Archive for the ‘Walk of the Month’ Category

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.

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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.

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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.

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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: Melbury Downs

Monday, May 26th, 2014
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Home to more footpaths and bridleways than a-roads, it’s little wonder Dorset is considered one of the UK’s premier walking destinations. For centuries, this largely rural county on England’s South Coast has attracted no-end of contemplative strollers, the most famous of which being Thomas Hardy, who spent much of his time gallivanting around Dorset’s pleasant pastures and squally, Jurassic Coast.

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Follow in the footsteps of this famous Victorian novelist on your next holiday in Dorset with a hazy summer stroll in the charming Melbury Downs. Comprising the UK’s largest collection of butterflies, as well as a lush, evocative panorama that’s bound to put a smile on your face, this handsome chalk downland is the perfect place to spend a sweltering summer’s day in the hiking boots.

The Walk

Tough terrain and steep ascents make this 3 mile walk a fair challenge, so give yourself plenty of time to complete the route. If tackling it during the summer months, be sure to carry plenty of water as shops are few and far between.

The Route

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Park in the Spread Eagle Hill car park, turn left and follow the road North for around 300m. Here you’ll find a gate; walk through this and follow the fence before ascending up the charming Melbury Hill. When you’ve reached the top, breathe hard, relax and enjoy the 360 degree panorama of the Vale of Wardour, Shaftesbury and Blackmore Vale.

Descend the Beacon via a more southerly route and keep your eye out for rare butterflies, including the chalkhill blue and marbled white. The Downs are also famed for their glow worms, which appear when the weather’s good, so be sure to carry your camera in order to capture these peculiar creepy crawlies as they illuminate your path.

Once you’ve reached the Saddle of the hill, turn right and pass through the pedestrian gate, before following the fence on your left which traverses the summit of Compton Down. Eventually, you’ll reach a stile that’s buried in a thick hedge; climb this, keeping an eye on the impenetrable branches for a glimpse of the illusive Adonis butterfly, before heading  west until you rejoin the path which takes you back to the car park.

Rent a cottage in Dorset with Sykes Cottages

With 130 cottages to rent from coast to country throughout Dorset, there’s no better base for a walking holiday in this marvellous English county. To find out more about Dorset, or to choose the perfect cottage for your trip, visit our Dorset cottages page today.

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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: The Wild Atlantic Way

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
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Ok, you got us- this isn’t our typical Walk of the Month, and certainly not one for a lazy Sunday. But stick with us, as we’re here to let you know about a brilliant new walking route that has recently been unveiled on the West Coast of Ireland: the majestic Wild Atlantic Way.

The official Wild Atlantic Way logo- Via Flickr

The official Wild Atlantic Way logo- Via Flickr

Follow in the footsteps of St Patrick on your next trip to Ireland with a jaunt along the newly inaugurated Wild Atlantic Way, the world’s longest coastal touring route. Covering over 1,500 miles of rugged sea cliffs, exposed beaches and vibrant heritage towns, this epic pathway can be tackled on foot, by bike or behind the wheel. The Wild Atlantic Way was designed to highlight the beauty of Ireland’s Atlantic Seaboard, as well as to draw more visitors to the West Coast’s lesser known areas. The route follows the coast from Malin Head on Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula to the charming fishing village of Kinsale in County Cork, taking in famed beauty spots, historic sites and some of Ireland’s best surf beaches along the way.

Without boring you with a blow-by-blow account of every inch of this remarkable route, we wanted to demonstrate just how marvellous the Wild Atlantic Way is. So, we’ve compiled a gallery of images which capture some of the best bits from the trail. Feast your eyes on a selection of delectable landscapes from all seven counties which feature along the length of this magnificent pathway, from the remote heathlands of Connemara in County Galway to the stunning Cliffs of Moher in County Clare.

Slieve League, County Donegal

Slieve League- Via Flickr

Slieve League- Via Flickr

Located on Donegal’s rugged south west coast, the Slieve League cliffs are regarded as some of the finest sea cliffs in Europe. Clinging to the cliffs 600m above the roaring Atlantic, this stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way isn’t for the faint hearted, but the plucky will be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama from the summit.

Benbulben, County Sligo

Benbulben- Via Flickr

Benbulben- Via Flickr

Standing proudly beside Sligo Bay since the ice age, Benbulben is an imposing rock formation that’s shrouded in Irish mythology. Some say Benbulben was the homestead of the Fianna, a band of celtic warriors who lived in the 3rd century, whilst others claim the mountain was the battleground of a bad tempered giant and an enchanted boar- all we know is, it’s great for rock climbing and will make an excellent backdrop for a family selfie.

Keem Strand, County Mayo

Keem Strand- Via Flickr

Keem Strand- Via Flickr

Go off piste on your tour of the Wild Atlantic Way and you’ll find Keem Strand, an award-winning blue flag beach on the remote Achill Islands.  Tucked between Croaghaun mountain and Moyteoge Head, this stunning bay is great for swimming thanks to its horseshoe shape and wonderfully calm waters- bear it in mind if you’re looking for somewhere to lay down the beach towels!

Connemara, County Galway

Connemara- Via Flickr

Connemara- Via Flickr

Already home to some of Ireland’s best walking routes, Connemara is a natural playground of mountains, heathlands and lakes on the west coast of County Mayo. The Wild Atlantic Way reveals only a snapshot of the natural beauty on offer here, so if you’d like to see it all, rent a holiday cottage in Connemara and have your camera at the ready!

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

Cliffs of Moher- Via Flickr

Cliffs of Moher- Via Flickr

The Cliffs of Moher: jewel of the west coast. These world-renowned cliffs are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction, so they had to make our short list of Wild Atlantic Way must-sees. Though three times shorter than Slieve League (214m), The Cliffs of Moher are home to some truly spellbinding vistas as well as a wealth of marine life. Put simply, they’re an Irish icon!

Kenmare, County Kerry

Kenmare- Via Flickr

Kenmare- Via Flickr

As Ireland’s first heritage town, Kenmare is a great place to while away a day or two on your tour of the Wild Atlantic Way. This colourful settlement can be found on the shores of Kenmare Bay in County Kerry, an area renowned for its award-winning fairways and peaceful landscapes. The town itself is home to an array of gourmet eateries where you can enjoy a welcome seafood meal after a day in the walking boots.

Beara Peninsula, County Cork

Beara Peninsula- Via Flickr

Beara Peninsula- Via Flickr

Just when you think you’ve seen all of the beauty that the Wild Atlantic Way can offer, there’s the Beara Peninsula, an uninhabited region of archaeological sites, rare flora, hidden lakes and some of Ireland’s best angling spots. Beara’s magical coastline is teeming with things to see and do, but the majority visit simply to witness the region’s untamed, wild landscapes.

Walk in the wild on your next cottage holiday!

The Wild Atlantic Way is a long distance touring route of epic proportions, so chances are most people won’t have the time or the stamina to see it all. Luckily, we have lots of holiday cottages to rent near the Wild Atlantic Way that provide the perfect base for exploration and discovery on the west coast of Ireland.

For more information about the Wild Atlantic Way, or to download a map of the route, click here.

 

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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.