Archive for the ‘Holiday Ideas’ Category

Large Properties Where You Can ‘Live Like A Lord’

Thursday, September 17th, 2015
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With the return (and the beginning of the end!) of Downton Abbey taking place this weekend, we thought you might all need some cheering up. With that in mind, we’re taking a look at some of our large properties where you can continue to get your Downton fix by becoming lord or lady of your own manor for the week!

The Hall, Northumberland

Nothing quite says aristocracy like a 17th century mansion in the heart of the countryside. This spectacular property sleeps 24 guests with 10 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms and has been lovingly converted back to its former glory. It offers all the grand features you could want from a ‘live like a lord’ getaway, including ornate ceilings, an Italian open fireplace, hand-carved oak staircase and a full-size snooker table. To add to the experience, the owners of The Hall can even organise catering and staff to tend to your every need.

Winster Hall, Peak District

Winster Hall sleeps 16 and was built in 1628 by Francis Moore, nestled in its own grounds in the conservation village of Winster. Full of history and character, Winster Hall could almost be mistaken for a miniature version of nearby Chatsworth House as it boasts many similarities in both design and date; at only a 20 minute drive away, Chatsworth is definitely a must-visit while you’re in the area. This wonderful Peak District holiday home also offers additional services including a private chef, daily housekeeping and outdoor activities, by arrangement with the owner.

Oughtershaw Hall, Yorkshire Dales

Large holiday homes don’t come more luxurious than Oughtershaw Hall, making it perfect for a ‘live like a lord’ getaway. The property is steeped in history with stained glass windows featuring families’ coats of arms, as well as other notable features including former servant’s bells; you’re sure to feel like the lord or lady of the manor as soon as you step inside. With luxurious facilities including a heated indoor swimming pool, games room and library, Oughtershaw Hall manages to perfectly combine traditional with contemporary, resulting in an extraordinary property to holiday in.

If you fancy living like a lord on your next holiday then you can browse our collection of large holiday cottages on our website- our largest cottage sleeps up to 59 people! If you need any help finding a property then please give us a call on 01244 356 695 or email us and we’d be more than happy to help.

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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.

Make the Most of the Late Summer Sun

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015
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Summer is almost at a close, the children are back at school, the nights are getting longer and the weather is growing colder. Here at Sykes Cottages we can’t bear to say goodbye to summer just yet so in order to make the most of the late summer sunshine, we suggest packing your bags and heading off on a UK short break. We’ve listed some of our favourite short break destinations below which are perfect for late summer getaways to see if we can convince you to make the most of the late summer sun this year.


The beautiful harbour town and traditional seaside resort of Tenby offers a picturesque escape from everyday living. The town’s cobbled streets are full of cafes, shops, pubs and restaurants, making the area ideal for a romantic getaway. The Mooring Restaurant is particularly good and after a day of exploring Tenby’s streets we can think of nothing better than a healthy helping of their summer vegetable risotto.


Commonly referred to as Shakespeare Country, Stratford-upon-Avon is an ancient market town with over 800 years of history. Those interested in Shakespeare can visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace, a restored 16th century house which was once home to the man himself, before catching one of his plays at the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre. The theatre is located in a Grade II listed building alongside the River Avon with shows being performed all year round .


The Isle of Wight is a fantastic destination for short breaks with the family and there is no better island base than Shanklin. This wonderful seaside village is perfect for long days spent at the beach, relaxing in the traditional beach huts, building sandcastles and enjoying an ice-cream or two. It’s also a great spot for exploring the Isle of Wight’s other attractions like the zoo, model village, petting zoos and steam railway.


With a variety of stores and independent boutiques, Truro is the retail capital of Cornwall and the county’s only city. Walking through the streets of Truro, you can’t help but be impressed by the beautiful Georgian architecture, numerous museums and galleries and of course the spectacular cathedral. We would suggest a trip to Truro for anyone who is looking for a city break with a difference.

We hope this list of locations has given you some inspiration for a last minute getaway in the sun. If you do fancy a short break then make sure to check out our flexible cottage breaks page – bookable from now until October 23rd, these cottages are offering short stays for two nights or more starting on any day of the week!

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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.

Spotlight On: Quirky Holiday Cottages, Part II

Sunday, August 16th, 2015
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Looking for something a little different on your next holiday? Whether you fancy relaxing in a former water tank or getting away to a converted chapel, here at Sykes Cottages we have a wide collection of unusual holiday lets that are sure to make your holiday stand out! If you want to read Quirky Holiday Cottages Part I, please click here.

Riverside, Lake District

The spectacular views from this quirky holiday cottage are guaranteed to take your breath away. Situated on the shoes of Ullswater, the views from Riverside are some of the best in the Lake District. To make the most of these views, Riverside has huge picture windows and outside, there’s a private hot tub and alfresco cooking & dining facilities. There are beautiful walks on the doorstep and there’s a lovely pub just two minutes’ walk away.

The Old Fire Station, Kent

This fabulous holiday home was the former St Margaret’s at Cliffe fire station. The building was converted in 2012 to create this unique holiday rental which is ideal for a holiday with friends or family. The stand-out feature of the Old Fire Station is its original frontage, which it has retained and which now makes up one wall of the living area- the ceiling of which is high enough to accommodate a fire engine. This property is bright, airy and spacious with four bedrooms, and is close to beaches, pubs and stunning coastal walks.

