Archive for the ‘Cornwall’ Category

About Time for a cottage holiday

Friday, September 20th, 2013
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After watching Richard Curtis’ latest film About Time, you’d be hard pressed to find a film which more perfectly captures the beauty of the UK. The hum of bohemian London that Curtis made desirable in 1999’s Notting Hill is still here, but it’s entirely surpassed by the idle charm of Cornwall’s south coast. Scenes amid dreamy, out-of-date fishing villages and golden seashores filmed in Cornwall’s St Austell Bay infuse the film with a wistful quality that will have even the most devout city-dweller longing to book a Cornish cottage getaway. But what other British films will leave you yearning for a rural retreat? Read on to find out.

St Austell Bay, Cornwall

Via Flickr

Skyfall- Scottish Highlands

Buachaille Etive Mòr, Scottish Highlands

Via Flickr

Known for their fast cars, senseless gadgets and beautiful locations, it may surprise you to hear that Scotland has featured four times in the James Bond film franchise, including the latest 007 offering, Skyfall. And yet, when you consider it, Scotland makes perfect sense as a location for some Bond tomfoolery. Aside from being the spy’s birthplace, where else in the world would you find such unspoilt, rugged scenery where our brooding hero can so perfectly corner his latest Aston?  With its heather pocked glens, spirited villages and glistening lochs, Scotland proves to be a supreme natural playground for any budding double agent. Check out our holiday cottages in Scotland to find your perfect Scottish hideaway.

Harry Potter- Gloucester Cathedral

The Cloisters, Gloucester Cathedral

Via Flickr

When Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released back in 2001, I doubt if there was a single child  in the UK who didn’t long to visit Hogwarts. But did you know that the first and second instalments of the franchise were part filmed in the cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral? This illustrious building was used to film many of the interior shots of the fictional school of wizardry and witchcraft, including the infamous Cave troll sequence! Treat the kids to an enchanting getaway this half term with a cottage holiday in Gloucestershire and pay homage to this magical Cathedral- who knows what awaits even the most dubious muggle!

 Pride & Prejudice- Chatsworth House & Stanage Edge

Chatsworth House

Via Flickr

Nothing evokes British pride like a good period drama, and none do it better than the majestic Miss Austen. In the 2005 film portrayal of Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, we’re treated to a myriad of striking British locations, including, of course, the mighty Chatsworth House, as well as the inspiring Stanage Edge escarpment in the Peak District. Why not unmask Mr Darcy’s decadent estate for yourself on a cottage holiday in Derbyshire? This grand old shack, built around 1687, provides a delightfully splendid day out and is sure to leave you a little weak at the knee. Or, lace-up the walking boots and trace Lizzie’s steps at Stanage Edge; the perfect place for a breath of fresh air on your next 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.

A German Love Affair with England

Monday, September 9th, 2013
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“Sprechen Sie Deutsch?”

If you’ve been a recent visitor to Devon or Cornwall you might have heard this phrase uttered rather more than expected. Recent figures released by VistBritain indicate that the number of German visitors heading to the South of England has risen by 14% over the past year, with Germans now making up more around 40 per cent of the region’s overseas visitors. What has caused this sudden surge in German visitors? Would you be surprised to hear that it’s all the work of an 88 year-old author?

Pilcher Mania Sweeps South West England

Since the 1980s the stories of Rosamund Pilcher, an author native to the South of England, have been adapted for German television, and they have proven to be rather popular. Although the primetime television movies star German actors and are shot by German crews, they are shot in the beautiful landscapes of Devon and Cornwall, enticing our European neighbours to come and explore the area for themselves. Some have even called the adaptations the Downton Abbey of Germany, often drawing over seven million viewers on a Sunday night. Not bad for a series of books that began their life in 1949!

So where should you visit to get a taste of Pilcher Mania?

The Day of the Storm at Land’s End and Penzance

Via. Flickr

Via. Flickr

The Day of the Storm, or Stürmische Begegnung as it’s known in German, was the first of the Pilcher novels to be adapted for German TV and it was shot in one of Britain’s most atmospheric areas, Land’s End and Penzance. A visit to the most westerly point in England is filled with sweeping coastal vistas of dramatic cliffs and glistening sea, as well as the glowing fields of rapeseed beautifully described in the story.

Coming Home to St. Michael’s Mount

St Michaels Mount

Via. Flickr

Don’t get caught unawares while visiting St. Michael’s Mount, the dramatic cliff top castle that features in both Coming Home and Shell Seekers. If you aren’t careful you might not be able to get there, or back, should you fail to time the tides right. Though you can take a boatride the 366 yards from the shores of Marazion, Cornwall, half the fun is making the trek along the briefly traversable man-made causeway on the bottom of the sea.

