Archive for the ‘North York Moors/Yorkshire Coast’ Category

Yorkshire Wins Leading Destination Award

Friday, September 13th, 2013
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As a humble Yorkshireman, I was a little choked up last week on hearing the news of my home county’s astonishing triumph in Europe. That’s right, Yorkshire has been dubbed King of the destinations at this year’s World Travel Awards, trumping some of Europe’s leading tourist hotspots including London, Berlin and Madrid. And although I was glad of the news; gracious in victory, I was not. As frothy-topped tankards were raised across the region, I couldn’t help but question why Yorkshire, God’s Own County, has never won the prize before.

You see, here at Sykes HQ, we’ve got a bit of a soft spot for this certain county. Our Yorkshire holiday cottages prove to be some of the most popular year on year, and for good reason. Yorkshire is a land of the proper; proper people, proper places, proper food, and of course, proper ale. It’s a mystery then as to why the brightest jewel in the UK’s crown has never been handed the mantel of top European destination before; but then, I suppose I am a little bias. So let’s put all bellyaching aside and celebrate, because at long last, Yorkshire’s done it! And here at Sykes Cottages, we’re ‘appy as a pig in muck! Read on for a brief guide to Europe’s Leading Destination.

Yorkshire’s Pubs & Grub

The Black Sheep Brewery

Via Flickr

Think of any staple British fare and chances are it’ll have been born, fed or made in Yorkshire, and I’m not just talking Yorkshire pudding. The county has a wealth of native treats, from Pontefract’s liquorice to the Pikelets of Sheffield, and the same goes for its drink. Yorkshire plays host to around 40 different breweries, each providing their individual take on the classic Yorkshire pint. So if you’re feeling foodie, forget France, Yorkshire is the place for anyone looking to indulge in some top quality grub.

Yorkshire’s Other Inhabitants

Puffin at Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire

Via Flickr

When you reach Yorkshire soil, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled. That’s because the county houses a myriad of Britain’s most beloved species, including the endangered red squirrel, the reclusive deer and the sharp-eyed peregrine falcon.  Fans of the feathered should head to Bempton Cliffs. This glorious portion of coastline in the East Riding is protected by the RSPB due to the rare and exotic birds which, for a few months of the year, call the chalk cliffs home. Expect to see puffins, kittiwakes and gannets putting on an exhilarating aerial display- just don’t forget the camera!

Yorkshire’s Good Old Days

River Derwent at Stamford Bridge

Via Flickr

Whether being conquered by the Romans, ravaged by the Vikings or harried by the Normans, no one can deny that Yorkshire’s been through the mill a bit over the past millennia. But for us modern folk, that’s good news, because all that scrapping has left lots to be discovered in this historic county. If you’re looking to frighten the kids with a tale of bloodshed, head to Stamford Bridge. This historic village in East Yorkshire was the site of the Battle of Stamford Bridge, thought to be the one of the most brutal battles that the Vikings waged on English soil.

Rainy Days in Yorkshire

The Deep

Via Flickr

Whatever time of year you choose to visit Yorkshire, you’d be wise to expect some of the wet stuff. Luckily, Yorkshire boasts a plethora of great indoor attractions, so you won’t be stuck for ideas when the heavens open. One of Yorkshire’s favourite retreats on a rainy is The Deep in Hull. This ‘Submarium’ holds over 2.5 million gallons of water and over 3,500 species of exotic fish, making it a fun and informative day out for the little ‘uns. But if fish aren’t your thing, pay a visit to Ripley castle in Harrogate, where you’ll find over 700 years of enthralling Yorkshire history just waiting to be discovered.

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.

Sunday Snapshots: Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire

Sunday, February 17th, 2013
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Today’s Sunday Snapshot comes from the National Trust property, Fountains Abbey, near Ripon in North Yorkshire. Pictures like this coupled with the milder temperatures really make me feel like spring is on its way! If you’re looking for inspiration for half term activities, why not stick on your wellies and spot some snowdrops on a woodland walk with the whole family. Check out the National Trust page for the best places to see snowdrops in full bloom across the UK.



The Sykes Cottages Guide To Filey

Friday, May 11th, 2012
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A wide sweep of golden, sandy beach has been attracting holidaymakers to the traditional British seaside resort of Filey for generations, from its Edwardian heyday, through the Butlins era of mass tourism and still today Filey’s popularity endures. The golden crescent of sand; the wide, shallow bay and the promenade, with its lush gardens, traditional bandstand and Sculpture Trail are perfect ingredients for a family cottage holiday by the sea.


Why is Whitby So Popular?

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
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A picturesque English seaside resort at the mouth of the river Esk, Whitby is the jewel of the North Yorks coastline; an ancient and pretty town refreshingly unspoilt by the types of development frequently associated with British coastal resorts. Whitby successfully retains a sense of its long and rich history in its ancient inns, churches, the market place and the clusters of elegant houses clinging to the cliffs; an enduring legacy of the wealthy ship owners who made the port their home during the town’s maritime heyday. Whitby’s proximity to both the quaint and charming fishing villages and larger resorts of the stunning North Yorks coast and to the tranquil and unspoilt beauty of the North Yorks Moor National Park make it a consistently popular choice for a Yorkshire coast holiday cottage stay.

One of Whitby’s most famous landmarks stands high on the cliff top dominating the town; here, in the churchyard of St. Mary’s Abbey, Bram Stoker found the inspiration on which to base his famous novel, Dracula. The Dracula Experience, with life-like models and recreations, special effects, and memorabilia from the Dracula films is popular with holidaymakers. A visit here can be followed up with a guided walking tour of the darker corners of the town, following the Whitby Dracula trail. But the best-selling story of this most well known of vampires is far from the town’s only claim to fame. Captain James Cook was a local seaman who set sail from the port of Whitby to change the course of history, and his extraordinary journeys, as well as his life and times, are well chronicled in two of the town’s best museums, the Whitby Museum and, more extensively, at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, the latter set in the explorer’s former home in Grape Lane. On an altogether different theme, another popular place to visit is The Whitby Wizard on the town’s West Cliff; an innovative and quirky interactive science exhibition quite unlike any other, which will keep both younger and older visitors intrigued and entertained far beyond the duration their visit.

The Sykes Cottages Guide To Grosmont

Friday, January 13th, 2012
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Picturesque Grosmont is a small rural community set amongst the rolling farmland of the Esk valley, within the North York Moors National Park. Many visitors on a cottage holiday discover Grosmont whilst enjoying a steam train trip on the famous North Yorkshire Steam Railway, which stops here en-route from Pickering. The station is a loving recreation of the 1950’s era in rail travel, complete with a fifties-themed tea room for refreshments.