Archive for the ‘Cornwall’ Category

5 places to stay in Poldark Country

Sunday, March 29th, 2015
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Historical BBC drama Poldark has arrived on the small screen for the first time since 1977, with a string of eight, hour long episodes. The drama follows the ill-fated tale of Ross Poldark, a British officer who returns to his beloved Cornwall after fighting in the American War of Independence. Starring Aidan Turner, Eleanour Tomlinson and Heida Reed, Poldark tells a story of love, loss and redemption amid the stunning backdrop of the Cornish Coast.

Aside from Turner’s portrayal of Poldark, Cornwall has grabbed much of the limelight, with many wondering if the show’s astonishing backdrop is real or computer generated. To prove Poldark’s backdrop is indeed real, we took to the airwaves to find the places behind the programme. So without further ado, here’s a shortlist of the ten best places to stay in Poldark Country.

Bodmin Moor

Image by Neil Howard is licensed under CC 2.0

Image by Neil Howard is licensed under CC 2.0

With its brooding good looks, Bodmin Moor is a fitting setting for Poldark’s cottage, Nampara. Many of the exterior shots were filmed amid this vast moorland; its ruggedness providing a wild, ruminating backdrop to convey Poldark’s passion and menace. In the Bodmin Moor of today, visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor pursuits, including horse riding, mountain biking and walking.

Find out more about our cottage breaks in Bodmin Moor.

Padstow & the Camel Estuary

Sunset & Sea by Andreas Overland is licensed under CC 2.0

Sunset & Sea by Andreas Overland is licensed under CC 2.0

For lovers of North Cornwall, the appearance of beauty spots like the Camel Estuary in Poldark will have left them weak at the knee and raring for a return to this wild, untamed coast. The Padstow area features some of Cornwall’s most beautiful pockets of coastline, much of which is battered by stirring Atlantic swells. The area proves perfect for Poldark’s clifftop shots, with some of the region’s best loved landscapes on display, including Porthcothan and Tregirls Beach. For windswept, sea air strolls, there’s no better place.

Find out more about our cottage breaks in Padstow.


Porthgwarra by Joan Sol is licensed under CC 2.0

Porthgwarra by Joan Sol is licensed under CC 2.0

Azure waters and tropical flora make Porthgwarra look more like a pirate cove on the Spanish Main than a Cornish fishing village. This undisturbed cove was a hotspot for fisherman during the 17th and 18th century, and now offers a charming place for a private sunbathe or quick dip. Lying on Cornwall’s romantic west coast, Porthgwarra is accessed the South West Coast Path, which links the cove with some of the region’s other top beaches, including Porthcurno.

Find out more about our cottage breaks near Porthgwarra.


Charlestown by Gary Tanner is licensed under CC 2.0

Charlestown by Gary Tanner is licensed under CC 2.0

The historic town of Charlestown near St Austell is renowned for its collection of tall, aged ships and olde worlde appearance, making it the perfect location to film parts of Poldark supposedly set in the Cornish capital of Truro. Charlestown’s grade II listed harbour features in the drama on a number of occasions, and perfectly captures the spirit of the age. At Sykes, we offer a number of cottages to rent in and around Charlestown, so you can take a walk in Poldark’s shoes.

Find out more about our cottage breaks in Charlestown.

Botallack and Levant

Levant Mine by Miranda Wood is licensed under CC 2.0

Levant Mine by Miranda Wood is licensed under CC 2.0

As a Cornish tin miner by trade, it was important for Poldark’s location team to come up with a location that echoes the county’s evocative mining heritage. Enter Botallack and Levant, an area quite literally strewn with the carcasses of several historic tin mines. From coast to country, this wild region is peppered with disused Wheals, making it the perfect place to highlight the Poldark family’s failing trade. Take a walk near the Levant Mine in West Cornwall, and be transported to the show’s fictional Tressiders Rolling Mill.

Find out more about our cottage breaks in West Cornwall.

Book a self-catering cottage break in Poldark Country

Become a passionate Poldark fan overnight? You’re not alone. Poldark fever is sweeping the nation, with many in awe of the show’s striking cast and inspiring locations. Book a cottage break in Cornwall with Sykes Cottages this summer, and you can trace the steps of the drama’s brooding protagonist – what are you waiting for?

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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.

Luxury Properties for A Romantic Getaway in Cornwall

Saturday, February 28th, 2015
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With its beaches, award winning restaurants and generally good weather, it comes as no surprise that Cornwall tops the list of holiday destinations for many of our guests at Sykes Cottages. Whilst your first thoughts of Cornwall may be that of a family holiday destination – and you would be right – it is also a fantastic place to go for a romantic break! If you’re a couple who like a bit of luxury, you’re in the right place, as we’re taking a look at some of our most luxurious Cornish properties that are perfect for two.

