The owners of accessible holiday cottages based in South Downs Country Park are celebrating for two very good reasons this week, following a successful Disabled Access Day open morning and top award win.
Wallops Wood Cottages were awarded Highly Commended in the South East Countryside Alliance Awards, known as the Rural Oscars.
Owner Andrew Graham said: “We converted an old farm building into five ground-floor, self-catering cottages with mobility, hearing and vision impaired guests in mind, but without compromising on the comfort or aesthetic appeal. We are delighted to have won Gold in the Beautiful South Awards accessibility category two years running and are thrilled to have received recognition for the Tourism Enterprise category of the Rural Oscars. ”
All six cottages have been individually rated M1, M2, M3, V1 and H1 under the National Accessible Scheme and staff undertook Welcome All training. There is a page on our website setting out our commitment to accessibility, and the Access Statement, which includes room plans and a list of equipment, is available to download and print. There are also some excellent testimonials from guests on Trip Advisor and UpFront Review.
And this weekend, to celebrate their latest award, the team opened up their doors to tie in with Disabled Access Day and let potential customers see for themselves just how impressive the cottages’ facilities are.
The open morning, held on Friday 10 March, was part of the third annual Disabled Access Day campaign. The public were invited to visit the self-catering holiday cottages, to join owners Katherine and Andrew and their guests George Hollingbery MP, The Mayor of Winchester Cllr Jane Rutter and Srin Madipalli (CEO and Co-Founder of Accomable), to see the facilities and discuss the issues of accessible tourism in the region.
@MayorWinchester tweeted: “Great to meet you all and see the lovely holiday cottages – many congratulations on the well-deserved award.”
Srin Madipalli posted on Facebook: “One of the best and most interesting parts of my job is when I get to meet some of the amazing people that list their properties on Accomable.
“Our property owners are usually local, family run businesses that passionately care about their guests and who invest heavily in accessibility. Today I was invited to have a tour around the awesome Wallops Wood Cottages (near Winchester), who held an open day for Disabled Access Day 2017, and got to meet the owners Katherine and Andrew. The local MP (George Hollingbery) and the Mayor of Winchester (Jane Rutter) came by to join the open day and take a look around too!
“These cottages are just brilliant; and as such, it’s our privilege to have the opportunity give these amazing local businesses a global audience on Accomable.
“Thank you Pippa, Andrew, Katherine and Liz for organising!”
Andrew said: “It was a pleasure to welcome everyone to the cottages, to show them what we’ve done to date to try and provide facilities in our rural setting to help make rural tourism in the area more accessible. We shared with George Hollingbery MP, Cllr Jane Rutter and Srin Madipalli some of our exciting plans for the future development of Wallops Wood Cottages, and welcomed their support and valuable feedback.”
Find out more about Wallops Wood’s award-winning holiday cottages at www.wallopswoodcottages.co.uk.