All of the questions you were afraid to ask
Please find below some of the questions we are often asked by potential guests, if the answer to your question is not here please call us on 01665 721380 or email us by clicking here.
You will receive a booking request confirmation email immediately in reply to your online request.
This automatically flags up to us that a new booking has been requested and depending on when you make your request if all the necessary information is there and we do not need anything else from you, the deposit will be processed and a firm confirmation document will be returned to you by email.
Obviously this does depend on the time that your submit your request but as our systems are regularly checked outside of office hours you should hear back from us within 24hours or sooner particularly if there is a problem.
All of the properties include electricity, gas, oil, and an initial supply of logs as applicable. Where this is not the case it is mentioned under the Notes and Special conditions section of the property's description.
Bedding, bed linen, are included in all properties.
We currently have two properties which do not supply towels.
Where a cot is provided please check the property's details to see if cot linen is supplied or not.
We have given a general idea of the major items included on each property's listing, if there is something specific you would like to check on please ring us on 01665 721380, our staff know each cottage well.
The price is inclusive of VAT at the current rate.
We accept most major Credit and Debit cards carrying the Visa or Mastercard sign.
- Debit card transactions are carried out free of charge.
- Credit Card transactions carry up to a 1.78% surcharge.
- If we need to carry out a "repeat" transaction using encrypted data held by our card processing house Sage pay and Barclays Merchant services an additional 1% fee will be charged. It is always better to provide us with card information per transaction a) to avoid this fee, and b) to ensure better security for your card.
- Pay Pal - we do accept pay pal transactions for online bookings only. Please note that your card will be charged immediately with this option. Should your requested dates then prove to be unavailable (see I've made a booking online question above), you will be fully reimbursed. Pay Pal transactions carry a 3.4% transaction charge.
- We no longer accept cheques.
- Cash - We do not usually accept cash payments. This option remains at the discretion of the management.
- We apologise that we must pass on the transaction charges levied upon us by our suppliers.
All new bookings are subject to a booking fee as displayed in the property "Availability and Booking" area
All of our cottages have a designated start day of the week for 7 night bookings, usually a Friday or Saturday. However, in recognition that our customers may wish to start their 7 day stay on a different day of the week, some of our cottage owners have agreed to operate on flexible start days.
Throughout the year cottage rental price bands change depending on the season, when the price band changes, we have to choose a day of the week on which to make the change from one price band to another, and all of our bands change on a Friday, which means some flexible requests may span two different price bands.
On this occasion you will be charged the price for the number of days in each band, so depending whether your booking goes from a low season to high, or from high season to low and how many days are in each band, you may pay more or less than the 7 day price stated for the day on which you start your holiday.
The location of each cottage is identified on the cottage listings on our website. Your full written directions including post code and Longitude and Latitude for Sat. Nav. and details of key collection will follow your balance payment confirmation, this may be by email or in the post depending on how you have identified that you wish to recieve correspondence from us. Please note however, that we must be in receipt of your signed booking confirmation (This may be the tick box on an online booking, or an email reply to confirm your agreement to our terms), and if applicable your good housekeeping bond, to enable us to release the arrival documentation.
Wherever possible we use email to request information from or provide information to you, however, be aware that bt internet email address sometimes treats our email, which comes from a booking system, as "spam" or "trash". If you don't receive expected correspondence from us please check your spam and or trash folders, and if you still can't find it don't hesitate to give us a call on 01665 721380 and we'll sort things out for you.
Arrival time is from 16:00 and we would like for you to vacate the property by 10:00 am on the morning of departure. Some properties which are managed by the owners have slightly different arrival times and this will be stated on your booking confirmation.
Please note that properties actually situated on Holy Island will have their access and departure times governed by the tide, so please check your documentation carefully when booking these properties the tide times can be found on our site.
