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.

5 Stunning New Cottages in East Anglia

May 8th, 2016
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There are many reasons why you should be booking a holiday to East Anglia. It’s the perfect English holiday destination with a wide range of landscapes to explore. Its big skies, beautiful coastlines and pretty market towns are attracting the attention of tourists from around the world, so if you haven’t made the trip yet, what are you waiting for? The area is relatively flat making it perfect for walking and cycling, and there’s plenty of history and culture to soak up here too with spectacular stately homes, castles and museums on offer.

If we’ve convinced you that East Anglia should be on your travel bucket list then you’re in luck as we’re adding new properties in the area every day! To get you inspired, here’s 5 of the latest cottages in East Anglia to join the Sykes Cottages family.

Silver Dollar, Saham Toney, Norfolk

See it here: Ref. 932001

This beautiful hand-made shepherd’s hut is set in an idyllic lakeside location. Complete with its own private hot tub overlooking the lake, it’s the perfect place for a romantic retreat. Curl up in front of the cosy woodburner, relax with a drink on the lakeside decking, or head out into the Norfolk countryside to explore the area on foot as there’s plenty of walks nearby.

Holiday cottage in Norfolk

Daisy Cottage, Friston, Suffolk

See it here: Ref. 932749

Daisy Cottage is a lovely character cottage close to the Suffolk Heritage Coast. The perfect base for exploring this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Daisy Cottage sleeps up to four guests and is pet friendly with its own enclosed garden and a delightful pub just 2 minutes’ walk. The pretty coastal towns of Aldeburgh and Southwold are close by and the fantastic forest cycling route, the Viking Trail, is just a few minutes away.

Holiday cottage in Suffolk

Wroxham Rest, Wroxham, Norfolk

See it here:  Ref. 934557

Discover Wroxham, known as the Capital of the Broads, from this charming terraced cottage tucked away down a quiet lane. From Wroxham, you can hire a boat to explore the waterways of the Norfolk Broads with its abundance of wildlife and idyllic riverside pubs and restaurants, or get on your bike and discover the Broads from a different angle. The cottage itself sleeps up to six guests with secure storage for bikes and a children’s play area at the end of the road.

Holiday cottages in Norfolk

Harvest Moon, Grundisburgh, Suffolk

See it here: Ref. 936205

Fancy a getaway in the picturesque Suffolk countryside? Harvest Moon is nestled in the delightful village of Grundisburgh, a little slice of rural tranquillity centred around a village green. It has its own village shop, children’s play area and a lovely pub serving local ales and delicious food. From here, you’re within easy reach of the Heritage Coastline and the area is also particular popular for road cycling.

Holiday cottage in Suffolk

Flat 1, Cromer, Norfolk

See it here: Ref. 933664

For a getaway to the seaside, look no further than this lovely Victorian apartment in the heart of the vibrant coastal town of Cromer. Perfect for a small family or two couples, Flat 1 is just 2 minutes’ walk from the sandy beach and has its own private patio where you can enjoy the summer sunshine whilst eating breakfast. Spend your days strolling along the promenade, relaxing on the beach and trying the local delicacy- Cromer crab.

Holiday cottage in Norfolk

Book a holiday cottage in East Anglia

Not found the perfect cottage for you yet? We’ve over 300 cottages in East Anglia for you to choose from, with properties on the stunning Suffolk coastline to luxury holiday homes in the Norfolk Broads. To see more of our cottages in East Anglia, please visit 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.

Making Your Cottage Guests Feel Welcome

May 5th, 2016
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First impressions count and here at Sykes Cottages, we want to help you make the best first impression possible when new customers arrive at your holiday let. From a friendly welcome to a cup of tea, we’ve listed some basics below that are sure to make your guest feel welcome on arrival.

