Archive for February, 2013

Sunday Snapshots: New Forest, Hampshire

Sunday, February 10th, 2013
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Given that it’s so close to Valentine’s Day, we thought this week’s Sunday Snapshot should have a romantic theme so today’s photo comes from the New Forest in Hampshire, not far from the aptly-named hamlet of Lover. The small Wiltshire hamlet of Lover sits just on the edge of the New Forest and many romantics travel here just so their Valentine’s card is stamped with the postmark!

‘Roses are red, violets are blue, why not book a holiday cottage and say I love you?’

New Forest

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Free UK Art Events

Friday, February 8th, 2013
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Did you know that the UK is home to some 212,000 oil paintings housed in museums and public institutions across the UK? Thanks to a partnership between the BBC and a charity, the Public Catalogue Foundation, all these paintings are now online for everyone to admire, all of the time. You can now enjoy these national treasures from the comfort of your sofa!

Artist Studio: Ruza Bagaric / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54595.P1.L1 / SML

More than 37,000 artists’ work makes up the UK’s National Collection most of which are British.  You’ll also find paintings by world-renowned artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet and Raphael.  Having the UK’s national collection of oil paintings online is a huge achievement especially for art lovers.  At any one time 80% of the collection may not be on public view if there is limited display space or where certain paintings require repair or conservation.  Being able to view these national treasures online is a huge step forward and allows UK residents and those on holiday in the UK to understand the history of the nation through art.

Van Gogh Museum - Sunflowers, 1889

To celebrate this achievement, some of the UK’s most iconic paintings will be projected onto buildings up and down the country between 4.30pm and 10pm this evening.  From Norwich to Aberdeen and York to Carrickfergus, there are 28 sites across the country where you will be able to view oil masterpieces displayed on iconic buildings.  At each building four works of national interest will be displayed such as Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ as well as three paintings specific to the region.  To see the full list of events and find out if there is an event near you, visit the BBC website.


York, Clifford's Tower

The fun doesn’t stop there either!  On Saturday 9th February, free ‘Big Art Canvas’ are taking place across the UK where you can paint a square of canvas which will become part of a huge public masterpiece.  Events take place in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and are on a first come, first served basis so it’s a good idea to get there early if you’ve been inspired by tonight’s art.

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Sheffield – A day out in the steel city

Thursday, February 7th, 2013
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Situated right on the edge of the beautiful Peak District, Sheffield is a fantastic, vibrant city. Having shrugged off its former industrial past, Sheffield is now a modern city with the perfect mix of old and new and more than enough to keep you occupied for a city break or as a day trip when holidaying in the Peak District.

The small but perfectly formed city centre is home to a wealth of independent shops including funky retailers, spacious city parks and fantastic museums, particularly the Western Park Museum on the west of the city. Sheffield is also well known as the home of the World Snooker Championships, held in the Crucible Theatre each year and. Tickets for the early matches are relatively easy to get hold of and are well worth it!


One of the nicest things about Sheffield is how green it feels – you are never far from one of the city’s parks. From the Peace Gardens with relaxing fountains in the city centre and the indoor Winter Gardens next door, home to hundreds of exotic plants making it a great place to escape from the cold on a winter’s day. Just outside of the city centre, the Botanic Gardens, Crookes Valley Park and Western Park are all well worth a visit. Plus, you are never far from the rolling hills of the Peak District if you want to escape the city

Long walk

If its serious shopping you’re after, jump on the tram and head out of town to Meadowhall, a purpose built out of town shopping centre built on the site of a former steelworks. The handy tram network that runs through the city and its suburbs makes getting around really quick and easy.


You are sure not to go hungry on your trip with a great selection of restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars to choose from, many of which are situated around Sheffield’s main night spots of West Street and Division Street. Italian restaurant BB’s on Division Street, Cafe 22a on Norfolk Row and the Frog and Parrot on Division Street are amongst the highlights. During your holiday also be sure to try a Yorkshire curd tart and pick up a bottle of Henderson’s Relish, Sheffield’s famous sauce to remind you of your trip.

