Access Statement – Swansfield Stables’ Cart Shed

This access statement does not contain personal opinions as to our suitability for those with access needs, but aims to accurately describe the facilities and services that we offer all our guests/visitors.

Introduction

Swansfield Stables is situated on the edge of Alnwick, a ten minute walk into the centre of town. The nearest coastline is approximately 4 miles away – a fifteen minute drive and a twenty minute bus journey from the centre of Alnwick. The property sits on a private road, off a main road out of the town. Access to the property is through a bar gate, up a steep drive through another bar gate into a courtyard.

The Cart Shed which is off the courtyard has one first floor bedroom and there is a king-size sofa bed on the ground floor, in the open plan sitting room. The shower is on the first floor and there is a cloakroom on the ground floor.

We look forward to welcoming you. If you have any queries or require any assistance please phone 01665 602000 or email info@swansfieldstables.co.uk.

Pre-Arrival

  • The nearest railway station to Alnwick is 4 miles away at Alnmouth.
  • Knights Taxis 01665 714555 run a service to and from the station – they can provide a mini bus with wheelchair access.
  • It helps to inform taxi drivers that property is ‘off Clayport Bank’ – the B6431 to Rothbury
  • A bus service runs to and from Alnmouth – the X18 run by Arriva bus offers an hourly service to and from Alnwick bus station – times vary, see www.arrivabus.co.uk
  • The bus stop at Alnmouth is a 2 minute walk up the hill from the station or over the bridge depending on which platform you alight. There will shortly be a lift operating between the two platforms at the station.
  • Alnwick bus station is approximately 500 metres uphill walk from the house.
  • We can offer a collection service from the station with prior agreement though we are unable to offer a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
  • The main food shops closest to the property are a butchers and Morrison’s supermarket. Sainsbury’s supermarket provide an online shopping and delivery service (www.sainsburys.co.uk)

Key Collection, Welcome and Car Parking

  • Keys are collected from the main house and are kept in your possession for the duration of your stay. There will always be someone present to greet you and show you around and there should usually be someone available for information and guidance throughout your stay.
  • There are 3 car parking spaces available at the front of the house. Guests are able to drive into the courtyard to unload and usually then park in one of the car park spaces. If a guest has mobility difficulties we are happy to let them park at the top of the drive just outside the gate, with prior agreement. Turning and manoeuvring in the courtyard/drive is tight but possible. We do prefer to keep the Courtyard free of cars for the pleasure and safety of all staying here
  • The car parking spaces are on a graveled surface around 120 metres from the property. There is usually another space immediately in front of the main house on a tarmac surface. Guests can then walk down the tarmac road to the steep hard core/concrete drive or can cut across the front of the main house using 3 stone, quite deep steps, then lawn and a further stone step. Both routes involve going through a bar gate.
  • At present there is no lighting from the car park to the property except for a sensor light at the top of the drive, though the courtyard is usually lit in the evening until around 10.30pm

Entrance to Property

  • The courtyard immediately outside of the property is a mixture of flagstones and cobbles.
  • The front door width is 1m/39” and the step in is 15cm/6” high –there is no level access to this property. The door opens into a 2m x 7m/6 ½ ft x 22½ ft wide open-plan space which then joins onto an open plan sitting area
  • The downstairs cloakroom is off the entrance – door width is 80cm/31½”.

Halls, Stairs, Landings, Passageways

  • The whole of the ground floor is an open plan space with stairs going off the sitting room. There are no passageways.
  • The first floor is reached by a wooden stair case – there are 2 steps onto a small landing and then a turn to the right to 12 steps up. The handrail is on the right hand side as you go up. At the top of the stairs is a small landing 1mx1m/3 ftx3ft – to the right is the door into the bedroom, to the left the door to the bathroom, both on the level access. The area is lit by a ceiling light.
  • The flooring throughout is wooden

Sitting Room/Lounge

  • The sitting room adjoins the entrance/dining area on the level. This is an open plan room of approx 4mx10m/13ftx32½ ft. It has a large, firm sofa which is not easily movable and 2 armchairs and low level occasional tables which are. There are good gaps between the furniture and the rooms are well lit by hanging ceiling and wall lights and there are three additional large table lamps. The TV has a subtitle facility. There is wooden flooring throughout the ground floor and a low pile rug in front of the stove.
  • The ground floor has under floor heating which is kept at a specific temperature but can be increased or decreased on request. This is supplemented by a wood burning stove – extra wood for the stove is kept just outside of the property Dining Room
  • The dining area is at the end of the entrance hall on a level access. The dining table has 6 wooden chairs without arms and there is sufficient space for a wheelchair. The height beneath the table is 64cm/25”. The space is well lit with hanging ceiling lights. The flooring is wooden.

