Archive for the ‘Holiday Ideas’ Category

Discover: BFG UK Filming Locations

Sunday, July 24th, 2016
Pin It

2016 marks 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl, one of the greatest storytellers Britain has ever seen. There are events happening across the world this year to celebrate and one of the biggest celebrations is Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of one of Dahl’s most famous stories, The BFG, which was released earlier this week. The BFG tells the story of a Big Friendly Giant who is different to all the other human-eating giants. He lives in Giant Country and captures dreams in bottles for children to enjoy while they’re asleep. Roald Dahl revealed in several interviews before he died that the BFG was one of his favourite stories that he’d written.

Filmed in Scotland, Spielberg’s adaptation brings the magic of Giant Country to life using spectacular locations across the country. If you want to experience Giant Country for yourself, then here’s where you need to head:

The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye

One of the most iconic features of the Isle of Skye, the Old Man of Storr has its own place in giant mythology, making it the perfect location to portray Giant Country. Legend has it that the Isle of Skye was once overrun by giants, of which the Old Man of Storr was one. When he died, he is said to have been buried with his finger sticking out of the ground pointing at the sky.

The Quiraing, Isle of Skye

Located on the Trotternish peninsula, the Quiraing is arguably one of the most striking landscapes in Scotland. It also plays host to its own mythology and folklore as it’s said to be a meeting place for fairies, as well as once being home to the dragons that used to guard the island from invaders.

Shiant Islands, Outer Hebrides

Also known as the Enchanted Isles, the Shiant Islands are well known for being one of the biggest bird stations in the northern hemisphere. These remote and rugged isles are something of a hidden gem and well worth the trip. However take care, in the nineteenth century, the strait next to the Shiant Isles was said to be inhabited by strange creatures and was referred to as ‘the stream of the Blue Men’.

Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye

With no road signs to direct visitors here, this part of the Isle of Skye isn’t particularly well known. This unspoilt landscape is strikingly different to others surrounding it with lush emerald mounds, twisted moss-coloured trees and cool, clear waters. It’s a truly stunning place to visit.

Old Man of Hoy, Orkney Islands

The Old Man of Hoy is one of Orkney’s most famous landmarks. This 449 foot sea stack is one of the tallest in Britain although at a few hundred years old, it’s possible that this stack may collapse relatively soon so make sure you visit before it does!

If you’re thinking of visiting these filming locations, don’t forget to take a look at our wide range of holiday cottages in Scotland. We’ve over 750 cottages across this beautiful country that make perfect bases for exploring.

Pin It
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.

Spotlight On: Unusual Holiday Cottages

Sunday, June 26th, 2016
Pin It

At Sykes, we love all types of holiday cottages; whether they’re traditional and cosy or offer something a bit quirky.  If you’re the kind of person who likes to do things a little differently, then we have the perfect selection of holiday cottages for you. Our unusual properties make for a unique getaway you’ll never forget- take a look at some examples below.

Peat Gate Shepherd’s Hut

Quirky holiday cottage

How’s this for something different! This charming hand-made shepherd’s hut is built from timber and offers beautiful views across the Northumberland countryside. Ideal for a peaceful, romantic break, Peat Gate Shepherd’s Hut comprises of open plan studio accommodation with a separate bathroom and small but perfectly formed kitchen with a double hob, fridge and woodburning stove with integrated oven. The surrounding area is perfect for walking and cycling, close to both Hadrian’s Wall and the North Pennines, and this property even has its own bike storage facilities.

The Gatehouse

Quirky holiday cottage

The Gatehouse is one of our most quirky holiday homes with a variety of fascinating features such as a corrugated tin wall and a reclaimed Georgian staircase housing children’s bunk beds underneath. The property sleeps up to 4 guests and has a spacious open plan layout with galleried bedroom overlooking the living area complete with grand piano, a library of books and unusual décor. Situated in Cumbria, this eccentric property is surrounded by lush countryside with the Settle-Carlisle Railway running close by and the Cumbrian fells within easy reach.

The Water Tower

Quirky holiday cottage

This luxurious holiday rental on the Isle of Anglesey has been converted from a former water tower. Nestled in a tranquil location with idyllic woodland views, The Water Tower offers a luxury holiday with a quirky twist. The beautiful beaches of Pentraeth and Benllech are on your doorstep whilst the mountains of Snowdonia are also just a short drive away. The property itself is bright and airy with features including an atrium ceiling in the master bedroom and bi-fold doors opening out onto the patio from the dining area.