Palmers Lodge

Located near Launceston, this Egloskerry property is idyllic and the perfect place for a couple to unwind and spend some quality time together! Whether you want to go out and enjoy all that the local area has to offer, stay in and get comfortable on the sofa or enjoy a glass of fizz on the patio this property is ideal.

Mount View

Mount View in Cornwall

Mount View | 918890

One of our newest properties in Penzance is the stunning Mount View. Being situated within a Grade II listed building ensures that this property is certainly not lacking in character! It’s location on the first floor gives the apartment beautiful views over the harbour towards Mounts Bay and St Michael’s Mount; the perfect romantic view.

Swallow Cottage

Big comfortable sofas, beamed ceilings and a beautifully designed garden, Swallow Cottage just asks guests to snuggle up together! It’s location near to Truro makes this cottage an ideal touring base, if you can drag yourself away that is.

Badger Cottage

With a huge number of local amenities and things to do just a short drive away, Badger Cottage is ideal for exploring all that the area has to offer! Whether you fancy spending the day at the beach, enjoying a country walk or heading a little further afield to see all that Cornwall has to offer, you will look forward to heading back to your holiday cottage and snuggling with your loved one!


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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.

Behind the Scenes of Discover Cornwall

Thursday, January 29th, 2015
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It’s no secret that here at Sykes Cottages, we’re big fans of Cornwall – it’s one of the prettiest places in the UK! Yet Cornwall is not just a pretty face; it’s now considered to be one of the top foodie hot-spots in Britain, famed for its tasty local produce and talented chefs. To celebrate the culinary delights of Cornwall, we’ve launched our Discover Cornwall campaign, with mouth-watering guides and videos showcasing some of the best places to eat in Cornwall.


Tim’s cameo in our Discover Cornwall video

Light Colour Sound is the company behind these fantastic videos (which will make you really, really hungry). They also produced our incredible Hidden Cornwall video last year. We caught up with Cornishman, Tim Boydell, the managing director of Light Colour Sound, to get a sneak peek behind the scenes of our Discover Cornwall videos.

Breakfast diner Cornwall

Breakfast at Mimi’s, St Austell

Hi Tim! Why did you choose the places that appear in the videos?

The main inspiration here was local food by local people – finding those amazing characters for one, but also the quirky and truly Cornish locations. We also wanted to pick a good variation of places so that each film would have smaller, local businesses alongside five-star restaurants. Healthy foods were also important but, hey, we’re all suckers for a fry-up!

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

There were quite a lot actually! We wanted to film mid-summer so places were busy and in good light. Some places just couldn’t handle a film crew around during these times – a lot of the smaller places that we loved wouldn’t have been able to fit the camera in! Hence, we filmed a few places as blank canvases so the viewer could make up their own ideas. We missed the famous Hedgehog Ice Creams at Chapel Porth as well, which was a shame.

What places were your personal favourites during filming? Did you get to try any of the food?!

Snails Pace Cafe, Cornwall

Filming at the Snail’s Pace Cafe

Oh yes we did! I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t an opportunity for myself and the crew to be a little indulgent! My personal favourite was meeting the guys at Snail’s Pace Cafe. For health and sustainability reasons, they stand out a long way. Another highlight was Seaton Beach Café; they have done such an incredible job in only a few months to get a really cool, quirky place back up and running. The storms almost took the beach away, let alone the restaurant sat on it! There were a few other highlights; Kynance Cove Cafe is breath-taking – a must see! The Cabin Beach Cafe at Perranuthnoe – amazing people and amazing food. Rick Stein’s Restaurant (not take away!)  Honestly, I didn’t know what perfect fish and chips were until we went here. Finally, the best pasty in Cornwall at Sarah’s Pasty Shop in Looe. We can’t forget Waffelicious though too, he’s a really cool guy and the food is tasty!

Sennon, Cornwall

Filming in Sennon, Cornwall

We noticed Arfa, the star of Hidden Cornwall, popping up a few times! Were many of the places you visited dog friendly?

Most places in Cornwall are dog friendly. We came back after the first shoot and Arfa was on us immediately. He knew we had been out eating food and he wasn’t happy. He had to come next time with his pal, Storm, too.

Why do you think Cornwall is so popular with foodies?

Well I have to say, living here I maybe didn’t realise how good we have it. Cornwall really does have all ends of the scale. Great food is one thing but there are also great locations on top of that. There are some of the best places to eat in the country here, I’m absolutely sure of it.

Pigs in Cornwall

Filming the pigs!

Are you much of a cook yourself?

I am indeed. I like to wing it and throw a bit of this, bit of that in. I’ve had some major mistakes but also the odd surprise. For me the best dish is local, own caught bass; a bit of chilli, a few herbs, on the BBQ. You really, really cannot beat it.

How long did Discover Cornwall take to film?

