Archive for the ‘Summer Holidays’ Category

Get Away in the Summer Sun

Friday, July 19th, 2013
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The last thing that anyone wants to do is wish away the summer. Summer holidays are all about long, lazy days filled with ice cream and sunshine, and maybe a little time on the beach if you’re lucky. Here at Sykes Cottages were making the most of the recent heat with picnic lunches in the nearby park and icy treats in the office.


What better way to make the most of the remaining summer than to get away to a beautiful cottage with the family and be reminded of everything that is great about the summer. August is just around the corner, with this years August bank holiday falling on Monday the 25th, and we have lots of cottages still available throughout the month to enjoy. View our full selection of holiday cottages available in August.

A beach on the Gower - S. Wales

Via. Flickr

Since the gorgeous weather set in across the UK and Ireland we have been extremely busy here at Sykes Cottages HQ trying our best to find cottages for everyone wanting to make the most of the sun. Sometimes it can be hard to meet everyone’s requirements, but we try our best and more often than not we’re successful. That being said, we have a few tips for those of you who are looking to book a cottage last minute.

Tips for Booking a Last Minute Summer Holiday

  1. Be Flexible – the more flexible you are with your dates and areas the better chance we have of finding the perfect cottage for you.
  2. Be Patient – If the sun is shining outside and you’ve decided to get away, the chances are that thousands of others have had the same idea. We respond to emails and messages as quickly as we can, so don’t worry, we will get back to you.
  3. Plan Ahead – The further in advance that you can contact us the better. Want to go away for the coming weekend? If you call us on Monday we’ll have more options than will be available by Friday.


With all that being said, never hesitate to get in touch no matter how last minute your plans. We are always here to help and we there is nothing that we like better than a challenge! Give us a call on 01244 356 695 to speak to one of our friendly holiday cottage advisors, send an email to, or make a reservation completely online via

Choose an action-packed summer holiday!

Friday, June 28th, 2013
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Adrenaline junkies of the United Kingdom rejoice! With the UK now rivalling far-flung destinations for exciting, adrenaline activities, choosing a holiday closer to home no longer means compromising on your days out! Whether you’re a water baby or prefer to stay on dry land, you’ll be spoilt for choice while you’re on holiday and here’s our pick of the best…
Cornish Microadventure

Coasteering in Cornwall

If you’re planning a holiday to Cornwall this summer, chances are you’ll be planning to make the most of the breathtaking coastline.  The best way to experience Cornwall is from the water so head to the beautiful Widemouth Bay beach in Bude where Outdoor Adventure offer both surf lessons and coasteering.  Where better to learn the ever-cool sport of surfing than in Cornwall where it really took off in the UK?  Coasteering is one of the newest action sports to hit the Cornish coast and allows you to visit some of the most picturesque spots on the coastline.  Look forward to scrambling up the cliffs, jumping into the turquoise water below as you explore completely unspoilt sections of the coast; come rain or shine this is an activity not to be missed!

Head for heights at Honister

For those with a head for heights, Honister Slate Mine in Keswick offers a challenge like no other.  There are more than 900 years of history to discover in this corner of the Lake District with slate first being mined here during Roman times.  The Via Ferrata allows visitors to trace the steps taken by miners at Honister through a combination of vertical climbs, cliff edge ladders and rope bridges.  Once you’ve clambered to the top of the mountain, heart pounding, you’ll be treated to the best views the Lake District has to offer.  Regularly topping the best attraction lists in the UK, you’ll climb seven times as high as Big Ben.
Mine entrance

Tubing in North Wales

The pretty town of Llangollen in North Wales, which forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the start of a white water tubing adventure, the latest extreme sport to arrive in Wales.  From sections which resemble the lazy river at exotic water parks to white rapid waters which leave you breathless, this adrenaline activity will certainly keep you guessing as you navigate the River Dee.  Don a wetsuit and grab a giant inflatable ring and set off down the four kilometre stretch of river rapids; fun guaranteed!
Dee Bridge.
Fancy an action-packed adventure in the UK?  Look no further than Sykes Cottages’ selection of self-catering holiday cottages across the UK and Ireland.  You’ll find cottages ideally located to get your heart racing and test your nerve this summer!  Why not visit our website or give our holiday cottage advisors a call to start planning your summer break.

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!

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

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!


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.