Archive for the ‘School Holidays’ Category

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?

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Celebrate New Year in a cosy cottage

Friday, December 14th, 2012
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With the end of 2012 nearly upon us, most people will be planning their New Year’s Eve parties. So how will you be celebrating the start of 2013? Why not spend a few days in a cosy cottage in the UK for a memorable way to see in the New Year?


Perfect party pads

Our holiday cottages make the ideal spot for a big New Year get together with family or friends.  Choose one of our large, self-catering holiday properties to accommodate the whole of your party in comfort.  Why not choose a cottage with a cinema room to watch Big Ben strike midnight in luxury?  Or, how about a cottage with plenty of space to party the night away in style?  You could even choose one of our cottages with a private chef to make your celebrations even more special!  With special New Year prices available at many of our cottages, split the cost of a great-value holiday cottage for an affordable way to round off the festive season!
Big Ben

Stylish, low-key celebrations

One of our holiday cottages is also a great option if you just want to celebrate 2013 with that special someone.  Find a cosy cottage and see in the New Year in luxurious surroundings with a glass of champagne and some excellent locally-produced food.  If you’re staying in Scotland, get into the Hogmanay spirit with some delicious smoked salmon or perhaps a cheese board which is second to none if you’re celebrating in Shropshire or Somerset.


Kick start 2013

If you wake up on January 1st with a sore head, make the most of your excellent location and head outside for a bracing walk.  Explore Northumberland’s gorgeous Heritage Coast, the South West Coast Path in Cornwall or the Pennine Way in the Yorkshire Dales to blow away those cobwebs.  Not only will you return to your holiday cottage feeling better but a brisk walk is also the perfect way to kick start your New Year fitness regime!
New Years Day on Sand Bay


All of our New Year cottages are being booked up fast, so if you do want to get away for a few days, be sure to book soon.  View all of our cottages online or call the expert reservations team until 9.30pm, seven days a week for help finding your perfect property.


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Get ahead for 2013! Book your summer holiday accommodation soon.

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
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It’s that time of year when Christmas cards and mince pies fill the shops and everyone is gearing up for the holiday season! While the summer holidays of 2013 might seem a long way in the dim and distant future, the run-up to Christmas is the best time to book a self-catering cottage for next year’s summer holiday.

Get your first choice

If you’re planning a big family holiday next summer or want to stay in a particular cottage, booking well in advance is a good way to avoid disappointment and you get your number one holiday cottage.  Our holiday cottages with swimming pools are great family favourites and always sell out quickly!  Once you’ve secured your holiday cottage for your required dates, you can all start getting excited about the holiday and plan what to do while you’re away.  Planning ahead of time is also a great way to avoid last minute panic next summer and means you can book your time off from work before the rush!

Choose a cottage with a fantastic swimming pool!

Choose a cottage with a fantastic swimming pool!


A great holiday in the UK

If you choose a ‘staycation’ in the UK for your summer holiday next year, you won’t just be spoilt for choice with our fantastic holiday cottages but also with things to do.  Try Cornwall for a traditional beach holiday, fantastic surfing and plenty to keep children of all ages occupied throughout the summer.  Or how about Northumberland for stunning scenery, the home of Harry Potter at Alnwick Castle and wonderful seaside resorts?  A North Wales cottage is another fantastic choice for a family break; travel to Anglesey or even Dublin for the day, explore the unique Italianate village of Portmeirion or conquer Mount Snowdon.  The choice is yours but wherever you decide to travel in the UK, you’re sure to have a memorable family holiday.

Alnwick castle

Our friendly reservations team are already helping lots of people book their holidays for next summer with some of the biggest properties booking up fast.  January is one of the busiest times at Sykes Cottages so booking in December is a great idea.  With only a 30% deposit plus the booking fee to pay at the time of booking your holiday, planning your holiday so far in advance is an affordable choice, even at Christmas!  Why not give one of the team a call today and start planning your summer holiday for 2013?

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Festive Fun but Don’t Delay! Book your Christmas Cottage Today!

