Archive for the ‘Walk of the Month’ Category

Walk of the Month: Our Favourites From 2015

Friday, January 1st, 2016
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First things first, a very Happy New Year to you from everyone here at Sykes Cottages! We hope you had a great time celebrating last night and that there weren’t too many sore heads this morning. Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016!

Every month last year, we dedicated a blog post to the UK and Ireland’s best walks. From County Cork to Ashdown Forest, we’ve covered walks of all abilities and lengths. In case you missed them, or are in need of some inspiration for things to do on the first weekend of 2016, here’s a roundup of some of our favourite walks from 2015’s Walk of the Month series.

Garinish Loop, County Cork

In August, we took a trip across the Irish Sea to the Garinish Loop on the Beara Peninsula. The Garinish Loop is a 4km coastal walk which can be challenging in places and should take around an hour and a half to complete. The walk takes in stunning coastal scenery and uninterrupted views out across to Dursey Island and the open sea.

See the full walk here: Garinish Loop


Lower Largo to St Monans, Fife

In September, Walk of the Month saw us heading to Fife to visit the section of the Fife Coastal Path between Lower Largo and St Monans. The route is just less than 9 miles long and can take around 4 hours to complete. There’s a lot to explore along this section of the path including historical ruins, spectacular coastal views and plenty of wildlife.

See the full walk here: Lower Largo to St Monans


Ashdown Forest, Sussex

Back in May, our Walk of the Month was a 10 mile route through the beautiful open heathland of Ashdown Forest, the home of Winnie the Pooh. Along the way, you’ll spot familiar places from the books such as Pooh Sticks Bridge and Five Hundred Acre Forest, or One Hundred Acre Wood as A.A Milne renamed it.

See the full walk here: Ashdown Forest


Aber Falls, Gwynedd

Back in June, we took it upon ourselves to explore the Welsh countryside and the 4.5 mile circular walk from Abergwyngregyn to the striking Aber Falls. The walk is relatively easy and should take around 3 hours to complete. This route is perfect for photographers as well as anyone with a keen interest in history, as the route travels past the ruins of an Iron Age house dating back around 2,700 years.

See the full walk here: Aber Falls


Coniston to Tarn Hows Wildlife Walk, Cumbria

For a peaceful wildlife walk in the Lake District, take a look at February’s Walk of the Month, a 5 mile figure of eight route from Coniston Water to Tarn Hows, that should take around two and a half hours to complete. Keep your eyes peeled for the abundance of wildlife in this area, which include red squirrels and Cumbria’s Herdwick sheep.

See the full walk here: Tarn Hows Wildlife Walk


Burnham Overy Staithe to Stiffkey, Norfolk

Exactly one year ago today, we published 2015’s first Walk of the Month; a bracing 9.8 mile sea air walk on the Norfolk Coast Path. Wander along the coast from the hamlet of Burnham Overy Staithe, through Holkham Gap and the delightful seaside town of Wells-on-Sea, to Stiffkey. Dogs are more than welcome on this walk and there are some lovely dog friendly beaches along the way for them to run about on.

See the full walk here: Burnham Overy Staithe to Stiffkey

For more walks from 2015 and for upcoming walks in 2016, keep your eye on the Walk of the Month category of our blog where we’ll be bringing you the routes for most beautiful and interesting walks from across the country. If you have any suggestions for Walk of the Month, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch by Twitter or Facebook and you could see your suggestion appearing in an upcoming blog post!

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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: Nar Valley Way

Sunday, November 29th, 2015
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For November’s instalment of Walk of the Month, we’ve ventured to the beautiful Norfolk in search of a walk that highlights all that this captivating region has to offer. After much deliberation, we have decided to feature the King’s Lynn to Narborough section of the Nar Valley Way, which forms part of the much bigger Cross Norfolk Trail.

This wonderful section of the Nar Valley Way will take you along a fantastic route across open countryside with impressive views over the open Norfolk landscape and the enchanting River Nar. The route is well signposted throughout but as long as you follow the river then you can’t go too far off course.

The Walk

The walk from King’s Lynn to Narborough is 15 miles long and should take experienced walkers no longer than six hours to complete. The walk covers a very easy terrain, making this walk suitable for all walkers and apart from crossing a few busy roads, the route is very safe. We would suggest wearing good walking boots and packing plenty of water, along with a few snacks for this walk.

The Route

Start your journey from King’s Lynn Quay, where you will find signs for both the Nar Valley Way and the Fen Rivers Way. Follow the Quay in a south west direction until the trail changes course by the creek at the mouth of the river. Follow the trail across the river, then follow the new road alongside Hardings Pits Doorstep Green until you reach the main road. Cross the main road and the bridge that follows before continuing along the northern side of the river.

Follow the path until you reach the A47 underpass, on the other side of the underpass you will come across an old railway bridge before the path crosses to the opposite side of the river. Follow the path along the riverside and through to the Setchey Road Bridge. Cross the bridge and continue along the northern side of the river through to Pentney Lakes.

Following the river, the path will start to zig zag before you come across a footbridge and the first turn. Cross the footbridge and make your way along the southern side of the river until you reach Narborough.

To view the route map please click here.

Rent a cottage in Norfolk with Sykes Cottages

Flint Cottage - Reference 919293

Flint Cottage – Reference 919293

Our Norfolk cottages make the perfect base for exploring the Nar Valley Way, in fact with over 170 cottages located throughout Norfolk, you may find yourself spoilt for choice. Our range of cottages include everything from cosy hideaways for couples on a romantic break to large townhouses on the coast, ideal for families or big walking groups. So if you fancy teaming your walk with a stay in one of the UK’s best holiday destinations, then take a look at our Norfolk cottages page, or for more information on the area why not check out our Norfolk visitor’s guide?

