Archive for the ‘East Anglia’ 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!

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.

Summer holiday fun in Norfolk

Monday, August 12th, 2013
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Following our recent posts on making the most of the summer holidays in Devon and the Lake District, this week we shine the Sykes spotlight on Norfolk. Planning a holiday to East Anglia can often mean a lengthy car journey but the combination of great weather, natural beauty and fantastic year-round attractions more than makes up for it, we promise! Here’s what not to miss this summer in Norfolk…
Beach Huts

Festival fever

If you didn’t make it to Glastonbury earlier in the summer, try the Sundown Festival held on the final weekend of August at the Norfolk Showground where this year’s headliners include Olly Murs, Pixie Lott and Dizzee Rascal.  Previous success has meant tickets are in high demand for this year’s festival but there is still plenty of tickets available starting at just over £30 for the day.  For something a little bit more unusual, the Wells Pirate Festival has to be top of your list.  In mid-September, this popular fishing town on the North Norfolk coast will be transformed into a swashbuckling array of pirate activities from sea shanties to puppet shows and even a smugglers ball.  With all the proceeds from the pirate festival being used to create a cultural hub for the community, what’s not to love?
Back to Wells-Next-The-Sea

Birds and Boats on the Norfolk Broads

Located in the east of the region, the Norfolk Broads is one of the UK’s National Parks and home to the largest protected area of wetland in the UK.  Getting out on the water is undoubtedly the best way to make the most of the area and with more than 200km of navigable waterways; you’ll be spoilt for choice!  Choose a canoe to feel at ne with nature or join one of the many organised boat trips and just sit back and relax.  The Broads are also famous for bird watching with twitchers flocking (pardon the pun) to the area throughout the year.  With the area home to more than 400 species and it possible to spot as many as 100 breeds in a single day, it’s easy to see why Norfolk lays claim to being the best place to bird watch in the UK.  Even during the summer months it’s possible to escape the tourist crowds and just enjoy the slower pace of life on the Broads.
Sunset on the Norfolk Broads

Rub shoulders with the Royals

Well, sort of!  The Sandringham Estate, located just six miles from King’s Lynn, is HM the Queen’s country retreat which has been used by the last four monarchs since 1862.  During the summer when the Queen resides in Balmoral, the house, museum and gardens are open to the public and offer an intriguing insight into life as a Royal.  The museum in particular is well worth the trip as it’s home to gifts given to the Queen on her trips abroad as well as a selection of items no longer used by the household.  If you’re anything like me, the chance to imagine life as a Royal is unmissable!
Sandringham Panorama
Wherever you choose for a holiday in Norfolk, you can almost guarantee we’ll have a holiday cottage nearby.  We have more than 100 Norfolk cottages to choose from including luxurious barn conversions and charming stone-built cottages originally built for the region’s fishermen.  In fact, the most difficult thing is deciding which of our fantastic cottages to choose!  Sykes Cottages are here to help; start planning a summer break to Norfolk by visiting our website or giving us a call on 01244 356695 today!

The Sykes Cottages Guide To Ely

Thursday, March 8th, 2012
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Rising out of the wet fenlands between Cambridge and Newmarket, the small city of Ely feels more like a large town but its magnificent cathedral, which dominates the skyline of the flat East Anglian countryside, denotes a place of one-time historic importance. Oliver Cromwell lived in the town for eleven years, and his home can be visited with a trip to the town’s tourist information office, which is now housed within the ancient black and white walls. Today visitors on a cottage holiday will find plenty to fill a day in Ely, starting at the famous cathedral, known as the Ship of the Fens, with an unusual Octagonal tower which can be seen for miles around. Learn about the region’s history with a trip to the Ely Museum, housed in the old town jail, or visit the country’s only dedicated Stained Glass museum. Water, water, everywhere…Ely’s waterside area makes a very pleasant place to stroll away an afternoon; take a boat trip down river to enjoy the views from the water, then enjoy refreshments at one of the tea rooms. There are many excellent places to eat along the riverside; after lunch make time to see the Babylon Gallery’s mixture of local and national art, on display in the town’s old brewery warehouse. (more…)

The Sykes Cottages Guide To Newmarket and Bury St Edmonds

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
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Synonymous with horse racing, the East Anglian town of Newmarket in Suffolk barely needs any introduction, renowned the world over as the premier location for the Sport of Kings. Horse racing inevitably dominates life in the town, and anyone with more than just a passing interest will find Newmarket an enjoyable place to visit. A day at the races is, of course, the ultimate Newmarket experience, with not one but two famous courses to choose from, but everyone can gain an insight into the equine world with a visit to the town’s National Horse racing Museum, a tour round one of the working horse training yards or by making a visit to the stunning National Stud.

The Sykes Cottages Guide To Wymondham, Diss, Harleston & Hingham

Friday, December 16th, 2011
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The many historic towns and villages found to the south of Norwich, between the city and the county’s border with neighbouring Suffolk, are well worth visiting on a cottage holiday. Visit the Roman settlement at Caistor St. Edmund just south of Norwich, or discover beautiful Diss, a delightful market town offering sixteenth century timber-framed houses built around the six acres of Diss Mere Lake. The walking route of Boudica’s Way starts here, and ramblers can make the journey back to Norwich along this famous trail. Harleston holds a market every Wednesday, whilst the village of Hingham boasts a plethora of period buildings. (more…)