Archive for the ‘Kent/Sussex’ Category

Top Ten Reasons to Visit Kent

Sunday, April 6th, 2014
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To celebrate English Tourism Week we will be taking a look at one of our favourite English counties, Kent. Bellow you will find our choice of the top ten reasons to visit Kent this year in the hopes that it will leave you feeling inspired for your 2014 holidays!

1. Kent is commonly referred to as ‘The Garden of England’ so it’s no surprise that their stunning gardens are top of our list!


2. Home to many impressive landmarks, Kent has been inspiring song writers for generations “There’ll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover…”


3. Within Kent’s diverse landscape you’ll find a fantastic array of wildlife- perfect for photographers!


4. But if you would rather photograph manmade structures then Kent boosts a stunning selection of architecture.


5. In fact Kent is home to some of Britain’s most iconic buildings.


6. If you’re looking to try a new activity you’re in luck as Kent is a haven for water sports


7. …and boasts a number of fantastic mountain bike trails.


8. Kent is renowned for its lively festivals full of party goers 


9. Or if you prefer a slower pace of life then Kent has a number of delectable restaurants for you to explore  


10. …and a stunning selection of Kent cottages perfect for a little rest and relaxation!

Shepherd's Farm House in Kent, Ref 7364.

Shepherd’s Farm House in Kent, Ref 7364.


I hope this post has motivated you to visit the beautiful County of Kent this year and if you need any help planning your Kent holiday then please feel free to call our reservations specialists on 01244 356695 or visit the Kent cottages page.

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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.

Go way, way back on your next cottage holiday

Monday, October 14th, 2013
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If you’re into unearthing yesteryear, you’ll know that today marks a particularly special event in English history. That’s because today -14th October- is the 947th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, an event which changed the face of Britain forever. Forces from both sides of the English channel gathered on a windswept heath near the town of Battle in Sussex, to engage in what would arguably become the most fateful act of war that the country has ever known. Given the influence that the battle had on modern British culture,  we at Sykes Cottages thought we’d pay homage to this bloody day of transformation, by compiling a short list of the best battlefields to visit across the UK. There’s something rather moving and affecting about visiting a by-gone battlefield, so why not spend the day on your next cottage holiday taking a peek into the country’s bloody past whilst you explore these beautiful portions of prized British soil.

Stirling, Scotland- Battle of Stirling Bridge, 1297

Stirling Bridge

Via Flickr

Made famous in Mel Gibson’s 1995 film, Braveheart, the Battle of Stirling Bridge was a decisive victory for the Scots in their century-long feud with the English over their independence. Walk the earth where thousands of impassioned highland clansman followed their plucky blue-faced leader, William Wallace, into battle against a far superior force, and laid down their lives to secure the freedom of their country. Present day Stirling Bridge offers a feast of historic treats that will delight even the most aloof history fan, including Old Stirling Bridge, built in 1550, and the Wallace Memorial statue, erected at the spot where this proud Scot defied the odds to defend his great country. If you fancy donning your Sporran and bellowing “FREEDOMMM!” on your next Scottish adventure, take a look at our selection of holiday cottages in Scotland!

Sutton Cheney, Leicestershire- Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485

Battle of Bosworth

Via Flickr

On August 22nd 1485, the Wars of the Roses, fought between the house of York and the house of Lancaster over a thirty year period, came to its sticky and long awaited conclusion. Abandoned by his countryman and with a much lesser force, Richard III of England was brutally killed at the hands of the usurper Henry Tudor, and a new era of English history began. Discover information and theories about the battle in the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre, and terrify the kids on a journey through medieval England in the centre’s interactive exhibition, where you can witness the horrors of 15th century warfare in the imposing battle room! For both the fanatical history fan and the casual daytripper, a visit to Bosworth Field proves a memorable day out; see for yourself on your next cottage holiday.

Branxton, Northumberland- Battle of Flodden, 1513

Flodden Battlefield

Via Flickr

Perhaps the most archetypal battlefield on the British Isles, this illustrious patch of Northumberland played host to the largest Anglo-Scottish tussle of the Middle Ages, with over 26,000 English and 34,000 Scottish troops involved in the fray. The battle ensued when James IV of Scotland, rather unwisely, invaded the North East of England to honour the country’s ancient allegiance to France, which was under threat from the surly Henry VIII. However, unlike Scots before him, James IV was unable to quash the English, and ultimately became the last serving monarch to be slain on British soil. Take time out of your Northumberland cottage holiday to visit this peaceful pasture land, and visualise the events of the battle as they unfolded with help from the interpretative boards which are placed along the battlefield trail.

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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.

The Sykes Cottages Guide To … Brighton (Part 2)

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
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A town dedicated to fun and partying needs a chill-out zone, and Brighton is blessed with a wealth of lovely green spaces. Preston Park, Queens Park and the Royal Pavilion Gardens all offer breathing spaces in the heart of the city, whilst further afield, there are woodland trails at Kipling Garden or great spot for picnics at St. Ann’s Well Gardens in neighbouring Hove. Try sailing or fishing down at the Marina, beach sports Californian-style on the main beach or take in a ride on the Volks electric railway, or enjoy one of the many museums. The Natural History Museum and the Fishing Museum each document a different chapter of local history, the Toy and Model Museum breathes new life into the old Railway arches with hundreds of antique toys, models and memorabilia, or make a visit to Brighton’s Sealife Centre for a day of guaranteed family fun. (more…)

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The Sykes Cottages Guide To … Brighton (Part 1)

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
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Buzzing, bold, brash, bohemian and brilliant, Brighton scarcely needs an introduction these days. Placed firmly on the map by a party-loving Prince Regent who built the wonderful Royal Pavilion as his spectacular seaside folly during the mid eighteenth century, Brighton has been drawing the fun-loving crowd ever since, and is firmly established as the place to be, and a modern day London by the sea. A South of England holiday cottage in the vicinity offers the very best of beachside city break, with all the fun of Brighton itself as well as a host of superb holiday spots and great family days out within easy reach. (more…)

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The Sykes’ Canterbury Tales! Part Two

Friday, October 22nd, 2010
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To read part one of this blog, please click here. Don’t forget, we currently have two holiday cottages near Canterbury: 1) The Old Dairy (ref. 3975) and 2) Dimity Cottage (ref 2349). If you would like to see some of the sights we mention in this two-part blog, why not take a look at these properties?

Part Two

Beyond Canterbury itself, there are plenty of great places for days out. The beaches at Herne Bay and Whitstable are within a short drive. Whitstable and neighbouring Tankerton have excellent sandy beaches; Tankerton’s is a Blue Flag beach. Whitstable, with its pretty harbour filled with gently bobbing fishing boats, is famous for its oysters, and there are plenty of places to try them, especially during the annual Oyster Festival, which provides a riot of  pomp, pageantry and family fun towards the end of July each year. There’s a vibrant arts scene here if you like a bit of culture, and also some good shops that lend themselves to browsing. Herne Bay too is a great coastal spot on your South of England cottage holiday for a spot of quintessentially British seaside fun. Brightly coloured beach huts dot the sand, against a backdrop of neatly planted gardens and the promenade, complete with traditional bandstand. For those holidaying with children, there are plenty of visitor attractions to keep little ones of all ages entertained. Discover the enchanting woodland trails and farm of Druidstone Park at Blean or take a themed boat trip courtesy of Baby Blast Marine at Herne Bay or Whitstable. Seal spotting, the Kentish flats and a Forts Tour are just some of the options on this boat trip with a purpose. Enjoy the natural world with a trip to the lakes, wetlands and woodlands of the Environmental Education Centre at Broad Oak, with pond dipping, bird hides and a comfortable Visitor Centre. For animals of the wilder variety, a trip to Howletts Wild Animal Park at Bekesbourne has gorillas, elephants and close encounters with tigers amongst ninety acres of Wildlife Park. Further afield, Richborough Castle near Sandwich has great views and Roman ruins, whilst Dover Castle, Museum and the White Cliffs Experience make for a rewarding day trip from Canterbury.

For the great outdoors, the Kent countryside offers some lovely walks and cycles. Inland, discover the deep country scattered with picturesque villages and hamlets and most English of English villages, or the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Cyclists can enjoy the relatively flat terrain on a marked ride linking Dover, Deal, Sandwich, Whitstable and Canterbury. The Crab and Winkle Way is a largely traffic-free route covering the seven or so miles between Canterbury and seaside Whitstable, passing through the ancient woodland of Blean Woods, making it a great ride or walk to do with the family, with plenty of suitable picnic stops en route. There are many varied bike rides and themed walking routes, such as the Saxon Shore Way or the Stour Valley Walk, available from the regional tourist offices.

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