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.

Walk of the Month: Box Hill Stepping Stones

April 24th, 2016
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It’s time for another instalment of Walk of the Month and for April’s edition, we’ve decided to feature a family friendly walk which makes the most of the warmer weather and extra hours of sunlight. The Box Hill Stepping Stones walk can be found in Tadworth and has the most wonderful views of the Surrey Hills.

This walk is great for active families who enjoy nature; the route is even dog friendly meaning you don’t have to leave the family pet behind. During this walk you and your family will be treated to amazing views of the Surrey countryside as well as glimpses of the area’s local wildlife. Be sure to keep an eye out for Adonis Blue butterflies and Bee Orchids hiding amongst the grass and if you’re quiet, you may even spot a kingfisher down by the River Mole!

The walk

This month’s route is two miles long and takes around an hour and half to complete, although please allow extra time if you plan on stopping off for a picnic. The route covers a moderate terrain but please be mindful that there is a steep descent with 275 steps and a long ascent to consider. Dogs are welcome on this route but must be kept on a lead due to grazing livestock. The visitor centre stocks drinks and snacks and is a great place to stop off before starting your walk. If you plan on arriving by car, then the car park has a small fee of £4, but it is free for National Trust members.

The route

Start your journey from the National Trust visitor centre, next to the car park. From here follow the surfaced pathway which runs parallel to the road (make sure to avoid the track going off to the right). You’ll soon see the fantastic view of the Surrey Hills opening out in front of you from Salomon’s Memorial. Stop here to admire the view or enjoy a tasty family picnic before continuing on the walk.

From Salomon’s Memorial, continue your walk down the sloped path under the viewpoint. Take a right and continue along this path until you see some steps cut into the ground on your left. Follow these steps down hill and through the Yew Woods, there are a total of 275 steps here so make sure to take care as they can sometimes be slippery.

Once you reach the bottom of the steps, continue along the path making sure to keep an eye out on your left for glimpses of the River Mole. When the path starts to flatten out you’ll come to a fork in the path, take the route to the left, the one with the sign for the Stepping Stones. You will now see the River Mole and the Stepping Stones in front of you.

From here you can either continue across the Stepping Stones before turning right and following the river, or take a right at the river’s edge and follow the path, crossing at the bridge a little further along. Once you’ve reached the bridge, continue through the gate which brings you out into a large open space called Burford Meadow.

Continue through Burford Meadow until you reach the road bridge. Just to the left of the bridge there is a path leading upwards, follow this path until you come out on the pavement next to the A24. Turn right here and cross the river. Continue along the pavement, passing a hotel on your right hand side.

Take the path on your right which comes up immediately after the Hotel. Follow this path until you reach a fork, take the left path and continue along the grassy track heading uphill. When you reach the ridge of the hill, join the wide grassy path and continue uphill as the path becomes a white chalk path.

You will soon see a pathway on your left, follow this path until it joins a stony path and the take a right continuing uphill. You’ll soon pass a building on your right; this is Box Hill Fort and one of the oldest buildings in the area. Take your time to explore the Fort before continuing up the stony track and turning right at the road to reach the visitor centre.

To view the route map please click here.

Rent a cottage in the Tadworth area with Sykes Cottages

Mannor house surrounded by greenery and flowers.

Hoath House (Ref. 22743) will accommodate up to 26 people and is located just 29 miles from Box Hill.

Here at Sykes Cottages we have a lovely selection of holiday lets available within a 30 mile radius of Tadworth, any of which would be perfect for day trips to Box Hill. Our cottages come in all shapes and sizes and there is even a property large enough to accommodate a party of 26! With plenty of extras including swimming pools, open fires, gardens and WiFi, we’re sure to have a property in this selection to suit your holiday requirements. To see our full range of cottages in the Tadworth area please click here, alternatively please feel free to give our team a call on 01244 356695 for more information.

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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.

Spotlight on: Brecon Cottages

April 21st, 2016
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Today, we’re shining our spotlight on a fantastic new group of holiday cottages that have recently joined the Sykes family. Brecon Cottages are a group of 15 properties sleeping 2, 3, 4 and 6 guests in a mountainside location in the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park.