Book a quirky holiday cottage

If you like the look of the properties above, there’s certainly more where that came from! We’ve hundreds of charmingly eccentric holiday homes for you to choose from; you can browse the full range by visiting our website.

Pin It
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.

Sykes Cottages Cycling Breaks

Sunday, June 19th, 2016
Pin It

With over a million people turning up to watch this year’s Tour de Yorkshire, it’s no wonder hundreds of holiday makers have been inspired to dust off the saddle and take their bike on holiday with them. Here at Sykes Cottages, we encourage cycling holidays and even have a selection of over 2,700 cycling cottages to choose from. You can take a cycling break just about anywhere in the UK but with Yorkshire quickly becoming the home of UK cycling, it would be a hard task to find a better location for your getaway. With that being said, we’ve listed some of our best Yorkshire cycling cottages below to help get you in the mood for your next cycling break.

Padley Barn

Hurst near Reeth, Yorkshire Dales

 Padley Barn, Ref. 20841

Padley Barn, Ref. 20841

This wonderful detached stone barn conversion is perfect for a group of cyclists looking to explore Yorkshire. The property sleeps up to six people in six comfortable bedrooms and even offers lockable bike storage. Not too far from this cottage, cyclists will find the 2014 Tour de Yorkshire route and there is even a bike hire and repair shop close by in case of emergencies.

 Weekly stays at Padley Barn start from £364

Red Rose Cottage

Wadsworth near Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire Dales

Red Rose Cottage, Ref. 912594

Red Rose Cottage, Ref. 912594

Located just outside Hebden Bridge, Red Rose Cottage provides two bedrooms, sitting room with wood burning stove, bike storage and a beautiful garden with long-distance views across the countryside and relaxing hot tub. From Red Rose Cottage, cyclists can enjoy a fantastic ride along the area’s cycling routes which featured in the 2014 Tour de France and 2015 Tour de Yorkshire.

Weekly stays at Red Rose Cottage start from £372

Holmdale Cottage

Netherton near Holmfirth, Yorkshire Dales

Holmdale Cottage, Ref. 29640

Holmdale Cottage, Ref. 29640

This charming Netherton cottage is ideal for cyclists who like to take things slow. The area has numerous cycling routes, including some used in the 2014 Tour de France, as well as fantastic walks and family friendly attractions. Visitors to this property are encouraged to spend time in the pretty garden where its two patio levels offer spectacular views over the Yorkshire countryside.

Weekly stays at Holmdale Cottage start from £313

Lavender Cottage

Threshfield near Grassington, Yorkshire Dales

Lavender Cottage, Ref. 918240

Lavender Cottage, Ref. 918240

Lavender Cottage is a delightful stone built cottage located in the heart of Threshfield, alongside the village green. This property is just a stone’s throw from Grassington where cyclists will find a great selection of cycle routes including the Grassington to Hawes cycle route and Kettlewell to Grassington route.

Weekly stays at Lavender Cottage start from £323

Pin It

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.

Treat Your Dad This Father’s Day

Sunday, June 12th, 2016
Pin It

With Father’s Day just a week away, you’ve hopefully already sorted what you’re getting your Dad as a gift. However if you’ve left it a bit last minute then don’t worry as we’re here to help. We’ve a wide range of charming holiday cottages across the UK and Ireland that are still available for Father’s Day weekend, so how about getting your dear old Dad a weekend break? Here are a few ideas of self-catering cottages still available for next weekend- have a browse and see if there’s any that your Dad would love!

Holly Bush, Lake District

If your Dad is interested in walking or cycling then Holly Bush near Windermere is an excellent choice. This lovely stone cottage is surrounded by spectacular scenery and Bowness-on-Windermere is just a 25 minute stroll away. There’s an abundance of unrivalled walking and biking opportunities in this part of the Lakes and Holly Bush even has its own secure bike storage for your convenience. As a reward for a hard day’s cycling or hiking, treat your Dad to a tour around the Hawkshead Brewery in nearby Staveley, or head to their Beer Hall where you can enjoy local ale on tap and at weekends you can enjoy live music.

