Accessibility Guide for Holly Lodge
Holly Lodge is attached to The Hollies which is just outside Appleby-in-Westmorland in 3 acres of private grounds which include woodland, a pond, wild flower area and gardens. Hill Top, the bungalow next door is a private residence. The town is a 15 minute downhill stroll & 20 back up, or 5 minute drive. There are a range of cafes, Boots chemist, a few pubs, an hotel, a Castle, and a Spa at Appleby Manor, as well as the very valuable Tourist Information, and various independent and charity shops. We, along with other Cumbrian towns, have disc parking around the town. Discs are supplied in Holly Lodge, or reception and in many shops. Please check the posts for time allowed.
Holly Lodge was built in 1895 as a Museum extension to The Hollies by Joseph Mercer, possibly for his brother returning from war. It was one room with a vaulted ceiling, clad in dark pitch pine housing his billiard table, medals & game trophies. In the early ‘70’s the Museum was converted into a ‘Granny Annex’, with a lean-to bathroom & conservatory. After the parents died it was used as a self-catering let. We moved in during October 2012 and set about designing what you have now, extending the back to come in line with the main house, which allowed the 1st floor to be created as well as the fully accessible kitchen and wet-room.
We look forward to welcoming you to Holly Lodge and giving you a lovely experience of the Eden Valley. If you have any queries please ring 01768 352 553 or email enquiry@TheHolliesAppleby.co.uk
Appleby has its own train station on the wonderfully scenic Settle-Carlisle line, from which we can meet you if you wish to come by train. Steam trains also use the line, so you could book a trip. There is a limited bus service into Appleby which we could also meet you from. Do take shelter in a shop, pub or cafe if it’s raining, just let us know where to find you.
You should receive travel directions with your booking confirmation and information about the town.
From Roman Road, which has no footpath as it is outwith the town, our drive is sloping upwards with gravel held in a honeycomb of plastic cells to give a firm base. At the top you swing left towards The Hollies on larger gravel where there is plenty of parking and turning area. Holly Lodge is at the far side of the house where you may park on the paved area at the front, or round the corner. There are either 2 steps (14cm high + 5cm threshold) to the front door which has grab bars either side, or a paved path leads through the side gate (98cm wide) around to the patio and back door (86cm) which has level access into the tile floored kitchen.
To let us know you have arrived please ring the door bell at The Hollies’ front entrance which has a blue light and is an intercom to our office on the 2nd floor. To reach the bell there are 3 stone steps between a pair of pillars which are 95cm wide. The steps are, in rising order, 4, 18 and 14 cm high. On hearing your buzz we will either speak to you via the intercom, or emerge from elsewhere in the house. If you prefer, or we don’t respond, please ring 07900 625 053 (John’s ‘phone) to find out where we are. We may well be on the property but possibly in the garden or the woods.
You have arrived
Holly Lodge has been carefully designed to accommodate mobility, visually & hearing impaired guests as well as the fully able, hence some of the details may seem odd but they are required by the National Accessibility Scheme https://www.visitbritain.org/national-accessible-scheme.
By stepping up the 2 x 14cm high sandstone steps and passing through the 93cm wide front door you will see the Bamboo wooden flooring which sits on underfloor heating which is throughout the downstairs. The hall is 97cm wide at the narrowest, beside the stairs, and 144cm wide between the lounge, bedroom & wetroom. To your right is the carpeted twin/superking bedroom which meets the Mobility standards, while to your left is the lounge/diner which leads through to the back of the property and the tiled accessible kitchen with the back door leading to the patio and Mobility Scooter charge socket. This is the level entrance for wheelchairs. Back to the hallway and opposite the front door is the wet room with bath and separate shower area, while a right turn takes you towards the 80cm door which will take you into the main house for breakfast if you are a couple staying B&B here due to mobility problems. Before reaching this door, the carpeted stairs ascend to the landing from which there is a large room with a 5’x6’6” King size bed and a larger triple bedded room with 3’x6’6” beds. Take a right turn at the top of the stairs and you enter the shower room.
