Cottages to Rent near Theme Parks

August 14th, 2016
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For many families planning a UK getaway it’s all about the location. Some prefer to be near the beach, others would opt for a quiet country escape and some would rather spend their time getting lost in one of the UK’s fantastic theme parks. If you prefer the latter then you’ve come to the right place as Sykes Cottages have an extensive selection of self-catering holiday rentals located close to UK theme parks.  We’ve included a selection of these properties below but for more information please feel free to call our team on 01244 500570.

Alton Towers

As one of the UK’s biggest tourist attractions, Alton Towers attracts millions of visitors each year. The theme park is located within the grounds of a historic country house and as well as its vast selection of white knuckle rides the park also caters for families and children with its popular CBeebies Land and gardens.

Ash House (Ref. 922587), in Alton

Ash House (Ref. 922587) near Alton Towers

Ash House is located just a stone’s throw from Alton Towers, 1.2 miles away to be exact! This property comfortably sleeps a party of six in three bedrooms and with all the amenities of Alton on your doorstep there is plenty to see and do from this holiday let.

Bunbury (Ref. 4301), in Farley

Bunbury (Ref. 4301) near Alton Towers

There’s no need for early alarms when staying at Bunbury as this 10 person holiday let is just five minutes’ walk from Alton Towers. When not exploring the famous theme park guests can enjoy the property’s outdoor space which is ideal for BBQs and entertaining.

For more cottages located near Alton Towers please click here.

Chessington World of Adventures

Advertised as Britain’s Wildest Adventure, Chessington World of Adventures combines a theme park, zoo, sea life centre, live shows and events and a new Go Ape experience! With so much to do at this attraction you’ll need more than a day or two in the area and that’s where our cottages come in handy.

Rushmore Lodge (Ref. 16629) in Knockholt

Rushmore Lodge (Ref. 16229) near Chessington World of Adventures

After a long day of exploring Chessington World of Adventures, Rushmore Lodge is the ideal property to relax in. With three bedrooms, a stylish open plan living area and heated outdoor swimming pool, Rushmore Lodge can comfortably sleep up to eight people.

For more cottages located near Chessington World of Adventures please click here.

Drayton Manor

Home to Britain’s first stand up rollercoaster and some of the UK’s fastest and scariest rides, Drayton Manor is a fantastic day out for families. Some of the park’s main attractions include Thomas Land, Drayton Manor Zoo, the Dino Trail and rides such as Shockwave, Air Race and Apocalypse.

Gatehouse Croft (Ref. 27120) in Polesworth

Gate House (Ref. 27120) near Drayton Manor

Located in the idyllic village of Polesworth in North Warwickshire, Gatehouse Croft is just five miles from Drayton Manor. This historic property is the perfect base for exploring the theme park and surrounding area and as the cottage sleeps four people it would be ideal for a small family.

For more cottages located near Drayton Manor please click here


No matter what the weather, Flambards makes for a fantastic day out. This family friendly attraction combines wet and wild rides with a number of educational indoor attractions. From highflying adventures on Thunderbolt and Skyraker to exploring the Jurassic and Victorian era this theme park has plenty to keep the whole family entertained!

Poldark Cottage (Ref. 911585) in Helston

Poldark Cottage (Ref. 911858) near Flambards

Just five miles from Flambards, Poldark Cottage is a wonderful base for exploring this area of Cornwall. Guests to this property can spend their days exploring the theme park, coastline and National Seal Sanctuary before heading back to the cosy property for a good night’s sleep.

Tinners Way (Ref. 932804) in Porthleven

Tinners Way (Ref. 932804) near Flambards

If you plan on visiting Cornwall with a larger party then Tinners Way could provide you with the space you need. Sleeping up to eight people this stylish property is just five miles from Flambards and other well-known attractions.

For more cottages located near Flambards please click here

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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.

Walk of the Month: Castle Acre

July 31st, 2016
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For July’s edition of Walk of the Month, we are heading to the rural village of Castle Acre in Norfolk. This tranquil village takes its name from the 12th-century walled Norman castle and is one of the best preserved examples of a Norman planned settlement in the UK. From its parish church to the charming village and Castle Acre Priory, there is plenty to see along this route.

The walk:

This is a great circular route and at 6.5 miles long, it should take just under two hours to complete. Ideal for families, the route covers an even terrain mainly made up of footpaths and tracks, with just a little road-walking along quiet lanes. Please take note that the path alongside Castle Acre Common can be wet at times. On the route you will find shops, pubs and eateries so we highly suggest stopping off for a bite to eat and a refreshing drink along the way.

