Archive for the ‘Yorkshire’ Category

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

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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.

Why Yorkshire is Great

Thursday, November 7th, 2013
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Earlier this month, the Lonely Planet crowned Yorkshire one of the top 3 regions to visit in the world, fighting off stiff competition from stunning locations in China, New Zealand and Tonga for the honour. Their new Best in Travel 2014 publication has recently been released and lists Yorkshire as the third best region to visit in the world, behind Sikkim, India and Kimberley, Australia. This follows on from Yorkshire’s recent success at the World Travel Awards in September, where it beat the likes of London, Paris and Rome to the title of Europe’s Leading Destination.  Here at Sykes Cottages, we’re not surprised by the Lonely Planet’s choice as we’ve always known that Yorkshire was worthy of such an accolade, having proven itself to be one of our most popular destinations year on year.

Yorkshire, fondly dubbed by locals as ‘God’s Own County’, has it all- from spectacularly rugged coastline to rolling countryside and picture-perfect villages to cosmopolitan cities. Below, we’ve listed just some of the reasons why we think Yorkshire is great.

Yorkshire Food

Yorkshire Pudding

Via Flickr

Yorkshire has a celebrated food culture with an abundance of farmer’s markets, specialist delis and traditional local produce. Let’s not forget the delicious Yorkshire Pudding, sweet ginger Parkin cake, crumbly Wensleydale cheese and more recently, Yorkshire has become known for being home to some of the best curry houses in the country. Now to top it all off, you don’t need to head to the capital to sample the most acclaimed culinary delights in the UK as Yorkshire boasts five Michelin star restaurants, making it the region with the most Michelin stars outside of London. If you fancy indulging in a foodie break in the North of England, why not book one of our Yorkshire holiday cottages and get tucking in!

The Great Outdoors

The Yorkshire Dales

Via Flickr

If you’re looking for a holiday where you can enjoy some outdoor adventures then there really is no better place than Yorkshire. Walking enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice as they debate between hikes in the Pennines, strolls along the coastline or rambles along National Trails. Cyclists can take on the challenge of the Cragg Vale Incline which is the longest unbroken ascent of road in England. Rising over 968 feet with an average gradient of 3.4%, the route starts in Mytholmroyd and runs for five and a half miles to Blackstone Edge Reservoir. Or for the even more adventurous, a less well known outdoor pastime in Yorkshire is surfing. Scarborough is a common choice for surfers and is ideal for beginners whilst Cayton Bay is a popular spot for more experienced surfers. The waves are at their biggest during winter whilst autumn is considered to be the best time for beginners as the beaches are less crowded and the sea is not too cold.

Yorkshire Sport

Yorkshire Athlete

Via Flickr

As a result of the London 2012 Olympics, Yorkshire has stepped into the spotlight as one of the country’s most talented counties for sports. During the Olympics, athletes from Yorkshire racked up an impressive 12 medals including 7 golds, which was more than entire countries such as Spain and Brazil managed in total. In fact if Yorkshire was an independent country, it would have finished in 12th place in the table. The White Rose County is also currently playing host to 7 of the Rugby League World Cup games with the last Yorkshire game due to take place on 15th November.

With so much to do and see, it’s impossible for us to do Yorkshire justice in one blog post. I suggest that you pack your bags and head to God’s Own Country to experience it for yourself.

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.

Sykes’ Spectacular Scenes

Friday, October 18th, 2013
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Whether you are climbing to the terrifying heights of our famed mountains or trudging through the vast open fields, it is hard to deny that here in the UK we have some of the world’s most breath taking views. For a small island in the middle of the Atlantic we really hold our own when it comes to stunning scenery; but with such a diverse landscape, is it really hard to see why? In honour of Lyth Valley making the Lonely Planet list for ‘The Most Beautiful Places on Earth’  we at Sykes have come up with our own top 10 places in the UK for scenery that will leave you speechless!

The Lyth Valley

Thorneyfield Cottage, The Lyth Valley – Ref. 5523

This picturesque valley is nestled in a hidden corner of Cumbria, perfect for protecting its unspoilt natural beauty. Famed for its selection of wildlife, the Lyth Valley makes for a photographers paradise, with its vast open spaces making even the trickiest of bird shots a doddle!

Rhossili Bay

Via. Flickr

Via. Flickr

Along with the title of Britain’s best beach 2013 Trip Advisor also voted Rhossili Bay the 10th best beach in the World! Quite an achievement for this little sandy shore in South Wales! The bay’s idyllic location makes it perfect for cuddling up and enjoying a romantic sunset.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Via. Flickr

Whether you’re looking up at the impressive architecture or down over the sights of the city, Edinburgh Castle offers an array of views to suit everyone. Open 363 days a year, this iconic castle allows you to make the most of the changing views with each new season.

St Ives

St Ives

Via. Flickr

With its fantastic summer weather, warm sandy beaches and delicious seafood you would be forgiven for thinking St Ives was a reclusive tropical destination. Offering a wide selection of brightly coloured properties, crisp blue seas and golden sands, St Ives‘ views are perfect for any budding painter.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge, Salisbury Plain

Via. Flickr

A real cultural and historical treat, Stonehenge is a British icon and loved by many. Surrounded by Wiltshire’s open farm land, this world heritage site offers views as far as the eye can see, disturbed only by the natural curvature of the earth!

Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge

Via. Flickr

Cheddar Gorge is famed for its impressive stalactite cavern and although the view from inside this cave is all inspiring we feel that to witness the full delights of the area you need to bask in the sunlight. From outside you can see the steep cliffs and spectacular greenery which makes this region of Somerset truly beautiful.

The Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead Viaduct And Ingleborough

Via. Flickr

Located in North Yorkshire this astonishing piece of engineering really adds character to the landscape, with a sharp contrast between the lush green grass and the hard stone pillars. The views from this spot make for a flawless photo opportunity!

Ingleton Falls

Ingleton Falls 08/07/2012

Via. Flickr

Not only revered for its glorious waterfalls, Ingleton also boasts spectacular woodlands, with each coming together in a wonderful trail sure to delight the whole family on! Whether you are taking your time to admire the plunging waters or chasing the wildlife through the trees, this area of Yorkshire is sure to inspire you.

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

Via. Flickr

Set overlooking the popular coastal town of Whitby, this extraordinary abbey makes for a great value day out. When the abbey fell into ruin it was mined for its stones, leaving only the ghostly shell we see today! Visit the abbey on your next cottage holiday- it’s the perfect place for a Halloween treat or a charming picnic with the family!

The Wye Valley

The Lower Wye Valley from Wyndcliffe

Via. Flickr

The Wye Valley, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is perfect for a photo opportunity anytime of the year. Vibrant and colourful during Autumn when the leaves start to fall, or crisp and new when emerging green buds start to reappear during Spring. This diverse area is a writers Eden!

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.

Sunday Snapshots: Robin Hood’s Bay

Sunday, October 13th, 2013
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Tumbling down the Jurassic cliffs five miles south of Whitby, the traditional fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay has long been a popular day-trip destination in the North East; and for good reason! This bygone settlement boasts a deluge of sense rousing sights and sounds, making it the perfect place to visit on an out-of-bed-early Sunday. Negotiate the steep, winding main street and treat yourself to a trinket in one of the village’s independent speciality stores. Amble out onto the cobbled beach, pooch in tow, to enjoy the fresh North Sea breeze and views of the rugged coastline. Explore the warren of narrow paths that criss-cross the village, recalling the devious comings and goings of smugglers that prospered in the village in the 18th century, before finishing the day with a sumptuous fish supper in the Ye Olde Dolphin pub- can you think of a better reason to give up your lie in on a prized Sunday morning?

If the answer’s no, why not take a look at our Robin Hood’s Bay holiday cottages? With its proximity to the popular towns of Whitby and Scarborough, you can really make the most out of your time on a cottage holiday in North Yorkshire.

Robin Hood's Bay

Via Flickr

Robin Hood's Bay

Via Flickr

Robin Hood's Bay

Via Flickr

Robin Hood's Bay Coastal Path

Via Flickr

 

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.

Get Out and Get Green on a Sykes Cottage Holiday

Friday, October 4th, 2013
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If you’re in need of a little R&R this coming weekend, run and hide! That’s because this weekend is The Conservation Volunteers’ annual Big Green Weekend, a UK wide event hell-bent on getting us all involved in the preservation and management of our lovely British greenery. You’ll find TCV (The Conservation Volunteers) events across the country offering you the chance to lend a hand, have some fun and get stuck in to a wealth of conservation based activities including dry stone walling, bench building and wildflower sowing. So go on, get mucky and give something back to your favourite stretch of green space this weekend; there’ll be a well-earned cup of tea waiting for you come knocking off time, and we’ll happily put you up in some comfy cottage digs at a minute’s notice should you want to travel to a specific TCV event. Read on for just a few of the green goings-on taking place at this year’s Big Green Weekend.

Build a Bee Box in Cornwall

Bee Box

Via Flickr

If you’re in Cornwall this weekend, why not head down to the Tuckingmill Valley Park in Cambourne, where TCV will be hosting a number of activities aimed at safeguarding the cornucopia of wildlife that calls Cornwall home. Volunteers at the event can build their own bee box for our buzzy pollinators, hunt for treasure, throw some wellies and even race a snail or two! Plus, organisers will be putting on a good spread of hot drinks, cake and BBQ for all you worker bees when the day is done; so come down to Tuckingmill between 11am and 3pm for your chance to give something back to the precious Cornish environment.

Get Growing in York

Community Allotment

Via Flickr

Roll up in your wellingtons, grab a spade and prepare to get dug into some good Yorkshire earth at the Sleep Path Community Allotment in York. TCV have teamed up with Refugee Action to raise money for local charity initiatives, so come down and show your support. There’s a handful of crafty activities on offer for you green fingered helpers, whether it be whittling up a willow animal and wind chime, carving out your very own mosaic stepping stone or pressing apples for their thirst quenching juice.  The event is being held between 12noon-3pm tomorrow, so join the fun and get back to nature at the Big Green Weekend event in York.

Have a clear out in Ayrshire

Rhododendrons

Via Flickr

Although you may think that Rhododendrons are an attractive addition to your garden, out in the wild this non-indigenous shrub is an aggressive coloniser, capable of reducing the bio-diversity and regeneration of precious British woodlands. That’s why, TCV need your help to clear this pesky plant from Belleisle Park on the dramatic Ayrshire coast in Scotland. By hook or by crook, it’ll be your duty to eradicate this dogged blossom from the parkland to make room for all manner of other native Scottish fauna. When you’ve managed that, you can wipe your brow, give yourself a pat on the back and look forward to a cool pint and a warm meal in a homely Scottish pub- what could be more rewarding?

Here at Sykes Cottages, we’re fanatical about our country and want you to feel the same. That’s why, we do what we can to support conservation schemes in their mission to preserve the UK’s green spaces so that they can be enjoyed for generations to come. For more information about any of the destinations mentioned in the post, or to make a last minute booking, visit the homepage or call us 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.