Archive for November, 2010

What To See And Do In Bideford (Part 1)

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
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Bideford is a lovely town flanking the River Torridge, with a collection of white-washed and pastel houses and holiday cottages and a distinctive, 24-arched bridge spanning the river and dating from the fifteenth century. Once a significant port town, handling cargo of tobacco and cotton shipped from the New World, the town is sleepier nowadays, with the long, tree-lined quayside providing a tranquil place to sit and watch the world go by. There is a regular indoor Pannier’s market and craft market providing the finest of the local produce and artisan work. The MS Oldenburg makes the trip out to Lundy Island from Bideford’s quayside, whilst walks or bike rides can be enjoyed along the river to nearby Appledore.

Bideford’s Burton Art Gallery and Museum provides a different experience; a place to relax, unwind and enjoy various permanent and temporary displays. Local pottery is showcased in the Gallery; the history of the changing shape of the town’s famous Long Bridge since the twelfth century is chronicled and local trades such as saddlery and glove making are explained whilst crafts, jewellery and artwork by renowned artists from the South West of England are exhibited, together with seasonal workshops and educational sessions for children.

Places of interest nearby include the Big Sheep, one of Devon’s main all-weather family attractions just two miles west of Bideford at nearby Abottsham. Here all the family can enjoy sheep shearing demonstrations, sheepdog trials, animal feeding sessions, duck trials, horse whispering, sheep racing and a whole variety of innovative and hands-on animal attractions. Ewetopia is a massive indoor play area ideal for rainy days, there are outdoor laser games, and the Ultimate High, a high ropes centre adjacent to the Big Sheep ideal for older children with energy to burn.

Part two of this blog coming soon! To see our selection of self catering holiday cottages in Bideford, please click here.

Popular, Popular Whitby (Part 2)

Monday, November 8th, 2010
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The sea has always dominated life in this bustling port. For anyone staying at a holiday cottage in the area, Whitby’s harbour is still the place to while away time on the quayside, indulge in a spot of line fishing from the harbour, take a themed boat cruise around the local bays on a replica of Cook’s ship the Endeavour or hop on board and enjoy sightseeing from on board Elizabeth, the only three-axle steam-powered bus in the world. The town’s annual celebrations revolve around the sea; the Blessing of the Boats festival and the Whitby Regatta both take place in the summer months, attracting throngs of holidaymakers who mingle with locals around the harbour. The narrow streets and alleyways behind the harbour house antique and curio shops, and make a pleasant place to wander at leisure. Many of the craft shops and jewellers sell the locally quarried mineral jet, mined from local sea cliffs at the start of the twentieth century. The blue flag beaches, with excellent sandy stretches, will keep families busy on good weather days.

The Whitby coast offers some fine walks; the Captain Cook Heritage Trail leads from the town to his former home at Great Ayton. Along the coast, there are plenty of pretty villages and larger resorts to visit; Robin Hood’s Bay and Scarborough to the south and Runswick Bay or Staithes to the north, while just a short drive inland brings you to the heather-clad beauty of the North York Moors National Park, Herriot Country and some spectacularly beautiful rural landscapes.

To read part 1 of this holiday cottages blog, please click here.

Pastrami On Rye? Try Ross On Wye Instead!

Thursday, November 4th, 2010
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A delightful town perched high on a rocky sandstone bluff, Ross on Wye and the surrounding area make a great location for a Herefordshire holiday cottage, allowing you the freedom to explore the many delights of the beautiful Wye valley. These including popular local tourist attractions, such as Symonds Yat beauty spot, where rare peregrine falcons nest in the rock face, or nearby Goodrich, with its striking twelfth century castle.

Sports enthusiasts will find the river Wye an excellent centre for canoeing, kayaking and rowing, while the town itself is the perfect place to while away a leisurely afternoon. Stroll or fish down by the river, enjoy afternoon tea and browsing in the independent shops and galleries, filled with unique crafts and artworks produced by local designers, and call into the delightful Market House centre, a lovely sandstone building dating from the seventeenth century, to learn a little of the history of this endearing market town.

If you would like to see the above for yourself, why not browse our Ross on Wye Holiday Cottages?

All You Need To Know About Airedale In 30 Seconds

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
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If you can’t decide which of our holiday cottages to choose from, the ones in Airedale offer a quaint mix of the rural and the urban. With nothing but the family car and a sat nav, you can very easily pick and choose your day trips to combine a city break with a country holiday.

In the heart of West Yorkshire, scenic Airedale borders picturesque Malhamdale and historic Brontë Country, encompassing major urban centres such as Bradford and Leeds, industrial towns such as Keighley, Bradford, Bingley and historic Saltaire, but for the holidaymaker, the key to the region’s appeal lies in the smaller villages and rural hamlets of the Yorkshire Dales.

The lovely market town of Skipton, one of the historic towns of Airedale, is worthy of its title of Gateway to the Dales, and makes an excellent base for a Yorkshire Dales holiday cottage break. Traditional villages such as Gargrave, Kildwick and Embsay are nearby, so too a host of visitor attractions, sporting and outdoor opportunities and the whole of the scenic Dales countryside which unfolds right on the door step.

The Sykes Cottages Guide To Shaftesbury

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
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For anyone looking for a traditional cottage holiday, Shaftesbury is a quintessentially English rural town and one of the highest and oldest in the land. Standing high above the lush, rolling countryside of the Blackmore Vale, it would be hard to imagine a more idyllic vision of an English country town seemingly untouched by the passage of time. Indeed, such is its nostalgic, picture-postcard beauty, many will recognise the Shaftesbury’s Gold Hill from the Hovis bread adverts, and this, inevitably, is one of the town’s most popular places to begin any visit.

The Gold Hill museum and garden, at the top of this ancient street dating back to Saxon times, provides an interesting insight into the history of the town and a welcome place to stop, rest and take in the splendid panoramic views from the gardens. Shaftesbury Abbey & Gardens are the remains of a once-important abbey; now the excavated remains offer peaceful gardens whilst the museum offers a virtual interactive tour, audio guides and artefacts and information boards charting the history of the site. Shaftesbury is a market town, and as well as some lovely independent local shops, a Farmer’s market is held on the first Saturday in the month, whilst the regular market day is Thursday. There are some excellent places to eat, from historic coaching inns to modern restaurants.

To see our holiday cottages in Shaftesbury, please click here.