Now that our UK walking season has come to an end, we have got a little time to sit back and reflect on the highs and lows of another successful year at Macs Adventure. Here in the office we all work really hard, trying our best to make sure that everyone’s holiday is as flawless as we can and try to tie people up with walks and accommodations that are going to make their trips special. It is a great feeling to be able to orchestrate something like this, especially when we receive the very generous feedback that our customers supply us with. It adds that extra bit of enjoyment to the job to know that people are out there, having the times of their lives and that we played some part in that happiness. However, before we start patting ourselves on the back too hard, we thought that it was about time that we acknowledged the places and faces that actually make the day-to-day difference, our wonderful accommodation suppliers.
In our last monthly newsletter (which you can sign up to over there → should you wish) we asked our customers for one last bit of feedback for the year. We asked them to nominate their favourite accommodation from all of those that they stayed in whilst walking the various long distance trails of Britain and beyond. The response was fantastic and though the battle was a close one, there was one outstanding winner. We have decided to show off our top 5 as voted for by our customers, to say thank you to them for all their hard work during the year. We use around 800 different B&B’s, Guesthouses and Hotels so getting into the top 5 is no mean feat. And the winner is……..
1. Bramblewood B&B, Drymen – On the West Highland Way.
Bramblewood is a wonderful B&B, just outside of Drymen, the first nights stop on most people’s West Highland Way. Run flawlessly by Rosemary and John Semple, Bramblewood is a beautiful modern house with a massive veranda overlooking a large, lovely garden. Rosemary and John are delightful people to deal with, nothing is ever too much trouble for them and on the odd occasion that we need a little local help, they are always more than willing to put themselves out.
Their 3 rooms are large, contemporary and spotless, the breakfasts outstanding and the location gives you the immediate feeling of tranquility that many walk the West Highland Way for. The fact that Bramblewood is about a mile from the centre of Drymen and there is some competition of a very high standard in the centre of town really underlines this victory and doubtless it is mainly down to the fantastic hospitality that our guests receive on arrival that marks Bramblewood above everyone else.
Here are some of the comments from the customer feedback.
– “Superb, modern facilities. Very Friendly, helpful but non-intrusive hosts. Superb breakfast.”
– “Must again praise Bramblewood-fantastic hosts, very nice room, high-end en-suite, extraordinary breakfast”
2. Vallum Lodge, Once Brewed – On Hadrian’s Wall Path
Vallum Lodge really is a little bit of luxury on Hadrian’s Wall! We constantly receive good feedback about this place and it’s definitely a highlight of many people’s trips.
The accommodation is very clean, comfortable and spacious and people love Ann herself who is always very helpful and welcoming – and always a big help to Laura!
Some of the best feedback was.
– “All were very comfortable but the best was definitely Vallum Lodge at Once Brewed – quite exceptional and extremely welcoming.”
– “Places and people worth a special mention are the ladies and accommodation at Vallum Lodge…”
3. Ewich House, Strathfillan – On the West Highland Way
Ewich House is again stuck out in the middle of nowhere, so at first seems an odd choice for such a highly rated accommodation, however with such a stunning property it is easy to see why the customers love it so much. Though originally built in 1811, the interior of the house is very modern and the hospitality of Deb and Ian is open, welcoming and friendly, just like their responses to our requests. Their willingness to take people to and from Crianlarich or Tyndrum is only the tip of their friendly approach.
They have an extensive 5 acres of garden which includes a friendly herd of Alpaca, 15 chickens (providing fresh eggs for breakfast) and plenty of room for relaxation. Already having a Trip Advisor travellers choice 2010 award was not enough for Ewich House, they had to add the far more prestigious Macs Adventure award to their collection.
Here’s what the customers have been saying.
– “Owners Deb and Ian went very much above and beyond to make us feel special. The rooms were fabulous, the breakfast was fabulous and the grounds were….well fabulous. The best accommodation on the WHW”
– “A second night at Ewich House would have been very nice. My wife was delighted with the comfort and the well stocked bathroom….lots of lotions and potions for weary feet. Great breakfast too!”
4. Tantallon House, Gilsland – On Hadrian’s Wall Path
Roger and Lorna Ashman at Tantallon House certainly know how to make walkers feel welcome! The accommodation is luxurious and stunning and Roger and Lorna offer a wealth of local knowledge about the area. They are also very helpful on the phone and it is a pleasure to deal with them! People even love the quirky addition of the resident owl, Hoot! As well as the stunning B&B they also have a beautiful holiday cottage should you be looking to spend a bit longer in the area.
Some of the comments included
-“Amazing place and a really communal welcome, with all guests sitting round having tea and cakes with the landlord before getting ready to go out.
-“we fell in love with Tantallon House!”
-“Tantallon House is all a B&B should be and more!”
5. Abbey Farm, St Bees – On Wainwright’s Coast to Coast
What makes Abbey Farm really special is the fact that Janet and Steve met while doing the Coast to Coast walk and so they really understand what walkers need. They make a lot of time for our customers, really taking that extra step to make sure their guest are made to feel welcome! The rooms are large and spacious with luxurious bathrooms and there is a real coal fire available in the sitting room area. On top of this they are always a pleasure to deal with.
Some of the customer comments included.
– “Absolutely fantastic – we were in the ground floor room which was huge and very comfortable. Superb breakfast and lovely hosts!”
– “100% fantastic place to stay. Would recommend this to anyone although …..it felt a bit like I had peaked early with regards to the accommodation. 10/10”
– “The only bad thing is that Abbey Farm is at the start of the walk and not at the end or half way through where this wonderful service would be even more welcomed by weary walkers!”
We offer our sincere thanks to all of the accommodation providers that we use and especially these 5 worthy winners for without their generosity of spirit, hospitality and addiction to great service our jobs would be so much harder and our feedback would not be as amazing. Of course the main thing is that they are helping our customers have the time of their lives and for this we cannot thank them enough.