Archive for the ‘Summer Holidays’ Category

Celebrating the Summer Solstice in the UK

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
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This coming Friday, 21 June, is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Over Thursday night and into Friday morning there will be more hours of daylight than any other time of the year, and this, in my opinion, is something worth celebrating!

For millennia the peoples of the British Isles have been marking the Summer Solstice with a variety of events, from the mysterious magic of the  Druids, to the more modern festivals of today, always feeling the need to celebrate this once-annual celestial occurrence with pomp and circumstance. This year is no different from others, with events being held throughout the country to mark the occasion.

Dancing with the Druids at Stonehenge

The most famous of Solstice haunts in the UK, and probably the world, has to be Stonehenge in Somerset. This mysterious standing stone circle is believed to have been built specifically for marking the solstice, and it is only early on the summer solstice morning that the sun lines up perfectly with the surrounding stones and the first rays of sun shine through the stone archway in the centre circle.

The occasion is undoubtedly marked differently today than it was by the Druids of old, but it remains an important ancient site for those who venture to its heart to mark the summer solstice. Here you’ll find a motley crew of thousands all wanting to watch the sun rise at this most auspicious of locations and celebrate the occasion in their own way, with everything from drumming, dancing, singing, chanting, fires, and pretty much everything in between!

Get Fired up for the Solstice in Scotland

If you’re looking for something a little more low-key and involving fewer people dressed up as Druids than you might want to head to Brodick Castle, Garden & Country Park on the Isle of Arran in Scotland. At this grand red sandstone Scottish baronial-style castle they will be celebrating the solstice on Friday 21st June with wildlife walks and a giant bonfire.

Spaces are limited so make sure you book in advance, visit Brodick Castle on the National Trust for Scotland website for more information.

Step Back in Time with Megalithic Walks in Wales

If you already have plans for this weekend, you can still get involved in some megalith-love later this summer on a prehistoric walk in South Wales. Volunteers from the Megalithic Portal Society will be directing visitors on a number of walks around Rhossili, Gower, on Saturday 20th July and Sunday 21st July where there are many prehistoric sites to visit. The walks are of varying lengths and types and additional activities will be added, depending on the weather. No advanced booking is needed, just head to the main car park in Rhossili between 10am and 6pm ready to walk!

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Enjoy a holiday at a UK music festival this summer

Monday, June 3rd, 2013
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Whether you missed out on Glastonbury tickets this year or simply don’t fancy listening to live music while squelching around in your wellies with thousands of fellow music lovers, why not consider one of the UK’s smaller music festivals? With such a great choice of music festival in the UK, you’re guaranteed to find something meeting your taste and budget. Here’s our pick of the best…

Greenman Festival

Belladrum Tartan Festival, Inverness-shire

If you’re thinking f choosing Scotland for this year’s getaway, your itinerary should definitely include the Belladrum Festival in Beauly, Inverness-shire.  Taking place on the first weekend in August, Belladrum is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a diverse line up of artists including Seasick Steve, Twin Atlantic and last year’s X Factor-favourite, Lucy Spraggan.  Tickets are available for the Saturday or the whole weekend with children under 12 getting in free; what’s not to love?

Belladrum Festival

Eden Sessions, St Austell

2013 sees one of Cornwall’s most popular tourist attractions play host to a series of comedy and love music gigs throughout June and July.  This year’s line up includes popular artists like Jessie J, Eddie Izzard and the Kaiser Chiefs along with a selection of local bands ensuring something for everyone.  The impressive Mediterranean Biome is the backdrop for a number of the performances so you’ll be rocking out alongside delicate flowers from South Africa, huge cork trees and twisting vines.  Even better, the ticket price includes entry to the Eden Project for the day after the gig meaning you can look forward to exploring this little bit of paradise in Cornwall.  if you’re planning a trip to Eden this summer, take a look at our holiday cottages in Cornwall; we’re convinced you’ll find something perfect for your next break!

Eden Project, Cornwall, April 2011

Grassington Festival, North Yorkshire

In just under two week’s time, the 33rd edition of the Grassington Festival will take place.  Starting on the 14th June, there are 15 days of music and arts in the gorgeous setting of the Yorkshire Dales.  There are numerous things to enjoy throughout the festival including music from Jools Holland and comedy from Jack Dee.  You can forget about over-priced festival tickets at Grassington where there are many free events including street festival and kite making workshops.  This is definitely one for families with a fun and laidback vibe for festival goers of all ages.  If you’re tempted to make the most of the festival, why not browse our Grassington cottages to find the perfect holiday cottage for your trip to North Yorkshire.

Grassington Bridge

Greenman, Brecon Beacons

Located in the glorious Black Mountains in Wales, the Greenman festival offers four days of music and arts in mid August.  The festival offers entertainment 24 hours a day across ten venues with dedicated areas for younger festival goers and those looking to relax with a spa treatment.  Ben Howard is one of this year’s major draws with plenty of other musical entertainment for all tastes.  Laugh until your sides ache at Josh Widdicombe’s gig or make your mark at the Great British Printing Bee.  If camping’s not really your thing, take a look at our Brecon Beacons cottages where you’re bound to find great accommodation.

