Book a 2015 summer holiday in Yorkshire

January 21st, 2015
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Yorkshire is the ideal destination at any of time year, including the summer. From stunning golden beaches flanked by wildlife-rich cliffs to sprawling purple heathlands that stretch as far as the eye can see, England’s largest county is one destination you can’t afford to miss.

Whether you choose a contemporary holiday home in one Yorkshire’s coastal resorts or a traditional cottage amid the county’s wonderful countryside, a summer holiday in Yorkshire offers something for everyone. Here’s a whistle-stop tour of god’s own county to demonstrate just how bloomin’ lovely it is.


Image by Thomas Tolkien is licensed under CC 2.0

Image by Thomas Tolkien is licensed under CC 2.0

Blow out the cobwebs or soak up the sunshine: the Yorkshire Coast is a wonderful place to be whatever the weather. Stretching from the dunes of Spurn Point to the Jurassic Cliffs of Staithes, the Yorkshire seaboard is home to everything from windswept bays and secluded coves to bustling seaside towns and cobbled coastal villages time almost forgot.

Rent a self-catering cottage in North Yorkshire, and brace yourself for some epic coastal grandeur. This is a place where purple moorlands nudge chalk clifftops, and age-old villages cling to the rocks metres from the bracing tide. One of the most popular destinations on the North Yorkshire seaboard is Whitby, a town famed for its ties to Dracula, which happens to be one of Yorkshire’s most stylish and desirable destinations. Just a few miles south, you’ll find Robin Hood’s Bay, whose cobbles, pubs and fossil strewn beach make for an enchanting daytrip destination.

Continue south and things get more traditional, with classic seaside resorts like Scarborough, Bridlington and Filey providing plenty of nostalgic family fun. For sunseekers, this area of the Yorkshire Coast is for you thanks to its fabulous selection of beaches, which include Bridlington’s Blue Flag North Beach and the secluded sands of Dane’s Dyke.


Yorkshire 2

Image by chantrybee is licensed under CC 2.0

There’s a chance I could waffle all day about the Yorkshire countryside, so I’ll try keep it brief. Whichever direction you turn in this mighty county, you’ll encounter some of England’s prettiest pockets of countryside. From the Dales to the Moors, this is a region of blustery peaks and peaceful valleys, interrupted now and again by the odd village, hamlet or town.

Rent a holiday cottage in the Yorkshire Dales this summer, and remember to pack the walking boots. Whether tackling the infamous three peaks or taking a stroll around one of the region’s many historic villages, you’ll no doubt be using your feet. Sights not to be missed in the Yorkshire Dales include the Ribblehead Viaduct, the peak of Pen Y Ghent, Aysgarth Falls, and the villages of Hawes, Settle and Grassington.

Book a break in North Yorkshire, and explore some of the most popular valleys in England, including Wensleydale, Swaledale and Coverdale. Tucked between these picturesque vales are some wonderfully charming villages, whose histories date back to Viking times. Destinations not to be missed in the region include Richmond, Leyburn, and Middleham, as well as the historic sights of Bolton Castle, Studley Royal and Rievaulx Abbey.

You’ll love a summer break in Yorkshire

North, south, east, west – wherever you choose to stay, a cottage holiday in Yorkshire is a great choice for families and couples looking for that perfect blend of coast and country. So don’t wait around; if Yorkshire’s the place for you this summer, check out our huge range of Yorkshire holiday homes that are available to rent for a sunny break in 2015.

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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.

Holiday Cottages with a Hot Tub in Ireland

January 20th, 2015
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Just imagine: you’ve spent the day exploring all the delights that your chosen county of Ireland has to offer, your legs are sore and you’re tired from your busy day. You get back to your holiday cottage and straight into the warm bubbles of your own hot tub. You pour yourself a glass of fizz and feel your body relax as you discuss all you got up to with your holiday companions, ready for more exploring the next day. Bliss!

Bearing in mind how blissful this sounds, we’re dedicating today’s post to our properties in Ireland where you can fully relax and indulge in a hot tub. After all, a hot tub is one of our most requested amenities, so if a tub features on your wish list for your holiday in Ireland this year read on to see which properties we have that will make all your holiday dreams come true.

 Kyle Cottage, County Tipperary

reference 917103

reference 917103

Three miles from Roscrea in County Tipperary you will find Kyle Cottage, a wonderful detached holiday cottage sleeping twelve people in five bedrooms. Roscrea provides visitors with a wealth of things to do, whilst Kyle Cottage provides its guests with lots of opportunities to relax.

1 Ard Carraig, County Donegal

reference 917354

reference 917354

Guests of the wonderful 1 Ard Carraig are spoilt inside and outside the property; with tasteful seaside themed décor internally as well as stunning views of the Ballymastocker Bay. Enjoy these views from the hot tub housed on the patio outside the property.

The Studio, County Mayo

reference 8329

reference 8329

If it’s a romantic trip you’re after then The Studio in County Mayo might be just what you need! Sleeping just two, this quaint property benefits from a secluded patio with its own hot tub – perfect for dining alfresco in the summer months!