All the rooms upstairs have thermostatic radiator valves, and room thermostats downstairs which are all heated by the Biomass boiler, as is the water.
Cleaning equipment is in the understairs cupboards, or ask for help, please – we won’t bite.
Mobility, Hearing and Visual Impairment aids + Safety
There are Bumpons on the stair handrail, tactile markings on all taps & heating controls; we also have a Hearing Loop, Liquid level indicator, a vibrating alarm clock, a portable call bell, and 3 strobe & vibrating fire alarms which link to the alarm circuit and the bed, a toilet seat riser, & a portable grab bar. Outside the back door is a charging point for your Mobility Scooter, so please remember its cover. We supply a range of pillows – feather, foam & microfiber so please tell us if you want specific ones, or de-bunk them from your bed. We have a proper shower chair – height adjustable, with arms, back and wheels, and a high chair for the lounge, a turntable and a bed grab bar. If there are others aids you think would benefit yourself or other guests, please tell us. One guest needed something to help him shut the wetroom door from his wheelchair. There is now a rope across the door!
Jan has completed a ‘Welcome All’ course and was a general nurse before John came into her life so has an idea of your needs, but lacks experience. Of course assistance dogs and Falabella horses are welcome. If required we can get your bulky prescription items delivered for your arrival. Our chemist is Boots Tel:- 01768 351410 Fax:- 01768 352759. If you would like mobility equipment to be available, please contact the Red Cross in Carlisle 01228 552 486. Emergency information is in your Welcome Folder.
The narrowest doorway within the Lodge downstairs is 86cm wide, with the one between The Hollies and Holly Lodge being only 80cm.
There is a Smoke/Carbon Monoxide alarm in the lounge which is wired to the other alarms, but is not audible in the house, so please tell us after you have rung 999 (unless it is a false alarm!). There are also fire extinguishers and a fire blanket in useful places.
Should you require a taxi to take a wheelchair or bikes please call Paul 07785 222 588.
If you need to hire equipment we don’t have and you don’t want to bring with you, please contact https://www.mobilityequipmenthiredirect.com 0800 994 9000 who should be able to help. At least they will deliver here.
The guidelines we followed for the downstairs are https://www.visitbritain.org/sites/default/files/vb-corporate/visitengland_national_accessible_scheme_serviced_standards.pdf Happy reading :-)
The Koto wood door is 87½cm wide and the windows are new double glazed sliding sash, dressed with blackout curtains. The pine paneling was rescued from what was stripped out in the refurbishment. It was virtually all that hadn’t been eaten by wood worm! The old fireplace which would have heated the whole void had a propane gas fire when we took over, so we replaced that with this wood-burner for which supplies are in the recycling shed. Although there are only 6 seat places on the settees, they are big, so 7 should fit comfortably to watch the TV over the fireplace. The dining table does extend very easily if you require more space, but it is not heat resistant, so please don’t burn it – mats are supplied. There is a ‘Dresser’ style unit behind the door which houses some dated games and some crockery. On the worktop are the kettle and a pair of toasters, mats, cafetiere, a welcome tray, and bread bin.
This is one of Jan’s specialities. The ‘Belfast’ kitchen sink and ceramic hob are on an adjustable height frame which is worked by handle so that the tallest and shortest guests have no excuse for not washing up or minding pans. Please do be aware of the plugs and sockets when winding it up, and no sitting on it as it was a special commission from Denmark and we don’t want to have to get another one. Opposite this is the electric oven in a tall unit with pans underneath and storage above. Beside it is a Washer/Dryer and a couple of cupboards, with coat and shoe storage by the back door which is 86cm wide. The Fire Blanket is hung here, on the end of the wall units which contain most of your Portmerion crockery. Lighting is by a 4-spot track and large windows overlooking the garden. There are lots of sockets available for the worktops. The floor is tiled.
The other of Jan’s specialities (that means she spent a lot of time planning, negotiating & meeting regulations to get it this good).
