Archive for the ‘Yorkshire’ Category

My trip to Yorkshire: A short break beneath the Three Peaks

Monday, February 16th, 2015
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A couple of weeks ago, I hit the road on my debut jaunt to a Sykes’ holiday home – destination: the Yorkshire Dales. Suffice to say, I had a great time, and thought I’d share some memories of my trip with you.

Pen-y-ghent, Settle & the mighty Indian


Approaching the peak of Pen-y-ghent

Being in Three Peaks country, I thought it only right to scale at least one of these fabled hillocks. As our cottage (the delightful Harber Scar – pictured below) was in the shadow of Pen-Y-Ghent, this was the obvious choice for our hike.

Six buckets of sweat later, we made it to the summit

I don’t pretend to be Ranulph Fiennes; can only watch agog at the intrepid Tour De France cyclists; and am intimidated by the do-or-die nature of Bear Grylls – but I’m not out of shape. I dabble in running, enjoy a walk, and take the bike out for a regular blast. That said, hiking Pen-y-ghent nearly killed me. I sweated like a mule from the first to last mile, but as the pictures demonstrate, it was well worth it.

The route we took was a 6.1 mile circuit (I know, six miles – sounds easy, right?) The trail left Horton-in-Ribblesdale via the Pennine Way, before rising at a seemingly 45 degree angle up the western slope of Pen-y-ghent. For the first mile or so the peak was shrouded in low cloud, but before long the sun burnt a hole, and we were granted a beautiful – albeit, intimidating –  view of the approaching bluff.

At the summit, the vista was stunning. Cloud had spread through the valley, but we could see the other peaks of Ingleborough and Whernside, as well as the distant Cumbrian fells. Only God gets a better view.

For anyone staying in the Ribblehead Valley, conquering at least one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks is a must. Remember: if me and my 50+ Dad can do it, you can too.

That afternoon,  we discovered that the market town of Settle is the ideal place to regain your composure after an intense hill-climb. With a plethora of cafes, pubs and independent shops, it’s easy to while away an afternoon amongst the town’s cobbled byways. Later, we ate at one of Settle’s two Indian restaurants, Royal Spice, which was delicious and inexpensive. But be warned: they don’t have an alcohol license, so it’s BYO, tea or a glass of pop only.

Waterfalls, fog & the prettiest viaduct in England

After an exceptionally good night’s kip in our ever-so-cosy cottage, we drove to Ingleton to tackle the village’s highly-regarded waterfalls walk. Despite being pricey (£6 per adult) we felt we couldn’t miss this supposedly “enchanting” and “magical” visitor attraction – and were pleased we didn’t.

Pecca Falls

Pecca Falls, Ingleton Waterfalls Trail

The walk is just over four miles, and begins a short way from the centre of the village. After passing a densely wooded stream, the path ascends purpose-built steps and leads you to the first proper cascade of the walk, Pecca Falls. What follows is a sequence of modest waterfalls which climb steeply through the woodland. At this point, fog began to spill into the valley, adding a mystical element to what was already an extraordinary walk.

At the valley summit lies Thornton Force, easily the most impressive fall on the route. Here, the River Twiss drops fourteen-metres from a limestone cliff, throwing up a mist you can feel from fifty-feet away. Further along the trail you’ll reach Baxengyhll Gorge, where the river is forced down a narrow channel. The roar of the water is quite remarkable here, and there’s a well-placed viewing bridge where the fearless can take a peek at the torrent twenty metres below.

The circular route brings you back to the village, where the hungry will be drawn to the pervading smell of fish and chips. When all is said, the Ingleton Waterfall Trail is a stimulating hike; just be sure to check the weather before your visit as fog can really spoil the view.

Walk over; we headed for some sustenance at The Railway Inn, whose car park overlooks the Ribblehead Viaduct. Built in the 19th century, the bridge – which carries the famous Settle-Carlisle railway – is a grand old thing, and was a big hit with the amateur photographers who’d planted their tripods along the opposing dry-stone wall. With Whernside to the left of you and Ingleborough to the right, the panorama here is simply staggering. Visit as soon as possible.

