Archive for the ‘Walk of the Month’ Category

Walk of the Month: Clatteringshaws Loch View Trail

Sunday, November 27th, 2016
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For November’s edition of Walk of the Month, we’re heading to Clatteringshaws in Dumfries and Galloway for a trail named by Visit Scotland as one of the ten most spectacular winter walks in the country. Located in the heart of the Galloway Forest Park, Clatteringshaws Loch is a tranquil haven that’s perfect for a frosty winter stroll.

The walk:

This 3.5 mile walk is suitable for most people with waymarked paths and only a gentle uphill climb. It should take around two hours to complete and there’s plenty of parking if you want to drive to the route. Whilst you’re in the area, visit the interactive wildlife exhibition in the Clatteringshaws visitor centre to see the wide variety of wildlife you could encounter on your walk.

The route:

The walk begins in the car park at the Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre. Before you begin, make sure you take a lochside detour to Bruce’s Stone. This is said to be the site where Robert the Bruce rested after his victory against the English in the Battle of Trool in 1307.

After your detour, head back to the car park. Walk along to the main road, cross it and take the track opposite to walk across the open field. Climb the style at the beginning of the forestry.

Continue along the forest track with a felled area on your right. At the first junction, continue straight ahead but at the second junction, turn right following the white marker post heading uphill. This route continues to climb Benniguinea but before you reach the summit, take a right onto a marked path. Head down through the trees and you will eventually emerge at a turning area on a forestry track. Head to the right down the forestry track.

Soon, this track will reach the track you took earlier. Turn left here to return to the stile and retrace the route back over the open field to the road and the visitor centre. There’s a lovely café at the visitor centre which boasts spectacular loch views and serves delicious food- the perfect reward for after your walk!

To view the full route map, click here.

Book a holiday cottage in Dumfries and Galloway

Sykes Cottages has a wide range of holiday cottages in Dumfries and Galloway, perfect for your winter walking holiday. Whether you’re looking for a cosy retreat with your loved one or a fresh air family break, we’ve something to suit you. Visit our website to find out more.

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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.

Walk of the Month: Pluckley Village

Sunday, October 30th, 2016
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As October draws to a close, it’s time for another instalment of Walk of the Month. For October’s walk we’re heading to the picturesque village of Pluckley in Kent. This sleepy village is full of wonderful autumn colours and cosy English pubs but there is another reason visitors flock to the village during October – ghosts! Pluckley is commonly known as the most haunted village in England and has sparked our attention for a Halloween themed Walk of the Month.

Walk of the Month: Pluckley Church

Image of Pluckley Church by Julian P GuffoggCC 2.0

Home to a minimum of 15 ghosts, Pluckley is perfect for a spooky walk at this time of year. Explore the area and folklore during the day with the family or head back during the evening for a frightful walk through the village’s more notorious spots. As well as the outlined route below, make sure to spend some time exploring St Nicolas’ Church which is home to the White Lady and Red Lady ghosts, and Fright corner where you could find The Highwayman re-enacting his death.

The Walk:

October’s route is three miles long and should take around two and a half hours to complete. This is an easy track that follows orchard tracks, footpaths and field margins with 17 stiles in-between. Children will enjoy this walk during the day and this is also a great walk for dogs, as long as they are kept on the lead.

The Route:

Start the walk from St Nicholas Church, from here turn right and head up the main road walking uphill. Turn right at the Black Horse car park sign towards a gate. Go through the gate and cut across the playing fields towards a gap in the hedge that leads into the orchard.

Walk straight through the orchard keeping the windbreak to your right-hand side. When you reach the metalled track by Sheerland Farm, maintain your direction and then continue through the orchard to the road.

Walk of the Month: Oast house at Elvey Farm near Pluckley

Image of Oast house at Elvey Farm near Pluckley by MarathonCC 2.0

At the road bear left before joining a footpath by a brick wall. Follow the footpath until you reach the stile, climb over the stile and follow the fence line on your left before crossing two more stiles at the bottom.

Continue your route by going through a gap in the wall up towards another orchard and over another stile. After the stile turn left and follow the track keeping the windbreaker to your left-hand side. Bear right and head over another stile before walking towards a brick wall.

At the wall turn right and walk through the orchard towards the church. Turn left, walking past the picture postcard village green of Little Char Forstal. You’ll see a stile on your right, go over this and walk down the right-hand side of the field climbing over two more stiles to reach the road by the riding centre.

