10 Fantastic Photos of Yorkshire

August 23rd, 2015
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With winning the gong for the best European Destination two years in a row at the World Travel Awards, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Yorkshire has got a fair bit going for it. Between the dramatic coastline, beautiful countryside and quaint market towns, the county really is a haven for all of the photographers out there. So we’ve pulled together some of our favourite shots from God’s own Country, why don’t you take a look and see which one would get your vote?

Flamborough Head

The Humber Bridge

Malham Cove


The Ribblehead Viaduct

Whitby Abbey

Ilkley Moor


Robin Hood’s Bay

York Minster

So there you go, ten fantastic photographs from all around Yorkshire, but which is your favourite? Let us know, either by tweeting us or getting in touch over Facebook! Or maybe they’ve inspired you into taking a trip up to Yorkshire to experience them first hand? If that’s the case you’ll want to have a browse of our Yorkshire cottages. With properties ranging from the Dales to the Moors, and West Yorkshire all the way across to the East Riding, you’re sure to find something to suit you.

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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.

How We’ve Improved In The Past Year

August 22nd, 2015
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As you’ll probably already know, here at Sykes Cottages we’ve been nominated for a prestigious British Travel award for the third year running! We’ve been nominated for Best UK Holiday Cottage/ Self Catering Booking Company and to help convince you to vote for us, we wanted to show you what we’ve done to improve in the last year in order to deserve your vote this time around.

We’ve moved to a bigger and better office

Sykes Cottages Staff with Awards

Some of our staff in the new Sykes Cottages garden terrace

In March 2015, we completed our move to our new office in Chester city centre. Aside from the obvious danger to my bank balance that comes with having a wealth of shops and restaurants on the doorstep, the move spells great things for Sykes as it gives us the opportunity to keep growing and expanding the company to be better than we’ve ever been before.

We’ve won awards

Sykes Cottages' Awards

Our most recent awards

It’s not just the British Travel Awards we’ve been successful in; in the past year, we’ve been delighted to have continued our status as an award-winning company outside of the British Travel Awards too! In December 2014, we won the prestigious Travolution Award for the ‘Best Use of Search Engine Marketing’ and in March 2015, we were named one of the Top 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain by the London Stock Exchange Group. Here at Sykes, we always strive to ensure that we’re the best that we can be for our customers, owners and staff and so we were over the moon that our achievements and hard work have been recognised by such respected brands. Here’s hoping for more success in the coming months!

We now have over 6,000 cottages to book

Our cottage portfolio is expanding every day and we’re working hard to make sure that we have a fantastic selection of holiday cottages for you to choose from. Currently, the count stands at over 6,000 cottages! All of our cottages are equally wonderful but there are some that have joined our ranks in the past year that really stand out; for example, The Abbey in Penzance which is a beautiful luxury property and one of Cornwall’s most important listed buildings; The Rowan Yurt in Hepworth- this gorgeous, romantic yurt has proved to be one of our most popular properties this year; and Dome House in Bowness-on-Windermere, which is a stunning architect-designed property recently featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs.

Vote for us in the British Travel Awards

British Travel Awards

If you haven’t voted for us yet in the British Travel Awards and you’d like to, you can do so by clicking on the above button. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has voted so far; we’re absolutely thrilled that you’ve taken the time to vote for us and we’ll be keeping everything crossed that we can win this for you for the third year in a row!

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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.

Five of Yorkshire’s Prettiest Towns

August 17th, 2015
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Often referred to as God’s own country, Yorkshire is packed full of picturesque market towns, charming villages and rural country hamlets, all of which help make it one of the nation’s favourite holiday spots. If you’ve yet to be convinced by Yorkshire’s scenic landscapes then keep reading as we list five of the prettiest towns in Yorkshire that are sure to see you packing a bag for a northern adventure in no time.


Recently voted the happiest place to live in the UK for the third year in a row, it’s easy to see why Harrogate has made it onto our list of Yorkshire’s prettiest towns. From the cosy country pubs to beautiful historic buildings and luxury spas, Harrogate is the destination of choice for couples who are looking for a romantic getaway.


Dominated by its beautiful mediaeval Abbey, the historic town of Selby is truly one of Yorkshire’s hidden gems and a must for history lovers. Step back in time as you explore the impressive Abbey and marvel at the 15th century gatehouse before indulging in a bite to eat at one of Selby’s numerous fine restaurants.


The historic market town of Huddersfield is ideal for culture seekers; with numerous festivals and markets held throughout the year, you’re never short of something to do. Visit Huddersfield and you can’t help but be impressed by the award-winning Victorian architecture, historic monuments, stunning art work, international market and delicious eateries.

Hebden Bridge

Hebden Bridge is ideal for anyone looking for some creative inspiration. Journey down the town’s cobbled lanes and you’ll find artists and musicians hard at work in their studios, or visit during the annual Arts and Music festival and let your creativity run wild as you get stuck into the exhibitions, poetry performances and workshops.


