How to Plan the Perfect Valentine’s Getaway

January 19th, 2016
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With just a few days to go until Valentine’s Day many of our cottages are being booked up by couples looking for the perfect romantic getaway. If you’re planning an idyllic escape with your other half this Valentine’s Day then we suggest you keep reading as we share our hints and tips for making your getaway perfect!

Choose the Perfect Location

Britain is beautiful. From the Scottish mountains to the Cornish beaches, it’s got to be said that our little island has a lot going for it! When choosing your dream destination we suggest thinking about what you want to see. If you picture your Valentine’s Day sat under an open sky watching the stars, then consider Snowdonia National Park which was recently granted dark sky status. Or perhaps you would rather see a little more colour? If so then sunsets over Ben Venue are sure to leave you feeling inspired.

Consider Extras

Parrs Meadow Cottage, Pitchford. Ref 904464

Parrs Meadow Cottage, Pitchford. Ref 904464

With over 6,000 holiday cottages to choose from, here at Sykes Cottages you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to romantic retreats, but to help narrow down your search for the dream cottage we suggest considering those little extras which can take a cottage stay to the next level! For example, our cottages with a home cinema are great for couples who love to watch movies, or how about our cottages with an open fire, ideal for cosying up with you other half? Alternatively you could push the boat out and rent a cottage with a hot tub, a real treat for any couple looking to relax under the stars.

Arrange a Special Day Out

We can think of nothing better than a weekend locked away in a cottage with our partner, but if you do feel like venturing out and about, make sure it’s for something extra special. There is a fantastic selection of days out available in the UK, picking the right one simply depends on what you and your partner like to do. You could spend the evening at one of the UK’s Michelin starred restaurants and dine like royalty, have a high energy day soaring over the Welsh countryside at speeds on 100mph with Zip World Velocity, or simply rent a row boat and glide over the waters in one of the UK’s most romantic cities.

Don’t Forget The Gift!

Pear Tree Cottage, Great Ouseburn. Ref 17330

Pear Tree Cottage, Great Ouseburn. Ref 17330

Whether you go for the classic flowers and chocolates or splash out on expensive jewellery, no Valentine’s Day is complete without a romantic gift. Forgetting your partner’s gift can lead to disaster, so make sure you purchase yours in advance to avoid any upset on the day. To really impress your other half this year, why not treat them to a stay at one of our romantic cottages?  We even have a guide to booking a surprise holiday, so when you turn up on Valentine’s Day, your partner is sure to be left speechless.

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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.

Why Norfolk is the Destination of Choice For 2016

January 17th, 2016
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Last year we suggested Cornwall as the destination of choice for your 2015 holidays, and although Cornwall is still more than worth the trip down south, this year, we suggest packing your bags and heading to Norfolk! With its extensive waterways, fascinating history and brilliant coastline, Norfolk has something to offer everyone this year.

Whether you’ve been to Norfolk before or not, this incredible county is sure to inspire you. Located on the east coast of England, Norfolk not only has an amazing coastline but beautiful countryside and idyllic English villages to discover. Keep reading as we list some of Norfolk’s best qualities and see if we can convince you to visit this fantastic county in 2016.


Norfolk’s selection of beaches is sure to leave you breathless. From the spectacular sights of Wells’ colourful beach huts to the exciting pleasure beach at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk’s coast line provides hours of fun no matter what the season. Here at Sykes Cottages, we love a day trip to Cromer; situated on the edge of the Norfolk coast, this wonderful coastal town has a captivating fishing history and is well known for its succulent crabs! Alternatively, the picturesque beach at Hunstanton is perfect for your holiday snaps with its unique striped cliffs and breathtaking sun sets.


With over 125 miles of manmade waterways to discover, the Norfolk Broads offer a truly unique experience in the heart of the Norfolk countryside. The Broads are fantastic for anyone who likes boating, nature or simply being beside the water; their rustic charm and tranquil nature are especially good for those wanting a romantic escape. As well as the peaceful waterways, the Broads also connect several towns and villages where you can find independent shops, restaurants and bars, all offering a fantastic waterside experience.


As well as the dramatic coastline and peaceful Broads, Norfolk also has an array of great attractions to visit. Families will love spending time at BeWILDerwood, where they can explore the huge award winning forest on a fantasy adventure. Adults and older children will marvel at the incredible selection of castles and country homes which are dotted about the county, including Sandringham House, Norwich Castle and Felbrigg Hall. Alternatively, there are attractions suitable for visitors of all ages, like the Banham Zoo and Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre.

Food and Drink

You may have heard of Cromer crab, Brancaster mussels and delicious Norfolk turkey, but along with these traditional Norfolk foods, the county is now offering a wider selection of home grown produce. From game to beer, the best place to taste Norfolk is at one of the county’s many outdoor markets or by booking a ticket to the annual North Norfolk Food & Drink Festival. 2016 will be the festival’s eighth year and with stalls set to include artisan beer, bread, cakes, chocolates, game, seafood and much more, it’s an event you won’t want to miss!