The End of Summer at Prideaux Place

Prideaux Place

Via. Flickr

If you’re looking for a bit of Olde English elegance don’t miss Prideaux Place, which features in both Winds Across the Sea and End of Summer, amongst others – many others as a matter of fact as this stately home has featured in no less than eight of the Pilcher movies. Take a guided tour of the house, indulge in a spot of afternoon tea, or just spend the afternoon enjoying the extensive gardens and grounds.

Newly Added Sykes Cottages: Cornwall Cottages

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
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With the sun shining above and a warm breeze blowing across the UK there are few better places to be than the beach. Cornwall, the UK’s most south westerly county, boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Cornwall is one of our most popular destinations so we are always looking for great new cottages in the area.

If you happen to own a quaint little cottage in Cornwall that you are considering letting out to holidaymakers we would be happy to answer any questions you may have, just visit our owners’ website to request our informational owners pack.

If, however, you are just looking for a lovely place to stay for a weekend or longer, why not consider some of these newly added cottages?

Halfpenny Cottage – Harrowbarrow, Cornwall

If you’re looking for the type of holiday cottage that you don’t need to leave than Halfpenny Cottage is the one for you. This immaculate cottage in Harrowbarrow, Cornwall is situated adjacent to the owners’ home and has extensive sloping lawned gardens with wonderful far reaching views, and if that isn’t enough, there is also a solar heated swimming pool! Ideal for a family holiday away from the crowds, the cottage has an open plan living area with French doors that lead out onto a balcony. With three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an open plan living area with kitchen, dining area and sitting area with electric fire, Halfpenny Cottage is the perfect place to just get away from it all.

The Old Cottage – Trevanson near Wadebridge, Cornwall

This isn’t called the Old Cottage for nothing, this peaceful and quiet cottage is a 17th century Grade II listed Cornish cottage filled with character features. Exposed beams, Cornish slate floors, a range cooker and a woodburner, are effortlessly combined with modern furnishings to make the Old Cottage perfect for families, couples and groups of friends alike.

Safe Haven – Tywardreath near Fowey, Cornwall

Safe Haven, near Fowey in Cornwall, has been renovated to a high standard and makes an ideal holiday home for a family or group of friends wishing to explore this coastal area. The accommodation at Safe Haven comprises two bedrooms, one with a king-sized bed and one with a single, as well as a fully equipped kitchen and a dining area and woodburner. Outside steps lead down a path to an enclosed, private lawned garden a few yards away, making it a perfect place to dine alfresco.What more could you ask for?



Top Family Days Out in Cornwall

Monday, May 6th, 2013
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With two Bank Holidays in May and the summer holidays on the horizon, here’s the first of a regular blog from Sykes Cottages featuring the best family days out up and down the country! This week we put Cornwall under the spotlight!


Find your perfect Cornwall cottage!

Tintangel Castle

Said to be the birthplace of King Arthur, North Cornwall’s Tintagel Castle is a fantastic day out with the family.  Maintained by English Heritage, these castle ruins are a great place to let your imagination (and the children) run wild.  The castle dates back to Roman times so there is more than 2000 years of history to discover as well as featuring in the tale of Tristan and Isolde.  There are events throughout the summer such as family fun trails and archaeology week, guaranteed to keep young and old entertained.  To continue the Arthurian theme after your visit, head to Dozmary Pool located on Bodmin Moor where legend has it that Excalibur rests in a watery grave.

Tintagel Castle, Cornwall

Tintagel Castle, Cornwall – Via. Flickr


South West Coast Path

Stretching some 630 miles through Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset, the South West Coast Path is a great way to see Cornwall’s beauty in all its glory.  If you’ve got little ones with you, choose a section of path which is pushchair friendly or short enough that even little legs will manage the walk and really make a day of it.  While walking along the coastal path is lovely in itself, you can make your stroll more family friendly by following a Treasure Trail.  These trails take you on an exciting discovery of the area’s smuggling history as you crack a number of clues.  My personal favourite?  The stretch between Polperro and Looe; a manageable walk with stunning views with a pretty fishing village at either end!
Exmouth to Poole South West Coast Path.


In a region boasting over 200 beaches, it will come as no surprise that life in the water is pretty popular in these parts.  Newquay is undeniably one of the finest surfing destinations in the world so where better to don a wetsuit for the first time?  The most recent craze is coasteering where participants navigate the coastline using a combination of climbing, swimming and jumping.  An adrenaline hit like no other!  Water babies should also try Adrenalin Quarry, which as the name suggests, is a former quarry packed with nail biting activities near Liskeard.  Reach speeds of 40mph on the zip wire, experience 3G on the giant swing or just bring a picnic and relax by the lake; the choice is yours!

