The Mountains of Britain and Ireland

November 14th, 2014
Pin It

For today’s instalment of the blog, we’re looking at the biggest mountains of the United Kingdom and Ireland. From the North of Scotland to Snowdonia and all the way to Macgillycuddy’s Reeks in the west of  the Emerald Isle, we’ve tracked down the highest peaks in order to give you some information about them.

Ben Nevis

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

  • Height – 1,344m
  • Location – Grampian Mountains, Scotland

Overlooking the stunning scenery of Loch Linnhe, Ben Nevis is the highest peak in the whole of the British Isles. Its name derives from the Gaelic Beann Neibheis although no one is quite sure what this means with suggestions ranging fromVenomous Mountain to the Mountain of Heaven. With an estimated 100,000 climbers making their way up to the summit, Ben Nevis is one of the most popular mountains in Britain as well as the highest; if you join them, you’ll be able to find some of the most stunning panoramas around as well as the remains of deserted observatory used around the turn of the twentieth century.



via. Flickr

  • Height – 1,038m
  • Location – Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland

Standing at the heart of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range in Co. Kerry is the highest mountain in all of Ireland – Carrauntoohil. There are three main pathways to follow if you fancy pitting yourself against it; the Devil’s Ladder, Brother O’Shea’s Gully and the Caher route. If you are going to try it, make sure you’re well prepared as the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean makes for extremely changeable weather condititions.


Scafell Pike

scafell pike

via. Flickr

  • Height – 938m
  • Location – Southern Fells, England

It may only be a few metres taller than its similarly named neighbour, Scafell, but it’s enough to make Scafell Pike the highest point in all of England. As climbs go, it isn’t the most strenuous, so when there’s the opportunity to experience the views that inspired Coleridge, Wordsworth and plenty others you certainly won’t regret setting aside a few hours to make your way to the summit. On a clear day at the top you may be able to catch a glimpse of Wales, Ireland, Scotland and even the Isle of Man – there can’t be many places that can make that claim!



via. Flickr

  • Height – 1,085 m
  • Location – Snowdonia, Wales

The highest peak in Britain that isn’t part of the Scottish Highlands, Snowdon is probably the busiest mountain in the country with hundreds of thousands making their way up it every year. With a state of the art visitor centre at the top, not to mention its own railway, it draws in droves of people wanting to get a taste of the stunning views from the top. However depending on the time of year it can be quite a tricky climb, with Sir Edmund Hillary even using some of the steeper sections in his training to best Mount Everest!

So there you go, the lowdown on the highest peaks of the British Isles. We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading it, and maybe even learnt something new about them – and who knows, maybe you even fancy climbing on of them yourself! If that is the case make sure you take a look at our website so that you can find yourself a nice cosy cottage to put your feet up at the end of the day.

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.

Holiday Properties With Delightful Views

November 13th, 2014
Pin It

One of the best parts of holidaying in the UK or Ireland is the beautiful views that are visible from your doorstep. Whether you’re staying along the coast or in the countryside, you’ll never be far from a delightful view. What’s better, though, is having a wonderful view from your holiday home’s living room, bedroom or even bathroom! If this is your idea of a perfect property perk then you’re in the right place, as we have a stack of properties that benefit from stunning views without needing to head outside. Read on for ten fine examples of the properties that have stunning views right from the bedside.

Wisteria Cottage, Devon

Reference 905075

Property reference 905075

Take in some of the delightful Devon scenery without even leaving your conservatory in the lovely Wisteria Cottage.

Porth House, Wales

Reference 761

Property reference 761

Its position overlooking Porth Diana beach on Trearddur Bay makes this stunning, architect-designed property as stunning to look out of as it is to look into.

Blue Barn Cottage, Wales

Property reference 22797

Property reference 22797

The delightful, far reaching views from the bedroom in this lovely property are a wonder to wake up to.

Old Rectory Cottage, Wales

Reference 903548

Property reference 903548

This upside-down property was designed so guests can enjoy the stunning, far-reaching views that surround it.

House On The Hill, Peak District

Reference 916619

Property reference 916619

The wonderful House On The Hill in the Peak District stunning rural views from each window but the star of the show really is this view from the dining area.

Reardon’s House, County Kerry

Reference 903994

Property reference 903994

Reardon’s House is the perfect base for exploring all that County Kerry has to offer before heading back to enjoy the wonderful, coastal views.