Castlekevin House, County Cork

reference 21971

reference 21971

In the description of Castlekevin House it states that ‘The jewel in the crown of this cottage is the indoor hot tub’ and I agree! Enjoy all that this house has to offer by cooking up a storm in the well-equipped kitchen, make the most of the large garden or head for a day out in the surrounding area before heading back and relaxing in the jewel of the property!

Ballyblood Lodge, County Clare

Ballyblood Lodge

reference 4570

This lovely barn conversion in County Clare is the perfect place for a family or group of friends to unwind. With spacious rooms, rural views and a mezzanine reading area (don’t forget the hot tub!) You will never want to leave.


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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.

Lesser Known National Trust Sites

January 19th, 2015
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The National Trust offer an extensive range of sites to explore, however, when it comes to choosing a site to visit many of us will flock to the same well-known attractions like the imposing castle that casts a long shadow over the landscape or the wondrous abbey ruins that look like they’ve fallen out of a Harry Potter Book. But what about the lesser known National trust sites? The hidden gems that are nestled amongst the British coast or country? Today we are going to shed some light on four of these over looked attractions in the hope that the next time you’re looking for somewhere to visit you break from the norm and try something new.

Plas Yn Rhiw

Surrounded by heavenly Welsh countryside and boasting spectacular views of Porth Neigwl (Hells Mouth) beach, Plas Yn Rhiw is the perfect attraction to explore on a lazy Sunday afternoon. This previously neglected house was purchased in 1938 by the three Keatering sisters who affectionately restored the property before giving the house and land to the National Trust in 1949. Visit Plas Yn Rhiw today and you will be welcomed by enchanting gardens, a warm family home and some of the best views in Britain.

Westbury Court Garden

The peace and tranquillity of Westbury Court Garden offers the perfect escape from the stress of day to day living. Designed between 1695 and 1705 the garden is said to be the best example of a Dutch style water garden in the country. When the National Trust started restoration on this site in 1971 they used only plants that would have been known in the 17th century. Visitors to the garden can expect to see a beautiful array of plants, delicately tailored lawns, wonderful waterways and imaginative landscaping.

Arlington Court

Set amongst the glorious Devon Countryside is Arlington Court, a dazzling Regency manor house that was owned by the Chichester family for over 500 years. Visitors to this site will not be disappointed, with an array of options to keep both young and old entertained your day promises to be jam packed! Explore the 19th century house filled with unique collectables or make your way around the National Trust’s collection of historic horse-drawn carriages, before enjoying your very own carriage ride pulled by a delightful group of horses, each named after a Charles Dickens character.

Leigh Woods

As we slowly edge closer towards spring there is only one place we want to be and that’s in the Leigh Woods waiting for the abundance of bluebells to pierce the surface and turn the woodland into a fairy’s paradise. Set above Avon Gorge, this enchanting broad-leaf woodland offers incredible views of Brunel’s iconic suspension bridge and the city. With easy to follow, well established footpaths guiding you through the wood, you could spend hours getting lost among the trees as the children chase down those elusive teddy bears on their way to lunch.

And there you have it, a selection of fantastic, but maybe a little under-appreciated, National Trust sites that have hopefully inspired you to try something new this year. Why not incorporate a National Trust visit into your next cottage holiday? We have a wide range of cottages close to National Trust attractions that would be perfect for this, see the selection here.

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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.

Sykes’ Spotlight: Holmfirth, Yorkshire

January 18th, 2015
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The picturesque market town of Holmfirth lies at the heart of the breathtaking Holme Valley on the edge of the Peak District National Park. If you’re searching for a holiday that combines charming pubs, cafes and shops with stunning scenery and walking opportunities, then Holmfirth is a fantastic choice. There are plenty of fascinating shops to explore, lovely places to eat and drink, including TV chef Timothy Bilton’s  ‘The Spiced Pear’, and beautiful nearby walks including Holme Valley Circular Walk, the Riverside Way, Digley Reservoir and Holme Moss View Point.

The town is often better known as the filming location for TV classic, ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ and visitors to Holmfirth can still experience Last of the Summer Wine tours on a vintage tour bus, or visit the Summer Wine exhibition which is located inside ‘Compo’s House’. If Holmfirth sounds like the perfect holiday destination for you, make sure you take a look at some of these lovely self-catering cottages in the area!

Underbank Hall Cottage (ref. 3839)

Holiday cottage in Holmfirth

Underbank Hall Cottage, Ref. 3839

If you’re looking for a romantic retreat near Holmfirth, then look no further than this pretty stone-built cottage in Stocksbridge. With its king-size bedroom and en-suite, Underbank Hall Cottage offers the perfect place for a tranquil romantic getaway with your loved one, and as it’s pet friendly, you will be able to enjoy the surrounding scenery with your four-legged friend in tow too.

3 Hanging Royd (ref. 27400)

Holiday cottage in Holmfirth

3 Hanging Royd, Ref. 27400

3 Hanging Royd is a charming, Grade II listed end-terrace in the traditional village of Slaithwaite, just 6 miles from Holmfirth. Dating back to 1840, this cosy pet-friendly cottage offers a wealth of original features including beams, stonework and mullioned windows, along with all the modern conveniences that you could need from a holiday cottage. 3 Hanging Royd sleeps 6 guests in 3 bedrooms.

