Archive for the ‘Holiday Ideas’ Category

Some of the UK’s Top Road Trips

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014
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Here at Sykes we love a good road trip.  Once you’ve gone through all the hassle of packing the car up, making sure that nothing has been left behind and of course sorting out some snacks for the journey there’s nothing better than finally hitting the open road. In fact you might have noticed that recently we did a round-up of some of the most scenic drives in the United Kingdom. Well whilst we were having a good old think about some of our favourite spots we stumbled across an infographic put together by ATS Euromaster on some of the UK’s best roadtrips. We thought that some of the drives looked fantastic, with stunning scenery and some brilliant stop off points along the way and so we decided to pick out a few of our favourites to share with you!

Caernarfon – Port Meirion

caernarfon - portmeirion

Caernarfon to Portmeirion – 46.3 miles

The first of the drives takes in some of the best views that North Wales has to offer. Starting outside the walls of Caernarfon Castle, the route takes you to Snowdon, the highest peak of the Snowdonia National Park. You’ll then find yourself cruising along to Portmeirion, where you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were on a road trip through the Italian Riviera rather than the Llyn Peninsula. Then, after a refuel in one of Portmeirion’s cafes, you head along to the rather ominously named Hell’s Mouth, otherwise known as Porth Neigwl, a haven for all of the surfers out there.

Glencoe – Inverness

glencoe - inverness

Glencoe to Inverness – 106 miles

For the second drive, we’ll be heading north of the border. Starting at the dramatic Glencoe, which you may recognise from either the Harry Potter films or the most recent instalment of the Bond franchise, Skyfall, where it featured as the childhood home of everybody’s favourite superspy. From there you’ll pop up to the highest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis, before heading on to Fort William. The final leg will take you to the home of one of Scotland’s more famous, albeit lesser spotted attractions, Nessie!

Kings Lynn – Cromer

kings lynn - cromer

Kings Lynn to Cromer – 54.3 miles

The last of our favourites leads you along the beautiful North Norfolk coastline, one of the most picturesque sections of coast in the country. Starting down at Kings Lynn you’ll find yourself heading over towards the pristine sands of Brancaster before moving on to Wells-next-the-Sea which is well known for its countless colourful beach huts. You’ll finally find yourself down at the Holkham National Nature, an eleven mile long stretch of protected coastline that serves as a home for many of the UK’s endangered species.

Hopefully you enjoyed having a read of that, and found it as interesting as we did, but if you want to see a little more you can find the full infographic here with some more brilliant road trips. And if you fancy having a stop off at the end of your road trip make sure that you check out our selection of holiday cottages, they’re perfect for kicking back and relaxing after a long day behind the wheel.

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.

Why our holiday homes are ideal for the elderly

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
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Today in the United States, communities are coming together to celebrate Senior Citizens Day, a national event which honours the country’s elderly population. Established in 1988 by then President Ronald Reagan, the day encourages people to spend time with elderly relatives and show appreciation for the value and contribution that they have made.

Not wanting to miss out on this worthwhile event, we’ve hopped on the American bandwagon and come up with five reasons why our cottage holidays are ideal for elderly holidaymakers.

Reason 1: Choice

With over 5,000 holiday cottages to rent from coast to country throughout the UK and Ireland, the choice really is yours. Travelling with friends? Then try one of our large cottages, whose roomy interiors provide space and comfort for any party size. Or, perhaps you’re ferrying the grandkids away for a long weekend away? If so, our holiday cottages on working farms are sure to keep everyone entertained. Alternatively, if it’s just the two of you, our cottages for two provide an affordable base for a holiday without compromising on comfort.

Reason 2: Locations

Thanks to our vast array of holiday homes, we’re able to offer cottage holidays in virtually every nook and cranny of the UK, giving you an amazing choice of locations to choose from. Seaside breaks remain a popular choice, and we offer cottages to rent near many of the country’s most popular coastal resorts, including Great Yarmouth, Bridlington and Whitby. Country escapes are very popular too, particularly in areas like the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, where we offer over 1,000 self-catering holiday cottages to rent.

Reason 3: Facilities

As a rule, self-catering holiday homes offer an extra level of comfort that you simply wouldn’t find in a hotel, and often provide a better range of facilities that can potentially make them more suitable for elderly or disabled guests. Here at Sykes Cottages, we offer a good selection of holiday cottages that are equipped with facilities that may make them suitable for guests who are less mobile, including features like ground floor bedrooms, wet rooms and access ramps. If you’d like to find out more about our range of accommodation for less mobile or disabled guests, please visit our disabled friendly properties page or contact us on 01244 356695.

