Archive for the ‘Easter’ Category

Easter Egg Hunting With Sykes Cottages

Sunday, April 20th, 2014
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Seeing as Easter weekend has finally arrived, we thought that we should do a little Easter themed special about the best way to keep the kids occupied. Forget about sticking on a DVD and leaving them to it, why not try out the old family favourite, the Easter Egg Hunt. They may seem like a bit of a logistical nightmare especially if the whole family is coming round, however we’ve come up with a few hints and tips that should keep everyone happy.

The Hunt

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via. Flickr

This obviously depends upon the age of the children. If they are a bit older then you can start to think of giving them more cryptic clues, things like riddles and little poems work well and certainly get those mental cogs whirring. Or if the hunt is for younger kids then you could think about using more visual clues, maybe drawing pictures of the locations or just making sure that they are in more easily visible places will make it more accessible, and more fun for them! For when there are a variety of ages it might be worth separating them out so there is a designated area for both the older and the younger groups so that everybody gets a fair shot at finding the eggs and that any little squabbles are avoided.

The Prizes

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via. Flickr

Of course the obvious choice would be the classic chocolate egg, however we know that it is likely that you’ll already be up to your ears in them over the Easter period and so we’ve had a think to see if we could come up with some alternatives. One option would be to hide some sort of token (maybe some plastic coins or even the little chick shaped decorations that you see in the supermarkets at this time of year) rather than eggs. These can then be exchanged at the end of the hunt for some sort of treat or present, things like colouring books or maybe a little toy always go down well and they also allow you to limit the chocolate intake.

Some Fun Alternatives

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via. Flickr

Even though the kids are sure to love the hunt they might get a bit of overkill, especially if they have already done some in school or pre-school so we’ve come up with a couple of ideas to keep them interested. You could always let them turn the tables and hide some eggs for the adults to find with a prize going to the person who thought of the best hiding place. Or you could add in a few extra challenges midway through the hunt, things like a classic egg and spoon race always works well and help to tire out the little tykes.

Hopefully the little ones will enjoy some of our ideas but if you’re thinking of making the hunt extra special why not think about going away and holding it in one of our big cottages, you’re sure to be able to find plenty of nooks and crannies to tuck away those eggs.

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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.

The UK’s Best Chocolate Workshops

Saturday, April 19th, 2014
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Here in Britain we love our chocolate; in fact we love it so much that, according to BBC News, we are the third largest consumer of chocolate in the world! That being said we here at Sykes have been on a chocolate finding mission to discover the UK’s tastiest chocolate workshops, why just eat chocolate when you could master making it? So if you fancy becoming a chocolate artisan, master chocolatier or simply picking up a new skill then keep reading for our choice of the UK’s best chocolate workshops.

Coco Chocolate

The exclusive Coco Chocolate School in Edinburgh offers two classes during one Saturday of every month so we would suggest booking in advance as these sought after classes fill up fast! During your time with Coco Chocolate you will learn how to temper chocolate on marble and make moulded chocolate, fruit filled broken chocolate and hand tempered, hand flaked hot chocolate. The class lasts two hours and sees its pupils leaving with Coco hampers containing a selection of the delectable chocolates made on the day.

Chocolate Delight


Chocolate delight offer their services nationwide which means you’re never too far from a chocolate workshop! On arrival you’ll be treated to a shimmering chocolate fountain before learning the secretes of processing chocolate, from the bean to the bar. This fun filled workshop will see you creating handmade Belgium truffles and mastering new skills in piping, mixing and shaping. On departure each pupil will take with them between 30 and 50 truffles as a souvenir of the day, to share with friends and family – that is if there are any left after the drive home!

The Chocolate Tart


Whether you’re looking for a chocolate workshop, children’s party, hen party or a team building exercise then The Chocolate Tart is the place for you! Located in Bristol this fabulous cookery school is home to Lisa Clarke and her signature handmade chocolate cup pudding. With a variety of workshops available throughout the year these seasonal workshops allow you to make personalised gifts for your loved ones; from Christmas trees to Easter eggs you’ll be a master chocolatier in no time.

