Archive for the ‘United Kingdom’ Category

Travelling By Public Transport To Your Holiday Cottage

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
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Apparently getting there is half the fun. Here at Sykes, we hope that all of the fun happens at your cottage but still believe that travelling should be an enjoyable part of your time away. Whilst it may seem like the easiest way to travel to your holiday cottage is by car, here at Sykes we think that using public transport to travel to your holiday destination can be just as simple.  We have compiled a list of some of our favourite ways to travel to your UK holiday destination with no car keys in sight.

By Rail

Day 1: A train from Euston to Liverpool Lime St

Image via Flickr

With tracks reaching even the furthest corners of the UK, you will find that many of our cottage destinations can be reached by train. Not only is travelling by train usually quicker than by car, but the views are often  better; swapping the car for a train means swapping views of grey tarmac for views of rolling green hills and countryside. Browse our selection of properties that are close to a railway station.

By Ferry

Ferry turning

Image via Flickr

If you want to head a little further afield and across the water, then a ferry is the way to go. Whether you’re heading over to Ireland, or to the Isle of Wight you can take a ferry and not only travel, but get your holiday started. With many ferries now containing places to eat, bars and entertainment for the kids; the whole family can enjoy the journey.

By Bike

Bicycle

Image via Flickr

If you’re not heading too far away, like to feel the wind in your hair and have no problem with packing light, then travelling by bicycle to your holiday destination could be a great idea. With no transport timetables or road traffic to get in your way, cycling could be a great way to take away the usual stresses of travel. We have a choice of holiday cottages that are perfect for cyclers.

Stay in a Converted Carriage

If you never want your travel time to end or just want to spend your holiday in truly unique accommodation, staying in a converted railway carriage could be the way to go. Converted to a high standard, yet still having original features means that with this accommodation your holiday truly will be first class.

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.

UK Food Festivals This Autumn

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
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Here in the UK we’re a nation of food lovers. From the humble fry up to the time consuming roast dinner, we love our food. In recent years this love of food has manifested itself into the regular occurrence of food festivals around the regions. Often allowing festival goers the chance to taste the food on offer and attend cooking workshops, food festivals are a great day out for the whole family.The best part of a food festival is just that; the food, and if anything tickles your taste buds whilst you’re there you can make a purchase – perfect for enjoying at your holiday cottage.

Here at Sykes Cottages, we love our food and have compiled a list of some of the yummiest festivals coming up over the next few weeks.

Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival

Cornish Oysters

Photo via Flickr

26th-29th September

Definitely one for the fish fans! Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival, which takes place on the last weekend of September, is the world’s longest running Oyster festival. The festival plays host to a variety of events for everyone to enjoy, from foodie talks and tasting events to the Oyster ‘Olympics’ and the ‘Hot Oyster Awards’ cooking challenge amongst other activities, there really is something for everyone to enjoy.

Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival

27th September – 13th October

crepes de nutella

Photo via Flickr

Starting in 2006 to celebrate the abundance of local produce in the area, Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival plays host to a wide range of exhibitors. From breweries and granola stalls to creperies and meat companies, even the fussiest of eaters will be spoilt for choice when browsing the exhibition. Those wanting to learn a thing or two can head to the Marquee Stage for live demos from local chefs, or book a place on one of the many workshops taking place over the festival for a more hands-on approach.

Hamper 2013, The Llangollen Food Festival

19th – 20th October

Forest Berry Pie

Photo via Flickr

The Llangollen Food Festival, named as one of the Top Ten Food Festivals by The Independent, takes place in the Llangollen Pavilion in October and is a great place for foodies to explore. Spend your time at the festival discovering new food favourites by wandering around the local producers market, take part in the fun workshops on offer or learn an exciting new recipe by heading to one of the live cooking classes on offer at the festival.

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.

