Archive for the ‘Yorkshire’ Category

Celebrate Yorkshire Day 2014

Friday, August 1st, 2014
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If one county deserves its very own day, it’s Yorkshire. On 1st August each year, the UK’s biggest county comes together to celebrate all that’s brilliant about the region. In honour of Yorkshire Day 2014, we set about finding some dazzling facts and truths about God’s Own County, to demonstrate exactly why Yorkshire merits its own diary date. So let’s get to it.

Top 10 amazing facts about Yorkshire

Ilkley Moor- Via Flickr

Ilkley Moor- Via Flickr

Yorkshire’s unofficial anthem is On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at, which to non-Yorkshire folks translates as On Ilkley Moor without a hat. There are worse places to be hatless I suppose…

Yorkshire contains two national parks, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. Between them, the parks cover a land area of 3,203 square kilometres and comprise 1,049 scheduled ancient monuments and 79 conservation areas.

The UK experienced its largest recorded earthquake at Dogger Bank in 1931. The quake measured 6.1 on the Richter scale and caused widespread damage to Yorkshire coastal towns like Filey and Bridlington.

Yorkshire Coast- Via Flickr

Yorkshire Coast- Via Flickr

If Yorkshire was an independent country, it would have finished an impressive 12th in the league table at the 2012 Olympics. The county’s sportsmen and women racked up 7 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze medals over the course of the games.

Did you know, Guy Fawkes, instigator of the 1605 gunpowder plot, was born in the city of York in 1570?

The popular coastal town of Scarborough in North Yorkshire became Britain’s first seaside resort in 1626, after a damsel discovered a spring in the town which supposedly had health-giving properties. Mystical water or not, the tourists have returned ever since.

The Shambles- Via Flickr

The Shambles- Via Flickr

Roman Emperor, Septimus Severus, ruled his entire empire from York for two years before his death in 211AD. His body is said to be buried beneath the old city- who needs Rome eh?

England’s tallest bloke, William Bradley, was born in the East Yorkshire town of Market Weighton in 1787. By 20, he was well over seven feet tall and was known throughout the country as the Yorkshire Giant.

Brompton, North Yorkshire, has a spot reserved in the history books thanks to Sir George Cayley, an aviation pioneer and all round aerodynamics guru. In 1853, this Yorkshire-born genius invented the world’s first glider. Other inventions conceived in Yorkshire include stainless steel, road cat’s eyes and the steam locomotive.

William Wilberforce, a key figure in the abolition of slavery in the UK, was born in the city of Hull in 1759. Today, his legacy can be seen across the globe, with universities and schools from the USA to Africa named after the Yorkshireman.

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.

Holiday Cottages still available for Tour de France 2014

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
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As we speak, Yorkshire is hard at working preparing for a visit from one of the world’s most famous cycling races. Within the next two weeks, Yorkshire will play host to the first two stages of the Tour de France Grand Départ 2014, with the first stage taking place on Saturday 5th July from Leeds to Harrogate, and the second stage taking part the following day on Sunday 6th July from York to Sheffield. We do have a handful of cottages that are available for Le Tour, perfect if you’re still looking for accommodation! However, they are booking up quickly so if you’re interested then please get in touch with us as soon as possible!

Clifford House Farm, Buckden

Holiday cottage in Buckden

Clifford House Farm, Buckden, Ref. 922

Looking for somewhere to stay where you can experience Stage One of Le Tour? Look no further than this stunning seventeenth century farmhouse in picturesque Buckden. Sleeping 11, this property would be perfect for a large group of family or friends and the location is ideal for those wanting to soak up the Grand Départ atmosphere. The publicity caravan will arrive in Buckden at around 11.37am on Saturday 5th July and riders will be passing through from around 1.28pm. To find out more about the availability of Clifford House Farm during the Tour de France then please visit the property’s listing page on our website.

Norton View Farm, Hetton

Holiday cottage near Skipton

Norton View Farm, Hetton, Ref. 6741

Norton View Farm is a spectacular former coaching inn in Hetton, just four miles from Skipton. This cottage enjoys breathtaking views over the Yorkshire countryside and boasts luxury furnishings including an AGA Rangemaster and a hot tub. On Saturday 5th July, the bustling market town of Skipton will host the cyclists of the Tour de France as they pass by from approximately 12.47pm, with the publicity caravan expected to start arriving at around 10.52am. This cottage is still available for the dates that Le Tour will be travelling through Skipton but is bound to be snapped up soon; book quickly to avoid disappointment! You will find all the details on our website.

