Walk of the Month: Garinish Loop

August 8th, 2015
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For August’s edition of Walk of Month, we’re taking a trip across the Irish Sea to the Emerald Isle itself. The Beara Peninsula in County Cork is one of the most ruggedly stunning landscapes in the whole of Ireland, dominated by mountain ranges but decorated with picture-perfect fishing villages all along the shoreline bordering the wild Atlantic Ocean.

It’s a popular destination for walkers with the 196km Beara Way a fantastic choice for long-distance walkers. However, today we’re looking at the shorter Garinish Loop, which can easily be done in an afternoon before heading to one of the lovely traditional taverns nearby for some well-deserved pub grub!

The Walk

The Garinish Loop is a 4km coastal walk that starts and finishes at the boarding point for the only cable car in Ireland- the Dursey Island Cable Car. It’s described as a ‘moderate’ walk and can be quite challenging in places where it ascents so it’s probably more suitable for adults. It should take around an hour and a half to complete; wearing walking boots and drinking plenty of water is always advised.

The Route

Begin your walk in the car park of the Dursey Island Cable Car. Cross over the stile and follow the purple arrows towards the west of the Beara Peninsula. At this point, the route ascends quite quickly to its highest point (150m). It can be a little tiring on the legs but the view at the top, looking out across the Sound to Dursey Island, is more than worth it!

The next section takes you downhill and out across open countryside towards Garinish Point. From here, you’ll be rewarded with fine views of the open sea and both Garinish Island and Long Island. Here you’ll need to exit the open land via a small gate and follow the route to the quay at Garinish. You’ll need to turn right at the quay on a roadway.

Follow the roadway for around 500 metres and you’ll reach a narrow laneway, which will be on your right-hand side. Follow the purple arrow signs and turn right up the laneway. Eventually, the laneway reaches a roadway, where it turns left and joins a tarred road.

Turn right at the tarred road. Note that the long-distance route turns left here but you need to make sure that you turn right to make the 1km return to the cable car.

To view the route map, please click here.

Rent a cottage in the Beara Peninsula with Sykes Cottages

If you want to tackle the Garinish Loop then why not make a weekend of it and book a holiday cottage in the Beara Peninsula? Situated on the Wild Atlantic Way, the Beara Peninsula is a delightful part of West Cork that’s famous for its stunning scenery and as home to one of Ireland’s best ports for whitefish, it would be a crying shame to miss out on trying its wonderful seafood restaurants! Sykes Cottages have a wide range of self-catering holiday lets in the area that would make perfect bases to explore West Cork.

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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’ Guide to Irish Beaches

August 6th, 2015
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With over 3,000 kilometres of coastline, Ireland is a fantastic location for a beach holiday but with many of us opting to visit the Cornish coast or Welsh beaches instead, Ireland can often be overlooked. To help convince you to try something new this year, we have put together a guide filled with fabulous Irish beaches, so take a look and start planning your Irish adventure today!

Curracloe Bay, Co. Wexford

Best Beach for Families

Famed for its use in the iconic movie, Saving Private Ryan, Curracloe Bay is also a well-known family friendly beach with beautiful scenery, extensive sand dunes and safe waters. As well as the extensive system of walking trails through the dunes, visitors to Curracloe can also visit Wexford’s first and only surf school, where both children and adults can learn to surf on both sand and wave.

Rossbeigh Beach, Co. Kerry

Best Beach for Couples

Located along the Ring of Kerry, the beautiful sandy shores and spectacular scenery at Rossbeigh Beach make this stretch of coast perfect for a romantic weekend away. For a truly unforgettable date, we suggest treating your other half to a sunset stroll along the beach where they can marvel at Ireland’s natural beauty before visiting one of the many local restaurants for a candlelit meal for two.

Brittas Bay, Co. Wicklow

Best Beach for Dogs

It’s no secret that dogs love the beach; running along the shore, feeling the sand under their paws and the cold spray of the ocean is all the holiday your pooch requires. If you’re thinking of taking your four-legged friend to an Irish beach then we would highly suggest Brittas Bay, with 5 kilometres of white sands there is plenty of room for your dog to explore.

Bundoran, Co. Donegal

Best Beach for Water Sports

Bundoran Beach is known as the home of Irish surfing and with its beautiful golden sands, fantastic amenities and killer waves, it’s not hard to see why. If you’re new to surfing we would suggest taking a few lessons at one of the area’s many surf schools, where they’re not only surf experts but also provide classes on other sports including sand surfing, body boarding and canoeing.

Rent a Cottage in Ireland with Sykes Cottages

Now that you’ve seen just what Ireland has to offer, why not hop on a ferry and visit for yourself? Whether you’re looking for a seaside retreat with views across the ocean or a character cottage along the harbour, with over 850 Irish Cottages to choose from we’re sure to find a property to suit your personality and budget.

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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.

Luxury Cottages In Ireland

August 3rd, 2015
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This week on the Sykes Cottages blog, we’re taking a trip over the Irish Sea and concentrating on some of the best things about breaks on the Emerald Isle. We’ll be taking a look through some of the country’s finest beaches, walks and of course cottages, starting off with some of the best luxury properties available to book. So take a look and see which one you fancy taking a trip to.