Planning a hen or stag do in the UK

Thursday, August 15th, 2013
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In the run up to the big day, it seems like the current fashion is to gather up your mates and head off to an exotic destination for hen or stag weekend to remember. But, let’s face it, it’s much easier and cheaper to choose somewhere in the UK to celebrate the bride or groom’s final days of freedom. As someone who’s enjoyed three UK hen dos this year alone, I can safely say that staying closer to home doesn’t mean compromising on fun! Here are a few must dos if you’ve been charged with planning a hen or stag do…

 


 

Action-packed breaks in Devon


A hen or stag do is the perfect opportunity to try out activities to get your adrenaline levels racing.  You’ll go home with great photos, even better memories and some funny stories to tell, especially if you throw in some fancy dress too!  Head to the north Devon coast for the perfect combination of adrenaline activities, chilled atmosphere and stunning scenery.  The Ultimate Adventure Centre offer a great selection of activities ideal for hen and stag dos from surfing to an ultimate assault course (think BBC’s Total Wipeout) and high ropes course.  They can even organise a tailored package for you!  After a day of adventure, why not head back to your holiday cottage and relax with a BBQ and a few drinks, ‘Mr and Mrs’ style games and novelty straws entirely optional!

 
bantham surf 19-6-07
 

Golfing in Scotland


If the groom-to-be would rather spend his time on a green than discussing the impending nuptials, why not plan a golfing stag do?  With so many great courses throughout the UK, choosing where to plan your weekend away is the only tricky decision to make.  For a once in a lifetime experience, head to the home of golf at St Andrews in Scotland where booking a round as a guest is surprisingly easy.  After you’ve played a few rounds, the university town of St Andrews will not disappoint when it comes to nightlife; if it’s good enough for the future King…!  Choosing a holiday cottage for a golfing break means getting up for an early tee time is no problem as well as having plenty of space to store your clubs.  Why not take a look at our selection of holiday cottages near golf courses

 
The birthplace of golf
 


Pampering in York


There’s no doubt that weddings are stressful, so how about a weekend of pampering in the run up to the big day?  There’s nowhere better for a spot of pre-wedding indulgence than the home of chocolate, York?  While other northern cities made their fortunes in cotton and steel, York ventured into the world of deliciousness with a tradition which has continued to the modern day.  Take the chocolate tour which winds through the historic city centre and offers plenty of tasters along the way!  Retail therapy is another highlight of this charming city with a great mix of high street favourites and independent boutiques.  Make sure to visit The Shambles, voted the most picturesque street in Britain, and admire the 14th century buildings overhanging the street once used by butchers to display their wares but today a bustling collection of eateries.  Don’t miss afternoon tea at Bettys, a tea room so popular that it’s not uncommon to see queues forming!  Order a glass of fizz to make tea extra special!

 
Afternoon Tea
 

We know that finding accommodation for a hen or stag party can often be tricky which is why we have a selection of cottages willing to take these kinds of groups.  Why not take a look at our large properties; we’ll be happy to call the owner to see whether they are willing to accept your group!  Just give us a call on 01244 356695 or let us call you!

Choose Sykes Cottages for your 2013 summer holiday

Friday, June 14th, 2013
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In just a few weeks time, the school holidays will be upon us and summer will be here. Here at Sykes Cottages, we’re hoping for days of endless sunshine for family trips to the beach, sunbathing in the garden and al fresco dining. A cottage holiday is a great way to explore everything the UK has to offer this summer and our self-catering cottages make a great base for new discoveries.

 

If you’re looking for inspiration, here are a few suggestions for your summer holiday…

 
World's largest deckchair
 

Isle of Wight

A holiday to the Isle of Wight definitely feels like you’ve the UK mainland far behind.  With a wonderfully mild climate and an exciting hovercraft or ferry trip to start your holiday, it’s a great choice for a cottage holiday this summer.  The Isle is a great place for water babies with excellent watersports, family-friendly beaches and Cowes regatta.  Music lovers also flock to the island with a surprising number of live festivals given the island’s size.  We have a great range of cottages across the island including quite a number of large cottages which are a fantastic choice if you’re travelling with the whole family or big group of friends.