Sandy Shore, North York Moors and Coast

Reference 906727

Property reference 906727

Take in beautiful views of the sand and sea in the aptly named Sandy Shore, located in the delightful seaside town of Bridlington.

Solway Cottage, The Lake District

Reference 911744

Property reference 911744

Solway Cottage is the perfect property for a family getaway and provides the perfect view across the seafront from the decking area; perfect for an al fresco meal!

The Barn at Glanoer, Wales

Reference 22968

Property reference 22968

As if indulging in a claw foot bath tub with a glass of bubbly in hand wasn’t relaxing enough, imagine doing so whilst overlooking the view.

Telford House, Wales

Property reference 14628

Property reference 14628

This stunning Bangor property allows its guests to admire not only the Menai Straits but also the Menai Bridge.

Have you taken a photograph of a stunning view you encountered whilst at a Sykes Holiday Cottage? We’d love to see – please share it with us via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. To see more lovely views, take a look at our Pinterest board.

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.

Discover Cornwall with Sykes Cottages

November 12th, 2014
Pin It

As one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations, Cornwall has a lot to offer visitors. From its beautiful beaches and rugged moorlands to its unique towns, villages, pubs and eateries, those visiting the county will certainly have a packed itinerary.

Discover Cornwall

To make it easier for holidaymakers to decide what to get up to during their self-catering break in Cornwall, we’ve created an in-depth visitors guide to the region. Aptly named Discover Cornwall, the guide covers all of the county’s main areas – North Cornwall, South Cornwall, West Cornwall and Bodmin Moor & Tamar Valley – detailing what each of these regions has to offer.

You’ll find lots of great advice in the guide, from information about Cornwall’s flourishing wine trade to a list of the county’s curious, little-known cafés. There’s some fantastic video guides too, revealing the beauty of Cornwall in all its glory.

Whether you’ve booked a holiday in Cornwall or want to find out more about what the county has to offer, visit Discover Cornwall today, or read on for a sneak peek!

Cornish Food

The Lost and Found Café

Wherever you choose to stay in Cornwall, rest-assured the local cuisine will be top-notch. The county prides itself on its distinct, independent eateries and cafés, with hundreds to choose from across the region, including affordable roadside diners and Michelin-star restaurants. Discover Cornwall highlights the county’s most popular and lesser known eateries, so whatever your taste, you’re sure to find a Cornish café, bistro or restaurant that’s right for you.

Cornish Drink

Kynance Cafe

For some, knowing where to enjoy a drink on your holiday is important. Lucky for you, we’ve done all the legwork, listing many of Cornwall’s best pubs, breweries and vineyards in our visitor guide. Whether you’d like to sink a pint in a traditional Cornish tavern, sip Prosecco in a contemporary, coastal café bar or sample Cornish ale in one of the county’s independent breweries, you’ll find lots of great places to drink in Cornwall.


Discover Cornwall 3

Whether you’re planning an active, all-adult getaway or a sunny summer holiday with your kids, Cornwall offers an abundance of activities to enjoy. Thanks to its sprawling coastline and array of world-class beaches, the county is a mecca for surfing, so if you like to ‘hang-ten’ there’s no better place. The same can be said for walkers; Cornwall’s varied landscapes provide a natural playground for those spending their break in the walking boots, and features a number of picturesque way marked trails.

Discover Cornwall today

Discover Cornwall 4

Discover Cornwall allows you to plan your trip to Cornwall before you arrive, ensuring you make the most of time spent in this unique and charming English county. Whether you’re searching for places to eat and drink or filling your itinerary with day-out ideas, Discover Cornwall is there to help you get the most from your cottage holiday in Cornwall.

For more inspiration, check out #discovercornwall on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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.

Watersports to try away from the sea

November 11th, 2014
Pin It

Today we’re going to look at the fantastic watersports you can try away from the seaside. This may seem a strange idea considering we’re an island nation and there’s never more than 75 miles between you and the coastline, but there are so many other waterways that you can take advantage of. With more rivers, canals and lakes than you could shake a paddle at, you’ll be spoilt for choice; take a look and see if we can tempt you into trying out any of these fantastic activities.

