Where to Celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK

November 16th, 2014
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For most of us in Britain, November 27nd will be just another day; a day spent either at work or Christmas shopping. However for the thousands of American expats living, working and studying in the UK, Thanksgiving is a day for Celebration. Living away from home in a country that doesn’t celebrate one of your favourite holidays can be hard, but not to worry as here at Sykes Cottages we know there are many places across the UK offering special Thanksgiving celebration. If you’re an American living in the UK or a Brit looking to join in the celebrations, keep reading as we highlight our favourite places to celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK.

Visit the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth

Image from Flickr.

Image from Flickr.

In 1620, the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth Barbican, carrying 102 passengers and 30 crew members across the Atlantic Ocean on a 66 day voyage to America. These pilgrims eventually settled in Plymouth Massachusetts, an area of America famous for being the birth place of Thanksgiving. Plymouth still maintains strong ties with America and every Thanksgiving hosts a special service and wreath lying on the Mayflower steps. With local pubs and restaurants offering traditional Thanksgiving dishes, it’s the ideal location to spend Thanksgiving weekend.

Enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner

Image from Flickr.

Image from Flickr.

Thanksgiving dinner is one of the highlights of the day, where families come together and share a fantastic meal which includes turkey, mashed potato, squash soup, green bean casserole and a variety of pies! There are a number of restaurants and pubs located throughout the UK taking part in the Thanksgiving celebrations by putting on special menus filled with all our favourite American dishes, so get yourself online and find your nearest participating eatery.

Attend the Thanksgiving Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral

Image from Flickr.

Image from Flickr.

London is home to a large number of American expats, so it should come as no surprise to find a number of events taking place in the capital on Thanksgiving. One of the longest running traditions in London is the Thanksgiving service hosted at St. Paul’s Cathedral every year. At the service the American Ambassador to the UK will make a speech before reading out a message from President Obama himself. It’s a wonderful event to be part of and a great way to meet new friends.

Rent a family cottage

Tan Llan in LLanelltyd, Wales. Reference 917340.

Tan Llan in LLanelltyd, Wales. Reference 917340.

Thanksgiving is all about family and being thankful for all that we have, so what better way to celebrate the holidays than to treat the family to a week or weekend away? Here at Sykes Cottages we have a number of large group properties that are perfect for a celebration at this time of year; with beautiful open fires, large dining rooms, and plenty of space in the fridge for all your Thanksgiving treats. For more information on our large cottages simply visit this page.

And there you have it, our guide to Thanksgiving in the UK. We would love to know what you’ll be getting up to this Thanksgiving so be sure to send us a tweet or comment on our Twitter and Facebook pages.


By Nicole Westley

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 fiancé.

Log Cabins: Perfect for an Adventure Break

November 15th, 2014
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The crisp climate of autumn is one of the best times of year to take an adventure break in the UK, and where better to get outdoors than by booking a holiday in a log cabin! Our lodges and log cabins are ideal for those looking for some adventure during the autumn, so we’ve come up with just a few suggestions on the perfect lodges for your next adventure holiday.

Lodge on the Lake, Lake District

Log cabin in Lake District

Lodge on the Lake, Lake District, Ref. 31127

Lodge on the Lake is a stunning property in a quiet holiday park on the shores of Windermere. Sleeping 6, this luxury log cabin offers unrivalled views across the lake, which you can take advantage of from many of the rooms and also the spectacular deck to the front and side of the cabin. At Lodge on the Lake, you can enjoy many activities just a stone’s throw from your log cabin! The decking offers access to your own private beach area, where guests can enjoy swimming and fishing. More active guests can also use the holiday park’s facilities to explore Windermere by boat or try their hand at water-skiing or kayaking. Of course, if you travel outside the holiday park, the spectacular landscape of the Lake District is also on your doorstep, with endless opportunities for walking, cycling and hiking.

The Beeches, Pembrokeshire

Log cabin in Pembrokeshire

The Beeches, Pembrokeshire, Ref. 23608

The Beeches is a 5 star log cabin nestled among 30 acres of ancient woodland near Narbeth, with plenty of scope for an unforgettable adventure break. From here, you’ll have access to Pembrokeshire’s beautiful coastline with mile after mile of quiet sandy beaches to explore and you’ll also be able to walk as much of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Path as you please! The Beeches offers the perfect base for an active holiday with cosy, comfortable accommodation sleeping 4, WiFi to keep in touch with the outside world and plan the next day’s adventures, and an outdoor Jacuzzi to relax in.