1 Church House, Isle of Wight

1 Church House is a stunning church conversion on the coast of the Isle of Wight. The property manages to seamlessly combine luxurious and contemporary furnishings with beautiful original features, which include magnificent stained glass windows, timber high ceilings and a galleried balcony. 1 Church House is perfectly located for a relaxing break with a shop, lovely pub and beach all within eight minutes’ walk.

Cambridge Lodge, Peak District

Cambridge Lodge is an extraordinary property that offers a wonderfully unique holiday experience. Expertly converted from a water tank dating back to 1909, it took the owners 10 years of renovation but it’s been more than worth it! The property is now a modern and luxurious holiday home- half of which is underground- with facilities including Smart TVs, Netflix and a lovely outdoor garden with panoramic views across to nearby Chatsworth House.

Southover, Norfolk

This unusual part-thatched cottage on the edge of the River Bure in the Norfolk Broads makes for a holiday that you’ll never forget. With high ceilings, exposed timbers and full-length windows leading on to a decked balcony, making the most of the beautiful river views, Southover exudes luxury. There’s also a hot tub, Sky TV and in addition, the property offers private mooring and use of a 5-seater boat and canoe for guests to use on the water.

To see our full collection of unusual holiday cottages, you can visit our website or take a peek at our previous blog post focusing on other quirky cottages. We’ve everything from yurts to converted chapels so if you’re looking for a holiday let with a difference, you’re in the right place!

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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.

Off the Beaten Path: Isolated Cottages

Friday, July 31st, 2015
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Sometimes there’s nothing better than a holiday where you can get away from it all; taking a well-deserved break from the crowds, noises and distractions of everyday life is many people’s idea of heaven. So if you’re tempted, here are a few of our stunning, isolated holiday cottages in the UK for you to take a look through.

Coppa Hill Barn, Yorkshire Dales

This beautiful barn conversion is located next to the owner’s sheep farm, amongst the rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Dales. The setting is picturesque, yet the pretty village of Ingleton is just over a mile away should you want to venture out to a pub or restaurant. The owners of Coppa Hill Barn have put great care into making sure that the property feels and looks luxurious, with bespoke oak beams, a feature woodburner and super king-size bedrooms, making this lovely, tranquil cottage the perfect place to get away from it all.

Pen Y Bont, Snowdonia

Pen Y Bont is a real hidden gem in a serene and peaceful location, nestled between the Welsh hills and mountains of the Snowdonia National Park. Sitting on the banks of the River Dovey, Pen Y Bont offers stunning views, which you can admire from the windows whilst relaxing in a comfy chair with a good book and listening to the sounds of the river outside. The cottage itself is charming, cosy and traditional with features including exposed beams, an Inglenook fireplace and an original bread oven. If you’re looking for a quiet bolthole where you can unwind, then Pen Y Bont is ideal.

Sunset Cottage, Isle of Mull

Perched on a hillside, this stunning Isle of Mull cottage offers dramatic, panoramic views across the Sound of Mull. The cottage has its own garden with uninterrupted views out across the water- the perfect place for dining alfresco or relaxing with a drink as the sun goes down. Sunset Cottage is ideal for family or friends with flexible sleeping accommodation and bright, airy rooms. There’s even a woodburner to curl up in front of when the temperatures dip. The Isle of Mull itself is spectacular and enjoys a slower pace of life; perfect for a get away from everything type of holiday.

Higher Croasdale Farmhouse, Yorkshire Dales

This idyllic farmhouse is situated in a secluded location with sweeping views of the Yorkshire countryside and is only accessible via a mile-long farm track. The views at Higher Croasdale Farmhouse carry for miles across the open moorlands, inducing a feeling of complete tranquillity. Yet if you do want to head out for the day, nearby Bentham is just 3 miles away with some lovely pubs, restaurants and shops to choose from. The Yorkshire Three Peaks and the Forest of Bowland are also close by and are perfect spots for getting active with walking and cycling routes on offer.

To see our full collection of remote holiday cottages then please visit our website! Or alternatively, you can give our specialist holiday advisors a call on 01244 356 695 and they’d be more than happy to help you find the perfect cottage for your holiday.

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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.

Some of Britain’s Best Beaches

Monday, July 27th, 2015
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I think that it’s safe to say that pretty much everybody loves a trip to the seaside. Whether it’s a day spent relaxing in the sunshine or a bracing winter walk there’s just something special about being by the sea and so we’ve done our best to track down some of our favourite beaches around the country. Why don’t you take a quick look through and see which one you fancy visiting first?

Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland

Musselwick Sands, Pembrokeshire

Silver Sands of Morar, The Highlands

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

Pedn Vounder, Cornwall

Seilebost, Isle of Harris

So there you have it, a quick run through of our favourite beaches, hopefully you’ll agree with our choices but do let us know if you have any that you’d like to suggest – you can get in touch over Facebook or Twitter. Or maybe it’s convinced you into taking a break at the seaside? Then you’ll want to have a look through our collection of beach-side cottages where you’re sure to be able to find something that will suit you.

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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.