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We’re always happy here at Sykes Cottages when one of our local friends gets some well deserved recognition, and that’s just what happened yesterday. Yesterday it was announced that for the second year running Chester Zoo has been named the top English large visitor attraction outside of London by the Association of Large Visitor Attractions’. We’re very proud of our local zoo here in Chester so this was very exciting to hear!

While London is obviously a wonderful city and somewhere that all visitors to the UK should make a stop in, there is so much more to the UK than just the capital. Chester Zoo is just one of the great visitors attractions outside of the Big Smoke that were honoured yesterday – the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle, the Roman Baths & Pump Room in Bath, Stonehenge, and the Museum of Liverpool have all also proven quite popular over the past year. So get yourself out of London and see all that the UK has to offer!

Visit the Chester Zoo in Cheshire

Not only in the Chester Zoo the top visitors attractions outside of London, but it’s also one of the world’s top zoos, and the UK’s number one wildlife attraction! With over 11,000 animals and 110 acres of award-winning zoological gardens to explore you better make sure you give yourself lots of time here, and wear some pretty comfy walking shoes. Information talks are held regularly if you want to learn more about some of the animal residents of the zoo, and with presentations about everything from cheetahs and elephants, to butterflies and tortoises there really is something for everyone.

Want to make a holiday of your trip to the Chester Zoo? Take a look at our holidays cottages near Chester Zoo and settle in for a weekend of exploring our natural world!

Explore the Roman Baths in Somerset

Roman Baths, Bath

Via. Flickr

Just like Chester Zoo, the Roman Baths in Bath, Somerset, has been honoured for far more than just being a popular site outside of London. The Roman Baths have recently been named one of the UK’s top three heritage sites, along with the Tower of London and Edinburgh Castle, as well as also winning a gold in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2012-13, amongst numerous other honours. With all this prestige behind it you can be sure that this is a site not to be missed.

So what will you see once you get to the Roman Baths? Well, a window into the past really. The first baths to be built at this site date back to 836 BC, but it’s the Roman history that the site is best known for. Don’t worry, you won’t just be looking at some old stones and water, the on-site museum teaches visitors all about the history of the site, known as Aquae Sulis by the Romans, the local people, and the development of the site over its long history. Don’t worry about bringing your swimming costume, there’s no access to the water on-site, you’ll need to go to the nearby spa for that!

Find a holiday cottage near to the Roman Baths in Bath and spend some time exploring all that this beautiful area has to offer.

Experience the Eden Project in Cornwall

Eden Project, Cornwall, April 2011

Via. Flickr

For those with an interest in all things environmental the Eden Project is the place to be. In the bottom of a disused kaolinite pit near St. Austell in Cornwall you will find a display that is a world away from the temperate UK climate sheltered beneath giant domes. Within the space-aged looking domes you’ll find the world’s largest rainforest in captivity, complete with steamy jungles and waterfalls, extensive gardens both inside and outside the domes, and ample learning resources for both children and adults.

The Eden project has won a number of awards since its opening in 2001 – the Best UK Leisure Attraction at the British Travel Awards in 2011 and 2012, the UK’s top eco visitor attraction, as well as numerous honours for their environmental work.

Filling a trip with lots of great activities around the Eden Project isn’t difficult, with the Lost Garden’s of Heligan nearby, as well as the beautiful Cornish coast. View our full selection of holiday cottages near to the Eden Project and find out what all of the fuss is all about!


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