Lost Gardens of Heligan

Venture to the charming village of Mevagissey and you’ll find the Lost Gardens of Heligan.  With more than 200 acres of botanical beauty to explore, a day out here is just as exciting as the perhaps better-known Eden Project.  Children will love the jungle where they’ll be amazed by giant rhubarb, a huge banana plantation and tunnels of bamboo to get lost in!  The Pleasure Grounds take you on a journey from Cornwall to Italy and New Zealand and back again.  Dogs are welcome all year round at Heligan which means you don’t have to leave your furry friend at home if you’ve chosen one of our pet-friendly cottages.  For a personalised tour of Heligan and many other gardens in Cornwall, you could consider Cornwall Garden Tours.  This small family business will transport you to some of Cornwall’s most beautiful gardens in style ; what better treat for those with green fingers?
Mud Man.  Lost Gardens of Heligan


Enjoy a day out at Cornwall’s theme park, Flambards located in Helston.  The park offers hours of fun for children of all ages (and grown-ups too) including an indoor soft play area for children as young as one and award-winning exhibitions including ‘Victorian Village’ and ‘Britain in the Blitz’.  You’ll also find rides and activities for all levels of daring from log flumes, the traditional carousel, stomach churning rides as well as family favourites like the tea cups and swinging pirate ship.  Plus, if you visit the website this weekend you can save 10% on your entrance tickets over the Bank Holiday; what could be better?

Have we got you thinking about a holiday in Cornwall?  Why not take a look at our website or give one of holiday cottage advisors a call today?  We still have plenty of cottages available for the late May Bank Holiday and the summer and now is a great time to book!

A Nature Lover’s Holiday in Cornwall

Monday, March 11th, 2013
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Here at Sykes Cottages, we’re already taking a lot of bookings for the summer holidays and with fantastic food, a mild climate and great attractions, it’s no wonder that Cornwall is as popular as ever. Cornwall isn’t just a great choice for surfers and sun-worshippers; it’s also a brilliant spot for nature lovers looking to discover this naturally stunning part of the UK.

Cornwall Beach

Enjoy a scenic walk

A walk along the South West Coastal Path, which stretches for more than 250 miles in Cornwall, certainly won’t disappoint.  At any time of year, a stroll along the coastal path gives you the best opportunity to see wildlife in an unspoilt and natural habitat.  Try the circular walk from Carbis Bay which takes in Porthkidney Sands noted for its wildflowers and seabirds.  Take the dog too, for a walk which won’t feel like a chore!  Come the autumn, the best place to watch hundreds of swallows and swifts venture south for the winter is The Lizard.  You can also expect to see flocks of fieldfares and whooper swans arriving in Cornwall to escape the bitter Arctic winters.  Pack your binoculars and a flask of something warm and enjoy a day trip during your holiday in Cornwall.  During 2013, the charity behind the South West Coast Path will undertake a number of improvements to make the path a more enjoyable place to walk.  Sykes Cottages are proud to be involved in this important conservation project on one of the UK’s most picturesque coastlines.

Cornwall view

Get out on the water

There’s no better way to appreciate the beauty of the Cornish coast than from the water where you’ll get to explore parts of the coast normally hidden from view.  From coasteering to kayaking, water babies are spoilt for choice on a holiday in Cornwall.  If you’re into fishing, try a boat ride from Specialised Charters who offer organised trips to catch everything from bream to sharks with the added bonus of useful local knowledge.  Pack your camera and keep your eyes peeled for seals, seabirds and bottlenose dolphins while you’re out on the water.  I can’t think of a better way to build lasting memories of your Cornish cottage holiday for years to come!


Try a boat ride on a holiday in Cornwall

Try a boat ride on a holiday in Cornwall


Family fun at Eden

The Eden Project is proof that nature doesn’t have to be boring for little ones and so a trip to the Eden Project is a must during a family holiday in Cornwall.  Enjoy exploring the largest rainforest in captivity, discovering where chocolate comes from and more than 70 plants in a variety of exotic climates.  Young explorers can also take part in exciting nature trails, enjoy hours of fun on outdoor play equipment and get involved in special family friendly activities like den building and ice skating.  For older children the longest zip wire in the UK and rock climbing are sure to be a hit!

Eden project

If this has got you thinking about booking a holiday for 2013, why not take a look at our website or call one of our friendly holiday cottage advisors until 9.30pm, seven days a week.