Gaylebeck Gallery, Hawes

Holiday cottage in Hawes

Gaylebeck Gallery, Hawes, Ref. 23216

Gaylebeck Gallery is set in the wing of a charming, Georgian house in the heart of the bustling market town, Hawes. Offering characterful, spacious accommodation, this cottage also boasts stunning views from most of its rooms. The first stage of the Tour de France will be passing through Hawes on Saurday 5th July, with the publicity caravan expected to arrive at around 12.27pm with the riders travelling through from approximately 2.13pm. Hawes is also the start of the Hawes Cycle Route, which is a 60 mile recreational route taking cyclists along many of the same roads as the competitors will face. This beautiful property is still available for the dates of the Tour de France and you can find all details and prices on our website.

The Snug, Haworth

Holiday cottage in Haworth

The Snug, Haworth, Ref. 903849

This characterful cottage in the quaint Yorkshire town of Haworth still has availability for the week of the Grand Départ. The route will see the publicity caravan arrive at around 11.22am on Sunday 6th July and competitors are expected to pass through Haworth’s Main Street with cyclists arriving from approximately 1.10pm. However, as a designated spectator hub for the Tour de France, there will be plenty of other things to see and do in Haworth over the weekend including big screen live coverage, children’s activities, workshops and live music in Haworth’s Central Park. To find out more about the dates available and prices, please visit our website.

Webb Cottage, Mytholmroyd

Holiday cottage near Hebden Bridge

Webb Cottage, Mytholmroyd, Ref. 911868

Webb Cottage is a traditional, stone-built property in the heart of Mytholmroyd, just one mile from the attractive town of Hebden Bridge. This charming cottage is still available during the Tour de France’s Grand Départ in Yorkshire, which will be passing through Mytholmroyd from approximately 1.36pm on Sunday 6th July. The publicity caravan is expected to arrive around 11.51am. For more information about Webb Cottage, please visit our website.

If you have any questions about any of the above properties or if you’d like to know what other properties are still available, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, either by calling 01244 356 695 or via email. If you’d like any more information about the Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire then visit

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.

A Short Break in Haworth: Things to Do

Saturday, May 31st, 2014
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Last month, I made the trip to Yorkshire to spend a long weekend in Haworth. As a lover of the novels produced by the famous Bronte sisters, this is a place that I’ve wanted to visit for years. Much like my lovely colleague Leanne, working at Sykes Cottages has inspired me to explore more of the UK and for today’s blog post, I wanted to share with you just some of the highlights from my trip to Haworth.

 The Passionate Brontës Walking Tour


Via Flickr

One activity in Haworth that is not to be missed is the Passionate Brontës Walking Tour. The tour lasts around an hour and a half and is a fantastic introduction to the Brontës, their work and Haworth itself. There isn’t a large amount of walking involved as you mainly cover the area around the Brontë Parsonage, making it suitable for nearly all ages and abilities. The tour guide, Johnnie, is sincerely passionate and deeply knowledgeable about the family and their history; so much so that you can’t help but become infected by his enthusiasm.  I would go as far as to say that his walking tour is one of the best I’ve ever been on. Even those with little interest in the Brontës (who’ve perhaps been coerced into doing the tour by an eager travelling companion!) will find themselves pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoy it.

Brontë Parsonage Museum

Bronte Parsonage Museum

Via Flickr

Once you’ve been on the Passionate Brontës Walking Tour then head for the Brontë Parsonage Museum. The museum was the lifelong home of the family and they lived here from 1820 until the last surviving member of the family, their father Patrick, died in 1861. It is here that the sisters were inspired to write their masterpieces and the moorlands so integral to Emily’s novel, Wuthering Heights, can be seen from the windows. The museum is now maintained by the Brontë Society and visitors can experience the house as close as is possible to how it would have been when the family lived here. There are also many items of furniture and personal possessions on display that belonged to the Brontës including Charlotte’s wedding bonnet, artwork painted by the sisters and even locks of their hair.

