Romantic cottages for two in the Peak District

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Visitrac: What could we have improved?

Is there anything that we could have done to make your stay more enjoyable? (Again, completely unedited)

  • was just about as perfect as you can get for holidays of this nature unless the proprietors can exert some control over the weather …:)))
  • 1. An indoor recycling bin, to keep recycling separate before taking it out
  • 2. A foldaway suitcase stand to put the suitcase on
  • a few minor problems
  • a) a degree in Mech eng is need to understand the washing machine no matter how hard we tried it just washed on and on for nearly 3 hrs and then went on drying for even more.
  • b) definatley a dripping tap in the cuboard next to bathroom, can hear it really loud in the early hours drove us a bit potty.
  • c)we always find it a bit disappointing to be told not to arrive before 4pm and then leave before 10am. We thing in any B & B or SC leave by 11am arrive after 2 pm is more appropriate. These times eem to have become more and more unreasonable over the years in many eatabishments, we really do think that it is a major problem.
  • A tiny thing and probably not actionable – I love a strong hot shower in the morning but the barn just cannotprovide that due to head room. Tha bath was amazing though – and I can live without a power shower for a week!
  • All needs and wants were anticipated and expectations were exceeded!
  • better weather!!
  • Flat screen tv in bedroom
  • No
  • No – everything was perfect!
  • no – thank you.
  • No it was perfect
  • No it was super.
  • No!
  • No, it was perfect!
  • No.
  • -it would be nice to have the ?glass topped table back by the settee (Douglas)-nowhere for cups otherwise.
  • -I’d like one sharp knife-maybe the carver-could mark box as ‘caution, sharp knife'(That’s the sort of silly thing
  • that’s done today, in case people don’t realise that knives cut!) This is very much a pesonal foible- I’m derided at home for obsessional sharpening, following which we all cut ourselves. This is not, however, a complaint, nor even a criticism!
  • Not a thing overall. Improve the weather and we could have made use of barbeque and sat outside in the garden a little more.
  • nothing
  • Nothing at all
  • Nothing, it was great!
  • o
  • Only real problem was the bath. Shower screen blocked from opening outwards, making it extremely difficult to reach the tap at the far end. Felt it was a health and safety issue – overstretching (I’m 5’6″ with reasonably long arms)to turn tap on/off and especially when reaching over a bath full of hot water. Alternative was to run it full of warm water then get it and add more hot, not ideal but this also posed a problem as the water comes into the bath from the side which means that if it’s hot you have to stand/kneel away from the flow to avoid hot water running directly onto your thigh/hip area. Would have been far better to be able to access the tap more easily and have the water coming in from the far end instead of the side.
  • Only slight niggle was that the sitting area had a slight smell of dog when we arrived but this passed after the first day or so (I’d recommend non-pet owners to book Douglas’ barn, which we would do if we returned).
  • Organise better weather!
  • Our little garden could have benefited from a little more maintenance, but that is only a very small niggle. The barbecue was very welcome.
  • Our stay was perfect
  • Our stay was so enjoyable there was everything you could wish for in Tom’s Barn, even things for a rainy day
  • Provided a thermos flask to take on walks.
  • Bathroom sink plug not raising enough to allow for sink to drain.
  • Slightly more comfortable bed
  • The central heating was quite noisy starting up early in the morning. Not a huge problem but if we were there for more than 3 nights probably would have asked for it to be reset to come on later.
  • The only complaint I could make is about the dirt coming out of the bath.
  • The only thing we would have changed was the mattress on the bed – it was a pretty uncomfortable. We run our own B&B and have Pocket Spring and Vi-Spring mattresses and these are much better and have a life-time guarantee
  • The shower pressure was very low
  • There was some problem with wasps. Some better form of control might have been desirable.
  • We genuinely cannot think of anything!
  • We had a problem with the water running too slowly out of the bath when we had showers.
  • We think you have the balance just right.
  • We were lucky to have good weather when we stayed at Douglas’s Barn and found the duvet too warm and rather heavy. Maybe a lower tog quilt or a top sheet for visitors to use in the summer months if they so wished.

Visitrac: What was particularly good about your cottage?

IMG_9013Is there anything you felt was particularly good about this property? (Completely unedited!)

everything in property you could wish for.Extra touches like bread, milk, eggs,butter, homemade shortbread on arrival, toiletries in bathroom made us feel we were special.

The standard of cleanliness..the customer service…the provision of facilities

.the kitchen equipment was excellent, as was the library.

