Archive for the ‘East Anglia’ Category

Sykes’ Spotlight on Suffolk

Saturday, June 21st, 2014
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The historic county of Suffolk is the ideal destination for a short break or family holiday; with spectacular views over the North Sea and beautiful agricultural land stretching far over the horizon, it’s impossible not to be enchanted by this traditional English county. With two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a number of fascinating attractions, Suffolk is sure to impress you and your family this season. If you’re thinking of visiting the area this year and would like some inspiration, keep reading for our guide on what to see and do whilst in Suffolk.

Out and about in Brandon

Picture via Flickr.

Picture via Flickr.

Brandon is a small market town located in the North West of Suffolk. Commonly referred to as a town of two halves, Brandon is not only known for its historic market but also the wonderful wildlife and forests in the surrounding area. Brandon’s market is held every Thursday and Sunday so we would advise reserving your visit until one of these days. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a keen cyclist or just enjoy a pleasant walk in beautiful surroundings then a trip to Thetford Forest is a must! With over 300 square miles of forest and lowland heaths to explore, the area is perfect for a family bike ride.

Family Fun at Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park

Picture via Flickr.

Picture via Flickr.

If you’re looking for a fast paced family day out where you can experience thrilling roller coasters, crazy kids activities and the scariest ride in Britain, then we would encourage you to visit the Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park. Surrounded by over 50 acres of woodland, this idyllic theme park is suitable for all ages and prides its self on offering a fantastic experience for the whole family! As well as the rapid rides and colourful characters, this theme park also presents an array of exciting live attractions; from a multi-coloured parrot show and slippery sea lion display, to a daring high dive show, these attractions are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat!

Step back in time at Kentwell Hall

Picture via Flickr.

Picture via Flickr.

Kentwell Hall is a family run home where visitors are welcomed as guests; free to explore the house, gardens and rare breed farm at their leisure. Reliving the houses rich history, this moated mansion hosts a number of Tudor days throughout the year where visitors can fully immerse themselves in the Tudor way of life. Kentwell Hall is transformed into a 16th century manor with 250 inhabitants all going about their daily tasks like they would in Tudor times. A fantastic experience for both children and adults, Kentwell Hall not only teaches you history but lets you live it!

Relax at a Suffolk cottage

Cosy character setting at Bay View Barn in Suffolk, Ref: 28161

Cosy character setting at Bay View Barn in Suffolk, Ref: 28161

If you were to simply drive through Suffolk, you would miss many of these top attractions not to mention the stunning scenery, friendly locals and charming atmosphere that Suffolk has to offer. To make the most of your time in this beautiful county, why not rent a self-catering cottage? Our selection of Suffolk cottages are ideal for all holiday types and budgets, so whether you’re looking for a romantic escape, family vacation or group getaway, make sure to check out our cottage page or call our reservations team for more information.

nicole.westley

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.

Top Things To Do In East Anglia

Monday, June 9th, 2014
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Here at Sykes we don’t think that East Anglia gets the recognition that it deserves as a holiday destination, after all it’s one of our favourite areas of the country. So in order to try and rectify this we’ve decided to have a look at some of the best days out that you can find there. To showcase the variety of options, we’ve included something for everyone, from the adventure seekers right the way through to the nature lovers. So take a look and see if you can find something for you.

Extreeme Adventure

Extreeme Adventure

 Photo Courtesy of Extreeme Adventure

If you’ve got a bit of the adrenaline junkie about you then you could always give a trip to Extreeme Adventure a go. With custom built courses within the beautiful surroundings of Weasenham Woods, you’ll find yourself swinging through the trees in no time. But don’t worry if you’ve not got a head for heights, there is plenty to keep you occupied. For the younger ones there is a great little outdoor play area that should keep them happy, or if you want to try your hand at something a bit different you could always try getting to grips with an off-road segway with the SegRally experience on offer.

The Norwich 12

Norwich Cathedral

via. Flickr

Alternatively if you fancy getting to grips with a bit of the region’s history then the Norwich 12 is just the thing for you! A collection of the finest buildings from one of Britain’s most beautiful cities all brought together under one umbrella to give visitors the perfect chance to get a little taster of each. A tour of the Norwich 12 takes participants through the ages with some of the best surviving examples of Norman, Medieval, Georgian, Victorian and modern architecture that you could wish for

RSPB Minsmere

RSPB Minsmere

via. Flickr

One other option open to you is getting a little taste of East Anglia’s fantastic wildlife and countryside. RSPB Minsmere is tucked away within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Natural Beauty and often referenced as one of the UK’s top birdwatching spots, so much so that the reserve is currently home to Springwatch! However, Minsmere doesn’t just cater for the birders out there. Guided walks around the reserve are run all year round, where you can take in some of the stunning scenery or you can pay a visit to the RSPB shop and café to tuck into the best local produce that Suffolk has to offer.

