Archive for July, 2012

The Three Peaks Challenge, Take Two!

Thursday, July 19th, 2012
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Three weeks ago ten intrepid Sykes Cottages staff set out on a quest to tackle the Three Peaks Challenge – to climb the three highest peaks in England, Scotland, and Wales in a 24 hour period. Unfortunately, the team was thwarted by the worst weather the UK has seen in years, including wind, cold, and rain of biblical proportions. Rather than accept this disappointment, tomorrow three courageous men will set out on a bid to complete their intended mission. They will be triumphant in their Three Peaks Challenge!

View from Mount Snowdon

via. missmeyli on Flickr

The first attempt was a long and gruelling one and the second one promises to be no less so. The team does, however, intend to learn from any and all mistakes made in the past – including carrying less gear and avoiding taking any wrong turns at the top of a mountain.

The major differences in this weekend’s attempt will be the smaller team and the decision to climb the mountain in the reverse order, beginning with Mount Snowdon in Wales, then travelling to Scafell Pike in the Lake District, before making the final push to the top of Ben Nevis in Scotland.

The team are still taking donations on their fundraising page and any and all contributions will be gratefully accepted. All of the money will go to support two wonderful local charities, Claire House and Children Today Charitable Trust.

All of us here at Sykes Cottages are wishing Tom, Simon, and Anthony the very best of luck and we look forward to hearing more stories of action and adventure on Monday morning. Second time’s the charm!

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All Set for the Summer Holidays?

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
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Although schools across the country are breaking up for summer in the next few days, many families still haven’t booked their summer holidays. Children can look forward to six whole weeks off from the daily routine, homework and teachers, but without the usual schedule in place, after a couple of weeks at home they will most likely be driving each other crazy and searching for something to do. The great news is it isn’t too late to book a fantastic holiday for the family.

Summer Sunshine due in the UK next week

Fingers crossed for summer sunshine in the UK next week

In the news today it has been announced that the miserable wet weather that we have been experiencing lately is set to end this week and apparently we are due to have some warmer, drier summer weather soon! Horary! So why not book a holiday cottage so that you can take advantage of the best of the British weather that we are due?

Why choose a cottage holiday? Staying in a self-catering holiday cottage is great if you are travelling on a budget. Load up the car, pack your own food and off you go. There is no need for busy and stressful airports, passports or seasickness, cottage accommodation is quite simply one of the easiest and best types of accommodation for families. If you are felling like a treat then you could book a cottage with a swimming pool or hot tub that the kids are sure to love! Combine this with a little bit of research before you set off for some discount vouchers for family days out at local attractions and you are on to a wallet friendly winner of a holiday!

Children break up for the summer holidays

Children break up for the summer holidays this week

The Sykes Cottages website is so easy to use. If you are specifically interested in a holiday cottage that is on special offer then our special offers page is the place to head to. If you are tearing your hair out at home and you want to get away for a few days as soon as possible, then visit our last minute cottages. The Sykes Cottages last minute accommodation page shows cottages that are available in the next seven days, perfect if you fancy a short break away at late notice.

We are also always promoting our special offers and latest news through social media, so why not like us on facebook and follow us on twitter?

You can check our cottage availability online anytime, or if you need a little extra help, why not call one of our friendly reservation specialists, available between 9am and 9.30pm daily. If you have an enquiry outside of these times you can send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Here’s to a great summer holiday!

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Three Great Family Days Out in the UK

Thursday, July 12th, 2012
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With the summer holidays fast approaching, our thoughts turn to the long school holidays and what to do with the children to keep them entertained. Here are three fantastic attractions in the UK that kids (and adults) will love.

Beamish – The Living Museum of the North, County Durham

Beamish is an open air museum situated in County Durham and tells the story of life in Britain from the late Victorian and Edwardian eras up to the present day. The museum is on a massive site so make sure you pack comfy shoes as you will walk literally miles from place to place. Every type of life has its own section with a town centre from 1913, a farm, and a pit village to name but a few. Pop into the school but make sure you behave yourself or the strict teacher will tell you off!

Visiting Beamish is so easy from many holiday destinations in Northumberland so why not visit Beamish from your Northumberland holiday cottage? The beautiful city of Durham is also well worth a trip to with its beautiful cathedral and buzzing university vibe and Sykes Cottages have a number of excellent properties in the area.

Legoland Windsor, Berkshire

Legoland has been attracting visitors since it opened in 1996. It is made up of over 40 million Lego bricks in models with Lego-themed rides, models and lego building workshops. Everyone has enjoyed playing with lego at some point in their childhood and this is the ultimate childhood dream. Kids will love ‘learning to drive’ in the mini driving school and Miniland, the miniature world, includes lifelike models of the UK and beyond with models of London including a lego made rotating London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral and Millennium Bridge. Seeing many fantastic UK destinations may even give you inspiration for your next cottage holiday as a family.

Alton Towers, Staffordshire

Alton Towers is the UK’s most visited theme park and is one of my favourite places to go for a day out. There really is something for all the family, with white knuckle rides like oblivion and air as well as fun water rides, like the log flume and river rapids and kiddie rides for the little ones to enjoy. For those who don’t like rides but still want to come along there for the trip, there are beautiful gardens to enjoy too.

