2020 – Our journey through COVID
What a year! Most challenging of all, has been going without the thing we hold most dear at Darley House...connecting with our family and friends.
With the vaccine on the horizon we feel sure better times are coming. And to make sure we are ready to welcome you again at Darley House, we have not wasted a minute. Here's a little bit of our journey through 2020...
March 2020 Lockdown Strikes
Firstly, we liaised with our guests as to what they wished to do with their bookings. Next, we put in place a raft of evolving COVID-19 protocols. To make sure we were fully compliant we got accreditations from The AA and Visit England. This effectively approved our risk assessment (see our home page) and enhanced management and cleaning plans.
This was a complex time and we were expertly guided by PASC UK (The Professional Association of Self Caterers) who has firmly proved itself as our trusted, industry body. We are truly grateful to Alastair Handyside and his team.
July 2020 - Open To Two Household Groups
After a spring clean like no others, Darley House opened 10th July and was fully booked through to September. The thorough cleaning plan leapt into action, thank you Molly Maid and Hillsprings Laundry. And, to give our guests extra confidence we 'fogged' the house between stays, thank you Minster Cleaning.
It was such a thrill to take two household bookings and welcome people once again. Darley House was alive and thriving and the fabulous weather meant a good time was had by all. And then the second wave and the 'Rule of 6' hit.
Improvements - Inside and Out
Not to be dispirited, we got on with what was within our control.
In the garden Jayne, ably assisted by us and friends, cut back shrubs and trees, removed a huge amount of armour-plated ivy from trees, beds and mounds and put in new planting. Martin, our multi-talented builder, and his son Matt put up new fencing on the road side, and rebuilt an extensive section of dry stone walling that collapsed in April.
In the house, Trevor, our handy man and onsite support, repainted the small conservatory by the Paxton patio and redecorated bedrooms and the games room.
We have also cleaned carpets and upholstery and restyled the interiors.
Darley House gardens have always been pesticide free, under the direction of our gardener Jayne, but we wanted to improve our green profile further. So, our electricity is now from renewables and our gas is offset. Further more, we have reduced our use of single-use plastics and are putting in an electric car charging point.
While we were working on the garden we took a break to try out an e-mountain bike tour. Andy from True North Adventures brought the top of the range e-bikes to Darley House and took us off the beaten track (onto steep muddy tracks, in fact!). Consequently, we ventured to remote spots with stunning views. On our return, we decided it was like a day's ski guiding without snow - truly exhilarating. And because we were expertly guided by True North, we felt challenged but safe. You can read more about this on our blog "E-mountain bikes - an exhilarating day out"
We feature all our local partners including activity companies, private chefs and our favourites restaurants on the Your Stay page of our website.
Onwards And Up
In conclusion, we are very grateful to everyone who has supported us on our journey through COVID - our guests, our team, our local partners, friends and neighbours.
Above all, we are delighted to be able to welcome guests for Christmas. And sometime soon Darley House awaits you...and your family...and friends.