No. 4 Elm Drive, Lincolnshire

Log cabin in Lincolnshire

No. 4 Elm Drive, Lincolnshire, Ref. 916145

Set within the tranquil Tattershall Lakes County Park, No. 4 Elm Drive is surrounded by 365 acres of woodland and lakes. The accommodation is bright and airy with patio doors leading to a decked veranda overlooking one of the many lakes in the park. After a day of adventurous activities, guests will also find a bubbling hot tub waiting for them on the veranda, where they can relax and soak their tired muscles! The many facilities in the park include a gym, swimming pool and spa, whilst also offering visitors the opportunity to try watersports such as jet-skiing in the dedicated 45 acre jet-skiing lake and wakeboarding in the park’s 60 acre water-skiing and wakeboarding lake.

Here at Sykes, we have a fantastic range of cottages for walking holidays and cottages suitable for cycling holidays so if you’re interested in learning more then please contact our dedicated reservations team on 01244 356 695. You can also see our full range of lodges and log cabins by visiting our website.

Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

The Mountains of Britain and Ireland

November 14th, 2014
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For today’s instalment of the blog, we’re looking at the biggest mountains of the United Kingdom and Ireland. From the North of Scotland to Snowdonia and all the way to Macgillycuddy’s Reeks in the west of  the Emerald Isle, we’ve tracked down the highest peaks in order to give you some information about them.

Ben Nevis

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

  • Height – 1,344m
  • Location – Grampian Mountains, Scotland

Overlooking the stunning scenery of Loch Linnhe, Ben Nevis is the highest peak in the whole of the British Isles. Its name derives from the Gaelic Beann Neibheis although no one is quite sure what this means with suggestions ranging fromVenomous Mountain to the Mountain of Heaven. With an estimated 100,000 climbers making their way up to the summit, Ben Nevis is one of the most popular mountains in Britain as well as the highest; if you join them, you’ll be able to find some of the most stunning panoramas around as well as the remains of deserted observatory used around the turn of the twentieth century.



via. Flickr

  • Height – 1,038m
  • Location – Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland

Standing at the heart of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range in Co. Kerry is the highest mountain in all of Ireland – Carrauntoohil. There are three main pathways to follow if you fancy pitting yourself against it; the Devil’s Ladder, Brother O’Shea’s Gully and the Caher route. If you are going to try it, make sure you’re well prepared as the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean makes for extremely changeable weather condititions.


Scafell Pike

scafell pike

via. Flickr

  • Height – 938m
  • Location – Southern Fells, England

It may only be a few metres taller than its similarly named neighbour, Scafell, but it’s enough to make Scafell Pike the highest point in all of England. As climbs go, it isn’t the most strenuous, so when there’s the opportunity to experience the views that inspired Coleridge, Wordsworth and plenty others you certainly won’t regret setting aside a few hours to make your way to the summit. On a clear day at the top you may be able to catch a glimpse of Wales, Ireland, Scotland and even the Isle of Man – there can’t be many places that can make that claim!



via. Flickr

  • Height – 1,085 m
  • Location – Snowdonia, Wales

The highest peak in Britain that isn’t part of the Scottish Highlands, Snowdon is probably the busiest mountain in the country with hundreds of thousands making their way up it every year. With a state of the art visitor centre at the top, not to mention its own railway, it draws in droves of people wanting to get a taste of the stunning views from the top. However depending on the time of year it can be quite a tricky climb, with Sir Edmund Hillary even using some of the steeper sections in his training to best Mount Everest!

So there you go, the lowdown on the highest peaks of the British Isles. We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading it, and maybe even learnt something new about them – and who knows, maybe you even fancy climbing on of them yourself! If that is the case make sure you take a look at our website so that you can find yourself a nice cosy cottage to put your feet up at the end of the day.

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.

Holiday Properties With Delightful Views

November 13th, 2014
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One of the best parts of holidaying in the UK or Ireland is the beautiful views that are visible from your doorstep. Whether you’re staying along the coast or in the countryside, you’ll never be far from a delightful view. What’s better, though, is having a wonderful view from your holiday home’s living room, bedroom or even bathroom! If this is your idea of a perfect property perk then you’re in the right place, as we have a stack of properties that benefit from stunning views without needing to head outside. Read on for ten fine examples of the properties that have stunning views right from the bedside.

Wisteria Cottage, Devon

Reference 905075

Property reference 905075

Take in some of the delightful Devon scenery without even leaving your conservatory in the lovely Wisteria Cottage.

