Archive for the ‘School Holidays’ Category

Freaky Family Fun this Autumn!

Thursday, October 24th, 2013
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Spine-chilling winds, misty streets and the orange glow from the jack-o-lanterns; that’s right, Halloween is almost upon us and here at Sykes Cottages we are ready to release our inner child, hit the streets and fill up on sweet treats! Halloween is an occasion that the whole family can get involved in, from your old zombie dad to your witchy mum; even cousin Itt will be joining in on the festive fun! To celebrate this hair-raising holiday we’ve come up with a spectacular selection of family attractions to visit this October half term.

Pennywell Farms Jollyween

Windmill + scare crow

Via. Flickr

Take the trick out of Halloween this year and enjoy the treat with Pennywell Farm. During this October half-term your family can enjoy all the fun of Halloween in a carefree and furry environment! Pennywell Farm are offering a vast selection of activities to keep the kids entertained, from fancy dress competitions to craft activities; there’s even a flying-pig race! The week’s main attraction can be found at the Pennywell Theatre on October 31st when Batty Bat and her friends take part in an all singing all dancing production, which is sure to delight young children who may find the late night antics a little too scary.

Twinlakes Family Scream Park

Halloween Pumpkin Patch 2012

Via. Flickr

Twinlakes in Leicestershire offers a fantastic Halloween experience that was voted the UK’s best Daytime Halloween Attraction at the Scare Awards in 2011. You can join in the Halloween happenings at Twinlakes from the 19th of October until the 1st of November and be dazzled by the scary treats that they have on offer. There is a straw bale maze, a ‘not-so-scary’ tale in the farmhouse of fear and creepy creatures that are sure to make Mum’s skin crawl! The park has grown 20,000 free pumpkins which are waiting to be carved up or painted into ghosts and ghouls, making this scream park a frightfully fun day out for the whole family!

The Crocky Horror show

Candy corn in a jar

Via. Flickr

The Crocky trail in Chester has come up with some ghastly activities sure to scare your socks off this Halloween! Dare to be brave and make your way through the Crocky dungeon where professional actors will shock and excite you. When you’ve fled the dungeons, you’ll be amazed by the wall of Death, a sensational motorbike stunt show with gravity-defying tricks. The horrific evening comes to a dramatic conclusion with a fantastic Fireworks display! The Fireworks will light up the sky on the last two days of the event, scaring the monsters away for another year!

Whether you’re looking for a horrifying evening full of all the things that go bump in the night or just want to barricade yourself in the house away from the onslaught of trick or treaters, we’ve a fabulous selection of holiday cottages for the October Half-term that will suit everyone’s needs. So go online or call our reservations team today and make this a half term the children will never forget.


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.

Last Minute Bookings for Summer 2013!

Monday, July 15th, 2013
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School’s out for summer! Well, nearly! If you haven’t planned your summer holiday for 2013, now is the time to make some plans for the school holidays. At Sykes Cottages, we still have a number of excellent holiday cottages throughout the UK and Ireland available during July and August.
Open Air Minack Theatre at Porthcurno West Cornwall Coast

Cottages for all types of holidays!

With a great selection of cottages located throughout the UK and Ireland to choose from, we’re sure that you’ll find just what you’re looking for.  To make the most of the fantastic weather, choose a coastal property in Devon or Cornwall where you’ll find never-ending activities on your doorstep and the beach just a pebble’s throw away.  Why not follow in Royal footsteps and head to Scotland for the summer, where you can look forward to breathtaking landscapes, historic castles and the Loch Ness Monster!  If you’re looking to get away with a large group of friends or family, fear not!  We still have a number of fantastic cottages sleeping as many as 20 people available in July and August so all you need to do is pack the buckets and spades!
Balmoral Castle

Plan your holiday with Sykes Cottages

Sit back, enjoy the sunshine and let us help you plan a holiday to remember.  We’ve been providing self-catering cottages for more than 25 years so you can trust us to help you find excellent holiday accommodation.  Our website lists all of our cottages, that’s more than 4,000 and counting, and it’s easy and quick to find out whether a particular is available for your holiday dates!  Alternatively, we also have a team of friendly and highly trained holiday cottage advisors who can help you plan your next holiday in the UK.  Our call centre is open until 9.30pm, seven days a week and we’re waiting for your call!
Jubilee Phone Box - Kenn

It’s St Swithun’s Day!

