Archive for the ‘Walk of the Month’ Category

Walk of the Month: Doonbeg Loop, Co. Clare

Monday, October 13th, 2014
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The village of Doonbeg in West County Clare lies on Ireland’s Atlantic Seaboard, just metres from the steely waters of the ocean. Dramatic though this sounds, the village is one of Ireland’s most peaceful spots, perfect for a romantic retreat or – as we’re about to demonstrate – an invigorating walking break.

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Beautiful bogs beckon on the Doonbeg Loop, an 8km circuit traversing the emerald wetlands that flank the village. The loop is a great way to get to grips with the local area, and showcases the village’s key landmarks including Doonbeg Bridge and Castle. You’ll need the route map on hand before starting the walk so you know where to begin, which you can download here.

The Walk

Though moderately long, this 8km walk features easy terrain with minimum ascents. Trekking shoes or hiking boots are advisable as bog roadways can be slippery. Raingear is also advised – after all, this is the Emerald Isle!

The Route

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Beginning at Doonbeg’s unusual church of ascension, walk west, passing the pastel coloured houses typical of West Ireland. On this street are two pubs; store these in your memory for liquid refreshment on your return to the village.

At the junction with a minor roadway, turn left. On the map, the way is highlighted by a green line, so pay close attention to this when approaching junctions to ensure you’re still on track. Follow this minor road for 1km until you’re deep in the emerald grasslands which envelop the village. Here you will come to a T-junction where you should turn left and then immediately right.

Follow the bog road for over 1km until you come to a sharp bend. After another three quarters of a kilometre, you’ll reach another T-junction, where you should turn left. Continue along this road, crossing Doonbeg River on your way back to the village.

Turn left into the village and continue on this street until you reach Doonbeg Bridge, a picturesque stone bridge at the mouth of Doonbeg Lough. From here, you can see Doonbeg Castle, a 16th century structure with a bloody history. The village is said to have ‘grown up’ around this imposing castle, though not much remains today. Continue on this street until you’re back at the church; oh and don’t forget those pubs, where a roaring fire and a pint of Irish stout are sure to warm your extremities.

Download the comprehensive map and route for this walk here.

Rent a cottage in Doonbeg for a walking holiday

If you’re interested in an Irish walking break, take a look at our self-catering cottages to rent in and around Doonbeg. This picturesque village on Ireland’s dramatic west coast offers the best of coast and country, so why not take a peek at our Doonbeg cottages today.

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: Sizergh Estate, Cumbria

Saturday, September 13th, 2014
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Ancient history and charming countryside provide a wonderful backdrop for a walk in the grounds of Sizergh Castle. Since the 17th century, this imposing house has kept an eye over the Lake District’s neighbouring fens, and its adjoining country estate is the ideal stomping ground for an invigorating hike.

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

During September, the hues of autumn transform Sizergh and its grounds into a peaceful wonderland of amber, orange and gold, so be sure to pack the SLR before heading out on the trail. Because it’s a National Trust property, there’s a fee to enter the castle and its grounds, but it’s a small price to pay to experience an autumnal walk in this quiet corner of the Lake District.

The Walk

With a mix of tarmacked roads, footpaths and compressed tracks, this 2.5 walk should be accessible to all, however, care should be taken in wet conditions as surfaces can be slippery.

The Route

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Start your walk in the castle’s car park and follow the path into the adjacent fields. Keeping the wall on your left, continue straight across the paddock, taking care if the terrain is wet. At the end of the field, go through the gate and immediately through another.

Once on Sizergh Fell, wander up the hill, marvelling at the wildflowers that bloom during the summer months. Keep your eye out for woodpeckers too, which can often be seen hovering above the colourful plumes, preying on ants and other insects.

Continue climbing uphill towards the wood. During the autumn and winter months, a few nesting bird species are attracted to these trees by seasonal berries, including fieldfare and redwings. Once you’ve neared the top, stop and admire the views of Morecambe Bay ahead of you, and the distant Pennines behind.

Walk past the trees, keeping them on your right hand side, before beginning your descent towards the beautiful Lake District fells. Eventually, you’ll come to a gate. Go through this and enter the wood ahead of you, before making an immediate right turn and following the wall on your right hand side. Continue downhill until you come to a gate which leads to a tarmac road.

Turn right and follow the road for around half a kilometre. After passing Lane End Farm, you’ll come to a large wooden gate. Pass this, and continue along Ashbank Lane. You will pass three gates along the lane, as well as an ancient deer park, which still contains several of these elusive mammals. Soon, you will arrive back at Sizergh Castle, where a warm brew in the castle’s café awaits.