Leapings Cottage (ref. 913420)

Holiday cottage in Holmfirth

Leapings Cottage, Ref. 913420

This characterful detached cottage is set on a leafy lane in the lovely village of Thurlstone. With fantastic views of the lane and river, Leapings Cottage is a delightful rural retreat. It even has its own wild ‘secret garden’ for guests to enjoy. The cottage sleeps 6 guests in 3 bedrooms and is also pet friendly! Thurlstone itself offers a few charming village shops and a good pub, as well as having direct access to the Trans Pennine Trail, which runs through the village itself; Holmfirth is just 8 miles away.

Stoneycroft Barn (ref. 6188)

Holiday cottage in Holmfirth

Stoneycroft Barn, Ref. 6188

Stoneycroft Barn, a luxury barn conversion, is nestled on the edge of the picturesque village of Midhopestones, just 10 miles from Holmfirth and a short drive from the beautiful Peak District National Park.  The surrounding area is peaceful, with walks from the doorstep and a lovely pub that serves food just a few minutes’ walk away. The cottage itself is warm and welcoming, sleeping 8 guests in 4 spacious bedrooms. The central woodburner-effect gas fire in the living room is a real highlight and is perfect for lounging in front of after a long day exploring!

Bullace Barn (ref. 23330)

Holiday cottage in Holmfirth

Bullace Barn, Ref. 23330

Bullace Barn is ideal for a family holiday in Holmfirth this year, with 3 spacious bedrooms, a large kitchen and dining area, and a games room with a pool table and playstation – even the most unenthusiastic of teenagers will love it here! Sleeping 7, this pet-friendly cottage is located on a smallholding on the edge of Millhouse Green, a small village on the edge of the Peak District National Park; it’s the perfect location for exploring this rugged part of the country.

If you want to see our full range of holiday cottages in and around Holmfirth then you can do so by visiting our website. Our reservations specialists are on hand for advice and help from 9.00am until 9.30pm every day so please do get in touch by giving us a call on 01244 356 695 or by sending us an email.

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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.

Best Places for a Winter Break

January 17th, 2015
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What is it that makes a good winter holiday for you? Is it the blustery walks or the frosty mornings? What about getting stuck into your favourite book in front of a roaring fire? Well today we’re looking at some of the best places for all of these things, from the South Coast of Wales all the way up to the Scottish Highlands. So take a look and see if we can tempt you into book yourself a winter holiday in one of these spots; just remember to keep an eye out for properties that offer Winter Short Breaks – you’ll be able to get yourself a three night break at a discounted price, what more could you want?


If you’re the kind of person who would include bracing walks and stunning scenery as prerequisites of their ideal winter break then Northumberland is just the spot for you. Its famous coastal path provides many a beautiful walk and when you add in the idyllic Northumberland National Park, you can see why the county is the perfect place for those who love nothing more than to strap on their walking boots. No matter where you go you’ll be blown away by the views, from the imposing Dunstanburgh Castle through to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. Or if the weather gets a bit too much you can always head into one of Northumberland’s cosy towns and villages. Take Alnwick for example, not only did it set the scene for portions of the Harry Potter films, it’s also home to Barter Books, one of the biggest second hand bookshops in Europe, where the Keep Calm and Carry On phenomenon all started!

The Highlands

Alternatively you might want to take a look at heading north of the border for your winter break. If so then you should definitely pay a visit to the Highlands! There are few places around the United Kingdom that can match the area for its peace and quiet, and then there’s the scenery! Crisp sunrises out and about on the glens reveal the eerie, mist covered mountains and the silvery lochs. Or maybe you fancy a change of pace? Well the highlands can offer an adrenaline filled break too! The Cairngorms are the only place in the UK that can boast natural ski slopes and there are countless companies offering you the chance to get stuck into a wide variety of adventure sports!


I don’t think that anyone would blame you if you were of the opinion that Pembrokeshire in South Wales should only be considered as a summer destination. What with its seemingly endless sandy beaches it does seem like the perfect place to spend a summer, but Pembrokeshire also makes for a fantastic winter break! Sand castles and sunbathing are probably out of the question (unless you’re a particularly hardy soul!) but there are plenty of other things you can do to pass the time. For example, you could pay a visit to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, home to almost 600 miles of footpaths and bridle ways. Or you could always take a step back in time; Pembrokeshire is home to over fifty fortresses and castles, ranging from the imposing Pembroke Castle right the way through to Castell Henllys, a replica of the recently excavated Iron Age fort from over 2000 years ago!

So there you go, a few of our favourite places for a break over the winter months. But don’t let us cloud your judgement, we’ve got properties all around the United Kingdom and Ireland that would make for a dream winter holiday, from the beaches of Cornwall right the way through to the rolling hills of County Donegal. Or maybe you know of somewhere that you think people should be visiting? If so, do let us know either over Facebook or Twitter and we’ll spread the word!

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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.