A home from home feeling.

Attention to detail – flowers, warm welcome & homemade cakes, also provision of basics such as bread, milk, eggs, butter, tea & coffee, etc. Very much appreciated on a short break. Overall a wonderful cottage in a lovely location.

Beautiful cottage, with some very nice touches with flowers & herbs. Also robes in the bedroom and lovely towels.

Cosy and warm , but not tiny and crowded!

Douglas’s Barn is extremely well equipped – it feels like a bit of luxury way from home. It is so peaceful there – it is my favourite place to stay in the UK and I never want to come home. Marion & John are so welcoming and charming and are always so helpful.

Every detail had been thought of, making Douglas’ Barn not only a home from home but also a genuinely luxurious holiday home.

every thing was as i expected


Everything about the cottage itself was lovely. In addition, as a dog owner, it was perfectly situated with suitable walks literally from the doorstep.

Everything about Tom’s Barn was excellent, we have already booked for two weeks next May

Everything was excellent. The advance information sent to us was first class and most helpful.

Everything was good! Tom’s Barn is beautiful, it’s furnished to a high standard and kept extremely clean. It’s in a stunning location and is very peaceful. The owners are discrete yet on hand for valued information of the area.

Everything was simply idyllic

Excellent fixtures and fittings. Food and cooking materials provided. Very pleasant welcome and help from the owners. Good arrangements for the delivery of milk and newspapers. Excellent arrangements for recycling

Friendliness of the owner and cleaniness

Great attention to detail

Many thoughtful touches. eg Excellent books and information available.Also, the very high quality of most things, from TV to cutlery.

It felt SO homely- all the comforts of home but with amazing walks literally from the doorstep.

The attention to detail and focus on excellence in every area.

Everything you could need was provided.

The little extras to start you off were great, eg tea, biscuits, bread, butter, eggs, milk etc.

The fire place was great – it made the trip for winter.

The details sent ahead of time enabled us to reserve restaurants and plan our trip.

The General facilities in the cottage were very good and easy to use (especially the boot driers which came in very handy.

The kitchen (including utensils and basic food provided), the general atmosphere/ambience was very welcoming/cosy/comfortable

The kitchen was very well eqipped; nice music system; great hairdryer; pretty dishes; very homey feel;comfy bed; wonderful bathroom;

The little extras provided (basic foods, dressing gowns, toiletires, provision of washing and cleaning materials etc) made a real difference. It was like staying in a good qulaity hotel, but with self-catering facilities!

The overall of the property well deserves five star. Very clean and the feel was warm and cozy.

the overall quality and feel of the property – everything you needed in teh kitchen. Such a cosy feel – felt like a haven.

The information provided about the area

the owners are delightful, the location breathtaking . the building itself really restored with care & thought .with friendliest local pub (the gate}near by

The owners have thought of eveything! Such lovely touches such as the home made cake, tea, milk ,eggs, bread and butter on arrival. Even down to the dressing gowns in the bedroom – it was all so very well thought out.

The log burner just made the stay perfect! What a wonderful find. I would highly recommend this property.

The owners were very helpful both before and during our visit. It was lovely to have basic groceries, e.g. stock cubes, rice, kitchen foil etc. in the cupboards plus all necessary washing supplies as in most places we have stayed we have either had to bring them from home or go out and buy them when only using a small quantity if any at all.

The position is good for a dog owner, the welcome was good and the barn is very well equiped.

The property was very well equipped.

The standard of fictures and fittings and attention to detail.

The two seater whirlpool bath!

The warmth and genuiness of the owners.

The welcoming touches, flowers, biscuits, milk etc, were much appreciated after our long journey. The friendliness of everyone, a typical village atmosphere.

The whole package was excellent, right from booking. The information received about the property (how to get there, what was there etc.), the greeting, including fresh flowers and cake (the cake was quite fantastic!!), and the overall stay was wonderful. The surroundings were idylic. You are very lucky to live there!

The small guide book to Parwich, including a walk around the village, was a very welcome addition, and kept us occupied around the village for a whole afternoon (the village itself is, and I hope remains, a hidden gem!).

Overall, very, very pleased.

Tom’s Barn is a very relaxing place, littel touches like home made cakes, music playing and a fire lit on arrival.

Total peace and relaxtion

very enjoyable experiance- lots of special touches including tea and homemade cake when we arrived.

Very friendly welcome. A very relaxing place to stay.

