COVID-19 News & Temporary Operational Changes
As a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, we have had to implement some temporary changes to our operational procedure. These are to ensure the safety of both our guests and our staff. We will continue to update this page to ensure all relevant information is available to guests at all times:
- We reopened for the third time post lockdown on 12 April, initially to single social bubbles only. At the very least, how we operate will follow the Government guidelines at that time but we may request that guests follow some additional guidelines to ensure that all guests feel safe and secure during their stay.
- Please refer to our terms and conditions page for details on the cancellation policy.
- We will require names and contact numbers for all guests (not just lead bookers). This will be collected via email prior to arrival. We will not use these details for anything other than if we need it for track and trace purposes related to COVID-19.
- We like to extend a warm welcome to all of our guests at Beech Farm. The first time guests arrive, we usually offer to show guests round the site and their cottage to ensure they know where everything is and how everything works. We will still endeavour to be on site when you arrive and to offer you a socially distanced smile, but we will not currently offer you a tour of your cottage as this obviously involves us going back into your property and seems an unnecessary risk. Consequently, in our pre-arrival information, we will email you with instructions on where the pertinent things are in your property.
- Temporarily, check-in will be from 3:00pm and check-out by 9:30am. We kindly ask guests to respect this to enable us to ensure the cottages are 'Covid-secure' for our next guests as we will still be thoroughly sanitising the cottages at every changeover.
- We currently ask our guests to open windows when they check-out, to leave the keys on the hooks inside the cottage, and to put all used bedding and towels in laundry bags which we will provide.
- We appreciate that the two items above are an imposition to our guests so we don't ask lightly. It does however enable us to follow procedures ensuring the safety of yourselves, future guests and our staff.
- We pride ourselves on the cleanliness of our cottages and we never compromise on this. However, there are some changes to our changeovers that we will be implementing during the pandemic:
- We operate in an eco-friendly manner at Beech Farm and try to use environentally-friendly cleaning products. In the short term however, we will be replacing our sanitising products with those which meet the WHO guidelines for fighting coronavirus.
- During cleaning, we will ensure that all common 'touchpoints' - eg door handles, light switches, remote controls, keys, kitchen surfaces etc - are sanitised thoroughly at the end of the cleaning shift.
- 'Fogging' - we have bought a fogging machine that enables us to disinfect curtains, sofas and chairs. This will be done in every cottage at every changeover.
- We have conducted a thorough risk assessment using guidelines produced by the Government and relevant professional trade associations to form a new rigorous set of cleaning protocols. We would not be open if we were not confident that we could do so in a safe way, and we have both the AA and VisitBritain kite marks to say that we are Covid-secure.
- The pool is open, but with a slight change to the usual procedure. From 19 July, we will run a hybrid system where mornings will be open to all guests for swimming, and in the afternoon and evening, each cottage will get a private one-hour session. We will confirm details and a timetable when we send out pre-arrival information a couple of weeks before your stay.
- We will try to help facilitate changes if required with swapping sessions, but this relies on other guests wanting to change too so is not guaranteed.
- The swimming pool changing rooms, shower and toilet are now fine for guests to use.
- Guests are free to use inflatables etc in the pool. We have a small stock available for purchase and you are welcome to bring your own. If you do use your own toys, we ask you to please remove them from the pool building after use.
- From 19 July, feeding sessions with the sheep, goats and chickens will be daily at 9am for all who want to attend. These sessions are outdoors and can safely be done in a socially distanced way. Please note that numbers of guests at each session tends to be at its highest the day after arrival but then usually reduces.
- Guinea pig and rabbit sessions are inside and will be done one cottage at a time. These are run at least four times per week starting at 9:30am and running however long is necessary to give everyone who wants to, a chance to meet these animals.
- There is an additional sheep, goats and chickens session in the late afternoon. The time for this is not set in stone so if you are interested on any day, ask us in the morning and we will give you an indication on when it is happening, and if necessary, knock on your door when it is about to happen.
- We opened our indoor playroom on 12 April.
- From 19 July, guests are free to use the playroom at any point between 9am and 9pm. We do ask guests to be respectful of others and if somebody else is using it, to check that those are happy for other people to come in, and if necessary, give them the opportunity to vacate.
- We will start running events like kids' movie nights in the playroom over the summer.
- The playroom is also the new home to our book and toy library. Please feel free to borrow any of these items and either leave them in your cottage when you depart, or return them to the quarantine box in the playroom.
- We will supply sanitised table tennis equipment to borrow upon request. Please keep this for the duration of your stay and leave it in your cottage when you depart.
- There is now a sanitising station near the table tennis table in the walled garden so guests can sanitise the table and the barbecues which are stored nearby.
- Please wash your hands before and after use, and/or use the sanitising station at the entrance to the playground, and respect social distancing guidelines.
- Please only one family at a time inside the guest laundry/honesty shop.
- There are sanitising wipes inside for use on the machines.
- Leaflets are available (although many places are not currently distributing leaflets) but we ask you to take away with you any leaflet you touch.
- There are numerous outdoor dining spaces at Beech Farm.
- Every cottage has at least a bench outside their cottage - please do not use any seating outside any cottage that is not the one you are staying in.
- There are shared outdoor dining spaces in the walled garden, on the pool terrace, and on the playroom deck. These spaces are more than enough for when we are completely full. These will be regularly sanitised.
- There is outdoor hand washing available behind the playroom.
- We have set up a sanitising station in the walled garden area, next to the table tennis area. Guests should sanitise the table tennis table and barbecues before use.
- There is also a sanitising station by the entrance to the playground.
- And we have set up a sanitising station in the guest laundry (which also serves as the honesty shop).
- And finally there is sanitiser available outside the office, and in all the cottages.
- If you need sanitiser to take with you, we have travel-sized bottles in the honesty shop.
What is, and what is not inside your cottage?
- Some non-essential items have been temporarily removed from the cottages/guest areas:
- Welcome folders: the information from these will be emailed in advance of your stay instead.
- DVDs have been removed from the 'library' - all cottages now have smart TVs so you will be able to access Netflix, Prime, BBC iPlayer etc as well as the Freeview channels. Please remember to log out of any accounts before you leave.
- We usually supply a homemade cake, some tea, coffee, sugar and milk for all guests upon arrival. This will temporarily be supplied inside a bag that more than two days before your arrival so you can be assured that it is 'safe', with the exception of the cake, which will be wrapped, but still freshly baked.
- If you require anything like cots, high chairs, stair gates etc, please let us know in advance. This means we can safely put them in your cottage before you arrive and therefore not enter your cottage when you are there.
- All nearby attractions are now open. Please refer to the To See & Do page of our website for further information and inspiration. This includes a map with all attractions on.
- However, many require pre-booking (including restaurants) so we advise contacting them directly before travelling.
- If you have any problems in your cottage, you can either contact us on site (we are there every day) or by calling us. However, if there is something that needs to be fixed in the cottage, if possible, we will do this when you are out. We will do this in the safest way possible for both you and ourselves.
We thank you for your understanding.
Graham and Kirsty