Reason 4: On your doorstep

For some people, one of the many factors which could prevent them from going on holiday after reaching a certain age is travelling. Thankfully, due to our impressive range of holiday homes, you don’t need to travel far to get away from it all. If you’re not one for a long car, rail or bus journey, simply search for a holiday home in your area. Our cottages are dotted across the length and breadth of Britain, so there’s sure to be one not far away. Whether you want to travel twenty five miles or two-hundred, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy a UK holiday.

Reason 5: Affordability

If you fancy a holiday but are worried about breaking the bank, don’t fret, because you can enjoy a self-catering cottage holiday in the UK for a lot less than you might think. With prices starting from just £124 for a 7 night break, it won’t cost you the earth to experience the joy of a UK holiday. What’s more, we also offer several great short break discounts, so if you’d prefer to travel for just 3 or 4 nights, you could get a great discount off the total price of your holiday. To find out more about the eligibility of our short break discounts, click here.

So there you have it, five reasons why our self-catering cottages make a great base for a holiday no matter what your age. If you’d like more information on our cottage holidays, or would like us to send you a free brochure, please contact us on 01244 356695 and our friendly and helpful reservations department will be happy to help.

 

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.

Spotlight on Our New Coastal Cottages

Monday, August 18th, 2014
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As summer gets into full swing, here at Sykes Cottages, we’re spending our days dreaming of lying on the beach in Cornwall, eating ice cream by the tonne on the North Yorkshire Coast and making sandcastles in Suffolk. To aid us in our British seaside daydreams, we’re taking a look at some of the fantastic new coastal cottages that have come on board with us recently; but we must warn you, it might make you want to grab your bucket and spade and book a holiday as soon as possible!

4 Croft House, Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Holiday cottage in Tenby

4 Croft House, Tenby, Ref. 913260

This delightful property in the South Wales seaside town of Tenby is just one minutes’ walk from the beach.  4 Croft House is a spacious self-catering apartment in a Georgian terrace, offering two bedrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows and WiFi. However, the real jewel in the crown of this property is the shared terraced garden located just across the road. This picturesque terrace is the perfect place to watch the sun go down and boasts one of the best views in the UK. The garden offers unrivalled views of Tenby Harbour, North Beach and Harbour Beach, which was recently voted the best beach in Europe.

Seashell Cottage, Amble-by-the-Sea, Northumberland

Holiday cottage in Amble-on-the-Sea

Seashell Cottage, Amble-by-the-Sea, Ref. 31213

Seashell Cottage is located in the picturesque fishing port of Amble, just 400 yards from the shore. This cute cottage has a quirky style and sleeps 4 people in 2 bedrooms. It boasts all the modern conveniences you could need as well as more traditional features such as an open fire and rear yard with alfresco dining area. The surrounding area is home to some wonderful beaches, restaurants and pubs where you can while away the hours on your Northumberland holiday.

The View of the Atlantic, Knightstown, County Kerry

Holiday cottage in Knightstown

The View Of The Atlantic, Knightstown, Ref. 912674

How about The View of the Atlantic for a holiday home with a view? The views from the balcony at this property look across the Atlantic towards Cahersiveen and are truly incredible. If you can tear yourself away from the balcony for long enough, then this duplex apartment is the perfect base for those who want to explore Valentia Island. The island is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Ireland and a real hidden gem with plenty of walking opportunities and the awe-inspiring Fogher Cliffs.

If you’d like to take a look at more of the latest editions to the Sykes Cottages portfolio then you can visit the new cottages page on our website; or visit our coastal cottages page to find more holiday cottages by the sea.

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.

Britain’s Top 10 Scenic Drives

Sunday, August 17th, 2014
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Here in Britain, we’re a nation of motorists. Our roads are some of the busiest in Europe, and overall, there’s almost a quarter of a million miles of roadway in the UK. Impressive though this is, it doesn’t change the fact that for many, driving in Britain is a tiresome task, reminiscent of long delays, pesky speed cameras and dull scenery.

If you’re heading on a UK holiday this year, I’d wager that you’re dreading the drive. But fear not fellow motorist, for all is not lost. Should you choose to bypass the motorway and opt for a minor A or B road, you’ll often be met with charming views, sweeping bends and an endless supply of fascinating villages, hamlets and towns that you wouldn’t know existed from the comfort of the fast lane.

So if you love driving and want to escape the tedium of the motorway, take a look at our shortlist of the best scenic drives in the UK below.

Kendal to Keswick, the Lake District

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

The A591 is one of England’s favourite scenic routes, and can be busy at times; after all, it does link Keswick and Kendal, two of the Lake District’s most popular towns. Don’t let that put you off though, because this isn’t a drive you’ll want to rush. Must sees along the route include Grasmere, Ullswater and Glenridding.

