According to our confirmation from Sykes, our accommodation was available between 3.. 00p.m. on day of arrival & 10.00a.m. on day of departure but key collection was not until 4.00p.m. On speaking to the key holders the correct time was 4.00p.m. but they did allow us to go in at 3.30. Minor point but caused some confusion (during the winter 3.00 p.m. would make more sense due to having to unload luggage in the dark). Having to collect the key fron elsewhere, although not a major problem is a little old fashioned especially when the property has a key safe by the door. In fact the key holders did leave the key in there for us after we spoke to them & we returned it to them when we left.
Our one real complaint would be the provision of only ONE key to the property. This is something that we have found on a number of occasions but neither owners nor agents seem to understand why it is a problem.
As a keen photographer & walker I tend to rise before my Wife & go off on my own for a few hours before coming back so we can do things together later in the day. With only one key (& often no way of locking/opening the door from inside) then I either have to lock the door & put the key back through the letter box (if there is one) or I have to leave the door unlocked which,considering I may leave at 4.00a.m. in the summer is not a safe option. If I lock the door and repost it & then have to return early or forget something I have to knock the door (disturbing the dog) & get my Wife out of bed. Also I may return wet & cold to find that she has gone out on her own & then I have to wait outside until she returns.
This is enough of a problem with just two of us but as this property sleeps 5 then it would be very difficult with two couples sharing. I wonder if the owners only have one key to their own home & go everywhere together? When there is a back door it is less of a problem but on this occasion you could only access the garden from the house so it doesn't help. A MINIMUM of TWO keys should be provided at all properties.
This property in particular would also benefit from an outside light to the rear so that the garden could be made better use of. Even in the Lake District the weather is sometimes good enough in the summer to sit outside after dark & it helps if you can see where you are stepping - especially as there are various levels/ trip hazards.
All in all though a nice clean & comfortable cottage ideally located in one of the best villages in the Lake District. We hope to return.