Meet the Team

Clive Sykes

Founder

Cut Clive in half, like a bar of rock, and he’d have tourism running right through him. Clive’s mother, Barbara, ran a small hotel in the Yorkshire Dales and let holiday cottages since the ‘70s. And it was with Barbara’s help that Clive set up Sykes Cottages in 1991.

Clive moved to Cheshire in the late ‘90s, and with his wife, Lynne, they built their business into the country’s leading holiday cottage agency. Having sold Sykes Cottages to a private equity firm, Clive remained as chair until 2019, when the company was sold again.

Come the first lockdown in 2020, Clive and Lynne decided to create another holiday cottage company solely for their personal portfolio of cottages. And, so, Catch the Breeze was born.

Clive, Lynne and their family continue to holiday in the UK, often spending time on the Northumberland coast or the Yorkshire Dales. Holidays find the Sykes family cycling, coasteering, paddle boarding and playing tennis and not buying bars of rock, ironically.

Tara Taylor

Guest Relations Manager

Tara left school at sixteen and went straight into a job in a travel agency. And she loved it. She’s spent the last thirty years in the tourism industry, most of which she worked for luxury tour operators.

Tara joined Catch the Breeze Retreats as Guest Relations Manager in September 2021. She revels in talking with the guests and ensuring that they have a wonderful holiday. And when she’s not talking holidays, she’s going on them. A keen traveller, Tara loves to explore both abroad and the UK. Her favourite places are Portugal, the Caribbean, and Dubai, but she loves Northumberland and North Wales.

A North Wales girl by birth, she lives just a stone’s throw over the border in Chester, with her husband, Simon, who she met at school. The pair have a son, Noah, and are very close to her two older sisters and five nieces and nephews.

She loves the 80’s, especially the films and the music. From that point onwards, it was all about the travel.

Sam Honour

PA to Sykes Family & Property Management Assistant

Before joining Catch the Breeze Retreats, Sam’s career spanned from cabin crew for Japan airlines and British Airways to working at her local veterinary surgery thanks to her beloved Labrador, Jet. Sam then found herself working for a small independent holiday cottage company in North Wales, a role very similar to her one now; this isn’t Sam’s first rodeo! 

Worlds collided after Sam then started working at Sykes Cottages which led to her beginning her Catch the Breeze Retreats journey. Sam’s very much a people-person and any opportunity to have a chat and listen to others’ life experiences is always at the top of her list when meeting guests.  

The guest-centric ethos that Sam has curated has been brought in full force, wholeheartedly committing to providing experiences that offer something truly special. 

Sam is a self-confessed dog lover with a passion for travel, homemade cakes and the occasional glass of red wine. Whether it’s her garden or a holiday abroad, exploring the outdoors is Sam’s calling, especially Portugal which holds a special place in her heart. 

Dawn

Property Management Assistant – Craster

Dawn brings a wealth of experience to the Catch the Breeze Retreats team with an incredible forty years in the hospitality sector. Dawn loves working in Northumberland where you’re treated to both the sea and the beautiful greenery, getting the best of both worlds. As well as the landscape, Dawn loves looking after our Northumberland properties, with the gorgeous smells that are home to Craster bringing back childhood memories of Bonfire Night. 

Dawn has a passion for the Northumberland landscape and has been serving her local community of Blyth for over twenty-five years. As a very active member of the community, Dawn has developed a keen interest in the town and is committed to its prosperity. 

Accompanying Dawn in her day-to-day life are her two pugs (both with fantastic names); Woody and “naughty Kevin”. As well as her pugs, Dawn has another wonderful addition to the family as she has recently received the exciting news that she has become a grandmother. 

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