Archive for the ‘Walk of the Month’ Category

Walk of the Month: The Wild Atlantic Way

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
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Ok, you got us- this isn’t our typical Walk of the Month, and certainly not one for a lazy Sunday. But stick with us, as we’re here to let you know about a brilliant new walking route that has recently been unveiled on the West Coast of Ireland: the majestic Wild Atlantic Way.

The official Wild Atlantic Way logo- Via Flickr

The official Wild Atlantic Way logo- Via Flickr

Follow in the footsteps of St Patrick on your next trip to Ireland with a jaunt along the newly inaugurated Wild Atlantic Way, the world’s longest coastal touring route. Covering over 1,500 miles of rugged sea cliffs, exposed beaches and vibrant heritage towns, this epic pathway can be tackled on foot, by bike or behind the wheel. The Wild Atlantic Way was designed to highlight the beauty of Ireland’s Atlantic Seaboard, as well as to draw more visitors to the West Coast’s lesser known areas. The route follows the coast from Malin Head on Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula to the charming fishing village of Kinsale in County Cork, taking in famed beauty spots, historic sites and some of Ireland’s best surf beaches along the way.

Without boring you with a blow-by-blow account of every inch of this remarkable route, we wanted to demonstrate just how marvellous the Wild Atlantic Way is. So, we’ve compiled a gallery of images which capture some of the best bits from the trail. Feast your eyes on a selection of delectable landscapes from all seven counties which feature along the length of this magnificent pathway, from the remote heathlands of Connemara in County Galway to the stunning Cliffs of Moher in County Clare.

Slieve League, County Donegal

Slieve League- Via Flickr

Slieve League- Via Flickr

Located on Donegal’s rugged south west coast, the Slieve League cliffs are regarded as some of the finest sea cliffs in Europe. Clinging to the cliffs 600m above the roaring Atlantic, this stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way isn’t for the faint hearted, but the plucky will be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama from the summit.

Benbulben, County Sligo

Benbulben- Via Flickr

Benbulben- Via Flickr

Standing proudly beside Sligo Bay since the ice age, Benbulben is an imposing rock formation that’s shrouded in Irish mythology. Some say Benbulben was the homestead of the Fianna, a band of celtic warriors who lived in the 3rd century, whilst others claim the mountain was the battleground of a bad tempered giant and an enchanted boar- all we know is, it’s great for rock climbing and will make an excellent backdrop for a family selfie.

Keem Strand, County Mayo

Keem Strand- Via Flickr

Keem Strand- Via Flickr

Go off piste on your tour of the Wild Atlantic Way and you’ll find Keem Strand, an award-winning blue flag beach on the remote Achill Islands.  Tucked between Croaghaun mountain and Moyteoge Head, this stunning bay is great for swimming thanks to its horseshoe shape and wonderfully calm waters- bear it in mind if you’re looking for somewhere to lay down the beach towels!

Connemara, County Galway

Connemara- Via Flickr

Connemara- Via Flickr

Already home to some of Ireland’s best walking routes, Connemara is a natural playground of mountains, heathlands and lakes on the west coast of County Mayo. The Wild Atlantic Way reveals only a snapshot of the natural beauty on offer here, so if you’d like to see it all, rent a holiday cottage in Connemara and have your camera at the ready!

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

Cliffs of Moher- Via Flickr

Cliffs of Moher- Via Flickr

The Cliffs of Moher: jewel of the west coast. These world-renowned cliffs are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction, so they had to make our short list of Wild Atlantic Way must-sees. Though three times shorter than Slieve League (214m), The Cliffs of Moher are home to some truly spellbinding vistas as well as a wealth of marine life. Put simply, they’re an Irish icon!

Kenmare, County Kerry

Kenmare- Via Flickr

Kenmare- Via Flickr

As Ireland’s first heritage town, Kenmare is a great place to while away a day or two on your tour of the Wild Atlantic Way. This colourful settlement can be found on the shores of Kenmare Bay in County Kerry, an area renowned for its award-winning fairways and peaceful landscapes. The town itself is home to an array of gourmet eateries where you can enjoy a welcome seafood meal after a day in the walking boots.

Beara Peninsula, County Cork

Beara Peninsula- Via Flickr

Beara Peninsula- Via Flickr

Just when you think you’ve seen all of the beauty that the Wild Atlantic Way can offer, there’s the Beara Peninsula, an uninhabited region of archaeological sites, rare flora, hidden lakes and some of Ireland’s best angling spots. Beara’s magical coastline is teeming with things to see and do, but the majority visit simply to witness the region’s untamed, wild landscapes.

Walk in the wild on your next cottage holiday!

The Wild Atlantic Way is a long distance touring route of epic proportions, so chances are most people won’t have the time or the stamina to see it all. Luckily, we have lots of holiday cottages to rent near the Wild Atlantic Way that provide the perfect base for exploration and discovery on the west coast of Ireland.

For more information about the Wild Atlantic Way, or to download a map of the route, click here.

 

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Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.

