Discover Cornwall with Sykes Cottages

November 12th, 2014
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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.

Activities

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
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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
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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.

Remembrance Day 2014

November 9th, 2014
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Today we remember those who gave their lives to protect the UK and its people, and those still affected by conflict. Take a moment to reflect on the brave servicemen and women who showed courage in the face of adversity to defend our beautiful country.

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

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.

Enjoy the Isle of Wight this Winter

November 8th, 2014
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With its milder climate and stunning coastline, it’s no surprise the Isle of Wight is such a popular summertime holiday destination – but what about the rest of the year? Well, with many of its attractions staying open year-round, the isle certainly doesn’t shut up shop during the chillier months and is as fantastic a winter getaway destination as it is for a summer holiday. Read on to find out just a few of the Isle of Wight’s fantastic attractions that you can enjoy year-round!

Dinosaur Isle

Dinosaur Isle

Image via Flickr

Featuring real fossils as well as animatronic dinosaurs, Dinosaur Isle aims to be as fun as it is educational. The introductory exhibition gallery takes visitors from the Ice Age through to the Cretaceous period whilst the displays combine lighting, smells, sound and artwork to create an enjoyable experience for all visitors. If you’re planning a visit to Dinosaur Isle this winter, don’t forget to book a space on one of their fantastic fossil walks.

Wiggle Wight Winter Sportive

Cycling

Image via Flickr

Created to give entrants a further reason to delay the hectic Christmas shopping and to keep cycling during the winter is the Wiggle Wight Winter Sportive. If the name alone isn’t enough to make you want to enter, this cycling event has two shorter routes to reflect the time of year, stunning views and also two feed stations along the route providing participants with festive mince pies and hot drinks (but no mulled wine – safety first!) This year’s Wight Winter Sportive takes place on Sunday the 30th November. For more information and to sign up take a look at the official website.

JR Zone

Ball Pit

Image via Flickr

For a place where children can let off steam whilst mum and dad relax, nothing beats JR Zone; an indoor playground where both the young and young at heart can enjoy themselves or relax in a safe environment. The best part of course is that JR Zone is indoors, so the whole family can enjoy themselves whatever the weather!

Enjoy a scenic coastal walk

Isle of Wight Coast

Image via Flickr

The Isle of Wight’s beautiful coastline never closes, and any time of year is as good as any to go for a wander! Wrap up warm, grab a flask of tea and get into the great outdoors of the island. The colder weather can really make the coast come alive and you can enjoy the natural beauty without the need to dodge the summer crowds.

Book yourself a winter getaway on the Isle of Wight

The Coach House

The Coach House | Property reference 20405

To visit these attractions as well as many more that are open year round on the Isle of Wight, why not book yourself a winter getaway? At Sykes Cottages we have a number of stunning properties on the island that are still available for stays during the winter months. Take a look at our website or give us a call on 01244 356695 to book your winter getaway today!

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.