Archive for the ‘Walk of the Month’ Category

Walk of the Month: Box Hill Stepping Stones

Sunday, April 24th, 2016
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It’s time for another instalment of Walk of the Month and for April’s edition, we’ve decided to feature a family friendly walk which makes the most of the warmer weather and extra hours of sunlight. The Box Hill Stepping Stones walk can be found in Tadworth and has the most wonderful views of the Surrey Hills.

This walk is great for active families who enjoy nature; the route is even dog friendly meaning you don’t have to leave the family pet behind. During this walk you and your family will be treated to amazing views of the Surrey countryside as well as glimpses of the area’s local wildlife. Be sure to keep an eye out for Adonis Blue butterflies and Bee Orchids hiding amongst the grass and if you’re quiet, you may even spot a kingfisher down by the River Mole!

The walk

This month’s route is two miles long and takes around an hour and half to complete, although please allow extra time if you plan on stopping off for a picnic. The route covers a moderate terrain but please be mindful that there is a steep descent with 275 steps and a long ascent to consider. Dogs are welcome on this route but must be kept on a lead due to grazing livestock. The visitor centre stocks drinks and snacks and is a great place to stop off before starting your walk. If you plan on arriving by car, then the car park has a small fee of £4, but it is free for National Trust members.

The route

Start your journey from the National Trust visitor centre, next to the car park. From here follow the surfaced pathway which runs parallel to the road (make sure to avoid the track going off to the right). You’ll soon see the fantastic view of the Surrey Hills opening out in front of you from Salomon’s Memorial. Stop here to admire the view or enjoy a tasty family picnic before continuing on the walk.

From Salomon’s Memorial, continue your walk down the sloped path under the viewpoint. Take a right and continue along this path until you see some steps cut into the ground on your left. Follow these steps down hill and through the Yew Woods, there are a total of 275 steps here so make sure to take care as they can sometimes be slippery.

Once you reach the bottom of the steps, continue along the path making sure to keep an eye out on your left for glimpses of the River Mole. When the path starts to flatten out you’ll come to a fork in the path, take the route to the left, the one with the sign for the Stepping Stones. You will now see the River Mole and the Stepping Stones in front of you.

From here you can either continue across the Stepping Stones before turning right and following the river, or take a right at the river’s edge and follow the path, crossing at the bridge a little further along. Once you’ve reached the bridge, continue through the gate which brings you out into a large open space called Burford Meadow.

Continue through Burford Meadow until you reach the road bridge. Just to the left of the bridge there is a path leading upwards, follow this path until you come out on the pavement next to the A24. Turn right here and cross the river. Continue along the pavement, passing a hotel on your right hand side.

Take the path on your right which comes up immediately after the Hotel. Follow this path until you reach a fork, take the left path and continue along the grassy track heading uphill. When you reach the ridge of the hill, join the wide grassy path and continue uphill as the path becomes a white chalk path.

You will soon see a pathway on your left, follow this path until it joins a stony path and the take a right continuing uphill. You’ll soon pass a building on your right; this is Box Hill Fort and one of the oldest buildings in the area. Take your time to explore the Fort before continuing up the stony track and turning right at the road to reach the visitor centre.

To view the route map please click here.

Rent a cottage in the Tadworth area with Sykes Cottages

Mannor house surrounded by greenery and flowers.

Hoath House (Ref. 22743) will accommodate up to 26 people and is located just 29 miles from Box Hill.

Here at Sykes Cottages we have a lovely selection of holiday lets available within a 30 mile radius of Tadworth, any of which would be perfect for day trips to Box Hill. Our cottages come in all shapes and sizes and there is even a property large enough to accommodate a party of 26! With plenty of extras including swimming pools, open fires, gardens and WiFi, we’re sure to have a property in this selection to suit your holiday requirements. To see our full range of cottages in the Tadworth area please click here, alternatively please feel free to give our team a call on 01244 356695 for more information.

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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: Llanberis Lake

Saturday, March 26th, 2016
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Can you believe we’re on our third Walk of the Month of 2016 already? In just a few days’ time it will be April and then summer will be here before you know it! To help make the most of the crisp spring weather whilst it lasts, we’ve pulled together a fantastic walk around the iconic Llanberis Lake in North Wales.

Clear blue lake reflecting the green mountains and clear blue sky above.

A fantastic image of Llyn Padarn taken by Hefin OwenCC 2.0

Llanberis Lake, known as Llyn Padarn, is approximately two miles long and 94 feet at its deepest point. Surrounded by some of the best scenery in Snowdonia, this picturesque walk offers plenty of opportunity for pictures, wildlife spotting and even a dip in the lake if you’re feeling adventurous!

The Walk

This walk follows a circular route around Llyn Padarn and will take between two and three hours to complete, depending on your level of fitness. The majority of the walk is over level ground, however the path can be loose underfoot in areas and there are some tricky stone steps along the way. It can be a little windy down by the lake so we suggest a warm jacket and sensible shoes for this walk.

