Treat Your Dad This Father’s Day

June 12th, 2016
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With Father’s Day just a week away, you’ve hopefully already sorted what you’re getting your Dad as a gift. However if you’ve left it a bit last minute then don’t worry as we’re here to help. We’ve a wide range of charming holiday cottages across the UK and Ireland that are still available for Father’s Day weekend, so how about getting your dear old Dad a weekend break? Here are a few ideas of self-catering cottages still available for next weekend- have a browse and see if there’s any that your Dad would love!

Holly Bush, Lake District

If your Dad is interested in walking or cycling then Holly Bush near Windermere is an excellent choice. This lovely stone cottage is surrounded by spectacular scenery and Bowness-on-Windermere is just a 25 minute stroll away. There’s an abundance of unrivalled walking and biking opportunities in this part of the Lakes and Holly Bush even has its own secure bike storage for your convenience. As a reward for a hard day’s cycling or hiking, treat your Dad to a tour around the Hawkshead Brewery in nearby Staveley, or head to their Beer Hall where you can enjoy local ale on tap and at weekends you can enjoy live music.

Ouse View, York

Pack your Dad off on a historic city break to York staying at this modern first floor apartment close to the city centre. Ouse View offers contemporary, open plan living with all of the mod cons you could need. The city walls are the longest medieval walls in England and are just a short walk from the apartment so history-buff Dads can soak up the rich history and culture easily. York is also the perfect break for Dads who love their food as it’s jam packed full of delicious restaurants, cafes and real ale pubs.

Chalet 18, Cornwall

Does your Dad love golf? Look no further than a getaway to Chalet 18 near Dobwalls in the heart of Cornwall. This cosy wooden chalet is located on the edge of a 9-hole par 4 golf course so your Dad can stroll from his accommodation and be on the course within minutes! Tennis courts are also on-site and fishing is available in the River Fowey with the usual regulations applying. The famous Highway Inn at Dobwalls is within a few minutes’ walk which serves a carvery all day every day and boasts a fantastic selection of real ales- perfect for a Father’s Day meal.

To see our full range of cottages available for next weekend, please visit our website or alternatively, you can give our friendly reservationists a call on 01244 356 695 and they’d be more than happy to help!

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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.

5 Places You Won’t Believe Are In Scotland

June 5th, 2016
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Planning your next holiday but dreading the long check-in queues and frantic search for the passports? If so no need to worry, the UK offers some of the best scenery in the world and with this summer predicted to be the hottest on record, there is no better time to book a UK break. But where to go? Well for white sandy beaches, iconic wild swimming spots and fantastic architecture, we suggest heading north to Scotland. It may not be your first choice for a summer holiday but keep reading and you’ll discover some amazing location you just won’t believe can be found in Scotland!

Achmelvich Beach

Scotland. Achmelvich Beach

Image of Achmelvich Beach by Lucy ChapmanCC 2.0

If you’re looking for a romantic getaway then forget the Maldives or Mexico, sunsets at Achmelvich Beach are just as spectacular! This picturesque beach not only provides incredible scenery in every direction but with its turquoise waters and white sandy beach, it’s the perfect spot for a couples retreat.

Dunrobin Castle

Scotland. Dunrobin Castle

Image of Dunrobin Castle by John HaslamCC 2.0

You’d be forgiven for thinking that this fairy-tale castle is a chateau in France, or even the castle from Disney’s classic ‘Beauty and the Beast’, but in reality it’s the iconic Dunrobin Castle in Sutherland, Scotland. Visitors to this castle can spend the day exploring the grounds and the castle as well as attending one of the venue’s summer falconry displays!

Northern Lights at Bute

Scotland. Bute

Image of the Northern Lights over the Isle of Bute by MarkCC 2.0

With many of us travelling to Iceland and as far as Canada to see the Northern Lights, you may be surprised to hear that the Aurora Borealis can be seen in your own back yard. Simply travel to the Isle of Bute and you’ll be able to see the beautiful lights dance across the Scottish sky.

Smoo Cave

Scotland. Smoo cave

Image of Smoo Cave by Dwilkinson08CC 2.0

When you think about British caves, our minds are instantly taken to Devon and Cornwall but let’s not forget about the rugged northern caves in Scotland. The dramatic Smoo Cave is a perfect example of a Scottish cave and at 200 feet long and 130 feet wide, this large cave is perfect for discovering local wildlife, geology, archaeology and legends.

