Archive for the ‘Cornwall’ Category

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

Via Flickr

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

Via Flickr

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 Hidden Cornwall page 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.

Behind the Scenes of Hidden Cornwall

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
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Here at Sykes Cottages, we love Cornwall. So much so, that we have recently launched our Hidden Cornwall campaign with the aim of helping to promote the stunning scenery on offer and showcasing some of the county’s lesser known treasures. Tim Boydell, the managing director of film production company, Light Colour Sound, was the man behind the incredible video that accompanies our campaign. He took the time out from his working day to let us delve behind the scenes of Hidden Cornwall.

Tim Boydell, Light Colour Sound

Tim Boydell, Light Colour Sound

Tell us a bit more about yourself, Tim.

I am a filmmaker from Cornwall! I have 2 passions: capturing images and surfing. Luckily, I have been able to make one of my passions my work. Light Colour Sound has been operating for over a year now and I have been lucky enough to make films at stunning locations around the globe for some really passionate people and businesses. We are always looking to push ourselves both imaginatively and physically to get amazing images and tell stories in a compelling and relative way.

Cornwall

Behind the Scenes!

We love the Hidden Cornwall video that you made for us. It captures the magic of Cornwall perfectly! How did you choose the places that appear in the film?

We went with the concept of showing Cornwall from its lowest geographical point to its highest. The beauty of Cornwall is there is so much to see and do, and it’s free! Here, it’s about taking in thousands of years of heritage, battered coastlines and natural wonders.

Were there any other places that you wanted to include but that didn’t make the final cut?

Cornwall has far too many incredible places to fit into a short film! The main places that come to mind are the Botallack Mines, Carn Brea, Land’s End, the Helford River, St Just, Tehidy Woods, and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. The list just goes on!

Cornwall ferry

Shooting on the ferry!

Obviously the point of the film is to showcase some of the most beautiful places in Cornwall and bring to light a few hidden gems. Where is your personal Hidden Cornwall?

My Hidden Cornwall would probably be places where I have great memories; from surfing as a child at Chapel Porth and Perransands, to days out on the boats near Falmouth and Malpas River. I’m a sea person so my hidden gem is definitely the ocean. I think this year I have seen more of Cornwall than ever and I am still finding new places to visit.

 

Why do you think Cornwall is such a popular destination for people holidaying in the UK?

Right now, I think people are looking for places to get away and relax more than ever before. Cornwall is super friendly, stunning and only a drive away for most people. For all the holidays you can go on, coming here is a holiday at home; it’s your back yard and therefore relatively stress free. Cornwall may not be the first place that comes to mind but trust me when I say that sitting on a sun lounger at an all-you-can-eat holiday in the Med isn’t going to be something to tell the grandkids about!

Shooting in Cornwall

Behind the Scenes

What was the process for planning and shooting the Hidden Cornwall film?

Our process starts with a client driven concept. We then create a way of telling that story via images and sound. We always try to make our films an experience, where possible, so incorporating sounds and colours that match a mood are really important to us. We had captured a lot of footage during the summer months with our Skyhawk and that played a big part in the production. The winter footage was captured over 3 days with actors at various locations across Cornwall.

What can you tell us about the Skyhawk equipment that you used to get the stunning overhead shots? It looks like they were taken from a real helicopter!

The Skyhawk is a remote control aerial camera which is, in my opinion, the most amazing thing to happen to film making in the last 2 years. It’s made our visions boundless because we now literally have a flying camera. It’s truly a stunning bit of kit and we just love getting it out and capturing life in previously unseen ways.

Skyhawk in Cornwall

The Skyhawk

What was your favourite part of Hidden Cornwall to film?

My favourite part was taking the crew and Arfa the dog to Bosscastle. I’ve been meaning to walk to the headland there for years, looking back at the village and coast. It’s a stunning place and Arfa just loved it.

Can you tell us a little bit about Arfa the dog and the actors that you used in the film?

Arfa the dog

The star of the show, Arfa, as a puppy!

