Archive for the ‘Holiday Ideas’ Category

Relaxing Spa Cottages for Mother’s Day

Monday, March 24th, 2014
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Mother’s Day is fast approaching and here in the UK we can’t wait to shower our fabulous mums with love and affection. If you’ve been struggling to find the perfect Mother’s Day gift this year then why not take a look at our relaxing spa cottages and treat your dear old mum to a leisurely weekend away? We have a number of these dreamy cottages available but to help convince you here are just a few of our favourites…

Rushmore Lodge, Kent


Rushmore Lodge in Kent, Ref 16229.

A mother’s greatest joy in life is to be surrounded by her family so as an extra special gift this year we would suggest a visit to Rushmore Lodge. This luxury cottage offers everything you will need for a fun packed family weekend, including swimming pool, table football and cinema surround sound.  To make the holiday truly memorable why not treat mum with an indulgent beauty treatment, organised by the property’s owner? Whichever activity you decide to partake in your mother is sure to have the time of her life at this extravagant lodge.

Ty Rhosyn, Cornwall


Ty Rhosyn in Cornwall, Ref 1831.

If you’re searching for an unforgettable spa break which is sure to leave your mother fully relaxed from head to toe then look no further than Ty Rhosyn. This delightful chalet is located in the heart of a peaceful holiday park which offers a wide selection of spa treatments your mother is sure to love; from facials to body massages- even algae wraps available for the more adventurous! Along with the spa, this stylish park offers delectable restaurants and a tempting health club all sure to leave mum feeling completely rejuvenated.

1 Lazy Swan, Lincolnshire


1 Lazy Swan in Lincolnshire, Ref 22199.

If your mother’s idea of a perfect weekend is relaxing in a steamy hot tub whilst the sun sets over a glorious lake then you need to book her a stay at 1 Lazy Swan! This glamorous lodge is set in the heart of Tattershall Lakes Country Park and as well as her own private hot tub your mum could be spoilt with an extensive selection of on-site facilities. So whether she spends the weekend soaking in the hot tub of relaxing in the spa with a lava shells massage she is sure to thank you for this wonderfully thoughtful gift.

We hope this selection of spa cottages has left you feeling inspired for Mother’s Day this Sunday. To view our full range of holiday cottages with spa facilities, click here.

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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.

Britain’s Best Bike Rides

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014
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After Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy and Laura Trott cemented cycling in British hearts at the London 2012 Olympics, pedalling fever has swept the nation. Now more than ever, us Brits are taking to two wheels to commute, exercise or get out into the countryside with our kids- which is great news for both the health of ourselves and the environment. If like us you love your cycling, take a look at our guide to the best bike rides in Britain. We’ve scoured the internet to bring you three of the most rewarding routes on offer in the UK, all of which have received Sustrans ‘safe cycling’ seal of approval. Take a look at our short list below, or leave your cycling route recommendations on our Facebook or Twitter page.

Celtic Trail West

Carmarthenshire- Via Flickr

Carmarthenshire- Via Flickr

Careering a long coastal paths and quiet country lanes, the Celtic Trail gives cyclists of all levels of experience and fitness the opportunity to take in one of the UK’s most beautiful coastlines: Pembrokeshire. At 143 miles, the route is a little lengthy for a day’s ride, but would make for an excellent multi-day tour. The ride dips into some of Pembrokeshire’s most popular seaside towns-Saundersfoot and Tenby- before winding down traffic-tree coastal paths such as the Brunel Trail and onwards towards the charming towns of Laugharne and Kidwelly on the Carmarthenshire coast. All in all, the Celtic Trail is an invigorating ride and one that would be ideal for a sunny weekend this spring.

For more information about the Celtic Trail, or to download a map of the route, click here.

Devon Coast to Coast

Meldon Viaduct- Via Flickr

Meldon Viaduct- Via Flickr

Combining exquisite coast, charming Victorian bridges and untamed countryside, Devon Coast to Coast is a fascinating bike ride which gives cyclists a taster of some of the South West’s most attention-grabbing scenery. The overall length of the route is 99 miles- a challenging day’s ride for the keen cyclist- but can easily be broken up into bitesize family friendly sections. Much of the ride uses disused railway lines where inexperienced cyclists can enjoy some easy going, whilst other sections of the route pose a decent challenge for veterans. Sights to look out for a long the route include Ilfracombe Quay, Gem Bridge and the Plym Valley’s Ham Green Viaduct, where cyclists can stop and enjoy excellent views over Dartmoor.

