Britain’s Best Coastal Views

July 1st, 2015
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In the UK, we’re incredibly lucky to be blessed with an abundance of stunning sea views; there’s no denying that as an island nation, our views are hard to beat.  So if you’re in need of a pick-me-up this Wednesday evening, grab a brew and settle down to discover Britain’s top 10 coastal views.

Seven Sisters, East Sussex

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Durdle Door, Dorset

Antony Gormley’s Another Place, Merseyside

Three Cliffs Bay, Gower

Lundy Island, Devon

Seilebost, Outer Hebrides

St Ives Harbour, Cornwall

Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire

Robin Hood's Bay

Robin Hood’s Bay

Neist Point, Isle of Skye

If our blog on Britain’s best coastal views has whet your appetite for a seaside holiday in the UK then make sure you visit our page on coastal holiday cottages, there are plenty of incredible views out there for you to explore!

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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.

Cottages near Blue Flag Beaches

June 28th, 2015
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The British Isles are home to a wonderful selection of beaches, 169 of which have been awarded Blue Flag status. So from the shores of Achmelvich Bay in the Scottish Highlands to the waves at Polzeath Beach in Cornwall, you’re never too far from one of these spectacular beaches! If you’re planning a relaxing getaway to one of the UK’s many Blue Flag beaches then keep reading as we list a selection of cottages located near Blue Flag beaches; perfect for a family holiday, group get together or romantic escape.

Appledore Cottage, Skinners in Cornwall

Two miles from Porthtowan Beach

Appledore Cottage (Reference 904671), in Skinners Bottom

Appledore Cottage (Reference 904671), in Skinners Bottom

The charming Appledore Cottage is located just two miles from the award winning Porthtowan Beach. The cottage boasts three spacious bedrooms- two doubles and one twin- as well as two bathrooms, a stylish country kitchen, cosy sitting area with wood burner, and an enclosed lawned garden perfect for relaxing in the summer sun. This property is ideal for groups and as Appledore Cottage also accepts two well-behaved dogs, there really is room for the whole family!

Just two miles from the cosy Appledore Cottage is the wonderful Porthtowan beach. This beach is great for surfing and spending some time with the family. If you plan on taking your four-legged friends with you on holiday then please be aware that this beach is closed to dogs between Easter and October; however there are many other dog-friendly beaches in the area.

Priory Cottage, Saundersfoot in Wales

Three minutes’ walk from Saundersfoot Beach

Priory Cottage (Reference 915079), in Saundersfoot

Priory Cottage (Reference 915079), in Saundersfoot

This sensational Saundersfoot cottage is perfect for those looking for a luxury getaway; with two spacious bedrooms, two bathrooms, a superb kitchen and dining area, wonderful sitting room and beautiful garden, this property is ideal for a group of four friends. Imagine an evening spent relaxing in the garden, nursing a glass of wine whilst you tend to the BBQ, or how about a romantic night in, curled up with your other half in the cosy sitting room? Whatever your plans, Priory Cottage makes the perfect setting for an indulgent Welsh holiday.

Just a short stroll from Priory Cottage is the idyllic Saundersfoot beach, with plenty of golden sand and shallow, clear water. This beach is great for bathing and working on your tan but if you do fancy a splash about then don’t worry as Saundersfoot is great for swimming with a life guard on duty during the peak summer season.

Prospect House, Whitby in Yorkshire

Five minute walk from Whitby Beach

Prospect House (Reference 912895), in Whitby

Prospect House (Reference 912895), in Whitby

Tucked into one of Whitby’s side streets, Prospect House offers fantastic panoramic views over Whitby and the harbour below. This cosy cottage is perfectly suited to a family of five with three bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen with dining area and a second floor sitting room, there is plenty of room for everyone, including your pet dog! From the doorstep of this cottage you can experience all the Whitby has to offer; the fantastic attractions, bustling harbour, numerous eateries and beautiful beach.

Whitby Beach is great for families and as long as you avoid the south end of the beach, you can even take your four legged friend with you. The soft sand on this beach is ideal for building sandcastles or soaking up the sun and with plenty of ice-cream parlours and cafes dotted about, you can really make the most of this traditional seaside resort.

