Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Book a last minute break for New Year!

Monday, December 22nd, 2014
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Finalised your New Year plans? If not, don’t fret, as there’s still time to book a last minute cottage break with Sykes. If you’re tired of run-of-the-mill NYEs and want to do something different this year, why not rent a self-catering cottage with us? We’ve got plenty of properties that are still available for short breaks over the New Year, in a range of sizes. So whether you’re after an-all out shindig with your family and friends or an intimate getaway with your other half, our cottages for New Year are a great choice.

Not convinced? Then check out these properties below to get a taste for what we can offer you this New Year.

Downsdale Cottage – Ref. 4190

Quarnford and Flash, Peak District

Situated amid the spectacular scenery of the Peak District, Downsdale Cottage is a handsome, stone-built holiday home, with space for up to five guests. The property features two bedrooms, bathroom, fully-equipped kitchen and cosy sitting area complete with open fire. For families looking for a secluded New Year retreat, Downsdale proves perfect. The cottage is surrounded by nothing but gorgeous, Derbyshire countryside, whilst the villages of Quarnford and Flash lie just one mile away – perfect for stocking up on supplies or enjoying a New Year’s tipple!

Wren – Ref. 905023

Llangaffo, Wales

Located on the dramatic Isle of Anglesey, Wren cottage is a wonderful holiday home offering comfortable accommodation for up to two guests. The property features one double bedroom, a shower room, spacious open-plan living area and shared use of an external games room, making it the perfect choice for a couple’s retreat. If you’re travelling in a party of more than one couple, Wren Cottage can be booked alongside Goldfinch Cottage, which is just next door. Both cottages are available over the New Year period – click the link above to check availability and book.

Tan Llan – Ref. 917340

Dolgellau, Wales

Step into 2015 in style with a New Year’s short break at Tan Llan. This glorious, eight bedroom shack is currently still available for a short break over the New Year, and makes the perfect base for large families or a group of friends looking to bring in the New Year with a bang. The property accommodates up to 16 guests, and features plenty of comfortable and luxurious living space. There are large, picturesque grounds on the property too – ideal for a relaxing walk on New Year’s morning.

Hill Farm Cottage – Ref. 12722

Freshwater, South of England

Soak up the sights and sounds of the Isle of Wight this New Year when you rent Hill Farm Cottage. This delightful, 400-year old thatched cottage offers a characterful place to stay on this petit isle, with scenic walks aplenty right from the front door. The property has been thoughtfully renovated and restored, offering comfort and luxury without loss of character. There are four bedrooms to accommodate up to seven guests, as well as a large family bathroom complete with relaxing Jacuzzi bath. If you’ve been searching for a tranquil cottage from which to bring in the New Year, Hill Farm Cottage ought to be at the top of your list.

To find out more about our cottages that are available to rent over the New Year, please visit our cottages for New Year 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.

Postcard to the Past Terms and Conditions

Thursday, December 4th, 2014
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1) These terms and conditions apply to Postcard to the Past run by Sykes Cottages and by entering into the postcard generator, entrants will be deemed to have read and accepted these terms and agree to be bound by them. Those who do not agree will not be entered into the competition.

2) CONTENT RESTRICTIONS: Entrants must not include any of the following content in any entry:

i) pornography, adult-oriented content or any other sexually-explicit material;

ii) explicit language or content, images of violence, or promotion of illegal activities;

iii) content which infringes intellectual property rights or laws;

iv) content which is defamatory or maliciously false;

v) content which brings or is likely to bring the company, its website or Sykes Cottages into disrepute;

vi) material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, age or any other basis;

vii) content owned by any party other than the entrant or the company (e.g. recorded music; pre-produced video, etc.);

viii) material that is unlawful, or which may constitute a criminal offence including (without limitation) the Communications Act 2003, Malicious Communications Act 1988 or any other legislation in force during the competition.


