Iced Tea Recipes for Summer

July 10th, 2016
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Now that summer is officially here, it’s time to take your tea with a refreshing, summery twist. Perfect for picnics, barbecues and days spent in the garden, here’s a selection of the best iced tea recipes around to keep you nice and cool over the summer months.

Lemon Iced TeaIced Tea

Serves 10. Recipe via Good Housekeeping

Ingredients

  • 4 tea bags
  • 6 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 litre boiling water
  • 3 litre still lemonade
  • Mint sprigs
  • Lemon slices

Method

  1. In a large bowl, add tea bags and 6tbsp of caster sugar. Then add a litre of boiling water.
  2. Steep for 2 minutes, take the tea bags out then leave to cool completely.
  3. Fill a large jug with ice, pour in the tea then add 1.3 litre still lemonade.
  4. Garnish individual glasses with mint sprigs and lemon slices.

 

Pimm’s Iced TeaIced Tea

Serves 4-6. Recipe via BBC Good Food.

Ingredients

  • 4 tea bags
  • 20g mint
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 large oranges, juiced, plus extra slices to serve
  • 2 lemons, juiced, plus extra slices to serve
  • 400ml Pimm’s No. 1
  • Several strawberries, sliced
  • Plenty of ice to serve

Method

  1. In a large jug, add tea bags and half the mint. Then pour in 1.2 litre of boiling water.
  2. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes before removing the tea bags, stirring and adding the sugar.
  3. Once cool, remove the mint. Add orange juice, lemon juice and Pimm’s.
  4. Chill thoroughly- this can be made up to one day in advance.
  5. Serve over ice with slices of lemon, orange, strawberry and mint sprigs.

 

Raspberry and Mint Iced TeaIced Tea

Serves 4. Recipe via Goodtoknow.co.uk.

Ingredients

  • 500g raspberries
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 2 mint sprigs
  • Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tea bag
  • Half lemon, sliced
  • Ice to serve

Method

  1. In a large bowl, crush raspberries and sugar together using a potato masher. Add the mint sprigs and bicarbonate of soda.
  2. Pour ½ litre of boiling water into a jug containing the tea bag and leave for 4-5 minutes before removing the tea bag.
  3. Pour the hot tea over the raspberries. Stir then leave to cool for 1 hour.
  4. Strain the mixture through muslin and into a sieve to make about 600ml of liquid then add 300ml cold water.
  5. Serve over ice with lemon slices and a sprig of mint.

If like us, you love tea in all of its forms, then make sure you check out our Great British Brew campaign which includes tea reviews, stats on how people like their tea, and a fantastic infographic which will tell you all you’ve ever wanted to know about the humble brew. For more delicious recipes and meal inspiration, head to the food section of our blog.

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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.

Walk of the Month: Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail

June 30th, 2016
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For June’s edition of Walk of the Month, we’ve decided to feature a family favourite perfect for older children looking to develop their navigation skills. The Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail is a relatively short walk through the Scottish Highlands with fantastic views of Loch Shiel, the Glenfinnan Viaduct and the Glenfinnan monument.

Walk of the Month: Glenginnan Viaduct

Image of Glenfinnan Viaduct by Peter WeemeeuwCC 2.0

The walk:

This route should take walkers no longer than 2 hours to complete, making it perfect for an afternoon outing. You can leave the car in the car park at the north side of the bridge or catch a bus or train to Glenfinnan before starting the walk. The trail can be boggy in patches so good waking shoes or boots are advised.

The route:

From the car park follow the tarred track, ignore the turn off on the right and continue straight passing a barn and heading towards the viaduct.

When you reach the foot of the viaduct, you’ll see a sign post for the Station Museum and Sleeping car, turn left here and keep right at the upcoming junction. You will soon pass under the arches of the viaduct before beginning your climb on the other side.

Walk of the Month: Glenfinnan Monument

Image of Glenfinnan Monument by Mike SearleCC 2.0

The route will continue to get higher as you move across the hillside.  When you see the parked railway carriages near Glenfinnan station, the path will turn to the left and continue downhill towards the railway and through a tunnel.

Once through the tunnel the path will fork, you want to take the path on the right and continue across a little bridge. Follow the path up the steps that lead to the station then turn left when you reach the station and follow the lane down to the main road.

