Archive for March, 2014

Hidden Cornwall- Win a National Trust Family Membership!

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Pin It

Fancy getting your hands on a National Trust family membership? Then enter our Hidden Cornwall competition today! We’re giving away three annual family memberships (two adults and their children or grandchildren) for the National Trust, worth £98.

Hidden Cornwall

Watch & Win!

To be in with a chance of winning this great prize, simply watch our Hidden Cornwall short film, answer the questions and submit your responses. Three winners will be selected at random from the correct answers we receive. To enter the competition, visit our Hidden Cornwall page or click the banner above.

For full competition terms and conditions, please visit our Hidden Cornwall Facebook page by clicking here.

Good Luck & enjoy the the video!


Pin It
Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.

The Perfect Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
Pin It

Mums are, for most of us, the most important people in our lives. They’ve looked after us when we’re sick, let us wake them up in the middle of the night after a nightmare and always put us first, often acting as our personal bank along the way. Whilst as we grow up the need to be tucked in and consoled after a nightmare may subside one thing remains; our mums are always there for us. Whilst we can show our gratitude to our mums throughout the year, the perfect day to give her a real treat is Mothering Sunday. We think that allowing mum a lie in whilst you prepare her breakfast is one of the best ways to pamper your mum this Sunday, so take a look at our guide to preparing and making the perfect breakfast in bed.

Creating The Perfect Breakfast in Bed

Image via Flickr

Plan your menu in advance; making sure that it involves all of your mum’s favourite breakfast foods. Is your mum a lover of a fry up, or does she prefer to munch on muesli? Once you’ve decided on your mum’s perfect menu, head out and buy the ingredients then make life easy for yourself on Sunday morning by doing any preparation the night before. Once you’ve rustled up your mum’s delicious breakfast, pop it on a tray with a glass of her favourite fruit juice, tea or coffee along with a small vase of flowers before taking it to her to enjoy from the comfort of her duvet. If you want to cook your mum something special but you’re a little stuck for ideas, why not take a look at a couple of our favourite breakfast recipes below?

Vanilla and Cinnamon French Toast

Image via Flickr

To make three slices of French Toast

1 Egg
60ml of Milk
10g of Sugar
A dash of Vanilla Extract
Half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
A knob of butter
3 Slices of Bread (French bread that is thickly cut and a day old will work best)

  1. Whisk the milk, eggs, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a frying pan on a medium heat.
  3. Dip the slices of bread in the egg mixture, then add to frying pan.
  4. Cook each side until they begin to brown.
  5. Serve with maple syrup, bananas and fresh strawberries.

Tomato and Bacon Breakfast Bruschetta

Image via Flickr

To make four Bruschettas

750g Cherry Tomatoes
3 Tablespoons of Oil
1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar
4 Slices of nice thick bread
4 Rashers of Bacon

  1. Toss the cherry tomatoes in one tablespoon of the oil and the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper then bake them in a preheated oven at Gas mark 6, 200C for about twenty minutes.
  2. Whilst the tomatoes are baking, brush the bread with the other two tablespoons of oil and place on a baking tray. Put them in the oven during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  3. Cook the bacon to your liking then either cut into pieces to mix with the tomatoes, or leave whole and place on top.
  4. Top the bruschetta with a poached egg to make it a little more filling.

We hope that this post has given you some ideas on how you can treat your mum to the perfect breakfast in bed this Sunday. If you’re a pro at creating a good breakfast, then tweet us and let us know your tips! If you’d like to completely spoil your mum this mother’s day with breakfast in bed in a lovely holiday cottage, it might not be too late! Take a look at our last minute cottages or give us a call on 01244 356666 and we’ll be happy to help.

