Archive for the ‘Holiday Ideas’ Category

The UK’s Best Science Museums

Friday, March 13th, 2015
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As much as we love a nice relaxing day out, we like to enjoy a trip to somewhere a little more educational every now and again; something that gets those cogs turning whilst still enjoying all that holiday fun! So, to celebrate the start of British Science Week, we’re turning our focus to some of the best science museums that the UK has to offer. So if you want something that makes you think whilst you’re on your next holiday, read on for some of our suggestions of places to go that have a little more of a bang.

Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

Hubble Spies a Loopy Galaxy NASA

image credit: NASA and ESA. Acknowledgment: A. Gal-Yam (Weizmann Institute of Science) | CC 2.0

The wonderful Winchester Science Centre  is not only educational but also a whole lot of fun! Children can discover the world of trees with Delores the ladybird and Mike the glow-worm or explore the solar system in a cardboard rocket at the planetarium. Away from the planetarium, the museum also boasts over one-hundred hands on science exhibitions that were created with children in mind although don’t worry as the museum also hosts a number of events and lectures just for adults, so there really is something for everyone!

MAGNA Science Adventure Centre

Set within a former steelworks in Rotherham is the Magna Science Centre which aims to entertain and educate visitors with over 100 hands-on exhibitions focused around the four elements; air, fire, water and earth. Whether you want to create patterns with air cannons in the Air Pavilion, get wet in the Water Pavilion, control JCB’s in the Earth Pavilion or be mesmerized by the burning atmosphere in the Fire Pavilion, you will be spoilt for choice at the centre.

Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is a North West favourite and allows visitors to immerse themselves in the future and historic industry of Manchester. Adults and children of all ages will love a visit to the 4D theatre to watch The Lost World 4D; those with an interest in steam power and it’s usage within Manchester’s industrial development will enjoy wandering through the Power Hall; whilst a visit to the Underground Manchester Gallery gives visitors the chance to walk through a Victorian sewer and see what it used to be like in the underground of the city.

Catalyst Museum

Located in Widnes, Cheshire, the Catalyst museum puts its focus on chemistry and how chemistry products are used in everyday life. The museum is a popular choice for school trips during term time, where many workshops are based around the curriculum, but in the holidays the museum’s huge range of activities and exhibits make it the ideal family day out! Visitors can learn about the history of chemistry and it’s industry, can take part in hands-on exhibits and activities or head to the observatory on the top floor to find out about recycling and enjoy the views.

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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.

Book a bargain in Sykes’ Spring Sale

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
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Feel that? That’s the sun that is. You know what that means: Spring has arrived, bringing mild temperatures, baby animals, and most importantly, the Sykes Cottages Spring Sale to our shores.

For the next few weeks, we’re offering great discounts on selected cottage holidays to a number of destinations throughout the UK and Ireland. With great savings of up to 25% off to be had, now is a great time to get away before the rush of the peak season.

Need a little inspiration? Here’s a shortlist of the destinations we think would make a great base for a getaway this springtime.

Top 5 destinations that’ll put a spring in your step

Spring Sale 1Lake District

When William Wordsworth spotted a “A host, of golden daffodils” during a hike in the Lake District, he penned arguably his most famous poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. If lyricism’s your thing, feel free to try top the laureate’s ode; if not, relax and enjoy the views. The Lake District is one of the UK’s prettiest destinations any time of year, but it’s especially pretty in spring – think lambs, daffodils and ruddy big fens.

Spring Sale 3

Isle of Wight

Desperate for some Vitamin-D? Get started on this year’s sun-kissed summer glow with a spring break on the Isle of Wight. Throughout the year, temperatures on this sunny southern isle are higher than other parts, making it an enticing destination for tan fans. Despite its meagre proportions, the Isle of Wight is home to some of the UK’s best beaches, not to mention its best loved coastal resorts – cheeky beach break anyone?

Spring Sale 4Scotland

Perhaps you’re clinging to the dregs of winter and aren’t ready for double figures just yet? If so, get yourself north of the border with a cottage break in Scotland. Whether you walk, cycle, ski or drive, Scotland is a brilliant destination for adventurous types at any time of year. Book a Scottish cottage in the Sykes’ spring sale, and before you know it, you could be exploring a secluded loch or traversing a sun-blushed mountainside – bliss.

Spring Sale 5Cornwall

A discounted break in Cornwall? In May?! Pinch me, I must be dreaming. But no: we’re offering reduced rate cottage breaks in Cornwall, too. During summer, things can get a tad cramped on this coveted spit of land; in spring however, there’ll be plenty of space for your towel on the beach and no queues for a pasty. Don’t wait around though – these discounted Cornish cottage breaks will about book themselves.

Whitby harbor and abbey

North York Moors & Coast

Beaches, history and heathland collide in the North York Moors. This spectacular corner of God’s Own County is a peach of a destination now that the mercury is beginning to bubble, and is the perfect place to seek solace from the 9 to 5. With historic daytrips aplenty – Whitby Abbey, York, Rievaulx Abbey – and sandy beaches galore, a cottage break in the North York Moors could be just what you need this spring.

 You heard me – book your spring break today!

This is but a morsel of the destinations offered in our spectacular spring sale, so be sure to check out our full range of cottages with spring savings, here. Our spring deals are available from 10th April to 2nd May and from 1st May to 22nd May, so there’s plenty of time to pencil in a cut-price trip. But be quick – these fantastic deals won’t be around for long.

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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.

Luxury cottages still available for Mother’s Day

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
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If you still aren’t sure what to get your mum for Mother’s Day this weekend (it’s on Sunday 15th March for those of you that may have forgotten!) then let us help. We have some beautiful holiday cottages that are still available for Mother’s Day weekend which would be a wonderful, thoughtful gift for you to treat her with.