Black Mountain Road, Powys

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Meandering through the Brecon Beacons, the Black Mountain road has long been popular amongst motorists, and featured on an episode of the popular motoring show, Top Gear. Here, amid the timeless beauty of the Beacons, this glorious 27 mile road offers exhilarating bends, fast straights and plenty of scenic eye candy for both driver and passenger.

Alnwick to Kielder Water, Northumberland

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Northumberland is home to one of England’s most dramatic coastlines, and thankfully, much of it is discoverable by car. By far the best route to take along the coast is the B-road between Alnwick and Kielder Water, which features evocative views over the coast, as well as a series of brilliant twists and turns through the Cheviot and Simonside Hills.

Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Thanks to its undulating terrain, North Yorkshire is a dream for motorists. Consequently, all that rolling countryside caused a real headache for Victorian railway builders, who were forced to tunnel and bridge their way across the county. Their most iconic construction is easily the Ribblehead Viaduct, a 400m bridge featuring no less than 24 stone arches; have your passenger snap a shot or two as you speed on by.

St Ives to Land’s End, Cornwall

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

The coast road from the cultural hub of St Ives to the striking spit of Land’s End is an evocative and dramatic route, taking in much of Cornwall’s untouched western territory. This is a place where deserted tin mines rise from rugged heathlands and craggy sea cliffs stand tall above the powerful Atlantic Ocean.

Cat and Fiddle, Peak District

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

The Cat and Fiddle scenic drive, aka, Buxton to Macclesfield, takes its name from a rustic country pub that just happens to be the second highest public house in the UK. This famously bendy route is hotspot for motorcyclists, but drivers will be in their element too thanks to the route’s stunning views over Greater Manchester, the Cheshire Plain and the Peak District National Park.

Chedder Gorge, Somerset

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Chiselling through the Mendip Hills, Cheddar Gorge is widely considered to be one of the Britain’s greatest natural wonders. By far the best way to see this majestic limestone pass is via the meandering stretch of tarmac that runs through its centre; just watch out for slow lorries when you’re heading uphill.

Buttertubs Pass, Yorkshire Dales

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Featured in the Grand Depárt of the Tour De France 2014, Buttertubs Pass is a very popular scenic road winding through the beloved Yorkshire Dales. This picturesque carriageway takes its name from the neighbouring potholes where dairy farmers would rest on their way to market, and features some superb sweeping bends.

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

At 1,500 miles, the Wild Atlantic Way is the longest touring route on our shortlist, but can easily be divided into shorter drives. For a dramatic snapshot of the Atlantic Seaboard, head for Donegal, whose coast features a mix of towering sea cliffs and sweeping beaches. Alternatively, take to the asphalt in Galway, where the mountainous landscapes of Connemara await.

Glasgow to Fort William, Scotland

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Leave the city lights of Glasgow behind you and make for the wonderfully scenic Scottish Highlands, home to some of Britain’s favourite roads. The A82 from Glasgow to Fort William passes through the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, so expect sensational views and plenty of windy tarmac. To extend the route, make for Inverness, passing the iconic Loch Ness along the way.

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.

Discount Days Out With The Kids

Monday, August 11th, 2014
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Well we’ve had a few weeks of the summer holidays now and no doubt the kids have already been treated to several days out. Now we know that the cost of these can start to mount up, and so we’ve had a look to see if we could lend a hand when it comes to finding a few ways to save a bit of money.

Check the Internet

computer

via. Flickr

Nowadays there are plenty of sites that you can go onto and find some of the best value trips in a matter of clicks. Day Out With the Kids is one of the easiest as it breaks them down area by area, allowing you to compare various attractions for their costs. Alternatively, you could pop over to a website like Money Saving Expert which will often post which places have got good deals on, allowing you to track down the best value for money.

Collect Vouchers

vouchers

via. Flickr

Or you can always collect vouchers and coupons which will help you get a bargain price on your day. Normally, cereal boxes are a good place to start for this, or you can also use those saved up Clubcard or Nectar points. Over the summer, Tesco have been running the voucher exchange which lets you trade your hard-earned points for tickets to attractions, and there are some cracking deals available. For example, you can trade just £4.50 worth of points for a child’s ticket to the Eden Project!

Save Money on the Day

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Finally, there are plenty of things that you can do to save money when you actually arrive. A big one for doing this is taking food along with you rather than paying for it from the various stalls and restaurants; most of the time they tend to be a touch expensive. Also if there is a gift shop where you’re heading, you might find it quite useful to set a budget before you let the little ones head in, as they tend to have a habit of picking out the biggest or the most expensive thing that they can get their hands on!

So there we have it, a few hints and tips for saving a bit of cash whilst keeping the kids entertained. Hopefully you’ll have picked up a couple of ideas but if there’s anything that you do which we might have missed out then do let us know, either over Facebook or Twitter, so that we can pass it on!

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.