Make the most of your holiday cottage’s history to boost bookings
One of the things that makes the South West so interesting is its rich past, and owners of older holiday cottages can certainly make the most of their property’s history to boost bookings.
Guests love feeling connected with their surroundings, and carefully restored historical features like low beamed ceilings, original fireplaces, slate or granite floors and stable doors in cottages are hugely popular. Historical throwbacks in a warm, clean home can really add a romantic touch and add to the sense of excitement and fascination of being in unfamiliar settings.
If you have an older property or you’re thinking of renovating one, look at carefully restoring any historical features you may find hiding underneath unsuspecting carpets and behind wallpaper and panels. Taking the time to research restoration techniques is crucial to ensure quality work, but the results are definitely worth it and you can always recruit professional help if you don’t want to take on the task yourself.
One example of a fantastic renovation combined with a modern twist is Castle House in Taunton. Part of an original 12th Century castle, Castle House has been beautifully restored whilst still maintaining many of its unique historical features. With a luxurious interior and authentic décor, this property really celebrates its history and offers guests a unique holiday and plenty of intrigue.
A great story doesn’t have to be welded to the past though. Your properties’ recent history can be just as interesting for your guests, so if you’ve got something original to say about your property don’t hold back. If you wish, you could provide a little information pack so guests can read about your cottage, creating a great conversation starter and drawing attention back to your property.
The Magazine overlooking Lamorna Cove for example used to be the dynamite store for the Lamorna quarry, whilst Chy an Bara 3272 near Penzance used to be a bakery. The Old National School (3266) near Tavistock was originally a church house built in 1585, and later began welcoming children in 1899. These days, it boasts high ceilings, wooden floors, a lovely carved minstrel gallery framing the large landing above, beautiful old beams and plenty of tales to tell.
Dig out the archives and read up about your local area If you want to find out more about your own property and boost bookings for your self-catering accommodation. British History Online and Local History Online are great resources to start with, as are the Historic England Archive and Listed Buildings Online. You can also use copies of local ordnance survey maps to learn more about your holiday cottage and its origins.
Once you’ve uncovered a bit about the history of your holiday cottage, look for architectural clues in your property and share your stories with your guests. Involving visitors in the history of the area and your holiday home will create a great connection, and with every person who visits, they can add their own bit of history and even more stories to tell.
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