Archive for the ‘Travel Tips’ Category

Safe Swimming in South Wales

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015
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On a hot summer’s day there is nothing better than escaping the uncomfortable heat by submerging yourself in cold, clear water. South Wales is one of the best locations in the UK for this with plenty of wild swimming spots available throughout the region. If you’re planning a trip to South Wales this year then why not try out one of the local swimming spots? The following areas are great for safe swimming and with plenty of space and beautiful scenery, you’re sure to enjoy a dip in these Welsh waters.

Broad Haven Beach

Broad Haven is a beach famed for its long stretch of sand and beautiful views across St Brides Bay but did you know that it’s also a fantastic place to take a dip? With shallow waters and a lifeguard on patrol between June 20th and September 6th, this is a wonderful location for a spot of safe swimming. Older children can spend their afternoons splashing about in the calm waters as the younger kids explore one of the many rock pools, leaving the adults free to relax on the sand and enjoy the fantastic Welsh scenery.

The River Usk

Located in the Brecon Beacons National Park, the River Usk is one of Wales’ most charming rivers with beautiful scenery, an abundance of wildlife and plenty of opportunities for wild swimming. Some of our favourite areas for safe swimming along the River Usk include the two secluded pools at Llangynidr, which offer a perfect escape from everyday life with their picturesque country setting and smooth, flat red rocks; and the island picnic site, just outside the town of Usk, which is great for those looking for a gentler pace with the waters running deep under the old railway bridge.

Barafundle Bay

Barafundle Bay could be Wales’ prettiest beach; with its crystal clear waters, golden sands, lovely dunes and captivating woodland, this stretch of coast is perfect for the holiday scrap book. Make your way over the dunes and down towards the water for a truly relaxing swim amongst the waves and if you’re feeling a little lonely why not bring Rover along? With dogs welcome on the beach all year round, this is the perfect area for safe swimming with the dog, just make sure your dog is comfortable in the water and a good swimmer!

The River Wye

Snaking its way through the British countryside for 215 kilometres and forming part of the border between Wales and England, the River Wye is the UK’s fifth longest river and as such offers many great areas for safe swimming. One of our favourite locations along the River Wye can be found in Pen-doll Rocks near Builth Wells in Powys. This exciting stretch of the River Wye laps through the rocky gorge before making its way downstream to the white sandy bays. The rocky cliff area is more suited to strong, experienced swimmers but the sandy bays are perfect for all skill sets.

If we’ve left you craving a holiday to South Wales where you can explore all these swim locations for yourself then why not check out our South Wales cottages? Full of character and charm, these properties are perfect for drying off and relaxing in front of the fire after a busy day swimming and exploring the local area.

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Nicole Jones-Gerrard

By Nicole Jones-Gerrard

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 husband.

Britain’s Best Coastal Views

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
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In the UK, we’re incredibly lucky to be blessed with an abundance of stunning sea views; there’s no denying that as an island nation, our views are hard to beat.  So if you’re in need of a pick-me-up this Wednesday evening, grab a brew and settle down to discover Britain’s top 10 coastal views.

Seven Sisters, East Sussex

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Durdle Door, Dorset

Antony Gormley’s Another Place, Merseyside

Three Cliffs Bay, Gower

Lundy Island, Devon

Seilebost, Outer Hebrides

St Ives Harbour, Cornwall

Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire

Robin Hood's Bay

Robin Hood’s Bay

Neist Point, Isle of Skye

If our blog on Britain’s best coastal views has whet your appetite for a seaside holiday in the UK then make sure you visit our page on coastal holiday cottages, there are plenty of incredible views out there for you to explore!

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Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Choose a Holiday Cottage for your next Sporting Event

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
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If you participate in sports, you’ll probably be used to travelling the length and breadth of the country for various events and tournaments. Frequently, these can be far from home and finding somewhere to stay can be a bit of a nightmare! Well, we at Sykes Cottages may be able to help; read on to discover five reasons why booking a self catering holiday cottage is perfect when you’re taking part in a sporting event.

