Luxury Properties for A Romantic Getaway in Cornwall

February 28th, 2015
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With its beaches, award winning restaurants and generally good weather, it comes as no surprise that Cornwall tops the list of holiday destinations for many of our guests at Sykes Cottages. Whilst your first thoughts of Cornwall may be that of a family holiday destination – and you would be right – it is also a fantastic place to go for a romantic break! If you’re a couple who like a bit of luxury, you’re in the right place, as we’re taking a look at some of our most luxurious Cornish properties that are perfect for two.

Palmers Lodge

Located near Launceston, this Egloskerry property is idyllic and the perfect place for a couple to unwind and spend some quality time together! Whether you want to go out and enjoy all that the local area has to offer, stay in and get comfortable on the sofa or enjoy a glass of fizz on the patio this property is ideal.

Mount View

Mount View in Cornwall

Mount View | 918890

One of our newest properties in Penzance is the stunning Mount View. Being situated within a Grade II listed building ensures that this property is certainly not lacking in character! It’s location on the first floor gives the apartment beautiful views over the harbour towards Mounts Bay and St Michael’s Mount; the perfect romantic view.

Swallow Cottage

Big comfortable sofas, beamed ceilings and a beautifully designed garden, Swallow Cottage just asks guests to snuggle up together! It’s location near to Truro makes this cottage an ideal touring base, if you can drag yourself away that is.

Badger Cottage

With a huge number of local amenities and things to do just a short drive away, Badger Cottage is ideal for exploring all that the area has to offer! Whether you fancy spending the day at the beach, enjoying a country walk or heading a little further afield to see all that Cornwall has to offer, you will look forward to heading back to your holiday cottage and snuggling with your loved one!


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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.

Sykes’ Spotlight: Kinsale, County Cork

February 27th, 2015
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Located on the south west coast of Ireland and often referred to as ‘Ireland’s Riviera’ is the town of Kinsale; a town filled with history, beauty and a whole host of things to do! Whether you want to have a thrill filled holiday, get some rest and relaxation or just want to indulge in delicious foodie delights, Kinsale is the ideal location for you. Today we’re putting the spotlight on this lovely town and sharing some of the things you can get up to whilst you’re there.

Have Fun Offshore

Being a coastal town, it will come as no surprise that there are a host of water related activities available for you to enjoy in Kinsale. If you’re bit of a thrill seeker you could try your hand at kayaking, wind surfing or even diving. If you fancy something a little slower paced but still just as exciting why not go Dolphin and Whale watching, or charter a yacht and explore Kinsale’s harbour? Whatever you choose to do you’ll have an incredible time!

Stay on Land

As much as there is to do offshore in Kinsale, it would be a shame not to indulge in the many land-based activities that are available in this lovely town. You could practice your aim with clay pigeon shooting or archery, try for a hole in one at the pitch and putt club, or conquer the Old Head of Kinsale by abseiling down the cliffs before climbing back up. If you’re after something a little more relaxing, Kinsale’s pottery school is the place for you!

Go Walking

I know, I know. Whenever we feature a destination on the Sykes Cottages blog we always suggest ‘walking’ but it truly is the best way to see a place. Walking gets you away from the honks and horns of traffic whilst allowing you to explore a new place at your own pace. If you like something a little more structured you will be spoilt for choice amongst Kinsale’s walking tours; get spooked on a ghost tour, learn all about the history of the town on a historic tour and see its natural beauty for yourself on a coastal nature tour.

Indulge in Gourmet Food

Kinsale’s accolades are never ending, as it is also regarded as the ‘Gourmet Capital of Ireland’. Whilst the town celebrates its annual Gourmet Festival in October, you will not be short of delightful delicacies to indulge in whenever in the year you decide to visit! Being a coastal town it will come as no surprise that many of the restaurants specialise in freshly caught, local seafood however not to worry as even if you’re not a fish fan, you’ll still have bundles of options of things to eat.

Get Involved in the Nightlife

Ireland is well-known for its fantastic nightlife and Kinsale is no exception. Start your evening off in one of the town’s wine bars or pubs and treat yourself to a pint or two whilst you listen to Irish music, before heading off to a club to dance the night away!

Book a Self Catering Holiday Cottage in Kinsale

Listed above is truly just the tip of the iceberg of things you can get up to in this fantastic part of Ireland. Experience Kinsale for yourself by booking a self-catering holiday cottage in the town; you can see properties and availability on the Sykes Cottages website.