Kilclare Lodge, County Leitrim

Tucked away in the peaceful countryside, just outside of the delightful riverside town of Carrick-on-Shannon, is Kilclare Lodge, a stylish detached house with more than enough space to comfortably sleep eight people. The property comes complete with a luxury fitted kitchen featuring a breakfast bar and dining area, both of which are perfect for settling down for a home-made meal. Then there are the two separate sitting rooms, one of which has its own woodburner that’s just right for those chilly evenings on the Emerald Isle, what more could you ask for?.

Loo Bridge Railway Station, County Kerry

Next up, we’ve got Loo Bridge Railway Station. As you’ve probably already guessed, the cottage used to serve as a station on a line between the Kerry towns of Kenmare and Killarney. It still retains a number of features that hark back to its previous life, such as the original station platform and signals that still remain in the garden. Inside however, it has been renovated into a stunning holiday let. There are four bedrooms that sleep eight people between them, so there’s plenty of space to sleep the whole family, then add to this the snug living room and you can certainly see why it’s such a popular cottage.

Lismakeera Lodge, County Limerick

But what if you’re after something that’s a bit more modern in style? Then you’ll want to have a look at Lismakeera Lodge in County Limerick. Located about 20 miles from the hustle and bustle of Limerick City, it’s in the ideal location to enjoy some peace and quiet whilst still being close enough for a bit of retail therapy should you fancy it. The cottage itself is a stunning barn conversion that marries traditional features and modern design perfectly. The building dates back over 200 years but you wouldn’t know that from the interior; with its feature mezzanine and and stunning kitchen, Lismakeera Lodge is the perfect spot to while away a week in the Irish countryside.

So there you go, three luxurious cottages out on the Emerald Isle. All of them are available to book so if you fancy staying in one of them just click the link below the image and you’ll be able to find out about their availability and prices. Or alternatively you can take a look through our full range of luxury cottages where you’re bound to find one to suit 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.

Why you should vote for Sykes in the 2015 British Travel Awards

August 2nd, 2015
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As you’ll know, last month Sykes Cottages announced that we have yet again been nominated for a British Travel Award, making this the third year in a row that we’ve received a nomination. We couldn’t be more grateful for our past two awards and know that it wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of our customers.  So to help convince you that we deserve to win this fantastic award again this year, here’s some feedback from our customers regarding their experiences with Sykes Cottages…

Ms. Tubby

Mrs Pattison

Mr. Ambrose

Mrs Kofmele

Mr Parker

We hope this customer feedback has helped convince you to vote for Sykes Cottages as the “Best UK Holiday Cottage/Self Catering Booking Company” in this year’s British Travel Awards. If you would like to cast your vote for us then simply click here and fill out the short form. Not only will we be very grateful for your support but by voting in the British Travel Awards you’ll also be entered into the prize draw to win some fantastic prizes!

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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.

Off the Beaten Path: Isolated Cottages

July 31st, 2015
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Sometimes there’s nothing better than a holiday where you can get away from it all; taking a well-deserved break from the crowds, noises and distractions of everyday life is many people’s idea of heaven. So if you’re tempted, here are a few of our stunning, isolated holiday cottages in the UK for you to take a look through.

Coppa Hill Barn, Yorkshire Dales

This beautiful barn conversion is located next to the owner’s sheep farm, amongst the rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Dales. The setting is picturesque, yet the pretty village of Ingleton is just over a mile away should you want to venture out to a pub or restaurant. The owners of Coppa Hill Barn have put great care into making sure that the property feels and looks luxurious, with bespoke oak beams, a feature woodburner and super king-size bedrooms, making this lovely, tranquil cottage the perfect place to get away from it all.

Pen Y Bont, Snowdonia

Pen Y Bont is a real hidden gem in a serene and peaceful location, nestled between the Welsh hills and mountains of the Snowdonia National Park. Sitting on the banks of the River Dovey, Pen Y Bont offers stunning views, which you can admire from the windows whilst relaxing in a comfy chair with a good book and listening to the sounds of the river outside. The cottage itself is charming, cosy and traditional with features including exposed beams, an Inglenook fireplace and an original bread oven. If you’re looking for a quiet bolthole where you can unwind, then Pen Y Bont is ideal.

Sunset Cottage, Isle of Mull

Perched on a hillside, this stunning Isle of Mull cottage offers dramatic, panoramic views across the Sound of Mull. The cottage has its own garden with uninterrupted views out across the water- the perfect place for dining alfresco or relaxing with a drink as the sun goes down. Sunset Cottage is ideal for family or friends with flexible sleeping accommodation and bright, airy rooms. There’s even a woodburner to curl up in front of when the temperatures dip. The Isle of Mull itself is spectacular and enjoys a slower pace of life; perfect for a get away from everything type of holiday.

Higher Croasdale Farmhouse, Yorkshire Dales

This idyllic farmhouse is situated in a secluded location with sweeping views of the Yorkshire countryside and is only accessible via a mile-long farm track. The views at Higher Croasdale Farmhouse carry for miles across the open moorlands, inducing a feeling of complete tranquillity. Yet if you do want to head out for the day, nearby Bentham is just 3 miles away with some lovely pubs, restaurants and shops to choose from. The Yorkshire Three Peaks and the Forest of Bowland are also close by and are perfect spots for getting active with walking and cycling routes on offer.

To see our full collection of remote holiday cottages then please visit our website! Or alternatively, you can give our specialist holiday advisors a call on 01244 356 695 and they’d be more than happy to help you find the perfect cottage for your holiday.

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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.