Archive for the ‘Walk of the Month’ Category

Walk of the Month: Garinish Loop

Saturday, August 8th, 2015
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For August’s edition of Walk of Month, we’re taking a trip across the Irish Sea to the Emerald Isle itself. The Beara Peninsula in County Cork is one of the most ruggedly stunning landscapes in the whole of Ireland, dominated by mountain ranges but decorated with picture-perfect fishing villages all along the shoreline bordering the wild Atlantic Ocean.

It’s a popular destination for walkers with the 196km Beara Way a fantastic choice for long-distance walkers. However, today we’re looking at the shorter Garinish Loop, which can easily be done in an afternoon before heading to one of the lovely traditional taverns nearby for some well-deserved pub grub!

The Walk

The Garinish Loop is a 4km coastal walk that starts and finishes at the boarding point for the only cable car in Ireland- the Dursey Island Cable Car. It’s described as a ‘moderate’ walk and can be quite challenging in places where it ascents so it’s probably more suitable for adults. It should take around an hour and a half to complete; wearing walking boots and drinking plenty of water is always advised.

The Route

Begin your walk in the car park of the Dursey Island Cable Car. Cross over the stile and follow the purple arrows towards the west of the Beara Peninsula. At this point, the route ascends quite quickly to its highest point (150m). It can be a little tiring on the legs but the view at the top, looking out across the Sound to Dursey Island, is more than worth it!

The next section takes you downhill and out across open countryside towards Garinish Point. From here, you’ll be rewarded with fine views of the open sea and both Garinish Island and Long Island. Here you’ll need to exit the open land via a small gate and follow the route to the quay at Garinish. You’ll need to turn right at the quay on a roadway.

Follow the roadway for around 500 metres and you’ll reach a narrow laneway, which will be on your right-hand side. Follow the purple arrow signs and turn right up the laneway. Eventually, the laneway reaches a roadway, where it turns left and joins a tarred road.

Turn right at the tarred road. Note that the long-distance route turns left here but you need to make sure that you turn right to make the 1km return to the cable car.

To view the route map, please click here.

Rent a cottage in the Beara Peninsula with Sykes Cottages

If you want to tackle the Garinish Loop then why not make a weekend of it and book a holiday cottage in the Beara Peninsula? Situated on the Wild Atlantic Way, the Beara Peninsula is a delightful part of West Cork that’s famous for its stunning scenery and as home to one of Ireland’s best ports for whitefish, it would be a crying shame to miss out on trying its wonderful seafood restaurants! Sykes Cottages have a wide range of self-catering holiday lets in the area that would make perfect bases to explore West Cork.

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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: Catbells

Sunday, July 5th, 2015
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July has really snuck up on us here in the Sykes Cottages office, it feels like only yesterday I sat down to write June’s edition of Walk of the Month on Aber Falls and now I find myself here again, ready to suggest another exciting UK walking route. You’ll be pleased to hear that we’re sticking with the water theme for July and heading north to the Lake District, where we’ve stumbled across an exciting trail at Catbells.

Catbells is an idyllic fell located in the Lake District National Park overlooking Derwentwater; at 1,481 feet tall, the fell offers spectacular views over the surrounding countryside, Keswick, Derwentwater and Borrowdale. The Catbells route is extremely popular with walkers and has received high praise on TripAdvisor with a certificate of excellence and hundreds of positive comments.

The Walk

Catbells is a 3.7 mile walk with a steep climb and although the route does include some scrambling, it shouldn’t take any longer than two and a half hours to complete. The walk looks harder than it is in places but as long as you have good walking shoes and plenty of water, you’ll do just fine. This route is great for families and with plenty of open space, it’s even suitable for the dog!

The Route

Start your journey from the small parking area near Hawse End and follow the signposts marked “Cat Bells 1 Mile”. Continue along the narrow path across the hillside and round to the north ridge,before bearing right onto the steep zigzag path that takes you up the nose of the ridge. Once you get to the memorial stone to Thomas Arthur Leonard, the scrambly bit begins.

Continue over Skelgill Bank and make your way up, it may appear a little steep and difficult but don’t worry, just take care and use three points of contact when pulling yourself up. When you reach an obstacle that looks like a piece of overhanging rock you are best to go straight over. As you near the top of the fell there are many routes to choose from, we would suggest taking the loose path to your right as it’s less difficult. Once over this section you will soon come to the summit, with its breath-taking views we highly recommend taking a picture or two!