The floor is non-slip vinyl curved up to meet the waterproof panelling. Lighting is by single ceiling rose which has 4 directional lights. There are lots of grab bars at regulation heights, but stylishly positioned crossing the mosaic tiles to avoid looking like a disabled toilet, while giving contrast for the visually impaired. Coming in the 86cm wide Koto wood door, the shower is on the left. This has a grab bar in the left corner which is also a shelf for your shampoo. To the middle are the controls, the top one determines whether you get wet from above, or use the wand to wet where you want, and the lower one controls temperature (anti-clockwise for hot). Next to that is a long vertical (ish) grab bar, before you reach the 49cm high bath with inset grab bars, as well as one on the wall. Looking away from the door is the window, below which is the ‘finger sink’ (73cm high) with a high tap for reaching under from the 51cm high WC, the midline of which is 50cm from the wall. There is a towel rail/grab bar on the wall beside the WC, and a hinged one, which doesn’t ‘click’ up, on the other side, but is held firmly by a spring clip, then there is 78cm clear for wheelchair transfer before the main adjustable height sink (min 72cm high) with mirror over. The WC has a raised plunger for those who can’t manage a dual flush one. Before you escape to the hallway, there is the heated towel rail which works, like all the heating, off the Biomass Boiler. Do adjust the thermostatic valve as required which is ‘Tactimarked’, as are the taps & controls. We have a proper shower chair – height adjustable, with arms, back and wheels available and portable grab bar if required.
This room has been designed to be flexible, so furniture can be added or taken away according to your needs. The door is 88cm wide. For interest we left the external wall of the house exposed, and have created a display feature out of the old window. We said the Lodge was added later.
The beds are both 3’ x 6‘6” long with double duvets and 2 pillows (microfiber, foam or feather) each, or can be joined to make a superking bed with superking duvet. They are 56cm high with 13½cm legs to allow for a hoist, should one be required. There are 2x 30cm deep bedside cabinets – lovely & shallow for wheelchair access to the head of the bed; a 77cm high x 91½cm wide with 64cm clearance table with mirror over; a 2 over 3 chest of drawers under the wall hung 32” flatscreen Linsar Smart Freeview HD TV with large button handset. There is also a low (132cm high) wardrobe and cheval mirror and 2 chairs with/without arms (can be swopped with upstairs). The windows are new double glazed sliding sash dressed with blackout curtains and can be a bit stiff. Lighting is provided by a ceiling light with a switch by the door and a pull switch between the beds, and flexible bedside lights. The flooring is short pile carpet on underfloor heating.
Double bedroom upstairs
This bed is Kingsize (5’ x 6’6”) with a superking duvet and 4 pillows (microfiber, foam or feather). There is a bedside chest of drawers at the door side of the bed, and a table at the other. There is a chest of drawers by the sloping roof, and a tall wardrobe, as well as 2 chairs and a dressing table. Lighting is by ceiling rose with a switch by the door and a pull cord to the centre of the headboard, flexible wall lights either side, and a dressing table light.
The beds are all 3’ x 6’6” with double duvets and 2 pillows each. There are 2 chests of drawers, a wardrobe and a dressing table with a seat, mirror and light and 2 chairs. Lighting is by 2 ceiling roses and flexible wall lights by each bed. There are lots of sockets for charging ‘phones, etc.
Here is the extended quadrant shower with the same controls as downstairs, a heated & lit mirror with shaver socket (turn it on by the sensor below before you shower & you can see yourself after!), back-to-wall WC & sink with shelves. The flooring is non-slip vinyl.