Conveniently situated in Staffordshire in the heart of the UK, Alton Towers is convenient to reach from all over the country. You could stay in a self-catering holiday cottage in in Staffordshire or beyond or why not enjoy an extended break and book a holiday cottage near to Alton Towers?

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Summer Holidays in Cornwall – A Perfect Destination

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
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Cornwall is a wonderful destination for a family holiday this summer. Think stunning scenery, beautiful beaches and the best weather in Britain and you are sure to have a winning combination!

Fantastic Food

Padstow in Cornwall

The beautiful harbor at Padstow in Cornwall

One of my favourite things about visiting anywhere is the opportunity to sample the local food and drink of the area. Cornwall has long been associated with high quality food and many chefs have chosen Cornwall as the primary location for their restaurants. If you love seafood, a trip to Rick Stein’s well established restaurant in Padstow will be right up your street, benefitting from fantastic local produce almost coming straight out of the sea and onto the your plate.

No trip to Cornwall would be complete without sampling a traditional Cornish pasty, now protected so the only place you can get a traditional Cornish pasty is Cornwall itself. Also, you absolutely must tuck into a cream tea with jam and clotted cream, just make sure that you prepare it the Cornish way – the jam spread onto the scone first, followed by the cream!

Beautiful Beaches

A beautiful beach in Cornwall

One of many spectacular beaches in Cornwall

The beaches of Cornwall are often thought to be some of the best in the world and it’s easy to see why. There are many different types of beach in the area including the fine golden sandy beaches like those at Bude, Watergate Bay and St Ives. In other areas the beaches are made up of courser sand and shingle, but many also be home to interesting cliffs, rocks and caves.

It is possible to follow a complete circuit of the coast of Cornwall along the South West Coast Path which follows both coasts. Of if you fancy getting wet, head to Newquay – the Surf capital of the UK to head out onto the waves.

Wonderful whatever the weather!

The surfing capital of the UK, Newquay

The surfing capital of the UK, Newquay

Fingers crossed the weather will be perfect and you have a good chance! Cornwall is said to be one of the warmest and sunniest places in the UK because of its position on the western coast of the country. It is estimated that the county gets 1540 hours of sunshine every year! So get out on the beach, take a trip to Newquay Zoo or take a coastal walk to make the most of it!

If and when the weather takes a turn for the worst, take refuge in a trip to one of the many spectacular churches in the area or visit the fascinating Eden Project or the Tate gallery at St Ives.

Our newest cottages in Cornwall are Stoneybeck Cottage, Sunnyvale Cottage, Souls Retreat.

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Try Something Different in the Lake District this summer!

Friday, July 6th, 2012
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The Lake District is a great place to try a new activity or visit a location that you have never heard of before. There are so many outdoor leisure activities to try and so many different villages and towns to visit that it can be hard to know where to start. So here is a little inspiration to get you started…

Lake District Sheepdog Experience

Experience something new at the Lake District Sheepdog Experience

Experience something new at the Lake District Sheepdog Experience

This has got to be one of the best activities for any budding farmer or animal enthusiast to try! The Lake District Sheepdog Experience at Totterbank Farm is a very unusual and unique activity that will defiantly give you a story or two to tell your mates afterwards. The experience gives you the opportunity to handle a fully trained Border Collie sheepdog under full instruction. These friendly dogs are experienced in working the sheep and have been bred to work sheep in the Lake District for hundreds of years. Using verbal sheepdog commands, you will have to try and order the sheep, much harder than it sounds! Expect to be amused and enthralled by this unique and unusual activity and receive a certificate to remind you of your experience afterwards. If you are looking for a special gift, you can purchase a gift voucher for a loved one to redeem at a later date.
Visit to find out more.

Skydiving in the Lake District

Nothing is more exhilarating than free falling through the sky at more than 120 mph! Feel the adrenaline rush of taking to the sky in a tiny airplane and then jumping out of door at 14,500ft and falling towards the ground for more than a minute before opening the parachute and sailing gently down to land back on the ground. The Skydive North West Centre at Grange-over-sands is situated perfectly so you can enjoy fantastic views of the Lake District, the coast, fells and lakes from a unique and unusual bird’s eye perspective.

Lacy’s Caves on the River Eden

Enjoy a walk along the banks of the River Eden and see the wonder of Lacy's Caves in the Lake District

Enjoy a walk along the banks of the River Eden and see the wonder of Lacy's Caves in the Lake District

If you fancy visiting somewhere a little off the beaten track then a trip to Lacy’s Caves, off the River Eden could be just the thing. They are five chambers cut into the red sandstone cliff that were commissioned by and named after Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Lacy of Salkeld Hall, in the 18th century. No one is quite sure why they were built, if they were intended as a place to entertain guests, store wine or as a fashionable statement, but today they are open freely to the public via public footpaths. Enjoy spectacular views across the river as you walk down to the entrance of the caves. There are also lots of beautiful plants and flowers that line the river banks that make the walk along the river a real joy.

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