Archive for the ‘Holiday Ideas’ Category

Five Cottages with Unique Gardens

Thursday, June 11th, 2015
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From modern apartments to country homes, with over 5,000 properties we have everything here at Sykes Cottages. One of our favourite things is seeing how owners decorate their holiday homes to make them perfect for guests and gardens are no exception! Whilst browsing the Sykes’ selection of holiday cottages, I have discovered some absolute hidden gems in the gardens of our properties. I’m not talking decorative shrubs or vegetable plots, oh no, I’m talking quirky statues and impressive stonework. Read on to discover five very unique aspects you can find in the gardens of five of our properties.

1. These wire statues in Northumbria

Top Ten Unique Gardens - Grey Croft

Grey Croft in Embleton, Northumbria.

2. This canon in County Wexford

Serenity in Rosslare Harbour, County Cork

Serenity in Rosslare Harbour, County Wexford

 3. This plant pot man relaxing in Yorkshire

Gilchrist House in Settle, Yorkshire Dales

Gilchrist House in Settle, Yorkshire Dales

4. This Saturday Night Fever cut out in Cumbria

Top Ten Unique Gardens - Nuthatch

Nuthatch in Ice Valley near Penrith, Cumbria

5. This stone circle in County Kerry

Top Ten Unique Gardens - Doon East

Doon East in Ballybunion, County Kerry

Book a Unique Cottage Holiday

If you’re inspired by these five unique aspects of some of our holiday cottage gardens, or would like to try and have a go at spotting an unusual ornament yourself, why not book a self catering holiday cottage with Sykes Cottages? Take a look at our selection of unique holiday cottages to ensure you have a unique stay inside and out!

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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.

UK Literary Days Out

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015
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The UK is home to a number of famous authors, from the legendary Charles Dickens to the magical J. K. Rowling. With so many of the world’s favourite writers originating in Britain, it’s hard not to come across an attraction dedicated to one of these famous authors. Here at Sykes Cottages we love to read, so a day out to one of the UK’s literary attractions is right up our street. If you’re thinking of taking a literary day out this year then keep reading as we suggest three of our favourite attractions to visit.

Follow the White Rabbit

Llandudno, North Wales

This year, Lewis Carroll’s extraordinary book ‘Alice in Wonderland’ reaches its 150th anniversary and as big fans of Alice and her journey down the rabbit hole, we can think of nowhere better to celebrate than Llandudno, in North Wales. The curious little girl Alice Liddell, who inspired Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland stories, spent many of her holidays at her family’s seaside home in Llandudno, giving the area a wonderful connection with the books. In 2014, a new traill was introduced to Llandudno; one that sees visitors using either an interactive app or printed map to follow 55 bronze cast rabbit footprints around the town and surrounding areas. Not only is this a great day out but with a number of statues and fantastic views, it’s great for family photos.

Brontë Parsonage Museum

Haworth, West Yorkshire

Visit the charming village of Haworth in West Yorkshire and spend your day exploring the historic home of the Brontë sisters at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. The three sisters are known worldwide for their poems and novels including Jane Eyre, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Wuthering Heights. The museum, which is home to a number of letters, manuscripts and early additions of the Brontë’s books, offers a wonderful day out for the whole family with a small souvenir shop on site. After exploring the museum, we would highly suggest a spot of lunch in the picturesque town of Haworth and a trip down to the exciting Heritage Steam Railway.

The World of Beatrix Potter

Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria

Now translated into 35 different languages, The Tale of Peter Rabbit is one of the world’s favourite children’s stories and has sold over 40 million copies, making the author, Beatrix Potter, extremely famous. The World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windermere, allows guests to step into the enchanted world created by the author and learn all about Beatrix and the characters in her much loved books.  The attraction has eight fantastic areas to explore, including Peter Rabbit’s garden and Jemima Puddle-Duck’s woodland glad. Once you’ve finished exploring the attractions, there is even a fantastic tea room to explore, with locally sourced ingredients and home-grown vegetables from the attraction’s own kitchen garden.

And there you have it our top three attractions for a literary day out in the UK. Has your favourite attraction made the list? If not let us know via our Facebook or Twitter page, we are always looking for new places to explore!

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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.

Cottages Perfect for Families with Teenagers

Sunday, May 31st, 2015
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At Sykes Cottages, we pride ourselves on being a family-friendly accommodation option, with over 4,000 holiday cottages that are perfect for families. However sometimes, family-friendly accommodation can focus more on those with young children and gloss over older kids. That’s why in today’s blog post, we’re taking a look at our holiday cottages that are ideal for families with teenagers- from keeping them entertained to making sure they don’t miss out on their social life back home, we’ve got you covered with these getaway ideas!

Bay Dream, Filey, North Yorkshire

This pretty seaside cottage in Filey is ideal for a family with teens. Bay Dream offers plenty of space for the whole family with a modern, open plan living area, as well as two comfy bedrooms, both with their own TVs and DVDs- ideal for preventing the classic ‘what to watch on TV’ argument! There’s a Nintendo Wii with good selection of games that the whole family can play together and the holiday development offers lots of activities to keep teens entertained, including snorkelling, bike hire, tennis and a heated indoor swimming pool.

Lower Lodge, Alberbury, Shropshire

Would the thought of a whole week without their games console send your teenager into a cold sweat? Here at Sykes, we have lots of wonderful holiday cottages that come complete with Xboxes, Wiis and Playstations; Lower Lodge has its own games room with wide-screen TV and Xbox, as well as a pool table and table tennis for when eyes get tired of the screen. If games consoles aren’t really your cup of tea, there’s also an outdoor hot tub which is perfect for parents to relax in whilst the children make the most of the games room.