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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.

Best Summer Destinations for Couples

February 26th, 2015
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For many childless couples, booking a summer holiday during peak season is a big no no; the overcrowded beaches piled high with sandcastles and packed country parks littered with picnic blankets can be extremely off putting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of sandcastles and family picnics but too much of a good thing can be bad for you! So if like me and my other half you’d prefer to spend your summer vacation in a peaceful, stress-free location then keep reading as we suggest some secluded destinations perfect for couples looking to escape the crowds.

Ennerdale Water

The Lake District is one of the UK’s most popular summer escapes but instead of heading to the tourist hot spots of Windermere and Coniston Water head west to the parks most isolated lake, Ennerdale Water. This picturesque lake has crystal clear waters, spectacular scenery and best of all an undisturbed, tranquil atmosphere! As the only lake not to have a road running alongside it the journey to Ennerdale Water can deter families with young children from visiting making it the ideal spot for a romantic picnic.


Located on the south west tip of Ireland, Barleycove is a hidden gem nestled between two headlands in West Cork. Made up of an extensive dune system, this idyllic beach offers breath-taking scenery and plenty of space to relax along the sandy shore. When you’re not relaxing on the shore why not try a spot of surfing? Barleycove is a great spot for beginners and with a surf school located in the area and a lifeguard on hand it’s a wonderful opportunity to try something new with your partner.

Loch Enoch

Camping out under the stars is on everyone’s to-do list this summer and as a Dark Skies Park, Galway Forest Park in Scotland maybe one of the most popular spots for star gazers. If you would rather watch the skies in peace this year then journey to the centre of the park and visit its most secluded Loch, Loch Enoch. This beautiful loch is located in a granite basin and as well as the clear skies above you’ll be treated with glistening waters below, dazzling views and an extremely romantic atmosphere.


Snowdonia’s towering peaks, vast open countryside and extensive coast make it the perfect summer getaway and just about everyone knows it! But quietly fringing the mouth of the Mawddach Estuary with its inviting golden sands and steep bank of pebbles is the little known village of Fairbourne. This charming village and its beach boast excellent water sports, fascinating history, quaint cafes and the charming narrow-gauge Fairboune Railway – a real treat for any couple this summer.

I hope this post has encouraged you to make the most of your summer holidays this year and discover some of the UK’s hidden destinations. If you fancy teaming your adventures with a cosy cottage stay then make sure to visit our ‘Romantic Cottages For Couples’ page.

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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.

3 Thatched Roof Holiday Homes You’ll Love

February 25th, 2015
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If you were asked to draw a typical English cottage, your sketch wouldn’t be complete without a characterful thatched roof. This timeless roofing technique has been used in the UK for centuries, yet its popularity has never wavered. Today, thatch is experiencing a sort of resurgence, with many choosing it for its aesthetic and ecological value. Thatched roof cottages are limited at Sykes Cottages, but we’re proud of the handful we do have; so proud in fact, that we’ve dedicated a whole blog to them. So without further ado, here’s three charming, chocolate-box thatches that’ll you’ll absolutely love.

Little Thatch

Cerne Abbas, Dorset

Feast your eyes on Little Thatch, an uber quaint and ever-so-cosy thatched roof cottage in Dorset. Built in 1813, Little Thatch is Grade II listed, with an assortment of original features harking back to days gone by; think oak beams, exposed brickwork and ludicrously low ceilings. Despite its age, the cottage contains plenty of home comforts, and has space enough for up to three guests. The village of Cerne Abbas was once voted Britain’s most desirable village, so it’s the perfect setting for this irrefutably charming holiday home.

Manor Farmhouse

Milstead, South of England

Our thatched roof cottages don’t come much more luxurious than Manor Farmhouse. First built in the 15th century, this impressive Tudor house features an original oak frame and white washed façade, all topped off with a good helping of thatch. The house is part of a complex of three individual holiday homes set around a courtyard, and together they accommodate up to eighteen guests. With a myriad of original features including inglenooks, log burners and an authentic country kitchen, this is one characterful country cottage you can’t afford to miss.