Turn right at the road and take the first road on the left past the farm and follow it to Rooting Manor. When the road bends left, cross the stile by some gates before turning left and walking along the top of the field.

As you pass through the windbreak, turn right and walk up the track. Follow this track as it leads you left and go through the orchard, eventually bearing right and up to Surrenden.

Follow the track to your right and cross a stile on the left. Walk up the right-hand side of the field to join the track and nip over the stile to continue to the road.

Cross the road and walk through the orchard before crossing the playing fields. Turn left and return to the church where you started.

To view the full route map, please click here.

Book a holiday cottage in Kent.

Shepherd's Farm House (Ref. 7364), in Kent.

Shepherd’s Farm House (Ref. 7364), in Kent.

With a ghost lurking around every corner, you’re going to need more than one night to explore all of Pluckley’s most haunted spots. By booking a stay in one of our Kent cottages you’ll be able to spend your evenings ghost hunting in Pluckley and your days exploring The Garden of England. From Dover Castle to Canterbury Cathedral, Kent is full of must-see attractions and things to do for the whole family.

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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.

Walk of the Month: Tom Gill to Tarn Hows

Sunday, September 18th, 2016
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For September’s edition of Walk of the Month, we’re heading to the mesmerising landscape of the Lake District to one of the most-visited beauty spots in the area, Tarn Hows. Many holidaymakers drive to Tarn Hows but if you’re a seasoned walker and fancy a bit of a challenge, this route will reward you with spectacular scenery and views across Wetherlam and Coniston Old Man too.

The walk:

This dog-friendly 1.6 mile route will take around an hour to complete. Although don’t be fooled by the short length of time it takes- this route is demanding with steep terrain, some uneven paths and rock scrambling required. It is not suitable for those with limited mobility or novice fell-walkers but it is well worth the challenge for the more experienced.

The route:

The route begins at the car park at Tom Gill, Mary Glen Bridge. From here, head past the ticket machine and cross the wooden bridge. Go through the gate and follow the narrow path alongside the gill. Here, the path climbs up a rocky section before crossing the gill-side with the beck below. The Tom Gill waterfall is best viewed from the path as it ascends on the left-hand side.

Stay on the left-hand side of the gill, passing a gate and following the path. Make sure you take due care on the rocky sections as you approach Tarn Hows. Then take a right on the main track through the gates.

As you reach this majestic lake, stop in front of the bench at the three-way junction and take the path on the far left along the edge of the tarn. Follow the path as it ascends uphill and past some trees on your left. When you reach a T junction, head right continuing uphill towards the road. Follow the path alongside the road, bearing left until you reach the junction with the road, opposite the car park.

Here, turn right and head along the road towards Coniston, passing a cattle grid. Follow this round for a quarter of a mile as it winds its way down, offering stunning views across Yewdale. At the junction, take the track on the right through the gates marked ‘Tarn Hows Cottage’. With the wall on your left and the views on your right, continue to follow the track towards the cottage.

As the track bends to the right, go through the gate past the front of the cottage and out through another gate into the fields. Turn left and follow the wall downhill. At the end of the wall, go through the small gate and continue down the slope keeping the hedge to your right. You’ll then need to go through another small gate in the hedgerow and turn left downhill.

Once you’ve reached the bottom of the hill, turn right along the edge of the field with Yew Tree Farm (which was used in the film, Miss Potter) on the opposite side of the road. Head out of the field, through the gate and over the wooden bridge back into the car park.

To view the full route map, please click here.

Book a holiday cottage in the Lake District

If you’re planning your own trip to Tarn Hows, make sure you take a look at our handpicked collection of holiday cottages in the Lake District. We’ve over 850 cottages to choose from and we’d be delighted to help you find the perfect property for your holiday.

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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.

Walk of the Month: Marloes Peninsula Coastal Walk

Sunday, August 28th, 2016
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As another month comes to a close, we’ve decided to celebrate the great British weather and get out and about with August’s edition of Walk of the Month. This month, we’re heading to South Wales for a walk that takes in some of the best scenery that the Pembrokeshire coast has to offer. From the captivating sea views to the playful wildlife, this walk is ideal for an afternoon outing this summer.

The Walk:

This four mile circular route can take up to two hours to complete but we would advise allowing extra time to make the most of the views and fresh sea air. The terrain is relatively easy going with some rugged paths, gradients and steps, so please wear sensible footwear. There is a car park at the start of the walk for those travelling by car, and toilet facilities so you can freshen up before heading off.

