Simple Crafts Competition

May 5th, 2015
Pin It

Are you a crochet connoisseur? Have a penchant for papercraft? Go all silly over sewing? If any of this sounds like you you’re in the right place, as we’re holding a crafty competition right here on the Sykes Cottages blog.

You may remember last year when we worked with six incredibly talented craft bloggers to create our Simple Crafts: A Guide for Beginners which includes six simple craft tutorials that are ideal for beginner crafters to make whether at home or away.

Enter to win a £100 craft bundle

To get things a bit crafty again, we’re hosting a crafting competition right here on the Sykes Cottages blog – where you can be in with the chance of winning one of six prize bundles! All you have to do to enter is share with us a photo of a craft you have recently made using the competition form below. The six winners of this competition will each be chosen by our six very talented craft bloggers.

You can enter with a craft you made last year, or a craft you made last week – it’s entirely up to you! If you want a bit of inspiration, however, why not head over to the craft guide for some ideas.

How to enter:

Use the form below to upload a photo of a craft you have created and think our judges will love!

Don’t forget your email address so that we can get in touch with you if you win.

Good luck! 

Terms and conditions for this competition can be found here.

Pin It
Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

10 Reasons to Stay in the UK this Summer

May 4th, 2015
Pin It

We may be a little biased, but here at Sykes Cottages, we’re of the opinion that nothing beats a summer holiday in the UK. I personally spent many a happy childhood holiday playing on the beaches of Cornwall and South Wales. Now, I know that not everyone shares this positive view of British holidays so, to change your mind, here are our top ten reasons why you should stay in the UK this summer.

1. Save money. Plain and simple, choosing a staycation instead of heading abroad will save you money on everything from airport transfers to roaming charges on your mobile.


2. You won’t waste time waiting in long queues to change your currency, and there’s no risk your card will be swallowed because you haven’t informed your bank that you’re heading abroad!


3. There’s no need to fly so you’re safe from jet lag ruining the first couple of days of your holiday.


4. No passport needed! Passports can be expensive, especially when you’re travelling as a family.


5. Holidaying in the UK means that you have the choice to take your pets on holiday with you.


6. We may moan about the weather sometimes but we’ve actually had 4 years in a row of glorious, British summer heatwaves.


7. Aside from all the practical reasons, the UK is actually also a really beautiful place to holiday.


8. There’s some spectacular scenery that you won’t see anywhere else.


9. Our traditional seaside towns are like nowhere else in the world.


10. Finally, when you beaches like this, why would you want to be anywhere else?

If you’re planning a summer holiday in the UK this year then make sure you take a look at our fantastic collection of holiday cottages. With over 5,500 cottages to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect holiday home for your summer getaway!

Pin It
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.

How to: Revive your Holiday Home Exterior

May 3rd, 2015
Pin It

For holiday home owners, summer is both a busy and exciting time with back-to-back bookings and lots of guests to look after. Once you get into the peak summer season, it can be hard to get the time to do odd jobs on your property as well as the basic maintenance needed to turn it around for your next guest. That’s why here at Sykes, we’ve come up with a checklist of things for cottage owners to do before the summer to revive and refresh the exterior of your holiday cottage in order to make a great first impression for your guests and help ensure that their stay runs smoothly!

Ways to spring-clean your cottage exterior

Holiday cottage in Shropshire

The Old Schoolhouse, Shropshire, Ref. 903636

  • Give the windows a good clean. Obvious maybe, but a great way to help make a good first impression.
  • Don’t forget to give window sills a clean too. Cleaning your window sills gives you the chance to check that they’re still in good nick- you’ll be able to see if any need repairing or replacing. If your window sills are painted and aren’t in good condition, you may also need to re-paint them after cleaning.
  • Wash any other exterior paintwork on your property. This will instantly brighten up your cottage and again, help create a good first impression for your guests.
  • Polish any house numbers, name plates, or any brass on the door.

How to revive your holiday cottage’s garden

Holiday cottage in Yorkshire

Monks Cottage, Yorkshire Dales, Ref. 21352

  • Start by clearing any leaves or plant debris that has collected over the colder months from any lawns, flower beds and ponds. You’ll want to pull up any weeds that have appeared- don’t forget that this isn’t just limited to the garden. Make sure to check your patios and driveways for any strays!
  • Prune back any shrubs and bushes that are starting to look a little overgrown, particularly those that may slightly obscure the windows. If your property boasts nice views then you certainly don’t want a plant getting in the way of them!
  • Buy some season-appropriate bedding plants for your garden to brighten it up a little. Plant pots and hanging baskets can also be nice ideas if you have the space.
  • Outdoor lighting can really add to the ambience in a garden, especially when the weather’s warm and your guests fancy sitting out of an evening. Why not invest in some pretty solar lights- they’re very affordable and look really pretty when the sun’s gone down.
  • Give your patio furniture a wipe down and if you have toys or a BBQ in the garden then make sure you give them a clean too and check that they’re all in good condition.

Other things to remember:

Holiday cottage in Yorkshire

Blacksmith’s Cottage, Yorkshire Dales, Ref. 29398

  • Make sure that you check everything is working. Test out any outdoor lighting, doorbells, intercoms, key safes etc.
  • If you have access to one, a pressure-washer is great for cleaning driveways, patios and decks.

Whether you’re one of our holiday cottage owners or even a potential guest looking for some tips for your own home, we really hope that you found these tips useful. If you have any tips of your own that you’d like to share with us then we’d love to hear them! You can do so via our Facebook or Twitter pages.

Pin It
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.