3) By using the postcard generator, every user agrees:

(a) confirms that his/her entry is an original copyright work (as defined by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988) and that he/she owns all right, title and interest in the entry or has all necessary rights and authorisations to submit it and the express permission of all individuals, content and materials embodied or featured in the entry to submit it for possible use as provided for in these terms (and will procure that any individual featured will enter into an appropriate image release where necessary);

(b) agrees that his/her entry does not otherwise violate Sykes Cottage‘s Terms of Use or infringe the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity;

(c) grants to the company the perpetual and unlimited right and license to use, license, edit, modify, duplicate and/or create derivative works from the submissions throughout the world and in perpetuity, including, but not limited to, the right for the promoter to publish, display, broadcast, distribute, reproduce, perform, create derivative works from and otherwise use the entry via the internet or any other interactive media, on television, in print and/or any other media currently existing and hereafter developed and without limitation and without compensation to the entrant,

(i) on its own or as part of any audio-visual or other production;

(ii) to advertise any of Sykes Cottages products;

(iii) for any other purpose whatsoever.

(d) Any works showcased on the site will nonetheless be credited to those who submit them, the size of which is at the company’s discretion.

4) Entrants agree that the company will be entitled to edit entries as it deems fit in accordance with current advertising regulations and will not be obliged to make any use of any part or all of a entry.

5) Entrants are solely responsible for Internet connectivity, software and/or hardware that may be required in order to create and/or submit any entry.

6) Entries must not be sent through agencies or third parties.

7) By using the postcard generator, the users agree to participate in publicity, should it be required. This may include use of their name and image in online and offline publicity, communications, and in any other media worldwide without any fee being paid.

8) The company will not be liable for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network, cable, satellite, Internet Service Provider (ISP) or lines, computer systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or any combination thereof, including any damage to the user’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials relating to this postcard generator.

9) All conditions, warranties and other terms which might otherwise be implied by statute or common law are expressly excluded from these Terms.

10) Nothing in these Terms will exclude or limit the company’s liability for death or personal injury caused by its negligence or for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.

11) Entrants agree that by using the tool their personal details may be stored and otherwise processed by the company for the purposes of administering the postcard generator and for the marketing and sending of other special offers where you have consented to receive the same.


13) In the event of any dispute regarding these terms, conduct, results and all other matters relating to the postcard generator, the decision of the company will be final and no correspondence or discussion will be entered into.

14) If any provision of these terms (or part of any provision) is found by any court or other competent authority to be invalid, unenforceable or illegal, the other provisions will remain in force. If any invalid, unenforceable or illegal provision would be valid, enforceable and legal if some part of it were deleted, the provision will apply with whatever modification is necessary to give effect to the commercial intention of the parties.

15) No failure or delay by a party to exercise any right or remedy provided under these terms or by law or any abandonment of any such right or remedy will constitute a waiver of that or any other right or remedy, nor will it preclude or restrict the further exercise of that or any other right or remedy. No single or partial exercise of such right or remedy will preclude or restrict the further exercise of that or any other right or remedy.

16) These terms and any non-contractual obligations arising out of or in connection with them will be governed and construed in accordance with English law. The courts of England and Wales will have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or matter of difference which may arise out of or in connection with these terms.

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The Mountains of Britain and Ireland

Friday, November 14th, 2014
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For today’s instalment of the blog, we’re looking at the biggest mountains of the United Kingdom and Ireland. From the North of Scotland to Snowdonia and all the way to Macgillycuddy’s Reeks in the west of  the Emerald Isle, we’ve tracked down the highest peaks in order to give you some information about them.

Ben Nevis

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

  • Height – 1,344m
  • Location – Grampian Mountains, Scotland

Overlooking the stunning scenery of Loch Linnhe, Ben Nevis is the highest peak in the whole of the British Isles. Its name derives from the Gaelic Beann Neibheis although no one is quite sure what this means with suggestions ranging fromVenomous Mountain to the Mountain of Heaven. With an estimated 100,000 climbers making their way up to the summit, Ben Nevis is one of the most popular mountains in Britain as well as the highest; if you join them, you’ll be able to find some of the most stunning panoramas around as well as the remains of deserted observatory used around the turn of the twentieth century.



via. Flickr

  • Height – 1,038m
  • Location – Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland

Standing at the heart of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range in Co. Kerry is the highest mountain in all of Ireland – Carrauntoohil. There are three main pathways to follow if you fancy pitting yourself against it; the Devil’s Ladder, Brother O’Shea’s Gully and the Caher route. If you are going to try it, make sure you’re well prepared as the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean makes for extremely changeable weather condititions.