All of our cottages require departure by 10 am on the day of departure. In some properties early arrivals and late departures may be possible at the last minute, a fee may be required and times must be pre-arranged and agreed before your arrival. Please call us to check if this is possible on 01665 721 380
In general the arrival time and departure time stated on your booking confirmation is standard for that property, we will try to be flexible, however particularly on larger properties you have to appreciate that it takes a lot of time and effort by our cleaning teams to ready the property between previous guests departure at 10am and your arrival at 4pm, especially to get things right and to the high standards that we know you will expect. If you do happen to arrive early, you are welcome to leave your vehicle at the property and to go off and explore, but please do not automatically expect to be able to leave luggage in the property or to fill the fridge , if you ask the cleaning team and they say no please do not be offended, we want everything to be just right for your holiday so don't want to rush this very important preparation for your stay.
Many properties do have barbecues, however neither the owners nor Stay Northumbria & Northumberland Cottages will guarantee Health & Safety for their use. Guests are requested to to clean barbecues following use, because our cleaning teams, who are often hard pressed on change over days, just physically don't have time to clean barbecues in addition to the preparation of the property. To be safe, you are welcome to either bring your own, or use a disposable barbecue which can be purchased from many local shops and garages, so long as you do not use it on garden furniture and ensure that it is raised above ground level so as not to damage grass or vegetation
The majority of our properties have parking either off road in the grounds, or on the road outside. Remember most of our properties are normal residential houses, with garages and driveways, some have had additional areas paved or gravelled to accommodate more vehicles, some parking may be specifically designated especially at apartments and courtyards. The details of the car parking facilities for each property are mentioned in the property listing, where a specific number of cars are stated the size of the vehicle has been based on a typical average family 4 door saloon like an Renault Megane, Ford Mondeo.
At properties with designated parking the number of cars is non-negotiable regardless of size. Obviously at propeties with non designated parking areas a larger number of smaller cars may fit, similarly if all of your vehicles are large 4 x 4's you may not be able to fit as many, but if you are unsure it is best to ask, just give us a call on 01665 721380 with the make and model of the cars you wish to bring and we'll do our best to advise on the practicalities.
In the majority of instances we have to say no, there are very few properties with enough space to do so, and accommodate the booked in vehicles of the original party, the properties are not equipped to accommodate or dine more than the intended number, and many of them are not on mains drainage, and extra people will put a strain on the private drainage system.
However there are a few exception, but some caveats apply:
Firstly there has to be enough room for the vehicle, there are no hook up facilities at any of the properties, or facilities to empty chemical closets or grey water. Owners who would accept the vehicle will make a charge per night for the vehicle to be parked at their property equating to the equivalent cost of the nearest touring facility.
Please telephone us on 01665 721380 if you wish to investigate this possibility in more detail.
Contact numbers for caretakers/owners are in the welcome folder or on the notice board of every cottage, in addition there is an out of hours emergency number given. This may be a mobile number onto which you leave a message, this answerphone system is monitored and responded to accordingly.
No, all of the cottages are strictly non-smoking.
In most of the cottages yes, those few that are adult only will be identified on their listing, but they may allow infants under 6 months in a cot, please ask. Some cottages supply Cot, High Chair and Stairgate as standard, others we can arrange for you (charges may apply) Family friendly cottages have toys, children's games and DVDs. If there is something patricular you need to check on, give us a call and we can arrange for these to be supplied in advance.
Note that Cot linen is not included at any of the cottages.
Check on each property's web entry and under useful information where children are catered for you will see what the property offers.
Cottages which accept dogs are listed on our dog friendly cottages web page and look for the doggy logo on cottage listing, or you can do a specific dog friendly cottage search from the search panel. In cottages which take dogs they are not permitted on the furniture or in the bedrooms. They must not be left unattended in the property unless crated, and persistant barkers will be asked to accompany their humans at all times.
Some properties have been given a special "Pets Welcome" grading by Visit Britain and this logo will appear on the property details. Most properties make a charge of £25 pppw, some a little more or a little less, and the odd one welcomes pets free of charge, where the charge is other than £25pppw, it will be mentioned on the property's particulars page.
Some properties only accept non-shedding breeds - non-shedding breeds list
Some cottages may have specific requirements in relation to K9 visitors, this will be listed under the special conditions section of the property's web listing. If unsure please contact us on 01665 721380.
Unfortunately not all of our cottages have a fire or a log burner, but many do, you can do a search for "cottages with a fire" on our search facility, which will show those with a fire or with a log burner.