Now that you’ve heard what we have to say about Norfolk, why not read about what others think? Our fantastic Visitor’s Guide To Norfolk not only features numerous quotes from previous Norfolk visitors but it’s also packed full of handy hints and tips about the destinations. Alternatively, if you just can’t wait to book your Norfolk getaway then simply click here to view our selection of self-catering cottages in Norfolk.

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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.

Cottage Accommodation for the 2016 Six Nations

January 14th, 2016
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Looking for accommodation for the 2016 RBS 6 Nations? We’ve got you covered. These stunning holiday rentals are all within easy access of the grounds and still have availability for at least one of the match dates. Act quickly though as they’re sure to book up soon.

BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh

Dates of fixtures: 6th February, 13th March

5 Bellevue Crescent, Edinburgh

Holiday cottage near Murrayfield Edinburgh

This Georgian apartment in Edinburgh’s New Town is in an ideal location for rugby fans travelling for the RBS 6 Nations. Sleeping four in two bedrooms, this elegant property is within walking distance of all Edinburgh’s shops, pubs, restaurants and attractions. 5 Bellevue Crescent is just an 11 minute drive from Murrayfield or you can easily catch a bus from the city centre.

The Courtyard, Aberdour

Holiday cottage near Millennium Stadium Cardiff

If you’re looking for somewhere outside of the hustle and bustle but still within easy reach of Murrayfield, this apartment in historic Aberdour is perfect. The Courtyard sleeps four and is just a couple of minutes’ walk from the town’s cafes, bar and beach and the railway station is also close by, offering excellent links into Edinburgh city centre and Murrayfield.


Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Dates of fixtures:  7th February, 12th March, 19th March

Coolville, Dublin

Holiday cottage near Aviva Stadium Dublin

Coolville is a charming terraced cottage in the pretty Dublin suburb of Portobello, just a 10 minute walk from the city centre. The property sleeps four and is bright and airy with lovely views of the canal- ideal for a family travelling to see the rugby. The Aviva Stadium is just a 10 minute drive away or is easily reachable by public transport; Dublin’s LUAS, DART or buses are all frequent and easy to use.

Brooklands, Malahide

Holiday cottage near Aviva Stadium Dublin

Just 9 miles outside of Dublin is the trendy coastal town of Malahide. This affluent area boasts plenty to do with gourmet restaurants, cosy taverns and artisan cafes to explore, making it the perfect place to stay if you’re travelling with a friend or partner who’s not going to the game. Take the DART straight into Dublin city centre while your other half soaks up the delights of Malahide. Brooklands itself has been carefully renovated to provide stylish, high quality accommodation for up to three guests.


Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Dates of fixtures:  13th February, 26th February, 19th March

The Old Bakehouse, Llantwit Major

Holiday cottage near Millennium Stadium Cardiff

This detached holiday home would suit a group of family or friends travelling to watch the rugby at the Millennium Stadium. With flexible sleeping arrangements, a well-equipped kitchen for self-catering and an outdoor courtyard perfect for BBQs, The Old Bakehouse is a fantastic choice for a rugby weekend away. You can easily catch the train to Cardiff from Llantwit Major or you can drive in which should take around 30-40 minutes.

Wood Bank, Llanhennock

Holiday cottage near Millennium Stadium Cardiff

If you’re travelling to the rugby as part of a large group then Wood Bank is perfect for you. This enormous house sleeps up to 20 guests and boasts features such as a full-size snooker table, Wii console with games, a well-equipped gym and a 50” TV with surround sound. Cardiff and the Millennium Stadium are just a short drive away.

To view our full range of holiday cottages across the UK and Ireland, please visit our website. We’ve over 6,000 cottages for you to choose from!

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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.

Brilliant Burns Night Events

January 11th, 2016
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Who can believe that we’ve only got a couple of weeks until Burns Night takes place? That’s right, on the 25th of January, people all around the world will be following the example set by Robert Burns’ close friends way back in 1801, in celebrating his life and works by getting together, eating some good Scottish grub, enjoying some poetry and maybe even having a wee dram. But don’t worry if you haven’t made any plans to celebrate the big night as we’ve done some research into what you can do to celebrate the life of Scotland’s famous bard!

Burnsfest 2016

To kick it all off, we’re going to start at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in the heart of Edinburgh for their fantastic event – Burnsfest! Running from January the 21st all the way through the 6th of February, it promises to be one of the biggest and best Rabbie Burns themed events in the UK. With everything from Burns for Beginners through to a Café Ceilidh, and even a range of family orientated workshops, Burnsfest promises to be a great event for all generations.

The Big Burns Supper

Or there’s always the Big Burns Supper! Held every year in Dumfries, Burns’ home for the latter stages of his life and the site of his grave, the Big Supper claims to be the world’s biggest Burns Night celebration. A nine day long extravaganza of live music, theatre and comedy held in various locations all around Dumfries, it promise to bring a whole new perspective on the bard’s life and works so don’t miss out!