York’s Chocolate Story

York’s Chocolate Story is a fascinating guide through York’s Chocolate making history, with highlights that include the “Chocolate Orange” and “KitKat”! This interactive experience teaches you how to become an expert chocolate taster, homing your new skills at their renowned Chocolate Bar Café. For a more hands on experience treat yourself and the family to a chocolate master class.  Here you’ll be able to make personalised bars, rochers and mediants, perfect for sharing or keeping all to yourself!

If this blog post has left you hungry for more then why not team your chocolate adventures with a stay in one of our chocolate box cottages? Perfect for relaxing in front of the fire whilst consuming all your hand made chocolaty delights, these cottages are sure to appeal to all the chocoholics out there!

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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.

Celebrate Easter with Spring’s Baby Animals

Monday, April 14th, 2014
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Easter comes at a fantastic time of year when the trees are budding, new flowers are sprouting and baby animals fill our fields! Children of all ages love to be surrounded by these adorable creatures and here at Sykes we believe that there is no better way to celebrate Easter than with a cute bunny on your lap. To help you make the most of the Easter holidays with the children we have come up with a few tips that will see you encompassed by all your farm yard favourites this spring, so keep reading for our guide on where to find the UK’s most delightful baby animals.

Local Petting Farm

There are a number of petting farms scattered across the British countryside each ideal for a day out with the family. These petting farms allow you to get up close and personal with animals of all shapes and sizes, from a tiny bunny rabbit to a large cow, you’ll be able to see it all. Visiting a petting farm during the Easter holidays gives you and the children the opportunity to see many of the animals commonly associated with Easter including chicks, rabbits, ducklings and lambs. To find your nearest petting farm simply visit

Country Walks

Hear at Sykes we’ve been running an exciting blog series entitled Walk of the Month which could be of great use to you over the Easter holidays! Our specially selected walks make for excellent sightseeing trips with the children where they will be thrilled to encounter lambs in the fields, “Kids” on the mountains and even small ducklings in the river. A spring walk really is a fun filled day out for the whole family, so make sure to pack a healthy picnic and of course a camera to capture all the fun memories you’ll be making!

Farm Cottages

What better way to see spring’s baby animals then by booking a stay on a farm? Here at Sykes we have a selection of farm cottages that would be perfect for an Easter vacation. Imagine waking up in the morning to the sounds of lambs bleating and hens clucking, the children will just love taking part in the farm yard activities and exploring the nearby fields. If you are lucky you may even be able to see a lambing, where you will have the opportunity to ask the farmer all your sheep related question.  

We hope this blog has motivated you to take the children to see spring’s baby animals this year. We would love for you to share your spring animal pictures with us so please send them via facebook or twitter because we can’t wait to see them!

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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.

Easter Crafts and Activities

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
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The Easter holidays are here, and whilst we’re all hoping to get out in the glorious sunshine it’s always worth having a back-up plan of things to do indoors should the weather not go your way or for a change of scenery. Today we’re showing some of our favourite Easter related crafts and activities that are sure to keep the whole family entertained on any indoor days this Easter holiday.

Shredded Wheat Nests

Image via Flickr

One of the best parts about Easter is all of the yummy food that’s not only fun to eat but also fun to make and chocolate nests filled with mini eggs tick both of those boxes! Whilst young children may need some help when melting the chocolate, they can still get involved with stirring and placing the eggs in the nest.

Makes twelve nests

  • 170g Shredded wheat (or another breakfast cereal – cornflakes and rice krispies work quite well)
  • 250g Chocolate
  • 50g Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of Golden Syrup
  • A bag of mini eggs
  • Cake cases


  1. Crumble the wheat biscuits into a large bowl (no need to crumble if you’re using another type of cereal)
  2. Melt the chocolate by breaking it into a small bowl with the butter, then put the bowl over a small pan of simmering water making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir the mixture until it is melted.
  3. Once the chocolate and butter have melted together, take the bowl off the heat, add the syrup then stir again.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with your cereal and mix together until all of the cereal is covered.
  5. Once combined, spoon the mixture into bun cases and top each nest with 2-3 mini eggs.
  6. If you can resist the temptation, leave the nests to one side to set for thirty minutes before tucking in!

