Archive for the ‘Yorkshire’ Category

Happy National Poetry Day!

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
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Today at Sykes Cottages, we are celebrating National Poetry Day. Poetry is a subject that can often divide opinions with most people claiming to either love or hate it. For some, it’s a way to express themselves on a level that they just can’t reach through prose and for others it’s somewhat of a mystery. National Poetry Day is a celebration of poetry in every form and an attempt to make it accessible to everyone, everywhere. It aims to encourage and inspire Britain to discuss, write about and read poetry, but most of all, enjoy it.

So in honour of National Poetry Day, we’ve decided to make our own contribution by taking a look at some of Britain’s best loved poets and their origins.

William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills

Wordsworth Country, Lake District

Via Flickr

William Wordsworth, born in 1770, is one of the most influential poets of the Romantic era. His works include ‘The Prelude’, ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ and a collaboration with fellow Romantic, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ‘Lyrical Ballads’. Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth, an ancient market town nestled on the borders of the Lake District National Park. Although of medieval origins, the town has a heavy Georgian influence with most of the town being rebuilt during this period. Cockermouth is steeped in history and is a charming place to visit with modern day attractions including Cockermouth Castle which dates back to the Norman era and Wordsworth House, which is the birthplace of Mr Wordsworth himself. This beautiful Georgian townhouse is presented as the Wordsworth family home and is a must see for any literature fan.

Robert Burns

A fond kiss and then we sever; a farewell, and then forever!

Burns Cottage, Alloway

Via Flickr

Robert Burns is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, writing poetry and folk songs that are still commonly known today. Favourites include the traditional Hogmanay song ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and ‘A Red, Red Rose’. Born in Ayrshire in 1759, Burns was characterised by fierce national pride, radicalism, spontaneity and sincerity. So proud are the Scottish of his legacy that they dedicate a day to him each year. Burns Night is normally held on the 25th January every year, on the day that Burns was born and celebrates his life and poetry. Revellers make toasts, eat and read Burns’ ‘Address to a Haggis’. Fans of the Bard of Ayrshire can visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum  in the Alloway countryside which houses a awe-inspiring collection of his life and works.

Ted Hughes

Effortlessly at height hangs his still eye. His wings hold all creation in a weightless quiet

Ted Hughes country, Yorkshire

Via Flickr

Ted Hughes has long been considered to be one of the greatest writers of his generation and was Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death in 1998. Born in 1930, Hughes led a life marked by both genius and tragedy with some of his most famous works include ‘The Hawk in the Rain’ and ‘Birthday Letters’. As a child, Hughes lived in the rural Yorkshire town of Mytholmroyd, but moved to Mexborough, South Yorkshire a few years later. The harsh moor landscape of his childhood is reflected in his work, much of which is predominantly concerned with nature and the impact of man on his surroundings. Hughes’ early work in particular, is influenced by the wildlife he encountered as a child. If you’d like to experience the places and landscapes that inspired his work, you can visit the area around Mytholmroyd and immerse yourself into the life and times of one of Britain’s best poets. Hughes’ first wife, the American poet Sylvia Plath, is buried in nearby Hepponstall.

If you’ve been inspired to take a trip to discover the origins of Wordsworth, Burns, Hughes or any other British poet, why not book a self-catering cottage for the duration of your stay. After all, what could be better after a long day of exploring than heading back to your holiday cottage and relaxing in front of a roaring fire with the works of your favourite poet?

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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.

Yorkshire Wins Leading Destination Award

Friday, September 13th, 2013
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As a humble Yorkshireman, I was a little choked up last week on hearing the news of my home county’s astonishing triumph in Europe. That’s right, Yorkshire has been dubbed King of the destinations at this year’s World Travel Awards, trumping some of Europe’s leading tourist hotspots including London, Berlin and Madrid. And although I was glad of the news; gracious in victory, I was not. As frothy-topped tankards were raised across the region, I couldn’t help but question why Yorkshire, God’s Own County, has never won the prize before.