The Route

Park in the car park (there is a small charge) then make your way north along the A4086. You will soon come to a fork in the road, at this point head right toward the track bed of an abandoned railway. Follow this track as far as the railway tunnel and take the steps to the right of the tunnel entrance to the upper level. From here, follow the path through a set of wooded gates and continue along the lakeside trail.

Silhouette of a lonely tree infront of a reflective lake with mountains and blue sky

Image of Llyn Padarn at sunset by Hefin OwenCC 2.0

Continue along the lakeside trail until you reach the head of the lake; at this point cross over the River Rhythallt making sure to admire the spectacular backdrop. Follow the road as it climbs towards the village of Fachwen, make your way through Fachwen keeping your eye out for a blue telephone kiosk. Take the path opposite the phone kiosk and descend the steps to the road below. The trail continues along the lane passing through wonderful woodlands before descending to a low point at a river crossing.

Cross the stream and follow the path until you come to a fork, take the left fork that ascends some rough stone steps. The path will take you back up through the woodland before exiting the trees at its highest point and offering amazing views.

From here it’s all downhill paths; continue along your path through the woods and into the old hospital grounds and gardens. Leave the hospital grounds via the wooden steps down to another lakeside car park. Here you will see the Welsh National Slate Museum, take the road that leaves the south eastern point of the museum area and cross the bridge towards the fields. Continue through the fields until you reach the A4086 and then your car park.

To view the route map and original walk please click here.

Rent a Cottage in Llanberis with Sykes Cottages

Modern kitchen/living space with over hanging light

The living space at Beudy Hywel (Ref. 6145) in Llanrug near Llanberis

If this walk has inspired you to visit North Wales this year then why not book a stay in one of our Llanberis holiday cottages? With nearly 30 holiday lets located within five miles of Llanberis, we’re sure to have something to suit your requirements. From large stylish properties sleeping 16 to small intimate cottages for two, these holiday homes are ideal for exploring Llanberis and the rest of the Snowdonia National Park.

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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: Trevose Head

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016
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We’re fast approaching the end of the month and that can only mean one thing, it’s time for February’s instalment of Walk of the Month! In this edition, we’re heading south to the coastal county of Cornwall, where we’ll be taking on the South West Coast Path. As the whole 630 mile walk was a bit too much for us to handle, we’ve decided to break the route down and focus on the beautiful Trevose Head circular walk instead.

Trevose Head is a fantastic section of coastline located in North Cornwall. The area is widely known for its fantastic wildlife, great hiking, birdwatching spots and picturesque lighthouse. During this circular walk, you’ll be able to take in all of these fantastic sights as well as sensational views of the Cornish coast.

The Walk

The circular route around Trevose Head covers 6.1 miles and should take experienced walkers just over an hour and a half to complete. The walk has an easy gradient so isn’t too difficult for beginners, but we would advise wearing trainers or walking shoes. You can stop off for food in Constantine Bay or stock up on picnic supplies at the local shop before heading out.

The Route

Start at the Constantine car park and walk down towards the beach, turn right and walk along the back of the beach until you reach the steps at the far end. Walk up the steps and follow the cliff behind Bobby’s Bay until the path meets some tracks that head inland.

Keep left along the coastal path until you come across some kissing gates. Go through the kissing gates and bear left to keep on the coastal path. Follow the path onto the headland; you’ll pass a stile which you can walk past before coming to a huge collapsed cave on the right. Take some time to marvel at the cave before continuing along the path, you will soon come across a second stile which you will need to cross.

Once you’ve crossed the stile, keep following the path until you come across a track. Bear left onto the track and follow it down into the quarry. Dinas Head is located on the left so you could take a detour to explore the area before coming back to the quarry. Cross the quarry and follow the path along the other side and up the steps towards to road.

Looking down at the ocean from cliff top.. Grey stone, green grass and dark turquoise waters with white sea foam

Image taken by Mike KnappCC 2.0

Turn left and walk down the side of the road towards the lighthouse. When you reach a path turning right, follow it up the steps and onto the coast path around Trevose Head. When the path reaches the corner of a wall and forks at a waymark, follow the path to the left to a cairn between the two benches on the skyline.

From the cairn, bear right to a stile in the corner and cross the stile to the lane that leads to the lifeboat station. Cross the stile opposite onto a path and follow it until you reach another stile. Cross the stile onto a track and turn left, then immediately right over the stile which is indicated by the coast path sign. Follow this path until it comes out at a waymark on a track next to Mother Ivy’s Cottage.

At the waymark, pass the path to the beach and head on towards the gate for Mother Ivy’s Cottage. Go through the kissing gate which is on the right of the cottage gate and follow the path until you reach the main track onto the beach at the holiday park. When you reach the track, turn immediately right and up the steps, following the coast path until you reach another gate.

Go through the gate and follow the path until you reach the track. Cross the track and continue along the path opposite the coast path and around the headline, until you reach a stile in front of a house at Onjohn Cove. Cross the stile and keep left on the path, walking past the house to a kissing gate.