When you reach the pavement of the A830 turn right and follow the road for a short period until you come across a sharp left just before the hotel, follow this path on the left down a track past some houses. When you reach the last house just continue along the path which starts between two mental handrails.

Follow this path downhill until you come to a tarmac road with a T-junction. Turn left at the junction and continue along the road which passes close by the Glenfinnan House Hotel. The path will eventually come out on the A830 again, opposite the start of the walk. From here you can either head back to the car park or take the time to explore the Glenfinnan monument.

To view the full route map, please click here.

Book a holiday cottage in the Scottish Highlands:

The Laggan Drey (Ref. 1525) in Laggan, Scotland

The Laggan Drey (Ref. 1525) in Laggan, Scotland

If you would like to explore the Scottish Highlands on a walking holiday then make sure to check out our extensive selection of holiday cottages in the Scottish Highlands. From charming eco-friendly cottages set in natural woodland to cosy log cabins we have a cottage to suit all tastes and budgets. For more information on walking holidays in Scotland visit our website or give our team a call on 01244 356695.

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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.

Spotlight On: Unusual Holiday Cottages

June 26th, 2016
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At Sykes, we love all types of holiday cottages; whether they’re traditional and cosy or offer something a bit quirky.  If you’re the kind of person who likes to do things a little differently, then we have the perfect selection of holiday cottages for you. Our unusual properties make for a unique getaway you’ll never forget- take a look at some examples below.

Peat Gate Shepherd’s Hut

Quirky holiday cottage

How’s this for something different! This charming hand-made shepherd’s hut is built from timber and offers beautiful views across the Northumberland countryside. Ideal for a peaceful, romantic break, Peat Gate Shepherd’s Hut comprises of open plan studio accommodation with a separate bathroom and small but perfectly formed kitchen with a double hob, fridge and woodburning stove with integrated oven. The surrounding area is perfect for walking and cycling, close to both Hadrian’s Wall and the North Pennines, and this property even has its own bike storage facilities.

The Gatehouse

Quirky holiday cottage

The Gatehouse is one of our most quirky holiday homes with a variety of fascinating features such as a corrugated tin wall and a reclaimed Georgian staircase housing children’s bunk beds underneath. The property sleeps up to 4 guests and has a spacious open plan layout with galleried bedroom overlooking the living area complete with grand piano, a library of books and unusual décor. Situated in Cumbria, this eccentric property is surrounded by lush countryside with the Settle-Carlisle Railway running close by and the Cumbrian fells within easy reach.

The Water Tower

Quirky holiday cottage

This luxurious holiday rental on the Isle of Anglesey has been converted from a former water tower. Nestled in a tranquil location with idyllic woodland views, The Water Tower offers a luxury holiday with a quirky twist. The beautiful beaches of Pentraeth and Benllech are on your doorstep whilst the mountains of Snowdonia are also just a short drive away. The property itself is bright and airy with features including an atrium ceiling in the master bedroom and bi-fold doors opening out onto the patio from the dining area.

Book a quirky holiday cottage

If you like the look of the properties above, there’s certainly more where that came from! We’ve hundreds of charmingly eccentric holiday homes for you to choose from; you can browse the full range by visiting our website.

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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.

Sykes Cottages Cycling Breaks

June 19th, 2016
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With over a million people turning up to watch this year’s Tour de Yorkshire, it’s no wonder hundreds of holiday makers have been inspired to dust off the saddle and take their bike on holiday with them. Here at Sykes Cottages, we encourage cycling holidays and even have a selection of over 2,700 cycling cottages to choose from. You can take a cycling break just about anywhere in the UK but with Yorkshire quickly becoming the home of UK cycling, it would be a hard task to find a better location for your getaway. With that being said, we’ve listed some of our best Yorkshire cycling cottages below to help get you in the mood for your next cycling break.

Padley Barn

Hurst near Reeth, Yorkshire Dales

 Padley Barn, Ref. 20841

Padley Barn, Ref. 20841

This wonderful detached stone barn conversion is perfect for a group of cyclists looking to explore Yorkshire. The property sleeps up to six people in six comfortable bedrooms and even offers lockable bike storage. Not too far from this cottage, cyclists will find the 2014 Tour de Yorkshire route and there is even a bike hire and repair shop close by in case of emergencies.

