The winners have been revealed in a nationwide search for the UK and Ireland’s best holiday lets. The awards, which were organised for a second year running by Sykes Holiday Cottages, saw holiday home owners from across the UK and Ireland competing to be crowned a winner in five separate categories.
The overall winner, named UK and Ireland’s Best Holiday Let, walked away with a £10,000 cash prize, while smaller cash prizes were awarded to the individual category winners. Nant y Garnedd was awarded the top accolade - despite only being open for four months.
Located on a family farm in Snowdonia, the hobbit-style holiday pod is owned by brothers Dylan, 36, and Gwion Jones, 26, and their partners Mared Jones, 34, and Catrin Owen, 26. The group decided to diversify their farm with the addition of eco-friendly holiday accommodation back in 2020, spending the past two years creating two luxury lets.
Each sleeping up to four guests, the pods come complete with wood-fired hot tubs, walk-in showers and private gardens. With its quirky look and luxury feel attracting holidaymakers from far and wide, Nant y Garnedd is already booked up until the end of the year.
Meanwhile, other categories in the competition saw winners crowned for Best Renovation, Most Quirky Holiday Let, Best Interior and Best View. Winners included a stunning stone cottage in the Yorkshire Dales with breath-taking panoramic views of Grimwith Reservoir, as well as a unique Grade II listed property in the Peak District which was formerly a working pump house.
The expert judging panel included Sykes’ chief executive Graham Donoghue, alongside a selection of property experts. Properties were judged on a number of factors, including customer reviews, location and facilities on offer.
Judges were also asked to consider if each property could be described as first choice staycation option for holidaymakers. Sykes’ competition in search for the best holiday lets aims to inspire holiday let owners and celebrate excellence in holiday cottage accommodation across the country.
Catrin Owens said: “We can’t believe we are the winners of this competition, we’re still in shock. We could have never predicted that our dream of creating hobbit houses on our land would lead to this - but what started as a small project alongside the farm has turned into a booming business in just a few months.
"The prize money will help us build on our sustainable ambitions for the huts. When we first started, we wanted to install a hydro scheme so that electricity will be generated by running water, but the installation was too far over our budget.
"We want to make sure people can enjoy the beautiful Welsh countryside while not harming the area and now we will be able to fulfil our original objectives with this prize money.”
Graham Donoghue, of Sykes Holiday Cottages, added: “These awards don’t just showcase the very best of the UK and Ireland’s holiday lets, they also highlight the hard work that goes into holiday letting across the country. These owners make Britain’s staycation market the success it is today and with so many incredible holiday lets on offer it is little surprise to see so many people rediscovering their love of a great British staycation once again.”
View the full list of winners here.