Kitchen

  • The kitchens dimensions are approx 2mx2 ½m/ 6½ftx8ft. The kitchen area, whilst usable, is quite small and is not suitable for wheelchairs. The cooker is electric – the hob is 92cm/36” above the floor, the oven base is 16cm/41” from the floor with a door that drops down, there is a microwave on the work surface which is 92cm/36” in height, across all the units The wall cupboards are 50cm/19½ ” above the work surfaces but any crockery etc can be moved to a lower level as required. The electric kettle is cordless. The sink has a single mixer lever tap and the drainer is to the left of the bowl. There is a built-in dishwasher with a drop down door. The highest shelf in the free standing fridge is 37cm/94” and the lowest 28cm/11”. The fridge door opens from left to right. The kitchen is lit by ceiling spot lights and the flooring is wooden.

Bedrooms and Sleeping Areas

  • There is a bedroom on the first floor. The width of door to the bedroom is 69cm/27” and the door opens inwards – the door handle is a metal, ‘country type’ catch. This is a large room – 4mx10m/13ftx32½ ft – with a king size bed and a single bed at the opposite side of the room. The height of the beds is 51cm/20” and 59cm/23” respectively, the space under the beds is 16cm/6½” and 26cm/10″. The larger bed is accessible from both sides but the single bed is up against a wall. There is a wooden wardrobe with rail that cannot be adjusted and there is a 4 drawer set of drawers against a wall. There is a low level bedside table at the sides of both beds – the larger bed has a built in unit on one side. There is a free standing mirror and 2 wicker chairs – these are the only movable pieces of furniture in the room.
  • The bedding is cotton or polycotton and the top pillows on both beds are non-allergenic. The duvets and pillows are non feather and all towels are cotton.
  • The room is lit by hanging lights and 3 bedside lamps. The velux windows have built in blinds – there is a pole to close blinds and windows – this is a little awkward to use. The flooring is cork with a low pile bedroom rug
  • This room is heated by radiators on a timer which can be adjusted on request.
  • There is additional sleeping space in the sitting room where the sofa can be pulled out into a bed – this mechanism is easy to use if a little heavy. The mattress is 60cm/24” from the floor and there is plenty of space on either side of the bed. The bedding for this bed is kept in a low level built in cupboard upstairs but can easily be stored downstairs during the day. The only space for clothes on this floor is in a free standing cupboard with 2 drawers with a cupboard underneath.

Bathrooms, Shower-rooms and Toilets

  • This room is small, approximately 1½mx2m/ 5ftx6½ ft and has a toilet, basin and a shower cubicle. The width of the door, which opens outwards, is 69cm/27” though the gap into the room is 46cm/18” because of the toilet. The door handle is a metal, ‘country type’ catch. The shower cubicle door is concertina with an 80cm/31½” opening space. The overhead shower is wall mounted with an additional attached hand held shower that can be detached and used. The cubicle has a raised entrance lip of 10cm/4”. The taps are levers – one for the water and one to adjust the temperature and there is a pull out knob next to the taps for the hand held shower head. The washbasin is 82cm/32” in height on top of a pedestal and has a single mixer lever tap. The toilet seat is 41cm/16” from the floor and has a push button flush function. There is a heated towel rail on the wall opposite the washbasin. Above the basin is a wall mounted cupboard with mirror with a sensor light – there is a shaver point on the inside of the wall cabinet. The room is lit by ceiling lights, a light tunnel and by the light on the wall cabinet. The flooring is cork and the décor throughout is white. There are no support or grab rails in this room.
  • There is an additional small cloakroom on the ground floor, opposite the main door. The door width is 80cm/31½” but the gap to access the toilet is 68cm/27”, the basin is 81cm/32” from the floor with a pedestal and has a single mixer lever tap. The toilet seat is 43cm/17” from the floor and has a push button flush function.