Paddle Your Way Along the Great Glen Canoe Trail

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

OK, it might start and end at the seaside, but after reading about this one we had to include it; after all, who knew you could canoe right the way across Scotland? Covering 60 miles of the Caledonian canal from Fort William to Inverness, the Great Glen Canoe Trail might take five days to complete but it’ll definitely be worth it. You’ll paddle through four of Scotland’s famous lochs (Ness, Lochy, Oich and Dochfour in case you were wondering), 22 miles of man made canal and, if you’re feeling intrepid, you can also have a crack at the rivers Oich, Ness and Lochy for a change of scenery.

Water-ski on Windermere

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

If you fancy something faster paced then you can always head over to the Lake District. As the name suggests, you’ll find a haven for all sorts of watersport enthusiasts, and at Windermere you’ll find the perfect spot for water skiing.  There is of course a speed limit at Windermere which means you won’t be allowed to go at full throttle; however, coupled with the calm waters this makes it a fantastic place to get some practice in before you head on to more changing waters.

Go Surfing in Snowdonia

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Yep, you read it right. From next year you won’t need to be at the seaside to go surfing; instead you can just head into the mountains of North Wales and Surf Snowdonia. That’s because they are currently in the process of building an artificial surfing lagoon amongst some of the most stunning scenery that you could hope for. With waves varying in size from 2-6 feet, and a 300 metre channel, the project promises to be something special and will cater for all levels of ability from absolute beginners through to die hard surfers, so make sure you pop down to give it a go!

So there you go,  a small selection of the amazing activities that you can have a go at on our country’s countless rivers and lakes. We’d love to know if any of you have been inspired to try them out so make sure you stay in touch either over Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to take a look at our website where you’ll find a cosy cottage for a bit of R&R after a day out on the water.

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.

Geocaching Guide: Hunt for Treasure in the British Countryside

November 10th, 2014
Pin It

Geocaching involves searching for “caches” in the great outdoors using GPS. The activity is similar to the historic pastime of ‘letterboxing’ in the way participants must find hidden trinkets in the wilderness, however, geocachers must use a GPS receiver to help track down these items. It’s thought there are over two-million caches worldwide, with around eighty-thousand of those found in the UK.

Why not give geocaching a try yourself? It’s a great hobby that combines invigorating walks or cycle rides with the nostalgia and excitement of a treasure hunt; plus it’s a great activity to get the kids interested in the great outdoors. If you need more convincing, check out our guide to the best places to go geocaching in the UK below.

Dunwich Forest, Suffolk

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

It’s thought there are ten active geocaches hidden among the pine trees of Dunwich Forest, and though not difficult to find, the beauty of the woodland makes this a great place for beginners to track down a cache or two. On a bright day, the diffusion of sunlight through the trees is stunning, so be sure to take the camera.

Margam Country Park, South Wales

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

There are a small-offering of geocaches in Margam Country Park, and to find them all, you’ll need your walking boots! The caches are well spaced out, but if you’ve had a good breakfast and are feeling fit, it’s well worth spending the day tracking each of them down. Margam is a wonderful place to explore, with deer and other wildlife among the things you should keep an eye out for.

The Peak District, Derbyshire

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

The Peak District has proved it’s the number one spot for a wealth of outdoor pursuits, and it seems the national park can add geocaching to that list too. There are hundreds of caches here, and the rugged terrain poses a challenge for those trying to track them down. Whether atop lofty peaks or hidden in heathland, the cache quality here is excellent, with lots of genuine treasures to be found.

The Pennine Way Geocache Trail, Yorkshire Dales

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Whether a keen novice or a seasoned pro, the Pennine Way Geocache Trail offers a challenge for any budding treasure-hunter. The trail features ten caches, placed at different points along the path, and cachers must find them in order to progress to the next. Due to its length, the trail will take two days to complete, though those up for a serious challenge could do it in a day.

Devon, South West

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Thanks to its abundance of way-marked trails, bridle paths and cycle routes, Devon is a great place to switch on the GPS and go hunting. It’s thought there are over 25,000 geocaches in the county, many of which are hidden in the region’s prettiest pockets of countryside, including Dartmoor and the South West Coast Path. Wherever you choose to stay in the county, there’s bound to be some treasure nearby waiting to be uncovered!

Rent accommodation for a geocaching break with Sykes Cottages

Fancy yourself as a regular Indiana Jones or just want to get the little’uns out the house? Or, perhaps you need a good excuse to go for a walk? Then rent a cottage in the UK for a geocaching break. Many of our country cottages are available to rent in the UK’s finest geocaching hotspots, so grab the GPS and find yours today!

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.