Bunbury, Farley, Staffordshire

One of the easiest ways to keep your teenager happy on holiday is to book a holiday near an attraction they’ll enjoy. This spacious holiday cottage is just five minutes’ walk from Alton Towers- the thrilling rides at this theme park are sure to keep even the most surly of teenagers happy for the day! There are many other days out near Bunbury that are suitable for all the family, including Chatsworth House and the lovely market town of Ashbourne with its delightful cobbled alleys, pubs and tea rooms.

Valley View, Lanfihangel-ar-Arth, Carmarthenshire

If your teenager is addicted to their phone, booking a holiday cottage with WiFi is a sure-fire way to ensure there are no teenage tantrums on arrival at your destination. Valley View is a beautiful, detached property just four miles from Llandysul with its wonderful beaches and dolphin-spotting opportunities. However, what is sure to please a social media mad teen the most is the WiFi, enabling them to stay connected to their friends and keep up to date with the latest news on Twitter!

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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 Five Reasons to Love Sykes’ Short Flexible Breaks

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
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Found a cottage you’d like to stay in this June but the Friday start day doesn’t quite fit? How about you want to go away, but just for two nights? Not a problem – this weekend sees the beginning of our flexible June breaks, where a selection of holiday properties are able to book from any day of the week for a minimum of two nights, applicable for stays between the 30th May and the 18th June.

The 30th of May might be just around the corner, but there is still time to take advantage of these flexible breaks. Not convinced? Read on to discover five reasons why our flexible, short breaks are brilliant.

Skip the crowds

With flexible start days, you can holiday mid-week and avoid the peak time weekend crowds. This is particularly handy if you’re planning on visiting a popular area such as Cornwall or the Lake District, where it can get particularly busy during the weekend.

Less to Pack

Saving you time frantically packing everything and anything ‘just in case’, fewer nights away from home means less packing is needed – ideal for if you’re travelling by public transport or just want a little less weight in the car!

Use Less Holiday Days

Our flexible breaks allow you to use less of that all important annual leave. Whilst you would need to take five days from work for a week away, for a flexible short break you can make the most of the weekend and only use one or two days annual leave. Meaning you can save some holiday days for the next time you feel like getting away!

Explore New Places

Being in a new place for a short amount of time makes you want to fit more in; you can spend an intense day seeing all of the typical tourist spots of a destination, before retiring to your holiday cottage to mull over the day and plan what tomorrow will bring.

More Getaways

With short, flexible breaks, long gone are the days of just one, long holiday per year. By taking shorter breaks throughout the year, you can have multiple holidays, ensuring that you always have something to look forward to!

Book a Flexible Short Break

If you’d like to book one of our flexible short breaks, click here to see the properties available. Flexible breaks are currently available for stays between the dates of May 30th – June 18th for stays of two nights or longer.

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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.

Sykes’ Famous Properties

Sunday, May 24th, 2015
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If you fancy something a little bit special from your next cottage break- something you can write home about- then we would suggest booking a stay at one of our famous cottages. It may be hard to imagine a famous cottage but here at Sykes, we have a selection of properties that have either been featured in, or are located close to areas used in popular films, TV shows, novels and magazines! As well as offering comfortable, stylish accommodation, this extra special collection of cottages earn you added bragging rights when sending your friends and family the obligatory holiday postcard. Keep reading to discover some of the highlights in our collection or head on over to our famous cottages page now to start planning your next UK getaway!

Whytings in Uplyme, Devon

The dinning area at Whytings (Ref. 2581) is perfect for entertaining.

The dinning area at Whytings (Ref. 2581) is perfect for entertaining.

Located on the downs overlooking the popular seaside resort of Lyme Regis, Whytings offers spacious accommodation on the borders of Devon and Dorset, making it the ideal spot for visiting both regions. After a day of exploring the coast and country, we’d suggest a visit to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage HQ at the nearby Park Farm. Here you can attend one of their many dining events or take part in a cookery course before trying out your new-found skills in one of Whytings’ two interconnecting kitchens!

Flushing House in Rye, South of England

One of the two bedrooms at Flushing House (Ref. 21914).

One of the two bedrooms at Flushing House (Ref. 21914).

Flushing House is a fabulous Grade II listed building located in the popular town of Rye. The corner cottage was built around 1520 and still possesses many of its original features including exposed beams, a Tudor turning staircase and bread oven. In 2014, the village of Rye was used as the back drop in the BBC’s version of Mapp & Lucia; the programme showcased many of the town’s buildings and Flushing House was used as the estate agents, giving the property quite the claim to fame!

The Barn in Cromford, Peak District

Found on a picturesque hillside high above the village of Cromford, The Barn not only offers visitors cosy country accommodation but also spectacular views across the valley. This property is the ideal touring base for the Peak District with the popular towns of Bakewell and Ashover just a short drive away. When visiting the town of Ashover some guests may find it familiar, this is more than likely because the town featured in TV’s Peak Practice as the fictional town of Cardale.

Bookilber Barn in Settle, Yorkshire Dales

Open plan living area at Bookilber Barn (Ref. 2986).

Open plan living area at Bookilber Barn (Ref. 2986).

If you’re looking for luxurious accommodation with an open fire and hot tub, breath-taking views, fabulous walks and loads of character then Bookilber Barn is the place for you! This charming, detached barn conversion has been renovated to an extremely high quality and its chic décor and prime location has gained Brookilber Barn coverage on The Sunday Times ‘Top 100 Cool Cottages’ list and in Concept Living magazine. The property sleeps up to 12 people so it’s the perfect cottage for special occasions and family get-togethers.

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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.