The rest of the property
The back garden is accessed from the kitchen or the gate (98cm wide) beside the Lodge. Please be aware of Ollie, our Springer Spaniel who would love to play with you, or just escape. The door leads onto the paved private patio area before the garden, border, summerhouse, vegetable plot & fruit cage to the gate into the woods. Please leave the gate as you find it – if open, John may be mowing, but when closed it is a barrier to rabbits gorging on our veg! The woods were planted in about 1997 with different native species and we have taken out a lot of the trees so that the others can grow. There are footpaths through the woods, leading to the pond and our back gate which opens onto a public footpath between Appleby & Long Marton Road. Please be careful as underfoot is uneven, boggy in places and there are tree stumps to trip you up. The pond has been cleared of a lot of vegetation in and around it so care is required as the edge might be slippery or masked by re-growth. It is about 4’ deep in the middle – Jan waded in to remove the weeds.
To the side of Holly Lodge at the front, is a shingle area which guests have found very sheltered for BBQ’s.
We have a variety of visiting wildlife, from garden birds on the feeders by the house and the occasional predator which scares them away, to occasional visits from Red Squirrels, a Stoat, many rabbits which love the rural nature of The Hollies and some Field Voles which live in the workshop.
You may recline in the Summerhouse, or extract chairs & tables to sit in the garden & absorb the peace & quiet.
There are various places to eat a variety of meals from locally sourced ‘pub grub’ & excellent meals where dogs are allowed in the bar (The Royal Oak has a dog menu), to the local Manor & Garden Spa, as well as a fantastic Indian & McMillans at the golf club. Fish ‘n’ chips & pizzas are take aways. Please ring to check they are cooking as nights off vary.
Eateries with level access are:-
- The Tufton Hotel, if you go through the arch there is a ramp into the hotel. Straight through is the disabled toilet, door width 730mm, or right turn along the 710mm wide passage to reception;
- Bojangles, can be a bit crowded for wheelchair manoeuvring, but they will move furniture for you & do have an accessible toilet;
- James’ Temptations –800mm wide door & they will move furniture for you. Teas, coffees, cakes, ice creams & sweets, & James is a fantastic chef!
- Eden River Cafe–800mm wide door & they will move furniture for you. Full cafe.
- Tastes of Eden – Vegetarian & Gluten free speciality, lovely cakes, eat in or take away. Step up & through 730mm door
- Crown & Cushion – Lunches 12-3pm, some evening meals. Level entrance, 840cm wide passage. Small step up into restaurant or round to the right for the bar
- Ashiana – very good food; 6” step up into the lobby, then 8” step down to the restaurant. Take-aways readily available
- Royal Oak (road out to A66) – slope down to 2 sets of double doors with small lips. Dog menu. Open every day. Discounts for pensioners at lunchtime and EarlyBirds at 6 on weekdays. Good food.
- Midland Hotel (by station) – straight through 2 doors. CAMRA pub of the year so enjoy your ales
- Mason’s arms, Long Marton – tight getting through the bar to the restaurant, but lovely cuisine.
- New Inn, Hoff – Through the gate which opens outwards, could be a tight turn into the bar, but space within. Toilets have 2 x 8” steps to access them using a grab bar.
- New Inn, Brampton – awkward turn in the small lobby
- Butcher’s Arms, Crosby Ravensworth – Lovely food, & easy access. Narrow corridor to the toilets, but wheelchairs have been accommodated.
- Appleby Manor Country House and Garden Spa – From the car park go back past the front gates, past a garage & into the next door (labelled ‘Residents’), over a small threshold and follow through to the main hallway. To the right is reception and the front doors which have irregular height steps, hence the detour.
- McMillans @ Appleby Golf Club – lovely views, lovely food & easy access – through the clubhouse doors, left along the corridor & left again to the bar, & right into the spacious dining room. Sorry, I didn’t notice an accessible toilet
- The Sandford Arms, Sandford. About 5 miles towards Brough & turn off. Lovely food, space & accessible loo.
- The Steak House @ The Grapes – Butcher & Chef in one = plastic cutlery! Honestly, when they opened in High Weind for Fair ‘17 they gave plastic cutlery & it worked! ! 77cm wide outer door, but inner is only 72cm. Approach from the town end between the walls.
We recommend The Sandford Arms on Mondays, & The Royal Oak on Tuesdays as both are excellent & open these days, when others aren’t necessarily, especially over winter.