Archive for the ‘Yorkshire’ Category

Spotlight On: Dracula’s Whitby

Saturday, October 31st, 2015
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Happy Halloween from everyone at Sykes Cottages! As it’s Halloween, we thought we’d take the opportunity to celebrate Whitby, where Bram Stoker was inspired to write Dracula. Bram stayed here in 1890 whilst trying to decide if it was a good place to bring his family for a holiday. However, he became particularly taken with the Gothic charm of the town and was moved to write what has become one of most well-known Gothic novels in the world. So today, we’re looking at some of the best Dracula-related attractions you can visit in this picturesque Yorkshire town.

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey, in all its Gothic grandeur, was instrumental in helping inspire Stoker to write Dracula. He loved the atmosphere that the imposing, ruined abbey created, perched on top of the hill overlooking the town. Though the abbey is in ruins, it’s still enchantingly beautiful and you can still visit it today. Take the 199 steps up from the town (the same steps that the shadowy animal ran up in Dracula, after it came ashore from the deserted ship) and soak up the same majestic landscape that inspired one of the best Gothic novels of all time.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula Experience

This family-friendly tour is a lovely way to spend an afternoon in Whitby. Bram Stoker’s Dracula Experience tells the tale of Dracula and his connections to Whitby. Using special effects, live actors and animated scenes, this tour is guaranteed to send a chill down your spine and at just £9.00 for a family of four, you can’t go wrong. If you really feel like scaring yourself, why not book yourself onto one of their Paranormal Investigations Nights which are available on the first Saturday of each month. The building in which the experience is located is often said to be haunted, with a rich and eclectic history dating back hundreds of years- even the staff are said to have witnesses bizarre goings on. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

In Search of Dracula Walk

To learn even more about how Whitby inspired Stoker to write Dracula, try the In Search of Dracula walk. Run by ‘The Man in Black’, Harry Collett, these tours come well recommended on TripAdvisor where they’re described as creepy, entertaining and informative. Harry will guide you through the back streets of Whitby, telling stories of the local folklore and myths that inspired Stoker to write his masterpiece, and walking you through the streets that Dracula stalked in the novel.

To browse our full collection of cottages in Whitby, please visit our website! Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway with your loved one or a fun-filled family holiday on the Yorkshire coast, we’ve holiday homes to suit everyone.

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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.

10 Fantastic Photos of Yorkshire

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015
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With winning the gong for the best European Destination two years in a row at the World Travel Awards, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Yorkshire has got a fair bit going for it. Between the dramatic coastline, beautiful countryside and quaint market towns, the county really is a haven for all of the photographers out there. So we’ve pulled together some of our favourite shots from God’s own Country, why don’t you take a look and see which one would get your vote?

Flamborough Head

The Humber Bridge

Malham Cove


The Ribblehead Viaduct

Whitby Abbey

Ilkley Moor


Robin Hood’s Bay

York Minster

So there you go, ten fantastic photographs from all around Yorkshire, but which is your favourite? Let us know, either by tweeting us or getting in touch over Facebook! Or maybe they’ve inspired you into taking a trip up to Yorkshire to experience them first hand? If that’s the case you’ll want to have a browse of our Yorkshire cottages. With properties ranging from the Dales to the Moors, and West Yorkshire all the way across to the East Riding, you’re sure to find something to suit you.

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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.

Five of Yorkshire’s Prettiest Towns

Monday, August 17th, 2015
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Often referred to as God’s own country, Yorkshire is packed full of picturesque market towns, charming villages and rural country hamlets, all of which help make it one of the nation’s favourite holiday spots. If you’ve yet to be convinced by Yorkshire’s scenic landscapes then keep reading as we list five of the prettiest towns in Yorkshire that are sure to see you packing a bag for a northern adventure in no time.


Recently voted the happiest place to live in the UK for the third year in a row, it’s easy to see why Harrogate has made it onto our list of Yorkshire’s prettiest towns. From the cosy country pubs to beautiful historic buildings and luxury spas, Harrogate is the destination of choice for couples who are looking for a romantic getaway.


Dominated by its beautiful mediaeval Abbey, the historic town of Selby is truly one of Yorkshire’s hidden gems and a must for history lovers. Step back in time as you explore the impressive Abbey and marvel at the 15th century gatehouse before indulging in a bite to eat at one of Selby’s numerous fine restaurants.


