Archive for February, 2013

Spotlight on New Sykes Cottages – Grand Cottages

Thursday, February 28th, 2013
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Are you looking for a grand location to hold a family reunion or an elegant wedding, or maybe just somewhere special to enjoy a summer holiday with family and friends? Well, our holiday cottages are much more than just small and quaint country houses. We’ve always listed great grand cottages, but a number of wonderful new options have just recently been added to our listings, giving you more grand accommodation options than ever before.

Here are a few grand cottages that have just recently been added to our site.

Eden – Skipton, The Gateway to the Dales – Yorkshire Dales

If you are looking for a grand cottage that is away from it all Eden in the Yorkshire Dales is the place for you. Set within breathtaking Dales countryside, this luxury 17th century barn conversion boasts country living at its very finest, providing a first-class holiday home in a remarkable location. Set within breathtaking Dales countryside, Eden is set in its own grounds in the heart of the Broughton Hall Estate, just 2.5 miles from the market town of Skipton, giving you the best of both worlds. This five tick holiday cottage sleeps up to 13 people in six bedrooms, four of which boast king sized beds! This truly grand holiday home offers a rare chance for an unforgettable holiday in a wonderfully impressive property.

Norton Grange – Norton near Worcester – Worcestershire

Grade II listing = check! Heated swimming pool = check! Breathtaking countryside = check! When it comes to grand holiday accommodation Norton Grange really does have it all. Norton Grange was built in the 1800s, boasts an original clock tower and is situated  just 5 miles from the ancient city of Worcester but is surrounded by stunning Worcestershire countryside. With six spacious bedrooms with sleeping space for 16, you can bring the whole family along and still not have to worry about having enough space. With grand accommodation and many pretty towns and villages within easy reach, this holiday home is an ideal base for an unforgettable holiday.

Hoath House – Chiddingstone near Hever – Kent

Not only is Hoath House a beautifully grand holiday cottage, but it is also the 4000th cottage to be listed here with us at Sykes Cottages – and what a cottage it is! This medieval manor house is set in magnificent grounds on the High Weald overlooking the border between Kent and Sussex in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, offering visitors a truly unforgettable holiday experience. Hoath House includes seven bedrooms, six of which include en-suite facilities, offering sleeping accommodation for a whopping 26 people in total! Looking for a location for your upcoming wedding? Well, Hoath House might just be perfect for you, with two rooms onsite that are  licensed to hold your ceremony.

Book a St Patrick’s Day break in Ireland

Monday, February 25th, 2013
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It’s only three weeks until everything will be turned green in the name of Ireland’s patron saint, St Patrick. You name it; it can be green from faces to pints of Guinness to some of the world’s most iconic buildings like the Pyramids in Egypt and the Sydney Opera House. There’s nowhere better to celebrate St Paddy than on the Emerald Isle so why not celebrate with a short cottage break to Ireland?

 
Leprechaun Cake Closeup
 

Plenty to see and do

What started as a celebration of the arrival of Christianity in Ireland is now a cultural celebration of all things Irish with the whole country coming alive on March 17th.  Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty to keep visitors young and old entertained so you’ll soon feel in the party mood.  Start in the capital city of Dublin where a four day festival takes over from March 14th and promises street parades, traditional music, children’s activities and, of course, a craft beer festival.  For a full schedule of events, visit the St Patricks Festival website.  Make sure you visit the Guinness Storehouse which is a must for anyone on holiday in Dublin.  Limerick is another great place to join the celebrations as the city is hosting the largest regional parade with hundreds of street artists and musicians and is expected to welcome 70,000 spectators.  The 43rd Limerick International Band Festival takes place over the weekend and is sure to be a great success.  Early risers might like to find a cottage in County Kerry as celebrations in Dingle begin at 6am when the Fife and Drum Band take to the streets.  The Dingle Film Festival also starts on St Patrick’s Day so rain or shine you certainly won’t be bored!

 

 

Finding the perfect Irish cottage

Spending a few days in Ireland to coincide with St Patrick’s Day is the best way of getting a real taste of Irish culture not to mention the country as a whole.  Look forward to miles of gorgeous, unspoilt countryside, stunning seaside villages and thriving towns and villages across the Republic.  We have a great selection of large properties in Ireland if a group of you want to travel to the Emerald Isle to celebrate.  We also have cottages which are perfect for a family holiday to celebrate St Patrick’s Day all the way from County Donegal in the north to pretty County Cork in the south.  Why not browse our website to find the perfect cottage for your next holiday in Ireland?

 

 

Getting there

So now you’ve set your hearts on Ireland, the only question remaining is how to get there!  Sykes Cottages offer great value holiday cottage and ferry packages to those travelling to Ireland from the UK and fantastic deals on car rental if you’re arriving by air.  For more information about how to get to Ireland, click here or call us today on 01244 356666 and speak to one of our friendly holiday cottage advisors until 9.30pm, seven days a week.

 
Southern Ireland
 

Sunday Snapshots: Fishguard, Pembrokeshire

Sunday, February 24th, 2013
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To show that spring really is just around the corner, today’s Sunday Snapshot is of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in South Wales. The path stretches for almost 190 miles and takes in some 58 beaches so there’s plenty of places to stop for a sandwich and hopefully catch a few rays during your walk. I don’t know about you but I’m looking for my walking boots and a map as we speak!
 
