Archive for July, 2013

Sunday Snapshots: Royal Albert Hall, London

Sunday, July 14th, 2013
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For this week’s Sunday Snapshot, we’re treating you to a pretty magnificent picture of London’s Royal Albert. Today marks the start of this summer’s BBC Proms which will be taking place at the Royal Albert Hall. Opened in 1871 under the guidance of Prince Albert. the Hall continues to fulfill it’s founder’s vision of promoting an understanding and appreciation of the arts. This year’s musical extravaganza offers something for everyone from traditional classical offerings to gospel prom and even a prom on the opening night to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr Who! Live music always feels like the start of summer for me and here at Sykes Cottages we have a great selection of holiday cottages for this summer, why not take a look?

Royal Albert Hall

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Summer holidays on the Isle of Wight

Friday, July 12th, 2013
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For our third instalment of summer holiday inspiration, this week we bring you the Isle of Wight. Located just a few miles from the south coast and easily accessible by ferry and hovercraft, a holiday on the Isle of Wight leaves you feeling like you’ve left everyday life behind. Add to this one of the best climates and glorious beaches and it’s easy to see why the Isle of Wight is one of our most popular holiday destinations year after year. Here’s just a few things to add your holiday itinerary…
Isle Of Wight Needles

Brilliant Beaches

It comes as no surprise that the Isle of Wight is blessed with fantastic beaches.  Whether you’re a sun worshipper looking to top up the tan or a surfer wanting to catch a few waves, you can be sure you’ll find the perfect beach for you.  Try the sandy beaches at Sandown and Ryde for a day out with the family, surfing in Compton Bay and Gurnard near Cowes to catch a glimpse of sailing clubs racing.  There’s also a 67 mile coastal path which snakes its way around the edge of the island and deliver breathtaking views of the coastline at every turn.

Festival Fever

For a small island, the Isle of Wight sure knows how to throw a party with a great choice of festivals throughout the year.  Music fans should head to Bestival in early September which this year sees a headline performance from Elton John and Fatboy Slim as well as fan favourites like Bombay Bicycle Club and Franz Ferdinand.  If you don’t fancy slumming in a tent, one of our Isle of Wight cottages is the perfect way to relax and get your fill of the festival atmosphere.  For a more energetic festival experience, the Isle of Wight Cycling Festival which takes place in mid September is a good bet.  According to Lonely Planet, the island is one of the best places to cycle in the world and with more than 200 miles of unspoilt countryside and dramatic coastal scenery, it’s not hard to see why.  The festival offers a good mix of routes for aspiring Bradley Wiggins’ (Hills Killer, anyone?) and those new to the world of Lycra and panniers so it’s a great way to explore the Isle of Wight during your holiday.
i heart bestival

History and Heritage beckon

Lying just off the Hampshire coast and offering views of incoming attacks over the centuries, the Isle of Wight has a real sense of history worth exploring on your holiday here.  In the centre of the island lies the well-preserved Carisbrooke Castle, where Charles I was imprisoned, and has lived through more than 800 years of history seeing off a French invasion and the Spanish Armada.  Today you’ll find the Edwardian-style Princess Beatrice Garden, a donkey sanctuary and an impressive collection of Charles I memorabilia.  The Isle of Wight has also been given the royal seal of approval by Queen Victoria who used to holiday here and today you can visit her former residence, Osborne House, in East Cowes.
Carisbrooke Castle
With so much on offer on the Isle of Wight, why not start planning a getaway to this fantastic island.  Take a look at our website where you’ll find a great selection of holiday cottages on the Isle of Wight from thatched cottages, timber-framed lodges and coastal retreats.  Happy holidays!

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Newly Added Sykes Cottages: Picture Postcard Cottages

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
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Today we are delighted to highlight some of the new picture postcard cottages that have been added to the Sykes Cottages portfolio. All of our cottages are lovely of course, but every so often a new cottage is added that looks lovely enough to grace the pages of a magazine or be printed on a postcard.

To view all of our newly added cottages, click here!

Crab Cottage – Chapel Saint Leonards, Lincolnshire

Crab Cottage

Crab Cottage, Lincolnshire – Ref. 25169

If you’re a reader of Country Living or Coast magazine you’ll absolutely love Crab Cottage in Lincolnshire. The interior design of this cottage perfectly suits its seaside location, filled as it is with nautical antiques and vintage style blue ticking. It isn’t all about the interior of Crab Cottage though, the front covered veranda facing a footpath that leads to the sea is an ideal spot to relax with a coffee in the morning sunshine, plus there is a further garden with furniture and barbecue to the rear. A holiday spent in Crab Cottage is sure to leave you feeling fresh and relaxed.

