Archive for February, 2011

Looking For A Great Family Day Out This Half Term?

Monday, February 21st, 2011
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Whether you’re staying in one of our holiday cottages or not, there is a great reason to grab the kids and venture Northwards this half term. Newtonmore has a unique attraction specially for families with children – The Wildcat Experience.  The community has sited life-size, accurate models of the Scottish Wildcat in gardens, on roofs and up in trees for visitors to find. All the cats are painted differently with their own character – the Cat’s Pyjamas,  Cat-a-log, That Loving Feline, etc. At the moment, there are 79 cats hidden throughout the village. If you find 25, you earn A Wildcat Experience certificate, while, if you find 50, you get a prize. Anyone finding them all gets an even bigger prize. Children love the treasure hunt element and adults appreciate an attraction, which keeps their children happy for hours and hours outdoors in the fresh air!   The Wildcat Centre, beside the Village Hall, is the place to go if you’re interested in signing up.  More information can be found here:

Our Newtonmore holiday cottages are now accepting last minute short breaks for the remainder of this February half-term. With a last minute break, you can save 35% on the weekly rental price of a cottage. Why not give the Wildcat Experience a go?

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Two For The Price Of One – Gargrave And Kildwick

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
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Gargrave (Please note: for self catering holiday cottages in Gargrave, please click here)

On the Settle-Ingleton road just a few miles from the lively market town of Skipton, Gargrave is small, pleasant, stone-built village with the twin waterways of the Leeds-Liverpool canal and the river Aire running through it. Many leisure boats navigate the series of locks along this stretch of the canal; take a leisurely waterside walk and then call in for a traditional pint at one of the village’s three local pubs. The history of the village can be witnessed in the restored water mills, while the Parish church dates from the mid nineteenth century and displays some lovely French stained glass windows.

Kildwick (Please note: for self catering holiday cottages in Kildwick, please click here)

Like nearby Gargrave, the little Airedale village of Kildwick also enjoys an enviable setting on two of the region’s main waterways, the river Aire and the Leeds-Liverpool canal. There is not a great deal here, but both waterways offer pleasant riverside rambles, and there are some very good pubs serving traditional Yorkshire fare and good ales. St. Andrew’s, the parish Church, is mentioned in the Domesday Book, and is well known for its exceptionally long nave. A place of worship for more than a thousand years, there are lovely views over the village and surrounding Dales from the churchyard.

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The Sykes Cottages Guide To Llanberis

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
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Nestling at the foot of Mount Snowdon, Llanberis is a honey pot for climbers and walkers, who are well served with the various challenges of the Snowdonia National Park. Visitors preferring a less strenuous visit during their cottage holiday needn’t miss out on the spectacular panoramas of Snowdon; the nineteenth century rack and pinion Snowdon Mountain Railway departs from Llanberis on a one-hour journey climbing some 900 metres from the valley floor to the peak from around Easter to October. The village also has a second railway with less lofty but nonetheless pleasant ambitions; the low-level Lake Railway, one of the ‘Great Little Trains of Wales’, runs a scenic line around Llyn Padarn during the summer season. Other Llanberis attractions include the Electric Mountain subterranean power station; a ‘quick response’ station designed to shore up supply to the National Grid during commercial break power surges, and the Welsh Slate Museum, on the site of the former Dinorwic Quarry. Boosted in recent years by Lottery funding, this is an imaginative and interesting visitor attraction, where demonstrations keep alive the old skills used to split the ubiquitous grey slate into the tiles, which, it claims, ‘roofed the industrial revolution’. There are tours of the foundries and forges, a working waterwheel, reconstructions of quarrymen’s cottages plus, of course, a gift shop, cafe and visitor facilities. Dolbadarn Castle is another popular attraction. Constructed during the thirteenth century, the ruins of this castle, built to defend the Llanberis Pass, makes for a pleasant place to walk and picnic.

If you would like to see Llanberis for yourself, why not book one of the following self catering holiday cottages?

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The Sykes Cottages Guide To Helensburgh

Monday, February 14th, 2011
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Helensburgh is often described as the Gateway to the Highlands, and renting one of our Scottish holiday cottages in the vicinity of this pleasant town gives access to a host of attractions. Well known as the location for Hill House, the Charles Rennie Mackintosh house, Helensburgh is the last major urban centre before Oban at the extreme western tip of Scotland, and is just a few short miles from Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Getting out and about from here is easy, whether your preference is for car, boat or train. By car, the scenery around Loch Lomond, Loch Katrine and the sea lochs of the river Clyde may be readily enjoyed, and the dynamic city of Glasgow is just a half hour’s drive. But if you prefer to keep your eyes on the stunning scenery, then a trip by train on the West Highland Line rewards the visitor with some spectacular Highlands scenery, as well as stops in Oban, Tarbert on the Kintyre peninsula, and Fort William. Regular boat trips connect the town with outlying islands; the famous paddle steamer the Waverley links Helensburgh with the Kyles of Bute during the summer months, and boat trips are available to Dunoon, famous for its porcelain, Rothesay and other ports along the Clyde.

Helensburgh is an elegant, Victorian town, shown off to its best advantage in May, when the cherry trees are filled with blossom. Many visitors head for Hill House, with Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed furniture throughout the house, which is set in lovely formal gardens. These are also in the distinctive Mackintosh style, and give fine views over the Clyde estuary.

To see Helensburgh for yourself, this self catering holiday cottage is only a short drive away.

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The Sykes Cottages Guide To Edale & Hope

Monday, February 7th, 2011
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Edale village lies at the foot of Kinder Scout, in the beautifully scenic Hope valley, through which cuts the main Manchester-Sheffield train line. Though tiny, with only a couple of pubs, the Old Nag’s Head and the aptly-named Rambler, campsites, camping barns and the train station, Edale is eternally popular with visitors of an outdoor inclination. It is the starting point for the famous Pennine Way, England’s first long-distance footpath, but also a great jumping off point for a whole variety of renowned local walks, such as Jacob’s Ladder and Crowden Clough, and an almost infinite number of rambles and cycles both short and long on the moor land around Kinder.

Please click here for self catering holiday cottages in Edale.


Hope is similar in size to nearby Castleton, but it less frequented by tourists. The town has a popular well-dressing festival at the end of June each year but is dominated by a large cement works which rather blights the otherwise picturesque landscape. There is a fourteenth century church, several shops and a couple of pubs, but many pass through the town to enjoy the charms of the wider Hope Valley, between Hope and Edale. Ever popular with walkers, this area also attracts pony trekkers, birdwatchers, cavers and pot-holers, whilst the sight of multi-coloured hang gliders launching off from the plateau of Mam Tor, the so-called Shivering Mountain, is a common one on clear days. Many of these activities can be enjoyed by those on a holiday cottage stay in the area, with local outdoor centres and tourist offices able to advise on bookings.

Please click here for self catering holiday cottages in Hope.

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