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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: Hadrian’s Wall

Monday, October 19th, 2015
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For October’s Walk of the Month, we’re going to be taking a step back in time to explore one of the finest historical attractions that England has to offer: Hadrian’s Wall. Built 1800 years ago and stretching from the Solway Coast in the West all the way across to Wallsend just outside of Newcastle upon Tyne, the wall is one of just 29 sites in the UK that feature on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Between Hadrian’s Wall itself and the stunning scenery of the surrounding areas, any stretch of the path would be great for an autumnal stroll but we think we’ve managed to track down the best route, so take a look!

The Walk

Not only taking you along one of the most impressive sections of wall still standing, this route also gives you the chance to explore a couple of the best attractions linked to Hadrian’s wall – Vindolanda and Housesteads. It may be a fair distance at about 7 and a half miles long, so the walk could take four and a half hours to complete, maybe even longer if you stop off at any of the attractions, but it’s well worth it!

The Route

Starting in the car park at Housesteads, you’ll want to head up the hill towards the old fort and museum, feel free to pop in for a look!

Once you’ve finished at Housesteads, follow the tarmac road south-west towards the B6318. Once you reach the road, head right and immediately cross the road and climb the stile signposted for Crinkledykes. Follow the path for three quarters of a mile before joining the road (the Roman Stanegate).

You’ll want to take the second right on the Stanegate which should be signposted for Vindolanda. As with Housesteads, a visit to Vindolanda comes well recommended so don’t be afraid to stop off for a while. Once you’re done, follow the track at the back of Vindolanda which will see you rejoin Stanegate further up the road.

When you reach the junction, take the right which will lead you to the Once Brewed National Park Visitor Centre, there you’ll want to cross the B6318 and follow the signposts for Steel Rigg. Before you reach the Steel Rigg car park, you should see signs for the Hadrian’s Wall Path; when you find the path head over the ladder stile and follow the path back to the Housesteads car park.

If you want any more information about the walk, or would like a map of it, then click here and you’ll be able to find a booklet put together by the National Trails and scroll down to page 24.

Rent a cottage near Hadrian’s Wall with Sykes

So what are you waiting for? Happily, here at Sykes we’ve got a wide variety of cottages right on the doorstep of Hadrian’s Wall, all of which would be perfect for putting your feet up after a long afternoon’s stroll, take a look here to find them all.

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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: Lower Largo to St Monans

Saturday, September 12th, 2015
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September’s instalment of Walk of the Month sees us hiking across Scotland to bring you the best views of both the coast and country. Making use of the Fife coastal path between Lower Largo and St Monans, this route has everything you could ask for from an autumn walk; spectacular ocean scenery, open spaces, fresh country air and the chance to see Scottish wildlife and historic ruins.

From start to finish there is plenty to explore along this ancient route, making it extremely popular with walkers from all over the UK. Once you’ve finished your walk, the area is also great for day trips with plenty to see and a number of eateries scattered about. There are also buses available from both Lower Largo and St Monans so no need to bring the car.

The Walk

The route from Lower Largo to St Monans is almost nine miles long and can take up to four hours to complete; the distance along with some uneven terrain makes the walk better suited to adults and older children with previous experience of long walks/hikes. It can get rather nippy along the coast so as well as good walking boats and plenty of water, we would suggest wrapping up warm and using a waterproof jacket.

The Route

If you’re arriving by bus, start at the Lower Largo harbour and follow the road east, passing a unique totem-pole sculpture and the house with a carved statue of Robinson Crusoe. As the road curves right, keep straight until you reach a narrow path- follow it through to the car park. This is the starting point if you arrive by car. From the car park make your way down to the sandy shore and follow the coast east, heading out along Largo Bay. If the tide is high, follow the old railway line which can be found slightly inland. When the path gets stony, head slightly inland and follow the path until it brings you back out to the sands.

When you reach the burn that flows across the beach, cross it close to the railway line and then follow the signed path from the car park at Dumbarnie Links Wildlife Reserve. Here you can either stay on the sands or follow the signed path through the dunes until you reach a set of tank traps; keep walking until you see a tall signpost on your left. Follow this sign posted path to reach the first of two bridges which take you over the Cocklemouth Burn.

Follow the path though a break in the pines and along a surfaced tack which runs by the edge of the caravan park. Once you reach the far end, follow a sign to cross the bridge and continue along the coastal path which will soon begin to climb above the basalt cliffs which form Kincraig head. There is an option here to take the chain walk but this should only be done by experienced walkers at low tide. From the top of the cliffs, descend to the golf course and follow signs to the shore. Once you reach the shore, turn left at the sign to cross the golf course.

Once across the golf course, why not take a detour to your right and investigate the lighthouse? If you decided to give the lighthouse a miss, simply continue left past an arch. The path is now pretty straight forward until St Monans Castle where it will climb up to the left and continue through a gate at the old Dovecot. Descend to the shore for the final stretch and follow the coastal path round to the bottom of the old Kirk, if this is underwater there are inland detours available.

To view the route map please click here.

Rent a cottage in Fife with Sykes Cottages

North Cults - Reference 904038

North Cults – Reference 904038

If you fancy taking on the Lower Largo to St Monans walk and exploring all the Fife has to offer then why to book a stay in one of our Fife Cottages? Filled with character and charm, these cottages are ideal for exploring Scotland and its culture. Along with the wonderful coastal walks and fascinating history, the area also happens to be known as the home of golf, giving you the perfect opportunity to work on your swing!

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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: 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.