I was travelling to Wiltshire to drop my son off at his Army barracks and decided I would stay over night, visit Stonehenge and make a lovely weekend of the trip given that my birthday was also fast approaching. I found The Duck Yard listed in Alastair Sawdays Special Places book and e-mailed the owners a week in advance of the date I needed the room.
The owners very promptly mailed back and confirmed availability for the night I needed and i responded again by e-mail asking them to reserve the room for me.
Everything seemed fine and I was really looking forward to my trip. Then at 12:09 on the date I was supposed to be staying I received a further e-mail from the owners stating that if I didn't ring by 12:00 I would be too late!
I rang as soon as I received the e-mail only to be most disappointed to be told that I could no longer have the room - it was too short notice - she couldn't 'clean the room after the current guests had left in time for me to arrive' - I explained that I wouldn't be arriving for another 8 hours yet as I needed to collect my son and then drive from North Yorkshire to Wiltshire. But still the answer was no I'm sorry your too late - no one leaves it this late to book a room.
Well actually they do! So I was left with nowhere to stay - I tried several other places in the area but all were fully booked due to the bank holiday. As it was an unavoidable journey I was left with no option other than to drive there and come straight back - a journey that took over 10 hours!!
My husband did ring the Duck Yard in the afternoon as we were travelling (as a test) to see if they had a vacancy - oddly enough they said they were full that night. All I can think is that they got a better offer from someone who wanted the room for longer!!
What I would say to anyone considering booking this place is don't unless you've got a back up plan.
All I can say to the owners is thanks Mr and Mrs Combes for absolutely nothing!!!!