Fairy Pools

Scotland. fairy Pools

Image of the Fairy Pools by Daniel StockmanCC 2.0

With the Fairy Pools in Australia more than half the world away, it would be far easier to head up north to the Isle of Skye and take a dip in the Scottish Fairy Pools. The beautiful crystal clear pools are great for wild swimming, but if you don’t fancy getting wet then the magical atmosphere is perfect for day trips and picnics.

If you feel like exploring Scotland’s hidden treasures for yourself then make sure to visit our Cottages in Scotland page for a fantastic selection of over 700 self-catering holiday lets located across Scotland.

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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.

Walk of the Month: Prawle to Lannacombe

May 29th, 2016
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For May’s edition of Walk of the Month, we’re heading to the spectacular South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This route from Prawle to Lannacombe offers rugged coastline, beautiful sandy coves and sparkling sea views, as well as being rich in wildlife with an array of pretty wildflowers along the paths. Stop off at Lannacombe Beach along the way for a picnic by the sea. This delightful beach is Devon at its best- unspoilt and tranquil. Dogs are welcome all year round too!

The walk:

This circular coastal walk is 5 miles long and will take around 2-3 hours to complete although please allow more time if you plan on stopping off at Lannacombe Beach. It’s classed as a moderate walk with one steep ascent and one steep descent and it can be rocky and uneven in sections, so make sure that you’re wearing proper walking boots. If you’re driving to the area, there’s parking around East Prawle Village Green by donation and there are public toilets here too.

The route:

Begin at East Prawle Village Green and follow the road running past the Pig’s Nose Inn. Bear left then round the corner, take the first right. Follow this lane along the edge of the village until you reach a red phone box. Shortly after the phone box, there’ll be a turn off on your left marked ‘Public Bridleway’- take this path.

You’ll come to a T junction, where you’ll need to follow the blue waymarker arrow and turn left. Follow this track down to the stream and back up along the field edge. Take a right along the diverted public bridleway. After 250m, follow the blue waymarker arrow and bear left. After a further 100m where the path starts to bear right, you should carry straight on following the ‘Public Footpath and Bridleway’ sign. 50m after this, take the path signposted ‘Public Footpath’ on the right.

When you reach a gate, follow the yellow waymarker arrow marked ‘Public Footpath’. When the path emerges from the green lane, bear left through the scrub. At the footpath junction, follow the sign marked ‘Coast Path’ and turn left. Follow this along but before you reach the houses overlooking Lannacombe Bay, turn left following the yellow waymarker arrow marked ‘Public Footpath’. This footpath will take you up and around the cliff top to the car park and here you’ll have access to the beach.

When you’ve had your fill of this beautiful beach, retrace your steps back along the coast path and continue to follow it westwards. Pass the Edwardian Maelcombe House and the path will begin to skirt a field. When you come to the fingerpost follow the sign marked ‘Public Bridleway East Prawle 1/2m’ through the gate and up old green lane.

At the green lane junction, turn right up towards the houses then at the end of the road turn right and return back to the village green.

To view the full route map, please click here.

Book a holiday cottage in Devon:

If you’re planning a walking break in Devon, we have hundreds of lovely Devon holiday cottages for you to choose from. They’re the perfect base for walkers to relax after a long day exploring this wonderful part of the country; visit our website for more information.

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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.

Last Minute Half Term Cottages

May 22nd, 2016
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Half term is just around the corner and with the summer weather finally making an appearance, it’s the perfect time to book a cottage getaway. Here at Sykes Cottages we still have a fantastic range of holiday rentals available for the half term, so to help whet your appetite for a family getaway, we’ve listed just a few of the stunning properties still available for next week below.

Five Bells Cottage, Ref. 929287

Shorwell, South of England

Five Bells Cottage, Ref. 929287, in Shorwell.

Five Bells Cottage, Ref. 929287, in Shorwell.

Located in the picturesque rural village of Shorwell on the Isle of Wight, this charming holiday cottage is perfect for a week by the sea. The property’s quality interiors and stylish décor offer a much needed break from everyday life, and with the local amenities right on your doorstep, there’s no need to take the car out every day.

A weeks stay at Five Bells Cottage from Friday May 27th (2016) will cost you a total of £939.

The Coach House, Ref. 923082

Middleton Hall near Belford, Northumbria

The Coash House, Ref. 923082, in Middleton.

