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Want to enter 2018 feeling calm, collected and revitalised? After all the excess and over-indulgence of the festive period why not work it off with an active break at one of our idyllic UK locations? Adrenaline junkies can head to Cornwall for some high-octane surfing, or to the black and red runs of the Cairngorms National Park to take advantage of Scotland’s annual ski season. Cycle along some of the many trails weaving through the Peak District, hike to the heights of the Snowdonia National Park, or learn to sail on the waters of Lake Windermere.

For those wanting to remain indoors without compromising on being active, a wellness holiday on the Isle of Wight is the perfect excuse to escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life. Fitness classes, yoga sessions, and access to pool and spa facilities will leave you ready to start your new year feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.


Best for… Surfing

Two surfers riding a wave

For those wanting a rush of pure adrenaline, winter surfing is ideal. The cold climate combined with the supreme conditions makes it an exhilarating experience. Visiting in January is perfect for those wanting to avoid the summer crowds but still take advantage of some decent swells. Newquay, often regarded as ‘Surf City’, has a number of beaches that cater for all levels of experience. World-renowned Fistral Beach is just a five-minute walk from the town centre and is a surf enthusiast’s first choice for the big waves. For those less experienced surfers, nearby Towan Beach is sheltered by the rocky Pentire Head, and offers much more manageable conditions as well as great facilities (including free access to heated showers).

Stay at… Seascape (Ref. 959880)

Sykes Holiday Cottage in Port near Newquay

Seascape overlooks the beachside village of Porth near Newquay. With direct access to the sandy beach below, this property is perfect for anyone wanting to catch a wave over the winter months. Part of an exclusive all-season venue in a boutique resort, Seascape is just a stone’s throw from a bar, restaurant, health club and pool (charges may apply).

Why not take a look at our full collection of hand-picked cottages to rent near Newquay?

Cairngorms National Park

Best for… Skiing

View from a ski slope in the Cairngorms mountain range

Want to go skiing or snowboarding without having to use your passport? The Cairngorms National Park in Scotland provides the perfect opportunity to hit the slopes without having to leave the UK. The resort boasts 11 lifts and 30 kilometres of ski runs, catering for all levels of ability with a combination of black, red, green and blue routes. There is even a snow school for beginners or those in need of some refresher sessions. It is possible to hire everything from equipment to boots, trousers and jackets from local rental shops. Once you are all kitted out, take a ride on Scotland’s only funicular railway up the Cairngorm Mountain, stopping for a bite to eat at the Ptarmigan Restaurant while taking in the panoramic views from the terrace.

Stay at… Foinaven (Ref. 967487)

Sykes holiday Cottage in Aviemore

Located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, the town of Aviemore is the ideal spot to explore the nearby Cairngorms National Park. Pleasant and cosy, this property is the perfect place to relax after a day on the slopes.

Why not have a look at the rest of our range of cottages to rent in the Cairngorm National Park?

The Lake District

Best for… Water Sports

A group canoeing on Derwent Lake in the Lake District

With its picturesque fells, expanses of moorland, lakes and leafy forests, it is no wonder that the Lake District is one of the UK’s most popular destinations throughout the year. For adventure enthusiasts, the UNESCO World Heritage Site has a plethora of activities to offer, with many taking advantage of the 26 miles of coastline, numerous lakes, meres and tarns to take part in a multitude of water sports. Experience everything from canoeing and kayaking to sailing and paddle boarding, all the while enjoying the spectacular scenery from a different vantage point.

Stay at… Keepers Cottage (Ref.923820)

Sykes holiday cottage in Newby Bridge in the Lake District

Situated near the Village of Newby Bridge, at the south end of Lake Windermere, the converted 17th century property is set in the stunning surroundings of the Bigland Hall Estate. Guests are given the opportunity to explore the many footpaths on the acreage with the chance of spotting some of the estate’s resident deer population. Return from an action-packed day on the water to dry off in front of the woodburner, and recline on the comfortable beds, taking in the long-reaching views of the hills and valley.

