not book a jeep excursion with Cornish Heritage Safaris? From the comfort of an air conditioned cabin, you’ll be able to get closer to the some of the unique heritage and natural beauty that help make Cornwall such an invigorating holiday destination.

7. Enjoy a secret snooze at Kynance Cove

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Thought to be one of the South West’s best kept secrets, Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula is undoubtedly Cornwall’s most secluded bay. A favourite amongst romantic poets, this isolated cove offers uninterrupted peace and quiet well away from the bustle of the tourist trail. Frolic on the white sand, snorkel in the turquoise waters or revel in a few chapters of your beach literature on your visit to this serene stretch of Cornish coastline.

8. Conquer the Coast

Coasteering: A guided adventure experience which sees plucky travellers traverse some of Cornwall’s most hair-raising cliffs, inlets and caves. If you and your partner wake up feeling fearless during your Cornish cottage holiday, this exciting outdoor activity could be just what you’re looking for!

9. See a show at the Minack Theatre

Carved into the granite cliffs of Porthcurno Bay, the Minack Theatre is arguably one of the UK’s most famous open air theatres. During the summer months, plays and musicals are held here and the theatre’s sub-tropical gardens provide a great place for some pre-show exploration!

10. All aboard the Bodmin & Wenford Railway

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Experience the nostalgia of a bygone era with a daytrip on the Bodmin & Renford Railway. Relax as you chug gently along through 13 miles of stunning Cornish countryside aboard one of the service’s charming steam locomotives, taking in rousing views of the world-famous Bodmin Moor.

So there you go then, a sneak peak at what’s on offer should you choose to book a Cornish cottage holiday for you and your other half. Of course, there’s plenty more to see in Cornwall, so why not take a look at our Discover Cornwall to find out what else you can discover on your cottage holiday.

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.