Just perfect, The cottage is lovely. We arrived, picked up the keys to the cottage from the main desk, and a pleasant young man then showed up around the cottage and explained how everything worked. There was even bread, milk and eggs left for us.
The actual cottage was very clean, with everything that we needed. We have two large dogs, and the yard at the back was perfect for them to run around, as had very high fences. The grounds are beautiful.
There were two small things (and they are small ! ) that we noticed;
- the latch on the gate to the yard was not very secure. We did have some strong winds, and this blew the gate open. Luckily we noticed before the dogs escaped, so put the wheelie bin up against it. A bolt maybe better.
- Another bin liner (told you they were small ! ) we only had one to last the week, so had to put rubbish into smaller bags and then a bin.
And that's it ! Perfect little cottage, out of the way of people and other dogs. We did not venture over to the hotel for food etc, as you are not to leave dogs alone (understandable)
This lovely comfortable cottage is nicely decorated, and is furnished with co-ordinating fabrics of high quality. So there is a 'wow' factor when you walk in. The setting is beautiful and peaceful.
The hotel staff, who hold the key and help with everything and anything, are so friendly and made us feel very welcome from start to finish.
The Wi-Fi was a little hit and miss in the cottage but if you go over to the hotel, you can sit and relax in the foyer or outside and get great reception there. So that really wasn't a problem.
The hot tub was fabulous!
We spent a day at the Bird of Prey Centre (1 minute walk!) which we really enjoyed. Everyone there was very friendly, and there is a happy, family feeling to the place. The 'quiz' was fun and the bird displays are well worth seeing. We popped back to the cottage for lunch between them. We also made a bird feeder for our garden, which was so much fun and well worth it.
We also had ice-cream at the near-by Archer's Parlour. The ice-cream is delicious and worth a visit. But, it is very child friendly so was very full and quite noisy when we went...this could be a good or bad thing depending how you feel.
Just two things: (1)There are only enough dish washer tablets for a weekend. We don't have a dishwasher at home so didn't have any to take, and didn't want to go shopping, just for those,whilst on holiday. So had to hand wash from Monday onwards which was a shame. (2) It stated on the 'Sykes' website where we booked that there were a selection of books, games and DVD's, there were none.
Overall though, lovely people, a lovely cottage and a lovely time.
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I booked this place as a Christmas break for 4 nights and took a gamble as there was no reviews available and i was very pleased. It is very well decorated and all you need is supplied. Darlington is 10 mins drive for all bits and bobs. It is in the grounds of a Castle hotel with plenty of land for the dogs to walk. There was no heating on when we arrived and it was a bit temperamental but they sorted it after 20 mins. The hot tub is great. Very comfy and a bargain at the cost. I would highly recommend and we will be back.