Green Man

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Top tips for booking a last minute summer holiday

Friday, August 10th, 2012
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Haven’t booked a summer holiday yet? It’s time to book a last minute break!

It’s that time of year again, we are more than halfway through the school holidays and the weather across most of the UK is absolutely beautiful. If you haven’t got a holiday booked yet but you would like to get away before the children go back to school then we have the perfect solution – a last minute break from Sykes Cottages.

Lowen Penty, Cornwall

Lowen Penty, Cornwall

Searching for a last minute deal, especially one during the school holidays, can end up being difficult and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are our handy tips for booking a last minute break during the school holidays.

Be Flexible

Granary Cottage, Devon

Granary Cottage, Devon

To get the very best holiday, especially when you are booking last minute, means that you need to be flexible and open to new ideas. Booking last minute is a great opportunity to try something new, like visiting a new area or staying in a different style of property. The key is keeping an open mind!

Get together with family and friends

Wood Farm, Norfolk

Wood Farm, Norfolk

Some of our largest properties are available to book last minute. If you are going on holiday with the family but struggling to find a property then why not club together with family or friends who are also looking for a summer break and book a larger cottage?

Sign up to our twitter and facebook pages

This is where we advertise some of our best deals and late availability cottages. To make sure that you don’t miss out, follow us on twitter and become our friend on facebook.

Ask for help

East Cottage, Shropshire

East Cottage, Shropshire

Our friendly holiday cottage advisors are here ready to help you book the perfect holiday. Let them help you by giving them a call, or let us call you!

Act quickly!

Once you have seen a holiday cottage that you want to book don’t hang around! Late availability cottages can sell out very quickly!

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By Charlotte Stamper

Charlotte's love of the UK started as a child, with frequent trips to the North Wales, the Lake District and Scotland. In her spare time she enjoys walking and last year completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. Her favourite place is the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno in North Wales.

Don’t Delay, Start Planning Your Summer Holiday Today

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
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With the school year coming to a close many families are beginning to plan their summer adventures. More and more families are choosing to spend their precious holiday time right here at home, and why shouldn’t they?!  This summer is set to be one of the best for events in the UK, with Diamond Jubilee events continuing throughout the year and the summer Olympics kicking off in just a matter of days.

The Barn - Withiel Near Wadebridge

The Barn – Withiel Near Wadebridge, Cornwall

Visit England, the national tourist board for England, predicts that self-catering cottage holidays will continue to be popular throughout 2012, with bookings of such properties steadily rising since 2010. Here at Sykes Cottages we are expecting next week to be one of the busiest periods for our reservations team. It will be all hands on deck to make sure that all of your telephone calls and emails are answered as quickly as possible!

Wood Farm

Wood Farm – Bawdeswell Near Dereham, Norfolk

If you are planning to spend your holidays in the UK this summer then you should start making your accommodation choices sooner rather than later. There are still lots of great holiday cottages with availability through the summer, but they might not last long. You can start checking cottage availability right away, just head to our homepage and start browsing.

Oaktree Cottage

Oaktree Cottage – Broadwoodkelly Near Winkleigh, Devon

The Sykes Cottages website is simple to use and you can choose a cottage, reserve it, and make the payments all online. No fuss, no muss. If you don’t feel comfortable searching for a cottage yourself, don’t worry, our friendly reservations team are always ready to help. Give the team a call anytime between 9am and 9:30pm GMT and they will be happy to help find the perfect holiday cottage for you and your family.

Stay up to date with all of our special offers by joining us on Facebook or following us on Twitter.

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So many reasons to stay in the UK this summer!

Friday, July 20th, 2012
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So, schools out for summer! Six whole weeks of holidays lie ahead of the nation’s school children. But talking to mums outside the school gates, so many people are still to book a summer holiday. Forget staying at home, tearing your hair out with the kids; why not book a holiday in the UK?

There has been so much talk in recent years about the great British staycation, but forget the cliché, more and more people are choosing to stay in the UK for their summer holidays, not because they have to but because they want to. There is still availability for self-catering cottage breaks during the summer holidays so take your pick from the beauty of the Lake District to the wild Highlands of Scotland or the serene coast of Cornwall and Devon. Never mind passports, airports and jabs, holidaying in the UK is the simplest and best type of trip that you can have.

Staying in a Sykes holiday cottage is the perfect balance of keeping the cost of your family holiday down but also enjoying a touch of luxury and comfort at the same time. Plus if the weather isn’t good then a holiday cottage is a lovely place to retreat to, light the fire and relax for the evening. If you feel like pushing the boat out then there are some great family cottages with swimming pools, games rooms and hot tubs, all sure to be winners with the kids. You are on holiday after all!

So many British people have seen surprisingly little of the UK, myself included, that in recent years I have made it my mission to see more of what wonders the UK has to offer. In the last year I have visited the Cotswolds, Yorkshire and the Lake District and there really are so many cottages to choose from. The hardest part is deciding where next!

This video from Visit Britain demonstrates why the UK is such a great holiday destination. Why not search our website for holiday cottages available in the school holidays?

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By Charlotte Stamper

Charlotte's love of the UK started as a child, with frequent trips to the North Wales, the Lake District and Scotland. In her spare time she enjoys walking and last year completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. Her favourite place is the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno in North Wales.