Access Statement – Swansfield Stables’ Studio

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 Studio which is off the courtyard has a mezzanine/platform style bedroom and there is a king-size sofa bed on the ground floor, in the open plan sitting, dining and kitchen area. There is a large bathroom with a shower 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. We look forward to welcoming you.

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 70cm/27½” and the access is level. The door opens into a small dining space which then joins onto an open plan sitting area – the gap into the room is 80cm/31½” but the table can be pushed back to create more space

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 very steep, wooden ladder style spacesaver staircase. This is 60cm/2ft wide with handrails on either side. These stairs would be difficult for anyone with mobility problems
  • 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 with a large sofa, one armchair, a set of 4 drawers, a wardrobe, a TV unit and 2 occasional tables.
  • The property 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 just inside the entrance and consists of a metre square, extendable dining table with 4 wooden chairs 2 without arms, 2 with. There is sufficient space for a wheelchair to one side of the table. The height beneath the table is 64cm/25” The space is well lit with a hanging, moveable ceiling light. The flooring is wooden.

Kitchen

  • The kitchen is an offshoot of the sitting area – the gap between the kitchen units on one side and the wall on the opposite is 1m/39”.
  • The cooker is electric – the hob is 92cm/36” above the floor, the oven base is 34cm/14” from the floor and has a door that opens right to left. There is a microwave on the work surface which is 92cm/36” in height, across all the units
  • The lowest shelves of the wall cupboards are 46cm/18” 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 right of the bowl. There is a built-in dishwasher with a drop down door. The lowest shelf in the built in fridge is 44cm/17”. 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

  • Access to the mezzanine bedroom is by a very steep, wooden ladder style space-saver stair case. This is 60cm/2ft wide with handrails on either side. These stairs would be difficult for anyone with mobility problems
  • The divan bed is 50cm/20” high and sits between the eaves of the roof so space on either side is restricted by the apex beams
  • 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 spot lights and 2 bedside lamps. The velux windows above the sitting room and the bedroom have built in blinds – there is a pole to close the blinds above the sitting area- this is a little awkward to use.
  • 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 limited space on either side of the bed. The bedding for this bed is kept in the wardrobe
  • There is a wooden wardrobe with rail that cannot be adjusted and there is a 4 drawer set of drawers against a wall.

Bathrooms, Shower-rooms and Toilets

  • This has a toilet, basin and a shower cubicle. The width of the door, which opens outwards, is 72cm/28”. The door handle is a metal, ‘country type’ catch. The shower cubicle is 90cmx130cm/35½”x51” and door slides from left to right with a 54cm/21”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 85cm/33½” in height on top of a pedestal and has a single mixer lever tap. The toilet seat is 42cm/16½” from the floor and has a push button flush function.
  • There is a heated towel rail on the wall next to the shower which can be switched on from outside the bathroom. 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 light and by the light on the wall cabinet. The flooring is tiled with underfloor heating and the décor throughout is white. There are no support or grab rails in this room.

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 Studio is a metal patio table with 3 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 is ‘designated’ to the other holiday property but can be used by all guests if desired. 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, un-surfaced path. This leads to the Studio’s own 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.