Arfa the dog was the star of the show! He is a Collie/Springer cross with boundless energy. He’s one seriously photogenic dog and incredibly intelligent. They say never work with children and animals but Arfa was just a joy to work with-no makeup needed and he did just as he was asked! There were a few moments that he tried to get out of the boat chasing seagulls but after a treat or two, they soon disappeared from Arfa’s vision. The actors, Sheila and Tim, are both big lovers of Cornwall and jumped at the chance to take 3 days seeing the sights. We even went to their Hidden Cornwall, where Tim had asked Sheila to marry him 8 years ago, but we felt that we would keep that location a secret in the video!

 

You can view the Hidden Cornwall video below or by visiting our Hidden Cornwall page. Don’t forget to let us know what you thought of it via our Twitter and Facebook!


Video credit:Hidden Cornwall by Sykes Cottages Cornwall

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.

Fun-Filled Days Out for Children in Cornwall

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
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If you are planning a family holiday in Cornwall this year, then you may be interested to know that Sykes Cottages have come up with a handy guide to some of our favourite Cornwall holiday activities for children. It can be tricky to keep the kids entertained on holiday, even when the weather’s good!  So to help combat this, we’ve listed a few of Cornwall’s best days out for children below. If you haven’t found anywhere to stay for your visit to Cornwall yet, you can also take a look at our stunning Cornwall holiday cottages.

Newquay Zoo

Penguins at Newquay Zoo in Cornwall

Via Flickr

For children who love animals, there is no better place to spend a day than Newquay Zoo. Newquay Zoo is the largest zoo in Cornwall and is home to over 130 rare and endangered species. Children (and adults!) will love getting up close and personal with some of the world’s most amazing animals. They’ll come face to face with lions, zebras, penguins, red pandas and wildebeest, to name just a few! The zoo keepers hold a range of interesting talks and animal feeds throughout the day and often, children are given the chance to help feed mealworms to the meerkats and fish to the penguins, which they are sure to love! The zoo also boasts a family friendly café, arts and crafts activities and face painting, making it an ideal day out for kids. The zoo’s adventure playground will delight even the liveliest of children and ensure that they head home at the end of the day with some fantastic memories and having burned off all their excess energy! If you’re thinking of visiting the zoo this year, why not book one of our holiday cottages in Newquay for your trip?

Land’s End Visitor Centre

Land's End, Cornwall

Via Flickr

The Land’s End Visitor Centre in Sennen is another brilliant day out for the kids with lots of different activities to suit children of all ages.  Of course, Land’s End is a beautiful place to visit without participating in the activities but some children may need a little more than the scenery to keep them entertained. There is Arthur’s Quest which uses interactive technology to transport you to the world of King Arthur; can you help release King Arthur from his fiery prison and find Excalibur? This fun activity is great for children with active imaginations and those who love all things magical. The family motion-theatre attraction, Air Sea Rescue is another favourite with children. Watch as the RNLI Sennen lifeboat crew rush to the rescue of a fisherman and thanks to the motion-theatre element, you will feel as if you’re actually there! If that doesn’t float your boat then the Land’s End 4D film experience is sure to go down a treat with kids. This magical cinema is now showing 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a 3D film with extra special sensory effects such as motion-simulator seats that move underneath you, blasts of wind and sea spray, and bubbles from the 3D fish swimming out of the screen.

Trebah Garden

Trebah Garden in Cornwall

Via Flickr

Trebah Garden, near Falmouth, is a great day out for energetic kids. This magnificent garden is over 26 acres and is full of sub-tropical greenery for a magical, all year round experience. Children will love the vast amounts of space to run around and play, while adults will be able to appreciate the true beauty of Trebah. Trebah has 3 adventure playgrounds and offer ‘Childrens Trails’ which have been designed to be both educational and fun. Trails cost just £2.00 per child and everyone receives a very special prize at the end. The trails are a great way for kids to find out more about the plants growing at Trebah and help them make the most of the garden whilst still allowing them to have fun and run about. If you are planning to visit Falmouth this year, then consider staying in one of our Falmouth holiday cottages, many of which are perfect for families with young children.

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.