Another of Yorkshire’s traditional market towns, Thirsk exhibits all the traditional characteristics you would expect from a Yorkshire town including a cobbled market square and historic coaching inns. For a truly memorable day out in Thirsk, why not visit the races or explore the family home of James Herriot, famous vet and author?

And there you have it, our selection of Yorkshire’s prettiest towns. If this list has you itching for a break up north then why not take a look at our Yorkshire cottages? With over 600 properties to choose from you’re sure to find a cosy little town to call your own for the week.

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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.

Spotlight On: Quirky Holiday Cottages, Part II

August 16th, 2015
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Looking for something a little different on your next holiday? Whether you fancy relaxing in a former water tank or getting away to a converted chapel, here at Sykes Cottages we have a wide collection of unusual holiday lets that are sure to make your holiday stand out! If you want to read Quirky Holiday Cottages Part I, please click here.

Riverside, Lake District

The spectacular views from this quirky holiday cottage are guaranteed to take your breath away. Situated on the shoes of Ullswater, the views from Riverside are some of the best in the Lake District. To make the most of these views, Riverside has huge picture windows and outside, there’s a private hot tub and alfresco cooking & dining facilities. There are beautiful walks on the doorstep and there’s a lovely pub just two minutes’ walk away.

The Old Fire Station, Kent

This fabulous holiday home was the former St Margaret’s at Cliffe fire station. The building was converted in 2012 to create this unique holiday rental which is ideal for a holiday with friends or family. The stand-out feature of the Old Fire Station is its original frontage, which it has retained and which now makes up one wall of the living area- the ceiling of which is high enough to accommodate a fire engine. This property is bright, airy and spacious with four bedrooms, and is close to beaches, pubs and stunning coastal walks.

1 Church House, Isle of Wight

1 Church House is a stunning church conversion on the coast of the Isle of Wight. The property manages to seamlessly combine luxurious and contemporary furnishings with beautiful original features, which include magnificent stained glass windows, timber high ceilings and a galleried balcony. 1 Church House is perfectly located for a relaxing break with a shop, lovely pub and beach all within eight minutes’ walk.

Cambridge Lodge, Peak District

Cambridge Lodge is an extraordinary property that offers a wonderfully unique holiday experience. Expertly converted from a water tank dating back to 1909, it took the owners 10 years of renovation but it’s been more than worth it! The property is now a modern and luxurious holiday home- half of which is underground- with facilities including Smart TVs, Netflix and a lovely outdoor garden with panoramic views across to nearby Chatsworth House.

Southover, Norfolk

This unusual part-thatched cottage on the edge of the River Bure in the Norfolk Broads makes for a holiday that you’ll never forget. With high ceilings, exposed timbers and full-length windows leading on to a decked balcony, making the most of the beautiful river views, Southover exudes luxury. There’s also a hot tub, Sky TV and in addition, the property offers private mooring and use of a 5-seater boat and canoe for guests to use on the water.

To see our full collection of unusual holiday cottages, you can visit our website or take a peek at our previous blog post focusing on other quirky cottages. We’ve everything from yurts to converted chapels so if you’re looking for a holiday let with a difference, you’re in the right place!

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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.

Days Out With A Difference

August 14th, 2015
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Well the kids have been on their summer holidays for a few weeks now, and no doubt you’re starting to struggle to think of things that you can do to keep them occupied. So to give you a hand, we’ve tried to come up with a few ideas of days out with a difference that you can do as a family before the new school year starts up. So take a look and see what you think.

The Jacobite Steam Train

How about a taste of one of the nation’s favourite film and book franchises to start us off? That’s because with a trip on the Jacobite you can follow in the footsteps of Harry, Ron and Hermione on their annual trip on the Hogwarts Express and what’s more, you’ll be able to enjoy some stunning views and even a tasty treat along the way (sadly there won’t be any pumpkin pasties or chocolate frogs involved)! The Jacobite’s route runs from Fort William through to the coastal town of Mallaig and back again, a journey of around 85 miles, and leads you through some of the best scenery that the Highlands have to offer, from the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct to Loch Ail and the quaint village of Arisaig.

Beamish Open Air Museum

Or, alternatively, you could take a trip back in time by stopping off at the Beamish Museum in  County Durham. When it first opened up back in 1970, Beamish was the very first of its kind and it’s only grown bigger and better since then. Nowadays the museum comes complete with a First World War market town, a 1940’s style farm and even its own railway station. Between the full cast of volunteers recreating everyday life in the various periods and the numerous activities you can join in on, any trip to Beamish is bound to be educational as well as fun.

Wookey Hole

But what if you’re after something a little bit spookier? Well that’s where Wookey Hole down in the Somerset countryside comes into it. Tucked away amongst the Mendip Hills, the caves are one of the strangest attractions going. It’s probably best known for its resident witch but Wookey Hole is also home to a series of impressive show caves, a museum, crazy golf course and even an old fashioned penny arcade, making it one of the most diverse attractions around.

So there you go, a few ideas for an unusual day out that you can enjoy with the kids over the last couple of weeks of the summer holidays. Hopefully you’ll have got a bit of inspiration from them but give us a shout if you have any good alternatives, either on Facebook or over Twitter.

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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.