Today, 15th July, also marks St Swithun’s day and the patron saint’s famous rhyme which is said to forecast the weather for the next few weeks to come…

St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun’s day if thou be fair
For forty days ‘twill rain nae mare

As I gaze out of the window here at Sykes HQ in Chester, all I can see is bright blue sky and sunshine-dappled trees and I hope that the next 40 days are just the same!

Book now for February Half Term!

Friday, February 1st, 2013
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While it may seem that the kids have only just gone back to school after the Christmas holidays, for most schools the February half term is just a couple of weeks away. If you haven’t made any plans yet, why not consider renting a holiday cottage for the whole week or even just a long weekend? We have cottages across the UK and Ireland so whether you want to revisit a favourite place or explore somewhere new, we’re sure to have a great cottage for you.


Family time

Family time


Find a cottage!

Booking a cottage for half term is a great excuse to spend some quality time together as a family; stick on your wellies and get out in the great outdoors or visit a popular attraction like the Anglesey Sea Zoo or Eden Project in Cornwall!  Choosing your cottage is half the fun; find a cottage with an indoor swimming pool or games room just in case the heavens open or a cottage on a working farm to get your hands dirty!  Find a cottage just a couple of hours drive from home to cut down shouts of “are we nearly there yet?” and get your holiday going as soon as you set off.  You could even choose a cottage big enough for a couple of families or the grandparents and enjoy a few days of fun with the whole family.


A perfect cottage for half term.

A perfect cottage for half term.


Where to go?

The world (or rather the UK and Ireland) is your oyster when it comes to choosing where to spend half term.  Cornwall is a great option for a family holiday any time of year; walk on the beach and build sandcastles, discover Cornwall’s mysterious past at the Museum of Witchcraft and enjoy a Cornish pasty or two.  The Lake District is another fantastic option with great watersports, the home of Peter Rabbit and numerous animal parks to explore.  Or, why not try a few days in Wales in the run up to St David’s Day?

Sandcastle and Toys Porthcressa Beach St Marys Scillies

What to do?

Keeping the whole family occupied can be quite a challenge, especially if your children are different ages.  Attractions the length and breadth of the country are re-opening after the winter break with special half term activities to keep everyone entertained.  Check out the National Trust website for inspiration if you’re children are little or consider planning more active days out like spending time at The Chill Factore if your children are older.  As Shrove Tuesday falls just a few days before half term is due to start why not have a pancake flipping contest?  Make up a batch of pancakes and see who can flip their pancake the highest number of times in a minute!

Eden Project (Cornwall, UK) 1

The great news is that we still have plenty of cottages available for the half term break so why not head to our website or give our friendly reservations team a call to find your perfect cottage?

Get ahead for 2013.

Thursday, December 27th, 2012
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Dark nights, dreary days and dreams of the summer. Although it seems like the summer holidays are months away, you’ll be packing your beach towels and swimming costume before you know it. January is one of the busiest times for bookings at Sykes Cottages so it makes sense to start thinking about your summer holidays now! The most popular properties always get booked up quickly; the early bird catches the worm as they say!

(00161) Paragleidio dros draeth Harlech - Paragliding over Harlech Beach

Here’s a taste of some of our most popular cottage holidays…


Large Cottages

Looking for somewhere big enough for all the family?  Choose one of our large properties which accommodate as many as 24 people making it the ideal location for a big reunion or special celebration with family or friends.  You might also be interested in one of our group properties; a number of cottages within yards of each other so each family can enjoy their privacy whilst being just next door for days out and meals together.  With group properties able to accommodate 36 people, there’s plenty of space for everyone!  Choosing a large property is a great way to get everyone together at Christmas and also make a unique wedding location.