Follow the path over the summit and down to the col at House Gate where four paths join together. Turn left and follow the steep steps down the hillside. Once you have reached the bottom, turn left and follow the wide track back to the foot of the north ridge.

Once you reach the road you can return to the car park by turning left and then left again.

To view the route map please click here.

Rent a cottage in Keswick with Sykes Cottages

The Hayloft Reference 9031

The Hayloft Reference 9031

If you’re looking for an idyllic lake side retreat where you can spend your mornings walking over Catbells fell, then our Keswick cottages are for you! Filled with character, these cottages are perfect for those looking to explore the Lake District’s many walking routes and cycle paths and with cottages sleeping up to 11 people, there is plenty of room for the whole family!

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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.

Walk of the Month: Aber Falls

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
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Summer is finally here so for our June addition of Walk of the Month, we have decided to explore the Welsh countryside by visiting one of the country’s most iconic landmarks, Aber Falls in Gwynedd.

Aber Falls, or Rhaeadr Fawr as it’s known in Welsh, is a stunning waterfall located in the Aber Valley, just outside the village of Abergwyngregyn in Gwynedd, North Wales. The waterfall is surrounded by a rich array of plants and wildlife, making the whole area perfect for photographers and with the water itself falling a massive 120 feet, it’s no wonder the area is so popular.

However this walk is not all about the waterfall as the route up to Aber Falls is just as interesting. Several Bronze Age settlements line the route, making the path an important historic area. With so much to see, it’s well worth taking a picnic and the family camera so you can sit back and take it all in!

The Walk

This is a relatively easy 4.5 mile walk and although there are some steep descents, the route should take no longer than three hours to complete. Our advice would be to take strong footwear, plenty of water and don’t forget that all important picnic.

The Route

Park in the village of Abergwyngregyn, in the free cark park and make your way south through the village, passing an information centre with disabled toilet, following the lane. Follow the lane as it comes alongside the river for half a mile and cross the old stone bridge following way markers for North Wales Path in to the valley. The path continues up to the falls but make sure to stop and take note of the information boards along the route which note the management of Alder trees and wildlife in the valley. There is also a very interesting pile of stones on the route with an information board, explaining that they are actually the remains of an Iron Age round house dating back 2000-2700 years.

After passing the Iron Age round house, you will shortly come across a magnificent view of the waterfalls and the surrounding hills. After stopping to enjoy the views and a healthy picnic, continue the circular walk by crossing the river to its west bank and following the way markers for the North Wales Path. The route will continue west across the valley and cross another small river before coming to sheep-filled fields. Here the outlook will change and you’ll get a fantastic view over the Irish sea.

Follow the brow of the hill and you will soon see your starting point. Head back through the small village of Abergwyngregyn until you reach the carpark for some much needed rest.

To view the route map please click here.

Rent a cottage in Gwynedd with Sykes Cottages

Garth Mortin The Barn (Reference 27046), in Morfa Bychan

Garth Mortin The Barn (Reference 27046), in Morfa Bychan

Gwynedd offers something for everyone, with the stunning mountain ranges of Snowdonia National Park, beautiful sandy beaches at Abersoch and Portmeirion, and an array of impressive historic structures like Penrhyn Castle and Cymer Abbey, you’re sure to find something to entertain you on your next UK holiday. Here at Sykes Cottages we offer over 250 Gwynedd cottages to choose from, so along with the variety of attractions on offer you’ll also have your pick of some of the county’s best holiday homes!

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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.

Walk of the Month: Ashdown Forest

Monday, May 11th, 2015
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For our May Walk of the Month we’re going to be taking a trip down to the South East and revisiting some childhood memories with a wander through Ashdown Forest – the home of Winnie the Pooh and friends!

Once a royal hunting ground established not long after the Norman conquest, Ashdown is now one of the gems of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Made up more of open heathland than actual forest, Ashdown has become one of the country’s more ecologically valued areas, having status as both a Special Protection Area for Birds and also a Special Conservation Area for Heathland Habitats. It is this abundance of wildlife coupled with the stunning scenery, that make a hike through Ashdown well worth it!

The Walk

The walk is quite a long one clocking in at around ten miles so you’ll want to set aside a bit of time for it. Added to this is the fact that much of the route is woodland path so it might be unsuitable for prams if you’re planning on taking the little ones with you. Along the way you’ll be able to see plenty of names that you’ll recognise from the tales and take in many beautiful sights – remember to keep your eyes peeled for the wildlife that calls Ashdown Forest home!