For more information about Devon Coast to Coast, or to download a map of the route, click here.

Lochs & Glens North

Drumochter Pass- Via Flickr

Drumochter Pass- Via Flickr

Traversing two stunning National Parks, the Lochs & Glens ride is perhaps the most challenging and rewarding route on our shortlist. Stretching for 214 miles from Inverness to Glasgow, the route transports riders through much of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery, including the Cairngorms National Park and the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. Here, ancient pine forests cover mountainous slopes, heather pecked moorlands stretch to the horizon and vibrant townships offer a warm welcome to the weary traveller. The route also descends onto the rolling plains of Perthshire and Stirling, where courageous highlanders saw off the invading English in the 13th century. Lochs & Glens North is a joy of a route, and one that riders of all ages will never forget.

For more information about Lochs & Glens North, or to download a map of the route, click here.

Enjoy a cycling holiday with Sykes Cottages

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

So there you have it, three great cycle routes that are sure to get you back in the saddle now that the weather is improving and the days are getting longer. But don’t forget, the UK is awash with superb cycle routes that offer safe cycling for all ages which can all be found on the Sustrans website, so choose your favourite and get pedalling!

If you like the sound of any of the above routes then why not rent a cottage for cyclists from us? Our holiday homes for cyclists feature excellent cyclist-friendly amenities such as secure bike storage and outdoor ‘clean-off’ facilities, giving you a great base for your next two-wheel adventure.

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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.

Active UK Holiday Destinations

Friday, March 21st, 2014
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Whilst a relaxing holiday spent lounging on the beach sounds absolutely perfect, sometimes you just need to get up and get active! Despite the often chilly temperatures, the variety of landscapes and extensive coastlines make the UK perfect for an action packed getaway. Whether you prefer your action on land or on water, read on for our favourite places to go in the UK for an active holiday!

Forest of Dean

Image via Flickr

The UK is full of forests, and they’re always great places to spend a day out whether you want to have a peaceful stroll with the dog or a loud wander with all the family. If you’re on the lookout for a woodland activity to partake in then the Forest of Dean has you covered and is the perfect place for an action packed holiday! From heading to the top of the trees with Go Ape’s Tree Top Adventure, to staying a little closer to the ground and exploring the forest by Segway, the Forest of Dean is the perfect place for an active holiday.

Pembrokeshire Coast

Image via Flickr

With some of the UK’s best beaches and a whole host of things to do there is no surprise that Wales is one of our favourite places to go for an active holiday. The Pembrokeshire Coast is the only coast in the UK to have been established as a National Park due to its astounding coastline, which makes it the perfect landscape to host an active holiday. Whether you want to get out onto the sea to do a spot of kayaking, stay dry by climbing the cliffs or mix both together with an afternoon coasteering, you really won’t be stuck for adventure on a holiday in Pembrokeshire.

Cairngorms National Park

Image via Flickr

The rolling hills, beautiful scenery and cosy log cabins for two mean that Scotland is many a couples first choice for a relaxing romantic break. However we’re not talking about romantic retreats today, we’re talking about action packed holidays and Scotland should certainly be at the top of the list for that, too. Thrill seekers will be in their element in the Cairngorms National Park, where you can go walking or biking through the Cairngorms Mountains or even don your skis and snow wear for a spot of skiing.

So there you have it, three of our favourite places in the UK to visit that are perfect for an action packed holiday! Whether you like to kayak on the sea, hike up mountains or swing from trees the UK has all you could ever want for a holiday that is full of adventure and keeps you active.

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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.

The UK’s Top Fishing Spots

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
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Although we’ve always had an inkling about how popular fishing is in this country (mainly thanks to being able to see how quickly our fishing cottages tend to book up) we were nevertheless surprised to read that in their most recent report, the Environment Agency reported selling over 1.4 million rod licenses. This figure makes fishing one of the most popular pastimes in the UK and made us think about whether there was anything that we could do to help out all of the anglers out there. That’s why we’ve had a look and have found three of the best fishing spots around the UK that everyone can enjoy!

Coarse fishing at Blenheim Palace

blenheim palace

via. Flickr

Not content with just being one of England’s most majestic country houses and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire is also one of the UK’s premier fishing destinations. That’s right, tucked away amongst the 2,000 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds is a man-made lake that has become a haven for anglers across the country. During the warmer parts of the season, people flock to the palace to take advantage of the first class coarse fishing on offer and there is no let up when winter strikes as the excellent predator fishing comes to the fore!