Shops, Cafes and Restaurants

Haworth shops and restaurants

Via Flickr

You could easily spend hours at the treasure trove of vintage, antique, second-hand and gift shops on Haworth’s Main Street; if you’re anything like me then I can guarantee you won’t leave empty handed! The traditional sweet shop at the top of the hill, Mrs Beighton’s Sweet Shop, is definitely worth a visit, offering a fantastic selection of old fashioned sweets including handmade Yorkshire fudge. If you’re feeling a little thirsty after exhausting the shops, Haworth also boasts a variety of great cafes and restaurants. Whether you’re after a three course meal, a sandwich or an alcoholic beverage, there’s something to suit you. Why not stop off for a pint at the historic Black Bull pub, often frequented by Branwell Brontë; head to the Stirrup Eating House for a cream tea; or dine in style at Embers of Haworth?

Rent a holiday cottage in Haworth

Holiday cottage in Haworth

Chloe’s Cottage, Haworth, Ref. 26945

Although my time in Haworth was short and revolved mainly around the Brontës, there are plenty of other brilliant things to do in Haworth and the surrounding areas; I will certainly be heading back! This quaint, picturesque town would be a fantastic place for a holiday in the UK and if you’re planning to visit any time soon then don’t forget to take a look at some of our lovely self-catering cottages in Haworth. If you have any further suggestions for places to visit in Haworth then we’d love to hear them! You can get in touch either by tweeting us or writing to us on Facebook.

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.

Le Tour de France- Coming to a country lane near you!

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
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Two years has passed since the Olympic Games brought passion and excitement to our shores and now the UK is set for yet another sizzling summer of sport. From the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow to the ever-popular Wimbledon Championships, 2014 is chock-a-block with thrilling sporting events. Yet none are causing quite as much fuss as a certain cycle race, which will be coming to the UK this July.

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

You guessed it; we’re talking the Tour De France, the world’s biggest and best cycle race. Since 1903, this multi-stage contest has seen riders from all corners of the world compete for the coveted yellow jersey and a place on the podium at the finish line in Paris.

In recent years, us Brits have become increasingly fond of the Tour De France, due in part to the popularity of British riders like Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish. But this year’s Tour looks set to take the UK by storm, as the contest’s Grand Départ will begin in Yorkshire.

Setting out from the city of Leeds on 5th July, the Tour takes the scenic route through the Yorkshire Dales, skirting Skipton, Grassington and Ripon before entering the spa town of Harrogate- and that’s just the first stage! Stage Two sees the peloton (posh name for a pack of cyclists) pass through parts of the Peak District National Park before landing in Sheffield; then it’s onward from Cambridge, through the pastoral Essex countryside before the Tour comes to the end of its UK leg in the capital.

For your chance to get up close and personal to the peloton, take a look at our guide to the best places to see the Tour De France below.

Buttertubs Pass

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

A spectacular panorama and a leg-torturing ascent make Buttertubs pass one of the most rewarding and challenging sections of the Grand Départ.  Named after a series of potholes which farmers used to cool their pails of butter, Buttertubs offers spectator and rider exquisite views across the Dales- decamp here with a picnic to watch the peloton pass amid wonderful surroundings.


Via Flickr

Via Flickr

If you’re holidaying in Harrogate during the Grand Départ, lucky you! The Tour will be tearing through this pretty spa town twice during its stint in God’s Own County, so you’re twice as likely to catch a glimpse of the riders as they blast on by. For information on when and where to see the cyclists as they hasten through Harrogate, visit the Grand Départ website.

Cragg Vale

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Traditional terraces make way for austere heathlands above the village of Cragg Vale in the uplands of Calderdale. Here, the peloton will face the longest continuous uphill gradient in England, which rises 970ft over a gruelling five and a half mile ascent. The moorland ascent poses a challenging hike for spectators too, so pack a lunch and lace up on the walking boots if you think Cragg Vale looks like the place to spectate.

Yorkshire Holiday Accommodation near the Tour De France route

Here at Sykes Cottages, we’re prolific cycling fans, and it seems our owners are too! During the Tour De France, a handful of our holiday cottages near the Tour De France route are offering great discounts on seven night stays, making a self-catering cottage an affordable option for a cycling holiday when the Tour comes to town. Here are three of our properties which are currently available to rent near the Tour De France route.

11 Hardy Grange, Grassington

A stone-built period cottage located close to the centre of Grassington. The peloton passes through this village on the first day of the Tour, making 11 Hardy Grange ideal for spectators. Plus, the owners are currently offering £1,000 off the property price for a 7 night break between 4th-11th July, so book soon to avoid disappointment!