The Beach House, Trearddur Bay in Wales

Five minute walk from Trearddur Bay Beach

The Beach House (Reference 914927), in Trearddur Bay

The Beach House (Reference 914927), in Trearddur Bay

The Beach House is a beautiful coastal cottage which looks out over the pebbled beach of Porth Yr Afon, with the sheltered Blue Flag beach in Trearddur Bay just a five minute walk away. This fantastic detached property is big enough to sleep ten people with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large kitchen, stylish sitting room and an impressive garden with hot tub, chiminea, BBQ and wooden playground. The cottage’s spacious accommodation and fantastic location make it the perfect base for families looking to explore Anglesey.

Trearddur Bay Beach is one of Anglesey’s finest beaches with sloping sands, numerous rock pools and great facilities. This beach offers plenty of space for families looking to spread out and enjoy some sporting activities like volleyball and rounders. Once you’ve finished playing on land you can head into the sea and try out some of the area’s favourite water sports like surfboarding, and water-skiing.

Albert Villas, Broadstairs in Kent

One mile from Stone Bay

Albert Villas (Reference 905330), in Broadstairs

Albert Villas (Reference 905330), in Broadstairs

This delightful Broadstairs cottage is quietly nestled into a historic courtyard, less than a minute from the town’s local amenities. Albert Villas comfortably accommodates six people with two bedrooms, a bathroom, sitting area and stylish open plan living area, which includes a kitchen, dining area and second sitting area. With easy access to the town, this cottage is perfect for small families or a group of friends looking to explore the area without using a car.

Journey out from Albert Villas and you’ll soon come across the Broadstairs harbour and beach, perfect for an afternoon spent along the coast sipping cocktails and tasting the local cuisine. Venture a little further and within around 15 minutes, you should stumble upon Stone Bay, one of the area’s two Blue Flag beaches. With soft sands, beautiful views and stunning white chalk cliffs that not only look wonderful but also protect bathers from the cool breeze, it’s the perfect beach for safe swimming and bathing.

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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.

Eco-Friendly Days Out in the UK

June 27th, 2015
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If you’re feeling green fingered, there is no reason it should be left at home! There is a growing number of eco-friendly attractions opening up across the UK and a number of already existing sites are making changes to reduce their footprints; making eco-friendly days out easier to come by. With a huge amount of choice becoming available, it can be tough to choose where to visit for an eco-friendly – and fun – day out for everyone to enjoy. So read on to discover a few of our favourite eco-friendly days out in the UK.

Greenwood Forest Park – Gwynedd

Greenwood Forest Park is a fun, eco-friendly adventure park located in North Wales that is sure to be a fun day out that all the family can enjoy. The ethos behind the company revolves around being kind to nature and as such, many of the rides and activities require human energy to make them work. Since its opening in 1993, the park has always had a focus in being environmentally friendly. With biodegradable food and drink containers, a huge number of trees planted per year and bird boxes dotted about the park, as well as a huge number of other initiatives to stay green, it is easy to see why Greenwood Forest Park has won such a huge number of awards for its eco-friendly efforts.

The Living Rainforest – Berkshire

Operated by the Trust for Sustainable Living, The Living Rainforest aims to further educate visitors on sustainable living both in the UK and abroad. The Living Rainforest is home to over 700 species of plants and animals as well as a ‘Human Impact’ space, so there is sure to be something of interest for everyone to enjoy. Choose to watch as the animals roam free in the tropical glasshouses, allow children to play in the play area or just relax in the café with a good cup of coffee. However you choose to spend your day at The Living Rainforest, you are sure to have a great time whilst also supporting the work of the Trust for Sustainable Living.

BeWILDerwood – Norfolk

If it’s a fun, eco-friendly family day out that you’re after, you really can’t go wrong with a trip to BeWILDerwood. The adventure park, which encourages parents to play alongside their children, hosts a number of fantastic attractions and activities including a zip wire, a treehouse and other magical and fun activities. Not only is the attractions list at BeWILDerwood impressive, but so is their environmental policy. From ensuring all food served on site is locally sourced where possible, helping to upgrade local footpaths, to recycling over 70% of their waste, this is one attraction with huge plans to be green!


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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.

Sykes’ New Eco-Friendly Cottages

June 26th, 2015
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Here at Sykes Cottages, we’re delighted to have a wide range of eco-friendly properties that allow people to take green breaks all around the United Kingdom! Whether it’s through an environmentally friendly heating or hot water system or maybe a bank of solar panels, the owners of all of these cottages have made some sort of effort to substantially reduce the carbon footprint of their properties. So we thought we’d try and showcase a few examples and have picked out a selection of our newer green cottages, so take a look and see what you think.