It took two months on and off to film. This was a really hard shoot in all honesty, as there were so many variables – getting the people, the places, the weather. We didn’t want to be driving back and forth so it was really important for us to do a whole section at once. Scheduling around working businesses was a long way from easy but in some cases it made for more locations as there were at least five places we just found on the way!

What can you tell us about the technology and music used in the film?

Farm, Cornwall

Filming on the farm

This shoot was always going to be more about the food and the people. We wanted to show a few places off using our drone, Cinehawk. We also wanted to introduce the areas with aerial footage as the contrast from south to north is very different. We filmed using two cameras: a Sony FS700 for the main camera, utilising the amazing super slow motion and then a backup camera, a Panasonic GH4. Both cameras were shooting in 4k which is all the rage these days. With that we can re-frame shots and generally get a better picture for our online HD acquisition. The music was made in-house by our talented sound design guy and music producer, Sam from Boyde Music. We wanted to make a bespoke track with smooth transitions and good vibes. I always ask Sam for something unique and he comes good every time.

 One last, very important foodie question! Jam or cream first on a scone? 

Well, interestingly on this food tour I tried – wait for it – a Cornish Cream Tea with cream for the first time! It’s true, I’ve never had one!  I thought I didn’t like cream but I was persuaded into it at the Riverside Cafe in Helford as they looked so good, and what do you know… I love ‘em! Jam first I’m afraid!

You can watch the main video above but you’ll also find four other videos focusing on North Cornwall, South Cornwall, West Cornwall and Bodmin Moor & Tamar Valley, on our Discover Cornwall page. Don’t forget to let us know what you think via Facebook or Twitter! We’d love to hear your thoughts on all the places featured and if there’s any hidden gems that you think we may have missed!

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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.

Why Cornwall is the Destination of Choice for 2015

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
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Ever since I was a child Cornwall has been my holiday destination of choice; its golden sands, extensive countryside and warm summer breeze call to me year after year and it would seem I’m not alone. In December, Google revealed the ‘Most Searched Holiday Destinations’ of 2014 and Cornwall came fifth, ranking above Turkey, Italy and Dubai.

Cornwall is a perfect destination for families, couples, friends… come to think of it, Cornwall is perfect for just about everyone! So if you’ve yet to experience the joys of the south west coast then keep reading as we list the best reasons to visit Cornwall in 2015.


Naturally, Cornwall’s coastline has made it to the top of our list. The warm sandy beaches and turquoise waters will transport you to a tropical paradise, whilst the sharp cliffs and spectacular scenery are taken straight form a pirate novel, with hidden coves and deep caves. It’s no secret that my favourite beach is a Cornish one; in fact, everyone here at Sykes’ HQ could tell you about my fondness for Kynance cove. This unbeatable beach mixes breath-taking views over the Cornish countryside and open ocean with golden sands, crystal clear waters and hidden caves – perfect for budding explorers and keen photographers, I would highly suggest a visit!


If you thought Cornwall was all about the coast then you couldn’t be more wrong! Venture inland and you will be so captivated by the county’s countryside, you’ll never want to leave. Spend the day exploring the Bodmin Moor and you’ll be greeted with heather covered hills stretching as far as the eye can see; ancient Bronze Age hut circles that will see children enchanted with Cornish history; and beautiful moorland ponies grazing peacefully on the hillside. Alternatively, you could plan a stopover in the Tamar Valley and delve into Cornwall’s extensive mining history before relaxing with a glass of delicious wine at the Camel Valley Vineyard.


Image of the Eden Project taken by Holly.

The Eden Project | By Holly

We’ve touched on just a few of Cornwall’s natural gems, but along with these points of interest Cornwall also offers an array of manmade attractions. In Bodelva, visitors will discover the Eden Project’s Biomes dotted about the hillside. Housed within these unusual bubbles are tropical plants and gardens as well as the world’s largest captive rainforest. Over in Helston, you’ll find Flambards, Cornwall’s very own amusement park. With white knuckle rides, hands on science, and plenty of indoor fun at Flambards spectacular award winning exhibitions, you’re sure to make a few lasting memories.

Food and Drink

Cornwall is known for its steamy golden pasties, creamy smooth ice cream and bubbly sweet ciders and although these traditional delights are still widely available there is now a range of new and exciting tastes invading Cornwall. Some of the world’s top chefs have set up shop in Cornwall, drawn to the county by the fantastic selection of produce on offer. For an unforgettable foodie affair, visit Cornwall during the last weekend in September and attend The Great Cornish Food Festival. The range of 60 food and drink exhibitors, 40 chefs and food experts along with an unbeatable atmosphere make this the food festival of choice for 2015!

I’m sure by now you’re itching for a Cornish adventure and who could blame you? For more information on this intriguing destination head on over to our Discover Cornwall Guide where you’ll find a fantastic selection of posts, videos and images highlighting the best of Cornwall, alternatively to view our range of Cornwall Cottages simply click here.

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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.

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.


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.

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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.