Pre-arrival Infomation

Arrival and Check-Out
We will do everything possible to make sure you enjoy your stay but if you have any concerns, problems or just require advice please call us on 07475 734441 office hours please. You may check in from 4pm and our preferred arrival time is between 4pm to 6pm, the cottage will not be ready before 4pm unless you pay for an early check in and pre-arrange this. If you intend to arrive later please let us know. Please note if we are not at home or it’s late, to gain access through our locked gate please request the up-to-date code. If no one is available to meet you, on your arrival, your cottage will be open and your name will be on the door. We normally catch up with late arrivals the following morning. We do not accept change over of guests, you may not have some of your party leave and be replaced by different guests. Only persons on the booking form are allowed to stay here and use our facility’s. We reserve the right to charge for extra guests even after you have departed and will always do so.

Hot Tubs
New and available now for Durham, Brancepeth, Heartwell and Raby cottages: private outdoor hot tubs, overlooking the beautiful wear valley, on your patio.

We can offer you (as an optional extra) a hot tub on your patio at only £99 for a weekend/part week or £129 for a week. This will be filled with fresh, treated spring water and heated to 40 degrees for you on arrival. These new hot tubs seat around 6 persons and, as they are private to your cottage you may adjust the temperature to your liking. Please note the price includes one fill and one heat, we can add chemicals to keep the water clear but it’s highly recommend to shower before using it, we cannot change the water during short stays due to the time it takes to heat and the costs involved, week stays will be changed/ treated as necessary. Due to respect to other guests they may not be used after 10pm. They may not be suitable for some guests due to medical conditions (if in doubt please seek independent advice) but they can be adjusted to a lower temperature if required. Please ask well in advance if you require this, as it takes a while to heat so fill and cannot be done on arrival. There is also a hot tub in the pool area (indoor) and which is free.

The Facilities
EE wireless internet is available on request, please book one of these dongles early if required. They are charged at £5 per 2 Gig. Towels and bed linen is provided, please bring pool towels as theses are not provided and can be difficult to dry in bad weather. The cottage will be equipped with basic self catering equipment for your group. Departure is strictly before 10am on your departure day to allow for cleaning. If you would like a later departure or early arrival this can be arranged at the cost of only £20 but must be pre-arranged, as it there is limited availability. There are information packs in the cottages regarding facilities and local information. The pool complex can be pre-booked for 1 private hour per day free of charge however there is a small charge on budget bookings. Again, we have limited private sessions so this should ideally be done ASAP to avoid disappointment.  The booking sheets are printed and distributed to guest in advance so you cannot book this on arrival. There are also long communal sessions. We can provide logs and kindling for £35 per week or £20 for part week, again these should be pre-booked.

Security and Damage
On arrival we require a valid credit/debit card with available credit as a security/damage deposit. We will take a pre-authorisation payment of £100 to £250 per cottage from this card (depending on the cottage), which will be returned to your card shortly after departure unless there is damage, however caused. When booking a cottage and supplying us with this card, you are agreeing to this and also agree that we may charge this and any other amount, to the card, for damage, however caused during your stay also any excess internet usage. If you do not have a card or prefer, we can agree a deposit to be pre-paid by cheque, bank transfer prior to arrival or cash can be held. Cash payments cannot be refunded on departure, as it is not possible to check all 5 cottages while guests are waiting, therefore it will be done by bank transfer, normally within 48 hrs.

We now accept pets at a cost of £30 per pet. This is payable in advance and is to cover the extra cleaning and work we have found this creates. Pets are strictly not allowed on the furniture, upstairs and cannot be off the lead within the area of the cottages. As have many children staying here, guests must have a bag in hand to pick up after their pets if within the cottage area. We need to be very strict on this due to toxocara and other diseases passed onto children through dog faeces. We are set in 60 acres and have no problems with pets being off lead outside the area of the cottages so long as they are not a threat the sheep etc. This is a great place for pets but we need simple respect and courtesy to other guests and our beautiful cottages. Dogs are strictly not allowed to be locked in the cottages while the guests are out, unless in a suitable box/cage.

Young Groups
We advertise as a quiet family retreat and our other family guests will be expecting this. Whilst we do take parties of young people and have had many in the past without problems, we must try to keep everyone happy. This is a very beautiful place with BBQ, picnic tables etc, as well as the pool, sauna, hot tub and snooker room. We expect all guests to be considerate to the other guests as well as us, so we always advise any young parties with no children before they come, that; if its peace, tranquility, beautiful countryside and a relaxing get together, this is the place for you. If it’s for a wild, up all night party, drinking heavily, with loud music, it is not for you and you should not book. We live on site and reserve the right to terminate any stay, without refund, if guests are spoiling someone else’s holiday or disrespecting our beautiful property, I am sure you understand.
We also may need an extra security deposit from young groups, if unsure please ask.

To find us;
If you are using sat nav our postcode is DL13 3JF but please note that this will take you to the farm next door.  Our drive is the next right as you travel from Durham. From the South, use the A1M and take the A68 West for Corbridge as far as the A689 at Harperley roundabout where you turn left onto the A689 for Stanhope. At exactly 3 miles, (just after the second layby with the bus stop on the left), half a mile before you get to Wolsingham, look on the right for a “Bowlees Farm” sign with swimming pool picture.  Once on the drive, turn right after 100 yards and then bear left through the gate. Follow the one track road all the way to the property on the top of the hill. The cottage entrance’s and car parks are to the rear of the main farmhouse.  They will be open if no one is available to welcome you at this time. If the automatic gate is closed please use the code to get in, please do not press the intercom after 6pm and before 8am.

We look forward to meeting you
Tony and Vivien Smith.