Pin It
Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

The Best Places to Enjoy an Easter Break

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
Pin It

There are few things better than a nice little Easter trip, even though they do normally involve having to put up with an unpleasantly bracing wind. Happily however, Easter falls so late this year that we’ll hopefully be able to soak up a bit of sunshine, and maybe even remove a couple of layers in the process. Here at Sykes, we’re looking forward to Easter as much as anyone and have decided to take a look and see what places promise to be the best for making the most out of this year’s (hopefully) sunny Easter break.


via. Flickr

via. Flickr

For some reason, Norfolk is never given the credit it deserves as a holiday destination. However, with its countless quaint country villages, bustling towns and beaches that rival any in the UK, it could be just the ticket for a perfect Easter Break. You could easily spend a day making the most of some sunshine on one of the area’s seemingly never-ending beaches, or if the seaside isn’t quite your thing then the world famous Norfolk Broads may well be the answer. Then there is always the hustle and bustle of the city of Norwich where you can step back in time with a trip to the Colmans Shop, designed as an exact replica of their Victorian premises, or get to grips with the city’s heritage with a tour of the Norwich 12.

County Clare

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

County Clare in Ireland makes for another brilliant Easter destination, especially if you’re looking to get out and about. You could try a little trip to the coastal town of Lahinch and sneak in a round of golf on its world renowned links course. Whilst you’re there, you could also try your hand at a multitude of water-sports including things like kite-surfing that are bound to get the adrenaline pumping. If you’re looking for something a bit more sedate then you could pay a visit to the world famous Cliffs of Moher, although be prepared to have your breath taken as you look down upon the Atlantic Ocean over 200m below. Then there’s also the eerie Burren, a 250km² limestone pavement etched into the rolling hills which draws visitors from all over the world and is the perfect location for a long walk.


via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Nothing says spring sunshine like the sight of a Daffodil in bloom, and where better to see them than in Wales itself? With this in mind, we’ve decided to have a look at what you could get up to in the county of Pembrokeshire. The fabulous Pembrokeshire Coast Path and the Pembrokeshire National Park both provide you with the perfect excuse to lace up the old walking boots and enjoy a breath of fresh air. Or you could always hop on the bike and enjoy a leisurely ride through the welsh hills comfortable in the knowledge that you’ll never be too far away from a nice country pub or café for a little a refuel.

So there are a few ideas on where you could go for a little break this Easter, but don’t forget that there are loads of alternatives if you don’t fancy any of them. All you have to do is take a look at our Easter Holiday Cottages and find one that is perfect for you!


Pin It
Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.

Relaxing Spa Cottages for Mother’s Day

Monday, March 24th, 2014
Pin It

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and here in the UK we can’t wait to shower our fabulous mums with love and affection. If you’ve been struggling to find the perfect Mother’s Day gift this year then why not take a look at our relaxing spa cottages and treat your dear old mum to a leisurely weekend away? We have a number of these dreamy cottages available but to help convince you here are just a few of our favourites…

Rushmore Lodge, Kent


Rushmore Lodge in Kent, Ref 16229.

A mother’s greatest joy in life is to be surrounded by her family so as an extra special gift this year we would suggest a visit to Rushmore Lodge. This luxury cottage offers everything you will need for a fun packed family weekend, including swimming pool, table football and cinema surround sound.  To make the holiday truly memorable why not treat mum with an indulgent beauty treatment, organised by the property’s owner? Whichever activity you decide to partake in your mother is sure to have the time of her life at this extravagant lodge.

Ty Rhosyn, Cornwall


Ty Rhosyn in Cornwall, Ref 1831.

If you’re searching for an unforgettable spa break which is sure to leave your mother fully relaxed from head to toe then look no further than Ty Rhosyn. This delightful chalet is located in the heart of a peaceful holiday park which offers a wide selection of spa treatments your mother is sure to love; from facials to body massages- even algae wraps available for the more adventurous! Along with the spa, this stylish park offers delectable restaurants and a tempting health club all sure to leave mum feeling completely rejuvenated.

1 Lazy Swan, Lincolnshire


1 Lazy Swan in Lincolnshire, Ref 22199.

If your mother’s idea of a perfect weekend is relaxing in a steamy hot tub whilst the sun sets over a glorious lake then you need to book her a stay at 1 Lazy Swan! This glamorous lodge is set in the heart of Tattershall Lakes Country Park and as well as her own private hot tub your mum could be spoilt with an extensive selection of on-site facilities. So whether she spends the weekend soaking in the hot tub of relaxing in the spa with a lava shells massage she is sure to thank you for this wonderfully thoughtful gift.