Ten of The UK’s Easiest Yet Rewarding Walks

May 1st, 2015
Pin It

Today celebrates the first day of National Walking Month and along with thousands of people across the country, Sykes Cottages are making a conscious effort to do more walking! Luckily, living in the UK provides us with numerous walking opportunities so whether that’s along the coast, through the country or over a mountain, Britain’s landscape has a lot to offer.

If you’re new to walking, or perhaps want to take young children, then it may be best to start out on an easier route. To help get you started we’ve listed ten of the easiest, yet most rewarding walks in the UK below. Take a look and get your blood pumping on a sensational British walk this May!

Wix Woods in Guildford, Surrey

This is a fantastic woodland walk that takes you on a circular route around the edge of Hatchlands Park and then through the centre of the estate, where you can experience an enchanted woodland and glorious views of the Surrey countryside.

Distance: 1.8 Miles

Time: 1 Hour

Route Details:

Newton Pool in Low Newton, Northumberland

If you’re looking to explore Northumberland’s spectacular coastline, then this is the walk for you. Along with wonderful views out over the ocean, this walk is perfect for spotting wildlife with plenty of birds flying over the sand and sea.

Distance: 1 Mile

Time: 20 Minutes

Route Details:

Plas Newydd in Llanfairpwll, Anglesey

This family friendly walk is ideal for children with both a treehouse and adventure playground on route. We’ve advised 30 minutes for the walk but depending on how long the kids want to play for, you could be here for the whole afternoon.

Distance: 1 Mile

Time: 30 Minutes

Route Details:

Killerton in Broadclyst, Exeter

Dogs are the perfect companions when on a walk so we suggest treating them to an afternoon at Killerton. The route includes plenty of open spaces which are perfect for exercising your four-legged friend on and off the lead.

Distance: 2.5 Miles

Time: 2 Hours

Route Details:

Calke Abbey in Ticknall, Derbyshire

Boasting numerous hidden corners and fabulous picnic spots, this walk is perfect for a family get together or romantic stroll. Providing a picturesque walk during any season, it’s easy to see why this route is popular with both locals and tourists.

Distance: 2.4 Miles

Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Route Details:

Penbryn Beach in Penbryn, Ceredigion

If you’re looking for a walk that is just as good, if not better, during the evening then head on over to Penbryn Beach. This is the perfect spot for star gazing, so wrap up warm and prepare to be inspired by over 4,000 twinkling stars.

Distance: 1 Mile

Time:  30 Minutes

Route Details:

Valley of Cinders in Cindersale, Cumbria

The Valley of Cinders walk transports you through the ages as you explore archaeological sites and delve into Cumbria’s rich history. This walk is great for anyone who has an interest in history or simply just enjoys a pleasant country view.

Distance: 1.5 Miles

Time: 1 Hour

Route Details:

Borthwood Copse in Winford, Isle of Wight

Borthwood Copse not only offers a wonderful woodland walk but also the chance to spot red squirrels! This elusive critter is only found in a handful of locations throughout the UK so this may be your only chance to see them in the wild.

Distance: 1.25 Miles

Time: 40 Minutes

Route Details:

Fountains Abbey in Ripon, Yorkshire

The Fountains Abbey walk is the longest of our suggested routes but with so much to see it’s more than worth it! With beautiful grounds, tonnes of history and hopefully plenty of sunshine, this walk would be lovely on a Sunday afternoon.

Distance: 4.5 Miles

Time: 3 Hours

Route Details:

Langstrothdale in Yockenthwaite, Yorkshire

Although quite long, this route follows a simple circular route over level ground, making it ideal for a families with younger children. Following the walk, you will discover breathtaking scenery and historic rock formations.

Distance: 2 Miles

Time: 1 Hour 15 minutes

Route Details:


Pin It

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.

Flexible Short Breaks with Sykes Cottages

April 30th, 2015
Pin It

Here at Sykes Cottages, we’re always trying to find different ways in which we can make it easier for our customers to book themselves a holiday cottage break. One problem that we noticed was that people were finding it difficult to get the dates that they wanted, and so we’re delighted to announce our new short break scheme that is aimed at solving just that: our Flexible Short Breaks!

corwen police station 912150

Spend a weekend in luxury in the Corwen Old Police Station

Flexible Short Breaks offer you more choice than ever before when it comes to booking your holiday! Unusual arrival date? Only wanting to stay a few nights? Not a problem, all of these issues can be solved through the scheme! There is a minimum stay of just two nights so they’re perfect for that weekend away that you’ve been lining up. There’s no need to stick to the classic changeover days meaning you can escape it all with a midweek break if you want; after all, breakfast in bed followed by a long countryside walk definitely sounds better than the 9-5 doesn’t it?

berlin house 916088

Escape to the Seaside for a couple of days at Berlin House

There is a wide variety of properties that offer Flexible Short Breaks, from the North of Scotland right the way down to the Cornish coast, and they come in all shapes and sizes. So whether you’re looking for the perfect spot for a romantic break or you’re planning a get together with friends, you’re bound to find something for you.

Our Flexible Short Breaks are bookable from now onwards, on breaks taking place at any time between the 30th of May and the 18th of June, offering more versatility than ever before and at a discounted price! If you want any more information on the scheme you’ll want to have a look at this page, or alternatively you can give us a call on 01244 356695 and speak to one of our holiday advisers who will be able to explain it all to you.

tan y graig hall 21923

Find some peace and quiet at Tan Y Graig Hall

So if you’re considering treating yourself to a cottage holiday using the Flexible Short Break, make sure you take a look at the full selection of cottages that are available to book and see which one takes your fancy.

Pin It
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.