A warm welcome awaits guests at Springle Barn (Ref. 5469) in Monyash

A warm welcome awaits guests at Springle Barn (Ref. 5469) in Monyash

Provide a warm welcome

If you’re around to greet your guests in person then this is a great opportunity to make them feel welcome – a smile and friendly handshake can go a long way! If you’re not able to greet your guests in person then never underestimate the power of a handwritten note. Providing a small handwritten welcome in your cottage is a lovely touch and lets your guests know that you care about their stay.

Introduce the property

Make sure your guests get the most from their stay by providing them with a little back ground information on the property, how long you’ve had it and its best features – this works especially well if your holiday let is older or has an interesting history. The property’s introduction can be done in person when your guests arrive or as part of your welcome pack in the cottage.

Welcome basket at Yate Cottage (Ref. 913883) in Oxenhope

Welcome basket at Yate Cottage (Ref. 913883) in Oxenhope

Stock up on the basics

An easy way to make your guests feel welcome is to provide a few basics like tea bags, milk and sugar so your guests can have a nice cup of tea after their journey. Cooking essentials like salt, pepper and cooking oil are common items you’d find in your own home but may forget to take to a holiday let, so don’t forget to provide these for your guests. These homely touches will go a long way in making your guests feel comfortable.

Little extras

As well as the basics, you may want to look at included some little extras to make your guests feel special on arrival. A bunch of fresh flowers in the property or a nice cake can really impress your visitors and encourage them to share their experience at your cottage with others, increasing word of mouth and encouraging new potential customers.

A little dog made feel very welcome at Greenway (Ref. 930748) in Kilve.

A little dog made feel very welcome at Greenway (Ref. 930748) in Kilve.

Consider the whole party

Children and pets can often be overlooked as we try to please the adults, but taking the time to point out any child friendly attractions or good dog walking routes can really help your guests feel welcome. For an extra special touch, try leaving out some games for children or a dog toy ready for your guests’ arrival.

A guide to the local area

Providing your guests with expert knowledge of the area like where to eat and local days out will let your guests know that you care about their stay. Try to including include this information in your welcome pack or let your visitors know that they can contact you for advice on places to visit and restaurants to eat at during their stay. Make sure to avoid telling your guests what they can’t do in the area and focus on the things they can do.

And there you have it, our guide to making your guests feel welcome. Have you tried any of these tips? If so did they work? Let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook or Twitter page.

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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.

5 Things to Love about the Peak District

May 1st, 2016
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If your idea of a dream getaway is to a destination rich in natural beauty, heritage and attractions, then look no further than the Peak District. The area’s spectacular moors, dales, rivers and springs have been attracting visitors for years and make the region ideal for a UK getaway. There are a million reasons to love the Peak District but to help you get a better feel for the area, we’ve listed our five favourite reasons to love the Peaks below. Take a look and see if we can convince you to visit the Peak District this year.

1. Historic Houses and Castles

From Chatsworth House to Bolsover Castle, the Peak District has its fair share of historic houses and castles to explore. These grand attractions are perfect for groups of all ages and with an exciting calendar of events at each location, you won’t be short of things to see and do.

2. Cycling

The Peak District’s easy going bike trails make for an idyllic day out amongst the English countryside. This is a fantastic way to discover more of the Peaks and to keep the children active, and for those of us that don’t fancy travelling with our bikes, the Peak District has a number of hire shops available where you can rent a bike for the day.

3. Journey Back in Time

Experience the Peak District’s rich history by taking a trip on one of the region’s period steam trains or trams. The Crich Tramway Village is a great place to start your journey, here you can take a trip on one of the many vintage trams and enjoy a light lunch in the tearooms as you enjoy breath-taking views.


With its romantic landscape,uncluttered trails and far reaching views, it’s no wonder the Peak District is one of the UK’s favourite walking destinations. There are plenty of walks to choose from but for the more experienced walkers, we would highly suggest taking on the Limestone Way; at 46 miles long this route is not for the faint-hearted!

5. Caves and Caverns

The Peak District offers a huge variety of underground attractions to explore, with luminous caverns, deep caves and exciting underground boat trips. These caves and caverns are perfect for a day out at any time of year and provide the perfect rainy day activity for families looking to escape the weather.