You see, here at Sykes HQ, we’ve got a bit of a soft spot for this certain county. Our Yorkshire holiday cottages prove to be some of the most popular year on year, and for good reason. Yorkshire is a land of the proper; proper people, proper places, proper food, and of course, proper ale. It’s a mystery then as to why the brightest jewel in the UK’s crown has never been handed the mantel of top European destination before; but then, I suppose I am a little bias. So let’s put all bellyaching aside and celebrate, because at long last, Yorkshire’s done it! And here at Sykes Cottages, we’re ‘appy as a pig in muck! Read on for a brief guide to Europe’s Leading Destination.

Yorkshire’s Pubs & Grub

The Black Sheep Brewery

Via Flickr

Think of any staple British fare and chances are it’ll have been born, fed or made in Yorkshire, and I’m not just talking Yorkshire pudding. The county has a wealth of native treats, from Pontefract’s liquorice to the Pikelets of Sheffield, and the same goes for its drink. Yorkshire plays host to around 40 different breweries, each providing their individual take on the classic Yorkshire pint. So if you’re feeling foodie, forget France, Yorkshire is the place for anyone looking to indulge in some top quality grub.

Yorkshire’s Other Inhabitants

Puffin at Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire

Via Flickr

When you reach Yorkshire soil, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled. That’s because the county houses a myriad of Britain’s most beloved species, including the endangered red squirrel, the reclusive deer and the sharp-eyed peregrine falcon.  Fans of the feathered should head to Bempton Cliffs. This glorious portion of coastline in the East Riding is protected by the RSPB due to the rare and exotic birds which, for a few months of the year, call the chalk cliffs home. Expect to see puffins, kittiwakes and gannets putting on an exhilarating aerial display- just don’t forget the camera!

Yorkshire’s Good Old Days

River Derwent at Stamford Bridge

Via Flickr

Whether being conquered by the Romans, ravaged by the Vikings or harried by the Normans, no one can deny that Yorkshire’s been through the mill a bit over the past millennia. But for us modern folk, that’s good news, because all that scrapping has left lots to be discovered in this historic county. If you’re looking to frighten the kids with a tale of bloodshed, head to Stamford Bridge. This historic village in East Yorkshire was the site of the Battle of Stamford Bridge, thought to be the one of the most brutal battles that the Vikings waged on English soil.

Rainy Days in Yorkshire

The Deep

Via Flickr

Whatever time of year you choose to visit Yorkshire, you’d be wise to expect some of the wet stuff. Luckily, Yorkshire boasts a plethora of great indoor attractions, so you won’t be stuck for ideas when the heavens open. One of Yorkshire’s favourite retreats on a rainy is The Deep in Hull. This ‘Submarium’ holds over 2.5 million gallons of water and over 3,500 species of exotic fish, making it a fun and informative day out for the little ‘uns. But if fish aren’t your thing, pay a visit to Ripley castle in Harrogate, where you’ll find over 700 years of enthralling Yorkshire history just waiting to be discovered.

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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.

Tour de France 2014 – Accommodation in Yorkshire

Monday, July 29th, 2013
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There’s nothing better than watching live sport and whether you’re a cycling aficionado or simply new to the sport, Yorkshire is the place to be next July. After two years of British success in the world’s premier bike race, the Tour de France will begin in Yorkshire in 2014.

Find a holiday cottage for the Tour de France


Le Tour arrives in Yorkshire

The race will kick off in Leeds on Saturday 5th July with a 190km stage finishing in Harrogate which snakes through the fantastic Yorkshire Dales National Park and takes in Kettlewell, Aysgarth and Ripon.  Stage two is no walk in the park either with a 200km stage between York and Sheffield which sees the peloton visit Keighley and Hebden Bridge before skirting the Peak District National Park.  There’s already huge excitement about the Tour coming to Yorkshire and we’ve already taken many bookings for next July here at Sykes Cottages.

Holiday cottages in Yorkshire for the Tour de France 2014.

