Archive for the ‘Easter’ Category

5 of the best Easter events for families

Friday, April 3rd, 2015
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Here at Sykes Cottages, we’ve scoured all the events taking place over Easter weekend and come up with five fun-filled days out that the whole family will enjoy. From Easter egg hunts to pirate treasure trails, these family events will help you to invest in some real quality time with your family this Easter.

English Heritage Adventure Quest

English Heritage are piling on the fun this Easter with their adventure quests located at historical places all across the country. Children will need to crack clues with the help of historical characters from the past in order to complete the quest and receive their chocolate reward! Prices and locations can be found at the English Heritage website:

National Trust Cadbury Easter Egg Trails

For the eighth year in a row, the National Trust and National Trust Scotland have partnered with Cadbury to give families the ultimate Easter day out. Across the UK, there are over 300 locations hosting adventure Easter egg trails. Children will receive a Trail Journal with plenty of clues to help them on their way and on completing the trail, they’ll receive a Cadbury’s Egghead as a reward. You can see more information on the National Trust website here or to find the nearest trail to you, visit

Easter Bonnet Parade at Claremont Landscape Garden

A traditional Easter Bonnet Parade at Surrey’s Claremont Landscape Garden is being held on Saturday 4th April from 3pm. Put on your best bonnet and head down to the garden for a fun afternoon; there are even prizes for the best entries! Normal admission charges apply- £7.25 for adults and £3.60 for children. For more information see

Chester Food and Drink Festival

One Easter event that many of us here at Sykes HQ are planning to indulge in this weekend is the Chester Food and Drink Festival. Taking place from 4th-6th April at Chester Racecourse, the Food and Drink Festival promises to be a fun event for all the family. As well as delicious foodie exhibitors, there are demonstrations from top chefs including Gregg Wallace and free kids’ cooking workshops! On the door prices are charged at £8 for adults and children 12 go free. For more information see

Pirate’s Quest Easter Treasure Trail

Kids are bound to love this swash-buckling visitor attraction in Newquay where you can travel back in time to eighteenth century Cornwall. Using real actors, intricate sets and incredible special effects, visitors can experience the Golden Age of Piracy in an hour-long tour packed full of legends, adventure and story-telling. This Easter, you can also take part in their Easter Treasure Trail- pick up a treasure map on your way in and follow the clues to help find your prize! Prices are £9.95 for adults, £6.95 for children and those under 3 go free! For more information see

Will you be attending any of these events over the Easter holidays? Let us know how much fun you had via our Facebook or Twitter- we always love to hear about our customers’ days out and holidays!

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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.

5 fun-filled family days out this Easter

Saturday, March 28th, 2015
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Believe it or not, the Easter holidays are fast approaching. For the parents taking time off to spend with the kids, keeping to an itinerary is key to ensuring a tedium free break. To help fill your diary with boredom-busting day out ideas, we’ve come up with a to-do list of ten fun-filled family days out. Let’s get to it.

Discover the Second World War at Eden Camp

Whoever said history was dull forgot to tell that to the creators of Eden Camp. This fascinating visitor centre tells the story of the Second World War through a series of life-like attractions, many of which certain to scare the bejesus out of your little ones. The centre itself is housed in an original WW2 prisoner of war camp, with all thirty-two of the former prison huts incorporated into the site. Of these, The U-Boat Menace and The Blitz are particularly harrowing.

Opening times: 10am – 5pm, Monday to Sunday

Admission fees: Adults £6.50; children £5.50


Contact: 01653 698243;

Take the plunge at Bude Sea pool

Sea Pool, Bude by Lee is licensed under CC 2.0

Sea Pool, Bude by Lee is licensed under CC 2.0

With forecasters predicting higher than average temperatures for the Easter weekend and beyond, you and the kids might need somewhere to cool off during the holidays. And where better to do so than at the Bude Sea pool, a salt water swimming pool topped up twice daily by the refreshing Atlantic swell. This unusual part natural, part manmade lido is situated beneath the cliffs of Summerleaze Beach, providing a safe place for sunbathers to cool off without straying into North Cornwall’s choppy seas.

Opening times: Open all year round; best times to swim are one hour before or after high tide

Admission fees: Free to all

Address: Bude Sea Pool, Summerleaze Beach, Cornwall


Walk with T-Rex in Tenby

Image by Dan Thornton is licensed under CC 2.0

Image by Dan Thornton is licensed under CC 2.0

Like Spielberg’s Jurassic Park but with less death and no Jeff (Goldblum), The Dinosaur Park is every youngster’s dream day out. With a cornucopia of bad-ass dinosaurs nestled among the trees, as well as several rides and attractions including pint-sized 4×4 Off Roaders, Super Bouncer Trampolines and Disco Boats, The Dinosaur Park is a top day out for those holidaying in Pembrokeshire. But be warned: some of the exhibits are animatronic, so naturally they’re quite scary – isn’t that right, Mum?