Download the comprehensive route and map for this walk here.

Rent a cottage in Cumbria with Sykes Cottages

If a peaceful stroll in the grounds of Sizergh Castle sounds dreamy, why not rent one of our wonderful Cumbrian cottages and enjoy an invigorating holiday in the Lake District this autumn? This is the perfect season to visit the region, thanks to lower tourist numbers and the presence of autumn’s charming colours, so browse our Lake District holiday rentals today.

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: Falls of Truim & Truim Woods, Cairngorms

Monday, August 25th, 2014
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As the UK’s largest national park, the Cairngorms feature an abundance of natural attractions which provide the perfect backdrop for a bracing walk. But with over 4,000 square kilometres of protected parkland to explore, where do you begin?

Falls of Truim- Via Flickr

Falls of Truim- Via Flickr

The Falls of Truim may sound like a fictitious feature of Middle Earth, but actually, it is one of Scotland’s prettiest waterfalls. Enveloped in rich woodlands, the falls and their surroundings offer a sampling of most of the Cairngorms famous attributes- mountainous views, deep forests and black, trout-laden waters- making it ideal for those that have never visited the park.

The Walk

Waymarked paths make this 5.5 mile route straightforward; however, care should be taken on uneven trails and on the slate beside the falls as these can be slippery underfoot.

The Route

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

The proximity of the A9 road makes this route accessible, and there is a car park near the falls. Park here, before backpedalling across the A9, taking the turning on your left marked Crubenbeg. Follow this path until you reach a kissing gate. Pass this, before turning right and following the path through the trees toward the Falls of Truim. For the curious, a short path leads to the edge of the water, but don’t worry if you miss this as better views of the water are available later in the walk.

Continue along the trail which follows the course of the river and eventually you will come to a bridge, which you should cross. On the opposing bank, a path follows the crags above the falls, where a pine coppice provides a good opportunity for photographs. Remain on the path as it bends away from the water, crossing the heather pocked fields until the trail becomes an indistinct grassy path.

Indulge in the views offered atop Crubenbeg Steading before following the track uphill, keeping the fence to your left. After crossing the next field, you’ll come to a metal gate with a green right of way marker. Turn right here and follow the dry stone wall which will bring you to the edge of Glen Truim Woods.

Ignoring a Glen Truim Woods marker, continue along the track until you reach the next signed junction. Here, turn left in the direction of the Truim Woods Viewpoint, where a well-placed bench offers an opportune moment to relax and take in views of the Cairngorms mountains. When you’re done, descend the crag along the same path until you arrive back at the junction.

Turn left and follow the track until you reach a road, where you should make a right. Continue along the road until you reach a signed forestry track, which will eventually bring you back to the falls. Here, ascend the path you’ve previously tread to get back to the car park.

Download the comprehensive route and map for this walk here.

Rent a cottage in the Cairngorms with Sykes Cottages

With the prospect of an Indian summer looking increasingly dubious, we think it’s time to stow away the speedos and get togged up in your autumn clobber to make the most of the UK’s bracing countryside, and where better to do so than Scotland. If you’re on the same wavelength, take a look at our cottages to rent in the Cairngorms, or, if you’re still pinning hope on a late spurt of warm weather, ignore me completely and have a look at our autumn sale, where hundreds of our coast and country cottages are up for grabs at low prices.

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: Craster to Low Newton, Northumberland

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
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Home to just a sixth of the population of London, Northumberland is the spiritual home of peace and quiet. Country Walking Magazine labelled this county one of the best places in the UK for walking thanks to its blend of rugged countryside, sleepy villages and mile after mile of way marked walking trails.

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Experience the serene silence of Northumberland yourself with an invigorating coastal walk from Craster to Low Newton. Taking in wildflower peppered meadows, mesmerising coast and imposing historic sites, this route is the perfect place for a bracing coastal walk when you need to blow away the cobwebs.

The Walk

At six miles long, this walk should take around two hours to complete, although you needn’t rush as there are plenty of great spots for picnics and photographs along the route. The terrain, which is made up of grass, gravel and sand, shouldn’t cause any problems, though walking boots are still advisable.

The Route

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Sample some of Craster’s famous smoked herring before setting off north towards Dunstanburgh Castle, passing Craster Harbour on your way out of the village. Continue north through peaceful farmlands with the craggy seashore to your right. Birdwatchers should keep their binoculars close at hand in order to glass the horizon for signs of the eider duck, which can often be seen along the shore.