Why not browse our full collection of cottages to rent in the Lake District?

The Peak District

Best for… Cycling

Lone cyclist on Mam Tor

Take advantage of the numerous traffic free tracks and trails that weave through the impressive back drop of the Peak District. Traverse the challenging gritstone paths of the Dark Peak by mountain bike or cycle along one of the many converted railways lines passing lime kilns, cotton mills and other signs of Derbyshire’s industrial past. Starting in Bakewell, follow the Monsal Trail through restored railway tunnels and marvel at the breath-taking views as you cross the Monsal Head Viaduct. Or follow the 13 mile Tissington Trail through rolling hills and spectacular scenery, coming to an end at the charming market town of Ashbourne. There is no need to bring a bike, the many rental shops close to the popular cycle routes cater for every need.

Stay at… Duke’s Park (Ref. 942896)

Sykes holiday cottage in the Peak District

Located in the village of Middleton, this property is just around the corner from Spa town Matlock, and is close to a number of cycle routes such as The High Peak Trail. The garage gives the option of a secure place to store bikes, and the hot-tub is the perfect place to relax after a hard day’s cycling.

Why not explore our available cottages to rent in the beautiful Peak District?

Snowdonia National Park

Best for… Walking/Hiking

Llyn Idwal and the Glyderau in the Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia is a walker’s paradise. Whether you want to spend a leisurely day strolling through majestic forests and around crystal clear lakes, or hiking in one of the park’s nine mountain ranges, there is something for everyone. Visit the bustling village of Betws-Y-Coed and follow one of the many paths into the hills until you reach Llyn Elsi Reservoir, stopping off to take in the spectacular surroundings and views of the Carneddau and Glyderau mountain ranges. Snowdon is the obvious port of call for those wanting more of a challenge. Make sure to wrap up warm before choosing a route to the summit through an impressive rocky landscape. On a clear day it is possible to see Anglesey, Pembrokeshire and even catch a glimpse of Ireland.

Stay at… Squirrel Cottage (Ref. 970753)

Sykes holiday cottage in Betws-Y-Coed in Snowdonia

This property is based in Betws-Y-Coed. Known as the gateway to the Snowdonia National Park, the village is a short drive from mounts Snowdon and Tryfan, as well as coastal resorts like Llandudno and Conwy. After a tiring hike warm yourself in front of the woodburner, or wind-down in the property’s private yoga and meditation suite. Squirrel Cottage accepts two well-behaved pets, so make sure to bring along your four-legged friends so that they too can enjoy the unspoiled surroundings.

Please feel free to take a look at our range of cottages to rent in the Snowdonia National Park.

The Isle of Wight

Best for… Wellbeing

People doing yoga positions

Relax and recharge at the West Bay Club and Spa in the calming setting of the Isle of Wight. Work up a sweat in Spin, tone and strengthen in Barre, or try out any of the other 60 studio fitness classes the club offers. Afterwards take a dip in the 20 meter heated indoor pool and swim a few lengths, or take part in a session of Aqua-Fit. Unwind in one of the club’s popular yoga sessions, relieving any stress and tension from the body, then head to the Island Wellness Spa for a range of relaxing holistic therapies. The Bay Bistro is the perfect spot to taste some of the Island’s best seasonal produce, providing healthy and nutritious options to take-away or eat-in.

Why not take a look at the luxurious cottages to rent at The West Bay Club and Spa?

Sykes holiday cottage at West Bay Club and Spa on the Isle of Wight

If you want to stick to those New Year’s Resolutions and get your year off to the best possible start, an active break or wellness holiday is the perfect choice. Browse through our range of more than 10,000 hand-picked properties on our website, including those with spa and gym facilities.

Image attribution – Andre Boeni, Mike Baird, Tessa Watson, Pete Birkinshaw, Paul Stevenson, Edward Reynolds

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