Host your own Burns Night Bash

Alternatively you could always throw your own birthday party for wee Rabbie. Over the past few years, we’ve put together a range of posts that may well give you a hand when it comes to celebrating the Bard’s birthday, ranging from recipes for the perfect Burns Night meal (Scotch Broth, Haggis, Neeps and Tatties and a good old Clootie Dumpling) through to a trip round Scotland to see what inspired his finest works. Or if you fancy going the whole hog and maybe even taking a trip north of the border for the big occasion, don’t forget to take a look at our Scottish cottages where you’re sure to find something to suit.

So there you have it, a few little pointers on how you can enjoy Burns Night 2016! We hope that you all have a great time come January the 25th and we’d love to hear what you all get up to so feel free to get in touch over Twitter or Facebook to let us know!

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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.

Book Now for Summer 2016

January 9th, 2016
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It may only be the beginning of January but our properties are booking up fast, especially those for summer! With couples, families and large groups all wanting those choice coastal cottages and tranquil country retreats, you’re better off booking sooner rather than later. To help you find the perfect property for your summer holiday, we’ve listed some of our favourite cottages that are still available for this year below.

The Cow Pen

Snitterfield near Stratford-upon-Avon, Heart of England

The Cow Pen - Reference 914529

The Cow Pen – Reference 914529

A fantastic 300 year old property lovingly restored to provide luxury accommodation for a party of two this summer. The cottage is just 3 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon and as well as offering guests wonderful views of the Warwickshire countryside, this stylish cottage also allows access to a six seater hot tub, indoor heated pool and beautiful gardens.

Price: Prices for a seven night stay at The Cow Pen during August start from £582.00.

Penthouse Flat, Pentire Point

Newquay, Cornwall

Penthouse Flat, Pentire Point - Reference 928902

Penthouse Flat, Pentire Point – Reference 928902

This very special self-catering holiday rental will accommodate a party of six and provides amazing views across Newquay. Located in one of Cornwall’s most popular holiday locations, Penthouse Flat not only boasts modern furnishings but with a surf school, beautiful beach, wonderful shops and plenty of eateries, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained this summer.

Price: Prices for a seven night stay at Penthouse Flat, Pentire Point during August start from £2355.00.

Courtyard Cottage

Meeson near Iornbridge, Heart of England

Courtyard Cottage - Reference 11346

Courtyard Cottage – Reference 11346

The picturesque Courtyard Cottage is the dream property for a country getaway this summer, with beautiful gardens, tonnes of character and great walking routes nearby. This property is located in a stunning location and as it sleeps a party of three, it’s ideal for small families or couples looking to explore Ironbridge and Market Drayton.

Price: Prices for a seven night stay at Courtyard Cottage during August start from £537.00.

Sunshine Cottage

Kessingland near Lowestoft, East Anglia

Sunshine Cottage - Reference 23503

Sunshine Cottage – Reference 23503

This stunning mid-terrace cottage is just a two minute walk from the beach, and with two spacious bedrooms, a patio garden and inviting sitting room, it’s ideal for a family of four and their dog this summer. If you are visiting the area with children then make sure to check out Africa Alive, a fantastic park home to over 80 specials of animals from all around Africa.

Price: Prices for a seven night stay at Sunshine Cottage during August start from £549.00.

Ash Lodge

Glasshouse near Gloucester, Heart of England

Ash Lodge - Reference 27870

Ash Lodge – Reference 27870

If you’re looking for a luxury lodge that will accommodate your group of four this year, then Ash Lodge is for you. Located on private landscaped gardens, this lodge provides plenty of peace and tranquillity for a quiet break, however for those wanting a little more action there is canoeing, abseiling, cycling and horseback riding available in the area.

Price: Prices for a seven night stay at Ash Lodge during August start from £.00

3 Belle Cottage

Kingsbridge near Salcombe, Devon

3 Belle Cottage - Reference 28912

3 Belle Cottage – Reference 28912

3 Belle Cottage is wonderfully welcoming property located close to many beautiful beaches. The property benefits from two bedrooms, a lovely kitchen and dining area, a cosy living room and private decked courtyard, perfect for a family of four and their dog.  As well as a number of great beaches, the area also has a fascinating museums, great eateries and charming local pubs to explore.

Price: Prices for a seven night stay at 3 Belle Cottage during August start from £702.00

Cambridge Lodge

Wensley near Marlock, Peak District

Cambridge Lodge - Reference 903901

Cambridge Lodge – Reference 903901

Expertly converted from a 1909 water tank to a stunning holiday cottage, Cambridge Lodge offers a truly unique holiday property for a group of six. The property is located in a rural area with panoramic views and magnificent walks from the door, as well as a selection of fantastic water-based activities available in the nearby Carsington Water.

Price: Prices for a seven night stay at Cambridge Lodge during August start from £923.00

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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.