The route:

Begin your route from the impressive Norman castle in Castle Acre, heading southwest towards the small village of South Acre. Once you reach the River Nar, cross to the other side using the footbridge adjacent to the ford and continue the route to South Acre.

Once you reach South Acre, make your way past the village church and South Acre Hall before following the tracks across the farmland above the Nar Valley. Once through the farmland you should be just east of West Arce.

From West Acre follow the route east along the Nar Valley Way and back towards Castle Acre. Cross the footbridge close to where the West Arce Mill used to stand, and continue through the peaceful woodlands before arriving at Castle Acre Commons which sits beside the River Nar.

After taking some time to explore the Castle Acre Commons, continue along the route passing to the north of the Cluniac priory entrance. You will soon arrive at Castle Acre Village and after skirting St James’ Church and the 13th-century stone Bailey Gate, you will soon find yourself back at the castle.

To view the full route map and PDF, please click here.

Book a holiday cottage in Norfolk:

Walk of the Month - Castle Acre

Sleepeezy (Ref. 15264) in Norfolk

Here at Sykes Cottages, we love Norfolk and think it’s the ideal location for a self-catering getaway at any time of year, but don’t just take our word for it. We asked over 1,000 visitors and residents of Norfolk why they love the area and compiled the answers into our fantastic Visitor’s Guide to Norfolk. In the guide you will find plenty of information on things to do, places to go and what to eat whilst in Norfolk along with a number of charming comments from the people that know Norfolk best.

Once you’ve finished reading through our guide why not check out our selection of over 200 Norfolk cottages? From the impressive Norfolk Broads to the dramatic coastline, our self-catering holiday lets offer something for everyone.

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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.

Discover: BFG UK Filming Locations

July 24th, 2016
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2016 marks 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl, one of the greatest storytellers Britain has ever seen. There are events happening across the world this year to celebrate and one of the biggest celebrations is Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of one of Dahl’s most famous stories, The BFG, which was released earlier this week. The BFG tells the story of a Big Friendly Giant who is different to all the other human-eating giants. He lives in Giant Country and captures dreams in bottles for children to enjoy while they’re asleep. Roald Dahl revealed in several interviews before he died that the BFG was one of his favourite stories that he’d written.

Filmed in Scotland, Spielberg’s adaptation brings the magic of Giant Country to life using spectacular locations across the country. If you want to experience Giant Country for yourself, then here’s where you need to head:

The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye

One of the most iconic features of the Isle of Skye, the Old Man of Storr has its own place in giant mythology, making it the perfect location to portray Giant Country. Legend has it that the Isle of Skye was once overrun by giants, of which the Old Man of Storr was one. When he died, he is said to have been buried with his finger sticking out of the ground pointing at the sky.

The Quiraing, Isle of Skye

Located on the Trotternish peninsula, the Quiraing is arguably one of the most striking landscapes in Scotland. It also plays host to its own mythology and folklore as it’s said to be a meeting place for fairies, as well as once being home to the dragons that used to guard the island from invaders.

Shiant Islands, Outer Hebrides

Also known as the Enchanted Isles, the Shiant Islands are well known for being one of the biggest bird stations in the northern hemisphere. These remote and rugged isles are something of a hidden gem and well worth the trip. However take care, in the nineteenth century, the strait next to the Shiant Isles was said to be inhabited by strange creatures and was referred to as ‘the stream of the Blue Men’.

Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye

With no road signs to direct visitors here, this part of the Isle of Skye isn’t particularly well known. This unspoilt landscape is strikingly different to others surrounding it with lush emerald mounds, twisted moss-coloured trees and cool, clear waters. It’s a truly stunning place to visit.

Old Man of Hoy, Orkney Islands

The Old Man of Hoy is one of Orkney’s most famous landmarks. This 449 foot sea stack is one of the tallest in Britain although at a few hundred years old, it’s possible that this stack may collapse relatively soon so make sure you visit before it does!

If you’re thinking of visiting these filming locations, don’t forget to take a look at our wide range of holiday cottages in Scotland. We’ve over 750 cottages across this beautiful country that make perfect bases for exploring.

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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.

Properties Still Available For the Summer Holidays

July 17th, 2016
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The summer holidays are just around the corner and if like me, the date has snuck up on you, you’ll be frantically looking for a last minute getaway. Here at Sykes Cottages, we have a fantastic selection of last minute properties still available for a summer break so there’s no need to panic. From the Scottish Highlands to the coast of Cornwall, we still have plenty of cottages to choose from! We’ve listed a selection of holiday lets still available for the summer below but to see our full collection simply head on over to the Sykes Cottages main site now.

