Archive for the ‘Cornwall’ Category

Celebrate Real Ale On An Autumn Short Break

Friday, October 25th, 2013
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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!

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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.

Get Out and Get Green on a Sykes Cottage Holiday

Friday, October 4th, 2013
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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.

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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.

Livin’ it up with the Lads in Cornwall

Monday, September 23rd, 2013
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Romantic weekend away with the one you love are always nice; long walks on the beach, candle lit dinners, and lazy Sunday mornings in bed are some of the simple pleasures of life. Every so often however, a guy just needs to get away with the lads to fill up on testosterone, beer and laughs.

Now that the kids are back in school and life is beginning to settle back into a regular pace there is no better time to plan a lads weekend away. It doesn’t need to be an elaborate overseas affair that breaks the bank, there are plenty of great ways to spend time with your mates right here in the UK and Cornwall takes the cake. With something for everyone, from golf to fishing, walking to coasteering, as well as some of the best pubs in the country, there are few better places to get back in touch with your masculine side.

Golfin’ with the Guys at Launceston Golf Club

Golfing

Via. Flickr

The town of Launceston, right on the edge of the Cornwall/Devon border, makes a perfect place to start your weekend away. First stop, Launceston Golf Club. Originating in earnest in 1927, Launceston Golf Club is a challenging 6385 yard par 70 parkland course which boasts spectacular countryside views over both Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor. Not only is Launceston the first golf club that you’ll come across when you cross the Cornwall border, but it’s also a steal of a deal for Sykes Cottages customers – just mention Sykes when making your booking and the regular £30 cost for a round will be discounted to £18. Just call the Club House on 01566 773442 to take advantage of this great offer!

Leg it with the Lads at the Fal River Autumn Walking Festival

St Mawes Castle. Nikon D3100. DSC_0590.

Via. Flickr

If you, like Mark Twain, think that golf is “a good walk spoiled”, then why not just take the walk. From 18 October to 3 November, 2013 the Fal River Autumn Walking Festival will be taking place and offers the opportunity to perambulate through some of the most beautiful landscapes that Cornwall has to offer. The walks that are organized for the festival offer something for every ability level and interest, from all day hikes that take you on a journey around the Roseland Peninsula, to short town and country walks that factor in time for a pint and a pasty! Visit the website to find a selection of walking guides and festival events.

Beer with your Buddies at the Falmouth Beer Festival

King of Pints!

Via. Flickr

A lads weekend just wouldn’t be a lads weekend without a healthy dose of the amber nectar, and where better to get your fill than at the Falmouth Beer Festival? This is an event entered into the diaries of all Real Ale lovers across Cornwall, with it being the biggest Real Ale event in the county. This year’s event will host more than 200 of the most mouth-watering real ales, ciders and perries that the local area has to offer. For a mere £4 (or £2.50 with a CAMRA membership card), gets you entry to the event at Princess Pavillion, Falmouth, as well as a festival programme and a souvenir glass, after that it’s just £1.50 per half pint. The festival rins from 11am-11pm both days and if you set yourself up in a local Falmouth holiday cottage you won’t have far to walk, or stumble, home! Visit the festival Twitter or Facebook for full details.

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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.

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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.

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.

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