Visit Britain Grading Report - February 2017

Visit Britain Grading Report - February 2017

Beacon Hill is graded annually by Quality in Tourism on behalf of Visit Britain, the Tourist Board for England and Wales. Here is the summary of the latest report; this was recieved following an inspection on 26 February 2017.

Executive Summary


The fifteen cottages at Beacon Hill Farm all continue to achieve their previously held ratings.

A 4 Stars Self Catering rating is retained by Stable, Wood, Ash, Beech, North and South Granary.

The 5 Stars Self Catering rating is retained by Quarry House, Curlew, Merlin, Kestrel, Elm, Larch, Willow, Oak and Beacon Hill Cottage.

All sit comfortably within their respective gradings and all fifteen cottages also retain the Gold accolade due to the high quality accommodation provided.

An accompanied visit with the owner, Mr Alun Moore, being present and who continues to be satisfied to
retain the current ratings. Investment continues throughout the letting stock.

Website Feedback

When making a Google search on the laptop for self catering accommodation in the Morpeth area the website was displayed close to the top of the landing page and enjoys a Google Maps entry.

The site registered under was reviewed. The website was found to be fully compatible with mobile devices, and was able to be viewed in full when seen on an Android phone.

A link to the Access Statement was included, and the use of social media and Trip Advisor also further promoted the business. Out of 550 Trip Advisor reviews, 534 were classed as Excellent. This is a very popular property!

Property reviews are promoted, an on-line booking service is available and up to date availability calendar. Tariffs are communicated, directions provided and a full description of the accommodation seen.

High resolution photographs promote the quality of the accommodation well.

The business is also marketed through Premier Cottages with their website offering a comparable overview of the accommodation.

Cleanliness / Housekeeping

The team are to be commended on the excellent levels viewed, obvious attention has been given in all areasof the properties.

Some of the team were completing their housekeeping duties at the time of the visit, with sofa cushions being removed to ensure all crumbs were removed, high and low levels were presented dust and cobweb free, carpets vacuumed well and furniture and ledges are again presented dust free.

Bedrooms again echo these standards, inside drawers and wardrobes were well presented.

The bathrooms offered a high level of presentation, tiles were gleaming, under sides of pedestals and wash basins were immaculate and once again care demonstrated time having been taken to buff chrome to remove watermarks.

The kitchen once again offered a pleasing presentation, drawers and cupboards neatly arranged, with no crumbs or food debris found.

Public Areas

Each cottage having its own individuality although all having a very similar quality and standard seen

Neatly decorated lounge areas with a high quality finish further enhanced by the pictorial relief. Flooring of an excellent quality with the hard wearing surfaces being very practical. Comfortably furnished to a high standard with guests comfort being a priority. Seating style choices offered. Sturdy dining and occasional furniture in place. Heavy drapes dress the windows.

Heating is controllable by guests and appears most effective – wood-burning stoves in all and with the bio
mass boiler system being most effective and efficient. Lighting is well placed and meets environmentally
friendly expectations.


Decorative finishes remain sound and with some striking artwork adding colour and detail. Flooring is well maintained and offers an appropriate level of comfort under foot. Matched ranges of furniture offer plentiful storage, drawers are lined to aid presentation and to give protection to fabrics. Window dressings provide essential light exclusion, colour co-ordination noted throughout all of the properties.

Beds with deep and supportive mattresses with all being firm when applying pressure and which are replaced ina rolling programme. Dressed to a very pleasing visual standard with crisp linens.

Heating and lighting provision is excellent and easily controlled by guests.

Space does vary with some of the rooms being fairly compact but with no compromise on ease of use.
Overall a very high quality of bedroom stock.


Bathroom facilities are appointed to a high standard with tiled decorative finishes and high quality flooring
being presented and maintained to a high standard.

Modern and well equipped with sanitary ware of appropriate quality, all of generous dimensions. Chrome and glass fixtures and fittings continue the modern appointment. Two newly refurbished bathrooms this year – Stable and South Granary.

All provide a cosy environment with the combined use of heated towel rails, forced extraction and effective task illumination. Towels and toiletries supplied, spacial aspects do vary.


Excellent decorative standards and with very practical flooring fitted in all properties.

Very good range of floor level and wall mounted fitted units offering ample storage and food preparation
surfaces with the work surfaces being of excellent quality. Recessed lighting fitted above all key task areas. The electrical appliances are well supplied, some of a higher specification than others. New coffee machines in all properties and with extra small electrical items being provided. Ample supply of quality table, glass, oven and cook ware – all being equipped to easily satisfy the needs of themaximum number of occupants. Effective work flow space for the number of occupants in each unit.

Management Efficiency

Highest standards of management efficiency with the on-site team handling all enquiry, booking and arrival procedures most professionally.

The website, which has recently been made mobile friendly, provides a wealth of information regarding the accommodation and surrounding attractions.

A generous welcome pack is provided for guests arrival. In house information is well provided and collated to ensure guests can maximise their enjoyment of the area. The new season’s tourism leaflets will be added in due course.

All properties with modern media equipment and each having an extensive range of reading material and
games. Investment this year to provide extensive wi-fi and broadband connection.

Mostly favourable comments noted in all visitor books seen.


  • Newly refurbished on site leisure facilities with Spa, gym, swimming pool and treatment rooms. New disabledaccess added.
  • All new gym equipment, changing rooms all redecorated. Treatment rooms with new wooden
    flooring, work benches and tops. Also tennis court, golf nets and lake fishing.
  • Stable and South Granary with each property having a bathroom refurbished with removal of bath and the addition of a large walk-in shower.
  • Each property with a large fitted bookcase which are extremely well stocked.
  • Excellent standards of cleanliness.
  • Ongoing investment and refurbishment taking place.
  • Large and very well maintained grounds.
  • On-site management team.
  • The properties enjoy an elevated position and enjoy far reaching views across the Northumberland

Pamela Stephenson
Quality in Tourism

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