As I write, news has come in that the Astra Zeneca vaccine against COVID19 has been approved by the authorities and will start to be rolled out next week. This really does feel like great news and the beginning of the end of the pandemic.
The time between Christmas and New Year is usually busy for us, with changeovers and hosting family for the holiday season. This year has been different, has it has for a huge majority, I know.
It’s been so quiet it’s been a great time for reflection. We have been had to close our doors for 23 weeks of 2020 and we’ve had to cancel I don’t know how many bookings. We’ve been so fortunate that the people on the other end of every single one of those cancellations have been so understanding. The vast majority have postponed their breaks until 2021 – thank you!
Being closed has been an opportunity to get on with some other projects. Here are some of the things we have been up to in 2020.
We had started the process of replacing the kitchen at Cliffe Cottage before the first lockdown. That process is now complete now with new tiling on the wall and floor. It’s looking really smart!
We completely refreshed both websites back in the spring. They are now much faster to load, more mobile friendly and, we hope, easier to use.
Back in the summer, we had 3D tours of each of the cottages made. We hope that this will help prospective guests to get a feel for each of the cottages before they commit to a booking. Take a look around Byre Cottage if you haven’t done so already (part way down the page).
In the autumn we have spent some time developing an online guidebook for each cottage. These will provide valuable information for guests from the moment they book through to departure. The guides contain detailed information about each cottage and more general information about the area too. I’m really excited to roll this out to our 2021 guests. Take a quick peek at the Hayloft Cottage guide if you’d like.
Being COVID safe over the summer and early autumn of 2020 meant a huge amount of extra work for our cleaning staff. I’m very grateful to them for taking it all in their stride. It’s a daunting prospect to know that every surface, every handle, every knife, fork, plate, cup and saucepan needs to be sanitised before new guests arrive. Thanks too to all those guests who delayed their arrival to allow us to get it all done.
We are about to move into Tier 4 and so not allowed to open. In my heart of hearts, I don’t think that this will change for a few weeks yet. One of the fantastic things about the Peak District is that so many of the population (20 million!) live within an hour’s drive of the National Park. In these more stressful times, however, that becomes a downside. We are in a beautifully rural part of the country and our Coronavirus cases are not as high as other areas but our local hospitals are under as much strain.
Once the situation begins to improve and we are allowed to open again we cannot wait to welcome you all back. In the meantime, have a very happy and a very safe New Year.