Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

The Gathering 2013 – the Year to Visit Ireland

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013
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If Ireland has ever been on your list of places to visit, 2013 is the year to take the plunge and finally step foot on the Emerald Isle. Why? Well, because 2013 is the year of The Gathering, a 365 day party, and everyone is invited!

So what exactly is The Gathering?

From a minute after midnight on 1 January 2013, and for an entire year, The Gathering is taking over Ireland. The whole country is the venue, and the entire population is the host. Via.

Great 2013 Gathering Events:

Throughout the year, individuals and communities across the country will be holding events that celebrate Ireland and their community pride. There really will be something for everyone over the course of the year, with everything from sporting events, theatre and arts installations, to family and clan gatherings with invitations to people from around the globe.

Discover Something New at the Galway Arts Festival, 2013

The Galway Arts Festival is nothing new; it’s actually Ireland’s largest international arts festival. It was founded in 1978 and has since grown to be an arts festival with a global reputation. In 2012 the 14 day festival hosted 160 performances, talks and exhibitions in 27 venues, and the 2013 edition is going to be even bigger and better! Stay up to date about the event, which is to be held from 15-28 July, by visiting their website –

National Heritage Week – Be Part of It. It’s Part of You

The aim of National Heritage Week is to build awareness and education about Irish heritage and encourage its conservation and preservation. This year’s National Heritage Week takes place from the 17-25 August and will be marked by events around the country, such as heritage walks, traditional music recitals, tours of some of Ireland’s most ancient monuments. Find out about all of the events, or register your own, at

All-Ireland Football Championship – One of Ireland’s Premier Sporting Events

If you really want to get a taste of Irish culture then head to the All-Ireland Football Championships, the premier competition in Gaelic football. Championship games will take place from June 2013 onwards, with the All-Ireland final taking place on 22 September 2013. Even if you can’t manage to nab yourself a ticket, the atmosphere outside of the venues, especially Dublin’s Páirc an Chrócaigh will be absolutely electric.

So, Get Yourself to Ireland!

With so much going on throughout 2013 this really is the year to visit Ireland. We have a great selection of holiday cottages located throughout Ireland, and we can even help to organize your ferry over or a rental car once you arrive. If you’re planning to fly and leave your car at the airport visit Essential Travel to get the best deal.

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The Best Free Apps for Travel

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
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When you’re on the move, whether miles from home or right in your own backyard, smartphone apps can save you time and money. Whether you need help finding your way to the hotel, or a language translator to aid your market haggling prowess, there is a travel app out there for you. Here are Sykes Cottages pick of the bunch, our favourite apps to make the most of your travel experience.

Up, Up and Away

If you’ve ever found yourself lost and confused when trying to navigate a foreign airport you’ll appreciate GateGuru, a customized airport tour guide that can fit in your pocket. Not only does this app provide real-time flight status, but it also includes a wealth of airport content customized to you. How long is the estimated wait time at security? GateGuru will tell you. Where’s the best restaurant? They’ve got you covered! What’s the fastest way to get from gate to gate with a short layover? All you’ve got to do is ask. You can’t ask for much more than that.

What Does That Cost in Real Money?

There are few things more confusing while travelling than dealing with currency conversion rates. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’ve been ripped off because you just couldn’t remember how much a Thai Bhat is worth in Pounds Sterling. If you’re math skills are a little rusty (like mine), the first app you should download is XE Currency, a universally optimized currency app for iPhone and iPad. All you need to do with this simple app is choose the currencies that you want converted from and to and enter the amount you want converted. It’s as simple as that!

Eat Where the Locals Eat

If you want to get away from the hotel restaurant Urbanspoon is the app for you. Urbanspoon scans your location and offers suggestions of local restaurants, bars, and pubs, giving you options you might never have otherwise heard of. Looking for a specific type of food or price bracket? Urbanspoon can help you with that too. Just use the search function to narrow your options down by type, price, or rating.

Wherever I Lay My Hat

The list of top free travel apps just wouldn’t be complete without Sykes Cottages very own holiday cottage app. In only 6 easy steps, the Cottage Finder app allows you to browse and book a holiday cottage while on the move. Wherever you are in the UK or Ireland, the app uses GPS technology to show nearby cottages that are available and ready to book. Don’t cut a day trip short just because you don’t yet have anywhere to stay. Just load up the Cottage Finder app and we can have a cosy cottage ready for you in mere minutes! Take a look at our how-to video to see just how easy it is.