Rathnure Cottage

Rathnure near Enniscorthy, County Wexford

Rathnure Cottage

Rathnure Cottage (Ref. 4343)

Located on a working stud, cattle and sheep farm, Rathnure Cottage is surrounded by 300 acres of rural Irish countryside. This property is a big hit with families as children love to collect eggs in the morning or visit the owners’ pet pot-belly pig. With lovely mountain walks and the coast not too far away, there is plenty to do from this two bed holiday let, making it the ideal choice for your next Irish adventure.

Rathnure Cottage is currently available for seven nights from August 13th at a total cost of £510 or from August 20th at a total cost of £407*

Warren House

Nether Burrow near Kirkby Lonsdale, The Lake District

Warren House

Warren House (Ref. 18211)

The stylish Warren House is perfect for a big family or group of friends who wish to escape to the country this summer. The property boasts four bedrooms, three bathrooms, kitchen with dining area, cosy sitting room and a charming lawned garden. Just a short walk away from this Nether Burrow cottage, guests will find the famous Highwayman Inn, known far and wide for its wonderful menu – a must for anyone staying in the area.

Warren House is currently available for seven nights from either July 29th or August 12th at a total cost of £1149*

Keeper’s Cottage

Kinloch Rannoch, Scotland

Keeper's Cottage

Keeper’s Cottage (Ref. 922218)

Keeper’s Cottage is the ideal Scottish escape. Located in the grounds of a beautiful estate, this property not only offers fantastic views but also has strong ties to the hit TV series Outlander, with some of the show’s scenes being filmed on the estate. Sleeping eight people in four bedrooms with three bathrooms and large open plan living area, this property has plenty of room both inside and out.

Keeper’s Cottage is currently available for seven nights from either July 29th or August 5th at a total cost of £1639 and from August 12th at a total cost of £1499*

1 Belle Vue

Osmothereley near Northallerton and Thirsk, North York Moors and Coast

1 Belle View

1 Belle Vue (Ref. 934987)

This wonderful period cottage comfortably sleeps six people in three bedrooms with two bathrooms, cosy kitchen with dining area, living area with wood burning stove and a lovely garden perfect for relaxing in the summer sun. The local area is also ideal for explorers with the Cleveland Hills and Yorkshire Dales on your doorstep.

1 Belle Vue is currently available for seven nights from either August 5th or August 12th at a total cost of £839*

Kean’s Cottage

Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland

Kean's Cottage

Kean’s Cottage (Ref. 929958)

If you’re looking for something a little bigger this summer, then you can’t go wrong with Kean’s Cottage. Located on the shores of Loch Fad, this holiday let is full of character and style. This property can accommodate up to 12 people with two well-behaved dogs. The surrounding area is perfect for long walks and exploring the Loch, whilst the property’s cosy sitting room with wood burner is ideal for snuggling up with the family and playing board games.

Kean’s Cottage is currently available for seven nights from August 12th at a total cost of £1869 or seven nights from August 19th at a total cost of £1653*

*Pricing up to date as of July 15th 2016.

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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.

British Travel Awards 2016: We need your vote!

July 12th, 2016
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Dear Sykes Cottages customers, owners, staff and friends,

We are absolutely delighted to announce that for the fourth year running, we’ve been nominated for a British Travel Award. In fact, this year we’ve been nominated for two British Travel Awards! The first category we’re up for is Best Large Holiday Cottage Booking Company- a title we’ve been honoured to win for the past three years in a row- and the second is Best Large Holiday Company for Customer Service. You can read about our win last year here.

British Travel Awards

We’re so proud to have been recognised by the British Travel Awards again this year. They are often known as the Oscars of the UK travel industry and are highly coveted. What means the most to us though is that they’re voted for by the public- by our customers and our owners and those who’ve come into contact with Sykes Cottages. We’ve been humbled by your support for the last three years and are hoping we can count on you to help us make it four years in a row!

To vote for Sykes Cottages for either of these awards, please click here and fill in the short form.

British Travel Awards

Every person who submits a vote (for any of the nominees in any of the categories) will be entered into a prize draw with a chance to win fabulous prizes including a seven day tour of China, a seven night ski holiday in Puy St Vincent and of course, £500 Sykes Cottages vouchers!

Thank you in advance to anyone who’s taken the time to vote for us. From everyone at Sykes, we’re so grateful for your support.

Sykes Cottages staff


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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.