 Weekly stays at Padley Barn start from £364

Red Rose Cottage

Wadsworth near Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire Dales

Red Rose Cottage, Ref. 912594

Red Rose Cottage, Ref. 912594

Located just outside Hebden Bridge, Red Rose Cottage provides two bedrooms, sitting room with wood burning stove, bike storage and a beautiful garden with long-distance views across the countryside and relaxing hot tub. From Red Rose Cottage, cyclists can enjoy a fantastic ride along the area’s cycling routes which featured in the 2014 Tour de France and 2015 Tour de Yorkshire.

Weekly stays at Red Rose Cottage start from £372

Holmdale Cottage

Netherton near Holmfirth, Yorkshire Dales

Holmdale Cottage, Ref. 29640

Holmdale Cottage, Ref. 29640

This charming Netherton cottage is ideal for cyclists who like to take things slow. The area has numerous cycling routes, including some used in the 2014 Tour de France, as well as fantastic walks and family friendly attractions. Visitors to this property are encouraged to spend time in the pretty garden where its two patio levels offer spectacular views over the Yorkshire countryside.

Weekly stays at Holmdale Cottage start from £313

Lavender Cottage

Threshfield near Grassington, Yorkshire Dales

Lavender Cottage, Ref. 918240

Lavender Cottage, Ref. 918240

Lavender Cottage is a delightful stone built cottage located in the heart of Threshfield, alongside the village green. This property is just a stone’s throw from Grassington where cyclists will find a great selection of cycle routes including the Grassington to Hawes cycle route and Kettlewell to Grassington route.

Weekly stays at Lavender Cottage start from £323

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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.

Sykes Cottages Hits 7,000 Properties Milestone

June 16th, 2016
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Here at Sykes Cottages, we’re delighted to announce that this week, we’ve reached a milestone 7,000 holiday cottages across the UK and Ireland!

We started off as an ambitious family business run from the kitchen table and with the help of our fantastic staff, owners and customers, we’ve grown into the UK’s biggest and fastest-growing independent cottage agency- a fact we’re very proud of.

Sykes Cottages staff

Miles Hill, our Chief Executive Officer has congratulated staff and owners on this wonderful achievement saying: “We’re delighted to have hit this milestone. We’ve worked hard over the past 12 months and brought on board over 1,000 holiday rentals during this period alone, including many in new areas where we’ve not previously had properties before. This is the icing on top of the cake after a record-breaking year. Congratulations to everyone involved”.

The past 12 months have seen other big achievements from Sykes Cottages including winning the British Travel Award for ‘Best Large Holiday Cottage Booking Company’ for the third year in a row, as well as being named in the London Stock Exchange’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’. We’ve got plenty more exciting things in store for the rest of the year so be sure to keep your eyes peeled!

Our 7,000th property: Rhodewood Lodge, Pembrokeshire

We may have grown significantly over the years but one thing has always remained the same and that’s our commitment to providing our customers with the best holiday experience. With that in mind, we’re very proud to introduce you to our 7,000th property: Rhodewood Lodge in Pembrokeshire.

Living room in holiday cottage    Bedroom in holiday cottage

Kitchen in holiday cottage     Hot tub at holiday cottage

This stunning Gothic house in Saundersfoot sleeps up to 11 guests in pure luxury. The property has been lovingly restored by the owners, flawlessly combining beautiful original features such as mosaic tiles and arched windows with lavish modern comforts. With six bedrooms and four bathrooms, there’s plenty of space for an extended family or group of friends to relax and outside, there’s a large tiered patio and garden perfect for lazing in the sun. This exquisite property even has its own hot tub with back massager!

Look out of the windows and you’ll find far-reaching sea views, whilst a sandy Blue Flag beach is just five minutes’ walk. The centre of the friendly seaside village of Saundersfoot is also within walking distance with a variety of charming shops, pubs and restaurants. If you fancy heading further afield, there are plenty of fantastic attractions nearby including Folly Farm, Oakwood Theme Park and Blue Stone, as well as the spectacular views of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

You can read more about Rhodewood Lodge or browse all 7,000 of our wonderful holiday homes by visiting our website. From everyone at Sykes Cottages, thank you for your support!

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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.