Archive for the ‘Cornwall’ Category

Behind the Scenes of Hidden Cornwall

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
Pin It

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

Pin It
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
Pin It

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.

Pin It
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.

Sykes Cottages- Preserving Britain’s Beauty for 25 Years

Monday, October 28th, 2013
Pin It

Over our 25 year history, we’ve donated thousands to good causes up and down the country that we believe are making a difference within local communities and throughout the natural environment of the UK. We strive to support any initiative whose goal it is to preserve and safeguard our country’s natural habitats, and are immensely proud of our contribution to some of the UK’s most important conservation charities.

Otter

Via Flickr

From helping protect the homes of dormice and otters in Northumberland, to maintaining rare eco-systems in Newquay, we’re dedicated to doing what we can to safeguard the natural beauty of the UK so that it can be enjoyed and admired by holidaymakers for years to come. After all, without the efforts of schemes like the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, the UK’s inspiring natural world would be in danger of being lost for good.

Beech Trees

Via Flickr

With this in mind, we thought we’d let you know about our latest donation to the World Land Trust. This international conservation charity aims to take direct action to save wildlife habitats across the globe, from the rainforests of Brazil to the grasslands of Kenya. Thankfully, our donation to the WLT of £1,000 will be expended a little closer to home, with the charity planning to use our contribution to help fund the preservation and protection of the Kites Hill Reserve right here in the UK.

Boreal Owl

Via Flickr

The reserve, which covers 40 acres of stunning countryside in the Cotswolds, has been designated as a “Site of Special Scientific Interest” (SSSI) because of its irreplaceable beech woodlands, and was dubbed one of the most “important nature conservation sites in Europe” by Natural England.

The reserve is under threat due to past farming practices, which degraded the quality of the woodland and led to the loss of numerous species. Now in 2013, many of the native species have returned, and the WLT aims to provide the reserve’s recovering wildlife with a sustainable home long into the future. To continue managing Kite Hill’s sustainability, the WLT called upon corporate sponsorship to help fund the preservation effort, and as a UK based company, we thought it only right to come forward and show our support to this worthwhile conservation project.

red kite

Via Flickr

Visitors to the Kites Hill Reserve can expect to find a plethora of beloved British wildlife foraging amongst the flora, including butterflies, bats, owls and rare birds like the Red Kite, Stock Dove and Kestrel. Needless to say, the reserve proves an excellent place for a walk, with its mixture of grassland meadows and dense woodlands providing an enchanting backdrop for a stroll at any time of year.

So why not experience a trip to the Kites Hill Reserve on a cottage holiday in Gloucestershire? We’ve a handful of endearing Gloucestershire holiday cottages within a short drive of the reserve, so be sure to enjoy this priceless stretch of British countryside whilst you still can! And in the meantime, Sykes will continue endeavouring to preserve the wonders of our great country for generations to come.

Pin It
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.

Celebrate Real Ale On An Autumn Short Break

Friday, October 25th, 2013
Pin It

For many of us, there’s nothing quite like sinking a cool pint on a Friday evening after a long week at work. But if you’re tired of the bland processed beers of the big brewers and are looking for something a little tastier come knocking off time, say no to Mr Fosters and Monsieur Artois this weekend and opt for a glass of thoroughbred real ale. The UK is blessed with over 1,000 different real ale brewers, each producing a handful of distinctive, naturally brewed ales that are bursting with locally grown, traditional ingredients. Sadly, many pubs no longer serve proper British beer, so finding them can sometimes be a little tricky. That’s why, Sykes Cottages have come up with a shortlist of some of the best real ale festivals taking place around the UK over the coming weeks, where you’ll be able to sip, scrutinise and savour hundreds of real ales. And where better to start our real ale odyssey than with the home of Sykes HQ, Chester.

Chug! Chug! Chug! In Chester

Real Ale Festival

Via Flickr

Head down to The Guildhall in Chester this weekend and treat yourself to a lavish offering of 50+ ales at the 2013 Chester Real Ale Festival. Organisers have amassed a superb stockpile of local and national beers for thirsty revellers to enjoy, including the Kelham Island Wild Rider, Wentworth Yankee Doodle and Liverpool Organic Pale Ale. Plus, there’ll be hot food, live music and ample space for a good shimmy should the ale flow a little too freely. Tickets are just £6.00 on the door on Friday and Saturday, so come on down and spend an evening in the company of some of the North West’s most beloved beers, ciders and perries.

