Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Great Places to Walk and Cycle in the UK

Monday, January 5th, 2015
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At the beginning of each new year hundreds of us pledge to get fit by taking up a new sport or working out more, usually as part of a New Year’s Resolution. If you’re one of these people and want to stay healthy whilst enjoying the great outdoors then cycling or walking is for you! We love getting out on our bike or pounding the pavement as we explore the British countryside so to help inspire you to take up one of these activities we have listed four of our favourite trails below.

Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Image via Flickr.

Image via Flickr.

Get out of the gym and experience the fresh air as you ride through this fairy tale forest. Choose from several different trails ranging in classification from easy to technical and explore this enchanting woodland at your own pace. For a family ride that’s suitable for all ages we would suggest the seven mile Verderes’ trail; easily accessible from the cycle centre, this path climbs in a loop and takes you over a mixture of surfaces.

Elie Chain Walk, Fife

Image via Flickr.

Image via Flickr.

The Elie Chain Walk is possibly the most exciting walk available for Children in the UK although we would suggest only taking children aged ten and older. This unusual walk sees you clambering over the coastal rock using the assistance of eight fixed chains and footholds as you balance over the crashing waves below. This adventures route is 1.5 miles long and is best attempted around an hour after high tide.

Tarka Trail, Devon

Image via Flickr.

Image via Flickr.

Devon is one of the best spots in the UK for a bike ride; with its many hills it can make the routes difficult but riders are rewarded handsomely with stunning views over the coast. To ease you into things why not try the Tarka Trail in North Devon? This 30 mile route is available between Braunton and Meeth and as it mainly follows the tracks of a disused railway it avoids the hillier areas whilst still offering the same breath-taking views.

Tennyson Trail, Isle of Wight

Image via Flickr.

Image via Flickr.

If you’re looking for a real challenge then head on over to the Isle of Wight and take on the 14 mile long Tennyson Trail. This gruelling route challenges walkers with swift ascents and steep declines, but along with the bad comes the good as walkers are greeted with astonishing views of the Needles and panoramic views across the ocean to the mainland. A difficult walk but one that is more than worth the challenge!

These are just a few of the fantastic routes available to walkers and cyclists in the UK, for more interesting trails take a gander at our previous Walk of the Month posts and keep an eye out for new routes being added.

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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.

Sykes’ Look Back at 2014

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014
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Who can believe that 2014 is drawing to a close? It seems like only yesterday that we were putting together our blog looking back at 2013, how time flies eh? Well we’ve decided to try and make this a Sykes tradition so we put our heads together to think up some of the best moments of 2014 and let me tell you, it was hard to narrow them down. We’ve had sporting highs (and lows), astonishing attractions and even an eye-wateringly hot summer. So have a look and see what you think of the Sykes look back at 2014.

Sport in 2014

via Flickr

via Flickr

It would be a bit of an understatement to say that 2014 was a good year for sport in Britain. First of all we had the Tour de France’s grand depart which was held in Yorkshire this year. Then of course there was the Football World Cup in Brazil, but I think the less said about that the better… However it was a different story north of the border! What with Gleneagles hosting yet another European victory in the Ryder Cup and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games proving to be a hit it was quite the year for Scottish sport! And who could forget the Winter Olympics? It turned out to be the most successful campaign for Team GB with Lizzy Yarnold winning gold in the Skeleton and Jenny Jones winning Britain’s first ever medal on the snow!

Historic Moments

via Flickr

via Flickr

Of course the only place to start here would be the countless events scheduled to honour of the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1. The exhibit put on at the Tower of London proved to be one of the most poignant and powerful memorials to all those who lost their lives in the war with 888,246 ceramic poppies being placed in the castle’s moat, each honouring a fallen member of the British Armed Forces. More than 5 million people visited the Tower to pay their respects which made it the most popular attraction in the UK and the sixth most popular in the whole world.

2014 also saw a couple of major milestones in the cultural calendar. It was 450 years since the birth of arguably Britain’s biggest literary figure, William Shakespeare, and it would also have been the 100th birthday of the famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, the writer of many pieces of seminal twentieth century poetry and prose.

The Hottest Year on Record?

via Flickr

via Flickr

I’m sure that we can all remember reading about how this summer was due to be unusually warm, but unless this December finishes up being an abnormally cold one 2014 will become the hottest year on record! This means that since the average temperatures started to be collected (back in 1772 in case you were wondering) it’s never been warmer. And didn’t we all make the most of it? Barbecues, ice creams and of course trips to the seaside, 2014 really taught us how good a British summer can be!

 So that’s that, another year gone. But what a year it was! Hopefully you’ll agree with our choices for the highlights of 2014 but if you have any suggestions then let us know. You can get in touch either over Twitter or Facebook, and remember to keep your eyes peeled as every month in 2015 we’ll be taking a look at some of the best bits coming up!

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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.

A Look Back at Sykes Cottages in 2014

Sunday, December 28th, 2014
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2014 has been a fantastic year for Sykes Cottages, one that has exceeded everyone’s expectations. As we edge our way closer to 2015 we thought we’d take the opportunity to look back on all that we have accomplished this year, so keep reading as we take a trip down memory lane and re-live some of 2014’s highlights…

British Travel Awards

Our British Travel Awards

Our British Travel Awards

Just a few weeks ago the team here at Sykes Cottages were thrilled to bring home the trophy for ‘Best Large UK Holiday Cottage Company’ from the 2014 British Travel Awards. Thanks to your votes we were able to beat off tough competition from our rivals and bring home this prestigious award for the second year running – Thank you!

5,000 properties

Beach Corner - Ref: 912203

Beach Corner – Ref: 912203

Back in July Sykes Cottages hit one of our most highly anticipated goals when we took on our 5,000th property, Beach Corner in Weymouth. The team were thrilled to have this fantastic coastal property on board and since July have continued to work hard with new owners so we can now proudly say that we offer our customers a varied selection of just under 5,200 properties!

Travolution Awards


Earlier this month Sykes Cottages picked up our second award of the year when we walked away with the Travolution Award for ‘Best use of Search Engine Marketing’. Needless to say after the arduous application process the team here at Sykes Cottages HQ were ecstatic to receive this acclaimed award.

Charity Events

Chester Duck Race 2014

Chester Duck Race 2014

2014 has been a great year for fundraising here at Sykes Cottages; the team have worked hard and had a lot of fun taking part in various activities. Our 2014 money raising stunts have included Race for Life, Chester Duck Race, Macmillan Coffee Mornings, Super Hero Fancy Dress for Children in need and a Pumpkin Carving Competition to raise funds for Chester Zoo’s campaign ‘Go Orange for Orangutans’.

 2014 really has been an amazing year for Sykes and fingers crossed that 2015 will be even better. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the fun by checking back with us here on the blog throughout 2015 for all the latest news from Sykes Cottages!

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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.

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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