The Route

Starting off at the village of Groombridge you’ll want to head west towards the B2188 and join the Sussex Border Path, follow this path for a couple of miles past the village of Balls Green.

After another mile or so, you’ll reach the village of Hartfield – where A.A. Milne and Christopher Robin lived – you’ll want to head just past the village and take the bridleway heading south.

A mile down this bridleway will take you to Pooh Sticks Bridge where Winnie first invented the sport in The House at Pooh Corner.

Just half a mile on from Pooh Sticks Bridge, you’ll find yourself at Five Hundred Acre Forest – or Hundred Acre as A.A. Milne renamed it in the books. Follow the northern edge of the forest and you’ll soon find yourself at Fisher’s Gate; from here you’ll want to follow the path for another half mile or so until you get to Friar’s Gate.

At Friar’s Gate, you should rejoin the road and head down towards the village of Littlebrook where you’ll be able to head along the High Weald Landscape Trail, which you’ll follow and find yourself in the village of Eridge. It’s then just a couple of miles up the Eridge road and you’ll find yourself back at the start point of Groombridge.

Rent a Sussex Cottage with Sykes

But you should remember that wandering around Ashdown Forest isn’t the only thing to do in Sussex, you could take a trip to the seaside or spend an afternoon exploring Brighton! To get all of that in, you’ll want to have somewhere to stay, which is where we come into it! Here at Sykes we’ve got a wide range of Sussex cottages available which can give you that real home-away-from-home feeling, so take a look and see what you think!

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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.

Walk of the Month – Newborough Beach

Thursday, April 9th, 2015
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For April’s edition of Walk of the Month, we’re going to be taking a trip over to Anglesey and the stunning beach and forest at Newborough. I was lucky enough to be able to spend a week in a Sykes cottage on the island last month and we actually ended up doing this walk twice whilst we were there, so you can tell how much I enjoyed it!

The area around Newborough Beach and Llanddwyn is actually owned by the Forestry Commission so there’s a small £3 toll that you have to pay in order to drive your car down to the beach, but don’t worry it’s well worth it! Not only will you be able to find stunning views out over the Llyn Peninsula from the beach but you might also be able to catch a glimpse of one of the thriving colony of red squirrels that call the woods home!

The Walk

The route that the walk follows is actually very simple and easy to navigate, and with it only being around 4 miles long and fairly flat, it should be manageable for walkers of all ages and abilities. If you’re planning on taking the pooch with you then it’s worth remembering that there are restrictions that run throughout the summer months. From the 1st of May right the way through to the end of September, dogs are prohibited from the vast majority of the beach and also from Llanddwyn Island but they can be taken on the eastern end of the beach.

The Route

The route is a simple one. The starting point is in the car park right down by the beach – if you head through the toll booth at the top of the hill you just have to keep on the road and you’ll reach it eventually.

From the car park, there is a short passage leading through the dunes which will take you out on to Newborough Beach, once you’re on the sands you’ll want to take a right and head down towards Llanddwyn Island.

Eventually you’ll reach the end of the bay but you’ll see Ynys Llanddwyn Island curve away to your left – this is where you want to go. It’s actually a tidal island so there’s no trouble walking across to it at low tide, but it can be totally cut off for a couple of hours at very high tides so make sure you check the tide times!

It’s on the island that you’ll see many of the highlights from the walk. You’ll see the remains of the old church of Saint Dwynwen, the lighthouse or the old pilot cottages that used to house the sailors who would guide boats through the treacherous Menai Straits, and there’s the stunning views out over the mountains of the mainland. Once you reach the western tip of the island, you’ll want to head back towards the mainland, either back the way that you came or by using one of the other pathways.

When you’re off the island you’re presented with several choices, you can take a left and head through to Maltraeth Bay, the next beach up the coastline, and have a wander there. Or you can head across the dunes and up to the forest path that runs parallel to the beach and will drop you off back at the car park, then there’s also the option of heading back along the beach to the starting point.

Rent an Anglesey Cottage with Sykes

Well how does that sound to you? Good? Then you’ll want to have a look at our Angelsey cottages! We’ve got a wide variety available all over the island, from cosy couples retreats in Beaumaris to properties fit for the whole family in Cemaes Bay, why don’t you check them out?

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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.