10 Ways to Make Your Cottage Walker Friendly

March 26th, 2015
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Whether you’re an experienced rambler or just enjoy a casual stroll, we all know one of the best ways to see the UK is by foot; climbing the hills for aerial views of the countryside or hiking one of the many coastal paths for spectacular seaside scenery. With so much of Britain to explore, it’s no wonder one of our top requests here at Sykes Cottages is for walking holidays.

If you think your holiday home would make a welcome heaven for tired boots then why not advertise as walker friendly? To make sure you’re providing everything a walker requires from their holiday, keep reading as we suggest ten things you can supply to make your cottage more walker friendly.

1. Outdoor hose. Every seasoned walker knows it’s important to keep your boots clean as mud and dirt can be surprisingly abrasive. By installing an outdoor hose, guests can wash down their boots after every outing.

2. Boot scraper and/or brush. Whether you’re able to supply an outdoor hose or not, a good boot scraper and brush can go a long way in keeping your visitors’ walking boots clean.

3. Drying area. The British weather is never that reliable so after a long hike in the rain, walkers require a warm area where they can dry their cloths and boots – preferably somewhere that’s not too hot.

4. First aid kit. When stocking your first aid kit, make sure to consider any additional supplies a walker may need like Vaseline for chafing, tweezers for pulling out thorns and small sachets of Dioralyte for dehydration.

5. Local walking routes. Does your cottage offer fantastic walks from the doorstep? If so, make sure to leave a guide or map for your guests along with the routes difficulty level and timing.

6. Public transport information. When on a walking holiday, many people leave the car at home. Because of this, a list of local taxi providers and a bus time table can come in handy.

7. Local information. Chances are your guests are new to the area, so details on local eateries, pubs, tourist information centres and attractions will help them get a feel for the area and what’s available.

8. Emergency contacts. If your guests become ill or get injured, they’ll need to know who to contact. We advise supplying details of the local doctor, dentist and, if your property is pet friendly, vet.

9. Internet access. Having internet access at your property will allow your visitors to check weather conditions, discover new walking routes and even order food without leaving the cottage.

10. Country code. Most walkers will know the country code but by displaying it at your cottage, you can gently remind your guests of the rules and keep your neighbours happy at the same time.

And there you have it, 10 ways to make your holiday home walker friendly. If you need more information on kitting out your holiday cottage for walkers or if you have a new holiday rental you’d like to advertise through Sykes Cottages then either visit our website or give our owner team a call on 01244 356 695.

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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.

Holiday Cottages with Lovely Patios – Perfect for Summer!

March 25th, 2015
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There is nothing better when the sun is shining than spending time alfresco and topping up on that all important vitamin D. Where better to do so than on your private patio with a glass of something cold in your hand? If this sounds as blissful to you as it does to us then read on as we take a look at some of our properties with wonderful patios that are just perfect for a summer getaway!

 Lough Brin House – County Cork

With a barbecue available on request and a furnished patio outside, Lough Brin House is the perfect summertime hideaway. Just imagine enjoying a barbecue after a long day exploring whilst looking out at the stunning County Cork countryside – bliss!


Bury Villa – Hampshire

Sleeping 19, this lovely property in Gosport is perfect for a large family getaway and the patio is impressive enough for everyone, too! Whether enjoying some alfresco dining, relaxing in the sunshine or having a luxurious bathe in the hot tub, the outdoor area at Bury Villa has something for everyone to enjoy.


Manor Farmhouse

If you can bear to leave the stunning interiors of this property in Kent, you can enjoy all that the outside space has to offer; expansive gardens, private patio and an outside swimming pool are just the beginning!


Bookilber Barn

With spacious gardens, a hot tub and a fabulous patio area featuring a barbecue, the whole party will be spoilt for choice of what to get up to on balmy summer evenings in this stunning Lake District barn conversion.

The Granary, Lower Trefdw

Whilst each of the rooms in this lovely first floor Pandy apartment offer incredible countryside views, they are best enjoyed from the raised balcony where you can see the countryside and the Skirrid Mountain’s vista in all its glory.



When the sun is shining over the Lake District, it’s time to head out and make use of the private patio with furniture in the lovely cottage, Woodlands.

 Roe Deer Cottage

This property located on the outskirts of Lincoln is as glorious outside as it is inside. With a large patio, furniture and a barbecue, it is the ideal place to head to after a day of exploring for a spot of alfresco dining.


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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 One of 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain

March 24th, 2015
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Here at Sykes Cottages we’re absolutely delighted to announce that we’ve recently been identified as one of the 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain by the London Stock Exchange! The 1000 companies report is all about celebrating the UK’s fastest growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses, so you can see why we’re excited to have been included in the list.

The 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain Report

In order to have qualified for selection as one of the 1000 Companies, we had to show a regular growth in revenue over the past few years and significantly outperform our industry peers. If you want to find out more about the report and its criteria then more information is available on their website – www.1000companies.com


The Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange Group, Xavier Rolet, described the 1000 Companies report as “a significant part of London Stock Exchange’s broader campaign to support UK high growth companies in their journeys from Start-up to Stardom and to create an entrepreneurship revolution”, and also said “I’m delighted that a strong alliance between UK Government, financial market participants, investors, entrepreneurs and companies has been created to support these inspiring businesses”.