The historic market town of Huddersfield is ideal for culture seekers; with numerous festivals and markets held throughout the year, you’re never short of something to do. Visit Huddersfield and you can’t help but be impressed by the award-winning Victorian architecture, historic monuments, stunning art work, international market and delicious eateries.

Hebden Bridge

Hebden Bridge is ideal for anyone looking for some creative inspiration. Journey down the town’s cobbled lanes and you’ll find artists and musicians hard at work in their studios, or visit during the annual Arts and Music festival and let your creativity run wild as you get stuck into the exhibitions, poetry performances and workshops.


Another of Yorkshire’s traditional market towns, Thirsk exhibits all the traditional characteristics you would expect from a Yorkshire town including a cobbled market square and historic coaching inns. For a truly memorable day out in Thirsk, why not visit the races or explore the family home of James Herriot, famous vet and author?

And there you have it, our selection of Yorkshire’s prettiest towns. If this list has you itching for a break up north then why not take a look at our Yorkshire cottages? With over 600 properties to choose from you’re sure to find a cosy little town to call your own for the week.

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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.

The Tour de Yorkshire is coming – is your cottage ready?

Sunday, March 15th, 2015
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Lest you’d forgotten: the opening stages of the 2014 Tour De France took place in Yorkshire, and to all intents and purposes, the Grand Depart was an unequivocal success.

Tour de France by Bryan Ledgard is licensed under CC 2.0

Tour de France by Bryan Ledgard is licensed under CC 2.0

Over 2.5 million spectators took to Yorkshire’s green and pleasant pastures to witness the peloton pass, and race director, Christian Prudhomme, called the event “very, very special”.

Tour de France by Bryan Ledgard is licensed under CC 2.0

Tour de France by Bryan Ledgard is licensed under CC 2.0

So successful was Le Tour Yorkshire that a sequel has been planned for 2015; the Tour de Yorkshire will take place from 1-3 May and sees riders put through their paces on a gruelling 520km route through some of the county’s most beloved landscapes, towns and cities. The event is a great opportunity for businesses in the area, with 2014’s Grand Depart raising over £80 million for the local economy.

Prior to last year’s Grand Depart, we were inundated with requests for cottages near the race route, and this year is no exception – cue gleeful hand rubbing from those lucky enough to own a holiday home on or near the Tour de Yorkshire route.

If you are the owner of a Yorkshire holiday cottage and would like to find out how best to prepare your property for this year’s event, we’ve come up with a few hints and tips on how to ready your holiday cottage for the Tour de Yorkshire 2015.

Is your cottage close to the action?

The Tour de Yorkshire takes place over three days, with each race split into three 170km routes. The first leg will take place on May 1st in North Yorkshire; the second sees riders winding through the Yorkshire Wolds en route to York; and the final stage steers racers deep into the Yorkshire Dales for a strenuous finale.

Tour de Yorkshire 4

Image by Sue Jackson is licensed under CC 2.0

A comprehensive map of the route can be found on the Tour de Yorkshire website, but here’s a list of some of the towns and villages that the contest passes.

Stage 1 – Brid to Scarborough

  • Bridlington
  • Pickering
  • Danby
  • Whitby & Robin Hood’s Bay
  • Scarborough

Stage 2 – Selby to York

  • Beverley
  • Wetwang
  • Malton
  • Stamford Bridge
  • York

Stage 3 – Wakefield to Leeds

  • Ripponden
  • Hebden Bridge
  • Haworth
  • Addingham
  • Ilkley

Make changes to your welcome pack

Adding Tour de Yorkshire information to your welcome pack is a great idea if you have a booking over the race weekend as, chances are, those guests will be coming to watch the event; here’s a few things you may like to add to your welcome pack before the event.

  • Time, date and place information: Guests will be impressed you’ve gone the extra mile to find this for them, particularly those with poor mobile reception. In-depth race details can be found here.
  • List local events: On the run-up to and during the race, there’ll doubtless be a host of cycling themed events taking place, so be sure to list these in your welcome pack.
  • Suggest best places to spectate: Your local knowledge could prove invaluable for those hoping for a front row seat as the riders pass. If you’re familiar with the race route, list places where your guests can get a good view of the action – think lesser known cubby holes and quiet nooks and crannies.
  • Provide details of other cycle routes in the area: It may be that you already have this information in your welcome pack, but if not, now is a good time to include it. The Tour de Yorkshire is likely to attract some serious cycle-heads, so any information on cycling opportunities in the area will go down a treat.