 
Isle Of Wight Needles
 

Norfolk

For those seeking an active break, the East Anglia region of Norfolk is a pretty good bet.  Miles of countryside giving way to coastal paths are perfect for bracing walks and bike rides and allow you to take in beautiful vistas.  You could even hire a boat and enjoy cruising the spectacular Norfolk Broads with more than 200 square kilometres of navigable waterways.  Choose one of our cottages located in a traditional seaside resort like pretty Wells-next-the-Sea or try the famous crab in Cromer.

 
Cromer is SO Bracing '09
 

Cornwall

With more than 200 beaches, a staggeringly beautiful coastline and too many family attractions to list, it’s little wonder that Cornwall is a popular holiday destination year after year.  Our Cornish cottages make a great destination for a summer holiday whether you choose a traditional stone-built fisherman’s cottage or contemporary apartment with views of the sea.  Discover tiny fishing villages packed with history like Mousehole and Polperro, tourist hotspots like Newquay and Land’s End or head inland and enjoy the beautifully wild Bodmin Moor.

 
Mousehole Boats 6072.JPG
 

Summer’s on the horizon and our most popular cottages are booking up quickly!  Our website is a great place to start looking for your perfect holiday and we also have a great team of holiday cottage advisors to help you plan a few days away this summer.  Give us a call on 01244 356695; we’re open until 9.30pm, seven days a week.

Top Surfing Spots in the UK

Friday, June 7th, 2013
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With all the fantastic weather we’ve been enjoying lately, getting away for the weekend to the beach is high up on my to-do list. A trip to the British seaside doesn’t just mean an ice cream and a bucket and spade these days, but a wealth of great watersports to rival Australia’s gold coast. Yes, the water may be slightly colder than elsewhere but once you’ve got your wetsuit on, you can hardly tell the difference, I promise! Here’s our guide to the UK’s best surf destinations…

 
Woolacombe, North Devon UK
 

Fistral Beach, Newquay

…Ideal for surfers of all abilities…

Newquay consistently comes in the top 20 of best global surfing destinations so it’s hardly a surprise that Fistral Beach is packed at the first sign of a decent swell.  Surfing first hit Cornish shores in the 1960s and its popularity shows no signs of abating today.  Fistral is a great place for beginners with lifeguards manning the beach throughout the summer and plenty of fellow surfers on hand to offer advice.  This is also the destination for major surfing competitions attracting pros from across the globe thanks to waves of up to 12 metres high.  If you’re planning a holiday to Newquay, the English Surf School caters to water babies of all abilities with surfing lessons for beginners, body boarding and coasteering available.

 
Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall
 

Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire

…Best for experienced surfers…

The Pembrokeshire coast is blessed with some of the UK’s most stunning beaches and great waves to boot.  The sand and rocky beach at Freshwater West, not far from the village of Castlemartin within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, is no exception.  The strong rip currents just off the beach mean that the consistently good waves here are strictly for experienced surfers.  It’s also the venue for the Welsh National Surfing Championships so it’s ideal for beginners looking for inspiration.  Those who prefer to keep both feet on dry land aren’t left out at Freshwater with a thatched stack used for decades to dry seaweed for making laverbread, a local specialty.

 
Little Furzenips, Freshwater West
 

Pease Bay, Scottish Borders

…Good for those ready to brave the cold…

Within easy reach of Edinburgh, the sandy beach at Pease Bay has become popular with surfers of all ages and abilities.  But beware; Scottish water is cold.  If a wetsuit is a good idea in UK waters, it’s without doubt a must if you’re planning a surfing holiday in Scotland even on the warmest of days.  The surf is consistently good here the entire length of the beach so you’ll often be sharing the water with other surfers on a particularly good day.  The area also has golf, cycling and a beautiful nature reserves to tempt you on days when the water is flat.

 
Surfer @ Pease Bay
 

Fancy heading to the beach this weekend?  Why not take a look at our coastal cottages for some inspiration for a last minute break.  Just pack your beach towels and suncream and off you go!