Ouse View, York

Pack your Dad off on a historic city break to York staying at this modern first floor apartment close to the city centre. Ouse View offers contemporary, open plan living with all of the mod cons you could need. The city walls are the longest medieval walls in England and are just a short walk from the apartment so history-buff Dads can soak up the rich history and culture easily. York is also the perfect break for Dads who love their food as it’s jam packed full of delicious restaurants, cafes and real ale pubs.

Chalet 18, Cornwall

Does your Dad love golf? Look no further than a getaway to Chalet 18 near Dobwalls in the heart of Cornwall. This cosy wooden chalet is located on the edge of a 9-hole par 4 golf course so your Dad can stroll from his accommodation and be on the course within minutes! Tennis courts are also on-site and fishing is available in the River Fowey with the usual regulations applying. The famous Highway Inn at Dobwalls is within a few minutes’ walk which serves a carvery all day every day and boasts a fantastic selection of real ales- perfect for a Father’s Day meal.

To see our full range of cottages available for next weekend, please visit our website or alternatively, you can give our friendly reservationists a call on 01244 356 695 and they’d be more than happy to help!

Pin It
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.

Fantastic Cottages Near Theme Parks

Monday, April 11th, 2016
Pin It

With the weather starting to turn for the better, it’s only natural that people want to start spending a bit more time in the great outdoors, and there are few better things for that than a summer’s day at a theme park. Between the exhilarating rides and the fun-filled attractions, they’re one of the ultimate days out. Whilst it’s ok for those who are lucky enough to live near to a theme park and only have a short trip home afterwards, it can be a bit trickier for the rest of us. Happily however, we’ve got a wide selection of holiday cottages that are right by a theme park! We’ve picked out a few of our favourites, so take a look and see if any of them catch your eye!

Ash House  (ref. 922587). near Alton Towers

We’re starting off with Ash House, a stunning Grade II listed cottage that just so happens to be little more than a mile from the famous Alton Towers. As the biggest and most famous of all the UK’s theme parks, Alton Towers is best known for its dizzying array of adrenaline rush-inducing rides, from old favourites such as Oblivion and Nemesis, through to the newly redeveloped Galactica – the word’s first virtual reality based rollercoaster!

Ash House itself is a cosy property right in the heart of the village of Alton, that sleeps six people through three bedrooms, meaning that it’s the perfect base for a family trip. But it’s not all about Alton Towers! Ash House’s enviable position means that it’s also great for making the most of Alton’s selection of pubs, cafes and shops, as well as exploring the rest of the Peak District!

Granite House (ref. 927754), near Flambards

Next up we’re taking a trip down to the South West and an old favourite here in the Sykes Office – Flambards. Set just outside of the village of Helston, Flambards is one of Cornwall’s premier family-based theme parks and offers an unbelievable variety of attractions. You can travel back in time in the Victorian Village, or get a taste of WW2 with Britain in the Blitz, and of course there’s the selection of rides including the Hornet and SkyRaker. not to mention the brand new Jurassic Journey.

Happily, here at Sykes we’ve got a selection of properties down in Cornwall that would be perfect for staying in whilst visiting Flambards, including the picturesque Granite House. Sleeping four people, it’s the perfect size for a family trip to Cornwall and there’s only 10 miles between the front door and the entrance to Flambards!

Alpine House (ref. 912910), near Flamingo Land

Finally we’ve got Yorkshire’s finest theme park – Flamingo Land! It might have started off life as a zoo back in the late 1950’s but over the years, more than 50 rides such as Hero, Pterodactyl and Kumalie, have been added to the hundreds of animals to turn it into one of the most unique attractions in the United Kingdom. And we’re happy to say that we’ve got some great cottages that are within easy reach of Flamingo Land, such as Alpine House which is less than five miles away in Pickering. Comfortably housing four people, it’s a traditional mid-terraced cottage that offers plenty of character features including beamed ceilings and traditional wooden floors, making it the perfect place to relax after a fun-filled day out.

Hopefully that’s piqued your interest in visiting one of the UK’s fantastic theme parks in 2016 but don’t worry if you’ve still not made your mind up about which one you want to visit, we put together a guide that you might find useful. Or maybe you’ve decided but still need to find somewhere to stay? If that’s the case then feel free to give us a call on 01244 356695 and one of our holiday advisors will be able to help you find the perfect property.

Pin It
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.