Archive for the ‘Holiday Ideas’ Category

Ten of The UK’s Easiest Yet Rewarding Walks

Friday, May 1st, 2015
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Today celebrates the first day of National Walking Month and along with thousands of people across the country, Sykes Cottages are making a conscious effort to do more walking! Luckily, living in the UK provides us with numerous walking opportunities so whether that’s along the coast, through the country or over a mountain, Britain’s landscape has a lot to offer.

If you’re new to walking, or perhaps want to take young children, then it may be best to start out on an easier route. To help get you started we’ve listed ten of the easiest, yet most rewarding walks in the UK below. Take a look and get your blood pumping on a sensational British walk this May!

Wix Woods in Guildford, Surrey

This is a fantastic woodland walk that takes you on a circular route around the edge of Hatchlands Park and then through the centre of the estate, where you can experience an enchanted woodland and glorious views of the Surrey countryside.

Distance: 1.8 Miles

Time: 1 Hour

Route Details: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Newton Pool in Low Newton, Northumberland

If you’re looking to explore Northumberland’s spectacular coastline, then this is the walk for you. Along with wonderful views out over the ocean, this walk is perfect for spotting wildlife with plenty of birds flying over the sand and sea.

Distance: 1 Mile

Time: 20 Minutes

Route Details: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Plas Newydd in Llanfairpwll, Anglesey

This family friendly walk is ideal for children with both a treehouse and adventure playground on route. We’ve advised 30 minutes for the walk but depending on how long the kids want to play for, you could be here for the whole afternoon.

Distance: 1 Mile

Time: 30 Minutes

Route Details: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Killerton in Broadclyst, Exeter

Dogs are the perfect companions when on a walk so we suggest treating them to an afternoon at Killerton. The route includes plenty of open spaces which are perfect for exercising your four-legged friend on and off the lead.

Distance: 2.5 Miles

Time: 2 Hours

Route Details: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Calke Abbey in Ticknall, Derbyshire

Boasting numerous hidden corners and fabulous picnic spots, this walk is perfect for a family get together or romantic stroll. Providing a picturesque walk during any season, it’s easy to see why this route is popular with both locals and tourists.

Distance: 2.4 Miles

Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Route Details: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Penbryn Beach in Penbryn, Ceredigion

If you’re looking for a walk that is just as good, if not better, during the evening then head on over to Penbryn Beach. This is the perfect spot for star gazing, so wrap up warm and prepare to be inspired by over 4,000 twinkling stars.

Distance: 1 Mile

Time:  30 Minutes

Route Details: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Valley of Cinders in Cindersale, Cumbria

The Valley of Cinders walk transports you through the ages as you explore archaeological sites and delve into Cumbria’s rich history. This walk is great for anyone who has an interest in history or simply just enjoys a pleasant country view.

Distance: 1.5 Miles

Time: 1 Hour

Route Details: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Borthwood Copse in Winford, Isle of Wight

Borthwood Copse not only offers a wonderful woodland walk but also the chance to spot red squirrels! This elusive critter is only found in a handful of locations throughout the UK so this may be your only chance to see them in the wild.

Distance: 1.25 Miles

Time: 40 Minutes

Route Details: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Fountains Abbey in Ripon, Yorkshire

The Fountains Abbey walk is the longest of our suggested routes but with so much to see it’s more than worth it! With beautiful grounds, tonnes of history and hopefully plenty of sunshine, this walk would be lovely on a Sunday afternoon.

Distance: 4.5 Miles

Time: 3 Hours

Route Details: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Langstrothdale in Yockenthwaite, Yorkshire

Although quite long, this route follows a simple circular route over level ground, making it ideal for a families with younger children. Following the walk, you will discover breathtaking scenery and historic rock formations.

Distance: 2 Miles

Time: 1 Hour 15 minutes

Route Details: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

 

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nicole.westley

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.

Spotlight on: Cottages in Stratford-upon-Avon

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
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It may not have escaped your notice that today (St. George’s Day) is also the birthday of a rather special English writer. William Shakespeare was born on April 23rd and famously died on the same day, 52 years later. In honour of his literary genius and the many more writers and poets that have been inspired by him, we’re shining our spotlight on our cottages in his hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon. This picturesque town in Warwickshire won’t only appeal to fans of The Bard- you can read our guide on what to do in the area here.

