Mrs Thompson Fearnley
The cottage/barn conversion is beautiful, set in amazing grounds, out of the way in a very peaceful location.. The interior layout of the property is very nice indeed but it does have one or two flaws. Some of the furniture and kitchen worktops are looking a little jaded. The open fire place is a lovely feature and the gallery landing stunning with the main bedroom overlooking sheep grazing in a field through the patio doors which lead to a small balcony. The roll top bath is a lovely feature, in this very spacious room but lacks any degree of intimacy. The whole house has been laid out for immediate impact but not practicality. For example, despite the fact that there are two large bedrooms upstairs, there are no toilet facilities. I feel the property would be much improved if an enclosed toilet was installed. This could easily be achieved at the corner of the landing at the top of the stairs. I would not recommend staying here with a young family, the staircase is curved and rather slippy underfoot. Care is needed in coming down them and although they look lovely, ultimately they would not be practical when children are present. The lack of a larger window in the living room area did not make the best use of the wonderful views and if you are a lady the gallery landing windows might proof difficult to look out of because of their height, which is a shame as the design of the place is pretty much perfect but the aspects could have been improved upon. The kitchen is large and comfortable with three lots of cooking facilities (electric oven included). I found this to be more than adequate and wondered why people writing reviews on this property (via trip advisor) could have complained about having no cooking facilities? (The arga looked great but I did not want the complication of having to know how to work it without spending more time there). The kitchen is well stocked but the counter tops in the central reservation are worn and need to be replaced now. A couple of the kitchen stools upholstery were damaged with rips in them which had been taped over and there were rips in the settees in the main living room. The aspect looking out towards the woods from the dining room window where you could watch rabbits playing out on the lawn was my favourite viewpoint but the property did not make the best use of views from the living room (as previously stated). All in all, we all really enjoyed our stay at the property and assurances from Sykes about the accommodation were gratefully received and accurate. The barn conversion is in an amazing location, be prepared for a drive into the property, however it is not far from the A1 and so can easily be found and the directions supplied were very good. The collecting of keys was a little fiddly which could easily be rectified. My biggest complaint was the arrival of the cleaners on the day of departure - we were late arriving (around 7pm) so I did not honestly think that we would feel practically pushed out of the accommodation at 10am on the following Saturday morning! The time of departure is off I am afraid, we had a busy but enjoyable week staying there but did not expect the cleaning staff to show up at the premises before 10am. My autistic son was in the shower when they arrived and he felt rushed - this did not leave us with a positive outcome, which was a shame.
All in all I think this accommodation is very good indeed, however, there is room for improvement to make it perfect which would not cost a fortune. Better furnishings is a must. An improvement of having a toilet installed upstairs also a must. Having 11am at least as a set time to leave is also a must. Sykes must ensure departure time is later rather than sooner and that the cleaners do not show up prior to departure time as it makes paying! guests feel rather uncomfortable and unnecessarily rushed.