These cottages are comfortable, cosy and perfect for family groups but what makes them really special is their location. Nestled amongst magnificent scenery (many of these cottages boast mountain views from their windows), Brecon Cottages are also located next door to the award-winning Dan-yr-Ogof National Showcaves Centre for Wales. Guests will benefit from subsidised entry to the Showcaves Centre with its three spectacular caves. Other attractions included in the entrance price include the Shire Horse Centre, Iron Age village and museum, and children’s play areas. The site is also home to a fascinating collection of life-size dinosaur models which is one of the largest in the world. Children are sure to love spotting the different types of dinosaur and if you book the right cottage, you can even spot some dinosaurs from your bedroom window!

National Showcaves Centre Wales

The dinosaurs at the National Showcaves Centre

Below are a few examples of the cottages and layouts that you can expect from each group size:

Brecon Cottages- Denbighshire

Sleeps 2. See it here: Denbighshire

This lovely romantic bolthole is the perfect place to spend some quality time with your partner amongst beautiful surroundings. With stunning scenery from the windows, an en-suite bathroom with Jacuzzi bath and your own private sauna, loved up couples will never want to leave this cosy romantic retreat.

Holiday cottage in Brecon Beacons

Brecon Cottages- Denbighshire

Brecon Cottages- Gwent

Sleeps 4. See it here: Gwent

Gwent offers bags of space for a small family with a sociable, open plan kitchen and dining area where you can enjoy meals together, a separate sitting room and two bedrooms, each with their own en-suites. The property also offers extensive countryside and mountain views from the windows and there’s a friendly pub just over 10 minutes’ walk away.

Holiday cottage in Brecon Beacons

Brecon Cottages- Gwent

Brecon Cottages- Crows Nest 2

Sleeps 6. See it here: Crows Nest 2

Crows Nest 2 is one of two holiday homes on-site which can accommodate up to six guests. With three bedrooms and four bathrooms, you’ll never need to queue for a shower! This spacious apartment is set in a quiet, leafy location on-site and has a separate kitchen, dining area and living area so the whole family can relax in comfort.

Holiday cottage in Brecon Beacons

Brecon Cottages- Crows Nest 2

On-site facilities available to guests

Other facilities on the Brecon Cottages site which are free for guests to use include an indoor heated swimming pool, crazy golf, games room, gym, tennis courts and a dry-ski slope which is available for an additional cost- you’ll never be short of things to do on this Brecon Beacons holiday! If you want to venture out, the National Park, considered one of the most ruggedly beautiful in the UK, is right on your doorstep with activities such as mountain biking and white water rafting within easy reach. Cardiff and Swansea are easily accessible for days out in the city or you could head to the Gower Peninsula to spend the day on the beach.

Swimming pool

Indoor heated swimming pool on-site

Book a holiday cottage in the Brecon Beacons

To browse the full range of Brecon Cottages please visit our website. Alternatively, you can give us a call on 01244 356695 to speak to one of our reservations specialists who’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, or to arrange a booking for you at one of these amazingly unique cottages.

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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.

Some of England’s Most Scenic Spots

April 18th, 2016
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Now it’s not like you need an excuse to celebrate England’s beauty, however with St George’s Day just around the corner we thought it was too good an opportunity to miss out on! Between the sweeping beaches, verdant green countryside and of course the quaint towns and villages, there are few places quite like England. So we’ve been taking a look to see whether we could pick out a few of the most scenic spots, why don’t you check them out and see if you agree with our choices?

Windermere, The Lake District

Durdle Door, Dorset

Holy Island, Northumberland

Malham Cove, Yorkshire

Whitby, Yorkshire

The Malvern Hills, The Heart of England

Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

Flamborough Head, Yorkshire

Well there you go, some of the Sykes team’s favourite scenic spots in England. Hopefully you’ll appreciate them as much as we do but we’d love to hear about your favourite places in England, so give us a Tweet or let us know over Facebook! Or maybe these stunning shots have even tempted you into experiencing England’s amazing scenery for yourself? Well if that’s the case you’re in the right place, just take a look at our English Cottages or give us a call on 0124 356695.

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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.