Opening times: 10am – 5pm, Monday to Sunday

Admission fees: Adults £9.95; children £9.25

Address: Great Wedlock Dinosaur Experience, Gumfreston, Tenby, Pembrokeshire, SA70 8RB

Contact: 01834 845272;

Visit the witch of Wookey Hole

Image by M is licensed under CC 2.0

Image by M is licensed under CC 2.0

Witches, caverns and a Victorian Penny Arcade – what more could you want from a family day out? Wookey Hole is the UK’s most popular show cave, with thousands disappearing below Somerset’s surface each year. Aside from being a popular tourist attraction, Wookey Hole is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and features a number of rare geological features. But enough about that, let’s talk attractions. From the subterranean wonders of the cave itself to the crazy golf course, fairy garden and handmade paper mill, there’s a world of things to do at Wookey Hole.

Opening times: 10am – 4pm, Monday to Sunday (Winter); 10am – 5pm, Monday to Sunday

Admission fees: Adults £18.00; Children £12.00

Address: Wookey Hole Caves, The Mill, Wells, Somerset, BA5 1BB

Contact: 01749 677749;

Take flight at the Yorkshire Dales Falconry Centre

Image by Paul Pierce is licensed under CC 2.0

Image by Paul Pierce is licensed under CC 2.0

Get up close and personal to some of the nation’s most beautiful, albeit deadly, birds at the Yorkshire Dales Falconry Centre. Established in 1991, the centre offers up close experiences with a number of magnificent birds of prey, and is also part of an international bird conservation programme. Visitors can take a walk among the birds before seeing them in-flight at one of three falconry displays taking place throughout the day. Personal falconry experiences are also available for those looking for a more immersive experience.

Opening times: 10am – 4pm, Monday to Sunday; Displays at 12pm, 2pm, 3.30pm

Admission fees: Adults £7; Children £5

Address: The Yorkshire Dales Falconry Centre, Crows Nest Road, Nr. Giggleswick, Settle, North Yorkshire, LA2 8AS

Contact: 01729 822832;

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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.

There’s a heatwave forecast for Easter weekend!

Monday, March 23rd, 2015
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Great news for anyone planning an Easter getaway this year: we’ve been forecast an Easter heatwave! According to some forecasters, we’re in for one of the warmest Easters ever, with some even predicting temperatures to tip the 26C mark. So dust off your barbeques as fingers crossed, the four day weekend is going to be perfect BBQ weather! If the promise of some sunshine is enough to tempt you into booking a last-minute Easter break, here are the top 3 best places to book a getaway where you’ll be best placed to enjoy the heatwave!

Isle of Wight

Well-known for being one of the warmest and sunniest places in the UK, the Isle of Wight is a good bet if you want to soak up the sun this Easter. The south of the island in particular sees the best weather, with the picturesque seaside village of Shanklin seeing over 2,018.7 hours of sunshine in 2012 – significantly more than the UK average of 1492.7! Much of the southern areas of the island even have their own microclimate with milder temperatures, more sunshine hours and sub-tropical vegetation.


The south coast of England will always come up on lists of the warmest places in the UK but we’re looking specifically at Kent, which is the current record holder for the hottest temperature ever recorded in Britain. Brogdale, near Faversham, holds the record at a staggering 38.5C on 10th August 2003. To put this in perspective, the average August temperature in Spain is 25C! This part of the country consistently registers some of the highest British temperatures throughout the year and so if we’re in for a heatwave, Kent is a good place to make the most of it!


Statistically, Cornwall has the mildest climate in the UK as a result of the Gulf Stream bringing with it warm, moist air from the Caribbean. The average annual temperature here ranges from 11.6C to 9.8C, so when the rest of the country is shivering, Cornwall is still usually quite mild, making it the perfect place to visit on a break to take advantage of a heatwave. Cornwall is sure to be just that little bit hotter than the rest of the country!

We still have some lovely holiday cottages available over Easter if you’re looking for accommodation for your getaway; you can see the full list of available cottages on our website. In the meantime, we’re keeping everything crossed that this wonderful heatwave comes into fruition!

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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.

Escape the holiday hubbub this Easter

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015
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With the promise of a school-free fortnight for the kids and a cheeky four day weekend for us grownups, it’s little wonder Easter has become one of the most popular times of year for UK holidays.

But before you make the queue-strewn journey to the coast like every other holiday-ready family in Britain, consider this: are you ready to spend five hours cramped in the car only to realise thousands of others have the same idea as you?

If the answer’s no, take a look at our shortlist of the destinations you could try this Easter that’ll help you beat the crowds and ensure queuing for a 99 is a thing of the past.

Have the coast to yourself in Cumbria

Most of the time when we use the term ‘hidden gem’, little is meant by it; when it comes to the Cumbrian Coast however, we mean it. Overshadowed quite literally by the Lake District National Pack, the Cumbrian Coast remains one of the least-frequented seaboards in the country. It’s not that it’s ugly (quite the opposite in fact) or that there are no good beaches (there’s loads); it’s just people tend to get distracted by the beauty of the Lakes and forget to look what’s over the next fen.