Things to consider when looking for Tour de France accommodation in Yorkshire

When you’re looking for holiday accommodation to coincide with a special event, like the Tour de France, there are a few extra things to think about.  Firstly, where do you want to be located?  For a lively holiday, choose a holiday cottage in a town or village on the route itself or for a more peaceful break, choose something a little further away from the villages the cyclists will pass through.  As many of the local roads will be closed, you’ll also need to think about transportation to the cottage.  Our cottages operate a Friday or a Saturday changeover and this will be crucial to bear in mind as you’re choosing your perfect cottage.  Sykes Cottages are here to help; our call centre is open until 9.30pm seven days a week and we’re looking forward to helping you find accommodation in Yorkshire for the Tour de France.

Find Yorkshire accommodation for the Tour de France!

Cottages for a cycling holiday

If you’re planning to catch some of the action next summer, chance are you’ll be doing so on two wheels.  If Yorkshire is good enough for the Lycra-clad teams of professionals, it’s good enough for me!  We have a number of cottages which make the perfect base for a cycling holiday across Yorkshire.  From cottages with secure bike storage allowing you to sleep soundly in the knowledge that your two wheels are safe to our luxury cottages in Yorkshire with a hot tub to ease aching muscles after a day in the saddle, it’s easy to choose your perfect cottage.  All of the cottages that we recommend for a cycling holiday are within easy reach of great cycling routes meaning you can be enjoying the gorgeous Yorkshire countryside just seconds from your holiday cottage.

Who will be in yellow when the Tour visits Yorkshire?

Are you looking for accommodation in Yorkshire for the 2014 Tour de France?  Start by taking a look at our website where you’ll find high quality photographs of our cottages and reviews from previous guests.  We also have a team of expertly trained holiday cottage advisors who can help you choose one of our Yorkshire Dales cottages; just give us a call on 01244 356695.  Vive le Tour!

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Yorkshire Dales Three Peaks Challenge

Friday, April 12th, 2013
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With longer days and warmer weather on the way, now is a great time to get fit. Whether it’s by running, walking or a whole host of other sporty activities, better weather brings a more opportunities for exercising in the great outdoors. How about signing up for a 5k run, going walking in the countryside or challenging yourself to cycle to work? The possibilities are endless!

Views of the Yorkshire Dales

Views of the Yorkshire Dales

Here at Sykes Cottages, we are always looking to test ourselves. Last year a group of colleagues from Sykes Cottages took part in the Three Peaks Challenge where ten keen walkers attempted to walk Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in twenty four hours.  This year a new test has been set, to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in twelve hours or less!

Ribblehead Viaduct in the Yorkshire Dales

Ribblehead Viaduct in the Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the hills of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales, approximately twenty four miles in total. The aim of many determined walkers is to complete the circular route in twelve hours or less, no easy thing when the path includes more than 3000 feet of climbing!

Whernside 030

Fancy completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for yourself this summer? Sykes Cottages have an extensive selection of holiday cottages in the Yorkshire Dales that provide superb accommodation for walkers including a number of cottages in Horton In Ribblesdale, the starting point of the Yorkshire Three Peaks route. Pen-y-Ghent View and Hermosa are particularly well positioned for walking the famous trail.


We wish the Sykes Cottages Yorkshire Three Peaks team the very best of luck for their training! Check back to the blog in the coming weeks for updates on how the team gets on with this brave and exciting challenge!

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By Charlotte Stamper

Charlotte's love of the UK started as a child, with frequent trips to the North Wales, the Lake District and Scotland. In her spare time she enjoys walking and last year completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. Her favourite place is the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno in North Wales.

Sunday Snapshots: York Minster

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013
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York Cathedral, better known as York Minster, is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe and is one not to be missed when visiting the north of England. The architecture of this grand Gothic cathedral is nothing short of breathtaking and offers visitors a visual history of Britain through sculpture, glass, carved wood.

Areas not to be missed? The Chapter House, the Kings Screen, the West Window, and the Heart of Yorkshire.

York Minster - York, Yorkshire

York Minster in York, Yorkshire – Via. Flickr

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