Vineyard Cottage

Winkleigh, Devon

Vineyard Cottage forms part of what is arguably the prettiest row of terrace houses in the country, tucked away in the leafy Devonshire countryside, just a few miles from the romantic heaths of Dartmoor. The cottage offers a cosy, pastoral bolthole for up to five guests and is postcard handsome; from its whitewashed walls to its toffee hued thatch, it begs to be photographed. Indoors, things are just as charming. The tall will need to mind their heads as they navigate the cottage’s tastefully furnished rooms, each of which reveals a glimmer of the property’s past.

Rent a thatched roof holiday cottage with Sykes

Our choice of thatched roof cottages may be small, but it’s perfectly formed – much like the properties themselves. In fact, their exclusivity makes them all the more special. If you’d like this year’s holiday accommodation to be a little out of the ordinary, browse our range of thatched roof holiday rentals today.

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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.

Escape the holiday hubbub this Easter

February 24th, 2015
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With the promise of a school-free fortnight for the kids and a cheeky four day weekend for us grownups, it’s little wonder Easter has become one of the most popular times of year for UK holidays.

But before you make the queue-strewn journey to the coast like every other holiday-ready family in Britain, consider this: are you ready to spend five hours cramped in the car only to realise thousands of others have the same idea as you?

If the answer’s no, take a look at our shortlist of the destinations you could try this Easter that’ll help you beat the crowds and ensure queuing for a 99 is a thing of the past.

Have the coast to yourself in Cumbria

Most of the time when we use the term ‘hidden gem’, little is meant by it; when it comes to the Cumbrian Coast however, we mean it. Overshadowed quite literally by the Lake District National Pack, the Cumbrian Coast remains one of the least-frequented seaboards in the country. It’s not that it’s ugly (quite the opposite in fact) or that there are no good beaches (there’s loads); it’s just people tend to get distracted by the beauty of the Lakes and forget to look what’s over the next fen.

Travel to the Cumbrian Coast this Easter, then, and look forward to having the beach all to yourself (well, almost). Although you’ll find great beaches up and down the coast, the best are St Bees, Roan Head and Allonby.

Go to Scotland, and then keep going

Even the remotest enclaves of the Scottish Highlands can’t escape the Easter hordes, but if you’re dead set on a holiday north of the border, travel a little further and debunk on the Isle of Skye. This far-flung isle is dominated by a gorgeous mountain-range called the Cuillins, providing the perfect backdrop to a relaxed and queue-free getaway. If you’d prefer a slither of civilisation during your trip, a cottage in Portree is your best bet. This colourful coastal town is the largest on Skye, and is a great base for exploration.

Alternatively, opt for a holiday home in Dunvegan, Glendale or Carbost, or go thoroughly off-piste with an isolated cottage slap bang in the middle of Skye’s famously pretty outback.

Warm up in Sunny South East Ireland

The North Atlantic Drift provides the south east coast of Ireland with unseasonably warm weather, making it a great choice for the sun seekers who can’t wait ‘til summer for their next dose of Vitamin-D. Pack your beach towel if you plan to visit this corner of the Emerald Isle; the region is scattered with incredibly beautiful beaches, some of which have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award for their cleanliness and amenities. Some of our favourite ribbons of Irish sand include Curracloe, Brittas Bay and Portmarnock, but there are a lot more besides.

If surfing and sunbathing aren’t on your to do list, there’s plenty to partake in inland. Choose a cottage in County Wicklow and explore the Wicklow Mountains National Park, or take a daytrip to Dublin and soak up some Irish culture and hospitality.

The Wye Valley awaits

Whilst most wind their way down the A48 en route to South Wales, you’d be wise to stop short and enjoy a holiday in the supremely pretty Wye Valley. Labelled the “valley of the Romantics” because of its ties to 17th century poet Wiliam Wordsworth, the Wye Valley is charming, peaceful and challenging in equal measure. For a small AONB, this picturesque vale contains plenty to keep outdoorsy types amused: think canoeing, climbing, hiking, mountain biking and everything in between.

Those who prefer a more sedate pace will feel just as at home here; the Wye Valley is awash with fascinating historic sites that hark back to the border region’s bloody past, and the mystical and enchanting Tintern Abbey – which features in a poem by Wordsworth – is well worth a visit.

Book a break this Easter with Sykes Cottages

Wherever you wish to travel this Easter, a self-catering holiday home from Sykes provides a comfortable and affordable place to stay. Unlike hotels and guesthouses, a self-catering cottage gives you the freedom to holiday your way; take a look at our wide range of cottages that are still available to rent this Easter, and get set for an unforgettable holiday.

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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.