Thursday, November 8th, 2012
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Now the nights are drawing in and Christmas cards are ten-a-penny in all the shops, thoughts turn to where to spend the festive season.  Although Christmas is now less than seven weeks away, the good news is that there’s still time to book a cosy cottage for a short break with your nearest and dearest.  A Christmas holiday cottage offers you the ultimate in relaxation; most cottages will be tastefully decorated on arrival so all you have to do is enjoy!  There’ll be no arguments about whose turn it is to untangle the fairy lights this year!  For even less stress why not arrange for your groceries to be delivered a few hours after you arrive to save you hunting for the local shop?  Once you’ve settled in, all you have to do is listen out for the sleigh bells and wait for a visit from Father Christmas himself.  Don’t forget to leave him a mince pie and a carrot for Rudolph before you go up to bed.  Cook up a turkey with all the trimmings in the well-appointed kitchen for a traditional British celebration.  After your festive feast, there’ll be more than enough people to volunteer for the dishes so all you have to do is pick which chair is best for an afternoon snooze in front of the fire!

o christmas tree

New Year is traditionally a time when big groups of friends get together to celebrate the end of the year in style.  And what a year 2012 has been; the Diamond Jubilee, a first British winner of the Tour de France and Olympic glory are just some of the highlights to savour.  So what better time to find a New Year holiday cottage to rent to welcome 2013 in style.  We also specialise in large cottages so you’re certain to find a property which will accommodate your party in ultimate comfort.  Pack up the car with your favourite food and drink and meet up with your friends or family for a cracking New Year party.  With no ‘last orders’ you can carry on the party for as long as you want to!

After the fun and excesses of New Year’s Eve, January 1st is a great time to lace up those walking boots and head out into the countryside for some fresh air.  What better time than this to kick start your fitness regime than with a bracing walk across the fields?  Your cottage may also be within easy reach of one of the popular New Year’s Day swims like Saundersfoot beach in Pembrokeshire or Whitley Bay in Northumberland.  Plunging into the icy water to celebrate the New Year is definitely not for the faint hearted but don’t worry, it’s just as enjoyable watching from the shore!  However you choose to spend New Year’s Day, it’s certainly guaranteed to blow the cobwebs away!

Walk in the snow

More importantly, spending time with friends and loved ones in a holiday cottage during the festive period will leave you with fantastic memories for years to come.  As the countdown to the festivities continues, cottages are being booked up fast so book soon to make sure you don’t miss out!

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Autumn Ideas for this October Half Term

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
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There are few better ways to enjoy the crisp autumn weather than to get out on a woodland walk in some of the UK’s most beautiful wooded areas. You don’t have to head to North America or Europe to enjoy all the beauty that autumn brings, you can enjoy it right here in the UK, either on a day trip from home or a longer getaway to some of this country’s more wild and windswept locales.

The New Forest

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that a place with ‘forest’ right in the name is a great location for an woodland walk. The New Forest is one of England’s most important ecological sites, filled with unique flora and fauna. Some of the most amazing of the New Forest’s residents is the New Forest pony, European polecats, otters, as well as all three British snake species. Want to take a walk with a purpose? Why not sign up for a fungi walk and learn how to forage for your own local mushrooms. Find the perfect cottage in the New Forest for your holiday.

Snowdonia National Park

Llyn Ogwen, Snowdonia

via. Flickr

If you’re still looking for something fun for the family to do over the October half-term holidays, why not head to Wales’ beautiful Snowdonia National Park and spend the holidays exploring all the magic that the park holds. If you are a family of walkers you will be spoilt for choice with all of the trails that are available. No matter what you’re level of experience there is sure to be a trail for you. If you don’t fancy the walk, why not take the old-fashioned steam train to the top of majestic Mount Snowdon? You can take in all of the beauty of the surroundings without subjecting yourself to hours of hard walking getting to the top! Find a last minute cottage in Wales today.

The Lake District

Ennerdale, Lake district

via. Flickr

There are few places in the UK that are more beautiful in the autumn than the Lake District, one of England’s most treasured natural landscapes. One of the best parts about the Lake District is that you don’t have to be a seasoned hiker to enjoy some of the most beautiful views in the country as many are easily accessible by those of us who don’t spend every weekend walking. Go Lakes, the areas official tourism authority, has compiled a great list of nano-walks, or what they describe as “little hikes with big views“, which are well worth considering if you’re heading to the Lake District. Discover why the Lake District is one of the most beloved parts of the country on a Lake District autumn cottage holiday.

Sykes Cottages still have a great selection of holiday cottages that are available for last minute half term holidays, so don’t worry if you haven’t planned your autumn vacation yet. Just head over to our last minute cottages page and spend your time discovering the beauty of the UK’s very own wild spaces.

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