Advantages No passport /airline stikes, wonderful people, history/ culture, cottages for all tastes & advice
Disadvantages UK weather a little unpredictable - stay by the fire or grab a waterproof and carry on regardless
Working for a high street travel agent has allowed me to visit many exotic places and never think of holidaying closer to home. So when my husband suggested a UK break rather than Rome or Venice, I was a little surprised!!!Reluctantly I started leafing through the brochures in our shop but my husband wanted something less commercial than the log cabin holiday parks and less costly than the country cottages on offer. His colleague, suggested Sykes – I suspect he also put the UK holiday idea in his head – he had used Sykes Cottages for 10 years and never had a bad holiday.
Again a little reluctantly I looked them up on-line. I was pleasantly surprised, the website was easy to use and lots of choice. I didn’t expect to find anything we both liked but we ended up with a list. Being an Ebay and Amazon whizz I looked for a favourites tab – sure enough there was one!!! We could have booked on-line but armed with questions we decided to call.The poor girl had me on about cleanliness and my husband mithering about how near the next house would be and whether we could still walk to the pub – we all have priorities!!!
Anyway she found a great place near Loch Ness – somewhere I had at least heard of. The price was low, a little too low for the cottage and area making me a little apprehensive – especially after reading the reviews on Ciao, but then I looked it up Sykes on Trip Adviser and all seemed OK.I called back and booked – different girl but still lovely and very reassuring. Being new to cottage holidays she explained key collection and how to call them or the owner with problems – a far cry from some of the reviews of Ciao!
Sure enough key collection was easy with the loveliest owners who left milk and cake for our arrival. We saw them a few nights in the local pub and asked how we were getting on, even giving advice on what to see while there - seriously we could have filled a month with the places she told us to see... but with only a week we drew inspiration and picked out just a couple.We had an amazing week. I’m not a great walker but with my husband’s help and patience we walked the Great Glen Way – truly amazing but hard work. I was determined to see Nessie during our stay and was convinced a far away ripple was her tail but apparently not – some people have no imagination. The cottage was perfect, away from it all but near a traditional Scottish pub with homely food. It had everything we needed, a real home from home. I have never been so relaxed – even in Thailand which is crazy... must be the air.
Everyone made us so welcome, it was just like the Visit Scotland ads – I would now recommend you ditch the passport and try a holiday closer to home, I know I will.Sykes Cottages were brilliant, I cannot praise them enough. We recently received a brochure and have already picked out a huge Yorkshire cottage for our friends to celebrate my 30th birthday – very different to our highland retreat but that’s the good thing about holidaying at home... lots of choice and great prices.
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