Porth House, Wales

Reference 761

Property reference 761

Its position overlooking Porth Diana beach on Trearddur Bay makes this stunning, architect-designed property as stunning to look out of as it is to look into.

Blue Barn Cottage, Wales

Property reference 22797

Property reference 22797

The delightful, far reaching views from the bedroom in this lovely property are a wonder to wake up to.

Old Rectory Cottage, Wales

Reference 903548

Property reference 903548

This upside-down property was designed so guests can enjoy the stunning, far-reaching views that surround it.

House On The Hill, Peak District

Reference 916619

Property reference 916619

The wonderful House On The Hill in the Peak District stunning rural views from each window but the star of the show really is this view from the dining area.

Reardon’s House, County Kerry

Reference 903994

Property reference 903994

Reardon’s House is the perfect base for exploring all that County Kerry has to offer before heading back to enjoy the wonderful, coastal views.

Sandy Shore, North York Moors and Coast

Reference 906727

Property reference 906727

Take in beautiful views of the sand and sea in the aptly named Sandy Shore, located in the delightful seaside town of Bridlington.

Solway Cottage, The Lake District

Reference 911744

Property reference 911744

Solway Cottage is the perfect property for a family getaway and provides the perfect view across the seafront from the decking area; perfect for an al fresco meal!

The Barn at Glanoer, Wales

Reference 22968

Property reference 22968

As if indulging in a claw foot bath tub with a glass of bubbly in hand wasn’t relaxing enough, imagine doing so whilst overlooking the view.

Telford House, Wales

Property reference 14628

Property reference 14628

This stunning Bangor property allows its guests to admire not only the Menai Straits but also the Menai Bridge.

Have you taken a photograph of a stunning view you encountered whilst at a Sykes Holiday Cottage? We’d love to see – please share it with us via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. To see more lovely views, take a look at our Pinterest board.

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.

Discover Cornwall with Sykes Cottages

November 12th, 2014
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As one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations, Cornwall has a lot to offer visitors. From its beautiful beaches and rugged moorlands to its unique towns, villages, pubs and eateries, those visiting the county will certainly have a packed itinerary.

Discover Cornwall

To make it easier for holidaymakers to decide what to get up to during their self-catering break in Cornwall, we’ve created an in-depth visitors guide to the region. Aptly named Discover Cornwall, the guide covers all of the county’s main areas – North Cornwall, South Cornwall, West Cornwall and Bodmin Moor & Tamar Valley – detailing what each of these regions has to offer.

You’ll find lots of great advice in the guide, from information about Cornwall’s flourishing wine trade to a list of the county’s curious, little-known cafés. There’s some fantastic video guides too, revealing the beauty of Cornwall in all its glory.

Whether you’ve booked a holiday in Cornwall or want to find out more about what the county has to offer, visit Discover Cornwall today, or read on for a sneak peek!

Cornish Food

The Lost and Found Café

Wherever you choose to stay in Cornwall, rest-assured the local cuisine will be top-notch. The county prides itself on its distinct, independent eateries and cafés, with hundreds to choose from across the region, including affordable roadside diners and Michelin-star restaurants. Discover Cornwall highlights the county’s most popular and lesser known eateries, so whatever your taste, you’re sure to find a Cornish café, bistro or restaurant that’s right for you.

Cornish Drink

Kynance Cafe

For some, knowing where to enjoy a drink on your holiday is important. Lucky for you, we’ve done all the legwork, listing many of Cornwall’s best pubs, breweries and vineyards in our visitor guide. Whether you’d like to sink a pint in a traditional Cornish tavern, sip Prosecco in a contemporary, coastal café bar or sample Cornish ale in one of the county’s independent breweries, you’ll find lots of great places to drink in Cornwall.


Discover Cornwall 3

Whether you’re planning an active, all-adult getaway or a sunny summer holiday with your kids, Cornwall offers an abundance of activities to enjoy. Thanks to its sprawling coastline and array of world-class beaches, the county is a mecca for surfing, so if you like to ‘hang-ten’ there’s no better place. The same can be said for walkers; Cornwall’s varied landscapes provide a natural playground for those spending their break in the walking boots, and features a number of picturesque way marked trails.

Discover Cornwall today

Discover Cornwall 4

Discover Cornwall allows you to plan your trip to Cornwall before you arrive, ensuring you make the most of time spent in this unique and charming English county. Whether you’re searching for places to eat and drink or filling your itinerary with day-out ideas, Discover Cornwall is there to help you get the most from your cottage holiday in Cornwall.

For more inspiration, check out #discovercornwall on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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.