Go through the kissing gate and take the second path leading left (avoid the first path which leads to the beach), follow the coast path until you reach a waymark at Haryln Bay. Turn left at the waymark, go down the steps and follow the path onto the beach. Once on the beach, turn right and hug the cliff until it brings you out onto a lane at the side of the bridge.

At this lane, turn right and follow it until it brings you to a junction. Turn right at the junction and follow the lane around the bend until you reach another junction signposted to the lifeboat station. Continue ahead at the junction and stay on the lane as it crosses the Trevose Head golf course.

At the junction by the club house, turn right and follow the public footpath signposted to the coast path. Follow this footpath until you reach the top of a flight of steps from the dunes to the beach. Instead of taking the path down the steps, turn left and follow the path along the edge of the dunes until you reach the track to the car park.

To view the route map please click here.

Rent a cottage in Cornwall with Sykes Cottages

Property with solar panels and lots of greenery.

Colhay Studio in Downinney near Launceston, Cornwall

If you feel like trying this walk or any of the walks listed on the South West Coast Path website then why not team your activity with a stay in one of our Cornish cottages? With over 320 properties in Cornwall to choose from, you’ll be sure to find a property to accommodate your needs.

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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: The Best Walks in Britain

Sunday, January 31st, 2016
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It’s the first Walk of the Month for 2016 and we’re kicking things off in style by compiling a list of the best walks in Britain! Isle of Inspiration, a recent addition to the Sykes website, has shown us that Britain has a lot to offer walkers; from coastal paths to rugged country routes, there is a lot of ground to cover. The following walks are all featured in Isle of Inspiration and come with a strong tie to some of the UK’s most recognisable artists, so when you walk along these routes you could be walking in the footsteps of Barbara Hepworth, Kate Bush or even William Wordsworth.

Rosedale Mineral Railway Walk

Covering just one mile this walk should take no more than an hour to complete and takes in some fantastic views of the Yorkshire Moors. Whilst following the path, walkers should look out for evidence of the ironstone industry; a row of terraced houses which were originally built to house railway line workers, are of particular interest.

See the full walk here: Rosedale Mineral Railway

Hole of Horcum Walk

Both Kate Bush and Emily Brontë were big fans of the Yorkshire Moors and when following this five mile route, it’s not hard to see why. With panoramic views, archaeological remains and beautiful Yorkshire scenery, this three mile walk is more than worth the effort. To see more of the moors, walkers can opt to take a diversion making this walk closer to seven miles long.

See the full walk here: Hole of Horcum

Seaford to Eastbourne Walk

If you fancy a day walking along the beautiful south east coastline then this 13.8 mile walk is for you, but be warned the route takes around seven hours to complete and is not recommended for beginners. For those brave enough to take on this challenging walk, you’ll be rewarded with sensational views of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head.

See the full walk here: Seaford to Eastbourne

Zennor Head Walk

Probably the easiest walk in our selection, the Zennor Head Walk takes just 30 to 40 minutes to complete and covers one mile. When following the route, walkers will be treated to fantastic views of Cornish countryside and coast, some of which are bound to have inspired the work of the iconic artist Barbara Hepworth.

See the full walk here: Zennor Head

Cliff Top Walk

This is the easiest of our Cheddar George walks and a brilliant introduction to the area. At just three miles long, this walk should take around two hours to complete and incorporates some of Cheddar George’s most iconic scenes. From the Horseshoe Bend and Lookout Tower, to The Pinnacles and Black Rock Gate, it’s easy to see why this area inspired JRR Tolkien.

See the full walk here: Cliff Top

Extended Cliff Top Walk

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous then why not take on the extended cliff top walk? With a longer walking route, you’re able to see more of the area’s incredible landscape and fantastic wildlife. This walk follows a five mile route and will take around three hours to complete. Walkers should take care as the path has some rough sections and steep climbs; it is not advised to undertake this walk when the weather is windy or foggy.

See the full walk here: Extended Cliff Top

Mendip Hills Walk

At 5.3 miles, this walk will take just overthree hours to complete and is fantastic for the more experienced walker. The ascent is 314.1m so suitable walking shoes and a walking pole are advised. Whilst walking, we suggest keeping an eye out for the herd of British Primitive Goats which can be found grazing on the cliffs.

See the full walk here: Mendip Hills

Semer Water Walk

The Semer Water walk offers a fantastic day out for experienced walkers, where they can ramble along the 10 mile route as they take in some of the Lake District’s most iconic scenery. The walk takes a minimum of five hours to complete and with many stopping points along the way, there are plenty of opportunities for a picnic with fellow walkers.

See the full walk here: Semer Water

Grasmere and Rydal Water

This is a relatively easy walk, with some steep sections appearing over the 5.6 mile route. In total, the walk should take just over two hours to complete but if you want to stop off and admire the scenery, we would suggest allowing two and a half hours. Whilst on your walk, be sure to stop off at Dove Cottage which was once home to poet William Wordsworth.

See the full walk here: Grasmere and Rydal Water

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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: 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.