Snap a photo of Dunstanburgh before edging around the base of the castle. If you’re interested in history, the castle is open to the public seven days a week between 10am and 6pm and offers great insight into the bloody history of the region. Birdwatchers again should spend a moment watching the nearby cliffs, which attracts kittiwakes and fulmar during the summer months.

Once you’ve finished exploring Dunstanburgh, continue north and pass the golf course before descending on to the beach of Embleton Bay. Here you will find remnants of a world war two bunker, as well as a superb panorama of the distant castle. Take a paddle or stop for a picnic on the sand before crossing Embleton Burn and continue onward towards Newton Haven harbour.

Keep your eyes peeled for seals and seabirds as you pass the rocky shoreline. If you’re walking with children, be sure to explore the bay’s rock pools, where many marine creatures can be found. Leave the beach and walk into the traditional village of Low Newton which, like Craster, has a rich fishing heritage. Spend some time exploring the village’s charming streets before travelling further in land. Here you will pass a pocket of wooded dunes that are perfect for wildlife watching. Continue on the path towards Dunstan Steads. Before long, the ramparts of Dunstanburgh will be visible once more.

Rent a cottage in Northumberland with Sykes Cottages

If you need to escape the daily grind, there’s nowhere better qualified than Northumberland, a haven of peace, tranquillity and solitude. Thankfully, our secluded cottages provide an equally noiseless bolthole from which to enjoy a peaceful getaway in this majestic English county, so check out our range and book today.

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: Porthaethwy, Menai Bridge

Saturday, June 28th, 2014
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In this addition of Walk of the Month, we will be taking you on an urban walk through the historic town of Menai Bridge, known by locals as Porthaethwy. From the iconic Menai Suspension Bridge to the endearing promenades and eerily beautiful Church Island, Menai Bridge is the ideal location for walkers on a lazy summer’s afternoon.

Picture via Fickr.

Picture via Fickr.

Growing up in Menai Bridge, this route is very familiar to me and one which I hold close to my heart. Throughout the walk you will be greeted by wonderful views over the Menai Straits, fascinating character properties and an impressive line-up of local wildlife. As you walk this captivating route you will spot a number of fantastic restaurants and charming local pubs; I would definitely suggest a stop off in one of these establishments to meet the locals and try the regional produce – you won’t regret it!

The Walk

This is a very accessible 2 mile walk which should take just over an hour to complete. Not too strenuous, this walk would be great for families with older children. My advice would be to wear comfortable footwear and take bottled water with you (additional water can be purchased from Menai Bridge stores).

The Route

Picture via Flickr.

Picture via Flickr.

Park at the ‘Pay and display’ adjacent to the Jade Village Cantonese Restaurant, follow the road back towards the Menai Bridge baring right at the Anglesey arms onto Beach Road. Follow the road down. When you reach the bottom you will see a sign post with two walking paths; take the one to the right and walk down along the promenade until you reach Church Island. Cross over to the island and explore this historic sight; make sure to visit the war memorial at the top of the island where you can capture a great picture of the Menai Bridge and St Tysilio’s Church which sits on the left hand side of the island.

Once you have explored Church Island cross back over to the main land and head right, back in the direction you came. This time, when you come to the cross road with the two walking signs, continue left towards the Menai Bridge. Just before you pass under the Menai Bridge, there is a small opening on the right where you will find a historic stone circle and another tempting photo opportunity. Continue under the bridge and along Beach Road through a collection of beautiful houses until you reach Chapel Street.

Turn Left onto Chapel Street and continue up the hill until you reach the main road (A545). Turn left again back towards the Menai Bridge. When you reach the Menai Bridge, cross over to the other side (if it’s a windy day be sure to take your time). The views from the bridge are incredible so make sure you have your camera at the ready. Once you reach the other end of the bridge, cross over and come back on the opposite side. From this side of the bridge you will be able to see the captivating Britannia bridge. From here follow the road back to the car park.

Rent a cottage on Anglesey with Sykes Cottages

View of the Menai Bridge from Telford House Ref 14628.

View of the Menai Bridge from Telford House Ref 14628.

Menai Bridge is the gateway to Anglesey and although this charming town has a lot to offer it is only a small section of this magnificent island. With over 160 properties dotted about the Island we have something to suit everyone. For more information on Anglesey or to browse our selection of holiday cottages, simply visit our Anglesey Cottages page.

nicole.westley

By Nicole Westley

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 fiancé.