Scafell Pike

scafell pike

via. Flickr

  • Height – 938m
  • Location – Southern Fells, England

It may only be a few metres taller than its similarly named neighbour, Scafell, but it’s enough to make Scafell Pike the highest point in all of England. As climbs go, it isn’t the most strenuous, so when there’s the opportunity to experience the views that inspired Coleridge, Wordsworth and plenty others you certainly won’t regret setting aside a few hours to make your way to the summit. On a clear day at the top you may be able to catch a glimpse of Wales, Ireland, Scotland and even the Isle of Man – there can’t be many places that can make that claim!



via. Flickr

  • Height – 1,085 m
  • Location – Snowdonia, Wales

The highest peak in Britain that isn’t part of the Scottish Highlands, Snowdon is probably the busiest mountain in the country with hundreds of thousands making their way up it every year. With a state of the art visitor centre at the top, not to mention its own railway, it draws in droves of people wanting to get a taste of the stunning views from the top. However depending on the time of year it can be quite a tricky climb, with Sir Edmund Hillary even using some of the steeper sections in his training to best Mount Everest!

So there you go, the lowdown on the highest peaks of the British Isles. We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading it, and maybe even learnt something new about them – and who knows, maybe you even fancy climbing on of them yourself! If that is the case make sure you take a look at our website so that you can find yourself a nice cosy cottage to put your feet up at the end of the day.

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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.

Watersports to try away from the sea

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
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Today we’re going to look at the fantastic watersports you can try away from the seaside. This may seem a strange idea considering we’re an island nation and there’s never more than 75 miles between you and the coastline, but there are so many other waterways that you can take advantage of. With more rivers, canals and lakes than you could shake a paddle at, you’ll be spoilt for choice; take a look and see if we can tempt you into trying out any of these fantastic activities.

Paddle Your Way Along the Great Glen Canoe Trail

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

OK, it might start and end at the seaside, but after reading about this one we had to include it; after all, who knew you could canoe right the way across Scotland? Covering 60 miles of the Caledonian canal from Fort William to Inverness, the Great Glen Canoe Trail might take five days to complete but it’ll definitely be worth it. You’ll paddle through four of Scotland’s famous lochs (Ness, Lochy, Oich and Dochfour in case you were wondering), 22 miles of man made canal and, if you’re feeling intrepid, you can also have a crack at the rivers Oich, Ness and Lochy for a change of scenery.

Water-ski on Windermere

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

If you fancy something faster paced then you can always head over to the Lake District. As the name suggests, you’ll find a haven for all sorts of watersport enthusiasts, and at Windermere you’ll find the perfect spot for water skiing.  There is of course a speed limit at Windermere which means you won’t be allowed to go at full throttle; however, coupled with the calm waters this makes it a fantastic place to get some practice in before you head on to more changing waters.

Go Surfing in Snowdonia

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Yep, you read it right. From next year you won’t need to be at the seaside to go surfing; instead you can just head into the mountains of North Wales and Surf Snowdonia. That’s because they are currently in the process of building an artificial surfing lagoon amongst some of the most stunning scenery that you could hope for. With waves varying in size from 2-6 feet, and a 300 metre channel, the project promises to be something special and will cater for all levels of ability from absolute beginners through to die hard surfers, so make sure you pop down to give it a go!

So there you go,  a small selection of the amazing activities that you can have a go at on our country’s countless rivers and lakes. We’d love to know if any of you have been inspired to try them out so make sure you stay in touch either over Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to take a look at our website where you’ll find a cosy cottage for a bit of R&R after a day out on the water.

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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.

Remembrance Day 2014

Sunday, November 9th, 2014
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Today we remember those who gave their lives to protect the UK and its people, and those still affected by conflict. Take a moment to reflect on the brave servicemen and women who showed courage in the face of adversity to defend our beautiful country.

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

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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.