So what do you think? If you’re ready to book your Peak District getaway then make sure to check out our Peak District Cottages page. With over 500 properties located throughout the Peaks, we’re sure to have something to suit your holiday needs. Visit our website or give our team a call on 01244 356695 to find out more!

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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.

Last Minute Cottages For Early May Bank Holiday

April 25th, 2016
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We’ve had some lovely weather of late with the sunny spring days we’ve all been waiting for making an appearance. If you’re anything like us, the first sign of sunshine will make you want to pack your bags and get out exploring this beautiful island that we live on! Luckily for you, we’ve still got some fantastic cottages available for the Early May Bank Holiday- from cosy cottages for two in Yorkshire to a family-sized property on the Cornish coast, book quickly before they’re gone!

Fox Barn, nr. Windermere, Lake District

See it here: Fox Barn ref. 914299

This lovely 17th century cottage in the charming Lakeland village of Staveley is perfect for a bank holiday break in the Lake District. Just 5 miles from Windermere, Fox Barn is ideally positioned to explore all that the Lake District has to offer from the bustling towns to the sweeping fells. Fox Barn sleeps 4 guests in 2 bedrooms and will accept pets.

Holiday cottage in Lake District

Fox Barn, nr. Windermere

Bryn Goleu, Menai Bridge, Anglesey

See it here: Bryn Goleu ref. 926062

Brand new to the Sykes Cottages portfolio, Bryn Goleu is a delightful family holiday home on the popular Isle of Anglesey. Situated in an elevated position overlooking the Menai Straits, this rental benefits from spectacular views and a ten minute walk into Menai with its charming pubs, restaurants and shops. The area is a haven for walkers and offers access to the Anglesey Coastal Path with over 125 miles of picturesque coastline to discover. Bryn Goleu sleeps 6 guests in 3 bedrooms.

Holiday cottage on Anglesey

Bryn Goelu, Menai Bridge

Clock View, Haworth, Yorkshire

See it here: Clock View ref. 930443

The literature lovers amongst you will be aware that last week marked the 200th birthday of Charlotte Brontë, so why not celebrate this weekend by heading to Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters and inspiration behind many of their novels? Clock View is a luxury self-catering apartment in the heart of Haworth with all of its amenities and attractions on your doorstep. Immerse yourself in history and literature by visiting the Brontë Parsonage or heading to the moorland that inspired Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Clock View sleeps 2 guests in 1 bedroom.

Holiday cottage in Haworth

Clock View, Haworth

Sea Ayr, Bude, Cornwall

See it here: Sea Ayr ref. 935092

As the winner of the Best Coastal Resort at the 2015 British Travel Awards, there’s never been a better time to visit Bude. This beautiful Cornish coastal gem has two sandy beaches and is a great spot for surfing! The South West Coast Path also runs nearby. Sea Ayr is a modern, dog friendly property, just a 15 minute walk from the beach. This bright and airy cottage sleeps up to 4 guests in 2 bedrooms and accepts pets.

Holiday cottage in Cornwall

Sea Ayr, Bude

Shepherd Oak, nr. Weymouth, Dorset

See it here: Shepherd Oak ref. 932158

Shepherd Oak is a brand new, architect-designed holiday rental at the heart of Thomas Hardy country in Dorset. Set around a picturesque courtyard with four other holiday homes, Shepherd Oak is a fantastic choice for a relaxing bank holiday getaway with friends or family.  Head for the coast at nearby Weymouth or Portland to explore the dramatic coastline of Chesil Beach, or head inland to the pretty market town of Dorchester where you’ll find an excellent selection of shops and restaurants. Shepherd Oak sleeps 4 guests in 2 bedrooms and accepts pets.

Holiday cottage in Dorset

Shepherd Oak, Upwey

To see all of our cottages available for the Early May Bank Holiday, please visit our website where you’re sure to find a property to inspire you to get out and explore the UK.

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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.