What a Year for Sykes Cottages!

Tan Llan near Dolgellau in Wales, one of Sykes' own cottages

Tan Llan near Dolgellau in Wales, one of Sykes’ own cottages!

All in all, being named in the report has capped off what has been a fantastic few months for everyone here at Sykes. Not only did we take home the British Travel Award for being the Best Large UK Holiday Cottage Booking Company (for the second year running!) but we also recently won the Travolution Award for the Best Use of Search Engine Marketing. And then there were the milestones of going past 5000 cottages in the Sykes portfolio and of course, smashing our 2013 record of 100,000 bookings!

Obviously we’re absolutely delighted with all of these achievements and they’re just a few signs of the improvements that we’ve been making as a company. However what’s important here is to remember that we couldn’t have done any of it without the help of our fantastic owners and customers, so we’d just like to say a massive thanks to all of 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.

There’s a heatwave forecast for Easter weekend!

March 23rd, 2015
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Great news for anyone planning an Easter getaway this year: we’ve been forecast an Easter heatwave! According to some forecasters, we’re in for one of the warmest Easters ever, with some even predicting temperatures to tip the 26C mark. So dust off your barbeques as fingers crossed, the four day weekend is going to be perfect BBQ weather! If the promise of some sunshine is enough to tempt you into booking a last-minute Easter break, here are the top 3 best places to book a getaway where you’ll be best placed to enjoy the heatwave!

Isle of Wight

Well-known for being one of the warmest and sunniest places in the UK, the Isle of Wight is a good bet if you want to soak up the sun this Easter. The south of the island in particular sees the best weather, with the picturesque seaside village of Shanklin seeing over 2,018.7 hours of sunshine in 2012 – significantly more than the UK average of 1492.7! Much of the southern areas of the island even have their own microclimate with milder temperatures, more sunshine hours and sub-tropical vegetation.


The south coast of England will always come up on lists of the warmest places in the UK but we’re looking specifically at Kent, which is the current record holder for the hottest temperature ever recorded in Britain. Brogdale, near Faversham, holds the record at a staggering 38.5C on 10th August 2003. To put this in perspective, the average August temperature in Spain is 25C! This part of the country consistently registers some of the highest British temperatures throughout the year and so if we’re in for a heatwave, Kent is a good place to make the most of it!


Statistically, Cornwall has the mildest climate in the UK as a result of the Gulf Stream bringing with it warm, moist air from the Caribbean. The average annual temperature here ranges from 11.6C to 9.8C, so when the rest of the country is shivering, Cornwall is still usually quite mild, making it the perfect place to visit on a break to take advantage of a heatwave. Cornwall is sure to be just that little bit hotter than the rest of the country!

We still have some lovely holiday cottages available over Easter if you’re looking for accommodation for your getaway; you can see the full list of available cottages on our website. In the meantime, we’re keeping everything crossed that this wonderful heatwave comes into fruition!

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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.

Unleash your Inner Artist At a Sykes Cottage

March 22nd, 2015
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Whether your tool of choice is a pencil, paintbrush or an oil pastel, even the most creative of artists gets a little uninspired every now and again. When you’re a little lacking in inspiration it can be a great idea to move yourself away from the norm and get a change of scene, which is why we think heading on a cottage holiday can be the ideal way to get those creative juices flowing again!

Whilst we think all of our properties are picture perfect, we’ve had a bit of a scour through and have found five properties that are all perfect for unleashing your inner artist. Whether you fancy getting involved in a bit of landscape painting, still life sketching or even nature sculpting, read on to see our suggestions of which of our properties may be ideal for your creative needs.

Best for Still Life

The Gatehouse

To inspire your still life art, you want a stunning property that is full of textures, bold colours and knick-knacks.  A property such as The Gatehouse with its unique décor and style is the perfect place to paint some still life.

Best for Lakeside Landscapes

Lovely Lake Image - Juniper Hayloft View

If you want to paint a watery scene, there is no better place to head than the Lake District. The stunning nature in the area inspired William Wordsworth and it can certainly inspire the budding artist in you, too. In a property like Juniper Hayloft you certainly won’t be far from stunning views like the above image.

Best for Cityscapes

Across the UK and Ireland we’re hugely lucky to never be too far from some of the greatest cities in the world! Cities are a mecca of inspiration for any artist; whether it’s the traffic, the hustle and bustle, the lights, the stunning architecture or even a city art gallery. For cityscape inspiration, a property such as Bath Garden Rooms, located in the historic city of Bath, is ideal.

Best for Countryside

Beesoni Lodge

Wherever you choose to go on your cottage holiday, you are sure not to be too far from the rolling hills and beautiful nature that this lovely isle of ours has to offer. If Beesoni Lodge doesn’t give you all of the inspiration that you need to create your next masterpiece, its location within stunning countryside certainly will.

Best for Property Painting

The thatch

With its thatched roof, colourful garden and interesting shape, The Thatch is a stunning property to paint or sketch. Whether you catch it on beautiful sunny day, or one where the weather is a little more typically British, a sketch of this attractive property will always be postcard perfect.

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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.