Weirside Cottage – Brighstone near Newport, Isle of Wight

Weirside Cottage

Weirside Cottage, Isle of Wight – Ref. 21801

For something a little bit more grand head to Weirside Cottage on the Isle of Wight. This immaculately presented Grade II listed cottage is situated near to the centre of the picturesque village of Brighstone,  nestled between the south west facing coast and the chalk downlands to the north. Set over two floors, Weirside Cottage has two striking beamed bedrooms, whilst the ground floor continues to exude character with its beamed sitting and dining rooms. Outside, the rear patio manages to capture the sun for most of the day, while to the left, step over a small bridge across the Buddle Brook to find your lawned garden, perfect for a relaxing drink while listening to the water passing along the brook.

Snooks Cottage – Upwey near Weymouth, Dorset

Snooks Cottage

Snooks Cottage, Dorset – Ref. 26103

For old-fashioned charm it’s hard to beat Snooks Cottage in Upwey, Dorset, a gorgeous Grade II listed 17th century thatched cottage nestled opposite the village church. Comfortably furnished throughout, Snooks Cottage offers couples or small family groups a romantic and cosy holiday home that simply oozes with character. The well-tended steep terraced garden provides a sunny, social space on the top level with a lovely view of the church, making it a super place to relax and unwind after your day’s activities.


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Festival fever in Edinburgh

Monday, July 8th, 2013
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In just under a month’s time, the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival will kick off in the Scottish capital for three weeks of unmissable performances and shows. The festival began in the aftermath of World War Two when several performers who were not involved in the official attempt to enrich European cultural life staged shows in the city. The Fringe Festival has now been running for more than 60 years and is now the largest arts festival in the world. This year’s festival looks set to be just as successful as those in previous years with thousands of comedy, literature and music fans flocking to Scotland’s capital city for a taste of the Fringe.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011

Fantastic festivals!

If Edinburgh is known for one thing the world over, it’s festivals with more than ten held throughout the year in this historic city.  The 67th Fringe Festival kicks off on Friday 2nd August and lasts for three weeks with the cobbled streets and historic venues playing host to a wide variety of performers.  Unknown artists looking to kick start their career in style line up next to well-known favourites such as Omid Djalili, Sarah Millican and Al Murray promising something for everyone from comedy to theatre and music.  The festival has launched the career of numerous comedians including Stephen Fry, Eddie Izzard and Hugh Lawrie so you can be assured of an evening of laughter whoever you choose to see!
Horne Section 12/08/12: Beardy Men #3

Enjoy Edinburgh

As the capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh is a great place to enjoy a city break and you’ll find plenty of things to do if you fancy a break from the festival.  Start on the Royal Mile where Edinburgh Castle has stood since the Iron Age and is now home to the Crown Jewels.  If you’re feeling energetic, climb Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano, which offers the best views of this glorious city.  The Royal Yacht Britannia is now permanently docked in the port district of Leith and an afternoon spent exploring this vibrant and bustling area is certainly not to be missed while you’re in Edinburgh.
Arthur's Seat

A great value UK holiday

Finding holiday accommodation in Scotland during festival season can be a little tricky to say the least but the flexibility of a self-catering cottage is a great option.  We have a number of cottages in Edinburgh itself and within easy reach of the city so you’re sure to find something which suits you.  Once you’ve found great value accommodation with Sykes Cottages, your next step is to plan how to spend your time in Edinburgh.  One of the best things about the festival is the large number of free events which take place on a daily basis.  You’ll also want to pay a visit to the Half Price Hut where you can pick up half price tickets for selected events happening that very day.  What could be better than that?
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Half Price Hut

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Sunday Snapshots: The Henley Royal Regatta

Sunday, July 7th, 2013
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The Henley Royal Regatta has been held on the River Thames in the town of Henley-on-Thames since 1839 and is today one of the premier events of the English social season. Bedecked in ornate hats and colourful jackets you’ll find the creme de la creme of English society cheering on the boats, glass of Pims in hand, in an effort to both see and be seen.

The Henley Regatta isn’t just a social event however, it also one of the premier events in the world of rowing, drawing teams from all over the world to compete. Over the course of five days 20 events are held: 6 classes of race for Eights, 5 for Fours, 5 for Quadruple Sculls, and races for Coxless Pairs and Double Sculls, along with single sculling races for both men and women. The main event is the Grand Challenge Cup for Men’s Eights, which has been held since the very first regatta.

So fetch your fancy hat out of the closet, get yourself a glass of Pims and head to Henley for the event of the summer!

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