Archive for the ‘Lake District’ Category

4 Lesser-Known Locations in the Lake District

Sunday, May 15th, 2016
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We all know the charm of the Lake District- the sweeping countryside, towering fells and spectacular lake views. It’s one of few places in the UK that has real, year-round appeal and its walking opportunities and attractions help to pull in millions of visitors every year. As one of the most beautiful places in Britain, there are naturally crowds, especially in the peak months. So if you want to experience the beauty of the Lake District but avoid the hustle and bustle of the most popular areas, here are a few lesser known locations that are just as striking but slightly off the beaten track.


The Ennerdale Valley is on the north-western fringe of the Lakes and is home to one of the UK’s longest-running ecological conservation projects, Wild Ennerdale. Ennerdale Water, the most westerly of the National Park’s lakes, is an idyllic spot with no light pollution and a wealth of wildlife. It is the only lake in the park which doesn’t have a road running next to it, making access a little difficult but it’s also a haven for visitors who want to experience a truly unspoilt part of the Lake District. Stay at nearby Ennerdale Bridge, a picturesque village just a few miles from the Cumbrian coastline with a couple of lovely pubs and a village shop.


The Buttermere Valley area is one of the most spectacular Lakeland landscapes going with its dramatic scenery and calm, sparkling lakes. On the northern edge of the park, it’s slightly off the beaten path from the traditional tourist spots, making it a much more tranquil setting for your Lake District holiday. Buttermere Lake itself is one of the best round-the-lake walks in the region and is perfect for families as it’s quite an easy route, taking around 2-3 hours.


This remote area is the wildest of the Lake District valleys, covering the stretch of land between Wastwater and Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain. Wastwater is England’s deepest and most awe-inspiring lake, with the view looking from the lake across to Scafell Pike being voted as Britain’s favourite view. Despite its striking landscape and beauty, the Wasdale area is still largely considered to be a hidden gem. If you fancy exploring the Wasdale Valley, stay at Nether Wasdale which has two good pubs serving food, its own brewery and a farm shop selling local produce.

Duddon Valley

To escape the crowds on a walking holiday head, to Duddon Valley. This stunning region has unrivalled walking opportunities and is perfect for mountain biking and climbing. The peaceful fells and beautiful scenery offer a satisfying reward for those savvy enough to visit- it really is a hidden gem and only those in the know walk here. The famous Romantic poet, William Wordsworth, is one of many to have loved this valley, so much so in fact that he wrote 35 sonnets praising it. The area is also thriving with wildlife- you may even spot a red squirrel! The pretty hamlet of Seathwaite is a good place from which to explore the valley.

For more information on all of our holiday cottages in the Lake District, please visit our website. We’ve over 800 holiday lets for you to choose from all across the region from Windermere to Wastwater.

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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.

Holiday Cottages For Walking In The Lake District

Sunday, April 19th, 2015
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The Lake District is perfect for walkers of all abilities. Whether you just fancy a short stroll to the nearest pub, a wander down the river or to take on a more challenging trail, the Lake District caters to ramblers of all styles! We have a huge number of properties in the Lake District that are the perfect bases for your walking holiday and today we’re going to point the spotlight on just five of them.

Dufton Hall Cottage, Dufton

Being located close to open countryside makes this Dufton property the ideal base for a romantic rambling getaway. Couples can enjoy a walk along the river, through the countryside or wander alongside Dufton Fell. Wherever your feet take you, you’ll be glad that they will lead you back to this wonderful studio accommodation.

Jitty Cottage, Appleby-in-Westmorland

If you can bear to leave this stunning Lake District property – which holds an Appleby-in-Westmorland’s Society Award for its stunning restoration – you are only a hop, skip and a jump away from wonderful riverside walks along the River Eden. The Lakeland Fells are also just a short distance away and certainly worth spending some time exploring! At the end of a lovely day, you can get some well-deserved rest and relaxation in one of the town’s restaurants, which are located just a short walk from Jitty Cottage.

Drakes Cottage, Cartmel

For a relaxing Lake District break, Drakes Cottage is perfect. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the grounds surrounding the property, or wander a little further to the historic village of Cartmel. In summer, welcome the day with a cup of coffee on the patio and in the colder seasons warm up after a wintry walk in front of the wood-burner. If you want to travel slightly further and see more of this wonderful part of the country, Lake Windermere is just six miles away and definitely worth a visit, with more stunning views to enjoy as you wander.

Hunter’s Moon, Skelwith Bridge

With instant access to the great outdoors and plenty of walking and cycling routes, Hunter’s Moon in Skelwith Bridge is the ideal property for those wanting to get away from it all. Stay in Skelwith Bridge for a wander along the walking route that runs beside the River Brathay or head just slightly further afield to Ambleside or Grasmere and enjoy wonderful walks in some of the Lake District’s most popular areas.

Springfield Cottage, Little Clifton

As a brilliant base for hill walking, taking in the sights of the Lake District or just for relaxing, Springfield Cottage has it all! If you just want to stretch your legs, walking trails can be found right from the doorstep of this Little Clifton property, whereas more challenging routes can be easily accessed in other areas such as Buttermere or Loweswater. Whatever the difficulty of your ramble, Springfield Cottage will be a very welcome retreat at the end of a day exploring.

Book a Self Catering Holiday Cottage

Lake District

Image from Springfield Cottage in Little Clifton

These are just five of the many self catering holiday cottages that we have in the Lake District. If you’re inspired to head off on a walking holiday in the Lakes then visit the Sykes Cottages website to see what we have available for you – we’re sure that we have the perfect holiday cottage for you! Don’t fancy the Lake District right now? Don’t worry as we have a huge number of properties across the United Kingdom and Ireland that are perfect for walking holidays, you can see them all on our website here.