Things to consider

Le Tour Yorkshire by Paul is licensed under CC 2.0

Le Tour Yorkshire by Paul is licensed under CC 2.0

Beyond customising your welcome pack, there are a few other things to consider before the tour comes to town on May 1st. Firstly, you may like to make a few changes to your property to make it more appealing to cyclists, such as providing adequate washing facilities and plenty of secure storage space – for further tips, check out our blog on how to make your cottage bike friendly.

Another thing to consider before the Tour de Yorkshire is adding deck or portable chairs to your property. Although the majority of spectators will bring their own, providing moveable chairs would be a nice touch – particularly if you’re property is close to the race route.

If you’d like any further help and advice on marketing your property for the Tour de Yorkshire, call our owner team today on 01244 356695.

Stumbled upon this post in search of accommodation for the Tour de Yorkshire? Check out our cottages for the Tour de Yorkshire blog.

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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.

Cottages along the Tour de Yorkshire route

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015
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Here at Sykes Cottages, we were extremely excited to learn that the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire will be taking place from 1st-3rd May 2015. The event follows on from the success of last year’s Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire and the immense surge in popularity of the sport across the country! The race begins in Bridlington on 1st May and runs in three stages before finally finishing up in Leeds on 3rd. For more information on the route, you can see each stage in detail on the Tour de Yorkshire website.  If you’re planning on heading to see the Tour de Yorkshire then luckily for you, we still have some lovely holiday cottages available along the route…

Stage 1 – Bridlington to Scarborough, Friday 1st May 2015

Holiday cottage on Tour de Yorkshire route

Amber Cottage, Whitby, Ref. 22180

This pretty former fisherman’s cottage is situated in the heart of Whitby, hidden away along a traditional, narrow yard. Amber Cottage has plenty of character with many charming original features including aged timber floors, beamed ceilings and a cast iron fireplace. Whitby’s amenities are right on the doorstep with the nearest pub just 1 minute walk away and the beach a 5 minute walk. Stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire will be passing directly through Whitby along the coast and then south to Robin Hood’s Bay, so guests at Amber Cottage will have a front row seat to this exciting event!

Stage 2 – Selby to York, Saturday 2nd May 2015

Holiday cottage on Tour de Yorkshire route

Barn Owl Cottage, Stamford Bridge, Ref. 15874

Barn Owl Cottage is a luxury barn conversion on an arable farm just 2 miles outside of Stamford Bridge, near York. Set in a picturesque courtyard and boasting its own private decked area and hot tub, Barn Owl Cottage is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway in Yorkshire. The surrounding area is peaceful and rural but you’re only a short drive from the many facilities of Stamford Bridge and just over 8 miles from the delightful city of York. If you’re in Stamford Bridge for the second stage of the Tour de Yorkshire then you won’t be disappointed as the route for the race runs straight past the farm that Barn Owl Cottage is situated on – you’ll barely even need to leave the front door to catch a glimpse of the cyclists!

Stage 3- Wakefield to Leeds, Sunday 3rd May 2015

Holiday cottage on Tour de Yorkshire route

Holme House Cottage, Oakworth, Ref. 919042

For a first class holiday cottage packed with character and charm, look no further than Holme House Cottage in Oakworth. This beautiful 17th century cottage offers everything you could want from a holiday in the countryside with stunning meadow views, a traditional country pub a short walk away, wonderful walks from your doorstep and a cosy wood-burning stove to sit down and relax in front of! The Tour de Yorkshire cyclists will be racing through Oakworth village during the third stage of the event, just a couple of minutes’ walk from this lovely cottage. Or alternatively, you can travel the 2 miles to Haworth, where the cyclists will be making the climb up Main Street, which was an iconic moment of the Tour de France Grand Depart.

Book a holiday cottage along the Tour de Yorkshire route

You can see our full range of holiday cottages available for the Tour de Yorkshire 2015 by visiting our website. Cottages along the route are already booking up quickly so we definitely advise thinking about booking your accommodation sooner rather than later!

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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.