Highcroft (ref. 30949)

Holiday cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon

Highcroft, Stratford-upon-Avon, Ref. 30949

This charming holiday home is the perfect place for a Stratford-upon-Avon holiday with extended family or friends. Highcroft is located in a small group of holiday cottages on 2.5 acres of grounds, just 2 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon itself. Sleeping 10 guests, this impressive property offers traditional, cosy accommodation with a delightful farmhouse-style kitchen complete with AGA, and a large, lawned garden with patio and BBQ- the perfect place to relax with friends on a balmy summer’s evening! Guests at Highcroft will also have access to a shared tennis court and a 2 acre wildlife garden.

The Stables (ref. 914531)

Holiday cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon

The Stables, Stratford-upon-Avon, Ref. 914531

The Stables is the perfect holiday cottage if you’re looking for a romantic getaway in Stratford-upon-Avon. This pretty barn conversion is over 300 years old and nestled in the middle of a working fruit farm, just 3 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon. The Stables is cosy and characterful with exposed brickwork, beams and original oak flooring. The farm also has its own on-site shop which sells fruit, vegetables, cheese and meat- ideal for purchasing goods to help whip up a storm in your cottage kitchen!

Pinecote (ref. 15471)

Holiday cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon

Pinecroft, Stratford-upon-Avon, Ref. 15471

Located in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon, this pretty terraced cottage is just 10 minutes’ walk from the centre and all of its attractions including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Shakespeare’s birthplace and the Stratford Butterfly Farm. As well as being close to thing to the attractions, Pinecote is also just a stone’s throw from a lovely pub where you can relax with a cold drink in the summer months. The cottage itself is bright and comfortable with a sunny garden to the rear of the property- perfect for dining alfresco.

Book a holiday cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon. Image from property ref. 914531.

If you want to browse our full collection of holiday cottages in the beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon then you can do so by visiting our website. At Sykes Cottages, we have everything from rural retreats on the edge of Stratford-upon-Avon, to properties at the heart of town where all of the amenities, attractions, shops and pubs are within easy walking distance. You’re sure to find something to suit you!

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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.

Top Three: Roman Attractions in Britain

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
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Although The Romans’ invasion ended thousands of years ago, their evidence can still be seen in Britain today with many towns and cities having a Roman site or ruin. Most of these ruins are now used as attractions, showing visitors just what life was like in Roman Britain. Monty Python raised the question ‘what did the Romans ever do for us?’ and these attractions prove that the simple answer to that question is a lot! Read on to discover just three of the best Roman attractions that we have here in the UK.

The Roman Baths, Bath

Located in the heart of the stunning city of Bath, is the Roman Baths; a well-preserved Roman Bathhouse allowing visitors to explore Roman history, how the baths were built, who used them and even try a taste of the naturally warm spring water. The main draw of the Baths is of course the bath itself, which takes pride of place in the centre of the museum and is one of the final exhibits that you come to.

Roman Amphitheatre, Chester

Chester is not only the home of Sykes Cottages, but the city is also home to the largest Roman amphitheatre in Britain. A focal point of modern Chester since being excavated in 2005, the amphitheatre – which is now used for outdoor events and is a stop off point on many tours of the city – would have been used by the Romans for military training and for entertaining. If you’re enjoying a family holiday in Chester, we recommend a visit to the Dewa Roman Experience, where tours include allowing children to experience being in the Roman military by marching through Chester city centre.

Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum, Northumberland

If you find yourself around Hadrian’s Wall Country, Vindolanda is definitely worth a visit. Featuring two sites – the Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum, there is plenty to see and do at this wonderful attraction. The Roman Army museum is all indoors and its exhibitions allow visitors to step into the lives of Roman soldiers. A fifteen minute drive through the beautiful Northumberland countryside from The Roman Army Museum will bring you to the Roman Vindolanda, home to the Vindolanda Writing Tablets. During summer, visitors are treated to live excavations meaning you can see the Roman history being uncovered during your visit.

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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.

Britain’s Best Piers

Monday, April 20th, 2015
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They’ve been lining our coast for over 200 years; now the British pier serves us as an elegant reminder of our Victorian history and love of traditional holidays spent by the sea. In today’s blog, we’re taking a look at four of our favourite piers in the hopes that we can encourage you to seek out a British pier on your next coastal getaway.

