Booked this property, along with the larger neighbouring barn (both owned by the same person) to enjoy an extended family break - there were 21 of us in all. Six of us stayed in Curlew Barn.
We forgot to bring with us the £200 cheque for a bond, which had been requested by the owner prior to our arrival. When we explained that we had forgotten the cheque (who carries chequebooks these days?) but were happy to leave our addresses and contact details in case any problems were found after we left, but the owners refused us access until we had cobbled together between us the required £200 in cash. The owners insisted that this was a condition of booking enforced by the agents, but we have checked and this is not the case - it was imposed solely by the owners. They promised to send us a cheque to reimburse the bond once we had left and they had checked the property.
Firstly, Curlew Barn is split in two, which means that the owner can actually rent this small barn to two separate families if he wishes, or separate off part of the barn if a smaller family book. This would be ridiculous - in our half of the cottage (sleeping 4) there was not even enough space for 4 of us to sit. The other half has a larger lounge area but only sleeps 3 (all in the same room).
During our stay we experienced severe weather - freezing temperatures, snow and high winds, resulting in a complete loss of power for a full day. As Curlew Barn is only fed by electricty, this meant that we had no heat, light or cooking facilities - we could not even make a cup of tea. Of course, this was not at anybody's fault, however the owner was completely unhelpful and actually downright rude during this difficult time. Luckily we could go over to the other barn to our other family members, where they had a wood burner to provide a little bit of heat and a gas hob so that we could boil water. There was only a little bit of wood provided in the larger barn, so we went to the owner (who lives on site) and asked for some more - whereupon he brought us a small bag of logs and asked us for £5 before he would hand them over! When we asked him to provide it as a gesture of goodwill he finally replied "Whatever!" and walked off. Later on, his wife came over to tell us that the electricity wasn't going to be back on for a few more hours, and we asked her if they had any candles or torches etc, as it was getting dark - and she simply walked off whilst we were trying to talk to her! Bearing in mind that our party consisted of all ages - ranging from 2 to 72, we found both owners' attitude appalling in their disinterest and unwillingness to help provide some small degree of warmth and light for paying guests. Goodness knows they will have saved a fortune on electricity, as all heating is electric apart from the wood burner.
Other things to note -
1. The accommodation is by no means ideal for as many people as is advertised. I have already given comments on Curlew Barn above. The larger barn (Bottomhouse Barn) is supposed to sleep 15, but this is only possible if you are willing to sleep more or less on top of each other. There are two large bedrooms each with 5 (yes, 5!) beds in. There are two very small bedrooms, one with a double bed, and one with bunk beds. The final sleeping space is a pull out bed on the landing!
2. The bunk beds are supposed to be suitable for adults but were so unstable that the teenagers that were going to use them could not do so.
3. All but one of the beds need replacing - springs are poking through.
After a week of mixed fortunes, we left both barns in impeccable order - nothing was left in a worse condition than was found (apart from an old mop which fell apart as soon as we picked it up). When the cheque for the bond was finally returned, guess what? Money had been deducted to pay for a new mop, as well as a mysterious deduction for "additional cleaning" - to the value of £5 !!! Nothing to do with the "goodwill" wood then???
My advice - do not book this barn, or it's sister accommodation Bottomhouse Barn. The owners have a really bad attitude, are not willing to do anything to make your stay pleasureable, and are only interested in squeezing as much money out of their property as possible.
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