NHS - 111 Your nearest Serious Emergencies hospital is at Cramlington. www.northumbria.nhs.uk/emergency
Police - Non-999 = 03456 043 043 provide your location and ask to be put through to your local facility. (your holiday cottage postcode is on your directions) Dentist's Surgery (Alnwick) - 01665 602 151 or 01665 602 178
Alnorthumbria VET (Alnwick head office & surgery) - 01665 602516 - also part time surgeries in Rothbury 01669 620638; Seahouses 01665 721800; Wooler 01668 281323. visit their website www.alnorthumbria.co.uk for more details.
Yes, your cottage will be fully made for you on arrival*. Bedding, linen and towels are provided free of charge, should you require more please ask, (please be aware that additional costs may apply). Note that a very few of the properties do not provide towels, this will be noted on the property's information page. If you are taking a low occupancy discount, only a certain number of beds/rooms will be made up, this will be pre-arranged with you at the time of booking. If you have any special requirements, please let us know before your arrival and we will be happy to accommodate you. Note that cot linen is not supplied.
Beach towels are available at £5 each in some properties and if so you can order them on your on line booking, or via your telephone booking, please request at time of booking as quantities are limited.
*with the exception of Fairhaugh. As the property does not have automated central heating, where your booking is not a same day change over, the caretaker may provide the linen when you pick up the key rather than leave it at the property.
All guests staying for more than 14 nights automatically receive a change of bed linen and towels mid stay. If you also wish to have a mid-stay clean this will be provided free of charge but must be arranged pre-arrival, and will not constitute a full preparation clean, it will be limited by the guests belongings in the property which our cleaners are instructed not to move.
Should you require any additional linen/laundry/cleaning we can arrange this, however charges will apply, please give us a call on 01665 721380 we will be happy to help.
Depending on which location you are staying in :
The CO-OP in Seahouses, just three miles from Bamburgh and 2 miles from Beadnell in addition to a Baker, Butcher, and Seahouses Fruit and Veg (see below),
There is a Morrisons, a Sainsburys, Lidl, Aldi and a Co-op in Alnwick.
Morpeth has a Morrisons, M&S Food and Lidl.
A small Londis general supplies store in Seahouses & Embleton
Seahouses Fruit and Veg deliver free to Seahouses, Beadnell & Bamburgh and have an order form online www. seahousesfruitandveg.co.uk
A general grocery store in Alnmouth
A Co-operative in Amble in addition to a number of independent shops - baker, butcher, greengrocer.
Rothbury has a Co-op, and a number of independent shops - bakers, butchers, green grocers and a deli which also offers local deliveries.
A small convenience store in Lucker.
Purdy Lodge Services at Adderstone & the service station at Beal, The Co-operative Petrol station & service station adjacent the Hogs Head in Alnwick all have convenience stores attached
A village store in Beadnell (limited supplies but good for essentials)
Berwick upon Tweed has a Tesco, Morrisons, M&S Food, and Asda, Aldi.
Lowick has a village store
Belford has a Co-operative
Wooler has a Co-operative, and Farm to Freeze convenience store and various independent shops, bakers, butchers.
Sainsbury, Tesco and Asda will do home deliveries to the cottages in the area. You can place an order online at www.asda.com or www.tesco.com or www.sainsburys.com
Most cottages have a shopping guide in the welcome folder for independent shops in the immediate locality.
There is a wealth of good dining and pub experiences to be had across the whole of Northumberland.
In properties that Stay Northumbria manage, a good pub and food guide is in the welcome folder, please ask our admin team for information.
This will depend on its location, and the provider you use. Generally EE, T-Mobile and Orange have the best reception on the North Northumberland Coast. Note that Fairhaugh does not have mobile signal within a 2 mile radius of the house, and there is limited reception at Low Alwinton Cottages.
Each property listing will state if there is interent access, this may be wi-fi, may be wired or provided by a mobile device.
Public Internet access information should be found in the property's information folder, Public access is available in many pubs, cafes, restaurants and hotels across the area ie:
Beadnell - The Craster Arms, The Beadnell Towers Hotel.
Bamburgh - The Victoria Hotel, The Castle Hotel, The Lord Crewe & The Mizen Head
Seahouses - The Olde Ship, Bamburgh Castle Inn, The Links Hotel.