Saltburn Pier

Yorkshire

Built in the spring of 1869, Saltburn Pier has stood the test of time and is now the last remaining pier in Yorkshire. Proudly emerging from the Saltburn coast, this iconic pier is loved by both visitors and locals and in 2009, won the Pier of the Year award from The National Pier Society.

Brighton Pier

East Sussex 

Brighton’s instantly recognisable pier has been Grade II listed since 1971 and although the pier has had numerous investments since, it still manages to keep its vintage charm. The pier is now best known for its great rides and amusements, making it a big hit with families.

Clevedon Pier

Somerset

Clevedon Pier officially opened on Easter Monday 1869- the attraction has been popular ever since and even won the Pier of the Year award in 2013. This 312 metre pier is one of only two in the UK to receive Grade I listed status and is home to one of the best fishing spots in Somerset!

Llandudno Pier

North Wales

Llandudno’s Pier is a fantastic example of Victorian architecture; perfectly placed along the promenade, the structure is a wonderful addition to this historic town. The pier opened to the public in the summer of 1877 and has been popular with visitors ever since.

If these British piers have you longing for a traditional trip to the seaside, then why not take a look at our coastal cottages and book your next getaway today? With over 1,800 coastal properties available, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes.

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nicole.westley

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.

British Walking Festivals in 2015

Monday, April 13th, 2015
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Walking Festivals are a fantastic way to explore new areas, meet new people and enjoy being active in the outdoors. There are over 150 walking festivals taking place across Britain in 2015 so wherever you’re from and whenever you’re free, there’s probably an event or two that you can get involved in! We’ve found some of the best walking festivals still to take place this year to get you inspired:

Ride2Stride: The Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival

The Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival aims to celebrate the spectacular scenery of the Yorkshire Dales and Eden Valley through a week-long programme of walks, talks and music. The walks are led by experienced tour guides full of knowledge on the local area and when you get thirsty, the local pubs will welcome you in to enjoy a cold pint and some music. It’s a great way to experience the Settle-Carlisle railway line from a different perspective.

Event dates: 24th April- 4th May 2015

Website: www.skyware.co.uk/scwf

Scottish Borders Walking Festival

2015 marks the 21st Scottish Borders Walking Festival and this year, it’s being held in one of the Borders’ biggest towns, Galashiels. There are 28 walks taking place throughout the event that cater for all different ages and abilities. It’s not just about walking though as these festivals are a great place to meet new people- there are nearly always social events on offer and this festival is no different with concerts, ceilidhs and quiz nights.

Event dates: 6th- 12th September 2015

Website: www.borderswalking.com

Ironbridge Walking Festival

The tenth annual Ironbridge Walking Festival is being held this year in and around the World Heritage Site and it’s sure to be a fantastic event for all! What makes this festival special is the chance to learn more about the history of Ironbridge and the Industrial Revolution as you walk, making it perfect for history buffs. The walks are all free and are split into themed walks for families and young children, and long walks for more regular walkers.

Event dates: 1st- 10th May 2015

Website: www.visitironbridge.co.uk/walkingfestival

Boscastle Walking Festival

The picturesque harbour village of Boscastle is an idyllic setting for a walking festival with plenty to see and admire. The Walking Festival offers a little something for everyone with walks ranging from strolls along the spectacular Cornish coastline to rambles in the woods; for the more experienced walkers there are more challenging routes. Other activities planned include cream teas, barn dances and poetry readings.

Event dates: 18th- 25th April 2015

Website: www.boscastlefestival.co.uk

Isle of Anglesey Walking and Outdoor Festival

The Anglesey Walking Festival encourages participants to learn more about the stunning island of Anglesey with its quaint villages, pretty beaches and many myths and legends. As well as lots of fantastic walks taking in Anglesey’s scenery, other events taking place at the festival include challenge runs and bike rides, ‘bike and seek’, kayaking, dry stone walling and food foraging.

Event dates: 23rd May- 7th June 2015

Website: www.angleseywalkingfestival.com

If you’re heading to a walking festival that you think will be just as good then please do let us know- we’d love to hear from you! You can contact us either via our Twitter or Facebook page.

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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.