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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.

Get Out and About in the Lake District

Saturday, April 18th, 2015
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Today we’re going to be continuing with this week’s Lake District theme as we take a look at some of the best outdoor activities that you can try your hand at in the area. Let’s be honest, when you’re somewhere with the stunning scenery of the Lakes, which ranges from the towering Scafell Pike through to the tranquil beauty of spots such as Wastwater and the Langdale Valley, you don’t want to be locked up indoors. So we’ve trawled through the options available to visitors to the area in order to try and find a few activities that you can do to get a taste of the great outdoors!

Get out on the Lakes

What better way is there to explore the Lake District than actually heading out on the Lakes themselves? As you’d expect, there are a multitude of providers who can offer all sorts of options, whether it’s a gentle paddle on calm waters or an overnight expedition complete with bushcraft and camping out under the stars, it turns out that the Lakes are the perfect playground for all of the water sports enthusiasts! The options seem endless, whether it’s kayaking on Derwentwater or sailing on Windermere, and you can even try out one of the latest crazes, Stand Up Paddle Boarding!

Jump in the Saddle

Or if you want a different way in which to take in the beautiful scenery of the Lake District, you could always try out a horseback tour. There are several companies in the area who specialise in this and can offer a wide variety of options from gallops down the beach to long ranges across the fells. There’s no need to worry if you aren’t an expert rider- nearly all of the providers will be able to offer sufficient support and tutelage to make even first time riders feel at home in the saddle.

Test Yourself With the Via Ferrata

Then there’s something a little special for the real daredevils out there! How do you fancy crossing a wire bridge strung around 1,200 feet above the ground? Well with the Via Ferrata at Honister Pass you can do just that. Via Ferratas were first used in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy and consist of a set of pathways, ladders and bridges accompanied by a continuous wire that allow people to easily reach areas that were previously inaccessible to all but the most hardened climbers. The Via Ferratas at Honister were the UK’s first ever and they allow you to reach the very top of Fleetwith Pike which at 2,126 feet above the valley floor is well over twice the height of the UK’s tallest building, the Shard!

There you have it, some of the best ways in which you can experience the great outdoors in the Lake District. Hopefully we’ll have tempted you into taking a trip there to try them out! If that is the case you should have a glimpse at our wide selection of Lake District cottages so that you have a cosy little retreat where you can put your feet up after a long day. Or maybe you can think of an alternative activity? If so do let us know over Facebook or Twitter and we’ll try to pass the message on as best we can!

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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.

Best Places to Photograph in the Lake District

Thursday, April 16th, 2015
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Wherever you are in the Lake District you are bound to be surrounded by stunning natural beauty, so it is no surprise that amateur and professional photographers alike get a bit snap happy in the area! To inspire you to do the same, I have browsed through Flickr and found ten stunning photographs of some of the Lake District’s awe-inspiring landscapes. As they say, a picture says a thousand words, so I’m going to cut this one short and let these lovely images do all the talking.

Bassenthwaite Lake

Bassenthwaite Lake

Image taken by Stacey MacNaught | CC 2.0

Brantwood Jetty


Tarn Hows Lake

Lake Coniston


Skiddaw from Derwentwater




If you’re feeling inspired by these photographs but you’re not too sure where to start, take a look at our Beginner’s Guide to Photography for some useful tips for beginners on getting the most out of your camera!

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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.

Why the Lake District is the Perfect Place for Solo Travel

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015
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Whilst many people chose to travel in groups with friends or family, there are still a large number of us that prefer our own company and the peace and quiet that comes with solo travel. With that being said, we have decided to focus today’s blog post on solo travel, and where better in the UK to do some solitary exploring than the Lake District. Why the Lake District I hear you ask, well along with the obvious natural beauty of the region, the Lakes have quite a lot to offer single travellers. Keep reading to find out more and to discover why we think the Lake District is the ideal place for solo travels.

It’s oh so quiet

As England’s largest National Park, the Lake District covers 2,292 square kilometres of land and pretty much guarantees you a quiet spot to relax in. With green fields stretching as far as the eye can see, towering mountain ranges and miles of still lake water, the area just oozes tranquillity and on a crisp summer morning there is nothing better than an alfresco breakfast with only bird song to disturb the otherwise silent atmosphere.

There’s a welcoming atmosphere

Although holidaying alone, it doesn’t mean you have to be reclusive; in fact many solo travellers make lifelong friends with people they encounter on their journeys and enjoy meeting new people from all walks of life. The Lake District’s friendly atmosphere makes it the perfect place to meet new people, with friendly locals offering great advice on places to see and things to do; you never know they may even point you in the direction of a hidden gem away from the normal tourist routes!

Plenty of wildlife

When exploring as part of a group, sometimes the noise of the party can scare away local wildlife. You are far more likely to see animals in their natural habitats if you’re travelling alone. The Lake District is home to a vast array of wildlife from birds to small mammals, in fact it’s one of the few places in the UK where you can see red squirrels. The next time you visit, head out on a solo woodland walk and you’ll soon find yourself with a selection of wildlife photography to share with the people back home.

A variety of events

There is always something going on in the Lake District, from guided walks to food festivals you’re sure to find an event or two to fill up your days. Whether you’re a foodie or an exercise fanatic, you’re sure to find a like-minded soul in the Lake District. If you’re looking for a good all-rounder event, then our choice is the Cartmel Show; this traditional country show features carriage driving, a dog show, food hall and much more.

We hope this post has convinced you that the Lake District is the ideal place for solo travellers. If so, then be sure to check out our selection of Lake District holiday cottages, perfect for relaxing and making the most of that quality ‘me time’ we all crave.

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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.