Hopefully you’ll have found that interesting and now can’t wait to book yourself a break in East Anglia. If that’s the case then make sure you have a look at our East Anglia Cottages page so that you can find yourself the perfect holiday home!

 

Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.

Explore Suffolk with the Suffolk Walking Festival

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
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This month sees the return of the enormously popular Suffolk Walking Festival, which is taking place between 10th May and 1st June 2014. Back for the seventh year running, this fantastic festival encourages locals and holidaymakers to dust off their walking boots and explore this stunningly beautiful county on foot. With over 80 walks planned, there’s something to suit everyone from gentle strolls around market towns to longer saunters through the glorious countryside. It’s also a great way to get involved in National Walking Month, which is taking place throughout May. Read on for our guide to some of the best events planned for the Suffolk Walking Festival.

Walks in the Suffolk Countryside

Chelsworth, Suffolk

Via Flickr

For many people, walking is all about getting out into the countryside so it’s great news that the Suffolk Walking Festival has planned a large number of walks in which you’ll be able to take in and enjoy Suffolk’s natural beauty. From Nordic walking to tours around vineyards, there’s something to tickle everybody’s fancy. Why not try The Two Festivals Walk on Sunday 25th May at 10.00am? This walk takes place between the picturesque Suffolk villages of Bildeston and Chelsworth, taking in the rolling countryside in-between. Each village has a typically English feel with pretty houses, pubs and towering churches. You can even finish your walk with a delicious lunch at the Bildeston Beer Festival or The Peacock in Chelsworth.

Walks in Ipswich

Ipswich marina

Via Flickr

Fancy something a little different? Take a look at the selection of walks in larger towns and villages happening during the festival. One that’s sure to go down a treat is The Horrible History of Ipswich Walk, taking place on Wednesday 28th May at 10.30am. Walkers will get to step back in time and discover more about the gory side to Ipswich’s history, including the diseases, punishments, executions and grave robberies which once took place here.

Walks for Children

Nowton Park in Suffolk

Via Flickr

If you’re keen to take part but not sure whether the kids will enjoy it, then don’t worry as the Suffolk Walking Festival has even planned a few walks especially for children. One of our favourites is the Awesome Trees Walk planned for Sunday 1st June at 2.30pm. Held at Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds, this walk will take around 2 hours to complete and is guided by a park ranger. During the walk, you’ll learn all about the fascinating trees growing in Nowton Park and children will love the gigantic Redwoods and the lightning struck Douglas tree!

Rent a holiday cottage in Suffolk

Holiday cottage in Suffolk

Faith Cottage, Felsham, Ref 1934

Here at Sykes, we are lucky enough to have some very beautiful self-catering cottages in Suffolk. If you’re taking part in the Suffolk Walking Festival or considering taking a holiday there later in the year, then how about booking a cottage for your trip? To find out more about our cottages in Suffolk, you can either visit our website or give one of our dedicated reservations specialists a call on 01244 356 695. They’re on hand to help 7 days a week, from 9.00am to 9.30pm.

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.

Historical Days out in Norfolk this Summer

Friday, April 18th, 2014
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You may have noticed that here at Sykes, we’re big fans of the picturesque county of Norfolk. From the stunning landscape of the Broads to the traditional seaside towns with their beach huts, we love talking and hearing about the places and attractions that make this county so special. Today, we want to share with you some of Norfolk’s best historical days outs and why you should visit them this summer.

Bircham Windmill

Bircham Windmill, near King’s Lynn, is a great day out for all the family. Built in 1846, the windmill’s appearance hasn’t really changed and it still looks very much like it would have done 100 years ago. Visitors to this popular attraction can climb the five floors to see all the machinery, experience the beautiful views and read more information about the history of the windmill. There are also plenty of other interesting and fun activities on offer including bread making at the adjoining bakery; a tea room serving a delicious selection of home-made light meals, scones, cakes and clotted cream teas; sheep milking every day at 2pm and petting days with the windmill’s animals. There is also a wonderful gift shop and bake shop where you can purchase souvenirs and treats to take home for friends and family.