The Coach House, Ref. 923082, in Middleton.

Sleeping up to ten people, this large, stylish property is perfect for larger families or friends sharing. At The Coach House you can spend your days exploring the nearby woodland walks and boating lake, before heading back to the cottage for a home cooked meal around the large dining table and an evening of fun in the games room.

The Coach House is available for a mid-week break, from Monday May 30th (2016) for four nights, at a total cost of £1466.

Golden Slack Cottage, Ref. 18506

Wincle near Macclesfield, Peak District

Golden Slack Cottage, Ref. 18506, in Wincle.

Golden Slack Cottage, Ref. 18506, in Wincle.

If you’re a family who love to be outdoors then Golden Slack Cottage’s scenic location on a working livestock farm could be just what the doctor ordered. Not only does this property have a welcome interior but the surrounding area is perfect for walking, cycling and exploring the Peak District’s wonderful array of wildlife.

You can book a week’s stay at Golden Slack Cottage from Saturday May 18th (2016) for a total cost of £788.

7 Mariners Point, Ref. 935729

Hartlepool, North York Moors and Coast

7 Mariners Point, Ref. 935729, in Hartlepool.

7 Mariners Point, Ref. 935729, in Hartlepool.

With breath-taking, panoramic views of the harbour, 7 Mariners Point offers the perfect coastal getaway for a family of four this half term. Visitors to this holiday cottage can really make the most of their time at the seaside by taking the short trip to the RSPB reserve at Saltholme Park, where they can see watch grey seals play in the water.

7 Mariners Point is available for a seven night stay from Friday May 27th (2016) for a total cost of £524.

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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.

4 Lesser-Known Locations in the Lake District

May 15th, 2016
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We all know the charm of the Lake District- the sweeping countryside, towering fells and spectacular lake views. It’s one of few places in the UK that has real, year-round appeal and its walking opportunities and attractions help to pull in millions of visitors every year. As one of the most beautiful places in Britain, there are naturally crowds, especially in the peak months. So if you want to experience the beauty of the Lake District but avoid the hustle and bustle of the most popular areas, here are a few lesser known locations that are just as striking but slightly off the beaten track.


The Ennerdale Valley is on the north-western fringe of the Lakes and is home to one of the UK’s longest-running ecological conservation projects, Wild Ennerdale. Ennerdale Water, the most westerly of the National Park’s lakes, is an idyllic spot with no light pollution and a wealth of wildlife. It is the only lake in the park which doesn’t have a road running next to it, making access a little difficult but it’s also a haven for visitors who want to experience a truly unspoilt part of the Lake District. Stay at nearby Ennerdale Bridge, a picturesque village just a few miles from the Cumbrian coastline with a couple of lovely pubs and a village shop.


The Buttermere Valley area is one of the most spectacular Lakeland landscapes going with its dramatic scenery and calm, sparkling lakes. On the northern edge of the park, it’s slightly off the beaten path from the traditional tourist spots, making it a much more tranquil setting for your Lake District holiday. Buttermere Lake itself is one of the best round-the-lake walks in the region and is perfect for families as it’s quite an easy route, taking around 2-3 hours.


This remote area is the wildest of the Lake District valleys, covering the stretch of land between Wastwater and Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain. Wastwater is England’s deepest and most awe-inspiring lake, with the view looking from the lake across to Scafell Pike being voted as Britain’s favourite view. Despite its striking landscape and beauty, the Wasdale area is still largely considered to be a hidden gem. If you fancy exploring the Wasdale Valley, stay at Nether Wasdale which has two good pubs serving food, its own brewery and a farm shop selling local produce.

Duddon Valley

To escape the crowds on a walking holiday head, to Duddon Valley. This stunning region has unrivalled walking opportunities and is perfect for mountain biking and climbing. The peaceful fells and beautiful scenery offer a satisfying reward for those savvy enough to visit- it really is a hidden gem and only those in the know walk here. The famous Romantic poet, William Wordsworth, is one of many to have loved this valley, so much so in fact that he wrote 35 sonnets praising it. The area is also thriving with wildlife- you may even spot a red squirrel! The pretty hamlet of Seathwaite is a good place from which to explore the valley.

For more information on all of our holiday cottages in the Lake District, please visit our website. We’ve over 800 holiday lets for you to choose from all across the region from Windermere to Wastwater.

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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.