Salmon fishing on the River Tweed


via. Flickr

If you’re looking for a spot of salmon fishing then there is only one place for you. That’s right, all you need to do is pack up your gear and head up to the Scottish Borders where you’ll find one of the world’s premier salmon fishing rivers; the Tweed. The waters of the Tweed are chocked full of wild Atlantic Salmon just waiting to be caught, in  fact during the 2013 season almost 15,000 of the fish were caught on this stretch of river, so surely there has to be one with your name on it! But even if you don’t manage to get your hands on a Tweed salmon there are plentiful stocks of both Brown and Sea Trout to test yourself against.

Sea fishing at Whitby


via. Flickr

It’s probably better known for Dracula, the Abbey and summer walks along Robin Hood’s Bay, but Whitby is also one of the premier sea fishing sites in the UK! When you think about this it all starts to make sense, after all the town has such strong maritime connections (think Captain Cook) that there must be something about it. Well believe it or not, the heaviest cod caught with rod and line was landed in Whitby back in the early nineties (58 lbs and 7 oz. in case you’re wondering) and with the plethora of charter boats that are available you may well have a chance to tackle one of these monsters. Or if you don’t want to hit the high seas there are plenty of decent spots at nearby beaches or even on Whitby pier.

I think it’s safe to say that one thing that we can take out of this is that the UK is fantastic for angling. An abundance of fish filled rivers, lakes, lochs and seas means that no matter where you find yourself you’re never too far from a fishing haven- so why don’t you take advantage of this and treat yourself to one of our fishing cottages?

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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.

Activity Cottages

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
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People often associate holiday cottages with rest and relaxation, plush furnishings and comfortable surroundings and they wouldn’t be wrong. However there are two sides to every story and in this addition of the Sykes Cottages blog we will be focusing on the opposite side of the spectrum, looking at ways in which a relaxing cottage holiday can be transformed into an active and exciting adventure! Below you will find an alluring selection of cottage ideas perfect for energetic couples, families and friends whilst on holiday in the UK and Ireland.

Score an Ace on the Tennis Court


Tennis Court at Greystead Old Church in Bellingham, Ref 23575

Tennis is a fascinating sport, eagerly played by people of all ages and a remarkably enjoyable pastime whilst on holiday. There are a range of cottages with tennis courts here at Sykes which are excellent for practising your backhand, perfecting your serve or even enjoying a friendly game whilst indulging on a punnet of strawberries. Many of our tennis courts will be shared use with other holiday makers or the cottage owners so you should never be short of a competitor or doubles partner!

Practice Your Swing on the Fairway


View of the golf course from Storws Wen in Benllech, Ref 1161

Golf is a winning sport which sees you out in the fresh air, socialising with friends and keeping both the body and mind active with new challenges- no wonder the game is loved by all generations!  We have a gorgeous range of holiday cottages near golf courses which are excellent for keen golfers on a sporting holiday. Within easy proximity to all your golfing needs these cottages allow you to practise your putting on a new and challenging course.

Explore On Foot or By Bike


Pengwern Cottage in Llangynog, Ref 903598

The British countryside is a walker’s paradise, with its rocky hills and wide open planes there is a trail to suit everyone. Combine that with our wonderful cycle routes and exciting mountain bike tracks and you have an outdoor enthusiast’s dream location! Both our walking cottages and cycling cottages offer an array of extra facilities for those partaking in outdoor activities; from lockable bike storage and outdoor cleaning facilities to stunning scenery with walks and bike paths right from the doorstep!

Indoor Activities for a Rainy Day


The games room at Brookway Lodge in Lloc, Ref 27085

The UK’s temperamental weather usually means our holidays are highly dependable on the weatherman’s questionable predictions. If you are promised sun and instead met with a downpour the lack of excitement can leave your spirits dampened. To avoid this dilemma we suggest booking a cottage with a games room. These cottages come equipped with pool tables, dart boards and even table tennis; with such an array of activities these unique cottages are sure to quench your thirst for excitement.

We hope this appealing selection of cottage holidays has left you with an appetite for an active holiday this year. For more holiday inspiration don’t forget to visit the holiday ideas section of the blog, where you will find a variety of suggestions designed to help you make the most of your next cottage get away!

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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.