Easy Easter Crafts

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One of those things that are always kept and treasured by family members are homemade cards, so what better craft activity to do this Easter than to create some? Get out all the kids’ craft materials; paper, glue, glitter and whatever else you have lying around and let their imaginations run wild creating Easter themed master pieces for friends and family. Why not try finger painting little chicks or rabbits onto the fronts of the card, drawing on stick legs and eyes? If you have any colourful pom poms and pipe cleaners around, why not make them into cute Easter finger puppets? Twist the pipe cleaner around your finger, attach a pom pom to the top and decorate with googly eyes and more pipe cleaners depending on what animal you are creating! 

Throw an Easter Themed Party

Image via Flickr

For a fun and festive afternoon why not have an Easter themed tea party? Spend the morning making Easter bunting out of scrap paper and decorating the house and the afternoon having loads of Easter fun! Have a buffet lunch of shredded wheat nests, hot cross buns, carrot sticks, egg sandwiches and any other Easter themed food you can think of. For a really special treat you could make a crème egg hot chocolate by melting a crème egg into hot milk. Once everyone has refuelled with Easter treats, why not play some Easter related games? Have an egg and spoon race or a mini Easter egg hunt before playing pin the tail on the rabbit using a printed picture of a bunny and some cotton wool with double sided sticky tape as the tail. Once the fun is over and everyone is tired out, put on the kids’ favourite film and have a relaxing evening.

We hope that some of our ideas here have given you some inspiration on things to do with your children indoors over the Easter holidays. Let us know on Twitter or Facebook what fun your family will be getting up to this Easter!

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Getaway to North Yorkshire this Easter!

Monday, April 7th, 2014
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For many, the upcoming bank holiday means four precious days of freedom; so use it wisely by booking a last minute getaway for the Easter break. Plenty of our properties are still available for the Easter weekend, so choose your favourite and reserve it quick-sharp to avoid missing out!

Worried it’s just the dud-destinations where properties are still available? Worry not. From Cornwall to the Lake District, we’ve still got plenty of holiday rentals to choose from at fair and affordable prices. To see our full range of holiday lets that are still available for the Easter weekend, visit our Easter Cottages page.

Before you choose your favourite destination however, take a minute to read today’s blog, where we’ll be giving you a few reasons why we think North Yorkshire is the ideal destination for a long Easter weekend.

Reason 1: There’s lots to do outdoors

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

From mountain biking through the lush trees of Dalby Forest to wandering through the Shambles of York, North Yorkshire is a haven for those who like to spend their time in the open-air. With the weather outlook for the bank holiday too far ahead for an accurate prediction, we can’t promise you sunshine, but if you’re travelling to Yorkshire over Easter, make sure to pack a mac to make the most of the county’s outdoor activities and attractions!

Reason 2: There’s lots to do indoors, too

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

If the weather does look set to bring a halt to your outdoor pursuits, don’t fret as North Yorkshire offers plenty of things to see and do indoors too. Travelling with kids? Head to the National Railway Museum in York to learn the history of Britain’s railways. Or, experience the sights and sounds of World War Two with a visit to Eden Camp near Malton, a unique museum housed in an original WWII POW camp. Alternatively if you’re going it alone on a romantic break with your partner, discover one of North Yorkshire’s ancient castles- Hawes, Leyburn, Middleham and Reeth to name but a few.

Reason 3: Beaches, beaches, beaches

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Whether we’re blessed with warm weather over the Easter weekend or not, the beach is still a firm favourite amongst holidaymakers. From sand castle building to blustery dog walks, the coast is somewhere to escape to for a truly invigorating getaway. The North Yorkshire coast happens to be one of the best in the UK, offering a wonderful blend of rugged sea cliffs, fascinating villages and some of the most coveted swathes of sand in England. Blue Flag beaches in North Yorkshire include Whitby’s West Cliff and North Bay in Scarborough, so if you’re travelling with children, be sure to pay at least one of these a visit.

Reason 4: North Yorkshire Cottages Galore!

With welcoming cottages scattered from coast to country across North Yorkshire, there’s nowhere better for a stimulating getaway this Easter. So what are you waiting for? Treat yourself and the kids to a fun-filled family holiday or use those precious days off to whisk the other half away on an impromptu short break. We’ve a handful of cottages that are still available to rent in North Yorkshire over the Easter weekend, so choose your favourite and reserve yours today by visiting our North Yorkshire cottages page.

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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.