Owner Case Study: Clashope Cottage, Bamburgh, Northumberland

Owner Case Study: Clashope Cottage, Bamburgh, Northumberland

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Clashope Cottage, Northumberland - Owner Case Study

Clashope Cottage
Shoreston, Northumberland

Sleeps: 8
First letting through The Travel Chapter: 2018

Emma made a big lifestyle switch a few years ago, exchanging a career in the prison service for life as an author. With one book published, she is now hard at work on her second novel. She and her husband Simon made another important decision around the same time - the purchase of Clashope Cottage near her childhood home of Seahouses in Northumberland. 

Northumberland

That was back in 2015, and the property came on to the holiday let market in early 2016. Emma is very attached to this part of Northumberland and that was a powerful motivator when the couple, who currently live about 45 minutes away, started to look for a house in the area. Since they will likely live in the property themselves at some point in the future, on top of the financial considerations, there was a strong emotional element in their choice of Clashope Cottage. 

When they first viewed the property, Emma discovered that the owner knew her family. She says, “It also helped that when we walked into the kitchen, where the fire was roaring, we fell in love with the cottage itself. That was compounded when we saw the rest of the property, especially the master suite.” A month later the cottage was theirs. 

Clashope Cottage, Northumberland - Owner Case Study

Clashope Cottage is situated by itself near the hamlet of Shoreston, between Seahouses and Bamburgh. The location is ideal, surrounded by pretty farmland and just a short walk to the beach – a key selling point for potential guests. Shoreston is a pretty, quiet spot, but near enough to Seahouses, Bamburgh and the beaches. “The best of both worlds,” is how Simon sums it up. 

Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Seahouses and Bamburgh are very popular holiday destinations, with their long stretches of beach, islands and castles. 

“Whether you want to poke around an old castle, go on a pilgrimage to Lindisfarne, take a boat trip out to the Farne Islands or simply browse gift shops and tuck in to a packet of chips, there's more than enough to keep everyone in the family happy.” 

Northumberland beach

Aside from the attractions of the area, Emma believes there are several other factors that draw guests to Clashope Cottage. With strong demand for larger properties, Clashope’s size is a bonus; sleeping eight, it's large enough to bring the whole extended family or to accommodate a group of friends. And with bedrooms and bathrooms on the ground floor, it’s ideal for less able-bodied members of the family. 

Simon feels that, “the large kitchen/dining area is the heart of the home, especially when you get the wood-burning stove going.” This area of the house is particularly important to the keen cook, who says that she has, “made sure it’s equipped with all the essentials for any aspiring Gordon Ramsey!” The master suite is another huge selling point; “Everyone that sets foot in there is wowed by it," she says.  

Clashope Cottage, Northumberland - Owner Case Study

The couple also believe that their dog-friendly approach is another big selling point these days. Officially they accept two dogs but they’ll happily bend the rules if there are more canines in the party. “After all, we couldn't very well expect people to leave a family member at home," says Emma.

“We pride ourselves on offering the best possible experience for our guests, from the minute they walk through the door. The enjoyment of guests is of paramount importance to us – and that goes for the four-legged ones too.” 

They also draw on personal experience when considering what might make their guests’ stay extra special. Emma explains, “I've stayed in holiday cottages all over the UK, so when I was getting Clashope ready, I drew on all that experience to ensure that our cottage would provide everything you could possibly need for a perfect holiday.” That means they pay careful attention to the small touches that can make all the difference. “Growing up in Seahouses, we spent a lot of time picnicking on the beaches. Families still love to do that so I wanted to make sure that everything was there,” she says. “Whether it's picnic rugs, cool boxes, beach towels, flasks, wind breaks or buckets and spades, we provide it.” 

Clashope Cottage, Northumberland - Owner Case Study

It’s clear that the house is more than just a business for them, and Simon believes that comes across to guests. He sees that as a ‘win-win’. If visitors sense that the owners have a real love for the place, they are going to have a good time, will want to return and will leave good reviews to encourage others to book.   

“We love Clashope and we're pleased that others get to experience our home and make some happy memories.” 

It’s no surprise then that for Simon, the most rewarding part of holiday letting is, “Reading the lovely reviews people leave us. Knowing that they've had such a good holiday makes it worthwhile. I love it when people return, because it means that I'm doing something right.” 

The couple are very positive about the experience of letting the property through The Travel Chapter. Having put the property on the holiday market initially through Cottages in Northumberland, there were some concerns when that company was then taken over by The Travel Chapter in 2018. Understandably, Emma worried that Clashope Cottage might get lost within a bigger business, but fortunately her concerns were unfounded. “I met our new Property Account Manager, Emma who lives not too far from me. She came, looked around and seemed to love Clashope almost as much as we did when we first visited. We talked for hours and lost track of time. Needless to say, I feel much better about it now!”

Clashope Cottage, Northumberland - Owner Case Study

So what advice would Emma and Simon offer somebody looking at starting a holiday let themselves? “Weigh up all the pros and cons and consider the costs involved. If you're doing it purely for the investment then it's very important to balance all the outgoings against any potential incomings.” 

She also makes the point about the importance of a can-do attitude, stressing that new owners, “shouldn't go into it half-heartedly.  If you're going to run a holiday cottage, you need to commit to it.” 

“Get stuck in!  It's a nice feeling when you know that something you have done has meant that a family has been able to meet up and spend good quality time together.”  

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