Miller’s Cottage ref. 923183

Once the residence of the miller in charge of (what is now a Grade II listed) corn grinding water mill, this property has been sympathetically converted into a delightful holiday cottage. With four bedrooms that are spread over the three floors of the cottage, this property has more than enough space to comfortably sleep up to six people. Located right by the River Lemon, Miller’s Cottage is surrounded by wide ranging water meadows that are perfect for a stroll in the afternoon sun and then you can retire back to the cottage for a relaxing evening in front of the cosy woodburner. However,where this property comes into its own is with its air-source heat pump central heating system, that provides plenty of green energy for the underfloor heating system.

Rectory Coach House (921681)

Straddling the Dorset and Somerset border, this stunning little cottage lived its past life serving as the coach house for the old Victorian Rectory of Buckhorn Weston. Now however, it has been converted into a stunning, carbon neutral holiday home. Sleeping four people, it’s absolutely perfect for a family break down to the South West and with the private, enclosed patio and luxurious interior, any break there is certain to be a relaxing one! But that’s not all, the Rectory Coach House comes complete with a bank of solar panels that provide all of the power for the holiday cottage, making it absolutely ideal for those looking to book an eco-friendly week away.

Nethergill Farm Byre (22132)

Dating all the way back to 1871, Nethergill Farm Byre is a stunning barn conversion that’s tucked away in the Dales countryside, just outside the quaint hamlet of Oughtershaw. The owners of Nethergill have transformed the property into a luxury, modern holiday cottage complete with all the mod-cons that you’d need for a relaxing week away, whilst managing to retain much of its original character thanks to features such as the original ceiling beams and exposed stone work. And then there’s the biomass central heating system that keeps the property cosy as well as environmentally friendly!

So hopefully reading this has tempted you into taking a look at booking yourself an eco-friendly break with Sykes Cottages! If that’s the case then you’ll want to take a look at this page which lists all of our green properties and see which one catches your eye!

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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.

How to Make Your Garden More Eco-Friendly

June 24th, 2015
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Well I think that it’s safe to say that summer is well and truly here! The temperatures are on the rise, there’s been some glorious weather of late and we’ve even indulged in a couple of ice creams over lunchtime here at Sykes HQ! But for me, one of the best things about summer is spending some time out in the garden, whether it’s soaking up some sun, tucking into an alfresco meal or even doing a spot of gardening. One thing that I’m hoping to get done this year is looking into how I can make the garden a little bit more eco-friendly, so I’ve been doing a bit of research and found some hints that might be of use. So if you’re a cottage owner looking to reduce your property’s footprint, or you’re just after a few tips, take a look below and see what you think.

Harvesting Rainwater

One thing that surprised me was how much water we use in our gardens. For most of the year, we’re ok to rely on the rainfall to get the job done but there’s usually a short period between July and September where nature needs a hand. But rather than just taking water out of the mains, you could try investing in a rainwater harvesting system. These can range from a simple butt collecting water from a drainpipe, all the way through to a complex system that can feed water back into the plumbing in your house, but they all get the job done! You can easily get your hands on a butt from your local council or a garden centre and fitting is a simple task, but the best thing – you don’t need to follow any hosepipe bans!

Attracting Wildlife

One of the easiest and most successful ways that you can make your garden more eco-friendly is by encouraging more wildlife to move in. Whether it’s choosing the right kind of plants, providing food or creating a shelter, every little thing helps and your garden will soon start to reap the rewards! Here at Sykes Cottages we worked alongside the North Wales Wildlife Trust to create a resource that shows you how to turn your garden into a bird’s paradise which you can see here, or you can take a look at the RSPB’s latest initiative Make a Home for Wildlife which features loads of information on the subject.

Going Native

One further change that can be made is to really put the emphasis on native plants when your doing your gardening. Not only do these plants provide a plentiful food source for the local wildlife, but using them also reduces the risk of invasive exotic alternatives from gaining a foothold in your garden. If you need any more convincing, the native plants are more accustomed to the climate here meaning that you have to put in far less work to look after them!

So hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading and have managed to pick up a couple of hints and tips that will help you make your garden a little greener! Maybe you’d like a little more inspiration? If so then you should have a look at some of our cottage gardens for some ideas or if you have any hints or tips then get in touch over Twitter or Facebook and we’ll help to spread the word!

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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.