Harber Scar – putting the ‘osy’ in ‘cosy’

Putting aside the scenery, the walks and the eating, the highlight of our trip was undoubtedly our cottage, Harber Scar. Charming and characterful both inside and out, Harber Scar offers a cosy, comfortable and refreshingly-no-frills base for a break beneath the Three Peaks. The property is chock-a-block with original period features; its doorframes are laughably low, its beds are irresistibly comfortable, and its roaring log burner ever-so cushty. I’d recommend the cottage to anyone, particularly if they plan to spend some time trekking the Three Peaks.
Think you could conquer the Three Peaks? Or just fancy taking in the sights?  Then check out our cottages to rent in the Yorkshire Dales.

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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.

Book a 2015 summer holiday in Yorkshire

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
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Yorkshire is the ideal destination at any of time year, including the summer. From stunning golden beaches flanked by wildlife-rich cliffs to sprawling purple heathlands that stretch as far as the eye can see, England’s largest county is one destination you can’t afford to miss.

Whether you choose a contemporary holiday home in one Yorkshire’s coastal resorts or a traditional cottage amid the county’s wonderful countryside, a summer holiday in Yorkshire offers something for everyone. Here’s a whistle-stop tour of god’s own county to demonstrate just how bloomin’ lovely it is.


Image by Thomas Tolkien is licensed under CC 2.0

Image by Thomas Tolkien is licensed under CC 2.0

Blow out the cobwebs or soak up the sunshine: the Yorkshire Coast is a wonderful place to be whatever the weather. Stretching from the dunes of Spurn Point to the Jurassic Cliffs of Staithes, the Yorkshire seaboard is home to everything from windswept bays and secluded coves to bustling seaside towns and cobbled coastal villages time almost forgot.

Rent a self-catering cottage in North Yorkshire, and brace yourself for some epic coastal grandeur. This is a place where purple moorlands nudge chalk clifftops, and age-old villages cling to the rocks metres from the bracing tide. One of the most popular destinations on the North Yorkshire seaboard is Whitby, a town famed for its ties to Dracula, which happens to be one of Yorkshire’s most stylish and desirable destinations. Just a few miles south, you’ll find Robin Hood’s Bay, whose cobbles, pubs and fossil strewn beach make for an enchanting daytrip destination.

Continue south and things get more traditional, with classic seaside resorts like Scarborough, Bridlington and Filey providing plenty of nostalgic family fun. For sunseekers, this area of the Yorkshire Coast is for you thanks to its fabulous selection of beaches, which include Bridlington’s Blue Flag North Beach and the secluded sands of Dane’s Dyke.


Yorkshire 2

Image by chantrybee is licensed under CC 2.0

There’s a chance I could waffle all day about the Yorkshire countryside, so I’ll try keep it brief. Whichever direction you turn in this mighty county, you’ll encounter some of England’s prettiest pockets of countryside. From the Dales to the Moors, this is a region of blustery peaks and peaceful valleys, interrupted now and again by the odd village, hamlet or town.

Rent a holiday cottage in the Yorkshire Dales this summer, and remember to pack the walking boots. Whether tackling the infamous three peaks or taking a stroll around one of the region’s many historic villages, you’ll no doubt be using your feet. Sights not to be missed in the Yorkshire Dales include the Ribblehead Viaduct, the peak of Pen Y Ghent, Aysgarth Falls, and the villages of Hawes, Settle and Grassington.

Book a break in North Yorkshire, and explore some of the most popular valleys in England, including Wensleydale, Swaledale and Coverdale. Tucked between these picturesque vales are some wonderfully charming villages, whose histories date back to Viking times. Destinations not to be missed in the region include Richmond, Leyburn, and Middleham, as well as the historic sights of Bolton Castle, Studley Royal and Rievaulx Abbey.

You’ll love a summer break in Yorkshire

North, south, east, west – wherever you choose to stay, a cottage holiday in Yorkshire is a great choice for families and couples looking for that perfect blend of coast and country. So don’t wait around; if Yorkshire’s the place for you this summer, check out our huge range of Yorkshire holiday homes that are available to rent for a sunny break in 2015.

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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.

Sykes’ Spotlight: Holmfirth, Yorkshire

Sunday, January 18th, 2015
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The picturesque market town of Holmfirth lies at the heart of the breathtaking Holme Valley on the edge of the Peak District National Park. If you’re searching for a holiday that combines charming pubs, cafes and shops with stunning scenery and walking opportunities, then Holmfirth is a fantastic choice. There are plenty of fascinating shops to explore, lovely places to eat and drink, including TV chef Timothy Bilton’s  ‘The Spiced Pear’, and beautiful nearby walks including Holme Valley Circular Walk, the Riverside Way, Digley Reservoir and Holme Moss View Point.

