• Carrie-Ann Lightley

The Dairy | Accessible Yorkshire Dales Holiday Cottage Review

The Yorkshire Dales boasts a large number of holiday cottages, but how many of them are wheelchair accessible? The Dairy strikes the perfect balance of functional accessibility and luxurious fixtures and fittings, offering a wonderful base for disabled travellers to enjoy this tranquil part of Yorkshire.



Travel is a strange thing to write about at the moment, isn’t it? As I write this it’s November 2020, and England is in it’s second lockdown. Non-essential travel is advised against. My hope is that once restrictions have been eased, and you may be able and inspired to look forward to a trip in 2021.


As with everything this year, the way we travel has had to adapt; something very familiar to disabled people. We’re resilient and resourceful, and we’re used to changing the way that we live to fit in with the world around us. This spirit of adaptability was what helped me to proceed with a trip that I’d had planned for a little while, as restrictions allowed.


I had been invited by the owners of Cottage in the Dales, a luxury self-catering holiday provider in the Yorkshire Dales, to review their accessible cottage, The Dairy, near Hawes & Leyburn, Wensleydale. My husband Darren and my dog Poppy joined me for the trip – but it’s important to note that, usually, only assistance dogs are allowed.



If you’re looking for wheelchair accessible dog friendly holidays, check out this post.


Disclaimer: Cottage in the Dales provided my accommodation on a complimentary basis for the purposes of this review. This is an honest review and my opinions, as always, are entirely my own. This review is entirely based on my personal experience of staying at The Dairy, as a manual wheelchair user who is able to transfer and is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to accessibility at the accommodation.


Luxurious, Tranquil, and Accessible Yorkshire Holiday Accommodation


Cottage in the Dales is the only Yorkshire accommodation providing mobility, hearing & visual support to the VisitEngland National Accessibility Scheme standards, and for guests with differing needs, often hidden, The Dairy is dementia and autism-friendly. If you don’t need these facilities, most disappear.



The Dairy demolishes the clinical accessible accommodation perception, providing a luxurious stay that is appealing, practical, and enjoyable by guests irrespective of their age or disability.


To quote The Dairy’s owners, who live on site

“A red carpet awaits, not a red emergency cord. ’Accessible Luxury’, a premium hospitality experience, accessible to all.”

Read More: Accessible Luxury at Cottage in the Dales


Keeping in mind COVID restrictions, we decided to have a ‘home from home’ weekend, simply enjoying everything the cottage has to offer, and I don’t think we could have picked a better place to do that.



A file of accessible places to visit, walks & toilets are also provided to explore the area; from ‘Distinctly Dales’ experiences, to accessible itineraries.


Read More: Exploring the Countryside by Wheelchair


Accessible Pre-Arrival Service


Accessibility in the cottage itself is, obviously, very important. But as I often tell hospitality businesses, accessible customer service is just as important – the feeling of having been looked after exceptionally well is one that you won’t forget, and it’s what keeps guests returning repeatedly to Cottage in the Dales.


Cottage in the Dales’ inclusive pre-arrival procedures include confirming in detail their guest’s accessibility needs because as we know, disability means something different to everyone. I was asked to choose from a comprehensive list of equipment and aids – including shower chairs, bed rails, portable hoists and grab rails – all free of charge in the cottage ready for arrival.



As this would be a weekend of hibernation, we knew we needed supplies. Amazingly, instead of having to battle for a much-coveted supermarket delivery slot, the owners will collect your shopping from their local independent grocers, sending an order form to be completed, so the cottage is fully stocked with everything you need when you arrive.



The Dairy Accessible Accommodation


I think the Dairy is the best-equipped accessible cottage I’ve ever stayed in; and as a travel writer, I’ve stayed in an awful lot! It often felt as if we were staying in a luxury hotel, with the additional freedom and space of a cottage.


Below, I've listed all of the integrated accessible facilities – and additionally, as mentioned earlier, there’s lots of portable accessible equipment available too.


Accessible Kitchen


  • Colour-coded kitchen taps

  • Pull-down shelves in wall cupboards

  • Pull-out working surface

  • Removable cupboard from under kitchen sink and kitchen hob

  • Pull-out heat resistant tray under side-opening microwave oven and main oven

  • Socket at the front of the kitchen units

  • Ample cupboard space for kitchen crockery/glassware/cutlery at an accessible level

Accessible Bathroom/Wetroom


  • Quality chrome support bars (that are removable)

  • Integrated shower seat

  • Hand-held power shower

  • High and low level wall recesses for storing personal shower items

  • Shower remote control start/stop

  • Controllable shower temperature with visual identification (red/blue)

Read More: [AD] Four Places to Stay in the UK with Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms


Accessible Bedroom


  • Accessible space to the side of single or super king bed

  • Accessible space under an integrated dressing table

  • Wardrobe: pull-down hanging space & pull-out drawers

Hallway Cupboard

  • Pull-down coat hanging space

  • Pull-out drawers

Throughout

  • All sockets/switches/handles at an accessible level

  • Visual/hearing smoke/fire/carbon monoxide alarms

  • No steps throughout the cottage, courtyard, patio and garden - all on one level

  • Level thresholds throughout

COVID Safe Accessible Travel


Cottage in the Dales has the “We’re Good To Go” accreditation - the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, covering social distancing and a thorough cleaning/disinfecting. Flexible terms & waitlist is also available.


Read More: [AD] Accessible Yorkshire Dales Cottages | COVID Safe Travel


Find Out More


A video & 3D tour showcasing The Dairy’s flexible accessibility are on www.cottageinthedales.co.uk.






Keep updated with Carrie-Ann Lightley's latest posts, get FREE accessible travel resources - including a 30 day wheelchair travel planner - along with a regular newsletter of full of guides, reviews and travel tips, straight to your inbox. Sign up here.

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©2020 by Carrie-Ann Lightley. Images: StoneVillage Photography. Privacy Policy.