The Route:

Begin your walk from the Marloes Sands car park. Make your way to the south end of the car park then turn right by the emergency phone and follow the signs for the toilets. Continue past the toilets, along the lane passing Marloes Mere; be sure to keep an eye out here for a glimpse of the wetland birds. Once you have passed the Mere, turn left and head for the coast path.

When you reach the coast path you will see Marloes Sands but turn right and head towards Gateholm Islands instead. You’ll soon come level with Gateholm, Skokholm should be ahead of you with Skomer coming into view on your right very soon, making this a perfect place to stop for a family photo.

Continue along the coastal path through an Iron Age fort. Make sure to stop here and admire the dramatic sedimentary rock formations that can be found along the coast. As you follow the coast path round, keep an eye out for Skomer Island and Midland Isle which will shortly come into view before reaching a footbridge.

At the footbridge take the right fork down the valley, towards Martin’s Haven. Go through the gate which leads to the road and turn left towards Martin’s Haven and the Skomer embarkation point. Before reaching the beach, follow the coast post right and up the steps. The path will continue east and you can enjoy views across St Bride’s Bay towards Newgale, the Solva Coast, St David’s Peninsula and Ramsey Island.

When you’ve walked just over a mile, leave the coastal path and turn right through a self-closing gate at a West Hook Farm National Trust omega sign. Cross the fields here and head towards the road. Once you’ve reached the road, turn left and follow it past the farm turning right by two semi-detached cottages. Walk down the track which leads back to the car park.

To view the full route map, please click here.

Book a holiday cottage in Pembrokeshire

Priory Cottage (Ref. 915079), in Saundersfoot

Priory Cottage (Ref. 915079), in Saundersfoot

Whether you’re looking for a cosy escape for two or a large group getaway for up to 21, our selection of over 300 Pembrokeshire cottages are ideal for walking holidays. As well as the wonderful Welsh scenery and atmosphere, many of our cottages also boast extra features such as WiFi, hot tubs and swimming pools. For more information on these spectacular cottages simply visit our Pembrokeshire cottages page or call our reservations team on 01244 356695.

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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.

Walk of the Month: Castle Acre

Sunday, July 31st, 2016
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For July’s edition of Walk of the Month, we are heading to the rural village of Castle Acre in Norfolk. This tranquil village takes its name from the 12th-century walled Norman castle and is one of the best preserved examples of a Norman planned settlement in the UK. From its parish church to the charming village and Castle Acre Priory, there is plenty to see along this route.

The walk:

This is a great circular route and at 6.5 miles long, it should take just under two hours to complete. Ideal for families, the route covers an even terrain mainly made up of footpaths and tracks, with just a little road-walking along quiet lanes. Please take note that the path alongside Castle Acre Common can be wet at times. On the route you will find shops, pubs and eateries so we highly suggest stopping off for a bite to eat and a refreshing drink along the way.

The route:

Begin your route from the impressive Norman castle in Castle Acre, heading southwest towards the small village of South Acre. Once you reach the River Nar, cross to the other side using the footbridge adjacent to the ford and continue the route to South Acre.

Once you reach South Acre, make your way past the village church and South Acre Hall before following the tracks across the farmland above the Nar Valley. Once through the farmland you should be just east of West Arce.

From West Acre follow the route east along the Nar Valley Way and back towards Castle Acre. Cross the footbridge close to where the West Arce Mill used to stand, and continue through the peaceful woodlands before arriving at Castle Acre Commons which sits beside the River Nar.

After taking some time to explore the Castle Acre Commons, continue along the route passing to the north of the Cluniac priory entrance. You will soon arrive at Castle Acre Village and after skirting St James’ Church and the 13th-century stone Bailey Gate, you will soon find yourself back at the castle.

To view the full route map and PDF, please click here.

Book a holiday cottage in Norfolk:

Walk of the Month - Castle Acre

Sleepeezy (Ref. 15264) in Norfolk

Here at Sykes Cottages, we love Norfolk and think it’s the ideal location for a self-catering getaway at any time of year, but don’t just take our word for it. We asked over 1,000 visitors and residents of Norfolk why they love the area and compiled the answers into our fantastic Visitor’s Guide to Norfolk. In the guide you will find plenty of information on things to do, places to go and what to eat whilst in Norfolk along with a number of charming comments from the people that know Norfolk best.

Once you’ve finished reading through our guide why not check out our selection of over 200 Norfolk cottages? From the impressive Norfolk Broads to the dramatic coastline, our self-catering holiday lets offer something for everyone.

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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.