The town is often better known as the filming location for TV classic, ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ and visitors to Holmfirth can still experience Last of the Summer Wine tours on a vintage tour bus, or visit the Summer Wine exhibition which is located inside ‘Compo’s House’. If Holmfirth sounds like the perfect holiday destination for you, make sure you take a look at some of these lovely self-catering cottages in the area!

Underbank Hall Cottage (ref. 3839)

Holiday cottage in Holmfirth

Underbank Hall Cottage, Ref. 3839

If you’re looking for a romantic retreat near Holmfirth, then look no further than this pretty stone-built cottage in Stocksbridge. With its king-size bedroom and en-suite, Underbank Hall Cottage offers the perfect place for a tranquil romantic getaway with your loved one, and as it’s pet friendly, you will be able to enjoy the surrounding scenery with your four-legged friend in tow too.

3 Hanging Royd (ref. 27400)

Holiday cottage in Holmfirth

3 Hanging Royd, Ref. 27400

3 Hanging Royd is a charming, Grade II listed end-terrace in the traditional village of Slaithwaite, just 6 miles from Holmfirth. Dating back to 1840, this cosy pet-friendly cottage offers a wealth of original features including beams, stonework and mullioned windows, along with all the modern conveniences that you could need from a holiday cottage. 3 Hanging Royd sleeps 6 guests in 3 bedrooms.

Leapings Cottage (ref. 913420)

Holiday cottage in Holmfirth

Leapings Cottage, Ref. 913420

This characterful detached cottage is set on a leafy lane in the lovely village of Thurlstone. With fantastic views of the lane and river, Leapings Cottage is a delightful rural retreat. It even has its own wild ‘secret garden’ for guests to enjoy. The cottage sleeps 6 guests in 3 bedrooms and is also pet friendly! Thurlstone itself offers a few charming village shops and a good pub, as well as having direct access to the Trans Pennine Trail, which runs through the village itself; Holmfirth is just 8 miles away.

Stoneycroft Barn (ref. 6188)

Holiday cottage in Holmfirth

Stoneycroft Barn, Ref. 6188

Stoneycroft Barn, a luxury barn conversion, is nestled on the edge of the picturesque village of Midhopestones, just 10 miles from Holmfirth and a short drive from the beautiful Peak District National Park.  The surrounding area is peaceful, with walks from the doorstep and a lovely pub that serves food just a few minutes’ walk away. The cottage itself is warm and welcoming, sleeping 8 guests in 4 spacious bedrooms. The central woodburner-effect gas fire in the living room is a real highlight and is perfect for lounging in front of after a long day exploring!

Bullace Barn (ref. 23330)

Holiday cottage in Holmfirth

Bullace Barn, Ref. 23330

Bullace Barn is ideal for a family holiday in Holmfirth this year, with 3 spacious bedrooms, a large kitchen and dining area, and a games room with a pool table and playstation – even the most unenthusiastic of teenagers will love it here! Sleeping 7, this pet-friendly cottage is located on a smallholding on the edge of Millhouse Green, a small village on the edge of the Peak District National Park; it’s the perfect location for exploring this rugged part of the country.

If you want to see our full range of holiday cottages in and around Holmfirth then you can do so by visiting our website. Our reservations specialists are on hand for advice and help from 9.00am until 9.30pm every day so please do get in touch by giving us a call on 01244 356 695 or by sending us an email.

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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.

A Local’s Guide to the Romantic East Riding

Friday, October 3rd, 2014
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East Yorkshire: home of The Beautiful South, William Wilberforce, Amy Johnson and the mighty Yorkshire Wolds. As epic as all this sounds, I can’t help feel this corner of God’s Own County is often overlooked, particularly as a romantic holiday destination. I may be biased, but I believe the East Riding can be just as a romantic as the Cotswolds and the Lake Districts of the world, not least because of its exquisite coast and rolling, picnic worthy landscapes. Not convinced? Just you wait; in the next five hundred words or so, I bet I can convince you that when it comes to romance, there’s nowhere like the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Feast on fine Yorkshire fare

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Yorkshire grub is known for its heartiness and simplicity, and it’s no different in the East Riding. The region’s agricultural heritage has forged an honest-to-goodness approach to cookery, Food iStock 15017286with cosy country pubs serving delicious, locally sourced fare at every turn. Should you and your beloved be tootling around near the Wolds/ Moors border, be sure to stop off at The Blue Bell pub in Weaverthorpe, where roaring fires and a superb menu await. Or, visit The Chestnut Horse in Kelk, an 18th Century inn renowned for its unusual – yet mouth-watering – approach to pies.