We hope this selection of spa cottages has left you feeling inspired for Mother’s Day this Sunday. To view our full range of holiday cottages with spa facilities, click here.

Pin It
Nicole Jones-Gerrard

By Nicole Jones-Gerrard

As a food lover Nicole can often be found in the kitchen, covered in flour and experimenting with new tastes! When not making a mess she loves to explore her Celtic roots by roaming the Scottish countryside or exploring the bays along the Anglesey coast with her husband.

Britain’s Best Bike Rides

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014
Pin It

After Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy and Laura Trott cemented cycling in British hearts at the London 2012 Olympics, pedalling fever has swept the nation. Now more than ever, us Brits are taking to two wheels to commute, exercise or get out into the countryside with our kids- which is great news for both the health of ourselves and the environment. If like us you love your cycling, take a look at our guide to the best bike rides in Britain. We’ve scoured the internet to bring you three of the most rewarding routes on offer in the UK, all of which have received Sustrans ‘safe cycling’ seal of approval. Take a look at our short list below, or leave your cycling route recommendations on our Facebook or Twitter page.

Celtic Trail West

Carmarthenshire- Via Flickr

Carmarthenshire- Via Flickr

Careering a long coastal paths and quiet country lanes, the Celtic Trail gives cyclists of all levels of experience and fitness the opportunity to take in one of the UK’s most beautiful coastlines: Pembrokeshire. At 143 miles, the route is a little lengthy for a day’s ride, but would make for an excellent multi-day tour. The ride dips into some of Pembrokeshire’s most popular seaside towns-Saundersfoot and Tenby- before winding down traffic-tree coastal paths such as the Brunel Trail and onwards towards the charming towns of Laugharne and Kidwelly on the Carmarthenshire coast. All in all, the Celtic Trail is an invigorating ride and one that would be ideal for a sunny weekend this spring.

For more information about the Celtic Trail, or to download a map of the route, click here.

Devon Coast to Coast

Meldon Viaduct- Via Flickr

Meldon Viaduct- Via Flickr

Combining exquisite coast, charming Victorian bridges and untamed countryside, Devon Coast to Coast is a fascinating bike ride which gives cyclists a taster of some of the South West’s most attention-grabbing scenery. The overall length of the route is 99 miles- a challenging day’s ride for the keen cyclist- but can easily be broken up into bitesize family friendly sections. Much of the ride uses disused railway lines where inexperienced cyclists can enjoy some easy going, whilst other sections of the route pose a decent challenge for veterans. Sights to look out for a long the route include Ilfracombe Quay, Gem Bridge and the Plym Valley’s Ham Green Viaduct, where cyclists can stop and enjoy excellent views over Dartmoor.

For more information about Devon Coast to Coast, or to download a map of the route, click here.

Lochs & Glens North

Drumochter Pass- Via Flickr

Drumochter Pass- Via Flickr

Traversing two stunning National Parks, the Lochs & Glens ride is perhaps the most challenging and rewarding route on our shortlist. Stretching for 214 miles from Inverness to Glasgow, the route transports riders through much of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery, including the Cairngorms National Park and the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. Here, ancient pine forests cover mountainous slopes, heather pecked moorlands stretch to the horizon and vibrant townships offer a warm welcome to the weary traveller. The route also descends onto the rolling plains of Perthshire and Stirling, where courageous highlanders saw off the invading English in the 13th century. Lochs & Glens North is a joy of a route, and one that riders of all ages will never forget.

Enjoy a cycling holiday with Sykes Cottages

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

So there you have it, three great cycle routes that are sure to get you back in the saddle now that the weather is improving and the days are getting longer. But don’t forget, the UK is awash with superb cycle routes that offer safe cycling for all ages which can all be found on the Sustrans website, so choose your favourite and get pedalling!

If you like the sound of any of the above routes then why not rent a cottage for cyclists from us? Our holiday homes for cyclists feature excellent cyclist-friendly amenities such as secure bike storage and outdoor ‘clean-off’ facilities, giving you a great base for your next two-wheel adventure.

Pin It
Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.