What travel app could you just not do without?

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Autumn Ideas for this October Half Term

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
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There are few better ways to enjoy the crisp autumn weather than to get out on a woodland walk in some of the UK’s most beautiful wooded areas. You don’t have to head to North America or Europe to enjoy all the beauty that autumn brings, you can enjoy it right here in the UK, either on a day trip from home or a longer getaway to some of this country’s more wild and windswept locales.

The New Forest

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that a place with ‘forest’ right in the name is a great location for an woodland walk. The New Forest is one of England’s most important ecological sites, filled with unique flora and fauna. Some of the most amazing of the New Forest’s residents is the New Forest pony, European polecats, otters, as well as all three British snake species. Want to take a walk with a purpose? Why not sign up for a fungi walk and learn how to forage for your own local mushrooms. Find the perfect cottage in the New Forest for your holiday.

Snowdonia National Park

Llyn Ogwen, Snowdonia

via. Flickr

If you’re still looking for something fun for the family to do over the October half-term holidays, why not head to Wales’ beautiful Snowdonia National Park and spend the holidays exploring all the magic that the park holds. If you are a family of walkers you will be spoilt for choice with all of the trails that are available. No matter what you’re level of experience there is sure to be a trail for you. If you don’t fancy the walk, why not take the old-fashioned steam train to the top of majestic Mount Snowdon? You can take in all of the beauty of the surroundings without subjecting yourself to hours of hard walking getting to the top! Find a last minute cottage in Wales today.

The Lake District

Ennerdale, Lake district

via. Flickr

There are few places in the UK that are more beautiful in the autumn than the Lake District, one of England’s most treasured natural landscapes. One of the best parts about the Lake District is that you don’t have to be a seasoned hiker to enjoy some of the most beautiful views in the country as many are easily accessible by those of us who don’t spend every weekend walking. Go Lakes, the areas official tourism authority, has compiled a great list of nano-walks, or what they describe as “little hikes with big views“, which are well worth considering if you’re heading to the Lake District. Discover why the Lake District is one of the most beloved parts of the country on a Lake District autumn cottage holiday.

Sykes Cottages still have a great selection of holiday cottages that are available for last minute half term holidays, so don’t worry if you haven’t planned your autumn vacation yet. Just head over to our last minute cottages page and spend your time discovering the beauty of the UK’s very own wild spaces.

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Escape This Friday on a Last Minute Getaway

Thursday, September 6th, 2012
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The summer seems to have finally arrived in the UK, and just in time for the end of the holidays. It appears that the summer of 2012 is following the same pattern that we’ve seen here for the past couple of years –  a cool and rainy summer, book ended by an unseasonably warm early spring and autumn. While it may not be the weather pattern we would choose if we were given a choice in such matters, we need to make the best of the sunshine when it comes.

Make the most of the great weather that is coming this weekend, September 7th – 9th, and take an end of summer break right here in the UK. Don’t worry if you haven’t planned a last minute getaway already, we still have a great selection of cottages throughout the UK and Ireland that are available for rent from this Friday, September 7, 2012!

Say Yes! to a Weekend Break this September

We all spend so much time being sensible, so why not throw caution to the wind and end summer 2012 with a flourish! Just imagine how delighted that special someone would be to find you have booked yourselves into romantic holiday cottage for two this weekend and made the most of the last of the summer sunshine. Want to treat your loved one to something really special? Why not find a cottage with a hot tub and spend the evening soaking away your worries under a blanket of stars. Feeling a bit of a nip in the evening air? Curl up together in front of a roaring fire with a lovely glass of wine. I can think of few better ways to spend an early autumnal weekend.

Make the Most of Your Last Minute Weekend Break

Well, there is going to be few better ways to make the most of an end of the summer break than soaking up as much sunshine as possible. Pick your favourite outdoor pursuit and head into the great outdoors to enjoy the glorious sunshine. The UK has so many great options to choose from. If you’re looking for something nice and relaxing why not try your hand at golf, cross-country walking, horseback riding, or canoeing. Looking for something a little bit more exciting? Try surfing, mountain biking, paragliding, and whitewater rafting. Your options really are endless!

There’s no need to be disappointed that the best weather of the summer has arrived a little late, just make the most of it and get away from it all this weekend. Browse our website to find a great selection of cottages that are still available for booking, or give our friendly reservations team a call and have them help to find a lovely cottage for you. If you have a wonderful weekend break make sure to let us know, we love to hear all about your great UK travel experiences!

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