Laundry/Utility Room

  • The utility room is situated just across the courtyard from the Cart Shed. It has split level stable doors opening outwards and then an inward opening glass-paned door. The door opening is 85cm/33½” and there is a step of 19cm/7½” into the room. This room houses the large wood pellet boiler – the gap between boiler and the washing machines and sink is 90cm/35½” There are 2 washing machines – one with a dryer – and a sink with traditional, non-mixer taps. The flooring is ceramic tiling and the room is lit by a single hanging ceiling light.

Garden

  • Immediately outside the Cart Shed is a metal patio table with 5 metal chairs. There is a bread oven and a BBQ with separate meat/vegetarian cooking sections. These are both for guest use – the oven on prior request.
  • There are other benches in the courtyard –both metal and wooden – which guests are very welcome to use, but these are very much in a ‘shared space’
  • The Garden to the house runs along the sides and above the properties (which sit in an old quarry) It is made up of a mixture of orchard, working vegetable garden, polytunnel, wooded, ornamental areas and a pond. There are often free ranging ducks and hens roaming the garden. We also have a cat who is not allowed access to the holiday properties.
  • Guests have their own sitting out area to the back and above the property though access to the garden is difficult and is not suitable for wheelchairs or people with severe mobility limitations. The garden can be reached by 2 concrete then 23 step metal staircase which runs up the side of the house, with a hand rail either side and then either by a further 12 wooden steps, hand rail to the left going up, or a wood chip covered path. There is then a set of 13 wooden steps, hand rail on the right going up, to a flat area with two wooden benches and a fire pit. This area can also be reached via a sloping grassed path. There is a further way up to the garden, past the car park, through a large gate and up a rough, unsurfaced path. This leads to another sitting out area on a wooden bench, next to the pond. Once the garden is reached, a lot is on the level but is very uneven in places.

Additional Information

  • Dogs are welcome at Swansfield Stables, with prior agreement, but we ask that they are not allowed to roam freely due to the poultry and cat who live here. There are dog walking areas immediately around the house. We do not provide any facilities for dogs (bowls etc) at the present time.
  • The entire property decor is white and the woodwork is light in colour. The work surfaces in the kitchen are dark.
  • The property has free WiFi and mobile reception though some networks are limited.
  • There are two doctors’ surgeries;
  • The Bondgate Surgery, Infirmary Close, off South Road Tel: 01665 510 888 and Infirmary Drive Medical Group, South Road Tel: 01665 602388 • Alnwick hospital has a Minor Injuries Unit – Infirmary Drive, South Road and the nearest A&E is at Wansbeck Hospital, Woodhorn Lane, Ashington
  • Further info on doctors surgeries, vets, manuals on how to use cookers, TV, DVD etc and recommended places to visit and eat are in the Information Folder

Future Plans

  • We plan to improve the lighting from the car park into the courtyard and to consider ways of improving the shorter access across the lawn by way of surfaced paths or rubber, grow-through matting.
  • We plan to seek advice on the most appropriate types and location of grab rails for the toilets and showers in both properties.
  • We aim to ask for suggestions on how we may be able to improve our facilities for people with disabilities from guests presently using our properties.

Contact Information

Address (Inc postcode): Swansfield Stables Alnwick Northumberland NE66 1EJ

Telephone: 01665 602000

Email: info@swansfieldstables.co.uk

Website: www.swansfieldstables.co.uk

Grid Reference: NU 18211 12782

Hours Of Operation: All year

Local Equipment Hire: Northumberland Mobility Centre Unit 2 Coquet Enterprise Park, Amble, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE65 0PE

Local Accessible Taxi: Knights Taxis 01665 714555 run a service to and from the station – they can provide a minibus with wheelchair access

Local Public Transport: The bus station is on the edge of the town approximately 500 metres walk from the house. Arriva buses run regular bus services up and down the coast and to and from Newcastle – see www.arrivabus.co.uk Bus time tables are available in the property as is a list of several other taxi firms operating in the area