Where a property allows short breaks there will be a minimum cost associated with the booking. If you wish to arrive for just one night this is perfectly acceptable but the minimum booking cost will apply.
In such circumstances it may be possible to arrive earlier in the day and depart later in the day than the normal times on these occasions and you should make your booking by telephone in order to discuss specific arrangements.
There are many on-going costs involved in processing a guest's booking and administering the booking from placement to the end of your holiday.
The owner bears much of the cost of renting out their property, but the telephone calls, administration in collating all of the information required to manage your booking, gathering data to ensure all the legal requirements for letting are covered, are borne by the agency and those costs need to be covered, therefore we make a one off nominal charge of £30 incl VAT to go someway towards these costs.
Not all of the properties on our portfolio are graded by Visit England those that haven't been graded have been inspected by our own staff to meet our standard criteria for letting, some of these properties would match and often better their graded counterparts, so just because the aren't graded they shouldn't be considered inferior by any means.
Those that are graded under the Visit England Scheme are required to meet an extensive list of minimum requirements as defined by Visit England, and then levels of quality and presentation determine the final rating. Put simply, the more stars, the higher the overall level of quality, facilities and service you can expect to find.
Because we have our own standard criteria for non-assessed properties we only include properties that have been awarded a three star or above rating, to ensure our whole portfolio has a minimum standard. To see the full details of of the Visit England scheme click here.
We have many properties which welcome dogs, however some owners for a variety of reasons prefer to accept only non-shedding breeds. We use the Kennel Club's definition of non-shedding breeds which you can find on this page - Non Shedding Dog Breeds
Simply login with your booking details to book add guest information, and add any optional extras you require. You can also view information about the property you have booked. When you booked your Stay Northumbria holiday we sent you an email with your booking reference. Use that and the same email address to login here
We do have a number of properties which have a permanent hot tub on site.
At this time, unfortunately, we are unable to accept rental hot tub at any of our properties, some are definitely not suitable for hot tubs, either having septic tanks, near neighbours who could be disturbed, no outside tap or drainage facilities. But more importantly, there is a grey area about health and safety and responsibility for rental tubs and insurable risks etc for owners. So for now sorry, no hot tub hire. In due course acceptance of hot tub hire and any charges involved will appear on a property's web page, for now those who are are already a definite no have this identified in the special conditions.
Many of our properties cater for large numbers and/or are of a very high quality with high value furnishings and equipment. In order that owners are not out of pocket should accidental damage/breakages occur a good housekeeping bond (GHB), sometimes called a security deposit, is required to be lodged with us during your stay. The amount of the GHB reflects the insurance excess that an owner would be required to pay should a claim be made. It also covers for extra cleaning, pet damage, smaller breakages or replacements which may be required in order to prepare the house for following guests (see terms and conditions).
Where a GHB is required it is identified on the property’s entry on our website www.staynorthumbria.co.uk or www.northumberlandcottages.com under “special notes” in the description of the individual property, it is also identified on the booking confirmation paperwork/email which you will receive confirming your booking.
HOW DO I LODGE THE GOOD HOUSEKEEPING BOND.
If you pay for your holiday on a debit or credit card, the card detail will be encrypted by our booking system and the encrypted detail held by our processing house SagePay and Barclays Merchant Services (Stay Northumbria do not retain your card details).
Just as hotels take a card “swipe” when you check into the hotel, we electronically instruct SagePay/Barclays Merchant Services to “swipe” a pre-authorisation for the GHB amount on your card a day or so before your arrival, if the property is then vacated in a condition complying with our terms and conditions the pre-authorisation is cancelled after your departure and the property is checked.
Please note :
• pre-authorisation of the funds does not physically take the money from your card, however the funds will be ring-fenced and will not be available to you for the duration of your stay. Therefore, if you wish to use a different card for the GHB from that which you used to pay for your accommodation, you are welcome to do so, but must provide the details of the alternative card to us by telephone on 01665 721380 at the time you pay your balance.
• Directions and key collection details to the property will not be released until the GHB information is in place.
If you have any questions about lodging a good housekeeping bond or do not have a credit/debit card on which to lodge the bond, please give us a call to discuss it with us on 01665 721380.