Global Excellence Awards 2020

Page 52 LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards Originally from London, Carl and Carolyn Walker moved to Devon for a change of lifestyle and to ultimately run Birchill Farm & Cottages. To start, Carolyn provides a brief overview of the business and the various visitors who choose Birchill Farm & Cottages to spend some time away from home. “Birchill Farm & Cottages sits amongst eight acres of green pasture and ancient oak woodlands. Ideally located for the sandy beaches of North Devon & Cornwall, as well as allowing guests to take in the region’s most dramatic landscapes. All of our four-star & five-star gold self-catering luxury holiday cottages are baby and toddler friendly, providing the perfect accommodation for families with young children.” Competition across Devon remains an ongoing challenge, however as Carolyn informs us, Birchill Farm & Cottages’ ability to create the perfect family holiday experience has allowed it to distance itself from the crowd. “Naturally, our aim is to create a holiday setting within which our guests can relax and unwind in, so our cottages are fully equipped. Children are kept amused helping out with the daily feeding of our animals and fantastic play facilities on site. Our animals include ponies, donkeys, goats, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens, and rabbits. We organise a weekly ‘Fairy Walk’ into our woodland area where children dressed up as fairies and elves get to truly experience something magical. In our gnome garden children get the opportunity to hunt for chocolate eggs. For very young children, we have an indoor two-storey building with a soft- play area, as well as lots of toys & games. “For older children, we have a play den with table football, a pool table and boxes filled with toys for five- to eight-year-olds. With a small honesty shop on site, our freezer is loaded with frozen food and lots of local Birchill Farm & Cottages offers self-catering accommodation in the beautiful countryside of North Devon. Following its well-deserved success in the LUX Global Excellence Awards 2020, we got in touch with Carolyn Walker to find out more. Birchill Farm & Cottages Best Family Holiday Cottage Experience - North Devon produce for our guests to enjoy. In addition, hampers, celebration hampers and even birthday cakes are available to order from us.” To exceed its guests’ expectations, Birchill Farm & Cottages remain committed to developing its staff wherever possible, as Carolyn points out. “With our goals focused on customer service, our staff receive regular training and refresher training to ensure we are meeting our clients’ demands.” The outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 caused major disruption to the hospitality industry with lockdown forcing many accommodation providers to close. However, as Carolyn explains further, the pandemic did at least provide the business time to make improvements to its premises. “As we were not allowed to take in guests, we took the opportunity to carry out some external & internal decorating to our cottages and landscape the gardens.” Finally, Carolyn discusses how the business is able to stay ahead of emerging industry developments before outlining some of the exciting plans they have lined up for the future. “By keeping abreast of what our competitors are doing, monitoring what other holiday complexes outside our region are offering and seeking guidance from our industry associations, we have managed to remain at the forefront of our industry. “Moving forward, we are currently adding additional outdoor facilities and services for our guests. For example, we are converting a horse trailer into a bar; paving around our large wooden gazebo and building a sunken fire pit. Having already added our first hot tub to one of our cottages earlier this year, we hope these new additions will further enhance the family holiday experience on offer at Birchill Farm & Cottages.” Company: Birchill Farm & Cottages Contact: Carolyn Walker Website: