Archive for the ‘Kent/Sussex’ Category

Sykes’ Guide to South East Beaches

Saturday, May 16th, 2015
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With hundreds of award winning UK beaches to choose from, picking the right destination for your next coastal getaway can be rather difficult. Whether you decide to visit Gruinard beach in the Scottish Highlands or the iconic Land’s End in Cornwall all depends on your holiday preferences; who you’re travelling with, the length of your stay and of course what you plan on getting up to during your beach break. To help make things a little easier for you, Sykes Cottages have decided to take a look at each section of the UK individually and give you a run down on the best beaches in that area.

On today’s blog we’re going to be taking a look at the South East of England and its classic coastline; with numerous beaches to choose from, compiling a list of the best was certainly not easy! After hours of deliberation, we have chosen our top four beaches, one to fit into each of our star categories. Keep reading to discover our winners and see if your favourite South East beach gets a mention.

Margate Main Sands, Kent

Best Beach for Families

If you’re looking for a traditional, family friendly holiday then Margate Main Sands is for you; with its tidal pool, children’s rides and amusement arcades, it provides hours of fun along the sea shore. The beach’s golden sands are ideal for building sandcastles, even during high tide and with a lifeguard patrolling the beach from May to September, your children are free to splash around in the surf all summer long.

Hastings, Sussex

Best Beach for Couples 

Full of history and maritime charm, Hastings is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. Dwindle the day away by relaxing along the coast or getting lost amongst the town’s many winding streets and narrow passageways, before spending the evening at a candlelit meal for two in one of the many restaurants. For some quality quiet time with your other half, we would highly suggest a romantic stroll along the coastline, walking hand in hand as you admire the spectacular ocean views.

Reculver, Kent

Best Beach for dogs

The beach at Reculver in Kent is great for both dog and owner, with your four-legged friend welcome all year round. As well as playing amongst the surf and scurrying over the rocks, this area also allows your dog plenty of open space to explore with a country park close by. Offering both coastal paths and circular walking routes, this area has everything you need for a dog friendly day out!

Camber Sands, Sussex

Best Beach for Water Sports

Camber Sands offers an exciting array of water sports with something to suit all ages, from kitesurfing and windsurfing to paddle boarding and dinghy sailing. If you’re a water sporting regular then make your way down to the coast and straight into the water or if you’re a beginner why not try a few lessons from the local experts at Rye Watersports? Whatever your skill set, Camber Sands is the ideal beach to practice your skills.

Rent a Cottage in the South East with Sykes Cottages

Now you’ve seen exactly what the South East coast has to offer, why not experience it for yourself? Our selection of cottages on the South coast are perfectly located for a beach getaway with many properties just a short walk from the coast! So whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, family holiday or just some time away from the everyday, we’re sure to have something to suit your needs!

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Nicole Jones-Gerrard

By Nicole Jones-Gerrard

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 husband.

Family Friendly Cottages in South East England

Thursday, May 14th, 2015
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This week on the Sykes Cottages blog, we’ve been focusing on South East England- a fantastic place for a memorable family holiday with plenty of stunning beaches and exciting days out! Whether you fancy a break in the glorious ‘Garden of England’, a getaway in the rolling countryside of Sussex or a holiday by the sea on the picturesque South East coastline, Sykes Cottages will have a holiday home to suit you. To get you feeling inspired, here are just a few of the wonderful cottages in South East England that we have to offer:

The Barn, East Farleigh, Kent

Holiday cottage in Kent

The Barn, East Farleigh, Kent. Ref 920096

This spectacular holiday home is a child’s paradise with its own heated outdoor swimming pool, children’s play area, trampoline and bouncy castle, which is available through prior arrangement with the owner. The property itself is a picturesque barn conversion which dates back to Cromwell’s times. Full of character and original features, with a lovely pub just 5 minutes’ walk, The Barn is an excellent choice for both adults and children. East Farleigh is a great base to explore all the Kent has to offer with family days out close by such as Go Ape Leeds Castle and The Hop Farm Family Park.

