Accessibility Information for accessible holidays at Barnacre Cottages
We are fortunate to have many returning guests, some have asked us about ‘our story’, how we ended up doing what we do and why it is so important to us – so, this is us.
We are a very small family business consisting of Sue, Terry and daughters Kendall (qualified mental health nurse, married with 3 little girls) Beth (married with a new baby, bio medical science degree from Durham uni) and Callie who is 20. We all live here at Barnacre and are involved in looking after and taking care of the cottages.
Our youngest daughter Callie has Downs Syndrome and I, Sue, due to illness in 2015, has spinal cord damage meaning I am a part time wheelchair user that can walk sometimes, but badly.
All of us, have experienced difficulties that other people without personal involvement would not even contemplate.
It was through Callie, (who can be grumpy, stubborn, awkward, lazy and loveable) that we started the holiday cottages back in 2000. The cottages enabled us to work from home and spend time looking after her, attend all her many medical and other appointments.
Via Callie, we have met other children, teenagers and adults (plus their parents and carers) with various special needs and learning difficulties. From personal experience when Callie has had a ‘moment’ or thrown a tantrum, it can make a huge difference to families when they are met with a kind word and understanding. We welcome everyone here.
My own illness involved months in hospital, the majority of which was in the spinal unit at Southport hospital. Part of my therapy included being trained in how to use a wheelchair properly .
Prior to being in that, for me a nightmare situation that I genuinely thought I was going to wake up from, I had thought that our cottages had pretty good facilities. We already had ramp access, wide doorways, raised sockets etc. Four of the cottages we had officially graded some years previously as being Mobility 1, and we had done lots of extra things that we, in our lack of personal experience, thought might help guests.
After returning home from hospital, one of the 1st things I did was to change the ground floor en suite wet rooms in both Mole End and Woodpecker cottages. In hospital there was no shelving next to the wash basin to put toiletries, so I either had to have them on my knee or put them in the basin. The cottages now have wide wash basins with plenty of space for toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap etc and wheelchairs can fit easily underneath them.
Large illuminated mirrors with touch sensors come right down to the wash basin, so a guest sat in a wheelchair can actually see themselves, not just the top of their heads!
I have designed those wet rooms in Mole End and Woodpecker with my experience and how I thought they might work well for guests. I chose accessories and fittings that are stylish and discreet, that would and do enable me to look at a wash room wherever we go and know if I will be able to look after myself in there, or if I reluctantly need someones help. Whilst I know I am disabled, seeing how clinical some facilities can be is disheartening.
There are stainless grab rails either side of the toilets which fold down from the walls. A douche spray next to the toilet has also been installed, surprisingly very useful.
In the large wet room type shower areas, which can accommodate a wheelchair and a few helpers, we don’t have fixed screens. They can get in the way. Instead we have shower curtains if you want some privacy. There are also fold down grab rails creating a smaller enclosed area, which can be helpful for wobbly guests. There are fold down shower seats but we can provide plastic shower chairs if preferred.
Although there are fixed rainfall shower heads, there is also a shower spray that can be hand held, which is useful as you don’t always want to wash your hair every time you take a shower – it takes up too much energy!
Both Mole End and Woodpecker have two large ground floor ensuite wet rooms, including one that has a bath. The bath does have a grab rail for assistance in getting out.
Our recent grading inspection rated these two cottages now as mobility 2, and they are the ones which we would recommend for guests with mobility issues.
The three original cottages, Partridge, Old Stables and the Piggeries, were converted from the old stone farm buildings. This has meant we have been restricted in what we are allowed to do in regards to changing the rooms sizes and layouts. But there are some features we have managed to include, such as ground floor toilet facilities in Partridge and Piggeries, and the Old Stables does have two ground floor bedrooms and a ground floor shower room. Which can mean that these cottages are suitable for some guests, but they are not recommended for guests in wheelchairs.
However, as much as we can provide lots of information on here, sometimes there is no substitute for actually speaking to a real person. You are very welcome and encouraged to ring us, to clarify any points or concerns that you might have prior to booking.
A break can be much needed and if we can help make a guests stay successful, then we will try.
There is always a family member here to assist guests.
Our number is 01995 600918.
This cottage was assessed as Accessible Accommodation NAS Mobility 2 and is our largest and most spacious cottage. It has seven bedrooms, six of which have their own ensuites, two of which are on the ground floor.
At the front of the property is a twin room on the ground floor this can also be made into a super king on request. The spacious bathroom (about 12ft by 5ft 6ins wide) has a large wet room type shower area, with separate bath, wide sink and toilet with douche spray.
At the rear of the cottage, looking out into the woods, is a bedroom which contains a double and a single bed. This room can either be used by a family, parents and a child, or two adults. The large (again 12ft by 5ft 6 ins wide) en-suite consists of a modern washbasin, standard height toilet and large open wet room type shower area with fold down seat. Both of these rooms have been used successfully by wheelchair users.
Also on the ground floor is a utility room with additional toilet and washbasin.
The cottage has a conservatory / sun lounge, which is accessed off the kitchen area down some steps with a handrail. Unfortunately, there was no way of avoiding having steps to this new room. However due to the open plan space and it not being a closed off room, guests have found that it still allows everybody to gather and still feel included.
There are some French doors leading from this room out to a new covered level seating area. This cottage has been great for large family groups, particularly with grandparents or relatives not good at walking or using wheelchairs.
During lockdown 2020, we we are able to add an outside kitchen with pizza oven, BBQ, bar area and fridge. This is in addition to the already popular firepit.
Parking is at the side of the property and there is ramp access to the front entrance. At the rear of the property is a raised decked area with tables and chairs in the warmer weather, this can be reached either by the French doors from the living area or by a permanent ramp from the garden path.
The property overlooks our 7 acre field which can be used as a communal area for gathering.
A group of local businesses including ourselves and a variety of countryside organisations, have got together to develop the Wyresdale Wheels for all project, which means that there is now an all terrain buggy, the Tramper, which is available for hire.
The Tramper is a specially designed, four wheel drive electric buggy, which can be used off road and even on rough ground, mud and grass. It enables people who have difficulty walking to experience the countryside, woodlands and lakesides; and to accompany their friends and families when out walking.
The Tramper is available to use, for a donation for maintenance. You can use it for just a few hours or a few days subject to availability. You will be given a brief lesson on how to use the Tramper before you take it out for a drive.
New trails are currently being developed. However, there are currently six routes that you can use to take you in the countryside within three miles of the cottages. These trails are also ideal for less agile walkers and people with buggies, as they are stile free and few steep slopes.
Trampers are also available for hire from Beacon Fell near Chipping at Wyre Estuary Country Park and the Wild Boar Park also at Chipping. At these places you also need to book ahead.
For more information please contact us and we can send you a leaflet giving more details.
Should you require any equipment such as hoists, Millercare in Preston , (telephone 01772 788128), will deliver direct to the cottage prior to your arrival.
For those guests who wish to hire various items of equipment, this company will provide ‘holiday hire’ and also deliver direct to the cottages.
Tel 01253 864163
A few guests have also required the services of a local carer during their stay with us. The company that we have used is:
Their telephone number is 01995 679662. They also have a website.
Our contacts there are Carol and Sam.
“The best way to discover if what we have at Barnacre is suitable for you is to contact us. I would much rather discuss in details your requirements than discover when a guest arrives that we have not got what you need.”