Very well equipped. It had been well thought out so there was everything you might need.

we found Marion &john delightful hoasts ,nothing was too much trouble

We had a fantastic time and were impressed by the quality of every aspect of the accommodation. The kitchen was really well stocked too!

We love Toms Barn. The cottage is perfect with everything you could need. John and Marion are perfect hosts with the perfect balance between being welcoming and leaving you to enjoy the peace of your holiday.

We thought everything about Tom’s Barn was excellent.

Visitrac: Would you return?

How likely are you to re-book a stay at this property?

Don’t know 1 1%

Not very likely 3 4%

Quite likely 22 29%

Very likely 49 65%

At least one of the ‘Not very likely’ responses was because they were in the process of moving to the area… This is another example where one hopes there could possibly be a reason for an apparently luke-warm response.

Visitrac Online Survey: Where the guests came from

Which part of England do you live in?

East Midlands 12 17%

Eastern (?)  10 14%

London 9 13%

North West/Merseyside 3 4%

South East 21 29%

South West 6 8%

West Midlands 5 7%

Yorkshire & The Humber 6 8%

Scotland   2 3%

As  can be seen, our guests come from all over the country.

Visitrac Online Survey: the less useful aspects

There have been frustrations.

  1. We did not design the wording or the questions.
  2. The questions allow for a response but without an explanation for the comment.
  3. There were some reponses based on a complete misconception and I don’t deny that can make one feel quite unreasonably upset! For example one person complains, one senses bitterly, that:
  • They had been informed they could not arrive until after 4 pm and had to leave before 10am
  • It should be possible to clean a cottage in three hours, between 11am and 2pm

By way of an explanation, after each visit, however clean the barns are left – and they a usually are – each one is given a completely thorough spring clean, from top to bottom.

This can easily take five hours, and and on one bad occasion three of us had to set to (that one took a total of ten hours between us).

Visitrac Online Survey: the difference it has made

The results, the scores and comments, have given us confidence because the average score never dips much below 9.5/10.

We have been grateful to pick up some hints of what might be improved, and have as far as possible acted on these, most notably replacing the beds;  the Tom’s Barn bed had been superb but we had not realised  that it had begun to pass its prime. The outcome, a Vi-spring bed and mattress in Tom’s Barn and a specially commissioned Vi-spring mattress for the slightly wider/longer bed in Douglas’s Barn.

We have acted also on suggestions of extra ‘little extras’ we could provide, such as an apron, tasting teaspoons, a thermos, a really sharp knife.

Visitrac Online Survey: those taking part

The Guests who filled in the anonymous survey from summer 2008 to summer 2009

There were 75 responses in all

Female 49 65%

Male 26 35%

Their age group –  our guests cover the full span

25-34    17 23%

35-44   16 21%

45-54   19 25%

55-64  16 21%

65+       7 9%

Was this your first stay in the area (Peak District)?

No 40 53%

Yes 35 47%

Was this your first stay at this property?

No, had stayed before 13 33%

Yes, my first stay 27 68%

Visitrac: Would you recommend our barns?

Quite likely 3 4%

Very likely 72 96%

(Total no. of questionnaires returned: 75)

Visitrac: Your expectations: How do we score?

The property was as I expected 24 32%

The property was better than I expected 51 68%

It is perhaps worth pointing out that many of the guests had been before, so knew what to expect

(Total no. of questionnaires returned: 75)

Visitrac: The standard of the garden: How do we score?

6/10         2 guests 3%

7/10         2 3%

8/10        13 17%

9/10        15 20%

10/10     39 52%

N/A          4 5%

Average Score = 9.23

(Total no. of questionnaires returned: 75)


  • Time for a short pre Christmas break

    Time to get a bit of relaxation before the Christmas mayhem. There are still short breaks available in Douglas’s Barn. Plenty going on in the Peak District. Lots of Christmas markets selling lovely gifts that you don’t see elsewhere. Chatsworth House is also a must at this time of year. There are plenty of stories […]

  • A busy Sunday in the Peak District

    Lots of events to go to in and around Parwich today but managed to get to the Horticultural Show in Parwich and the Hartington Show. Missed out on the Antiques in Ashbourne though which is always worth going to. Izzy did better than me by getting 1st prize as the Prettiest Bitch at Hartington Show […]

  • Time to book a last minute Autumn break.

    So the sun may not be shining at the moment but we are going into one of my favorite times of year – AUTUMN. If the weather follows previous years we are in for a lovely September and October and even November can still be delightful. This time of year attracts reduced rate for some […]

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