Flushing House, Rye, East Sussex

Holiday cottage in East Sussex

Flushing House, Rye, East Sussex. Ref. 21914

Flushing House is a unique Tudor cottage built around 1520 and is now a Grade II listed building. The cottage itself is beautiful with a weather-boarded exterior and original features including exposed beams and a bread oven. Tucked into the heart of Rye’s historic Citadel, this lovely cottage is just a minute’s walk from everything that the town has to offer and there are plenty of family attractions nearby including Rye Castle Museum, Blue Reef Aquarium Hastings and Smuggler’s Adventure.

90 Regent Street, Whitstable, Kent

Holiday cottage in Kent

90 Regent Street, Whitstable, Kent, Ref. 920619

This charming Victorian fisherman’s cottage in the lively seaside town of Whitstable is ideal for a coastal getaway. Bright, airy and spacious, 90 Regent Street comfortably sleeps a family of 6 in 3 bedrooms and has its own lovely garden for playing and dining alfresco. The town’s pretty harbour and many restaurants and pubs are less than 5 minutes’ walk, and the shoreline surrounding Whitstable is perfect for swimming, sunbathing and making sandcastles! Nearby family-friendly attractions include Wildwood and The Canterbury Tales.

Bixley, Beckley, East Sussex

Holiday cottage in East Sussex

Bixley, Beckley, East Sussex. Ref. 904938

Nestled at the heart of Beckley Woods, this former woodman’s home will take the whole family back to nature. Beckley Woods is a Forestry Commission conservation site and guests at Bixley will benefit from fantastic woodland walks from the doorstep, as well as birdwatching opportunities and half an acre of mature gardens to explore. If you feel the need to head out for the day, Rye with its cobbled streets, tea rooms and castle is just a short drive away. For fun-filled family days out, you could try the Shipwreck Museum or the Rare Breeds Centre.

You can see our full collection of holiday cottages in South East England here. If you need any help in picking the perfect property for you then please give us a call on 01244 356 695 and one of our reservations specialists will 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.

Top Five Sussex Attractions

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
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Being home to a number of seaside resorts, it can be easy to overlook the other activities, events and attractions that Sussex has to offer. We think that would be a right shame so for today we’re turning the sights of the Sykes Cottages blog to the ancient county that is Sussex and some of its fantastic attractions and ideal day out destinations. So if you’re planning a trip to Sussex read on to see our ideas of things you can get up to in this wonderful county.

Arundel Castle

Whether you visit Arundel Castle for the beautiful grounds and gardens, the stunning views or for one of the many events held at the castle throughout the year, you are bound to have a great day. The forecast of events at Arundel Castle for the remaining 2015 season are impressive and there really is something for everyone, from the Town Crier’s Competition on the 13th June,  Jaguar Day on the 5th July and a variety of living history days throughout the season.

Drusillas Park

A true family favourite is Drusilla’s Park, located in East Sussex, which hosts a number of family friendly activities. For children aged under 6 there is Go Bananas! – a jungle themed playground including swings, slides, a trampoline and aerial walkways. Fans of Sanrio will adore the Hello Kitty Secret Garden that has a number of Hello Kitty themed attractions and child friendly rides. Not forgetting, of course, the zoo at Drusillas which is home to a number of animals in varying levels of conservation and allows visitors to get up close with animals in their walk through exhibits.

Treasure Island

All buccaneers, landlubbers and captains should head to Eastbourne for a day spent at Treasure Island. Little ones will love playing in the buccaneer’s indoor adventure whilst slightly older children will enjoy the Treasure Island outdoor adventure park. Don’t worry, though, as Treasure Island is not only for the youngsters as all ages can take part in pirates adventure golf; an exciting 18-hole course.

Fishbourne Roman Palace

For a touch of Roman history, Fishbourne Roman Palace is definitely worth a visit. Whether you visit to see England’s first garden, the stunning mosaics or the palace itself – which is the largest Roman palace in England – you’ll be stuck for choice. Fishbourne also plays host to a variety of events throughout the year from Murder Mystery evenings to Ancient Braid-Making, there is something for everyone at Fishbourne Roman Palace.

Weald and Downland Open Air Museum

Fancy seeing how you would have cooked in Tudor time? How about how to blacksmith in the Victorian era? How about milling flour in a watermill? Well with a regular event and demonstration programme alongside the 50 exhibits at Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, you can discover what all aspects of daily life would have been like for those who lived and worked in the houses.

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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.

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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Nicole Jones-Gerrard

By Nicole Jones-Gerrard

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 husband.

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.