Holiday Cottages with Swimming Pools

For hours of family fun for big kids and little kids alike, look no further than a holiday cottage with a swimming pool.  We have cottages with private pools, shared pools, indoor, outdoor, heated or unheated so you’re sure to find just the right place to make a splash.  As you’d expect our cottages with swimming pools are really popular during the summer holidays so it’s a great idea to book now and secure your favourite property.  Some of our swimming pool properties also have hot tubs, saunas or gyms so you can look forward to a great holiday.  Imagine relaxing by the pool with a good book on a sunny afternoon or waking up with quick dip before breakfast; heaven!


Choose a cottage with a luxurious swimming pool!

Choose a cottage with a luxurious swimming pool!


Five star cottages

Life in the lap of luxury could be yours with a luxury holiday cottage from Sykes.  Each of our properties is personally inspected and awarded a tick rating, similar to stars awarded by tourist boards.  You’ll be spoilt for choice with our great range of five tick properties especially as it’s much cheaper to stay in a luxurious self-catering cottage than in a five star hotel.  Look forward to state of the art kitchens, high end furnishings, sumptuous linens and towels and fancy technology.  Aspiring Lords of the manor can even choose a cottage with a private chef or butler to make the holiday even more special!


One of our five tick holiday cottages.

One of our five tick holiday cottages.


Time is ticking for the summer holidays! Why not browse our wonderful selection of holiday cottages across the UK and Ireland today to make sure you don’t miss out on your first choice!

Sykes’ Spotlight on Cornwall

Thursday, December 20th, 2012
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As you read this, you’re probably wrapped up nice and warm with a piping cup of tea in hand but it’s never too early to start thinking about next summer’s holiday. January is one of the busiest times at Sykes Cottages so it’s good to get in early if you’ve got a specific destination in mind.

If you’re thinking about a trip to the ever-popular holiday destination of Cornwall, why not read our guide for a bit of inspiration?


Beautiful Beaches

With more than 150 gorgeous beaches and over 250 miles of coastal path, it’s no wonder that tourists flock to Cornwall year after year.  Whether you’re looking for a quiet cove for a spot of sunbathing or the perfect location for sandcastle building, you won’t be disappointed in Cornwall.  Water babies will also struggle to find fault with the most south-western region of the UK with a variety of extreme sports on offer.  Newquay boasts some of Europe’s best surfing and welcomes boatloads of guests eager to tackle the Cornish waves every year.  If you’re a newcomer to a wetsuit, you couldn’t find a better place to learn with numerous instructors on hand.  Walk along the coastal path and you’ll be rewarded with some of the most spectacular views and excellent wildlife spotting opportunities; keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, seals and seabirds.  Pack up the whole family including the dog and choose a pet friendly cottage in Cornwall.
Cornwall Beach

Scrummy Food

No trip to Cornwall would be complete without sampling a Cornish pasty and a delicious cream tea but the region also boasts many other foodie treats.  As you’d expect from a region surrounded by sea, Cornwall’s restaurants are brimming with the freshest of seafood with mackerel and Fowey River Mussels a particular specialty.  If you’re looking for something a little bit different for your picnic lunch, try the Cornish Yarg, a cow’s milk cheese wrapped in nettles which leaves a unique pattern on the cheese’s surface.  Pick up the award-winning local produce and cook up a storm in your Cornish holiday cottage.
Cornish Yarg - cheese wrapped in nettles. Much better than it sounds!

Myth and Legend

Smuggling, witchcraft and the ancient language of Kernow combine to make Cornwall an intriguing place and certainly more than just beaches and pasties.  Venture inland and you’ll reach Bodmin Moor, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covering some 200 square miles, where it is said that a large cat-like beast roams the Moor.  If you’re feeling brave, try to track down the beast as you explore this beautiful area on foot.  For an equally scary day, The Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle boasts the largest collection of witch-related artefacts in the whole world and is a great choice whatever the weather.  For a feel of Cornwall’s maritime heritage, look no further than the annual Sea Shanty festival held in Falmouth in June.  With a variety of live music on offer, I defy you not to be tapping your toes and joining in before the night is over!


One of our fantastic Cornish cottages

One of our fantastic Cornish cottages

If this has got you thinking about booking a holiday to Cornwall, why not browse our Cornish cottages today?