Shakespeare Festival at Norwich Cathedral

Norwich Cathedral, Norfolk

Via Flickr

This summer, Norwich’s Shakespeare Festival is returning to the Norwich Cathedral once more to thrill and entertain audiences with performances of two of the Bard’s most famous plays, Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet. Presented by Shakespearean touring companies and running for four nights from 16th-19th July, this is a truly unique chance to see masterpieces of English literature performed against the spectacular backdrop of the cathedral. This is a fantastic opportunity that should not be missed! The refectory team at Norwich Cathedral will also be on hand to provide a BBQ and bar for guests.

Blickling Estate

Blickling Estate, Norfolk

Via Flickr

Blickling Estate is a stunning Jacobean mansion house just north of Aylsham and is one of Norfolk’s top tourist attractions. Once home to Sir John Falstof and later, the Boleyn family, Blickling Estate is also widely thought to be the birthplace of Anne Boleyn and her statue and portrait can still be found in Blickling Hall today. Aside from being steeped in history, this magnificent estate is a fantastic day out for holiday-makers in Norfolk this summer. Visitors are able to explore the house with its opulent décor and view one of the nation’s most historically important collections of books, and with nearly 5000 acres of gardens and woodland to discover, there’s no better place to head for a walk. Now owned by the National Trust, Blickling Estate has a lot to offer children too with family activities and quizzes on offer throughout the season.

Rent a holiday cottage in Norfolk

Holiday cottage in Norfolk

Kath’s Cottage, Heacham, Ref 4040

If you’re heading to Norfolk this summer then why not consider booking one of our fantastic holiday cottages for your trip. We’ve over 120 cottages in Norfolk for you to choose from and a diverse range of locations, from coast to countryside and city centre to the Broads.

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- A Visitor’s Guide to Norfolk

Thursday, February 13th, 2014
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Those of you lucky enough to have visited or reside in the picturesque county of Norfolk will know that it’s truly a one of a kind. Combining beautiful beaches and vibrant coastal towns with the unique wetlands of the Norfolk Broads, and the rich heritage and culture of Norwich; Norfolk is one the UK’s most popular and varied holiday destinations. In celebration of this wonderful county, Sykes Cottages have launched ‘A Visitor’s Guide to Norfolk’, a tourist guide compiled from the responses of over 1,000 visitors and residents, who were asked what they love most about Norfolk. You’ll find information on all of Norfolk’s best loved attractions and locations, as well as some local insight into what makes Norfolk such a fantastic place to live and visit. The guide includes real quotes from real people who have revealed their favourite things about Norfolk and there’s no disguising the exceptional pride and affection that both residents and visitors have for this part of the country. For a sneaky preview of their favourite holiday destinations in Norfolk, read on!

The Norfolk Broads

Norfolk Broads

Via Flickr

The Norfolk Broads are arguably one of the most recognisable images of the county and are the UK’s largest nationally protected wetlands. Here, you will have the unique opportunity to explore the beauty of Norfolk by boat, as much of the area can’t be accessed by road. Take in the beautiful countryside and big skies and enjoy an experience like no other. While you’re there, why not make the most of your trip and check out our fantastic selection of holiday cottages in the Norfolk Broads.

Norfolk’s Beaches

Mundesley Beach, Norfolk

Via Flickr

Norfolk boasts some of the best coastline in the UK with plenty of family and pet friendly beaches on offer. Choose from traditional seaside resorts, beaches with vast stretches of open sand, golden sand dunes and coastal nature reserves. Norfolk’s beaches are also fantastic places to go seal spotting. Blakeney, on the North Norfolk Coast, is home to over 500 common and grey seals and if you’re lucky, these inquisitive animals will be more than willing to provide a few good poses for the camera. For a holiday on Norfolk’s beautiful coastline, take a look at our Norfolk coastal cottages.

Norwich

Norwich Cathedral

Via Flickr

Norwich is a unique fusion of contemporary and traditional which complement each other perfectly. It is the most complete medieval city in the UK and with its cobbled streets and the towering spire of Norwich Cathedral, it’s hard not to fall for Norwich’s charm. The city is bursting with arts, culture and heritage for visitors to enjoy and offers an abundance of restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs if you’re looking for a lively night out.

If you’ve been inspired to experience the delights of Norfolk first-hand, then look no further than our superb selection of cottages in Norfolk for your holiday. For more information on all of the above places and the other wonderful attractions that Norfolk has to offer, read our Norfolk Visitor’s Guide. You’ll discover more about all of your favourite places and unearth some hidden gems from regular visitors and locals, ensuring that your holiday in Norfolk will be one you’ll never forget.

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.