Pembrokeshire coast path

Book a Cottage in North Wales for Easter

Friday, February 22nd, 2013
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As we get to the end of February and into March, everyday feels a little more spring like and each day is noticeably longer. With only five weeks to go until the Easter weekend, now is a great time to take advantage of the longer days and bank holidays and book an Easter break.

Click here to visit our cottages with availability for the Easter holidays. If you are searching for a cottage in North Wales, select ‘Wales’ in the country box and ‘North Wales’ in the region box. Alternatively, you can view our full selection of North Wales Cottages here.

Easter Eggs

Eaton Hall Gardens, Chester

The Duke of Westminster opens his gardens to the public in the name of charity four times a year, with the first open day of 2013 being Easter Sunday, the 31st March. The Eaton Estate Gardens, situated just outside of Chester are immaculately kept and include formal gardens and woodlands as well as a lake that is especially lovely to walk around. The sheer beauty of the gardens really does have to be seen to be believed!

Clock Tower Across the Lake

There is a cafe where you can buy refreshments, as well as ice cream vans selling Cheshire Farm Ice Cream. You are also welcome to bring a picnic to the gardens and dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on a lead.

Entrance to the gardens is £6 for adults and £1.50 for children, all of which goes to charity. This year’s chosen charities are the Chester Childbirth Appeal, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Chester and the Three Villages Project – all very worthy causes.

Park Hall Farm, Oswestry

Pet Lambs

Park Hall Farm in Oswestry is a fantastic place to take the kids this Easter. Open daily from 10am until 5pm during the Easter holidays, children can bottle feed the lambs, take part in the children’s driving school, enjoy a ride on the barrel train or take part in the Easter Extravaganza, a big Easter egg hunt. Entrance to Park Hall Farm is £7.45 per person or £29 for a family of four.

Rhyl Sun Centre, North Wales

A fantastic rainy day option for the Easter holidays is the Rhyl Sun Centre in North Wales. The Sun Centre opens for the 2013 season on the 23rd March and is open during the Easter holidays from 10.30am until 5pm. There are water rides, slides and wave pools and even a surf pool to keep both old and young entertained, especially when you want to escape from the Great British weather. Tickets are £8.95 per person or £8.55 per person for a family ticket for four to nine people.

Charlotte

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.

Spring Flower Walks in England

Thursday, February 21st, 2013
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After a long winter filled with cold and snow there are few things more comforting than the sight of little spring flowers beginning to pop their heads out into the warm spring sunshine. Over the past few weeks the delicate white of the first harbingers of spring, the snowdrops, have been appearing across the country, and soon enough the snowdrops will give way to the more elaborate of the spring flowers, sunshiney daffodils, elegant tulips, multicoloured primroses, and headily scented hyacinths.

If you are starting to feel as though the cold of winter will never end, spend the next sunny day basking in the beauty of a spring flower show, a sight that is sure to pull you out of the winter doldrums. Warm sun, pretty flowers, fresh air, and a little exercise are just what the doctor orders for a case of the winter blues!

Snowdrops at Welford Park – Newbury, Berkshire

Snowdrops by the River Lambourn at Welford Park in Berkshire

Snowdrops by the River Lambourn at Welford Park in Berkshire Via. Flickr

Throughout the month of February the grounds of Welford Park, a country house estate in the county of Berkshire, are all but carpeted in delicate snowdrops, a display which has become world famous over the past fifty years. Though Welford Park is not open to the public all year, it is for the snowdrop display. This year you can visit the grounds until 3rd March from Wednesday to Sunday, between 10am and 4pm. The entry fee for adults is £5 (£4 concession), and children under 12 are free.

Spring Flowers in Shrewsbury – Shropshire

#178 Flower bed March 28th 2011

Spring Flowers in Shrewsbury Via. Flickr

From the middle of February the city of Shrewsbury begins to bloom. From February to mid-April you could return to Shrewsbury again and again to see a new palate of spring blooms colouring the streets of this picturesque city. Follow the spring flower trail through the town centre that has been laid out by the local tourist authority to see the best of the flowers, both on and off the beaten track, beginning at the railway station and ending at the Quarry, the city’s 29-acre parkland. Spots not to miss : St Alkmund’s Square, Shrewsbury Castle, and the Quarry.

Looking for local accommodation? Browse our Shrewsbury holiday cottages.

Spring Flower Walks on the South Coast Path – Cornwall, Devon & Dorset

flowers on the cliff top - South West Coast Path

Clifftop flowers along the South West Coast Path Via. Flickr

For those looking for something a bit more wild and natural, consider heading out on either a long or short jaunt on the South Coast Path. The South Coast Path, which runs for 630 miles through the counties of Devon, Dorset and Cornwall, is the longest waymarked long-distance footpath in England and offers visitors the opportunity to meander through some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK. Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk the whole 630 miles, there are short marked walks along the course of the path, including a number which offer magnificent flower viewing opportunities. Pick a spring flower walking route here and enjoy!

Browse our selection of self catering cottages in South West England to find your perfect holiday accommodation.