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Spotlight on New Sykes Cottages – Large Cottages

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
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Are you planning a family reunion for this summer? Maybe a country wedding? Finding accommodation and a venue for such events can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be! Here at Sykes Cottages we have a great selection of large cottages that are perfect for groups that are located across the UK, and we’re adding new ones to our listings all the time. All of our large cottages are spacious enough to sleep at least 8 people, with some of our largest cottages accommodating more than 20 people! Take a look at some of the newest large cottages that we have on offer and find the perfect location for your summer party.

Greyhound Farm House – Barnsley Near Cirencester, Gloucestershire

If you’re looking for a holiday home that is full of character and olde worlde charm than look no further than Greyhound Farm House in Barnsley, Gloucestershire. Greyhound Farm is a detached Grade II listed former hop brewery, part of which dates back to the 15th century. Not only does the house have 8 spacious bedrooms (all of which are equipped with en-suite facilities), but it lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the beautiful Cotswold countryside – you can’t get much more perfect than this!

Bryngarth – Much Birch Near Ross-on-wye, Herefordshire

You’re unlikely to find any cottage that is more ambiant than Bryngarth, a beautiful black and white timber home, with stunning views over the surrounding hills and mountains. Bryngarth is equipped with 9 spacious bedrooms, offering accommodation for 20 people, as well as a warming woodburner, a formal dining room with open fire, a huge kitchen with double AGA, and a three acre mature garden with large patio area, furniture and BBQ. Any event that is held at Bryngarth is sure to be a showstopper, between the beautiful surroundings and luxurious accommodation, making it the perfect location for any and all of your special events.

Brookside Manor House – Bronygarth Near Chirk, Shropshire

If you’re looking for a wedding venue that will absolutely knock your guest’s socks off, Brookside Manor House is for you. This stunning country house, part of which dates from the 17th century, is set in just under two acres of grounds, and boasts superb views of Chirk Castle and the surrounding Shropshire countryside. Brookside boasts many original features including polished wooden floors, ornate ceilings and beautiful fireplace, as well as some thoroughly modern conveniences, like a heated indoor swimming pool and outdoor hot tub! With 10 bedrooms, which combined can accommodate up to 30 guests, you won’t have to worry about finding accommodation for all of yours guests and you can just enjoy your time together. That sounds like the perfect wedding to me!

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Take Another Look At UK Holiday Cottages

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
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Looking for a holiday with a difference? Have you considered staying in a self catering cottage? Modern holiday cottages are evolving here at Sykes Cottages, from holiday cottages that include access to spa facilities, properties with a butler, housekeeper or chef, city accommodation and many unique and unusual properties. So why not try something different for your holiday this year?

Holiday Cottages with Spa Facilities

Chapel Green - Polgooth, St. Austell

Chapel Green – Polgooth, St. Austell

Holidays are a fantastic time to relax and get away from all the stresses and strains of everyday life. Imagine sinking into a steaming hot tub, relaxing in a sauna or steam room or treating yourself to an indulgent massage, manicure or pedicure. We all deserve a little special treatment once in a while so visiting a cottage that has access to spa facilities will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated by the end of your holiday.

Properties With An Extra Helping Hand

Burnhope Shooting Lodge - Wearhead, Weardale

Burnhope Shooting Lodge – Wearhead, Weardale

For an extra special holiday, why not book a personal chef to cook you and your family a really special meal? Or you could book a butler or housekeeper to help make your stay truly once in a lifetime! Look out for cottages that offer a chef, butler or housekeeper in the ‘Amenities’ section on our cottage pages.

A Self Catering City Break

5 Bellevue Crescent - New Town, Edinburgh

5 Bellevue Crescent – New Town, Edinburgh

Taking a break to a holiday cottage isn’t just for trips to the countryside. We have a number of holiday homes in some of the UK’s favourite city break destinations that are perfectly positioned for a weekend sightseeing in the city. Our city properties in Edinburgh, York and Chester are amongst the most popular.

Quirky Holiday Cottages

Brookbank Folly - Mitcheldean, Royal Forest Of Dean

Brookbank Folly – Mitcheldean, Royal Forest Of Dean

Fancy a really different type of holiday? We have an increasing number of properties that offer unique holiday accommodation, in unusual cottages, historic homes and architecturally interesting buildings! Visit our unique cottages page to view our full selection of unique and unusual holiday cottages.

Shepherd's Hut - Leighton Near Ironbridge Gorge

Shepherd’s Hut – Leighton Near Ironbridge Gorge

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