Walk of the month: Aysgarth, Yorkshire Dales

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014
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In this addition of Walk of the Month, we’re donning the waterproofs for a winter walk in the Yorkshire Dales, or more accurately, in and around the charming village of Aysgarth in the Wensleydale Valley. Made famous by its cheesy export, Wensleydale is an exemplary walking destination, offering undulating hills, postcard views and a sprinkling of slate-clad heritage villages. Aysgarth is just one of the settlements that offer excellent opportunities for walking in the valley, but its situation on the banks of the River Ure make it the ideal location for an invigorating country walk at any time of year.

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Enjoy the rumble of the Aysgarth Falls as you take a contemplative stroll through the ever peaceful St Joseph Wood, keeping your eyes peeled for treecreepers, warblers and roe deer. Then, emerge from the canopy of trees and loiter awhile in the wild-grass meadow, enjoying fine views across Wensleydale toward the imposing keep of Castle Bolton- what could be a better place for a peaceful walk on a Saturday afternoon?

The Walk

This 1.5 mile route may sound a breeze, but the rugged terrain and plethora of scenic distractions mean that it will take a minimum of 45 minutes to complete. Muddy sections of the route can be slippery, as can the man-made viewpoints overlooking the falls, so wear sturdy shoes or walking boots to ensure that you feel confident on the trail.

The Route

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

The walk starts on the banks of the River Ure in the car park to the north of the village. Follow the well-marked path until you reach the steps down to the Middle Falls, and spend a minute or two watching the surging rapids. Continue along the path, passing through a kissing gate until you reach the Lower Falls. You’ll want to snap a photo or two here; it really is a sight to behold.

Turn on to the grassy path signposted Castle Bolton and continue along the trail until you come to another gate. Take the footpath on the right and continue until you see a sign for Freeholder’s Wood. Here, lay down your picnic blanket for peaceful spot of lunch, or continue en-route to enjoy fine views of the majestic Castle Bolton.

Across the field, turn right and take the footpath signposted Aysgarth. Go straight ahead until you reach another path, where you’ll need to turn left and walk underneath the arch of an old railway bridge. From here, follow the path to your right as it meanders through the trees of St Joseph’s Wood, taking care not to disrupt the habitat of the wood’s inhabitants. Continue through the wood until you re-join the road, and rest your feet and recuperate at the National Park centre and café.

Download the comprehensive route and map for this walk here.

Rent a cottage in Wensleydale with Sykes Cottages

Cottage

Topsy-Turvy Cottage, Yorkshire Dales. Cottage Ref.: 23264

For the opportunity to enjoy this or any other walking route in the valley, why not rent a cottage in Wensleydale from Sykes Cottages? We’ve over 200 cottages dotted throughout the vale, providing you with the perfect base for a walking holiday in the Yorkshire Dales.

 

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Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.

Walk of the Month: Symonds Yat in the Forest of Dean

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
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For the very first edition of Sykes Cottages’ ‘Walk of the Month’ we have chosen a wonderful winter walk in the Forest of Dean that is sure to blow away a few cobwebs and burn off some of those extra comfort food calories! The Forest of Dean was designated Britain’s first National Forest Park back in 1938 after a long and much varied history, serving as both a medieval royal hunting forest and one of the engine rooms of the industrial revolution. Nowadays,  the Forest of Dean has become one of the nation’s favourite tourist destinations, with a variety of activities on offer amongst the trees, including mountain biking and segway riding. Yet the good old walk remains one of the best ways to explore this beautiful spot of British countryside, so join us as we take you on a woodland walk around this majestic British forest.

Forest of Dean

Via. Flickr

The Walk

The Symonds Yat loop is a relatively short (two and three quarter mile) circular walk along the banks of the River Wye. Be sure to look out for the numerous butterflies at Biblins Campsite and also for the wild Peregrine falcons that call the Wye Valley home; and remember to take some change to pay for your ferry crossing (£1 for adults and 50p for children)!

River Wye viewed from Symonds Yat Rock

Via. Flickr

The Route

The starting point for the walk is the quaint village of Symonds Yat East below Symonds Yat Rock, famous for its stunning panoramas over the River Wye. After parking at one of the village’s car parks, make your way to the Saracen’s Head inn where you’ll find a hand pulled ferry that will transport you over the river. Once you disembark on the opposite bank, take a left up the hill and then another left down the signposted steps to the riverbank.

Now follow the riverbank along, making sure to keep the river on your left. Soon enough, the rapids and small islands in the River Wye will come into sight. This is a popular spot for adrenaline junkies, so there will most likely be a couple of hardy canoeists tackling the rapids! Eventually you’ll reach the Biblins Youth Campsite, which roughly signifies the half way point of the walk. At the Camp you’ll find a footbridge that leads back over the river, cross here and turn left.

Keep following the riverbank again back towards Symonds Yat East, making sure to avoid the tracks that lead up the hill. Soon enough you’ll reach the rapids again and just a bit further on is a car park. This car park marks your return to the village of Symonds Yat East where you’ll be able to find a warming cup of tea in one of the delightful little cafés that are dotted around!

The Forest of Dean

Via. Flickr

Make sure that you check out our cosy holiday cottages near to the Forest of Dean so that you have somewhere to put your feet up after completing the walk!

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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.