Travel to the Cumbrian Coast this Easter, then, and look forward to having the beach all to yourself (well, almost). Although you’ll find great beaches up and down the coast, the best are St Bees, Roan Head and Allonby.

Go to Scotland, and then keep going

Even the remotest enclaves of the Scottish Highlands can’t escape the Easter hordes, but if you’re dead set on a holiday north of the border, travel a little further and debunk on the Isle of Skye. This far-flung isle is dominated by a gorgeous mountain-range called the Cuillins, providing the perfect backdrop to a relaxed and queue-free getaway. If you’d prefer a slither of civilisation during your trip, a cottage in Portree is your best bet. This colourful coastal town is the largest on Skye, and is a great base for exploration.

Alternatively, opt for a holiday home in Dunvegan, Glendale or Carbost, or go thoroughly off-piste with an isolated cottage slap bang in the middle of Skye’s famously pretty outback.

Warm up in Sunny South East Ireland

The North Atlantic Drift provides the south east coast of Ireland with unseasonably warm weather, making it a great choice for the sun seekers who can’t wait ‘til summer for their next dose of Vitamin-D. Pack your beach towel if you plan to visit this corner of the Emerald Isle; the region is scattered with incredibly beautiful beaches, some of which have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award for their cleanliness and amenities. Some of our favourite ribbons of Irish sand include Curracloe, Brittas Bay and Portmarnock, but there are a lot more besides.

If surfing and sunbathing aren’t on your to do list, there’s plenty to partake in inland. Choose a cottage in County Wicklow and explore the Wicklow Mountains National Park, or take a daytrip to Dublin and soak up some Irish culture and hospitality.

The Wye Valley awaits

Whilst most wind their way down the A48 en route to South Wales, you’d be wise to stop short and enjoy a holiday in the supremely pretty Wye Valley. Labelled the “valley of the Romantics” because of its ties to 17th century poet Wiliam Wordsworth, the Wye Valley is charming, peaceful and challenging in equal measure. For a small AONB, this picturesque vale contains plenty to keep outdoorsy types amused: think canoeing, climbing, hiking, mountain biking and everything in between.

Those who prefer a more sedate pace will feel just as at home here; the Wye Valley is awash with fascinating historic sites that hark back to the border region’s bloody past, and the mystical and enchanting Tintern Abbey – which features in a poem by Wordsworth – is well worth a visit.

Book a break this Easter with Sykes Cottages

Wherever you wish to travel this Easter, a self-catering holiday home from Sykes provides a comfortable and affordable place to stay. Unlike hotels and guesthouses, a self-catering cottage gives you the freedom to holiday your way; take a look at our wide range of cottages that are still available to rent this Easter, and get set for an unforgettable 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.

Book Your Easter Holiday Today!

Saturday, January 24th, 2015
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Come March you can pretty much guarantee that here at Sykes we’ll get absolutely bombarded by requests for a last minute Easter break. As much as we’d love to be able to help everyone the sad truth is that quite often the requests come in too late and that one cottage that people have had their eye on has already been booked up. This all means that in order to get your dream Easter holiday you’ll have to beat the rush and get in early! Handily we’ve put together a page that lists all of our cottages still available for Easter so take a look and see if one catches your eye. Or, if you still need convincing as to why you should book yourself a break, read on as we’ve listed some of the fantastic things that you could do on your Easter cottage holiday!

Celebrate Spring

Easter always seems to be a bit of a watershed moment in the year. The winter chills have vanished, summer is inching its way closer and of course there are signs of new life everywhere that you look. Here at Sykes we’re lucky enough to have a wide range of properties situated right on the owners farmlands! And if you want, many of our owners will happily take guests out on the rounds with them, something that always goes down a treat with the little ones as it let’s them get closer than ever to all of the baby animals!

Fantastic Easter Events

There are so many things that you could get up to come Easter time. Pretty much every attraction will put on a special event that the whole family will love, and surprise surprise the vast majority of them involve copious amounts of chocolate! In recent years the National Trust and Cadburys have worked together to put on a series of Easter Egg Hunts throughout many of the beautiful Trust owned properties around the country. Or maybe you fancy having a go at making chocolate yourself? If so have a look at our guide on the best chocolate workshops around the UK and you’ll be a master chocolatier before you know it!

Kick Back and Relax

Or maybe you’d just like a little R&R? Well who can blame you, by that time Christmas is a distant memory and it seems like a long time since you’ve had a decent break. Our cottages come in all shapes and sizes from cosy bolt-holes perfect for couples to properties big enough to house the whole extended family. And with features ranging from open fires to swimming pools and even hot tubs you’d be forgiven for just wanting to take it easy.

So if you want to enjoy this Easter in one of our cottages you’d better get booking! You can either do it online from the Sykes website or if you’d rather do it over the phone our Holiday Cottage Advisors are on hand 7 days a week, all you have to do is give us a call on 01244 356695!



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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.