Knock a couple back in Norfolk

Real Ale Festival

Via Flickr

Over the coming week, the Norwich & Norfolk branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) will be hosting the 36th Norwich Beer Festival in the city’s St Andrew’s and Blackfriars’ Halls. Merrymakers will have to choose their favourite tipple from a daunting selection of over 200 real ales and ciders, making the event one of the biggest and most prominent on the CAMRA beer festival calendar. For a nominal £5.00 entry fee, avid ale fans can tuck into the cream of East Anglia’s crop of real ales, including Wolf Brewery’s ‘Granny Wouldn’t Like It’ and Humpty Dumpty Brewery’s ‘Bad Egg’. There’ll be plenty of entertainment and a good spread of local grub on offer too, so take up your tankard and enjoy a great evening in Norfolk.

Sink a pint by the sea in Cornwall

Real Ale Festival

Via Flickr

For your chance to chow down on a crumbly Cornish pasty and a real ale beside the sea this weekend, why not visit the Cornwall Beer Festival which is taking place at Falmouth’s Princess Pavilion over the next two days. Volunteers at the event will be serving up a plethora of around 200 splendid beverages including real ale, fruit wines and continental bottled beers, all of which can be enjoyed within a stone’s throw from the stunning Cornish Coast. Plus, there’s a trove of regional entertainment taking place during the festival, including live music and traditional Morris dancing, giving you the opportunity to get a real flavour for the culture and spirit of Cornwall.

Enjoy a pint or two on a Sykes Cottage holiday!

Real Ale Festival

Via Flickr

If you’ve been inspired to wet your whistle at one of the real ale festivals mentioned in this post, gather up those leftover holiday days and plan a last minute cottage holiday in the UK. Beer festivals are a great way to mingle with like-minded ale devotees, so raise a glass to the humble British pint this year with an autumn short break from Sykes Cottages. Cheers!

Pin It
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.

Get Out and Get Green on a Sykes Cottage Holiday

Friday, October 4th, 2013
Pin It

If you’re in need of a little R&R this coming weekend, run and hide! That’s because this weekend is The Conservation Volunteers’ annual Big Green Weekend, a UK wide event hell-bent on getting us all involved in the preservation and management of our lovely British greenery. You’ll find TCV (The Conservation Volunteers) events across the country offering you the chance to lend a hand, have some fun and get stuck in to a wealth of conservation based activities including dry stone walling, bench building and wildflower sowing. So go on, get mucky and give something back to your favourite stretch of green space this weekend; there’ll be a well-earned cup of tea waiting for you come knocking off time, and we’ll happily put you up in some comfy cottage digs at a minute’s notice should you want to travel to a specific TCV event. Read on for just a few of the green goings-on taking place at this year’s Big Green Weekend.

Build a Bee Box in Cornwall

Bee Box

Via Flickr

If you’re in Cornwall this weekend, why not head down to the Tuckingmill Valley Park in Cambourne, where TCV will be hosting a number of activities aimed at safeguarding the cornucopia of wildlife that calls Cornwall home. Volunteers at the event can build their own bee box for our buzzy pollinators, hunt for treasure, throw some wellies and even race a snail or two! Plus, organisers will be putting on a good spread of hot drinks, cake and BBQ for all you worker bees when the day is done; so come down to Tuckingmill between 11am and 3pm for your chance to give something back to the precious Cornish environment.

Get Growing in York

Community Allotment

Via Flickr

Roll up in your wellingtons, grab a spade and prepare to get dug into some good Yorkshire earth at the Sleep Path Community Allotment in York. TCV have teamed up with Refugee Action to raise money for local charity initiatives, so come down and show your support. There’s a handful of crafty activities on offer for you green fingered helpers, whether it be whittling up a willow animal and wind chime, carving out your very own mosaic stepping stone or pressing apples for their thirst quenching juice.  The event is being held between 12noon-3pm tomorrow, so join the fun and get back to nature at the Big Green Weekend event in York.

Have a clear out in Ayrshire

Rhododendrons

Via Flickr

Although you may think that Rhododendrons are an attractive addition to your garden, out in the wild this non-indigenous shrub is an aggressive coloniser, capable of reducing the bio-diversity and regeneration of precious British woodlands. That’s why, TCV need your help to clear this pesky plant from Belleisle Park on the dramatic Ayrshire coast in Scotland. By hook or by crook, it’ll be your duty to eradicate this dogged blossom from the parkland to make room for all manner of other native Scottish fauna. When you’ve managed that, you can wipe your brow, give yourself a pat on the back and look forward to a cool pint and a warm meal in a homely Scottish pub- what could be more rewarding?

Here at Sykes Cottages, we’re fanatical about our country and want you to feel the same. That’s why, we do what we can to support conservation schemes in their mission to preserve the UK’s green spaces so that they can be enjoyed for generations to come. For more information about any of the destinations mentioned in the post, or to make a last minute booking, visit the homepage or call us today.

Pin It
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.