And it’s not just charming country pubs on offer, no sir. East Yorkshire may be quaint, but it also boasts several vibrant towns that are chock-a-block with eateries both foreign and domestic. Like spice? Add some heat to your evening at Trishna Tandoori, an authentic Indian restaurant in Driffield. Or, perhaps it’s the taste of Italia you’re after? If so, make for La Perla, a cosy Italian in the City of Culture 2017; Hull for short.

Take a romantic stroll beside the North Sea

Flamborough Lighthouse – Via Flickr

Flamborough Lighthouse – Via Flickr

OK, so East Yorkshire’s countryside may be pastoral and lovely and everything, but let’s be honest, it’s nothing compared to its coast. From the secluded dunes of Spurn Point to the evocative cliffs of Flamborough Head, Couple on beachthis stretch of North Sea coast is perfect for romantic coastal strolls at any time of year. One of my favourite places for a bracing, hand-in-hand walk begins in the village of Sewerby and follows the sea cliffs south to Bridlington. Head north from Sewerby, and the Flamborough Headland Heritage Coast also promises a charming stomping ground for a coastal hike.

Travel to East Yorkshire in summer and your first port of call ought to be the beach. Though busy, the beaches of Bridlington and Hornsey offer the classic seaside experience, whilst the golden sands of Dane’s Dyke, Spurn Point and Thornwick Bay are secluded enough for lovesick couples. Regardless of where you lay your beach towel, I’m positive the East Yorkshire coast will be just what you were hoping for.

Discover history and heritage

Burton Agnes Hall – Via Flickr

Burton Agnes Hall – Via Flickr

Take a walk anywhere in East Yorkshire and you’ll be struck by the nostalgia of the place. Like much of Yorkshire, the East Riding has a long and evocative history, much of which is lovingly preserved in several attractions and98353808 historic sites. For romantic-types, the gardens of Burton Agnes Hall, Sledmere House, Burnby Hall and Burton Constable prove perfect for pondering, whilst the unusual Wharram Percy – a deserted medieval village in the Wolds – offers a secluded spot for exploration.

Aside from stately homes and mysterious, time-forgotten villages, what else does East Yorkshire offer history fans? Take a trip to Beverley Minster, an enormous church regarded as a gothic masterpiece by historians. Discover bizarre curio and wonderful architecture in The Bayle Museum in the Old Town of Bridlington. Or, venture to Hull’s Museum’s Quarter, where you’ll find eight great museums that you can enter free of charge.

Other things to do on a romantic break in East Yorkshire

Via Flickr

Beverley Westwood – Via Flickr

Explore the East Riding at your leisure and you’ll no doubt come across things that’ll spike your interest, whether it be a private beach, rural country pub or secluded wildflower meadow. To help you along on this odyssey of chance encounters, here’s a shortlist of some of the hidden gems that you should look up before visiting East Yorkshire:

  • Beverley Westwood, Beverley For pleasant pastures, head to Beverley Westwood, a large country park on the outskirts of the historic market town.
  • Little Switzerland, Hull Walk under the mighty Humber Bridge in the Humber Bridge Country Park, known locally as Little Switzerland.
  • Petros, Nafferton A glorious Italian restaurant hidden within the façade of a humble pub in the village of Nafferton.
  • Green Lane, Driffield Panoramic views of the Yorkshire Dales beckon on Green Lane, a public byway that begins in Driffield and winds high into the countryside.
  • Kings Mill Millennium Park, Driffield Travelling with your pooch? Head to Kings Mill, a wetland park offering plenty of room for Rex to romp.

Rent a cottage in East Yorkshire with Sykes Cottages

So there you have it, a local’s guide to the romantic and oh-so-charming East Riding of Yorkshire. If you’re interested in renting a Yorkshire holiday cottage in the East Riding, visit our website 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.

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.

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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.