Indulge in a shopping trip to York

Holiday cottage near York

Cobble Cottage, Yorkshire, Ref. 913906

For me and my mum, a weekend shopping break would be heaven and if you’re anything like us, then Cobble Cottage in Stamford Bridge is the ideal Mother’s Day break for you. The pretty, winding streets of York are just a short drive from this cottage; perfectly placed for a day of shopping ‘til you drop followed by a tasty afternoon tea or a delicious meal and cocktails, before retiring back to your cottage to relax in front of the woodburning stove. Cobble Cottage is a cosy, converted barn surrounded by peaceful, open farmland, with two spacious bedrooms and an attractive lawned garden to sit out and admire the views from.

Treat your mum to an Anglesey cottage with a view

Holiday cottage on Anglesey

Porth House, Anglesey, Ref. 761

This luxury seaside cottage in Anglesey is a magnificent place for a relaxing Mother’s Day getaway. Just a short walk from the beach and the local shops and pubs, Porth House offers everything you could want from a short break. The cottage itself boasts stunning sea views from many of the rooms and a large balcony where you can sit and watch the sun set over the sea – maybe even with a glass of wine in hand! As if that doesn’t sound relaxing enough, this property also has its own sauna and spa pool, so your mum is sure to return from her holiday refreshed and stress-free!

Spoil your mum with a thatched cottage in Devon

Thatched cottage in Devon

Vineyard Cottage, Devon, Ref. 25133

Does your mum dream of owning a traditional, thatched roof cottage in the heart of the English countryside? Surprise her with the next best thing: a weekend away in one of our quaint and cosy thatched cottages. Vineyard Cottage in Devon is a grade II listed, 18th century property nestled in a quiet village between the Dartmoor National Park and the striking North Devon coastline. This pretty cottage is full of charm and character with exposed beams, an inglenook fireplace and a warming woodburning stove. There’s a pub 5 minutes’ walk away and the village also boasts its own cider company!

To see our full range of holiday cottages available over Mother’s Day, please visit our website! We have everything ranging from cute and cosy cottages with log fires, to larger properties for all the family to enjoy, so you’re sure to find something to suit you and your mum!

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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.

World Book Day 2015: Properties for Bookworms

Thursday, March 5th, 2015
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Whether its right before bed, snuggled up in an arm chair or lounging in the sun, there is nothing like a good book! As you may know today is World Book Day, a day marked by over 100 countries around the world to celebrate books and reading. Whilst we can’t dress up to celebrate the day as we would have done as nippers* we can still appreciate the joy of books! So, if you are the kind of person who loves to find a new book to read when going on holiday then you’re in the right place, as we’re putting the spotlight on some of our properties with full bookshelves that you can delve into whilst you’re away.

*Although do read on if you would like to see what some members of the Sykes team would dress up as this World Book Day.

Properties Perfect For Bookworms

This wonderful property is located in Killarney, County Kerry and is located ideally for exploring all that the local area has to offer. Although, you will have to drag yourself away from all those books first!

This unique and quirky property is a book lover’s paradise, with three large bookshelves covering the walls in the living area and comfortable sofas so that you can really get stuck into one of those books!

With a wall full of books, you will be spoilt for choice of what to get stuck into during your stay at Manor Farmhouse! If the weather is sunny, why not take your book outside to lounge by the pool? Although, if it is a little chilly there is no need to worry, as you will be spoilt for choice of comfy places to sit indoors!

Our World Book Day Costumes

Whilst we can’t wear a costume for World Book Day, that hasn’t stopped us from wishing that we could! Bearing this in mind, I had a quick ask around the team to see what costumes they would be wearing today if we could turn back the clocks to when we were back in school. Nicole would dress up as the eccentric and well-dressed Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games Trilogy; Jamie would go for Captain Pugwash as he loved the books as a child; our king of suave Jonathan would be dressed up as Fantastic Mr Fox; Louise would go for the spellbinding Hermione Grainger; and I would go for The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland – what a nice excuse to drink copious amounts of tea!

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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.

Our top 10 responses to “What does the beach mean to you?”

Sunday, March 1st, 2015
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Last week, we were inspired by to ask what the beach means to you. Manonabeach has conducted over 988 interviews all around the UK, asking people this very question – you can read last week’s blog post all about manonabeach and his work by clicking here. This week, we’ve compiled a top ten of some the answers we received when we asked this question. The responses are from our customers on social media and also from members of staff here at Sykes. So sit back, relax and prepare to be transported to the beach…

“Peace, relaxing, makes me happy”

Beach in Scotland

Clachtoll, Scottish Highlands. Image via

“Sunny days lying in the sun and swimming in the sea…heaven”

Beach in Cornwall

Roseland, Cornwall. Image via

“Beautiful, tranquil – most of all, at peace”

Beach in Cornwall

Pendower, Cornwall. Image via

“Afternoons in the sun and plenty of happy memories”

Beach in Cornwall

Little Fistral, Cornwall. Image via


Beach in Cornwall

Great Lantic, Cornwall. Image via

“Beautiful and sunbathing”

Beach in Devon

Mill Bay, Devon. Image via

“Peace and nostalgia; the beach is timeless”

Beach in Cornwall

Godrevy, Cornwall. Image via

“Durdle Door, happy holiday and Dave’s first boat”

Beach in Dorset

Durdle Door, Dorset. Image via

“Childhood memories, playing in the rock pools with my little sister”

Beach in Cornwall

Falmouth, Cornwall. Image via

“To me, the beach means freedom, relaxation, fun and beauty”

Beach in Dorset

Ringstead Bay, Dorset. Image via

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this blog post. We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing what the beach means to some of the Sykes Cottages staff and customers and we hope that we’ve inspired you to head to the beach in the not too distant future!

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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.