Have a Bath to Soothe those Muscles

Bathroom The Malthouse

The Malthouse in Cromford, The Peak District

Be sure that there is a bath where you can relax after your event by booking a holiday cottage with a bath. Showers are great for quick fixes before heading out, but if there’s one thing you deserve after your event it’s a relaxing bath to help soothe your muscles. Why not really treat yourself by booking one of our cottages with a spa bath?

Have Space for Your Equipment

If your sport of choice means you must carry a selection of equipment with you, then a holiday cottage is ideal. Being much larger than a standard hotel room, where space is often at a premium, there will be plenty of space for your equipment and you can rest assured that it will be safe.

Cook your Own Meals

East Gable

East Gable located in Gatehouse of Fleet, Scotland

You don’t want to ruin all that training by falling at the last hurdle on your diet. Every one of our self catering holiday cottages have a kitchen and dining space including all of the utensils and pots you could need, so you can whip up a recovery meal post-workout and keep to that regime whilst you’re away!

Enjoy your Holiday Right Away

23 Clock Tower Court

23 Clock Tower Court in Charlestown, Cornwall

You’ve been training for months; you deserve to spend some time away getting a bit of rest and relaxation! By booking a holiday cottage, you can begin your holiday straight after the sporting event without having to travel elsewhere.

Bring the Whole Family Along

Bring all the family

Beechcroft in North Molton, Devon

Every sports star needs their cheerleaders but sometimes, if an event is quite far away, it can be difficult for everyone to be able to come along due to costs and space! Luckily, when booking a holiday cottage, everyone will have somewhere to stay and be able to cheer you on. Get that for support!

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Try a Real Ale Trail this Father’s Day

Monday, June 15th, 2015
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Not only is it National Beer Day today but we’ve got Father’s Day just around the corner from us! So here at Sykes HQ, we thought it was only sensible to try and combine to two and come up with the perfect gift for all of those beer aficionado dads out there and settled on the Real Ale Trail! After all, what better way is there to spend a sunny afternoon than journeying between a selection of delightful country pubs and sampling some locally brewed real ales along the way? So if you’re still struggling to think of what to do this Father’s Day, take a look and see if we can tempt you into trying a Real Ale Trail!

The Tarka Rail Ale Trail

When it comes to a real ale trail, you can’t do much better than the Tarka Rail Ale Trail! This popular route goes along the famous Tarka railway line running between Barnstaple and Exeter in Devon, and features the possibility of enjoying a tipple in up to nine stop-offs – you can even stretch it out to eighteen pubs if you visit every single one on the route, so you might want to spread it out over a few days!  Off peak day return tickets from Barnstaple through to Exeter prove to be the best value for money when it comes to making your way along the line and if you manage to collect ten stamps, you’ll be able to claim your Tarka Rail Ale Trail t-shirt!

Transpennine Real Ale Trail

Alternatively, you could head up north and try out some of the best local ale pubs that Lancashire and Yorkshire have to offer with a trip on the Transpennine Real Ale Trail. Featuring on the BBC’s Oz and James Drink to Britain back in 2009, the trail starts off in the town of Stalybridge and runs all the way through to Batley in West Yorkshire. Along the trail, you’ll be able to enjoy a drink in one of the few remaining Victorian Station Buffet Bars, in amongst some quaint country pubs such as The West Riding in Dewsbury and Marsden’s Riverhead Brewery Tap and Dining Room.

But don’t forget these are just a couple of the fantastic real ale trails scattered all over the country so there’s no need to worry if you’re not in the area. Or if you wanted, you could even plot out your own trail by using CAMRA’s What Pub guide to track down the best establishments around. And one final option, if you feel like really spoiling Dad this year, would be to take a look at our wide range of holiday cottages near to pubs so you can enjoy a relaxing break and a couple of pints together!

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Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.

Where to find the most beautiful beaches in Ireland

Monday, June 15th, 2015
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Ireland’s coastline is home to some truly spectacular beaches but it seems many people living in the UK are still to learn about their charms. A huge 50% of adults polled in our latest research said they didn’t know where to find the most beautiful beaches on Ireland’s 7,500km of coastline.

The beaches of County Kerry came out top overall with a narrow lead, followed closely by County Donegal and County Cork. Explore some of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches in the infographic below.


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