Update 10/5/20: Following Boris’ update tonight we understand the need to keep our cottages (and pub) closed for the foreseeable future. It’s a difficult time for everyone and we are taking each month at a time.
We are currently in contact with all customers who have booked to stay with us up until the end of June.
Update 22/3/20: It is with a very heavy heart that I write this post to advise that I am closing both of our holiday cottages until at least the end of May.
The increasing health concerns surrounding Coronavirus are such that we don’t think guests should be travelling around the country, potentially bringing issues to rural communities that would struggle to cope with an outbreak, nor do we feel that we can ask housekeepers to continue cleaning.
As a small business, this has been a very difficult decision as we know our insurance does not cover this type of event and are unsure as to whether we’d qualify for any government aid. However, lives are more important.
We have written to all of our April/May bookings this afternoon and are hoping that everyone will help us through this situation by postponing rather than cancelling their booking.
17/3/20: It is currently business as usual for our self catering holiday cottage business. Indeed, we have just taken a couple of last minute bookings for customers who have had their holidays abroad cancelled.
We are based in rural Northumberland, the least populated county in England, with many guests choosing to holiday with us each year due to the large open spaces in the surrounding countryside and the excellent nearby beaches. It’s a great area to walk, cycle, fish, stargaze or to recharge batteries, walk dogs or just to get some fresh air in peaceful surroundings away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There is lots to see and do in the area too, particularly castles, beautiful gardens, Roman forts and history; many of these attractions are outside.
Both of our cottages are self-contained with their own front door and outdoor space with easy roadside parking, which is ideal for guests arriving by car. There are several small and national shops in the area, and major supermarkets deliver to both villages.
We, like many other businesses in Northumberland, are a small business relying on tourism – and March is the beginning of the season! The knock on effect to the area if people stop visiting is devastating; many small businesses will simply not survive and thousands of people will lose their jobs as the county spirals into recession.
We have put our heart and soul into making our cottages the best we can for guests to enjoy, and sincerely hope bookings will continue to go ahead throughout the next few months. We do however appreciate that some customers, particularly older guests, have health concerns and are worried about leaving their homes. Unfortunately insurance does not cover us for this type of event so we are having to adhere to our Terms and Conditions, which were designed to protect us whilst being as reasonable as possible.
Thank you for your support and the very best of wishes to everyone.