Monkholme Cottage, Threshfield

Monkholme Cottage is a wonderfully romantic retreat in Threshfield near Grassington. This charming Yorkshire Dales holiday home offers spectacular views and is close to the pubs and shops of the village, making it a great place to await the arrival of the racers. You’ll receive a 35% discount on stays between 27th June to the 4th July, so book today to make the most of this great offer.

The Thyme House, Haworth

The Thyme House is a first-class luxury holiday home in Haworth, ideally located for watching the riders zip by en-route to Skipton. This palatial Yorkshire Dales holiday rental sleeps 10 people and comes fully-equipped with a wealth of great self-catering facilities, making it the perfect base for a Tour De France themed get together with family and friends.

So there you have it, our definitive guide to where to watch and where to stay during the Tour De France. For our complete range of self-catering accommodation near the Tour De France route, visit our Tour De France cottages page today.

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.

A Local’s Guide to Kingston Upon Hull

Monday, November 25th, 2013
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It’s not every day that Hull excites you. Yet, when it does, it’s all the more: exciting. That said, on the morning of 20th November 2013, as I sat hastily sipping a coffee and watching the news in my Mancunian abode, I was struck with a heady bout of said sensation. “It’s done it!” I whispered, punching the air and having a wee chortle, “Hull’s won City of Culture 2017!

And what a moment it was! What pride was felt, by every Hullite from East to West, North to South; their beloved city finally acknowledged, finally given the glimmer of hope that it might shake off the post-war decay that has blighted it for decades. After Yorkshire’s success at the World Travel Awards, it was about time that its trouble child of the East Coast was too given the recognition it deserves!

So follow me on a (former) local’s tour of the UK’s City of Culture 2017, but please bear in mind that I’m affectionately bias, and that things could get a little emotional…

Hull’s Award Winning Culture

The sign in glorious technicolour

Hull Truck Theatre, Via Flickr

Though not immediately obvious, Hull’s hip-deep in culture. And how could it not be? With over 800 years of history and one of the richest seafaring legacies in the UK. Discover virtually every inch of the city’s fabled past in the unique Museums Quarter, which comprises four distinct attractions, including the Streetlife Museum and a striking former trawler, the Arctic Corsair. Other up and coming cultural hotspots include the recently rebuilt Hull Truck Theatre, as well as the Fruit Market, a restored warehouse venue on the city’s marina which hosts a plethora of cultural events including gigs, exhibitions and the popular bi-monthly cinema event, Cult Cinema Sunday.

Hull’s Fantastic Food & Drink

Newland Avenue, Hull

From Old Town to the Avenues, Hull’s got some memorable watering holes and eateries, and I certainly wouldn’t advise you stop off at them all! There’s a handful however, that shouldn’t be missed. If you’re struck with hunger in the city centre, take a right off Whitefriargate and head to one of the excellent café bars on the Quayside. Here you can chow down on anything from clam chowder to the humble panini, and all that outdoor seating proves a great spot for a glass of vino in the summer! Alternatively, head to the popular streets of Princes Avenue and Newland Avenue. Close to the university, these connecting streets are blessed with a variety of excellent bars and restaurants. For a robust sharing platter, visit Garbutt’s on Princes Avenue, or enjoy a traditional Italian at La Perla. Fancy a tipple? Sample some continental ale in Larkin’s Bar or Ella Street Social, whose décor alone makes it well worth a stop off!

Hull’s Retail Opportunities


Hepworth Arcade, Via Flickr

In terms of retail, naturally Hull doesn’t compete with Liverpool or London. Yet, there’s a few pockets of the city which really do leave you reaching for your wallet. For big brands and high-street names, the glass leviathan of the St Stephens centre is a must. If you’re looking for alternative wares on which to spend your hard-earned however, you’ll have to go further afield. Tucked between Georgian buildings in Hull’s Old Town, The Hepworth Arcade is a great place for finding one off gems and forgotten trinkets. One of the Arcade’s most popular shops is Beasley’s, an independent clothing store which has grown in popularity over the years to become one of the city’s best kept secrets. Alternatively, the aforementioned Newland Avenue is the ideal place to find that perfect Christmas gift, with independent shops such as Woods stocking a wealth of unusual and unique gifts and homeware.

Visit Hull with Sykes Cottages

Hull marina reflections

Hull Marina, Via Flickr

For your chance to get to grips with the real Hull, why not book a self-catering cottage in East Yorkshire with Sykes Cottages? We’ve plenty of cottages around Hull which provide the ideal base for a daytrip to the city, so book yours today and remember: Don’t Knock it, ‘til you’ve tried it!

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.